Note: There is no one universal “best,” especially when it comes to parenting. These are “The Best Changing Pads” based on Also Mom's strict criteria, detailed here.
When the difference between “barely but technically passable” and “actually good and non-toxic to boot” is only a $15 up-charge, it’s worth it to get a decent changing pad.
But yeah, in case you're wondering… it's really not that important to get the best changing pad. An inexpensive one off of Amazon or from your local baby store will do you just fine. Just know, if it's not GREENGUARD certified, there's a good chance it's going to smell of chemicals and you'll need to air it out for a few days before putting it in baby's room.
These are our favorite changing pads…
- Colgate Contoured Two-Sided Changing Pad (~$30) – Compared to cheapo changing pads, the Colgate changing pad is both softer and sturdier. It is only $10-15 more than the popular-but-ultimately-mediocre Summer Infant or LA Baby pads, but significantly higher quality. It's also GREENGUARD Gold certified, so it has low chemical emissions. We prefer the two-sided pad over the three or four-sided pad, since it is a bit more compatible with a growing babe.
- Naturepedic Organic Cotton Changing Pad ($99) – Borderline luxurious and made with the same material as the Naturepedic mattresses, this changing pad is almost good enough for a nap. The Naturepedic changing pad is filled with 100% organic fill and covered with 100% organic cotton fabric backed with a polyethylene food-grade waterproof coating. While some brands claim to be organic by having an organic detail here or there, Naturepedic is organic through and through. The pad is GREENGUARD Gold certified and has a nice two-sided contour.
- Keekaroo Peanut Changer ($129.99) – In a neutral color, like vanilla or grey, the Keekaroo Peanut looks nice in most modern nurseries. It's soft to the touch, and best of all, super easy to clean– just wipe up messes instead of tossing an entire changing pad cover in the wash. Some worry that their tot will outgrow this changing pad, but it's not much of an issue. Long toddler legs simply hang off the end. Beware: Sometimes this changer can have a strong chemical smell out of the packaging and will need a few days to air out.
- PooPoose Changing Pad ($59.99) – We can’t even with that name, but hear us out, because parents with squirmy babies swear by this changing pad. Just velcro baby onto the pad using the super soft swaddle-like straps and voila, easier changes. Although PooPoose is not GREENGUARD certified, it is made of non-toxic materials. Some parents have reported of pads smelling a touch “chemical-y” upon receipt, but that’s nothing a little airing out won’t fix. Due to the swaddle-like straps, standard changing pad covers will not fit this pad. PooPoose sells a limited selection of covers for $24.99, but they have a dated velour look we’re not totally loving. If this is the changing pad of your dreams, consider hacking (or paying someone on Etsy to hack) a changing pad cover with cut outs large enough for the straps.
Which is the Best Changing Pad for Your Nursery
If you want an organic changing pad… Naturepedic.
If you need a changing pad for securing a wiggly baby… PooPoose.
If you just want a solid changing pad that is GREENGUARD certified and doesn’t suck… Colgate.
If you want a changing pad that's super easy to clean… Keekaroo Peanut.
What Makes a Great Changing Pad
To us, the best changing pads are…
- Sufficiently soft and comfortable
- Contoured on two sides (three and four-sided contours tend to get outgrown by older babies and toddlers)
- Made from non-toxic materials, with bonus points for GREENGUARD certification and organic materials
- Reasonably affordable
What Didn't Make the Cut
Anything that is hard, four sided, and/or not special did not make the cut. But yes, those changing pads are all probably totally fine. Especially at $20 a pop.