When you’re looking for a great indoor playpen for your dog, you want a sturdy, easy-to-assemble model. But should you choose plastic, fabric, or metal? With so many options, you could spend quite a bit of time shopping for just the right playpen.
Don’t worry, we’re here to simplify your shopping. We tried out all the best models on the market and came up with this list of the 10 best dog and puppy indoor playpens of 2020.
For each model, we’ve written a comprehensive review, looking carefully at price, materials, durability, accessories, ease of assembly, and warranty, among other factors, so you can feel confident in your choice. And if you’re wondering about the merits of different options, take a look at our buyer’s guide, which will further explain your choices.
A Quick Summary of Our Top Picks in 2020
The 10 Best Dog & Puppy Indoor Playpens
1. EliteField 2-Door Pet Playpen – Best Overall
Our overall favorite is the EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen, a well-designed mid-range option that’s spacious and comes with a great range of accessories.
This 14-pound fabric playpen, which comes in a choice of colors and sizes, has two doors with locking zippers. It also has a washable zip-off floor mat and cover, plus two accessory pockets and a water bottle holder. The package includes a carrying bag and four ground stakes for added stability. The pen is roomy and tall, leaving plenty of space for your dog to move around, and the top door can be unzipped for extra room.
When we tested this playpen, we found that it was easy to clean, with simple zip-off covers. The zippers and mesh windows are not particularly sturdy, however, and the frame may collapse if your dog moves around a lot. EliteField offers a good two-year warranty.
2. IRIS Pet Playpen with Door – Best Value
If your budget is smaller, you may be interested in the IRIS 585604 Pet Playpen with Door, which we found to be the best dog and puppy indoor playpen for the money.
This 12.73-pound playpen has four 24-inch wire panels in a selection of colors. It can work as an eight square foot enclosed pen or as a freestanding door barrier. There’s a door, and the whole thing folds flat for simple storage or transportation. You can also purchase extra panels from the company.
We found this playpen fast to set up, with simple connecting rods, locking latches, and non-skid rubber feet. It can collapse if your dog moves around a lot, so you may want to reinforce it diagonally, and there isn’t an included top cover or floor mat. IRIS has a 30-day return policy.
At 23.5 pounds, this beige plastic pen is heavy and somewhat clunky. It’s water-resistant and has six panels, one of which has a gated door that you can lock. We liked how customizable this playpen was, as it’s easy to set up in a wide range of shapes. There are specially designed caps that lock the panels at three different angles. This playpen can also work as a freestanding pet gate.
The gate doesn’t lock very effectively, and the bars are close together, so your dog won’t be able to see out very well. There isn’t an included floor panel, though you purchase one separately. Richell offers a basic 90-day warranty.
4. Midwest Foldable Metal Exercise Pen
The Midwest 550-24DR Foldable Metal Exercise Pen is another decent option, with a low price and the ability to attach to wire crates. It’s not very sturdy but allows a large play area.
This heavy 17.8-pound metal wire pen has eight 24-inch panels, producing a generous 16 square feet of play area. The wire has a durable black e-coat finish, and there’s a convenient double latch door. For added stability, the package includes eight ground anchors, eight corner stabilizers, and four simple thumb snaps. This playpen can easily connect to your wire crate, giving your dog additional space and comfort.
When we tested this playpen, we liked the fast no-tool assembly. The door-locking pins are too short, though, falling out easily if bumped, and the metal panel connections may be sharp. The corner stabilizers aren’t very effective, so this pen isn’t the most stable option. Midwest offers a one-year warranty.
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5. Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Pet Playpen
The Portable Foldable Pet Playpen from Ruff ‘n Ruffus is a lightweight, low-cost fabric crate option that comes with useful accessories. Unfortunately, it’s not very sturdy and has a tendency to collapse.
At 2.4 pounds, this pen is very lightweight and highly portable. It has a water-resistant 600D nylon cover with eight panels and a zipper door, plus a removable top cover. The package includes a carry case, a collapsible 16-ounce silicone food bowl, and built-in straps so you can stake it down. It also conveniently folds flat and comes in three sizes.
This playpen has a less durable floor that rips easily. It also collapses fairly easily, so it’s better suited to a calm dog. When we unboxed it, it had a strong plastic smell. Ruff ‘n Ruffus offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
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6. Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen
The Parkland FBA_1845 Pet Portable Foldable Playpen is inexpensive and very portable but also doesn’t feel very durable.
This light 2.1-pound fabric playpen has a hand-washable 600D fabric cover and built-in stake down straps. Available in three sizes, it’s easy to carry and simple to set up. The pen has a removable top cover and a zipper door, plus an attached bottom layer.
We found that this pen was not particularly durable, collapsing easily. It also had a strong chemical smell, and the attached bottom layer was more difficult to clean. Parkland doesn’t offer a warranty.
7. BestPet Pet Playpen
The BestPet Pet Playpen is a pricey, highly customizable metal pen with sturdy panels but weaker connections.
This playpen, which comes in three sizes, has eight rust-resistant metal panels. You set them up in different configurations, so the pen can easily fit in most rooms. The panels are sturdy and tall enough to hold in larger dogs.
This pen doesn’t work well as a door barrier, as the panels don’t stand well on their own. The pins connecting the panels aren’t very sturdy, and your dog may get its paws caught in the gaps between the panels. The rust-resistant coating is also not particularly effective. BestPet doesn’t offer a warranty.
8. Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
Another option is the Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen, a mid-range, lightweight fabric pen that’s spacious but not very durable.
At 5.2 pounds, this folding pen is very portable. It has eight panels, two mesh doors, and mesh windows on all sides. Sold in three sizes and four bright colors, the pen has nice features like a water-dispensing hole, reinforced corners, exterior pockets, and protected seams. The package includes a carry case, a zip-on mesh top, and four metal spikes.
This playpen provides plenty of space for your dog to move around, but the mesh isn’t very strong and the floor is fairly thin. The frame collapses easily and is somewhat difficult to fold. There isn’t a warranty.
9. AmazonBasics Plastic Pet Pen
The 9015 4-Panel Plastic Pet Pen from AmazonBasics is a reasonably priced plastic model that doesn’t work as well for smaller dogs.
This 10.56-pound pen is surprisingly heavy, with four two-foot panels that provide eight square feet of play area. You can expand your pen by purchasing additional panels from Amazon. The playpen is made of heavy-duty molded plastic, and it’s easy to assemble with convenient non-skid rubber feet.
When we tested this playpen, we found that the bars were too far apart for some pets, and paws could get stuck in the corners. Amazon offers a one-year warranty.
10. New World Foldable Pet Playpen
Our least favorite model is the New World Pet Products B550-24 Foldable Pet Playpen, which is inexpensive but heavy and not very sturdy.
This bulky 16.7-pound playpen comes in a choice of five heights. It’s an eight-panel metal pen that allows for 16 square feet of play area, and you can expand that by purchasing additional panels. The package includes four ground stakes and four locking thumb snaps, and the metal has a rust-preventing coating. The playpen can be attached to a metal crate, and you can arrange the panels in quite a few ways.
This pen doesn’t have a door, so you’ll have to detach the panels to enter or exit. There isn’t an included top cover, though you can purchase one separately, and the metal rusts easily. The wires are two inches apart, which may be too wide to keep in smaller pets. The pen as a whole has a less durable feel, and New World Pet Products doesn’t offer a warranty.
You’ve read our list of the 10 best indoor playpens for your dog. But now that it’s time to decide, you may wonder which model will work best for you. Keep reading to find our guide to the available features.
The first big decision you’ll want to make is what material your playpen will be made of. There are three main options: fabric, metal, and plastic.
Fabric playpens are similar to soft crates, with folding frames and fabric covers. These pens are highly portable, typically folding into a carrying bag or buckling together for transportation. The covers generally have zipping mesh doors windows and may also have zip-off top covers and bottom layers. These pens aren’t as sturdy as their metal and plastic counterparts and may be best suited to smaller dogs that don’t chew, scratch, or try to escape their playpens.
Metal playpens have sturdy metal panels that attach with pins or thumb snaps. These pens are often customizable, so you can attach the panels in a variety of ways to fit your indoor space. They’re not as portable but generally fold flat for simple storage. You may want to check that the metal bar spacing isn’t wide enough for your dog to escape.
Plastic playpens are similar in design to the metal variety, with interlocking panels generally made of heavy-duty plastic. These pens can be bulky but typically fold flat for storage. You may be able to customize the configuration to your space, as well. Metal and plastic pens may be able to function as freestanding room dividers, pet gates, or door barriers, so you’d like that ability, you may want to check each model.
Are you interested in additional accessories like stabilizing ground stakes, water bottle holders, or carrying cases? You may want to look at the specifics of what your model includes.
If you’d like your indoor playpen to last a long time, you’ll want to look for a durable design. If you choose a fabric model, you’ll want to look for water-resistant, sturdy cloth that can withstand cleaning along with chewing and scratching. If you’d prefer a metal pen, you may want to look for durable finishes like e-coating. This electrically applied paint can help prevent rust and keep your metal strong. And if you choose a plastic model, you’ll want to look for heavy-duty, molded plastic that will last a long time.
Would you like to protect your indoor playpen with a good warranty? Many of the models we reviewed offer a warranty, but the terms can vary quite a bit. These warranties may last for a few months up to multiple years. You may also want to pay attention to what each warranty covers, as some do not include the accessories.
Our favorite indoor playpen is the EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen, which is nicely designed, fairly priced, and spacious, with plenty of useful accessories. If you’re looking to save money, you may prefer the IRIS 585604 Pet Playpen with Door, a great value wire pen that’s highly portable and easy to set up. Are you shopping for a premium playpen? Try the high-end Richell 94192 Convertible High Pet Playpen, which can be set up in a range of shapes and has a good locking gate door.
A great indoor playpen can allow your dog to have fun without destroying your house. But with so many models on the market, you could spend quite a bit of time shopping for the best pen. We hope this list of 2020’s 10 best dog and puppy indoor playpens, complete with in-depth reviews and a handy feature guide, helps you effortlessly pick out a great model. No matter what you’re looking for, a good indoor playpen is just around the corner.
By Kate MacDonnell
Featured image credit: Richell Convertible High Pet Playpen, Amazon
- A Quick Summary of Our Top Picks in 2020
- The 10 Best Dog & Puppy Indoor Playpens
- 1. EliteField 2-Door Pet Playpen – Best Overall
- 2. IRIS Pet Playpen with Door – Best Value
- 3. Richell High Pet Playpen – Premium Choice
- 4. Midwest Foldable Metal Exercise Pen
- 5. Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Pet Playpen
- 6. Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen
- 7. BestPet Pet Playpen
- 8. Zampa Portable Foldable Pet Playpen
- 9. AmazonBasics Plastic Pet Pen
- 10. New World Foldable Pet Playpen
- Buyer’s Guide