The Best Dog Playpens

Obviously, you adore your dog, but that doesn’t mean that he or she gets free reign of the house or yard all the time. Sometimes you need to corral your pup into one area. That’s why dog playpens are an essential accessory for every dog owner.

We reviewed dozens of dog playpens to identify the best of the best. We considered all of the features that you’ll want to know about, including size, material, portability, versatility, and accessories to make sure that you know everything that you need to in order to choose right dog playpen for you and your pet.

Top Pick
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MidWest Pet Playpen

With 16 square feet of room, eight ground anchors for outdoor use, and eight corner stabilizers, this playpen is the best option for most dog breeds.

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$129.50 USD

Our top pick is the MidWest Pet Playpen. This dog playpen is durable and easily configurable in several different shapes. It’s easy to set up and take down, and it can be attached to your dog’s crate for a den-like space with access to room to play and stretch. With five different height options, it’s ideal for use with dogs up to 110 pounds.

The 5 Top-Rated Dog Playpens

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallMidWest Pet Playpen4.5
Runner UpPaws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen4.6
Best Budget BuyRuff 'n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen4.4
Best Small Dog PlaypenIRIS 24'' Exercise and Pet Playpen4.5
Best Large Dog PlaypenPaws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: MidWest Pet Playpen

With five different height options available to suit dogs up to about 110 pounds, the MidWest Pet Playpen is a great option for most dog breeds.

The pen comes with eight 24″ wide panels and is easily assembled using the four included clips. The eight corner stabilizers and eight ground anchors also included provide even more stability and durability. The metal playpen has a black Electro-Coat finish or a gold zinc finish to protect both the playpen and your pet. Once assembled, the pen gives your pet 16 square feet of space and a step-through door makes it easy for both you and your pet to enter and exit the pen as needed. The door has two latches to keep it securely closed. When you want the playpen out of the way, just release the clips and the pen folds flat again for easy storage.

For longer periods of use, you can even attach the MidWest Pet Playpen to a Midwest Single or Double Door Dog Crate to provide them with a den area as well as a place to play. You can also use a MidWest Exercise Pen Wire Mesh or Sunscreen Top for additional protection for your pet as needed.

MidWest Pet Playpen Key Features:

  • Comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Five height options: 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″
  • Available in black and zinc finishes with a door, and in black without a door
  • Plenty of accessories also available for purchase from MidWest

Our Runner Up Pick: Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen

Runner Up
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Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen

This heavy duty dog pen is easy to set up and take down, provides 30 square feet of room for your dog to enjoy, and can be set up in a variety of shapes.

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$109.90 USD

Our runner-up is another dog playpen from the same brand: the Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen. This pen doesn’t come in as many height options as our Top Pick, and it’s heavier, but it’s also even heavier duty to stand up to even the most rambunctious dogs for a long, long time. It also has a silver-toned finish rather than a black one. Otherwise, the two pens are very similar.

The Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen also features an 8-panel design that is easy to set up and take down and can be placed into a variety of shapes. The edges have been rounded to protect your pet and the pen is constructed from rust-resistant metal, which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The pen offers just over 30 square feet of space for your dog and measures 73″ in diameter when set up in an octagon shape. The double-latching door allows easy access inside the pen.

This dog playpen is easy to set up and take down, but at between about 35 pounds in weight for the 24″ height option and about 57 pounds for the 40″ height option, it’s not quite as easy to tote around as our top choice.

Paws & Pals Heavy Duty Dog Playpen Key Features:

  • Available in 24″, 32″, and 40″
  • Rounded edges keep you and your pet safe
  • 1/2″ tube heavy duty frame

Best Budget Pick: Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen

Best for Budget
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This collapsible playpen gives you plenty for your money with a shade cover, water resistant material, and an included carrying case, plus a collapsible bowl.

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$28.97 USD

The Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen is not only a very affordable option, but it also gives you a lot for your money. It has a built-in reinforced floor to protect both your pet and your flooring. A removable mesh sunshade can be left on to help keep your dog cool or prevent them from jumping out or zipped off to allow you to access the inside of the pen through the top. A zippered door also allows for access into the pen.

The breathable mesh walls, door, and shade keep your dog contained, while also allowing for plenty of airflow. The pen’s seams and corners are reinforced and the pen is made from water-resistant 600D nylon to make it more durable.

This playpen is incredibly easy to set up and take down: just unfold the playpen and it pops up on its own in mere seconds. When you’re done with it, just fold it back up and place it in the included carrying case.

Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen Key Features:

  • Comes with a carry case and collapsible 16-ounce food or water bowl
  • Three sizes available: Medium (29” x 29” x 17”), Large (36″ x 36″ x 23″), and Extra Large (48″ x 48″ x 23.5″)
  • No assembly required design pops open in seconds

Best Small Dog Playpen: IRIS 24” Exercise and Pet Playpen

Best Small Dog Playpen
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The 8 square feet provided by this dog playpen is perfect for small dogs, but you can also buy additional add-on panels to give more room if you think your dog needs it.

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$49.99 USD

The IRIS 24” Exercise and Pet Playpen is a great option for small dogs. It’s 24″ tall, making it tall enough to keep small dogs inside, but also short enough for humans to reach or step over it when necessary. This playpen is made out of molded plastic for enhanced durability and to eliminate any possible rust issues. The plastic construction also makes this playpen super lightweight. It’s suitable for indoor or outdoor use and can be folded flat when you don’t need it.

The playpen provides 8 square feet of play and exercise space, but you can also purchase 2-panel expansion sets for even more area. Additionally, you can purchase another door add-on panel if you don’t want to have to pick up and put down your dogs to place them in the pen and take them out again. Panels are easy to add and remove using the full length connecting rods. The joints between panels have a huge range of motion, allowing the pen to be set up in a variety of shapes to suit your needs.

IRIS 24” Exercise and Pet Playpen Key Features: 

  • Rubber feet to prevent the pen from sliding and protect your flooring
  • Available in white, blue, green, gray, and pink
  • Easy to expand for more room

Best Large Dog Playpen: Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen

Best Large Dog Playpen
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Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen

This portable wire dog playpen offers heights up to 48 inches tall and provides 30 square feet of play space.

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$55.99 USD

The Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen provides your dog with 30 square feet of room and its 8-panel design lets you set up the playpen in a variety of different shapes. It’s lightweight at around 35 pounds and is easy to set up and take down, which makes it super portable.

All you have to do to set it up is unfold it and attach the ends together using the included pieces; no tools are necessary. To put it away, just detach the ends and the pen folds flat for easy transportation and storage.

With five different heights available ranging between 24″ and 48″, there is a height option perfect for just about any dog. It’s even great for outdoor use thanks to the durable metal material with a rust-resistant coating. The black coating blends with virtually any decor, and the coating and the pen’s rounded edges keep your dog safe. The dual latching door makes it easy to access the inside of the pen, no matter what height you choose.

Paws & Pals Metal Wire Pet Playpen Key Features:

  • Available in five different heights: 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″
  • Rounded edges keep you and your pet safe
  • 1/2″ tube heavy duty frame and 6 gauge wire
  • 64″ diameter in octagon configuration

Who Should Buy a Dog Playpen

Pet playpens are a useful tool for owners of all types of dogs because they keep your dog confined without being as limiting as a crate.

They’re especially useful and most commonly recommended for when owners have to leave puppies home alone because they keep the puppy away from anything that it could hurt or could hurt it while also providing enough room for a puppy pad. Dog playpens are also good for dogs, whether puppies or adults, that are transitioning into a new home. Playpens give the dog the freedom to observe and adjust to the new space without overwhelming it.

In addition, dog playpens are a good option for confining a dog that isn’t crate-trained or when you want to keep your dog confined to an area but don’t want to or aren’t able to crate it. 

Top Pick
Buy Now
MidWest Pet Playpen

With 16 square feet of room, eight ground anchors for outdoor use, and eight corner stabilizers, this playpen is the best option for most dog breeds.

buy now
$129.50 USD

Important Features to Consider

A playpen for dogs should include a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a playpen for your dog:

  • Area. Your playpen should offer enough room for your dog to do everything you need it to be able to. For example, a playpen for a puppy to stay in while you’re at work needs room for bowls, a play area, a bed, and a puppy pad away from the other things. Of course, the larger and greater in number the dogs that will be in the pen are, the more space needed.
  • Height. Your dog’s playpen needs to be tall enough so that your dog can’t jump out of it, but it also needs to be short enough that you (or the shortest person in your home who needs to be able to get inside) can easily access the inside of the playpen. Of course, playpens for larger dogs will generally need to be too tall for a person to easily lean over, so tall playpens will need to have a door that you can use to get inside the pen.
  • Ease of assembly. Your pet playpen should be easy for you to quickly put together so you can start using it for your dog right away. Make sure that you also know what tools, if any, that you’ll need to assemble your dog playpen before you get it, so that you can make sure that you have them or else choose another playpen that doesn’t require tools.
  • Portability. If you plan on being able to use the dog playpen in multiple places, you’ll also want to make sure that it’s easy to move from one place to the other. If you only need to use the playpen in one place, this isn’t a big concern, but portability is still nice just in case you ever end up needing to use it somewhere else. Plus, portable playpens fold up small and are lightweight, which also makes them easy to store when you’re not using them.
  • Material. Most dog playpens are made out of metal or fabric/mesh on a metal or plastic frame, but others are made of wood or plastic. Which material you should go with depends on your dog. Large dogs or dogs that scratch at things will easily damage and escape from fabric and mesh pens, while chewers can damage wood or plastic playpens and even get sick from chewing pieces off of them. Fabric and mesh playpens tend to be the most lightweight and portable, while wood pens tend to be the most attractive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dog playpen?

A dog playpen is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a small section of fencing that you can use to enclose your dog in a specific area while also giving it room to move around.

Do you need a puppy playpen?

Dog playpens are useful for dogs of all ages, but they’re pretty much essential for puppies. Puppies need to go to the bathroom frequently, so if they’re left alone for more than a few hours, owners will need to provide an accessible place for the dog to go potty as well as room for the dog to rest and play away from the potty pad. And because puppies are prone to troublemaking that can hurt themselves and your belongings, they need to be confined whenever someone isn’t around to observe and keep them out of trouble.

How do you clean a dog playpen?

Most metal, nylon, and plastic playpens can be hosed off or otherwise wiped down with water if hosing isn’t possible, then wiped dry with a clean cloth. Next apply a cleaning agent and scrub the playpen with a brush. A solution of water and vinegar is safe for most materials. Finish up by rinsing with warm water and drying the playpen thoroughly.

Most dog playpens will come with cleaning instructions specific to that particular product. If in doubt, contact your playpen’s manufacturer.

How long can I leave my puppy in a playpen?

Without a puppy pad, the basic rule for how long a puppy can be left is one hour for every month of its age, after which the puppy needs to be taken outside to go to the bathroom. For example, a four-month-old puppy should be left for, at most, four hours before being allowed to go to the bathroom. However, this rule caps out after about six to eight hours, even for adult dogs.

Having puppy pads in the playpen allows you to leave your puppy in the playpen for longer, but you should still try to limit alone time to just a few hours, provide them with plenty of stimulation for while you’re gone, and give them plenty of attention and stimulation before you leave and after you return.

Other Dog Playpens We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
MidWest Pet Playpen

With 16 square feet of room, eight ground anchors for outdoor use, and eight corner stabilizers, this playpen is the best option for most dog breeds.

buy now
$129.50 USD

We looked at 20 other dog playpens. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best dog playpens list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your dog. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Metal Dog Playpens

AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Pet Playpen

AmazonBasics Foldable Metal Pet Playpen-min

This simple, lightweight dog playpen offers your dog 25 square feet of space and has a convenient step-through door to give you easy access inside the pen.

Key Features:

  • 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″ height options
  • Step-though door with two slide-locking latches
  • Comes with the AmazonBasics one year warranty

Cost: $35

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen

BestPet Heavy Duty Pet Playpen-min

This dog playpen is made of iron and has a weather-proof finish, making it a durable and versatile option for both indoor and outdoor use.

Key Features:

  • Versatile 8-panel design
  • Door for convenient access
  • Easy to set up, take down, and travel with

Cost: $65

BestPet Metal Folding Pet Playpen

BestPet Metal Folding Pet Playpen-min

This 8-panel foldable metal wire dog playpen is made of durable iron and has a rust-proof coating that makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Key Features:

  • Available in 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, and 48″ height options
  • 42″ and 48″ heights have doors
  • Available in pink, blue, and black

Cost: $30

BestPet Metal Wire Playpen

BestPet Metal Wire Playpen-min

This basic metal wire playpen is 24″ tall and has an eight-panel design that is easy to set up, take down, and move around.

Key Features:

  • Anti-rust coating over the metal wire
  • Durable welding for strength
  • Sets up in minutes

Cost: $30

BestPet Pet Playpen

BestPet Pet Playpen-min

This heavy-duty eight-panel dog playpen is available in two different color patterns, each with a weatherproof finish that allows you to use this versatile dog playpen both inside and out.

Key Features:

  • Three height options: 24″, 32″, and 40″
  • Two-color options: black and hammigrid (hammered)
  • Weatherproof finish

Cost: $90

Pet Trex 8 Panel Playpen for Dogs

Pet Trex 8 Panel Playpen for Dogs-min

All you have to do to set up these lightweight, portable dog playpen is unfold the panels and clip the ends together using the three included thumb clips. Included ground anchors and corner stabilizers provide more support if needed.

Key Features:

  • Black Electro-Coat for lasting durability
  • Step-through double-latch door
  • One year limited warranty

Cost: $30

Pet Trex Playpen for Dogs

Pet Trex Playpen for Dogs-min

This is another easy to set up, versatile, eight-panel dog playpen that can be set up in multiple shapes and used both indoors and out.

Key Features:

  • 24″ and 30″ height options
  • Double-latch step-through door
  • Suitable for dogs up to 40 pounds

Cost: $35

Petmate 8 Panels Exercise Pen

Petmate 8 Panels Exercise Pen-min

This dog playpen recommendation comes in five different heights suited for dogs up to 65 pounds or more.

Key Features:

  • Double-latch door
  • Panels fold flat for easy travel and convenient storage
  • Easy to attach to additional pens for extra space

Cost: $40

Soft Side Dog Playpens

Best Choice Products Pet Playpen

Best Choice Products Pet Playpen-min

This 600D nylon dog playpen is packed with features including two built-in storage pockets, a water dispenser holder, and a removable floor pad.

Key Features:

  • Comes with a carrying case and ground hooks
  • Available in red, pink, and blue
  • 45″ diameter and 24″ tall

Cost: $35

BestPet Tent Playpen

BestPet Tent Playpen-min

If you prefer a playpen with a style that’s a little more statement-making, this one comes in Blue Grid, Paw, and Camouflage patterns, as well as yellow, red, and purple color options.

Key Features:

  • Zippable mesh door
  • Water-resistant
  • Accessory pockets

Cost: $30

EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen

EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen-min

If you’re looking for a variety of options to choose from, then select from eight color options and eight size options between 30″ diameter and 20″ tall to 62″ diameter and 36″ tall.

Key Features:

  • Two mesh doors with locking zippers
  • Zipper removable, washable floor and top
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser mount

Cost: $55

ESK Collection 45″ Pet Playpen

ESK Collection 45 Pet Playpen-min

Made from water-resistant nylon and breathable, this playpen is a high-quality option for a variety of situations.

Key Features:

  • Two mesh zipper-closure doors
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser holder
  • Zipper removable top and bottom

Cost: $40

Fabulous Pet Portable Playpen

Fabulous Pet Portable Playpen-min

With nine color/pattern options and five size options, this dog playpen comes in a version for just about any dog and owner.

Key Features:

  • Removable mesh top
  • Water-resistant
  • Durable upgraded zippers

Cost: $50

Jespet Portable Soft Dog Playpen

Jespet Portable Soft Dog Playpen-min

Use this lightweight, water-resistant dog playpen at the park, in the house, or anywhere you’d like.

Key Features:

  • Two height options: 45″x45″x24″ and 61″x61″x30″
  • Three color options: brown, pink, and royal blue
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser holder

Cost: $40

Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen

Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen-min

This playpen is a basic option for those who don’t want or need a lot of extras.

Key Features:

  • Small, medium, and large size options
  • Subtle brown and white design
  • Removable top

Cost: $20

Precision Pet by Petmate Soft Side Play Yard

Precision Pet by Petmate Soft Side Play Yard-min

This wireframe playpen’s heavy-duty zippers, reinforced corners, and protected seams work together to allow the pen to stand up to just about anything a dog could throw at it.

Key Features:

  • Small, medium, and large size options
  • Accessory pockets and water dispenser holder
  • Waterproof

Cost: $55

Other Dog Playpens

AmazonBasics 4-Panel Plastic Pet Pen

AmazonBasics 4-Panel Plastic Pet Pen-min

This heavy-duty molded PP plastic pet playpen offers eight square feet of area, features a locking-latch door, and can easily be expanded with AmazonBasics’s two-panel extension kit.

Key Features: 

  • One-year AmazonBasics limited warranty
  • Non-skid rubber feet
  • Easy to assemble and expand

Cost: $40

IRIS 34″ Pet Playpen with Door

IRIS 34 Pet Playpen with Door-min

This 34″ tall eight-panel plastic playpen comes in eight different colors, has a built-in door with steel hinges and latches, and can easily be expanded using a two-panel add on kit or an additional playpen.

Key Features:

  • Available in blue, brown, chrome, gray, green, pink, red, and white
  • 21 square feet of space
  • Non-skid rubber feet

Cost: $70

IRIS Pet Playpen with Door

IRIS Pet Playpen with Door-min

This plastic playpen is 24″ tall, features steel hinges and latches on the built-in door, and can be expanded with a second playpen or a two-panel add on kit.

Key Features:

  • Available in blue moon, brown, chrome, dark gray, green, pink, garnet red, and white
  • Eight square feet of space
  • Non-skid rubber feet

Cost: $40

Richell Mobile Pet Pen

Richell Mobile Pet Pen-min

This hardwood playpen is more attractive than most of the other pens on this list and the removable, lockable casters on the bottom are convenient, but it’s only large enough for small dog breeds.

Key Features:

  • Removable wire top
  • Detachable, washable plastic liner tray
  • Constructed from rubberwood

Cost: $120

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