Dog playpens, also known as exercise pens, or puppy playpens are one of the most common tools that dog owners - especially new puppy owners - use.

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Dog playpens allow you to leave your dog or puppy in a safe area when you are not around to supervise.

Every year, thousands of dogs get sick, hurt, or die from ingesting or choking on common things found in all of our homes.

Tools like dog playpens, crates, and gates help to prevent dogs getting into areas they shouldn't be getting into.

Dog Playpen Types

Plastic - 

Plastic playpens are the most commonly used indoor dog pens. This type of playpen is lightweight, durable, and budget-friendly.

Plastic dog playpens are great a great choice for puppies and smaller dogs.

Because of its lightweight, these playpens might not be large or strong enough to handle large or overly active dogs.

Metal / Wire -​

Wire dog playpens are a sturdier option that would be a better choice over plastic for long term use.

These type of playpens come in various heights and can also double as a dog gate.

The negatives wire dog playpens are that they are heavier than plastic pens and they can rust over time.

Mesh -

​Mesh dog playpens are the lightest and easiest to transport of all dog playpen choices. This type of playpen would be good option for young puppies or small dogs. These type of pens are not very sturdy so they would not be a good choice for boisterous dogs or dogs that chew.

*Note: We don't include any mesh dog playpens in this review because these type of pens work best for puppies or very small dogs only.​


Iris Indoor/Outdoor Plastic Pet Pen

The Iris Indoor/Outdoor Plastic Pet Pen is currently the best plastic indoor dog playpen on the market today.

This playpen is affordable, durable, and has many customization options.

The basic playpen comes with four plastic panels. These molded plastic panels are heavy duty and easy to clean. A single door is included on one the panels and allows you to easily let your dog or puppy in or out of the pen. The bottom of the pen has non-skid rubber feet to protect flooring.

Additional panels can be purchased to make the dog playpen as large as you need it to be. What’s great about this playpen is that it can also be used as a dog gate.

This Iris playpen is made in the USA and available in a variety of colors to match your indoor decor.

Setting up this Iris playpen is fairly easy. You will need a few tools but the instructions are simple and easy to follow.

Once the dog playpen is assembled, it can easily be folded or stacked for transportation.

This Iris indoor dog playpen is a perfect choice for puppies or smaller dogs (15lb or less). It is NOT however, recommended for dogs any larger than that.

One negative about this playpen is that it does not come in a height taller than 34” - which is too short for medium or larger dogs.

Iris does sell a mesh roof for its basic 4 panel configuration. This roof is handy for dogs that climb. When used outdoors, the roof can also serve as protection for little puppies from potential overhead predators.

Check the latest price of the Iris Indoor/Outdoor Dog Playpen here.

MidWest Exercise Dog Playpen

The MidWest Exercise Pen is a great metal dog playpen option. It can be used indoors and outdoors and can be customized to various sizes and configurations.

Midwest, an American manufacturer has been a producer of top quality wire crates and exercise pens for a number of years. Most of their products, including this dog playpen, comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

This metal playpen has a thick layer of black e-coating to protect against rust. The pen itself, is sturdy - at the cost of being a bit heavy. Also be aware that wire dog playpens can potentially scratch certain indoor surfaces such as laminate and wood.

No tools are required to set up this pen. When transporting, the pen can easily collapse flat. However, depending on the number of panels, the pen can get heavy.

We like this Midwest playpen because it can accommodate puppies as well as larger dogs. This is especially beneficial if you plan on using a playpen for the long term. Many choose to buy a large playpen for their puppies so that they continue to use the pen in their adult life.

Some dogs and puppies are climbers and great escapists. Midwest does sell a wire roof to prevent escapes. This roof will fit a basic four-panel configuration.

Also handy is the fact that you can easily attach this Midwest playpen to a Midwest dog crate.

The Midwest playpen is available in heights of 24”, 30”, 36”, 42”, and 48”. They are also available with or without doors.

Doors are handy because they allow your puppies and dogs to walk in and out of the crate, instead of you carrying them. Also doors can help your dog to associate the door with exiting the pen - and dissuade your dog from climbing over.

When carrying your dog over the pen, the dog will associate going over the pen as a method of exit. The door can help to remove that association.

In summary, this Midwest dog playpen is a good option for those planning on using playpen for a while. It’s also a good choice for dogs that need a more robust pen to keep them safely secured inside.

This playpen is on the heavier side so it may not be a good option for those that need to transport their pens often. Also, care must be used if using this pen on certain indoor floors such as wood and laminate.

Check the latest price of the Midwest Exercise Dog Playpen here.

Richell Convertible Indoor/Outdoor Dog Pet Playpen

Now here is a dog playpen that combines the strength of metal playpens with the safety / versatility of plastic playpens - but with a higher price of both. Combined.

The Richell Convertible Dog Playpen is a durable, water-resistant playpen that can be safely used either indoors or out.

This playpen starts off with four panels but you can purchase additional panels to make the playpen as large as you like.

In addition, this playpen easily converts into a pet gate. Depending on how many additional panels you purchase, you can extend the gate to block large openings. Because this pen comes with a door, your dog can easily move through the gate without you having to move and open the gate panels.

The real feature that makes this one of the best dog playpens available is its anti-climb construction. The openings on the panels only go vertical which makes climbing over these pens almost impossible.

All other dog playpens have horizontal bar connections which make them easy to climb up and out of. With these vertical-only openings, the 36” Richell playpen is just about as effective as other 48” playpens for small to medium dogs.

This playpen is sturdy and heavy for a plastic pen. The plastic is also mold and stain resistant. Unlike wire playpens, this plastic playpen is easier on indoor flooring such as wood and laminate.

These pens come with specially designed locking caps that allow you to securely lock the panels at 90, 120, and 180. We especially like this feature of the pen.

We also like how we can shape this pen into numerous configurations. It can formed into a rectangle, an octagon, a gate, and a bracket. Whatever formation it is in, the locking door makes entry and exit easy.

This Richell Convertible playpen is easily one of the best playpens available on the market.

However, the high price tag may not suit everyone’s budget.

Check the latest price of the Richell Convertible Indoor/Outdoor Dog Pet Playpen here.

Oxgord Heavy Duty Playpen Large

The Oxgord Heavy Duty Dog Playpen is our favorite wire playpen. We love the MIdwest playpen but we love this Oxgord playpen a little better.

This Oxgord dog playpen, newly designed in 2015 is a durable wire playpen that can be used both indoors and outdoors. There is a rust-resistant coating that will ensure longevity of the pen.

This playpen comes in three different heights: 24", 32", and 40". Make sure you choose the appropriate height suited for your dog's needs.

It is much better to overestimate the height instead of underestimate it.

Check the latest price of the Oxgord Heavy Duty Dog Playpen here.

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