Tranquilo Mat review: Help soothe fussy babies with gentle vibration

Gadget & Toy Reviews / Reviews / Tech

The Tranquilo Mat is available in two sizes. The small mat measures 9” x 11” while the large comes in at 11” x 23”.

TA-ratings-92Whether you’re a first-time parent or an old pro, you never want your baby to be upset. As I’ve quickly learned as a new parent, there are times where your child is just going to be fussy or upset and there’s very little you’re able to do about it. The Tranquilo Mat was created by a maternity RN as a way to help new parents soothe their babies. It uses vibration to calm babies and help them to relax. Did it help prevent sleepless nights in my house? Keep reading to see how it works.

Specifications

  • Four levels of vibrations
  • Two heartbeat modes
  • Water resistant interior
  • Removable, washable 100% cotton cover
  • Battery operated and cord-free, 4 AA batteries (not included)
  • Up to 60 hours of soothing vibrations depending on size
  • 60-minute automatic shut-off
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Dimensions: 11 x 23 x 3/4 in (11 in x 5 in x 5 in when rolled)
  • The Tranquilo Mat is CPSIA safe and has been tested by a third party laboratory in the USA. The mat is designed to exceed all CPSIA testing and standards.

What’s in the Box

  • Tranquilo Mat

The mat is really all you’ll need, along with 4 AA batteries (not included)

Design

The Tranquilo Mat is available in two sizes. The small mat measures 9” x 11” while the large comes in at 11” x 23”. We were sent the large mat for review purposes. The bottom few inches have a white strip across the top of the device with the Tranquilo name mark on the left side and the power and function button indicators on the right. A sticker including quick start operating instructions is just to the left of the buttons. The remainder of the cover is grey, and the cover is made of 100% cotton.

The cover splits at around the bottom third on the back so the cover can be removed and cleaned. The interior where all of the vibration motors are located is manufactured from a black water-resistant fabric, and the very bottom includes a zippered pouch where the batteries are inserted. The interior fabric itself isn’t as soft as the cover, and does crinkle and make some noise when it’s moved around too much, though if you’re using the mat in a crib, pack and play, or on the floor for tummy time you’re not going to really notice that too much. You’ll really just have an issue if you’re moving the mat around rather than laying your child on the mat.

The interior is water resistant, while the outer cover is 100% cotton and washable.

The power button and function button are inset into the internals and aren’t visible from the outside. If you do take the cover off to clean it, you’ll want to be sure that you’re lining up the buttons when you put the cover back on otherwise you’ll have some issues trying to get things going again.

Ease of Use

Installing the batteries is probably the most challenging aspect of using the Tranquilo Mat and thankfully that’s still not horribly difficult. As mentioned above, just remove the bottom portion of the cover by pulling it up and over the bottom of the mat. Open the zippered pocket on the bottom and remove the battery holder. Insert the batteries as expected, place the holder back into the pouch, and zip it back up. The battery holder can shift around a little bit, but it’s very easy to get it lined back up and flush with the mat as it should be.

Once that’s settled, operation is handled via the two buttons on the lower right corner. Holding the power button for approximately five seconds will turn the mat on or off. Holding the button for about 3-5 additional seconds after the mat has been turned on will set an hour timer so the mat will turn off automatically if you’re using it around bedtime. The second button, labeled with an “M” handles the various vibration settings, including four levels of vibration and two heartbeat settings. Pushing the “M” button will cycle through the various options, though it will always return to the beginning each time the mat is turned off. It’s not a huge deal breaker by any means, but if you’re using the 4th setting you do go through several of the higher vibration settings before getting there. If you’ve got a particularly picky sleeper, that could end up with some tears.

The sticker has all of your operation instructions handled.

Performance

I have really lucked out and our child is generally very happy and also an excellent sleeper, so my opportunities for testing on a really fussy child have been fairly limited. Thankfully (for the purposes of testing, really not a great thing overall) there were a few times in the early days where my wife had run to the store and I had basically no idea what I was doing, and the Tranquilo Mat saved my sanity.

I stuck mostly to the default lowest vibration setting, and initially my child was somewhat confused by what was going on, but confusion quickly lead to comfort and contentedness, and nice long naps even after the mat had turned itself off. I did have other more futile attempts (I mentioned that for a while there I had no idea what I was doing) but in the instances where the Tranquilo Mat wasn’t having the same soothing effects there was usually something else going on that was preventing full happiness, whether that was a squishy diaper, hunger, burps, etc.

Battery Life

The Tranquilo Mat is powered by 4 AA batteries (not included) which should keep things humming right along for a reported 60 hours of use. I haven’t hit that mark yet, but the large mat I’ve been testing has shown no signs of slowing down either. Even if you need to use the Tranquilo Mat for an hour per day, that’s up to two months of use with easily replaceable batteries.

Price/Value

The small Tranquilo Mat is available now for $84.99 USD while the large mat comes in at $99.99 USD. Each size has its suggested uses, though I tend to think the large mat offers the better overall value personally. Each parent is going to have a different experience, so my use cases will likely be different from the next parent, but there is definitely value here for both parent and child when the Tranquilo Mat is able to help calm and soothe a fussy baby. Additional covers are also available starting at $24.99 USD in case you’d like something other than the default gray cover.

The power and function buttons are labeled on the outer cover but need to be lined up properly with the internal device.

Wrap Up

The Tranquilo Mat may not be the end-all cure for fussiness or cranky babies, but it’s a nice option to have available for those times when nothing else seems to work. It was developed by someone who’s spent quite a lot of time around newborns and has some good ideas about how to keep them happy.

*We were sent a review sample of the Tranquilo Mat for the purposes of this review.

Tranquilo Mat

$84.99+ USD
Tranquilo Mat
9.2

Design

9.0 /10

Ease of Use

9.5 /10

Performance

9.0 /10

Battery Life

9.5 /10

Price/Value

9.0 /10

Nailed it

  • Easy to operate
  • Cover is washable
  • Multiple vibration settings
  • Developed by a maternity nurse

Needs work

  • Interior fabric may be too crinkly and noisy for some
  • Buttons aren't marked on interior fabric, need to be careful when putting cover back on after cleaning
  • All babies are different, so what works for some may not work for others. Not exactly a con, but something to keep in mind.
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