Dog Playpen Review – IRIS Dog Pen

The focus of this post will be to review the IRIS dog pen, which can be purchased on Amazon via the inserted links on this page.

I love the idea of crate training a dog. It teaches many valuable lessons, especially when it comes to bladder control and destructive behavior, not to mention that it establishes a 'safe space' your pet can go to when they want to relax. Just as we have our beds to curl up in at the end of a long day, they have their crate. However, as a pup grows out of it and leaving them to roam free in the home isn't an option, their crate can become quite confining. Not to mention if they are locked up for hours at a time, the restriction can be quite hazardous on their joints and their spirit. This is why I love the idea of having an open playpen for dogs.

In the past, I've tried many different types of pens and never quite found one I liked until I stumbled upon the IRIS. I've used fabric lined playpens that didn't offer many views to the outside world, I've used wire pens that were unattractive and prison-like, and I've used the crate method which broke my heart when locking Rocky up for longer than 15 minutes.

The Iris playpen is constructed of plastic, offering a waffle-like pattern which allows plenty of light and air from the exterior environment. The material is incredibly sturdy and attractive in comparison to many dog pens on the market. 

Product Description

The Iris playpen is a portable 4-panel playpen that has multi-uses. It can be used as a playpen, a crate, or even merely to block off a doorway or area of the home by horizontally using the panels. Each panel is individually connected via a metal post. It is easy to assemble and dismantle; it's also easily customizable with the option to purchase extra panels.

There are two styles now available through Amazon; the original and the new. The 'original' uses metal pegs to connect each panel, and the 'new' uses a snap system to lock in each piece. Both include a door; however, the 'original' uses a metal locking system, whereas the 'new' model uses a plastic built-in twist lock.

The focus of this review will be for the original model as this is the one that I own and have tested for many months now.

IRIS Dog Pen
Product Specifications

The Iris playpen measures 35.25"L x 35.25"W x 24"H, offering 8 square feet of play space for your pet.

Each panel measures 33.6"W x 24"H, the door measures 14.5"W x 16.5"H and the distance between bars is 1.5".

The pen is made out of heavy-duty molded plastic. It includes non-skid rubber feet to protect flooring surfaces.

Add on options: Extra panels and a mesh roof cover that is made to fit any 4 panel Iris pen, in case your little one is a jumper.

This pen is exceptionally lightweight at 12.7lbs.

Inside The Box

Inside the box you will find a set of assembly instructions, four panels, set-up materials (screws, hinges, floor stoppers, and a latch for the gate), and the rods that connect each panel. 

Everything is really well organized in the box, as you can see from the pictures below.

IRIS Dog Pen
Playpen unbox

This pen is available for purchase through Amazon and adheres to their refund/exchange policy.

If you've ordered and returned an item from Amazon before, you'll know that it's a very easy process. In your user account you will find the item you purchased, request a return label, print it out, tape it to the box, and ship it back to the company. Your refund will be issued once your package is received. Shipping costs are covered by Amazon.

Pros VS Cons


Easy To Assemble

The pen comes with easy to follow instructions, Ikea should take some pointers! Everything required for assembly is included in the box. Minimal materials needed.


The pen is very light, making it easy to maneuver. When fully assembled, the pen weighs 12.7lbs. 

Surface Protection

The included skid stoppers protect flooring surfaces and prevent the pen from sliding around when on tiled or wood-like surfaces. 

Attachment Panels

Ordering additional panels or multiple pens allows you to customize the shape of the pen to suit your living space and the size of your pet.

Affordable Price

The IRIS is very affordable in comparison to many other playpens on the market. 

I purchased the grey pen for $68.05CAD. In the past, I have purchased lesser quality pens for well over $120.00 which didn't serve me well. Each colour is priced differently, I'm assuming based on popularity.

Very Durable

The IRIS offers a durable material that your pet won't break. The plastic is incredibly thick and has taken a beating. I use the pen in the moments that I'm out of the house for prolonged periods. I'm always putting it together and taking it apart, as well as transporting it up and down stairs. After banging a few walls and dropping it periodically the pen still looks like it did the day I received it. 


The average crate allows for a dog to merely sleep/lay down. Space is minimal, especially if you leave their food and water in there with them. The pen provides 8 square feet for your pal to walk around in, play in, and stretch. And that's only if you go with the 4-panel option, you can achieve much more room with the extensions.

Colour Options

Depending on your style preference or the decor of your home, you can choose from many different colours to suit your needs. Black, white, blue, green, brown, red, pink, grey, and chrome are all options.


Rod Connection

The rods don't really lock/snap-in. Instead, they slide into their grooves and can fall out if the pen is turned upside down. That being said, I'm not sure how many people will pick up their pen and flip it upside down. This does however cause the pen to move around and slightly bend out of shape. I do believe this is why they have reinforced the locking system in the new model. Once I place the pen on a hard surface, the non-slip pads do help to keep it in place.


As mentioned, I use the pen when I'm away from home for a prolonged period of time. This is a must for me since Rocky is not allowed to jump, and boy does he love to jump. After two spinal surgeries for disc degeneration, this pen is a godsend. Sometimes I will assemble the pen in the form it's meant to be (square, with 8 sq ft of play), and other times I will use two connected panels to block off an area of the house or surfaces he can jump onto.

Overall Opinion

Highly Recommended and Rocky Approved! 

I would absolutely recommend this pen to anyone who is curious about it. I have been nothing but happy with the product and the use I have gotten out of it. 

As you can see from the photos, I purchased the grey. It matches my dark wood floors perfectly and best of all, it doesn't look cheap. 

I am able to fit many of Rocky's toys in the pen alongside his bed which is almost 3X his size, and his water/food bowls. With all of this, he is still able to move around and play.  

IRIS Dog Pen

To purchase a pen of your own just click the link below and you will be directed to the store page. 

If you have any questions or comments regarding the pen, be sure to leave them below. I would love to hear how others have used/enjoyed this product as well. 

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