She’s all grown up—or at least somewhat! Seems like she’s gone from infant to toddler in a flash and now she’s got a mind of her own and she’s ready to move from crib to youth bed. Since safety likely remains your primary concern, before you shop for linens featuring cartoon characters or kitties, select the best toddler pillow that’s right for her age and this stage of her life. Following a few tips and suggestions in our mini-guide, we review 10 best toddler pillows, so you make the best choice for your little one.
Best Toddler Pillow Buyers Guide
According to pediatricians and scientists, your child can use a pillow around the time you make that transition from crib to bed at between 18 months and 2 years. That stated, no two children are alike (even siblings!), so keep your expectations in check if your child sleeps everywhere in his bed but on the pillow at first.
Perhaps you wonder why a regular pillow isn’t appropriate for your toddler. After all, many companies produce pillows sized to fit smaller heads, but a toddler may not find a pillow designed to support an adult’s head and neck to be comfortable or even healthy. Scientists have concluded that when toddlers sleeping on adult pillows don’t always get good rest and they could wind up with poor posture, reason enough to avoid adult sizes.
Shopping for the best toddler pillow
Picking out the best toddler pillow for your child’s unique sleeping habits doesn’t have to be hard. If you follow the lead of Goldilocks and the Three Bears–and use the following criteria to make your buying decision–you’ll find one that’s “just right” for your little napper.
- If your toddler suffers from allergies, choose a hypoallergenic pillow that won’t trigger reactions.
- Get a satisfaction guarantee so you have recourse should pillow workmanship prove shoddy.
- Conduct the “press test.” If you push down and the pillow doesn’t pop back, it could pose a suffocation hazard.
- Moms tend to prefer toddler pillow covers made of cotton–especially organic cotton—over synthetics.
- Yes, you can apply the same standards to thread count as you do when you buy adult-sized pillows.
- Prioritize laundering when you winnow down choices, so your toddler’s pillow can be washed often.
10 Best Toddler Pillow Reviews To Consider
If the name doesn’t warm your heart, features associated with the Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow will. Made of hypoallergenic cotton and manufactured in the U.S., this $19 pillow is 100-percent hypoallergenic, so if your child suffers from allergies, this 13- x 18-inch product won’t exacerbate them. Little Sleepy Head offers a “not too fluffy, not too flat” guarantee that stands the test of frequent laundering. Featuring a cover made of 200-thread count fabric, these toddler pillows are tested on toddlers who assume a variety of sleeping positions, so even if your toddler has developed a unique way of snoozing, she should like this pillow.
There have been complaints that Little Sleepy Head pillows “lose fluff” with wear, despite contrary promises, and some quality control issues (the occasional stain or rip) have been recorded, but this is an overall great product according to parents who rate it highly. If you buy it and your toddler doesn’t like it, the company gives 90 days to return or exchange it. Purchase a Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow and you help the company donate to The Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer. Further, this manufacturer supports local police-sponsored, after-school activities, so if you like a company that cares, this may seal the deal for you.
Comparably priced and as highly rated by parents as the aforementioned Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow, the Little Pillow Company likes to brag about its Virginia roots, but you don’t have to live in that state to appreciate the features and benefits of this 13- x 18-inch toddler pillow. Produced by a company that’s been around since 2007, the manufacturer claims that theirs was the first hypoallergenic toddler pillow on the juvenile bedding market. Double-stitched seams offer extra construction security and this pillow never met a washing machine or dryer it couldn’t handle.
In addition to being allergy-free, this product is not treated with flame retardants, so when your child breathes during the night, she’s not going to inhale toxins. While it’s filled with a deluxe cluster fiber, the 100-percent cotton percale cover is so solid, no pillow case is needed. As a rule, this pillow gets high marks when rated by parents, but that doesn’t mean it escapes criticism. Some parents return this pillow for being too lumpy or too flat. They’re in the minority—and you may wish to remember that when you make your pillow purchase.
If you seek an affordable toddler pillow that won’t require you to cut back on premium toddler food brands, the generously-sized 14- x 19-inch PharMeDoc toddler pillow, at less than $10, could end your search. This machine washable pillow is soft and firm, a desirable combination. It’s hypoallergenic, too. Covered with 100-percent cotton fabric and manufactured in the U.S. (California to be specific), you will find this product easy to sanitize and the lifetime-of-the-product warranty promises satisfaction.
Within the cotton cover resides poly fill content that absorbs shock and noise, so if your little one is easily awakened by noise, the manufacturer claims their product could remedy that. PharMeDoc subjected this pillow to 400 washings and it stood up to the test. For dissatisfied shoppers, complaints revolve around size (too big!), construction (seam frays) and too much bulk. But for a majority of consumers, the PharMeDoc is a great value that stands the test of time. Since it comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, you can always return it if it fails to live up to this claim.
Do you live on a shoestring budget? Prepare yourself when you read the manufacturer’s retail price associated with this product: It’s $50. Fortunately, there are deals to be had and you get a lot of extras that could justify the full price. Advertised as the only pillow on the market made of 300-thread count cotton, this kinderFluff offers hypoallergenic properties, it’s machine washable, resists bacteria and dust mites. At 13- x 18-inches, this pillow slips into standard toddler-size cases, but kinderFluff says covers are so nicely crafted, your child may not need a pillowcase.
The recommendation you may find most helpful comes from this manufacturer’s mission to make sure toddlers get the best rest possible. The company hired a chiropractor to test this pillow on restless kids who can’t get comfy or wind up moving around so frequently, they lose sleep. Results were extremely positive. Despite the usual parental complaints of “too fluffy” and “too hard” for their child, it’s the retail price tag that engenders the most number of complaints, which is why you’ll want to shop around if you love the features and benefits that come with this product.
At around $26 retail, this Clevamama product makes a big claim: If you worry that your toddler may develop flat head syndrome from sleeping on the wrong pillow, the Clevamama toddler pillow prevents that from happening. Within the pillowcase, Clevafoam fill is a “scientifically proven foam” engineered to prevent this condition. The child’s head and spine are aligned and that leads to a more restful sleep (for both of you).
Made from breathable textiles and materials, toddlers with allergies won’t suffer reactions if they sleep on this pillow and cover material wicks moisture while increasing airflow. For moms who appreciate the little touches, this product features a “reverse-designed” zipper so you can launder it, and because the zipper is inset, you won’t find an imprint on your child’s skin, even if he lies on it. Be forewarned: Not every toddler enjoys sleeping on memory foam. Those who do could wind up sleeping more soundly and so will you if worry about flat head syndrome keeps you up at night.
Fairly new to the market—but a popular and highly-rated product that runs about $20–the Sable Toddler Pillow is crafted of DuPont Sorona fiber and it’s Oeko-Tex 100 Certified. What’s Oeko-Tex 100 certification? A designation given to products that are free of allergens, toxins, chemical additives and coatings. Manufactured to hold its shape even after frequent washings, Sable also markets this pillow to parents concerned about flat head syndrome. Covered with a 100-percent cotton shell, this breathable pillow offers lots of bells and whistles.
At 13- x 18-inches, it’s appropriately sized, but it’s up to you whether you choose to buy the company’s claim that this pillow keeps baby so warm, it could prevent colds. On the other hand, tests prove that this pillow dries fast, which leads to a question of whether bottles or sweat could leak, thus generating offensive odors. This pillow won’t do that, says Sable, because the shell resists liquid absorption and you can wash it as often as you like. Sable offers a lifetime guarantee of satisfaction so you have very little to lose if you chose this pillow for your toddler’s bed.
Though it’s not officially classified as a product made exclusively for toddlers, parents seeking sustainable products should consider this junior size bamboo memory foam pillow that measures 12- x 20-inches. If the slight size difference from competitors doesn’t bother you, this hypoallergic find comes in myriad sizes so every member of your family can own one. And while steep price tags are attached to the larger pillows, the toddler size runs just $22. This pillow offers a hybrid textile mix: 40-percent bamboo viscose rayon and 60-percent polyester.
Parents can add or remove foam fill for a customized fit, and if you believe that all-natural bamboo promotes fewer middle-of-the-night wake-ups, you may already be sold on this product. Since you only get 30 days to decide whether this pillow is right (that’s when the risk-free trial ends), you’ll have to evaluate the experience within that time frame. That said, if environmental issues concern you, be aware of the fact that these pillows are manufactured “without ozone depleters, PBDEs, TDCPP, TCEP flame retardants, mercury, lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, phthalates regulated by the CPSC, or CFCs.” Whew. You may need a nap after reading that!
What’s the feature that attracts parents to this pillow despite its $30 price tag? A company promise to produce a product that helps kids avoid back and neck pain because it’s designed for kids who switch sleeping positions during the night. Save & Soft says this pillow can prevent flat head syndrome and scoliosis, so it makes an excellent preventative choice if either condition is a concern. This pillow comes in two versions and one isn’t meant for kids. In fact, the “gel” insert, adult-sized alternative isn’t favorably reviewed either, so make sure you opt for the ortho memory foam version.
There’s lots to recommend this Save & Soft pillow. Your child’s spine stays aligned while she sleeps, and the pillow is crafted with organic, hypoallergenic fabric that rebuffs mold, dust and mites. Breathability is another plus and the zippered pillowcase is “infused with soothing Aloe Vera” that can help lull your baby to sleep. While the cover is removable, you will have to hand wash it, so that could be a deal breaker for parents who won’t buy anything that can’t be tossed into the washer.
The Kachabros organic pillow gives you a lot of features and benefits at a retail price of $28. Crafted of 2-layer memory foam treated to repel mites, bacteria and mold growth, there are discounts to be had if you shop wisely and this pillow meets your criteria. The manufacturer refers to this pillow as “height adjustable” because you can remove one of the layers if your toddler isn’t comfortable sleeping on both foam inserts. As he gets older, you can add that second elevating layer.
Those foam inserts meet CertiPUR-US standards, which means no toxins (formaldehyde; methane chloride; PBDE) are used during the manufacturing process. Sized to fit small pillowcases (14- x 21-inches), this pillow is breathable, keeps baby’s head cool and the soft cotton covering can be removed for laundering. Since this product is relatively new to the baby bedding market, consumer feedback is sketchy, but if sales are an indicator of success, this product sells fast, leading to inventory shortages, so you may have to put some effort into finding this pillow. If you find one that costs less than $28, grab it!
If you only buy products manufactured in the U.S., you’ll want to know that Mabel makes her pillows abroad. In Turkey to be precise. But given the affordable price tag, you may not care. One of the features parents love most about this product is a pillowcase zipper. It allows you to wash the cover when it get soiled (cold water only) and dry the 14- x 18-inch pillow to refresh the 100-percent cotton fabric shell.
Marketed as a hypoallergenic, breathable toddler pillow, this product is stuffed with shredded polyester fill. It can spill out if your toddler is precocious and finds a way to unzip the cover. As a matter of fact, that’s the chief complaint made by parents who return their pillows and/or complain to the company about this pillow’s quality. Nevertheless, this Mabel Home toddler pillow earns high marks from satisfied parents who find both the pillow and the price tag to be exactly right for their little one.