Best Stuffed Animals for Kids – A Complete Buying Guide – 2017

Stuffed animals are a favorite companion for many young children. Whether they’re a boy or a girl, a little teddy bear or stuffed pony can be a beloved sleeping or travel partner. Even when they’re all grown up, people still treasure these stuffed toys.

This is why buying your kid a stuffed animal is a good choice for a gift. This is especially if they have managed to reach one year or age. This is the ideal time for them to get one since it can act as a security blanket and sleeping partner all-in-one.

Cutest Stuffed Animals for Your Lovely Kids

With these factors in mind, it’s time to look at some of the more popular stuffed toys out there.

1. Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe

Okay, this baby is big. Melissa & Doug’s Giant Giraffe earns the name since it is just a foot or so shorter than me. Compared to a toddler, these are giants.

This plush giraffe is probably the biggest stuffed animal that your kid will own. I wouldn’t recommend this until they hit three years old. Any younger than that and they may end up freaking out with this in their room. At least, this toy won’t ever get lost.

Anyway, the plush material is very huggable. Your kid will love hugging this toy a lot so be prepared to wash and clean this toy regularly. The plush fur is in a good mix of colors like a traditional giraffe.

This toy happens to be very durable, too. Small kids can even ride on its back.

What's Great About It: If you really want a big stuffed toy, you could do worse than this giraffe. The fact that it can be used for riding around is a good bonus. Expect this to be a favorite of younger and smaller children.

2. GUND Baby Ugg Dinosaur Baby Stuffed Animal

GUND makes some of the best stuffed toys out there, a legacy that is more than a hundred years old now. They have a long history of great stuffed toys but their new prehistoric line takes the cake. This 11-inch tall dinosaur is definitely a keeper.

Made of plush, your kid will love hugging this particular toy. The feel of plush on skin can be very soothing and can make it a favorite sleeping companion. It is fortunate then that it is machine-washable so you don’t have to worry about cleaning it.

As a dinosaur, this stuffed animal should be a hit with older kids. The small form factor also makes it deal for being packed away for trips.

What's Great About It: The GUND brand should make it a must-buy. However, it should also be a good purchase for children who are dinosaur fans. The cute plush dinosaur is an ideal gift for dinosaur-crazy kids.

3. GUND Pusheen Snackable Ice Cream Plush Stuffed Animal

Honestly, this one cute stuffed toy. GUND make a rather unique line of models. This is an example of that. The Pusheen line features a chubby tabby cat in various poses.

This particular model has Pusheen licking at an ice cream cone. This makes it pretty cute-looking. This makes it a hit with even the older audience.

Measuring under one foot, this model is a nice portable companion for young children. Plush construction makes this particular model a good choice for those looking for something to hug. It also helps that this particular model is machine-washable so when it gets dirty you just toss it into the washing machine without a worry.

What's Great About It: The main reason you’ll want to buy this is for the cuteness of keeping the Pusheen in your bed. It really looks quite adorable and you might want to buy it for more than your kids.

​4. Wild Republic Cuddlekins 12″ Wolf

Wild Republic’s Cuddlekins wolf should be an instant favorite. This is mostly because of how soft and fluffy it is. Buy this for your kid and they’ll be hugging it like there was no tomorrow.

Just around 12 inches, this makes it an ideal size to fit in the arms of a young person. I’ve seen a kid hug and cuddle with one non-stop so I can understand the allure. With its plush stuffing and high- quality fabric for its skin, this particular stuffed animal is well worth what you pay for it.

As for durability, it looks to be pretty solid. Cleaning it will require some cold water and air-drying, but it should last for a long time.

What's Great About It: This is a cuddler’s delight. Definitely a big favorite among those children who hug their stuffed toys a lot. You can expect to see this product a lot in the years to come as it gets dragged along all over the place.

​5. Gund Slumbers Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal

Teddy bears are a classic stuffed animal choice. This particular product from GUND is a good example of the breed. Measuring at 17 inches, you’ve got a lot of bear to hug.

Made of some of the best material out there, your kid will love hugging and cuddling this product. Plush stuffing and the short fur makes it an attractive choice for a cuddle partner. It even has soft paws for you to play with.

As for durability, GUND takes pride in the fact that its products are tough. Cleaning this stuffed toy requires only surface washing for it to be looking brand new.

What's Great About It: This stuffed toy is really a great thing to hug. Large and soft, it is quite relaxing to cuddle with. My nephew loves to just spend his nap time cuddling with this particular stuffed toy. Plus, with good repairs, you may end keeping this stuffed toy for years.

​6. Aurora Plush 12 inches Lion Tubbie Wubbie

The lion is the king of the jungle ad this particular product is the king of hugs! This Aurora stuffed toy lion is a hit with kids mainly because of its softness. I’ve seen kids take this model into their arms in minutes.

Measuring about a foot in height, it is standard-sized for stuffed animals. The plush fabric fur makes it a favorite of many, plus the mane is just adorable. You’ll need to take care in washing though. Too much and it’ll tear and you’ll need to do repairs quick. I advise to dry clean it to keep its good condition.

What's Great About It: Any kid that wants a lion as a stuffed toy will be happy to get this one. The product is a good combination of great design and materials. You will be definitely seeing Mr. Lion for a long time in the arms of your kid.

7. Aurora World Shadow Siberian Husky Plush Dog

Dogs are man’s best friend and are a delight to hug. However, if you can’t find any nearby or are allergic to them, this stuffed toy husky from Aurora is a good alternative. Measuring a foot long from tail to snout, this makes it the right size to fit in a small kid’s arms.

Made of the best materials, the plush fabric provides the dog with great “fur.” Combined with its soft stuffing, makes this Siberian Husky stuffed toy a treat to hug. The end result may be a battered toy though. Your kid will be dragging the Husky around everywhere.

What's Great About It: Overall, this is a good purchase for those looking for dog plush toy. The product can stand a lot of punishment and only requires minor cleaning to stay in good condition for years to come. It is definitely worth what you paid for it.

​8. Plush Treehouse with Animals

The Plush Treehouse is an adorable product to buy for your kid. The main product is 12-inch tall treehouse, but the real attraction is the various stuffed animals that come with it Each animal is seven inches long and is perfect for playing pretend with.

Depending on your purchase, you’ll get a mix of North American forest animals like a fox, a squirrel, a bird, and even a bear. This is a good mix and allows your kid to have fun playing pretend. You can even pack them all into the treehouse and carry it around thanks to a convenient handle.

The toys are all made from plush, with the animals filled with soft PVC pellets. They are all washable and only take a little effort to make presentable.

What's Great About It: If your kid wants a little variety, this treehouse toy is exactly what you should buy them. The animals are a bit small, but they are good-sized enough for children’s hands.

​9. Spunky Hedgehog

Okay, this hedgehog product is not going to be a big hugging hit. However, it looks really cute. Measuring only five inches, this toy fits perfectly in your hand.

This is actually more of an adult gift than for your kid. Bring this along and wow people with its cute factor. However, some kids may appreciate its soft fur and beady button eyes. Plus its really soft. Though it isn’t as huggable as larger toys, it does make for a nice bed companion.

What's Great About It: You’ll buy this for the cute. This works great as a secondary favorite for your kid or at least a travel companion. Note that it is a bit fragile, though it is machine washable. You may want to buy multiples since the small size makes it easy to lose.

​10. Aurora Foxie Fox Mini Flopsie

Aurora’s Foxie Mini Fox is a cute addition to any stuffed toy collection. The plush fur combines with the button eyes to deliver a cute package that you kid will definitely love. The Foxie toy is actually pretty cute and your kids will fall in love with it quickly.

Measuring around eight inches, it is a good medium height. This means your kid can carry it around easily, while also not being small enough to be easy to lose. Aurora’s stuffed toys are all made from the best material and are pretty durable so there’s no need to worry much about it getting damaged. As for dirt, you can just throw it into the washing machine to get the dirt off.

What's Great About It: Overall, this is a good purchase for anyone looking for an affordable stuffed toy. The good quality actually makes it look close enough enough to a real fox so much that it feels like its the real thing – except without the biological parts.

​11. Bedtime Originals Plush Monkey Ollie

Bedtime Originals presents a nice little sleeping companion for your young one. Ollie is a plush monkey that fits well into your kid’s arms while they sleep. Measuring a comfortable eight inches, it is the right size for most people.

The entire toy is made for cuddling, There are no hard parts, since even the eyes and mouth are soft-stitched. Care for Ollie is actually pretty simple. Just gentle machine washing and drying and he should come out fine. I’ve put mine in the wash several times and he has come out without much discoloration and still looks brand new.

What's Great About It: Overall, this is a very cute monkey and is very huggable thanks to its plush material. If your kid has developed an interest in monkeys, you can do worse than this product. It is very durable and easy to clean. It should last you for several years as your kid grows up.

12. Aurora Plush 12″ Esmeralda Flopsie

Another quality product from Aurora, Flopsie is a cute and soft cat stuffed toy that children will love. The main reason for this is the soft fur that it has. Just running my hands through the short plush fur gives me good feelings.

This particular stuffed toy has realistic style so it looks pretty much like a real cat. Some of the cats around the house have even made the mistake of thinking its real one and end up scratching it – so keep it away from your cats.

Anyway, the material is very soft and cuddly. This is definitely a stuffed toy for bed time so keep that in mind. Thankfully, it is machine washable so it is easy to maintain.

What's Great About It: Definitely a keeper, Flopsie is a good addition to any stuffed toy collection or as a stand-alone gift. It isn’t even limited to kids. Anyone who needs a soft and cuddly toy can turn to Flopsie for a quick cuddle.

​13. Stuffed Penguin

EpicKids’ Stuffed Penguin toy is a great stuffed toy for younger kids. If your child is below a year old, this toy can be perfect for them for several reasons.

First, it’s got no hard parts. Some stuffed toys have button eyes or plastic parts that can hurt younger children. Now with this stuffed penguin. It’s all plush and fabric so there won’t be any accidents.

Second, its size is just right. Five inches is too small for children older than three years. However, it is perfect for babies and toddlers. They ca wrap their hands around it or envelop it in a hug perfectly.

Finally, it is machine washable. Babies tend to be hard on their toys – especially of the fabric variety. They can get dirty pretty quick. Other toys need careful care, while this product just needs tp ne thrown into the washing machine.

What's Great About It: Buy this for your one-year old or younger kid as a starter stuffed toy. It can handle the punishment and it is comfortable enough for them.

​14. Aurora 0 World Lil Benny Phant

Aurora’s Little Benny Phant is just an overload of cuteness. For one, this eight inch stuffed toy has just the most adorable design. Its pose and the look on its face just makes you want to hug it to bits.

Thankfully, Aurora makes very durable stuffed toys. With the best materials around, your kid can hug and cuddle with Little Benny as much as they want. The plus material and the stuffing is so soft that even an adult will enjoy snuggling with it.

Besides the softness, the arms and legs of this toy are flexible, so he can be posed in a variety of ways that should make your kid happy.

What's Great About It: Seriously, the best reason to buy this is because it is so cute and adorable. Just imagine your baby snuggling up to this toy. It also helps that this toy is so super-soft that even young babies will love it.

​15. GUND Philbin Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal

One of GUND’s most famous designs, the Philbin teddy bear is a great gift for any child who wants a big bear by their side when they sleep. Measuring 18 inches, this toy is good for children one year old and up.

The first thing you’ll notice about Philbin is that he’s so huggable. GUND has been in the business of making great stuffed toys for more than a century and they know what they are doing. The fur is just right and the stuffing gives way properly. Additionally, the paws of the bear are embroidered so your kid can play around with it.

What's Great About It: The biggest reason you’d want to buy Philbin is that he’s so big. This makes him work as an extra pillow for your child’s bed. You kid will also appreciate having a big companion at his side when he’s sleeping.

Factors to Consider While Picking the Best Stuffed Animals

Picking a stuffed animal for your child is an important choice. You will most likely end up picking a beloved companion for the next few years. They’ll be there at vacations, trips, lunch, and dinner. You may end up talking to them as you and your kids pretend. So you need to make a good choice when it comes to picking one.

To help you make that choice, here are a few factors that you should consider and not consider when picking a stuffed animal.

  • Animal Type. The type of animal is not a factor that you should think about. Young children can be indiscriminate on what they latch on to. It doesn’t matter of it’s a dog, a cat, or an octopus. As long as its stuffed and they can hug it, they’ll gleefully adopt it. No need to consider their preference when it comes to buying one.
  • Color. What is important is color. You children may not know the names of each color, but they know what they like. What they prefer is bright colors and you should select a stuffed animal that reflects this. Bright colors can also help when they toy gets lost. You don’t want to be groping around in the dark for something that blends in with its surroundings.
  • Size. The size of the stuffed animal is important. How big the stuffed animal is depends on how you want it to be used. If you want something that your kid can lug around all day to act as a sort of security blanket, then a small portable stuffed animal is a good idea. However, if you want a stuffed toy that will tempt your kid back into bed, then bigger is better. Note that you don’t want a stuffed animal that is too small. They would then be easy to lose and you’ll have a teary kid on your hands.
  • Materials. Let’s be honest here. Your child will be in contact with this toy for much of their developing years. They’ll hug it, they’ll chew on it, and more. You don’t want toxic dangerous materials inside of them for the safety of your children. Also, you should select materials that are easily washable. The stuffed animal will go through a lot of punishment and you need to keep it clean if you want it to remain in good condition.
  • Age. The age of your child should also influence your decision. By the time that a child is three years old, they have managed to solidify their preferences. You may ask them what they like to help narrow down a choice. Younger than that, you can give them anything that you want.
  • The Cute Factor. Children may not know how to put it into words, but they love cute things. Try to select something that they would adore or love to hug. I prefer to do a simple hug test. I try out a stuffed animal if it is a good hug – if it is, I buy it.

A Final Hug

Stuffed toys at their best can be comfortable companions to you child. Make sure that you are making the right choice by checking out all the specifics of the toy. You’ll also want to take care of it once purchased. With the right care, they can give your child years of happiness.

For parents, the main problem is selecting the right stuffed toy for their kids. Fortunately, this article aims to help you parents out. I’ve given you a brief criteria of factors you should consider when buying a stuffed animal. We also took a look at some of the best stuffed animals on the market right now. Now that you've come to this point, you should have a solid idea on what stuffed animal product you should be buying your kids.

    Sandra Cobain

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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