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

Stuffed animals are a favorite companion for most 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 that is always there to comfort your little one. Even when they’re all grown up, your kids will still treasure their stuffed toys.

This is why buying your kid a stuffed animal is a good choice for a gift. This is especially great if they are around one year of age. This is the ideal time for your child to get a stuffed animal as they can act as a security blanket and sleeping protector all-in-one.

Cutest Stuffed Animals for Your Lovely Kids

With these factors in mind, it’s time to look at some of the most popular stuffed toys available that your little ones are going to love.

1. Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe

First of all, this is one big toy. Melissa & Doug’s Giant Giraffe has appropriately named for its size, which is just a foot or so shorter than me. Compared to your toddler, this toy is a giant.

This plush giraffe is probably the biggest stuffed animal that your kid will own. I wouldn’t recommend this toy until they are around two or 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.

The plush material is very huggable and cuddly. The plush fur is in a good mix of colors like a traditional giraffe, making the experience even more amazing for your little one.

This toy is also very durable and your smaller kids can even ride on its back for a magical wildlife interaction.

What's Great About It: If you really want a big stuffed toy, this giraffe is exactly what you need to get. The fact that it can be used for riding around is a fun bonus for your little one. Expect this to be a favorite for your 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. 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, and your child is bound to love it.

Made of plush, your kid will love hugging this dinosaur toy. The feel of plush on their skin can be very soothing and will instantly make it a favorite sleeping companion. It is great that this dino is machine-washable so you don’t have to fuss when cleaning it.

As a dinosaur, this stuffed animal should be a hit with both younger and older kids. The small size of the toy also makes it ideal for being packed into your child's luggage for trips.

What's Great About It: The GUND brand makes this a must-buy, especially for children who are dinosaur fans. The cute plush dinosaur is an ideal gift for dinosaur-crazy kids, or kids who want something other than the traditional bear.

3. GUND Pusheen Snackable Ice Cream Plush Stuffed Animal

Honestly, this is one cute stuffed toy. GUND make a rather unique line of stuffed animal toys. This toy is the perfect 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 and an absolute hit with younger and older children.

Measuring in at just less than one foot, this toy is a portable companion for children. Plush construction makes this particular model a good choice for kids looking for something to hug. It also helps that this particular model is machine-washable, so when it gets dirty you can just toss it into the washing machine without a worry and it will be clean before you know it.

What's Great About It: The main reason you’ll want to buy this toy is for the cuteness of keeping the Pusheen on your child's bed. It really looks adorable and you may even be tempted to buy one for yourself.

​4. Wild Republic Cuddlekins 12″ Wolf

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

Standing at just around 12 inches tall, this toy is the ideal size to fit in the arms of a young child. With its plush stuffing and high-quality fabric for its cover, this particular stuffed animal is well worth what you pay for it, and you will see this in the reaction of your child.

As for durability, it will be able to withstand plenty of cuddles and hugs. Cleaning it will require some cold water and air-drying, and with the right care, this toy should be able to accompany your child for many years to come.

What's Great About It: This is a cuddlers delight. It's definitely a big favorite among children who hug their stuffed toys a lot. You can expect to see this product a lot in the years to come as your child drags it along all over the place.

​5. Gund Slumbers Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal

Teddy bears are a classic stuffed animal choice that your kids are guaranteed to love. This particular teddy bear from GUND is a good example of the breed. Measuring in at 17 inches, your child will have a lot of bear to hug.

Made of some of the best material out there, your kid will love hugging and cuddling this product. The plush stuffing and the short fur makes it an attractive choice for a cuddle partner for your little one. It even has soft paws for your child 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 again.

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

​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 lion toy is a hit with kids mainly because of its softness. I’ve seen kids take this model into their arms within seconds... and not letting go.

Measuring about a foot in height, it is standard-sized for stuffed animals, making it perfectly huggable for your little one. The plush fabric fur makes it a favorite, plus the mane is just adorable.

You’ll need to take care in washing it, though. Too much and the lion will tear and you’ll need to do any repairs quickly. I advise that you dry clean this toy 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 definitely be seeing Mr. Lion for a long time in the arms of your child.

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 husky dog toy from Aurora is a good alternative. Measuring a foot long from tail to snout, this dog toy is just the right size to fit in your small kid’s arms.

Made of the best materials, the plush fabric provides this dog with great “fur.” Combined with its soft stuffing, this Siberian husky stuffed toy a treat for your little one to hug. The end result may become a battered toy, because your kid will be dragging the Husky around everywhere that they go.

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

​8. Plush Treehouse with Animals

The Plush Treehouse is an adorable product to buy for your kids. The main product is a 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 a bear. This is a good mix and allows your kids to have fun playing pretend. You can also pack them all into the treehouse and carry them around thanks to a convenient handle.

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

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

​9. Spunky Hedgehog

Okay, this hedgehog product is not going to be a big hugging hit, but it will still be a huge hit for your children because it looks really cute. Measuring only five inches, this toy fits perfectly in the palm of your hand.

Your kids will appreciate its soft fur and beady button eyes. Plus, it's really soft. Though it isn’t as huggable as larger toys, it does make for a nice bed companion, and it will quickly become one of your children's favorites.

What's Great About It: This toy is great as a travel companion for your little one, and it is machine washable, so you don't have to worry about it getting dirty. You may want to buy multiples since its 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 kids will definitely love. The Foxie toy is really cute and your kids will fall in love with it quickly.

Measuring around eight inches, it is a good medium height. This means that it's big enough that your kid can carry it around easily, while also not being so small that it is easy to lose.

Aurora’s stuffed toys are all made from the best materials and are very durable, so there’s no need to worry too 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 so much like a real fox that it could be the real thing - something that your kids are bound to love.

​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 long, it is the right size for most children.

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 will result in a clean and hygienic monkey. I’ve put mine in the wash several times and he has come out without too 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, then this product is definitely for you. It is very durable and easy to clean, so it should last you for several years as your kids grow up.

12. Aurora Plush 12" Esmeralda Flopsie

Another quality product from Aurora, Flopsie is a cute and soft cat stuffed toy that your children will love. The main reason for this is the soft fur that it has. Just running your hands through the short plush fur will help you feel calmer and happier.

This particular stuffed toy has realistic style so it looks pretty much like a real cat. If your child has an allergy to cats, or if you don't have one for any reason, this is the perfect substitute that your child will absolutely adore.

The material is very soft and cuddly. This is definitely a stuffed toy for bed time. Thankfully, it is machine washable so it is easy to maintain, promising you years of love and cuddles.

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 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 your younger child. This stuffed penguin is 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 can wrap their arms around it and 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 quickly. Other toys need special care, but this product just needs to be thrown into the washing machine.

What's Great About It: This toy is ideal for your one-year old or younger child as a starter stuffed toy. It can handle the punishment and it is comfortable enough for them to enjoy snuggling with every night.

​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 without having to worry that it will break. The material and the stuffing are so soft that even an adult will enjoy snuggling with it while reading at bedtime.

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

What's Great About It: The best reason to buy this toy is because it is so cute and adorable. Just imagine your baby snuggling up to this toy at night. 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 tall, this toy is good for children aged 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 child can play around with them.

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 kids will also appreciate having a big companion at their side when they are 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 that your child will have for the next few years.

They’ll be there at vacations, trips, at 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 look out for when picking a stuffed animal for your little one.

  • Animal Type. The type of animal is not a factor that you should think about. Young children are 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. But if there is one that you fall in love with for your kids, that is great too.
  • Color. What you definitely should consider is color. Your 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 the 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 carry 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.
  • 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 they will drag it around. You don’t want toys that are made from dangerous materials, 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 hygienic and 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 want to ask them what they like to help narrow down a choice. If they are younger than that, you can give them anything that you want to.
  • The Cute Factor. Children may not know how to put it into words, but they love cute things. Try to select something that they will adore and love to hug. I prefer to do a simple hug test. I try out a stuffed animal to see if it is a good hugger – if it is, I buy it.
Related: Finding the Best Unicorn Toys for Your Little One

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 out. I’ve given you the 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 buy for your kids.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Sandra 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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