Parenting

The Best, Safest Toddler Pillows For A Restful Night In Their “Big Kid” Bed

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Toddler pillows are must-have additions to your LO’s new big kid bed right alongside toddler bed rails. (That said, no judgment if the plan is to keep them safe in a baby crib until college! Just kidding … kinda …) The best part of a big kid bed — aside from trying to keep them in said bed all night — is accessorizing it! Toddler pillows really are a thing, as well as right-sized sheets, blankets, and kids comforter sets to personalize their room. Upgrading their space to include a pillow will make your newly-appointed big kid’s bed look just like your bed (which they’ll inevitably jump into at 5 am … you might want to check out toddler sleep training alarm clocks while you’re at it).

Got questions? We’ve got answers below. We also curated a list of the best toddler pillows on the market according to reviews, ranging from super cute to extra comfy. These options are so great, your little-big-kid might actually go to sleep in their own bed!

When can a toddler have a pillow?

When deciding to make this massive change, sizing for safety is something you must consider. According to Verywell Family, the best time to introduce a pillow is after 18 months, but ideally around age 3. Even at this age, it is dangerous to offer a pillow that is too large.

What kind of pillow can a toddler use?

Verywell Family says the ideal size for a toddler pillow is around 13×18 inches (FYI, a standard-sized adult pillow is 20×26 inches).

After making sure to secure the right size, other factors to consider are material, firmness, and durability (they are totally going to throw it around!). We may love a soft down pillow, but super-plush picks aren’t yet safe for little heads. Try to pick a pillow that is firm enough to support without sinking in too deep, but also soft for a little bit of comfort. According to Healthline, fiber-fill (like cotton or polyester) and memory foam are two good options. Organic toddler pillows are all the rage because they offer a nontoxic sleep surface, but they’re also made with hypoallergenic materials.

Best Toddler Pillows 2022

Little Sleepy Head’s toddler pillow is an Amazon sensation, perfect for the crib or bed or even the floor at daycare. We love that it’s 100% hypoallergenic and sized right for little heads — not too thick or fluffy. Best of all, it’s machine washable — because when this quickly becomes their favorite thing carried from place to place, accidents happen. “I love this toddler pillow – it’s the perfect size for small children and fits great in the crib. I was able to throw it in the washer and dryer and it maintained its shape perfectly. I ended up buying a pillow protector just so I wouldn’t have to wash it frequently,” one Amazon reviewer said. “The absolute best part? My son wasn’t super crazy about the ‘fluffiness’ of the pillow, so I contacted the company and they sent me a ‘less fluff’ pillow for FREE!”

We love KeaBabies organic cotton machine washable toddler pillow (we’re not the only ones – it has over 13,000 Amazon reviews)! Not only is it the perfect size and thickness for little ones (it’s ergonomically designed for optimal neck support), but it also comes in a variety of fun designs. Kiddos have the option to pick the pillow case that best matches their personality, from dinos to princesses, to their ABC’s. “We introduced this at 19 months,” said one parent on Amazon. “Prior to that our kid hadn’t used a pillow. She LOVES this thing more than anything. Takes it downstairs with her every morning. Hugs it as she falls asleep. I feel sort of badly for not introducing it earlier!”

Earning Green Guard Gold certification is no easy feat. Products must go through rigorous testing to prove they are chemical-free. The Coop Home Goods toddler pillow is not only certified safe, but also has the unique ability to grow with our LO. The adjustable design allows for access to the memory foam so that it can be added or removed to create an ideal sleep situation. Parents are especially fond of this pillow, with one stating on Amazon that their son is usually “picky on his pillows and he really loved this right away.”

Designed for younger toddlers (those under 2 years old), the Biloban baby toddler pillow is a unique offering for those looking to give their kiddos neck support in an age-appropriate way. The low profile and flat design makes it safe for younger toddlers by keeping them supported correctly. The Oeko-TEX 100 certification means Mama can also get a good night’s rest knowing BB is sleeping on a 100% chemical-free surface. “This pillow is not only thin but soft and comes with its own mini pillowcase that fits it perfectly,” raved one mom on Amazon. “Not only is my daughter sleeping better but this mama is sleeping better too!”

Know what’s better than one pillow? Two pillows. Nearly 10,000 people have given this set from Utopia Bedding a 5-star rating — and it’s easy to see why. Aside from the excellent cost, these durable pillows come with a 250 thread count, cotton blend cover that’ll help your child easily fall asleep. “Perfect size for my kids. I’m so glad I picked these up because they really help my kids sleep better. When using adult size pillows my kids' necks would be bent [in] odd angles or the pillows would just be pushed to the floor. With these, their heads rest comfortably on the pillow where it should be,” said one Amazon reviewer.

Woolino’s 100% wool toddler pillow is Oeko-TEX 100 certified for a safe sleep experience. The Australian wool filling creates optimal comfort for our LOs. Wool is an exceptionally breathable fabric that also wicks moisture away and can retain warmth, even when it’s wet! One other added bonus of choosing a wool pillow is that it doesn’t need to be washed as often, since wool is odor and stain-resistant — perfect for wild toddlers!

This ergonomic cotton baby pillow is both thick and soft, and very comfortable for your baby. With a 300 thread count, you might find yourself stealing this from the crib for yourself — which is why it’s a good thing that you can also buy this pillow in a 2-pack. “Perfect size pillow and thickness for my three-year-old,” one Amazon reviewer noted. “Adult pillows are too thick for him, so he tends to sleep under them or directly on his mattress.

The Aloudy memory foam toddler pillow is actually a multi-use pillow for more than just the toddler years. This toddler pillow is easily foldable to take on-the-go to daycare or Grandma’s house, but we know some mamas who have also used it for nursing! The curved design is meant to help keep our LO’s head and spine in alignment. It even comes in two colors, if you need a bit of personalization with your pillow. “Bought two and don’t regret them, these are super AMAZING!” one Amazon reviewer said. “My son loves it so much that before he goes to bed he always asks for his pillow. Seriously he loves it and even me as the adult (male) parent sometimes takes it away to use it. I’ve used [it] probably a dozen or more times.”

We all have fond memories of cuddling up with our favorite character pillow. This Disney Store Minnie Mouse toddler pillow will surely delight our tots as well as create lasting memories. If the pink polka dot look of Minnie Mouse isn’t their style, there is a sweet Winnie the Pooh version as well as a Mandalorian mini version – yes please! “My toddler is OBSESSED with Minnie Mouse,” one happy parent commented. “She loves bows, she loves pink, and she loves Minnie! We were in the market for a pillow for her bed (how did she get old enough to use pillows?) when we found this. It really is dual purpose because we can give her this in place of a stuffed animal and pillow.”

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