Toddler pillows are must-have additions to your LO’s new big kid bed right alongside toddler bed rails. (That said, no judgement 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 a must to 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 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 2021
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!
One reviewer shared her experience when she needed a replacement, “Went down the rabbit hole looking for my son’s first pillow and decided to go with this one. My son loved it from day one and the adorable car cover most of all! In addition, their customer service is outstanding. Chris, the Little Sleepy Head owner, stands behind his product and wants you to be satisfied. I reached out to Chris and he immediately got back to me and offered a replacement pillow. I received the replacement pillow within days, along with a personalized, hand-written note.”
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.
One reviewer shared, “This pillow is super fluffy and my toddler loves it. He was so excited to get a pillow nice and fluffy like mom and dad’s. Before using it we washed both the pillow and the case and they came out perfect. I think the pillow came out even fluffier after the wash.”
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.
One smart mama reviewer shared these tips, “Our two year old kept laying next to the pillow so I removed some of the stuffing (it filled a gallon plastic bag) and she seems to be a lot more comfortable. When she’s a little bigger I can just add it back in! Also, if you have a curious toddler, make sure to open the liner and flip the interior pillow around so the actual pillow’s zipper is not easily accessible. I caught it just in time but she had unzipped the liner and then immediately unzipped the pillow and was moments away from having memory foam all over the bed lol.”
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.
One reviewer shared, “I got this for my 2-year-old after trying several other ‘toddler pillows’ that were thicker than mine! Now that we have a pillow she can actually sleep on without forcing her head into a 90-degree angle, I can tell that adding it to the crib has helped keep her oriented throughout the night. I feel like that gets us a step closer to changing to a real bed sometime soon.”
Brentwood Home’s Sleeping Willow Organic Toddler Pillow is a shrunken-down version of their popular kapok-filled adult pillow. Kapok is a sustainable material most often grown in a rainforest, which creates a non-toxic, vegan-friendly alternative to down pillows. Kapok filling helps pillows retain their shape, gives them a moisture-wicking quality (for all that little baby drool), and helps reduce allergies in LOs.
One mama reviewer on the Brentwood Home website wrote, “We ordered this pillow for our 3-year-old. He loves having his own pillow and we are glad to have found this one. He used to have allergies but after switching him to an organic mattress and pillow they’ve cleared right up. The size is perfect for him. Shipping was quick. Happy customer!”
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!
One reviewer commented, “We are a ‘crunchy’ family, especially when it comes to our kids. I love that this is an organic pillow and the filling is, too. She absolutely loves it! I like that it is not too fluffy so that her neck stays in an ergonomic position.”
The My First Crib Wedge is made out of non-slip foam in a wedge shape to help prop up younger babies at a slight incline to help with acid reflux. However, as they enter the toddler years, this pillow is a nice transition piece before adding a thicker and fluffier pillow into their bed. Sized perfectly for a crib and complete with a machine washable cover, it’s a no brainer!
One mama reviewer shared on Buy Buy Baby, “I used it for my infant to elevate the head and help with spit ups and digestion issues. At age two it was helpful as my baby suffered from earaches and elevating the head was necessary. At age three we are still using it and it serves as an invisible pillow that stays in place.”
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.
One dad reviewer shared his father-son love for this pillow, “Bought two and don’t regret them, these are super AMAZING! Great Density 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!
One mama reviewer shared, “My toddler is OBSESSED with Minnie Mouse. 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.”