Once they leave their crib, a place where pillows are no longer recommended for use, and graduate to a big kid bed, children do need a great pillow in order to help them get the good night’s sleep they need to meet all the challenges of their increasingly busy days and of the growth they are experiencing every day.
As that big kid bed is kid sized – as in much smaller than the larger bed they will move up to in a few years – the best pillows for small children are those that are sized for their smaller beds and their smaller heads and will help support their head, shoulders and neck while helping keep them safe while they sleep.
There are an increasing number of these toddler pillows on the market, so many in fact that it can make choosing the right one rather difficult. To help you, we have taken a look at some of the best reviewed and best selling of these offerings to come up with this short list of the 5 best pillows for kids in 2019. (Note, all of the toddler pillows on this list are suitable for kids aged 2-6 years.)
Reviews of the Best Pillow for Kids
Here are our top picks for the best toddler pillows on the market today.
1. Best Overall: Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow
What You’ll Love About It: Soft 100% cotton used throughout construction creates a pillow that gets more comfortable with every use.
As an adult you have no doubt had pillows that even after long use still felt just right and that you were loathe to ever give up, as they seemed perfect. This, according to a huge number of positive parent reviewers on Amazon – more than 5,000 of them – is just what this pillow provides for kids.
Crafted from 100% cotton and completely hypoallergenic the pillow is designed to adjust to both a toddler’s weight and sleeping style to become even more comfortable over time. And if the pillow does not seem to be quite right for your child – if it seems over or understuffed for their tastes – the manufacturer’s “love your pillow’s fluff or we will change it” guarantee replaces it with a customized version free of charge.
Pros: All natural cotton, can be customized, very highly reviewed.
Cons: According to many parents the fact that the company does not make an adult version!
2. Top Seller: Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow
What You’ll Love About It: This pillow is chiropractor recommended and comes with a money back guarantee.
Designed to be the ‘perfect first pillow’, the Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow is recommended for use by children aged two to six years old and is sized to fit the standard toddler bed. One of the things that many parents worry about when shopping for a kid’s pillow is that it will be overstuffed, as an overstuffed pillow may not provide proper neck support and may even pose a suffocation risk for the youngest kids.
This pillow, parent reviewers say, is just right though, containing just enough hypoallergenic poly cotton stuffing to be comfortable and the fact that the materials used are organic is something else that parents love. They report almost across the board that their kids slept well when using the pillow and felt that the included pillowcase was a plus too. Another good sign? It’s one of the best reviewed pillows on Amazon, with over 4,000 positive reviews.
Pros: Perfectly sized for smaller heads – and smaller beds – and crafted from organic materials.
Cons: Some parents reported it does not wash well.
3. Most Wished For: Little One’s Pillow
What You’ll Love About This: An affordably priced handmade organic option that is exceptionally soft.
The idea that a kids pillow that is handmade would be available via outlets like Amazon seems almost unbelievable in this day and age, but that is exactly what the Little One’s Pillow is. By making use of a 100% cotton outer shell and a proprietary fiber blend of polyester designed to never get ‘lumpy’ for the fill parents report that this pillow is exceptionally soft and also helped their toddler ‘sleep cooler’.
Although the pillows are sold with a standard medium support fill, if after sleeping on it for a while the child seems to need a little more – or a little less – stuffing, it can be returned for custom stuffing to better meet their needs.
Pros: Very soft, can be customized.
Cons: May not be firm enough for an older toddler.
4. Best Kids Pillow for Travel: A Little Pillow Company
What You’ll Love About This: Fun designs and a more robust shell means this is a great pillow to take to daycare and on road trips as well as to use at home.
At home in bed is not the only place that many toddlers will benefit from having a good, supportive pillow of their own. Nap times at daycare or preschool are common, and kids often spend plenty of time in the car, and having a comfy pillow in those situations is a must as well.
The fun, colorful designs featured on this durable pillow are what many parents love most, but many also comment on how supportive it seems and the fact that it can be washed with ease and does not need a separate pillowcase is another big plus for many Moms and Dads.
Pros: Take anywhere fun pillow that is durable and easy to care for.
Cons: A few parents reported it was ‘too poofy’ for their toddler’s personal taste.
5. Best Toddler Pillow For Allergies: Snuggle-Pedic
Why You’ll Love This: Bamboo helps keep kids who sleep hot cooler and repels dust.
Memory foam and bamboo have been big news in adult sleeping products for some time now, but now they are beginning to make their way into kids bedding too, with this shredded memory foam and bamboo covered toddler pillow.
This pillow is designed for kids who are allergic to down or feathers (and some are) and also for those kids who prefer a slightly firmer pillow. The memory foam used is shredded, so it is not as hard as that found in grown up’s memory foam pillows, and many positive parent reviews report that it is firm but soft and holds its shape very well, even after months of use. Some have even been so impressed with the pillow they have purchased one for their own use as well, especially because they liked how cool it stayed.
Pros: Great for keeping kids cool and for those allergic to other materials.
Cons: May be too firm for some kids’ taste.
What To Consider When Buying a Toddler Pillow For Your Child
The kids pillows we have looked at here are some of the best selling and best reviewed available in 2019 but, as you will discover as you start to shop they are not your only choice by far. So how do you make the right choice for your child, especially as you are solely responsible for their comfort, safety and health?
Here are some pointers to help you as you shop for the right kids pillow for your little one.
Does Your Child Even Need a Pillow Yet?
Decades ago parents mistakenly thought that babies and very young toddlers benefited from the comfort of having a pillow in their crib in the same way that older kids and adults did. However, as more became understood about the horrible phenomenon that is SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – it became apparent that pillows for babies were a problem.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), between 1992 and 2010 there were nearly 700 deaths involving infants 12 months and younger related to pillows in their sleeping environment, so it is now the across the board recommendation that they never be placed in a crib.
This means that no child needs a pillow until they ‘graduate’ to a toddler bed, something that usually occurs around the age of 2, which coincides with the fact that most kids pillows are designed only for use by children aged 2 and older. So, if your child is under that age, they don’t need a pillow quite yet.
Kid’s Pillow Sizes
Some parents do wonder why they shouldn’t just use a standard pillow on a toddler bed. Basically, because they are just too big and not only could that pose a small suffocation risk but also it just won’t provide them with the head, neck and shoulder support they need. This support is crucial, not only for their comfort but also as they are growing fast and their developing bones and muscles need to be aligned right from early on.
The ideal size for most kids is a pillow that is around 13-14 inches by 9-10 inches. This gives them room to move around without ‘falling off’ the pillow but not so much extra space that they lose support.
The majority of the kids pillows you will come across in 2019 still make use of a polyester blend for their fill. This is a good choice as it allows manufacturers to ensure the pillow is hypoallergenic (another big concern, no kid can get a good night’s sleep if they are sneezing) and that it is durable and will hold its shape well.
If you think back to our list however you will remember a memory foam pillow making the top 5. Opting for one of these instead is perfectly safe, although doing so should be considered a little experimental, as some kids do find them a little too firm. As is the case for adults, it’s a matter of preference and most small kids will have few problems telling you whether or not they like their pillow if you take the time to ask them.
Cotton is the most common choice for kids pillows and for good reason. As an all natural material it is soft and will only get softer as it is washed and it is also allergen resistant and durable. Some kids pillows are now making use of bamboo versus cotton as an alternative, as it too is durable and soft but also has built in antibacterial properties that some parents may feel good about ‘having around’.
Although they are far from the most expensive items you will purchase for your kids you do want any toddler pillow you buy to last for a reasonable amount of time. How long should you be expecting? The average lifespan of a pillow should be around 1-2 years.
Ease of Care
Kids are messy. They spill things in bed (even when told not to take food and drinks to bed). They spill things on their bed when playing.
Pillows can get in the way, and thus end up messy too, so it’s essential that the kids pillow you choose be as easy to take care of as possible.
Some kids pillows can be washed, and some are even designed for use without a pillowcase, as they have a more durable, washable cover in place already. If the pillow is only to be used at home one that accommodates a pillow case is fine – especially as they allow you to change the theme of your kids bedding with ease – but if your kid takes a pillow out with them – to daycare, in the car, over to their grandparents house – a pillowcase free kids pillow may be the better choice in terms of ease of care.