The Best Stuffed Animals in 2021

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Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Stuffed Animals

Bellzi Brontosaurus Plush
Everyone will love Bellzi’s range of lovable dino plushes, made of eco-friendly soft plushie material and allergen-free polyester stuffing. Collect the whole set to make up your own Jurassic Park!

AIXINI Unicorn Stuffed Animal Plush
The stuffed animal we would buy if we could only buy one. We can’t get over how adorable it looks while sleeping! Comes in white or pink, as well as different sizes for your hugging needs.

GUND Pusheen Snackables Birthday Cupcake Plush
We love Pusheens here. Look at how big and round its body is! And its tiny hands and feet! It’s available in many other poses too. We dare you to resist getting the whole collection.

Between naptime, bedtime, and playtime, stuffed animals are a vital part of your child’s daily routine. They’re great for cuddling with and stimulating a child’s imagination!

As you search for the perfect stuffed animal to accompany your child everywhere they go, there are so many options on the market. We’ve created a buying guide to help you narrow down your options. Keep reading for our picks for best stuffed animals!

The Best Stuffed Animals by Size

Best Giant Stuffed Animal (Above 24″): Vermont Big Teddy Bear

Vermont Big Teddy Bear (4 Ft)
The best giant stuffed teddy to cuddle against.

Some kids prefer a life-sized stuffed animal to cuddle with. If your child prefers a giant stuffed animal, the Vermont Big Teddy Bear is a 4-ft-tall stuffed bear that’s safe for children of all ages. Reviewers note that the bear is perfect for cuddling at night! The soft fur makes a great addition to naps and bedtimes. 

There aren’t many negative reviews for this bear. The majority of users seem to be satisfied with the product! The only complaints were about the price of the bear and the bear being a little overstuffed. 

We also really liked the MorisMos Puppy Dog and the Melissa & Doug Giant Lion! While it was a tough choice, we went with the Vermont Big Teddy Bear because it’s durable for kids of all ages, the material is comfortable for cuddling, and it has a lifetime guarantee.

Key features
  • 4 ft tall, 2.33 ft seated
  • 100% recycled stuffing
  • Lifetime guarantee

  • Soft, high-quality fur
  • Safe for all ages
  • Comes in brown, pink or blue

Pros
  • Made with durable materials
  • Safe for kids at any age
  • Size and material make the Vermont Teddy Bear great for cuddling
Cons
  • Some felt it was overstuffed
  • Expensive

Best Large Stuffed Animal (12″ to 24″): GUND Philbin Teddy Bear

GUND Philbin Teddy Bear (18 inch)
A soft teddy that’s just the right size to carry around. Has a curious expression you can’t help but love!

If you’re looking for a large stuffed animal but not one that’s life-sized, the 18-inch GUND Philbin Teddy Bear is our favorite.

It can be used for cuddling at naptime or for imaginative play. While the description says it’s safe for ages 1+, it’s best to watch children under 3 because the beady eyes can be a choking hazard.

Around 90% of the reviews for this product were 5 stars. The only complaints noted were the size seeming smaller in person and the choking hazard.

While the GUND Philbin Teddy Bear is our top choice because of its versatility and material, we also loved the GUND Slumbers Bear and this cute unicorn stuffed animal.

Key features
  • 18″ tall, about 13″ seated
  • Polyester blend
  • Safe for ages 1 and up

  • Comes in beige or chocolate colors
  • Also comes in 12″ and 29″ sizes
Pros
  • Easy to wash
  • Soft plush material
  • Can be used for play and cuddling
Cons
  • The bear’s eyes pose a choking hazard for children under 3 years old
  • Some feel the bear is smaller in person than the pictures suggest

Best Medium-Sized Stuffed Animal (7″ to 12″): Bellzi Stuffed Stegosaurus

Bellzi Stuffed Stegosaurus
Safe even for newborns. There’re other dinos you can collect too.

Medium-sized stuffed animals are great for younger children to use for play. Our favorite, the Bellzi Stuffed Stegosaurus, belongs in a collection of four other stinking adorable dinosaurs. You can collect them all for your kid to have a mini Jurassic Park of their own!

This medium-sized stuffed dinosaur can be used for play or cuddling. The super soft synthetic fiber coat makes it gentle on the skin. All ages can enjoy this stuffed dinosaur. 

While most reviews were positive, one user felt that the material was “cheap” and reported the toy ripping almost immediately. Most consumers loved the soft material and the option to collect other dinosaurs.

The Bellzi Stuffed Stegosaurus is our top pick because the material makes play easy and interested parents can add more dinosaurs to the collection. We also loved the Lambs & Ivy Baby Dino and the Wild Republic Hedgehog Plush!

Key features
  • About 10″ long by 6″ tall
  • Eco-friendly soft plushie material
  • Allergen-free premium polyester stuffing

  • You can also get a Brontosaurus, T-Rex, Triceratops and Pterodactyl to complete the collection
Pros
  • Eco-friendly and soft material that keeps kids safe during rough play
  • Safe for children of all ages
  • Unique design
Cons
  • May tear easily

Best Small Stuffed Animal (Less than 7″): Fluffy’s Stuffed Hedgehog

Fluffy's Stuffed Hedgehog
Small and fluffy. It also comes in a medium size, so you can make it an entire family with a larger Papa and Mama hedgehog to go with this baby hedgehog.

If you or your child are looking for a small stuffed animal that won’t take up much space, Fluffy’s Stuffed Hedgehog is 5.5 inches tall, and made out of soft polyester material.

This realistic-looking hedgehog is also great for stimulating the child’s imagination. Reviewers report that they think the stuffed hedgehog is soft, adorable, and perfect for their young child.

Some complaints have been about the price due to the size of the hedgehog. Also, the description says the stuffed animal comes with a bow accessory that some customers didn’t get. 

Fluffy’s Stuffed Hedgehog is our top pick because of the specially-crafted design and soft, comfortable material. The Douglas Spunky Hedgehog Small Plush and the Bellzi Stuffed Narwhal are our favorites too!

Key features
  • 5.5″ tall
  • Made of polyester
  • Comes in brown, beige or white
  • Also comes in 8.3″

Pros
  • Sewn by hand
  • Realistic pose
  • Soft material
Cons
  • Some reviewers report it’s missing an accessory listed in the description
  • Expensive for its size

The Best Stuffed Animals by Animal Type

Best Stuffed Bear: GUND Snuffles Teddy Bear

GUND Snuffles Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal Plush
An irresistable bear that always looks eager to be carried.

When we think of stuffed animals, one of the first options we think of are cuddly, stuffed bears. Our top pick for stuffed bears is the GUND Snuffles Teddy Bear, because it has a sloping face that always looks eager for a hug. Its eyes look at you when you do, and hugging it feels like a cloud.

Consumers love the soft fabric and the size of this bear. However, some reviews have mentioned that the newer version of this bear is lighter and flimsier than the original model. Some parents said they would prefer more “heft”. Also, some feel that this bear has a face that slopes more than the older version. 

We chose the GUND Snuffles Teddy Bear because the construction and the material are of higher quality than its competitors. GUND was one of the first companies to start making stuffed teddy bears with over 120 years of experience.

Other bears we love are the Vermont Almond Brown Super Soft Teddy Bear and the Jellycat Bumbly Stuffed Bear!

Key features
  • Sloping face
  • Ultra plush polyester blend material
  • Safe for ages 1 and up

  • Comes in taupe, grey, white, grey brown & ice blue colors
  • Also comes in 10″, 13″, or 18″ sizes
Pros
  • One of GUND’s bestselling teddy bears for over 30 years
  • Ultra-plush fabric
Cons
  • May be too light and too flimsy
  • Plastic eyes may be choking hazard

Best Stuffed Elephant: Bedtime Originals Choo Choo Express Plush Elephant

Want a fuzzy elephant to snuggle at night? Get the Bedtime Originals Choo Choo Express Plush Elephant.

It has a soft material that’s great for cuddling. It’s also safe for babies to cuddle with as there are no hard plastic parts. Since it can be washed in the washing machine gently, messes aren’t a problem for this elephant.

Reviews highlight how nice the material felt but there were quite a few complaints about the price. The price on the elephant used to be around US$7, and many reviewers feel it’s too expensive now.

We chose the Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant as our top pick because we love the look and the fact that it’s easy to clean. The Baby GUND Animated Flappy the Elephant and the Lambs & Ivy Jungle Safari Gray Plush Elephant are also some of our favorites.

Key features
  • About 9″ tall, 8.5″ wide when seated

  • Safe for babies
  • Machine-washable
Pros
  • Soft material
  • Safe for babies
  • Can be washed on gentle cycle
Cons
  • The price can fluctuate drastically
  • Quality may not be as good as before

Best Stuffed Bunny: Baby GUND Flora the Bunny Animated Plush

Bunnies make great stuffed friends with their big ears and bushy tails! Our favorite stuffed bunny, the Baby GUND Flora the Bunny Animated Plush, will sing, flap its ears, and talk to the child. It’s constructed with durable material as well.

The animated features require 3 AA batteries. The battery compartment is hidden and secured with a velcro fastener, making it safe for all ages.

Most parents reported that their babies love this toy, but some feel the bunny’s voice is too loud and scares the baby. Also, some babies are frightened by the movement.

We chose this stuffed bunny as our top pick because we feel the animation helps babies interact more with the bunny. We also love the JellyCat Bashful Beige Bunny and the Manhattan Toy Cloud Bunny!

Key features
  • 12″ tall
  • Safe for all ages
  • Comes with 3 AA batteries

  • Plays peek-a-boo, sings, and waves ears to music
Pros
  • Offers interactive music
  • Super soft
  • Durable construction
Cons
  • Some babies are frightened by the animation
  • Loud bunny voice
  • Some customers said they received a defective product that spoke French, or spoilt after a few months

Best Stuffed Unicorn: AIXINI Unicorn Stuffed Animal Plush

AIXINI Unicorn Stuffed Animal Plush
A unicorn too adorable for words! Comes in white, pink, and several sizes.

If your child loves rainbows, bright colors, and unicorns, the AIXINI Unicorn Stuffed Animal Plush is our top pick. It’s simply too adorable for words, and comes in white or pink in several sizes.

Parents appreciate the small brush for getting fuzz off of the stuffed animal. Also, they report that the unicorn is stuffed well and doubles as a pillow. One complaint was that the unicorn is smaller than expected.

We chose the AIXINI Unicorn Stuffed Animal Plush because we love how it looks like it’s having good dreams, and also how well-stuffed yet soft it is. But the Cute Unicorn Plush and the Stuffed Mommy Unicorn with 4 Baby Unicorns in her Tummy are adorable too.

Key features
  • Full stuffing
  • No hard plastic parts
  • Safe for ages 18 months and up

  • Comes in pink or white
  • Also comes in 11.8″, 17.7″, 23.6″ or 31.5″ sizes
Pros
  • Comes with a small brush to get fuzz off
  • Soft material
  • Doubles as a pillow
Cons
  • May come in a smaller size than ordered
  • May have wrinkles due to vacuum packaging

Best Stuffed Dinosaur: Bellzi Brontosaurus Plush

Bellzi Brontosaurus Plush
A round and plush dino with quizzical eyes. Comes in other types of dinos too.

Dinosaurs are a much-loved stuffed animal for kids, especially young boys. But our top pick for best stuffed dinosaur is so cute, girls will love it equally too.

The Bellzi Brontosaurus Plush is allergen-free and easy to wash in the washing machine. Parents love the soft material and the original design of this toy. One complaint was that the dinosaur tips because of an imbalance of the legs and neck.

This plush toy is also available in other types of dinos. We chose this as our top pick because we love the especially adorable design and the fact that it’s free of allergens. We also love the Bellzi Triceratops Plush and the Melissa & Doug Cuddle Dinosaur Jumbo Plush.

Key features
  • About 8″ long by 5″ tall
  • Eco-friendly soft plushie material
  • Allergen-free premium polyester stuffing

  • You can also get a Stegosaurus, T-Rex, Triceratops and Pterodactyl to complete the collection
Pros
  • Eco-friendly and soft material that keeps kids safe during rough play
  • Safe for children of all ages
  • Unique design
  • Machine-washable
Cons
  • Trouble balancing on legs
  • Stuffing may be too firm

Best Stuffed Giraffe: Vermont Teddy Bear Stuffed Giraffe

Vermont Teddy Bear Stuffed Giraffe
A super soft giraffe that your kids can pass down to their kids.

No matter how old your child is, they can enjoy this soft, plush, stuffed giraffe from Vermont Teddy Bear’s Oh So Soft line. They can even pass it down to their kids, with the lifetime guarantee that it comes with for free repairs or replacements, even if the lawnmower chewed it up and the dog spat it out.

Other animals are available as well. Consumers love the extra soft material and the 18″ size of this stuffed giraffe.

Some negative reviews have been about the length of the fur on certain toys as well as the animals they received not matching the product pictures. A few mentioned they received defective goods.

We chose the Vermont Teddy Bear Stuffed Giraffe for our top pick because we love the lifetime guarantee it comes with and its curious expression. We also love the ebba Loopy Giraffe and Carter’s Giraffe Stuffed Animal Plush.

Key features
  • 18″ tall
  • 100% recycled stuffing
  • Lifetime guarantee

  • Super soft fur
  • Safe for all ages
  • Comes in other animal types

Pros
  • Durable
  • Surface-washable fur
  • 100% recycled stuffing
Cons
  • Fur may be too long in certain spots
  • May come in different colors than the product picture

Best Stuffed Puppy: Jellycat Fuddlewuddle Puppy Stuffed Animal

If your child has been asking for a live puppy, the next best thing is a stuffed one! The JellyCat Fuddlewuddle Puppy Stuffed Animal is 9 inches tall and can sit up on its own. With soft polyester material, it’s comfortable to cuddle with.

If you have younger children, keep an eye on them with this toy. The plastic pellet eyes can be a choking hazard. While most users love the soft material and the flexibility of the toy, some think it’s smaller than they expected. Also, there is rice in the feet to help the dog stand up which can be messy if a hole forms in the material.

This is our top pick because we love the furriness of this puppy as well as the durability. Princess Charlotte was even spotted with it when she was six months old!

Other adorable puppy picks are the Blackobe Anime Shiba Inu Plush and the Vintoys Very Soft Dog Big Hugging Pillow.

Key features
  • 9″ tall
  • Made of polyester
  • Plastic pellet eyes

  • Feet are weighed down with rice or beans
Pros
  • Soft material
  • Durable
  • Flexible
Cons
  • Smaller than some consumers expected for its price
  • Might be choking hazard due to plastic pellet eyes

Best Stuffed Cat: GUND Pusheen Snackables Birthday Cupcake Plush

Just like the puppy stuffed animal, if your little one is asking for a cat, grab them a plush friend instead. While the GUND Pusheen isn’t realistic-looking by any means, it is just too darn cute to resist being our favourite stuffed cat!

This plush toy is available in various poses, sizes and a few different colors. It can be surface-cleaned if anything gets on it. Parents love the cute features on the GUND Pusheen but have noted that the packaging can warp the stuffed animal a little bit.

This is our favorite stuffed cat because the design is so unique! We dare you to not want to buy the entire collection of Pusheens once you see them. Some of our other favorite poses are the Pusheenicorn Rainbow Cat Unicorn and the Pusheenosaurus Dinosaur Cat.

Key features
  • 10’5″ tall
  • Safe for ages 1 and up

  • Comes in many other poses and sizes
Pros
  • Cute features
  • Surface-washable for easy cleaning
  • You can build an entire collection of Pusheens
Cons
  • You might get a bootleg version

Best Stuffed Lion: Aurora Tubbie Wubbie Lion

Aurora Tubbie Wubbie Lion
A furry, squishy lion with a wild mane.

If your child loves safaris and wild animals, a lion would make the perfect new stuffed animal. The Aurora Tubbie Wubbie Lion has an adorable mane that sticks out in all directions, and is a squishy and cuddly addition to your child’s stuffed animal zoo.

Buyers love the style and softness of this lion but there have been some complaints about how dirty the material gets. We chose this as our top pick because we love how wild and befuddled the lion looks and how soft it is.

We also love the GUND Cozys Collection Lion Stuffed Animal.

Key features
  • 12″ tall, 10.5″ seated

  • Safe for 36 months and up
Pros
  • Soft and squishy
  • Stuffed just right
  • Realistic styling
Cons
  • Fur might shed
  • Could get dirty easily
  • Fur may become matted if washed in washing machine

Best Stuffed Panda: Bellzi Panda Bear

Bellzi Panda Bear
A panda that looks in a constant state of surprise!

If you’re looking for a stuffed panda, the Bellzi Panda Bear is safe for all ages, and 100% allergen-friendly.

Parents love the unique look that this panda bear has. The only complaint has been about its price. 

We chose this as our top pick because it’s soft, safe, and unique compared to other stuffed pandas. We also love the ArtCreativity Belly Buddy Panda and the Squirrel Products Cuddle Mates Panda.

Key features
  • About 10″ tall
  • Eco-friendly soft plushie material

  • Allergen-free premium polyester stuffing
  • Safe for all ages
Pros
  • 100% allergen-free
  • Uniquely crafted
  • Safe for all ages
Cons
  • High price

A Guide to Buying the Best Stuffed Animals

What to Look for When Buying a Stuffed Animal

For many children, their stuffed animal is their best friend which they take everywhere with them. In fact, many adults still have their childhood stuffed animals since they’ve played such a huge role in their life!

Since the stuffed animal you choose for your child is going to be around for a while, here’s what you should keep in mind.

Age Range 

Taking age into consideration when choosing a stuffed animal is important for safety reasons. Some stuffed animals have button eyes that can be a choking hazard for babies and children under 3 years old. 

Pay close attention to the age suggestion for the stuffed animal you’re considering. If there are a lot of small pieces that can fall off and be swallowed, find another stuffed animal or supervise your child carefully when they’re playing with the toy.

Material

Since stuffed animals are something kids carry with them for a long time, you’ll want one that’s durable. This means that the material should hold up even if a rough toddler or preschooler is playing with it.

Babies also have a tendency to put toys in their mouths, so make sure the material can withstand this. Since messes are common with babies and young children, look for a material that’s machine-washable if possible.

Size 

Depending on what your child will be using the stuffed animal for, you’ll want to find a size that works for them. If the stuffed animal is only for play, you’ll want a toy that can be easily moved by the child. 

If the toy is just for cuddling, you can look for a larger, plush, and comforting stuffed animal. Talk with your child to understand what they want the stuffed animal for before making a decision if you can.

Type of Animal 

What’s your child’s favorite animal? Is it a dog, monkey, elephant, or a bear? If you’re investing in a stuffed animal make sure it’s one they’ve already expressed interest in.

Extra Features 

If you want the stuffed animal to double as a learning tool, look for one with added features. This can be music, speech, letters, or noises. 

If you choose an animated stuffed animal, make sure you check the age recommendation. Since these stuffed animals require batteries they may be unsafe for babies who aren’t being watched closely.

The Best Stuffed Animal Brands

GUND

GUND is one of the oldest soft toy makers in America with a history of over 100 years. It’s known for its soft materials, premium lasting quality and many unique designs, and has partnerships with other famous brands like Hello Kitty, Paw Patrol, Pusheen and Studio Ghibli to make stuffed toys for their characters too.

Melissa & Doug

Melissa & Doug is a toy company that aims to foster creativity and imagination in kids through play. Their plush toys and stuffed animals run the gamut from fantasy creatures to lifelike animals, like the Golden Retriever below.

Vermont Teddy Bear

Don’t worry, Vermont Teddy Bear doesn’t just make teddy bears, it makes other stuffed animals too. Their goal is to create durable toys that last, and they back this up with a lifetime guarantee for all their stuffed toys. So even though their stuffed animals are pricier than many other brands’, you can rest knowing that no matter how rough your child (or your dog, or your lawnmower) is with their stuffie, it can always be repaired or replaced for free.


Final thoughts

A stuffed animal plays a huge role in your child’s life. They’ll sleep with it, play with it, and hold it tight when they need a little more comfort.

We hope you’re able to refer back to our guide as you decide on the best stuffed animals for your child. Do remember to read the instructions on each stuffed animal’s care label or hang tag so they can last for years to come. Good luck!

Looking for more toys your child can hug to sleep? Check out our list of the best dolls for toddlers.

The Best Stuffed Animals to Accompany Your Child for Life

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