How To Choose The Best Toddler Pillow

How To Choose The Best Toddler Pillow

The Best Toddler Pillows To Aid Your Little Sleeper

Whether or not you’re ready for all these rapid fire milestones, your baby will turn into a toddler in the blink of an eye. When it comes time to incorporate a toddler pillow, you may be wondering which one to choose. With so many baby and toddler products on the market, making decisions can easily be overthought, and with good reason. Too many choices can be overwhelming. 

Many parents may not even know that smaller sized toddler pillows exist. If you’re wondering how to choose the best toddler pillow, keep reading. We’ll break down everything that you need to look for and why it’s important for your tiny tot to have a good toddler pillow. 

What is special about a toddler pillow?

Toddler pillows are specially designed to cater to your little one’s developing neck and spine. Smaller in size, thinner in width, and usually firmer in feel, a toddler pillow is made to perfectly cradle your toddler’s head as they sleep. A regular, adult sized, pillow can be too thick for a toddler’s neck and head, creating an uncomfortable position that can ultimately lead to poor posture. Adult sized pillows can also be less safe than toddler sized pillows, as there is much more surface area to pose suffocation risks. Rest assured, though, that the risk of suffocation due to items like pillows or blankets in your child’s sleep area decreases drastically once they have transitioned to a toddler bed. 

How do you choose the best toddler pillow?

So, what are we looking for in a toddler pillow? Let’s break it down.

  • Level of firmness: While your toddler should have a pillow that leans more on the firm slide of the scale, they may not be comfortable if it is rock hard. Press gently on the pillow and look for a slight dip in the material that bounces back quickly once you remove your fingers. Finding a pillow that falls in this sweet spot is ideal for both comfort and proper development. 
  • Hypoallergenic materials: Many babies have sensitivities, and that doesn’t magically go away once your little one reaches toddlerhood. It is always a good idea to reduce allergen exposure where we can, especially in your little one’s sleep space. 
  • Size: A good sized toddler pillow is around 12”-16” in length and 8”-10” wide. 
  • Reviews: Much like any other baby and toddler product, there should be reviews available online for most any toddler pillow brand. Reading reviews from fellow parents can give you invaluable insight into how great a specific toddler pillow really is. 

You should also keep in mind  that some toddler pillows may be better suited or even specifically designed for certain sleeping positions. If your toddler is like most, and changes positions at least 274 times per night, look for one that states good for “all sleeping positions.” 

What types of pillows are best for a toddler?

The best pillows for your toddler are the ones that fit the criteria above, as well as provide comfort for your toddler. Keep in mind that your little sleepy head has been used to sleeping without a pillow before now, so what feels comfortable to you may not be comfortable for them. If possible, take your toddler with you to shop for a new pillow and have them squeeze and test different pillows to find one that feels comfortable to them. Don’t be surprised if the one that they choose seems flat and stiff to you. Your toddler may do best with a “barely there” pillow, at least at first. 

Do toddlers sleep better with a pillow?

Just as we might steal our spouses pillow because it feels more comfortable at that moment, your toddler may have nights where they don’t use their new pillow at all. Some toddlers may sleep better with a pillow, and some might not!. Know that there is no rush to introduce a pillow, and you can wait to introduce one until you see the signs that your toddler might sleep better with a pillow. 

How do I know if my toddler needs a pillow?

Some of the signs your child might get better sleep with a pillow can be more obvious than others. Here are a few to keep an eye out for: 

  • Restless sleep: If your toddler is uncomfortable during their slumber, they may toss and turn throughout the night. This can have a serious effect on how much quality sleep they get, which in turn has a serious impact on their health and development. So, if your little one seems uncomfortable at night it may be time to introduce a toddler pillow. 
  • Creating their own pillow: If you catch your toddler sleeping on their propped up arm, a bundled up blanket, or anything else they might find, it could be a sign that they would sleep better with a pillow. 
  • Pillow thief: Does your toddler take every opportunity to commandeer your pillow when they climb into your bed for a snuggle? They may be ready for one of their own. 

These are all signs that your child is likely developmentally ready for a toddler pillow. 

What age can a toddler have a pillow?

There is some debate surrounding the proper age to introduce a toddler pillow, which makes sense, since each child hits developmental milestones at their own pace. What we can say is that babies under the age of one should not have a pillow in their sleep space. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends waiting until your toddler is at least two before giving them a pillow to sleep with. It is even better to wait until your toddler has transitioned to a toddler bed to introduce a pillow. 


The key takeaways here are that toddler pillows are not necessary but can definitely make your little one more comfortable if they meet the age and developmental goals to sleep with one. When they are ready, find a comfortable but firm pillow in a small size that is ideally made with hypoallergenic materials. 

For an even better night’s sleep, pair your toddler’s pillow with our Weighted Toddler Blanket for children over the age of 3 or a Dream Weighted Sleep Sack. For an even better night’s sleep, dress your crib in our Bamboo Fitted Crib Sheet or Dream Fitted Crib Sheet, buttery soft to the touch and breathable. At Dreamland we know babies, and we also know how important sleep is for parents and babies. Created by  a sleepless mother that was once in your shoes, our products are created with firsthand experience and a special care for delivering only the best for babies around the world.

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