The Ultimate Guide to Selecting The Best Toddler Pillow

It’s our hope you’ll find the best and safest option for your toddler and choosing a pillow for a toddler may seem as simple as picking up the most appealing. However, you’re here so you must already understand picking the best toddler pillow involves more than the aesthetic quality.

One must know what to avoid and when it’s time to pick a pillow; the types and their advantages or disadvantages; how to fit a toddler pillow to decrease spinal impact and increase posture support; and the alignment of different sleeping positions. With this information in tow, you’re more capable of choosing a safer, better pillow.

The Best Toddler Pillows:


Best Overall: Little One’s Pillow Toddler Pillow

High quality in a comfortable package

best toddler pillow

Pros

  • 100% Hypoallergenic polyester material is used for the filling, and the cover is made from organic cotton.
  • The pillow is machine washable and doesn’t lose its shape or become lumpy, causing discomfort.
  • The toddler pillow was meticulously tested to ensure the right amount of filling to support your child’s neck, head, and spine.

Cons

  • Some may prefer a thicker pillow than the 3-inch toddler pillow.

The Little One’s Pillow is made from the best quality material that is the right size for a soothing nap or good night’s sleep. With over 56 years of experience manufacturing pillows, the family founded company, designed one of the best toddler pillows that are safe for your toddler.

After meticulous testing, the company concluded that a flatter pillow is healthier than a pillow that contains too much filling. With the input of top chiropractors and pediatricians, the pillow is designed to support the toddler’s head, neck, and spine.

A soft 100% organic cotton shell is chemically free, and GOTS certified. The cotton is woven in the USA. The high thread count and tight weave create a pillow that is soft to the touch and doesn’t require a pillowcase. It also keeps out impurities and makes the cover resistant.

To further enhance the safety precautions, the pillow is filled with a proprietary hypoallergenic polyester fiber, which is machine washable; it won’t become lumpy. The fiber isn’t treated with any chemicals and is Latex-free, Phthalate-free, BPA free, lead-free, and Formaldehyde free.

The pillow is one of the best toddler pillows that keeps its shape after machine washing. The manufacturers tested various organic and non-organic materials to supply a comfortable sleep experience that supports the head and neck without losing its form or becoming lumpy after a few washes. The cluster filling lasts about 3-5 years.

Age: 24 months and up

Size: 13 x3 x 18 inches

Materials: Polyester cluster fiber, organic cotton shell

Machine Washable:  Yes

Made in the USA: Yes


Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow

Best Cotton Pillow For Young Children

best toddler pillow

Pros

  • A 100% hypoallergenic pillow made from 100% cotton.
  • A 90-day-money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
  • The pillow is designed to support your toddler’s neck, irrespective of their sleeping position.

Cons

  • The pillow may feel scratchy against some toddlers’ skin. 

With a 200-thread count, the Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow is designed to maximize comfort. Irrespective of your toddler’s sleeping position, the pillow provides proper support to their neck. The pillow isn’t too flat or too fluffy, which causes discomfort because the head is pushed upward or lower than the body.

The toddler pillow is the right size for traveling and for sleeping on long trips in the car on a plane. So, if your toddler becomes attached to their pillow, parents can effortlessly pack it with the rest of your kid’s stuff when visiting grandma, going to daycare, or on a road trip.

The polyester cluster fiber provides the soft plush feel. The outside cover may be scratchy against the skin of some children. A pillowcase may easily solve the scratchiness and keeps the pillow clean longer. Should you need to wash the pillow, you can machine wash it.

The Little Sleepy Toddler pillow is 100% allergy-free and has a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Age: 2+ years

Size: 13 x 18 x 4 inches

Materials: 100% cotton, premium polyester cluster fiber, 200-thread count fabric

Machine Washable:  Yes

Made in the USA: Yes


Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow

Top Value Pillow For Your Toddler

best toddler pillow

Pros

  • 100% Hypoallergenic, mildew and mold resistant, and CPSC Certified to ensure a safe toddler pillow.
  • Recommended by chiropractors, the toddler pillow design and filling support your child’s neck and head. 
  • The pillow and pillowcase are machine washable and won’t shrink.

Cons

  • You’ll need to re-fluff the toddler pillow regularly to avoid it becoming flat.

Recommended by chiropractors, Dreamtown Kids Toddler Pillow, is an excellent pick for your toddler’s first pillow. The pillow is about 4 inches tall and filled with 8 ounces of soft, dense fiber that supports your toddler’s head and neck. The soft pillow cover, the toddler-sized pillow, and the filling density are made to give your child a comfortable sleep, which means a good night’s sleep for parents too.   

Dreamtown Kids, LCC is a family-owned business that cares about the safety of their children and your children. Their toddler pillow is CPSC Certified, which means it was tested and approved for not containing any metals, toxin, or microbes. The materials come from textile mills that meet the Global Organic Textile certification standard. 

The pillows are 100% hypoallergenic, mildew resistant, and mold resistant. All these tests provide a quality product that may help your toddler sleep better wherever they are at home, daycare, or grandmas.

Included in the package is a perfectly fitting pillowcase. The Dreamtown Toddler pillow and the pillowcase won’t shrink when washed in the washing machine. The manufacturer recommends using non-chlorine bleach, and Tumble drying with no heat may avoid clumping. 

Age: 2+ years

Size: cut 14 x 19 x 4 inches but measures 12 x 16 x 4 inches when filled

Materials: Polycotton blend, synthetic pillow fill

Machine Washable: Yes

Made in the USA: Yes


Pros

  • The toddler pillow is filled with 100% hypoallergenic poly-fiber, and the cover is 100% natural cotton.
  • The pillow is dryer friendly to ensure that the pillow is washed and dry by the time your toddler wants to nap.
  • It has a lifetime money back or replacement guarantee.

Cons

  • The Low Loft toddler pillow may be to flat for older toddlers who should prefer the Mid Loft

The Outlast technology of the Sweat Tots Toddler Pillow has a moisture wicking features that may keep your toddler dry if they tend to sweat at night.

The Outlast Gold Certified fabric liner is placed on the pillow’s top side. It proactively avoids heat and moisture from building up; the technology absorbs the excess heat that radiates from your sweating toddler’s body. The stored heat is released or absorbed according to the toddler’s thermal needs throughout the night. Instead of sweating from the heat, and then chilling from the dampness, the technology ensures a consistent temperature throughout the night.

A 4 ounces poly-fiber filling ensures the correct neck alignment for toddlers aged 18 months to 3 years. The natural toddler pillow height is two inches and could be compressed during sleep between ½ and 1 inch. Older children may prefer the Mid Loft pillow (#1 link) that is 3 inches high and compresses between 1-1 ½ inches.

The toddler pillow is filled with 100% hypoallergenic poly-fiber fill, which is machine washable. The pillow may be dried in a dryer so that it is ready for naptime. A double-stitching edging increases the durability and avoids loss of filling over time.

The firm, flat pillow, is safer when introducing your 18-month baby to a crib pillow. Experts deem it more reliable to reduce suffocation risks. Sweaty Tots hold a CPC (Children’s Product Certificate) and is CPSC certified.

Sleepy Tots is a family-owned business, and they offer a lifetime money-back guarantee or a replacement guarantee if you receive a faulty product. 

Age: 1 ½ to 3 years

Size: 13 x 3 x 18 inches

Materials: 300 thread count, temperature regulating Outlast Gold fabric liner, 100% cotton sateen cover

Machine Washable:  Yes and Dryer

Made in USA: Yes


My Little North Star Toddler Pillow

This is a REALLY Soft ORGANIC Pillow

best toddler pillow

Pros

  • The 100% certified organic cotton shell and 100% hypoallergenic poly-fiber filling is chemical free and safe for your child.
  • The pillow is the best organic toddler pillow for softness, yet it supports your child’s neck and spine.
  • The pillow is machine washable and dryer friendly to ensure your baby has their pillow when they want to go to sleep.

Cons

  • Some may find the pillow too soft.


If your toddler likes a soft pillow, then My Little North Star Toddler Pillow is one of the best toddler pillows to select. The 3.5 inches height isn’t as flat as some other kids’ pillows, but it isn’t too high that it doesn’t support your kid’s head and neck.

Organic cotton is one of the softest materials to touch. The pillow is made of 100% super-soft certified natural cotton shell for that extra soft feeling to snuggle and sleep. Organically grown and woven in the USA backs the company’s promise of a chemical-free pillow. Although the purchase includes a pillowcase, the pillow is soft to the touch that the pillowcase isn’t necessary. Some parents, however, prefer using a pillowcase to keep the pillow cleaner longer.   

The specialized poly cluster fiber filling won’t become lumpy when machine washed but keeps its form. The filling is hypoallergenic, chemical-free with no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, or flame retardants. A breathable design avoids mildew and mold forming. The pillow is machine washable and dryer friendly for a quick wash and dry so that the pillow is ready for bedtime.

The size of the toddler pillow is designed for toddlers from 2 years old to children aged 5 years. Despite the softness, the pillow supports your child’s head and neck during sleep in the toddler cot or during the transition phase to a bed.

Age: 2-5 years

Size: 13 x 3.5 x 18 inches

Materials: 100% Organic cotton shell, polyester cluster fiber

Machine Washable:  Yes

Made in USA: Yes


ClevaMama ClevaFoam Toddler Pillow

Top Pillow For Stomach Sleepers

best toddler pillow

Pros

  • The ClevaFoam is breathable, hypoallergenic, and ideal for kids with allergies or asthma.
  • It is the only pillow scientifically tested to prevent Flat Head Syndrome.
  • The AirFlow cover controls the temperature by reducing heat retention and increasing airflow.

Cons

  • The memory foam pillow means you can’t fluff it – you need to wait until it regains the original form.


The ClevaMama ClevaFoam Toddler Pillow is one of the best toddler pillows for stomach sleepers and is scientifically proven to prevent Flat Head Syndrome. The memory foam protects your toddler’s head by adapting to its natural round shape creating a unique sleeping surface. It is the only pillow that is scientifically proven to reduce the pressure at the back of your baby’s head by 50%. Together with the University at Trinity College, Dublin, the company researched and developed the ClevaMama Toddler Pillow.

It is safe as the first-time pillow for toddlers one-year-old in the crib, cot, or on a bed. This is a hypoallergenic toddler pillow; the open cell structure is breathable and allergen-free. It is one of the best pillows for babies with allergies and asthma.

The Airflow fabric increases the air circulation and draws away moisture on a hot, humid night, creating the perfect environment for a good night’s rest. The ventilation holes and the breathable ClevaFoam increases the airflow and reduces heat retention.

Age: 1-3 years

Size: 8 x 2.4 x 21.6 inches

Materials: Lightweight ClevaFoam, AirFlow cover

Machine Washable: covers are

Pillow is Made in the USA: ?


Our Parent’s Guide to the Safest Toddler Pillow

When to Choose and What to Avoid in a Toddler’s Pillow

The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for avoiding pillow use until a child is old enough to sleep in a bed. This is typically around eighteen months.

The First Pillow

This might be obvious to you, but it isn’t to everyone.  Therefore, I’ll come out and say it: Once a toddler is old enough to use their first pillow, avoid using pillows secondhand. Pillows received from adults contain dust mites, dirt, oil, and dead skin — all of which are risks for allergy-inducing symptoms.

Posture will inevitably affect your toddler’s health. Meanwhile, natural positioning affects circulation, breathing, and overall rest. Thus, it’s important to consider the impact of positioning and posture as your toddler rests. You want to avoid any sort of pillow that lacks support or props them too high.

Types, Advantages, and Disadvantages

To understand the types, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of six different types of pillows: fiber, down, latex, foam, memory foam, and contour.

Fiber pillows use synthetic fibers, typically. However, they may utilize gel fiber to simulate down or organic, such as wool. The cheaper the fiber pillow, the quicker it loses its support features. However, they are the most affordable option.

Down and feather pillows are often accused of stirring allergic reactions, but it’s far more likely the reaction comes from dust mites. Like all pillows, they do require routine cleaning. Aside from full-feather pillows breaking down and flattening, one-hundred percent feather is likely a poor choice for toddlers; feathers are notorious for sticking through coverings. In that case, down becomes a trustworthy choice.

Latex pillows tend to provide better head cushion and neck support, given proper loft, or thickness. They tend to resist allergens and wick away moisture but are difficult to clean. However, latex allergies are a real thing, though not rampantly common. Before exposing a toddler, have them checked for a latex allergy.

Foam pillows are notorious for retaining shape. Nevertheless, if they’re a cheaper foam, the support will disappear relatively quickly. It should also be taken into consideration foam absorbs heat. If you have chemical concerns, foam creation uses quite a bit that results in off-gassing.

Memory foam pillows molds to the body shape via weight-sensitive polyurethane. Their design relieves pressure on sensitive areas for even support. However, these, too, use many chemicals for the creation and restrict movement. If your toddler moves around during the night, they may experience soreness in the morning.

Contour pillows are foam or latex pillows shaped to cradle the head. They hold the same disadvantages as foam or latex, but also the same advantages with targeted support for the neck.

Before moving on to the next section, many pillows claim hypoallergenic material. While some are treated to resist or remove allergens, they aren’t impenetrable to mold and dust mites. They all need proper, routine cleaning.

Fitting a Toddler’s Pillow

As a toddler grows, their support needs change. The toddler’s neck may begin to thin and extend, bunching the pillow beneath and calling for a change in thickness or size. That said, while a toddler sleeps their position will also define which pillow best suits them.

If a toddler lies on their back, their pillow should be thinner and able to support the neck. Conversely, if they lie on their stomach their need for a pillow greatly diminishes. Children who lie on their stomach need their head positioned as naturally as possible without a pillow forcing an unnatural, or developing a preferred, turn.

In order to fit the pillow to your toddler’s neck and head while on their side, there’s a five-step process:

  1. Lay the toddler so they lie on their side.
  2. Make certain the pillow cradles, not lifts, the side of the head.
  3. Bend both legs. If on their right side, their left leg shouldn’t extend higher or lower than the right and vice versa.
  4. Run a line from the ceiling to the floor using their eyes. The line needs to be perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Equally, trace a line parallel to the floor — it should run along the middle of the face.

What this does is create a sort of imaginary edge to measure the height of your toddler’s pillow. A slanted or twisted line indicates the pillow may be too thick or thin for proper support.

Spinal Alignment

The most important support a pillow can offer is in the alignment for the body. Hips should align to shoulders and shoulders to ears.

  • A toddler who sleeps on their back may benefit from a secondary, thinner pillow beneath their knees. This reduces stress on the spine and supports the natural spinal curve.
  • When toddlers sleep on their stomach, added stress may burden the spine. Again, a thinner, secondary pillow may assist in alignment, but this time place it beneath pelvis and stomach. In this case, no pillow for the head may be the best option.
  • Side sleeping toddlers benefit from a small, flat pillow between their knees. If there’s a noticeable, angular gap between the waist and bed, filling this with another small pillow might assist alignment.
  • Finally, gaps between the toddler and bed often benefit from filling. Given their size, a rolled up washcloth may fit as well as a rolled towel or pillow would for an adult.

​Doctors and chiropractors tend to suggest sleeping on the side. Sleeping on the left or right is generally better than the back or stomach. Still, some folk wisdom says the right side promotes open airways and better heart circulation.  I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but since it doesn’t seem like following it will hurt me I’m giving it a shot.

Training toddlers to sleep on their side is ideal, but avoid forcing them into a position that will disrupt their sleep or cause discomfort.  There are wedges made to help with this training period.

Keep in mind, few people sleep in the same position all night long. The body doesn’t smile kindly at being forced into a single position for hours on end, so your toddler’s pillow should reflect their dominant sleeping position while taking into account proper support throughout the night.

Sleeping on it

In the end, a great toddler pillow is one that creates an effortless sleeping state. Their neck should be supported, their head cradled, and their spine naturally aligned. The firmness, loft, and durability of the pillow should reflect their needs.

If they’re showing signs of allergies, the material considered becomes incredibly important. The most likely candidate is a pillow fill that’s easily cleaned and dried, but avoids absorbing moisture; harboring dust mites; and concealing mold. While support is important, the toddler’s overall safety and health are just as imperative to a final choice.

Finally, a toddler should be able to sleep throughout the night without waking aching or poorly rested. The ideal toddler pillow provides comfort and complete support — a win for the toddler and the parent.

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