9 Best Toddler Pillows, According to Pediatricians and Moms 2024

There’s so much info out there about infant sleep. But once your little sleepyhead grows up (a tiny bit) and the rules are loosened, even more questions arise—like, what about toddler pillows?

It wasn’t until my son turned two and had started to keep stuffies and toddler blankets in his crib that it suddenly dawned on me that he might need a toddler pillow. I was staring lovingly at the monitor (he’s so cute once he’s finally agreed to go to sleep) when I first had the thought. His little head lay flush against his mattress, and I wondered: Does a two year-old need a pillow? And if so, what type of pillow should he have?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child should not have a pillow until age two. Dana Sanderson, MD, a pediatrician who practices in the Bronx, says that if you notice your toddler using a stuffed animal or their arm as a pillow, that’s when to start considering buying them a pillow. You might be wondering, Is it okay to simply use an extra adult pillow in the toddler bed? “While any appropriately sized pillow that is not too soft is usually okay, toddler pillows are great because they’re slightly firmer and smaller than adult-sized pillows,” she says. “This supports your toddler’s neck and reduces the risk of the pillow becoming a suffocation hazard.” As for which ones to pick: “Organic materials such as 100% cotton are great options, as are breathable and easy to clean materials,” says Dr. Sanderson. And for kids with environmental allergies, a hypoallergenic pillow is key. “Hypoallergenic pillows are made from synthetic materials that do not allow dust mites and allergens to be trapped inside.”

After testing a bunch of popular pillows for toddlers, below are the best ones for your little one’s head—all approved by experts.

The best toddler pillows, at a glance

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