15 Best Stuffed Animals in 2017

best stuffed animals

Stuffed toys like dolls and animals as well as any other real-world object are a huge hit not only during Christmas. For adults, stuffed plush teddy bears are a mainstay in courtship and even in anniversaries. For kids, it’s the plush stuffed animals and dolls that are such an important part of their repertoire of comfort toys. Technically, there’s a general confusion whether to call these as toys or as comfort tools.

Regardless, in preparation for Christmas you may already be making a shortlist of the retail shops or specialty stores where to buy stuffed animals. Let us help you by sharing with you our very own shortlist of the 15 most popular and most amazing plush teddy bears and other stuffed toys you may want to watch out for this holiday season.

Top 15 Stuffed Animals for Kids | Review

PictureToyBrandAge Range
Gund Philbin Teddy Bear Stuffed AnimalGUND 1 Year +
Aurora 0 World Lil Benny PhantAurora 3-15 Years
Stuffed PenguinEpicKids 1 Month +
Aurora Plush 12" Esmeralda FlopsieAurora 3-15 Years
Bedtime Originals Plush Monkey OllieBedtime Originals 1 Month +
Aurora Foxie Fox Mini Flopsie 8" Stuffed Animal PlushAurora 6 Months +

1Philbin Teddy Bear Stuffed Animal by GUND 

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Age Range: At least 1 year old

Philbin is one of the cutest and most plush teddy bears we have ever seen. There are 3 size- and 2 color – variants depending on who you would like to give it to. If you are going to give it as a Christmas present to your young child, then get the 12-inch Philbin. It’s huggable with really cute paw pad accents. Philbin’s face has a curious look which should sit very well with your kid’s own curiosity. It can be sat upright and be the perfect companion for your little angel in his or her play time. His fur is super tufty while his body is huggable and squishy. His limbs are amazingly posable as they are floppy. He’s got a little tail that’s short and cute and his eyes are secure in their place. The Philbinstuft animals are surface-washable so you can keep it smelling fresh and looking brand-new a lot easier.

What We Like about It – Philbin is simply adorable. Its fluffy and plush body and limbs can really make for a superb playtime companion. For older children, he can also be an excellent sleep aid as a comfort toy.

20 World Lil Benny Phant by Aurora 

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Age Range: 3 to 15 years old

Ever wanted Dumbo to drop from the sky and land in your living room? Why not just do that on Christmas day and have your kid open Dumbo’s wrapper, except that it will not be Dumbo inside but Lil Benny Phant? If you’ve been looking for plush stuffed animals other than teddy bears, then give your kid a 9-inch tall super soft and ultra-furry elephant. Benny has that innocent look in his eyes that will make any child wonder what this elephant is thinking about. Benny’s legs are super soft and very floppy, too so they can be posed any way your kid likes. Unfortunately, it will be quite impossible to let Benny stand up on his own. Your kid will have to prop Benny up if that is what he or she wants. Benny has large floppy ears and a really adorable trunk. He’s got greyish-white foot pads, too.

What We Like about It – It’s the innocent and endearing expression on Benny’s face that really captured our hearts. And we’re already adults. Now imagine what it can do to kids. This should really be a comfort toy for kids to feel more secure and safe in their environments.

3Mr.Chil Stuffed Penguin by EpicKids 

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Age Range: At least 1 month old

Too bad we don’t have skipper, Private, Kowalski, or even Rico from the Penguins of Madagascar in our list. But we’re pretty sure EpicKids’ Mr.Chil Stuffed Penguin plush stuffed animals will surely draw a very big grin on your baby’s face. Come to think of it, this penguin reminds us more about Mumble from the Happy Feet fame. Mr.Chil has orange beak and webbed feet. His smiling eyes do remind you more of those penguins in Happy Feet rather than those in Madagascar. He’s got lovely black wings with a white underside to complement his white chest and black back. At only 5 inches tall, this black, white, and orange little bird is perfect as a baby crib or carrier attachment or simply as a soft baby toy on-the-go. If you have an infant mobile, then you can also replace one of the animals hanging on your baby’s mobile with plush Mr.Chil. It’s safe for babies as it doesn’t have any small removable parts. It is also very easy to clean.

What We Like about It – Mr.Chil’s small size means we can take it wherever we want to go with our young babies. We can conveniently put it inside our bags and easily pull it out once baby is safe to play with it. For babies, the soft body of Mr.Chil should be instrumental in developing young infant’s sensorimotor skills.

4Plush 12-Inch Esmeralda Flopsie by Aurora 

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Age Range: 3 to 15 years old

Want a pet cat for your kid without endangering his or her health especially if your child has asthma? Then get the 12-inch Esmeralda Flopsie and your kid will surely take care of it until your child grows to become a teenager. One of the high quality yet cheap stuffed animals we have seen, Esmeralda features a lovely tri-color coat that should remind you more of a St. Bernard pattern – white under belly, brown and black on the back, and the 3 colors on the head. Esmeralda has soft and flopply legs and a wiggly tail to complement her adorable face with a cute nose and an impish smile. Her eyes glisten with the curiosity of felines. The coat is made of super fine and ultra-plush fabric making Esmeralda so lovable and cuddly.

What We Like about It – Esmeralda’s realistic design is something extraordinary. From afar you’d really think that she’s a real cat. At the very least, you can scare those little rodents away while giving your child the opportunity to role play petting her cat.

5Plush Monkey Ollie by Bedtime Originals 

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Age Range: At least 1 month old

Monkeys are always depicted as very mischievous animals. But Monkey Ollie is no such animal. In fact, the Ollies that we’ve seen displayed as stuffed animals for sale are as adorable and lovable as can be. With those round eyes, a friendly smile, and orange rosy cheeks, Ollie is sure to be a favorite of your young child. His eyes, nose, and mouth are stitched perfectly so there are no buttons that young infants can remove and choke on. Ollie has a brown body and head but a light brown palms, soles, and face. Made of 100 percent polyester, Ollie can be placed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle before tumble dried at the lowest possible setting. While Bedtime Originals recommend Ollie for children as young as 1 month old, we strongly recommend not to use Ollie as your baby’s sleep essentials as movements while sleeping can increase the risk of suffocation.

What We Like about It – Ollie is not a mischievous monkey. He is a very friendly one and one that can be a great stimulant for your baby’s sensorimotor development.

6Foxie Fox 8-Inch Mini Flopsie by Aurora 

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Age Range: At least 6 months old

Foxie Fox may not be the quick brown fox but she sure can quickly capture the hearts of children and adults alike. This 8-inch Mini Flopsie is one of those cheap stuffed animals that never really look cheap. She’s got the characteristic reddish brown coat of foxes complete with a pointy nose and an equally gorgeous face. Her point ears matches well with her round eyes. Foxie can be posed anyway your kid likes as her limbs are all floppy. Her coat is soft and plush making her super cuddly and adorable. And once your kid has outgrown Foxie, she can still be placed in your display cabinet for added aesthetics.

What We Like about It – Foxie’s plush design and cute features make her ideal for kids to learn about foxes in general. It’s made of safe materials, too.

7Spunky Hedgehog by Douglas Cuddle Toys 

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Age Range: At least 2 years old

He’s no Sonic but Spunky the Hedgehog can be a very adorable pet to keep. Did we say pet? Yes, a toy pet, that is. Spunky is one of those really lovable plush stuffed animals that is perfect for kids. He’s small at only 5 inches tall and quite rounded. Spunky is more like a furry ball with a small yet cute head, 4 tiny feet, a cute nose, and well-rounded eyes that glisten. His ears stick out from the sides of his face and if you are not going to look closer, you’ll think Spunky doesn’t have any mouth. Of course, he does. Spunky is machine-washable, too.

What We Like about It – If your kid is a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog, maybe you need to give him or her Spunky instead. It’s really adorable, making him a great companion for your kid.

8Plush Treehouse with Animals by Unipak 

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Standing at a full 12 inches tall, the Plush Treehouse with Animals is a beautiful stump of tree that is considered the home of 5 plush stuffed animals that include a black bear, a raccoon, a bird, a fox, and a squirrel. Each of the stuffed animals are 7 inches in length so they can be easily placed on, in, and around the Treehouse. This is not your usual stuffed toy as it is the residence of not one but five lovely and truly adorable forest creatures.

What We Like about It – The Treehouse is excellent for kids as they try to learn about forest animals especially those that live in, on, and around trees. It’s a great way to stimulate interest in ecology which can be best enhanced through role play.

9Shadow the Siberian Husky 12-Inch Plush Dog by Aurora 

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Age Range: 3 to 15 years old

The Siberian Husky is famous for its wolf-like appearance. In fact, for those who are not familiar with the dog breed, they will think that it is indeed a wolf. With Shadow the Siberian Husky, your child will have his or her own pet dog, and a Husky at that. With their characteristic dark-gray and white coat plus wolf-like facial features, these stuffed animals for sale make for an excellent introduction to any kid who wants to have a pet dog but may not have the necessary temperament to pet a real dog. Shadow has a super floppy build and made of the softest and plushest materials possible.

What We Like about It – Shadow can be the pet dog your kid have always wanted – obedient and loyal. At least, your child can play with Shadow anytime sans food, water, and sleep.

10Plush 12-Inch Lion TubbieWubbie by Aurora 

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Age Range: 1 to 5 years old

Take the king of the jungle right in your home with TubbieWubbie, the 12-inch plush lion from Aurora. Tubbie’s mane is really adorable as they radiate outwards from his lovely face. Tubbie also has a tuft of mane-like hair at the tip of his tail. These plush stuffed animals is a favorite of many kids. One thing that we noticed is that, without Tubbie’s mane and tail, he’d look more like a teddy bear. Of course, his large nose gives away the fact that Tubbie is a lion and not a bear.

What We Like about It – We’d definitely want Tubbie in our collection if only to have a lion in the display. But if we have to pick one feature that we love most about Tubbie, then that would be his mane.

11Slumbers Teddy Bear by GUND 

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Age Range: 1 to 5 years old

Need really huggable plush teddy bears? We’d recommend Slumbers from GUND. At 17 inches tall, Slumber is like your Poppa who can give you a warm big hug whenever you need some comforting. Slumber’s look may be a bit sterner than Philbin but this is the kind of security that kids want from a father figure. He remains huggable and cuddly, nevertheless. Kids can rest their heads on Slumber’s chest patch while feeling for the soft pads of Slumber’s paws. This teddy bear is easy to clean and should not really pose any serious challenges to storage despite its size.

What We Like about It – GUND has been known for making this ultra-plush stuffed toys for a while now. Slumbers carries on with the tradition so you can expect this to be of the same high quality that GUND is known for.

12Cuddlekins Wolf by Wild Republic 

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

If your kid wants a toy wolf, not a wolf-like Siberian Husky nor a small brown fox, then you simply get the Cuddlekins Wolf while these stuffed animals for sale are still available. Cuddleskins has realistic wolf claws that protrude from his paws. He’s even got wolf whiskers sticking out from the sides of his nose. He’s got that signature thick tail and large bulky legs to complement a muscular body. Despite these really strong features, Cuddleskins is one of the softest and most cuddly stuffed toys your kid will ever have. And at 30 inches, it’s the closest thing you can get to a real wolf.

What We Like about It – The realistic features – whiskers, claws, fluffy tail, and muscular body – of Cuddleskins make it a really beneficial toy for kids as they get to experience playing with a realistic, yet super soft toy, one that will never bite or attack them. Is there more that we can ask for?

13PusheenSnackable Ice Cream Plush Stuffed Animal by GUND 

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Age Range: 1 to 5 years old

Created in 2010, Pusheen the Cat has graced a great number of sticker sets as well as comic strips. She is best known as the chubby tabby cat that is a favorite among Facebook users for their sticker sets. While your kids may not have a Facebook account yet, they can nevertheless, have a wonderful time hugging and cuddling these stuffed toys. The 9.5-inch tall PusheenSnackable Ice Cream Plush Stuffed Animal features the lovable cat licking her favorite ice cream. She’s got her characteristic 2 black stripes on her back plus 3 black stripes on her tail. Her face is adorned with lovable eyes, a great smile, and 2 thick whiskers on either side of her face.

What We Like about It – Pusheen has always been a lovable character in the digital world. Now, she has clearly moved into the real world which should be quite fascinating to see especially among kids who collect Pusheen stickers and comic strips.

14Ugg Dinosaur Baby Stuffed Animal by Baby GUND 

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Age Range: At least 6 months old

With facial features that have been beautifully embroidered to reduce the risk of endangering very young babies, Ugg Dinosaur is one of those unique plush stuffed animals that is a sure hit every holiday season. Toy dinosaurs have always had a place in the hearts of kids perhaps because there aren’t any left and the only places one can really appreciate these creatures are in museums. Sadly, they’re all bones. With the Ugg, your baby can hug it, cuddle it, or just plain play with it. There’s no danger of swallowing anything and choking on it. Ugg should be a great addition to your baby’s nursery or even his or her playroom. Ugg’s machine-washable, too.

What We Like about It – The friendly facial features of Ugg make it one lovable character for your baby. And since it has blue body spots and orange crests or plates from its head down to its back, Ugg should make a great tool to teach baby’s basic colors.

15Giraffe Plush by Melissa & Doug 

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Age Range: 3 to 15 years old

Standing as tall as a teenager at 5 feet, Melissa & Doug’s Plush Giraffe is nothing less than truly magnificent. It is handcrafted with 100 percent soft polyester to give it a superbly realistic Giraffe patterns complete with the characteristic ossicones on top of its head, realistic eyes and ears, and a lovely wiggly tail. This is clearly one of the most unique stuffed toys we have in our list if its sheer size alone matters. So, instead of getting plush teddy bears, you may want to get a really large giraffe to be placed inside your home.

What We Like about It – We’d say Melissa & Doug did an excellent job handcrafting this giant stuffed animal. With such realistic details, your kids won’t have to beg you to go to the zoo anymore because you now have a giraffe right in your midst.

How We Chose the Top Plush Toy Animals in Our List

We asked the moms and ladies in our team if they can come up with the top 10 really plush and huggable toys for kids for this year’s gift-giving season. Everyone giggled and said that they could make it 15 since there are simply a lot to choose from. With the target finally set at 15 instead of 10, our dedicated researchers went to work and in just a couple of days, they were able to present to us a tentative list of the top 30. We then had to scrutinize which of these 30 will make the final cut.

To get to the 30, our team focused on the strength of each fluffy, comfy, and super soft cuddables’ ratings. We believe that, all things being equal, we had to look closely at the number of people who have high regard for these toys. We had to scrutinize every remark or feedback from very satisfied parents who report that their kids – and teens – actually adore the plush stuffed toys given to them.

We then considered the manufacture of the product as it must be made of kid-safe, non-toxic materials. If there’s certification coming from reputable agencies or organizations, then we considered these, too. If there is some kind of award or recognition given to the product, then we knew that it should receive a point from us.

Our team also tried to look at the developmental appropriateness of the products. However, given that almost every single one of these plush stuffed animals essentially have the same developmental benefit to kids, we had to look at the recommended age of the product and determine whether it really is appropriate for a certain age of children. For example, if the product was intended for young babies, then it should not have tiny removable parts that babies might choke on.

The result of all of these activities? Our top 15 stuffed animals for kids in 2016.

Stuffed Toys and Children’s Development

Stuffed toys are beneficial in the development of kids particularly in terms of their sensorimotor skills, their cognitive abilities, and their social and emotional growth.

For very young children such as babies and infants, stuffed toys can play an important role in their sensorimotor development. Plush toys that come with different patterns, colors, and textures can all help the brain recognize and interpret these sensory signals to be integrated into formal knowledge when the right time comes.

Stuffed toys are not only beneficial for the psychomotor development of young children. They are important in the development of their beginning emotions. For example, while babies cannot verbalize how good “soft” feels, they can nevertheless show this appreciation through their behavior. You can see them smiling while hugging and cuddling their “soft” stuft animals. It is their way of telling you that the plush toy makes them very happy.

For older children, stuffed toys can provide an excellent tool for role playing. You can see them playing the role of parents for these toys, giving them a bath, preparing meals for them, and even grooming and dressing them. For us adults, it may all seem kids’ play but these role playing activities help motivate children to use their imagination as well as creativity. Studies show that the more opportunities children get to use their imagination, the greater is the chance of them expanding on their cognitive abilities, most especially their divergent cognition.

Divergent thinking is one of the foundations for logical, scientific, and critical thinking. This kind of cognitive ability is what differentiates highly successful individuals from the not. That is why stimulating a kid’s imagination is crucial to the development of his or her divergent thinking capabilities which, in turn, fuels his or her critical and logical thinking.

As we have already said, children use their stuffed toys for pretend play. This greatly improves their social skills. They are also able to build more lasting friendships as well as establish new ones when they are given the opportunity to explore different scenarios using pretend play or role play.

The Bottom Line

This Christmas, get your child a stuffed animal he or she will care for. You will find that our top 15 stuffed animals are all highly recommended by parents like you. All you need now is to choose one. Or, you can just get all 15.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!


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