The Best Pillows For Toddlers (Safest Pillow Picks For 2 And 3 Year-Olds)
Parents can safely start giving pillows to children who are about two years old, the time when the child is safe to move out of the crib and onto a toddler bed. Remember not to put pillows, thick quilts, or anything of that sort to children younger than the aforementioned age as it might be a suffocation hazard. All of the top-rated "best toddler pillow" recommendations below are pillows intended for children that are 2 years old and up and are widely available for purchase online.
Also, when determining if it is time to buy your child his or her first pillow, notice if the child’s shoulders are wider than the head. It usually means that it’s the time the child rest his/her head on a pillow for more comfort. You can also observe your toddler when he/she sleeps. The child will usually find comfort himself and will rest on a stuffed animal or blanket.
When you believe that your toddler is ready for their first pillow, read through this article to discover our top picks for the best available pillows for your toddler.
What Is A Toddler Pillow?
A toddler pillow is a pillow designed specifically for the proportions of most 2-3 year-olds. A regular pillow is designed to provide support to an adult’s head and neck while sleeping, however a toddler does not have the same proportions as an adult and resting on a regular pillow can place unnecessary strain on a child's neck and shoulders. Most toddler pillows are noticeably smaller than normal pillows, and have been firmly designed to provide optimal support.
Main Factors To Consider When Buying A Pillow For Your 2-3 Year Old Toddler
The toddler pillow is the first pillow you’ll ever give to your child after taking them out of the crib to transition them to “grown up” sleeping. If you are unsure on what is the best pillow for your toddler, check out the factors to consider below:
The size of the pillow is one of the first things you should consider when shopping for one. Make sure that it’s just the right size to support the head and neck of your toddler; not too small and not too big. Also take into consideration the bed where the child will be sleeping. The pillow should fit just right in to avoid it from getting thrown off the bed.
The thickness of the pillow is another crucial factor to consider when picking the size. The typical ones should be around one to two inch tall, just enough to slightly elevate the head of your toddler without straining the neck.
When choosing the fill of the pillow, make sure that it is hypoallergenic and is made of soft materials that are firm enough to give support, so that the head of your toddler is not sinking into the pillow. A hypoallergenic pillow minimizes allergens so your child will have a deep sleep minus the sneezes.
The firmness of the pillow can be determined through the fill. The popular fill for toddler pillows are cluster fiber that is soft enough to give comfort and firm enough not to completely flatten over time. There’s also a memory foam pillow aimed for toddlers that provides head and neck support while aligning the body in a natural position.
Avoid feather or down pillows for now because they are too soft for toddler use and they can also contribute to allergies.
For additional comfort, pick pillows with materials that are soft and smooth for your toddler’s delicate skin. The best one is 100% soft cotton casing with around 300 and above thread count. Cotton is good for breathability so that there’s still air circulation despite resting on it for hours.
There are two types of cotton material to choose from: organic and inorganic. The organic version is more expensive but it doesn’t have any harmful toxins, bleaches, off gassing or dyes. Lastly, pick materials and fills that can be machine-washed and dried. Children can get to all sorts of mess and the bed, beddings, and pillow don’t exempt.
Evaluating how your child sleeps is very important not only to help you choose the best pillow, but also to thwart them from injuries. If your child is a back sleeper, he/she can go without a pillow until age two. After that, a thin pillow will suffice. Reassess the pillow height as your child grows.
If your child is a side sleeper, you need to get them a pillow as soon as they show comfort in lying on their sides, despite not reaching the age of two yet. Get pillow that is slightly thicker from the one meant for stomach sleepers.
Stomach sleeping should be avoided. Try to prevent your child from developing the habit of sleeping on his/her stomach as this position can be too taxing to your child’s frail neck.
When choosing a toddler pillow, make sure that it’s the right height depending on their sleeping position and it is made of materials that are soft and comfortable and at the same time, won’t cause allergies, see our top picks for quality toddler pillows below, as well as our choice for the best organic toddler pillow
What Are The Best Toddler Pillows Available?
To help you with your search, we have listed some products worth checking out below, two options which are top-rated hypoallergenic toddler pillows and two memory foam pillows:
A Little Pillow Company- Hypoallergenic Pillow
This pillow is made of 100% hypoallergenic cluster fiber housed in 100% soft cotton. It can be machine washed and dried. After washing, easily reshape the pillow by grabbing the corners and fluffing it. This pillow is just the right size for 2-3 year old toddlers.
Little Sleepy Head Pillow - Soft Hypoallergenic
What sets this apart from other toddler pillows is the manufacturer’s 90-day money back guarantee if you are not happy with your purchase. It is made of hypoallergenic premium cluster fiber fill housed in a 100% cotton with 200-thread count fabric.
Clevamama ClevaFoam Toddler Pillow, Cream
This lightweight pillow is recommended for keeping the right body alignment of your toddler. It is designed to be soft yet firm enough to keep the child’s head and spine aligned and it also protects the round shape of the child’s head. The pillow is made of breathable foam to draw away moisture and keep your child’s head cool.
My First Pillow Memory Foam Toddler Pillow
This toddler pillow is made of 100% visco elastic memory foam that molds to the natural size of your toddler’s head and neck. The foam and the cover are hypoallergenic, mite-proof, and mildew resistant.
Are Toddler Pillows Safe?
Toddler pillows are considered safe when introduced at the right age: around 2 to 3 years old. When you transition your toddler to a normal bed, you can choose to introduce a toddler pillow, which is usually thin and firm. The important factor to consider is not introducing a pillow to your child too early, even after the newborn stage your infant could turn face down into the pillow or even put their head under it. Although your child is much more mobile after getting through the newborn stage, it is important to wait until they are slightly older to introduce pillows for sleeping.
When Can Toddlers Use Pillows?
Toddlers won’t feel uncomfortable without a pillow while sleeping until their shoulders are wider than their heads, and therefore toddlers can generally use pillows when they are around 2 years of age. Dr. Maria Melendres, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins, who specializes in pediatric sleep apnea says "The use of pillows is never recommended for infants due to the risk of suffocation, the risk is still there for young toddlers, but to a lesser degree. For toddlers who are developing normally, a pillow can usually be introduced around the age of 2.”
What Is The Best Organic Toddler Pillow?
Although the toddler pillows above are the best on the market, and multiple are hypoallergenic, we did want to break out what we think is the best organic toddler pillow, for those parents wanting an organic solution to helping their child sleep at night. Our #1 pick for the top organic pillow for toddlers is the...
Little One's Pillow
Conclusion on Toddler Pillows
Finding the best pillow for toddlers is not as easy as it sounds; you need to consider the height, size, fill, and materials used to ensure that your toddler will get the right pillow suited for his/her small head and frail neck. You want to get something that is not only comfortable but also safe, so if choosing an organic toddler pillow is extremely important to you, we recommend the Little One's Pillow, however if having an organic pillow is less vital of a factor to you, our #1 pick for the safest and best toddler pillow goes to the ClevaMama Clevafoam Toddler Pillow.