Best Pillows for Kids 12 and Under

Updated May 10, 2022
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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best

Snuggle-Pedic

Kids Memory Foam

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Kid's Favorite This memory foam pillow measures 13×18 inches, making it a perfect choice for children 2 years and older. Filled with shredded memory foam, this pillow contours to your child’s head and neck.

Pros

pros
  • Great for kids 2 years old and up
  • Micro-vented cover for hot sleepers
  • Machine washable

Cons

cons
  • Too thick for really small kids

Dreamtown

Kids Pillow

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2nd Choice Approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this toddler pillow measures 14×18 inches and it is made from safe, non-toxic materials.

Pros

pros
  • Suitable for kids 2 - 5 years old
  • Comes with pillowcase included
  • 30-day free trial

Cons

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  • Too small for medium/large children

Purple

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3rd Choice Brought to you by one of the leading online mattress stores, Purple, this kids pillow is made with the innovative Purple Grid. This pattern is small and light but still offers much-needed support for developing necks and spines.

Pros

pros
  • 2 styles available for young children + teens
  • Breathable mesh cover, promotes airflow
  • 100-night risk-free trial

Cons

cons
  • Expensive price

How We Tested

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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13 Models
Considered
75 Consumers
Consulted
120 Hours
Researched
Buying guide for
Best Pillows for Kids 12 and Under

As a parent, you don’t sleep unless your kids do. Whether you’re upgrading an older child’s pillow or shopping for your toddler’s very first, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. The best pillow provides the right combination of comfort and support your child needs for a safe night of sleep.

Bed pillows are a dime a dozen, but if you’re shopping for a child then not just any pillow will do. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not giving your child a pillow until they reach the age of two. At that point, it’s important to choose a pillow that is appropriately sized for your child and one that provides enough support for their head and neck.

What to Look For in a Kids Pillow

That said, the right pillow fit and size helps you create a safe sleeping environment for your little one. This includes suitable material, stuffing and support for their small heads, developing spine and growing bodies. We curated this list of features to get it just right.

Stuffing

Ideal stuffing is neither super plush nor too stiff. The material should adapt to the shape of their head and contour to the neck and spine. Memory foam’s breathability and airflow feature a cooling effect, so it’s perfect for hot little sleepers who toss and turn. It also retains its shape throughout the night, so the neck and spine are in alignment. Memory foam pillows are naturally hypoallergenic. Combined with the micro-vented cover, they reduce the risk of allergies. Down is also a good option for growing children. It provides lightweight, fluffy support, while memory foam cradles the neck, shoulders, and head.

Height

The distance between their shoulders and base of the neck determine the ideal pillow height. Pillow height should follow the ergonomics of the neck. Wrong height can result in strain and tension. A pillow that is too high causes improper back posture and neck stiffness. Too low makes the kid’s head sink too deep into the pillow, creating pressure on the neck and shoulders.

Size

Spacious sleep surface prevents the head from curving in unnatural positions. The average pillow size for a kid is around 13” by 18″. This is an optimal size for supporting proper sleeping postures. Standard adult pillows are usually around 5-7″ deep, which is too big and bulky for a kid. Kid pillows have a depth of 3-4″, not too overwhelming for their tiny heads.

Pillow Cover

Make sure the pillowcases are a fabric that is as natural as possible. This means no synthetic fabrics inside which could potentially be toxic. As the pillow cover comes directly in contact with your kids’ skin and hair, opt for natural protein fiber, such as real silk that doesn’t catch fire like synthetic fibers can. Keep your kids’ pillows in zippered, dust-, and mite-proof covers to stop allergens and dust mites from going inside the pillow.

Machine Washability

Is there anything more annoying than hand-washing your pillows? Kids’ pillows need frequent washes because they easily get soiled. Look for pillows and pillowcases that can be tossed into the washing machine to make them safe and clean in a snap. The pillow should stay true to its form and texture, without clumping up, even after drying and fluffing it afterwards. Always read the label for more info on washing.

Best Pillows for Kids

Snuggle-Pedic Memory Foam Pillow for Kids

This memory foam pillow measures 13×18 inches, making it a perfect choice for children two years and older. Filled with shredded memory foam, this pillow contours to your child’s head and neck to deliver the ideal combination of comfort and support for your child’s developing spine. These memory foam materials don’t just offer contouring support, either, they also improve the breathability of the pillow. This, combined with the micro-vented cover, makes this a cooling pillow perfect for hot sleepers.

In addition to being comfortable and supportive, this pillow is allergy-friendly. The materials are CertiPUR-US Certified and made in the USA, plus every pillow is rolled and vacuum sealed to keep dirt, dust, and debris out during shipping and handling. To keep your child’s pillow clean and safe, this pillow is machine-washable in its entirety. Simply toss it in the washing machine to clean it and, as an added bonus, the machine will re-fluff the pillow back to like-new condition.


Dreamtown Kids Pillow with Pillowcase

Approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this toddler pillow measures 14×18 inches and it is made from safe, non-toxic materials. This pillow has the right amount of filling to keep your child comfortable through the night without compromising on support. Reviewed and recommended by chiropractors, this pillow is ideal for children aged two to five years.

In addition to being suitably sized for children, this pillow comes with a kid-friendly butterfly and dragonfly pillowcase. Both the pillowcase and the pillow itself are machine-washable for easy cleaning as well. Simply machine wash on cold then tumble dry on a gentle, low-heat cycle. You may need to re-fluff the pillow to shape it after washing.


Kid Purple Pillow

Brought to you by one of the leading online mattress stores, Purple, this kids pillow is made with the innovative Purple Grid. While Purple’s Harmony Pillow for adults features the honeycomb-patterned Purple Grid Hex, this pillow is made with a specially designed formulation of the Purple Grid. This pattern is smaller and lighter but still offers much-needed support for developing necks and spines.

The Kid Purple Pillow comes with a breathable mesh cover that promotes airflow, keeping your child cool and comfortable all night long. Choose from four different colors for this comfy cover (pink, white, blue, or grey) and stock up on Kid Sheets to match. Purple’s Kid Pillow comes with a 100-night risk-free trial and is covered by their 1-year warranty.


Baby First Toddler Pillow with Pillowcase

Designed as a starter pillow for toddlers, this pillow measures 13×18 inches and comes in five different colors and patterns. It is front-stuffed to a height of 2.5 inches and behind-stuffed at 1.9 inches so you can choose which side for your child to use based on their age and size. Made with a 100% cotton shell and poly cluster fiber filling, this pillow is safe and comfortable for children.

In addition to being made with high-quality filling, this pillow comes with a breathable pillowcase to help keep your child cool. This pillowcase has an envelope design, so you don’t have to worry about the danger of zippers, and it is durable up to 200 washes. Simply gentle wash on the cool setting then tumble dry on low or no heat.


BeautyRest Toddler Pillow

Mattress Firm Toddler Memory Foam Pillow
Give your toddler a good night’s sleep with the Toddler Memory Foam Pillow from Beautyrest. This pillow is uniquely sized to cradle your child’s head, delivering much-needed support for the head and neck without compromising on comfort. The pillow is covered in a soft quilted cover that is easily removable and washable for your convenience.

Not only is this pillow tailored for your child’s comfort and support, but it is made with Greenguard Gold Certified materials for the utmost safety. These materials are breathable to promote airflow through the pillow to keep your child cool without harboring dust mites and other allergens. The high-performance ThermoCool cover keeps your child cool while the inner cover protects against stains and spills.


FAQ

Q. What type of pillow is best for a child? A. Children under the age of 2 should not use a pillow. When a toddler is old enough for a pillow, it should be small, thin, and relatively firm.
Q. What pillow should a 4-year-old use? A. A child between 4 and 5 years of age should be able to use a pillow that measures about 16×22 inches. It should still be relatively thin and firm because your child’s neck and spine are still developing and need to be supported during sleep.
Q. What pillow should a 7-year-old use? A. Once your child reaches about 6 or 7 years of age, they can graduate to a “youth” pillow versus a “child” pillow. These pillows measure around 18×24 inches, so they are still a little bit smaller than a standard pillow. It should still be relatively thin and firm because your child’s neck and spine are still developing and need to be supported during sleep.

Other Products We Considered

The Pillow Insider editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.

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About the Author Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of numerous self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a contributor for several companies in the health and wellness niche.

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