5 Best Toddler Pillows + Pillowcase Options | Organic, Safe, Age Based Recs in 2021

Finding the best toddler pillow is no easy feat! You need something durable, size appropriate for their age, and developmentally supportive so they don't hyperextend their neck! Plus, with the amount of time toddlers spend in bed and added toxins in our world today, you'll likely want an organic toddler pillow, or one that meets other safety certifications, so they aren't inhaling toxic chemicals all night and at naptime!

If you’re ready to graduate your tot to a pillow of their own, check out our top recommendations for the best toddler pillows, pillowcases, blanket sets, and toddler duvet and pillow sets below!

Overall Best Toddler Pillow: Coop Home Goods Toddler Pillow

The Coop Toddler Pillow wins best overall simply because of it's clean materials and adjustable design that works for back sleepers, side sleepers, and belly sleepers. Parents can easily remove or add some of the filling to create the perfect alignment for your child's neck, while still providing a marshmallow-y soft pillow! if you feel that it’s too plush and creates too steep an angle for your child’s neck. 

While our toddler has only had it for a few months, we've personally had the adult version of this pillow for a couple of years now and love it! It comes VERY full, so I just took a ziploc bag and removed the excess until it was the perfect thickness for me.

What I love about it, is as the inside lost its luster after a few years, I could easily replace the inside with the pristine filling I had originally pulled out and tucked away in my closet! Making it a great option too for growing children who may need more filling in time.

The fill is also a hypoallergenic and breathable non-toxic blend of memory foam and microfiber. The pillow features a double layer, each with its own zipper, so you can easily unzip and wash either of the layers for routine cleanings or unexpected messes. The outer cover is made from a bamboo derived rayon. Best of all, this pillow is both CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified for purity and low VOC emissions.

Pros
  • CertiPUR-US & GREENGUARD Gold certified
  • Machine washable outer layers
  • Removable fill allows you to adjust firmness and thickness
Cons
  • Some toddlers may try to unzip both layers of the pillow to remove the fill, but we think it's unlikely due to the multiple zipper structure

Best Organic Toddler Pillow: Naturepedic 2-in-1 Adjustable Latex Pillow

If your little one sleeps hot, then you want a pillow that can keep them cool. The Naturepedic Organic 2-in-1 Adjustable Latex Pillow is a great solution that offers a truly customized experience. The two sides have different finishes, one quilted for a more plush marshmallow feel, the other a smooth stretch-knit side is a bit firmer/clean finish that's more reminiscent of memory foam.

Along with the cool touch experience, this toddler pillow also offers adjustable fill and a machine washable outer layer.

You can easily bag the excess filling and set aside in a closet for future use as needed.

The latex fill is organically sourced and the organic cotton exterior cover is made from a blend of PLA fiber and latex. You’ll like that this pillow achieved GOTS and GREENGUARD Gold certifications and is validated by United Laboratories (UL) to be formaldehyde-free.

Pros
  • GOTS and GREENGUARD Gold certified, as well as UL-verified formaldehyde-free 
  • Adjustable and removable shredded latex core
  • Machine washable
  • Free returns + 30 day money back guarantee!
Cons
  • Mischievous tots might try to unzip the pillow and remove the fill

Best Toddler Neck Pillow For Carseat: COOLBEBE Kids Neck Travel Pillow

Whether your toddler has a tendency to slump over in their carseat and you're looking to give them some extra support, or you're looking for a great travel neck pillow, the CoolBebe Kids Neck Carseat Pillow is a great option! It provides essential stability to prevent sore necks and discomfort. 

Available in three adorable designs, this pillow offers 360 degrees of head and neck support. It’s safe for children from ages one to 12. You’ll like that this pillow is also machine washable and has an adjustable snap to keep it securely in place and prevent your toddler’s head from falling forward – which in our opinion is a needed as more and more young adults struggle with tech neck!

Pros
  • Perfect for in the car or general traveling
  • 360-support that ensures heads don’t droop forward
  • Machine washable construction.
Cons
  • Not a solution for bedtime/nap routines outside of travel scenarios

Best Traditional Memory Foam Toddler Pillow: ClevaMama ClevaFoam Toddler Pillow

Memory foam continues to be a popular fill option for not just adult pillows but toddler pillows as well. The ClevaMama Toddler Pillow is perfect for little ones that struggle with allergies.  

The memory foam core is designed to prevent flat head syndrome and ensures that your child’s head and spine are in proper alignment as they sleep.

The small size means you can also make this the take-along pillow that your little one brings to preschool or daycare for naptime. Even better, it features a removable cover that's machine washable. Also the memory foam is not only hypoallergenic but is pH balanced and free from toxins and formaldehyde.

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic memory foam is ideal for children with asthma or allergies
  • Foam core is designed to improve head and spine alignment. 
  • Removable cover is machine washable 
  • Formaldehyde and toxin-free
Cons
  • May be too firm for some children

Best Toddler Pillow with Pillowcase: KeaBabies Toddler My Little Dreamy Pillow

The KeaBabies Toddler Pillow is specifically designed for toddlers from ages two to five. The fill is made from high quality ball fiber and you can wash the pillow. You’ll be happy that the fill won’t lump or shrink after being washed. The fill is at just the right density to provide optimal support for your baby’s head and ensure proper neck alignment. And more importantly, this pillow is GOTS certified with 95 to 100% organic content.

Just like with standard pillows, many toddler pillows don’t come with pillowcases, but this one does! You can choose from 17 different prints. Plus, it's the perfect travel size at 13 by 18 inches.

Pros
  • Comes with a pillowcase
  • GOTS certified with 95 – 100% organic content
  • Fully machine washable
Cons
  • May go flat prematurely

Best Traditional Pillow For Toddlers: Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow

If you a fan of the classic poly-fill pillow and you're toddler isn’t particularly picky the Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow is good option. It's not only hypoallergenic, but a great wallet-friendly solution. You’ll like that the pillow is washable and that it holds its shape over time. 

More importantly, it offers ergonomic support to ensure that your toddler’s neck and head are properly aligned. The shell is made from 100% cotton while the fill is made from polyester cluster fiber. Along with being hypoallergenic this pillow is also chemical-free. 

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic with a 100% cotton shell 
  • Chemical-free polyester fill
  • Machine washable and affordable
  • Backed by their “Love the Fluff” or they'll replace it Guarantee!
Cons
  • May get lumpy in time, as with all poly-fill pillows though!

Best Toddler Pillow Accessories:

The toddler pillow size is smaller than a standard pillow and definitely the recommended pillow for preschool age. All of the selections below offer a true toddler pillow case (when in stock) with matching bedding.

With that said, we strongly encourage you to double check the pillowcase sizing before purchasing a toddler pillow blanket set in general as many fit a crib mattress (aka a toddler bed) but offer the standard 20 x 30 pillow case. Instead you'll want to look for a pillow case around 13 x 20 inches.

Once you do find some bedding you like, our suggestion is present your final picks to your toddler and let them pick their own bedding from there!

Best Toddler Pillow Blanket Sets: 

Best For Organic Pillow + Blanket Sets: Crate + Kids

Crate & Kids is the kid-focused version of Crate & Barrel and offer a wide selection of organic toddler bedding. They have adorable on trend and classic prints to choose from! You'll definitely find a style to match your child’s personality and room. Here are just a few options:

All of the sets are made from 100% certified organic cotton and are machine washable. While they may be a bit of a splurge, they are high quality and durable – two things you'll definitely need for frequent washes during potty training in the early toddler phase. The toddler bedding sets include three pieces: a flat and fitted sheet as well as a pillowcase. Better still, Crate & Kids offers free shipping on bedding!

Pros
  • Large print selection 
  • Complete set that includes fitted and flat sheet and a pillowcase
  • Made from 100% certified organic cotton
Cons
  • Not all the toddler sheets come in twin sizes, so if your toddler graduates from a toddler bed to a twin bed or larger, they may need to leave their favorite sheets behind!

Best Toddler Prints Bedding Sets: Pottery Barn Kids

Whether your child is obsessed with Star Wars, Sesame Street, Disney, or Marvel, Pottery Barn Kids has you covered! Plus it has great options of toddler favorites like dinosaurs, solar system, construction vehicles, under the sea friends and more! They vary from organic to glow in the dark and basically have you covered for every preference including seasonal swaps!

These sheet sets are GOTS certified and have a 200 thread count. You’ll get a flat and fitted sheet as well as a pillowcase. And we like that the pillowcase features an inside flap to prevent the pillow from escaping.

Pros
  • Toddler's favorite hobbies, interests, and characters
  • GOTS certified organic cotton construction 
  • Machine washable and 200 thread count
Cons
  • Not all prints are always in stock for toddler sizing
  • Not all sets toddler sets include a toddler sized pillowcase (double check in dimensions!)
  • Glow in the dark sheets may distract some toddlers

Most Affordable: Emenpy

Like we mentioned, there aren't a ton of toddler bedding sets that actually give the right toddler pillow case size and match either a toddler bed (aka a crib mattress) or a twin bed (since a lot of families upgrade to a larger bed around the time of introducing a pillow too!). Thus while prints are limited in the Emenpy selection, it is the most affordable toddler pillowcase and bedding set we could find!

They come in three prints made from 100% woven cotton that's breathable. The toddler bedding set comes with 1 fitted crib sheet, 1 flat sheet, and 1 toddler sized pillow case. Everything is machine washable and they offer a 30-day return or replacement policy.

Pros
  • Affordable pricing
  • Satisfaction guaranteed 30-day return policy
Cons
  • No twin mattress option for sheets
  • Limited prints

Best Toddler Pillowcases:

Given that so few toddler bedding sets actually come with TRUE toddler sized pillowcases (seriously, double check before purchasing!!) I wanted to share a few simple toddler pillowcase picks in case you need to purchase separately!

TIP: A lot of “travel” pillowcases are actually the right size for toddler pillows!

Best Toddler Pillowcase Overall: PiccoCasa

PiccoCasa makes a really nice high quality toddler pillowcases that zip up too! Their pillow cases come in a mulberry silk, soft microfiber, or momme silk depending on your child's hair type or preference.

Their pillowcases come in tons of colors and typically as a set of two. We love them because of the basic color options, making them work for any bedding you choose.

Plus their satin toddler pillowcase can help tame some frizz if your toddler has curly hair! This is really nice if your toddler goes to bed with wet hair, especially in a humid climate!

Pros
  • Multiple fabrics for your child's hair type
  • Wide variety of solid color options
  • Zip on to keep pillow in
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Given how hard toddlers are on their bedding, we don't know if these will last more than a year or two

Runner Up: Zenssia

If you do not like the zip up pillowcase design from PiccoCasa and prefer a folder over envelope closure, Zenssia offers 13 solid color options. They are machine washable and they offer a 100% money back guarantee.

Here's the thing though: like I said, finding toddler sized pillowcases isn't always easy. This pillow case measures 13″ x 18″ so if your toddler pillow is 14″x 19″ it will be too small. They also advertise it as “100% organic cotton toddler pillowcase” but unfortunately it's not organic and does not have any safety standards (OEKO TEK 100 or GOTS).

With that said, many parents love this pillowcase for how soft, breathable, and easy to clean it is.

Pros
  • Multiple simple colors and prints
  • Fold over closure
  • Money back guarantee
Cons
  • Not GOTS organic or OEKO TEK 100 certified
  • To small for some toddler pillows

Best Toddler Duvet And Pillow Case Sets:

NOTE: These options are only if your toddler has graduated to a twin bed or larger. For traditional crib/convertible toddler beds, we recommend the Crate + Kids picks we already covered above!

JellyMoni Toddler Duvet and Pillow Case Set

For parents that want a duvet set, the JellyMoni Toddler Duvet and Pillowcase Set is great if you’ve at least transitioned your child to a twin bed. The bedding is made from 100% natural cotton for a breathable experience. And comes in five prints, including a dinosaur one!

The bedding is machine washable with the promise that the color won’t fade. And the hidden zipper in the duvet cover means that little hands won’t go exploring where they shouldn’t. 

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Machine washable and won’t fade
  • Made from 100% breathable natural fabric
Cons
  • Will not fit traditional toddler sized pillow case or mattresses/beds

AMWAN Toddler Pillowcase + Duvet Sets

The prints from AMWAN are great for toddler boys and girls bedding! While they do not fit a toddler pillowcase or crib mattress sizing, they do work to grow with your child and act as more of an affordable decorative bedding finish that can be paired with one of the simple toddler pillowcase options above!

The 3 piece set comes with two shams and a duvet cover in 11 toddler friendly prints from space themed, dinosaurs, floral, rainbows, and even a fall themed pumpkin bedding option!

The set is made from 100% cotton and is very breathable. Better still, the set is machine washable, fade resistant, and anti-pill.

Pros
  • Cute + affordable designs
  • Zippered closure on the duvet cover
  • 100% cotton and machine washable
Cons
  • More decorative; not compatible with toddler pillow crib mattress sizing

How To Choose The Best Toddler Pillow:

While some aspects of picking a toddler pillow aren’t that different than if you’re buying a pillow for yourself, there are additional safety features that need to be considered. 

Toddler Pillow Size: 

The standard toddler pillow size is around 13 x 19 inches and should be on the flatter side.

Once your toddler’s ready to graduate to having a pillow in the bed with them, it is not recommended to use a standard adult pillow which is typically around 20 by 26 inches.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), caretakers shouldn’t introduce a pillow into a toddler’s bedtime routine until they’re at least two years old. Prior to this, there’s still a risk that having extra bedding in a child’s sleeping space could pose a choking or suffocation risk. 

And along the same lines, picking an adult or standard sized pillow can be a problem. The pillow could be too thick for your child, but can also create a safety hazard because of the extra material. 

Care: 

Between potty training and general toddlerhood, expect a lot of accidents and frequent washing when it comes to toddler bedding, including their pillows!

The last thing you want is a pillow that can only be spot cleaned or hand washed. Look for options that are machine washable so that you can take one less task off of your to-do list. Be sure that the pillow has sturdy construction so that seams aren’t susceptible to fraying after multiple washes. 

Firmness:

While you don’t want a hard pillow that’s stiff as a board and uncomfortable, it still needs to be supportive. Experts agree that you should avoid pillows that are too soft because while they might seem more comfortable, they can pose a suffocation risk. 

Additionally, you want a pillow that regains its shape after being pushed down. If it doesn’t, it’s too soft and you should keep looking elsewhere. Ideally, find a toddler pillow that’s soft yet firm enough to provide proper support. 

Filling:

Toddler pillows have come a long way. Ideally you'll look for a filling level that doesn't over extend your toddler's neck and really supports the natural curve of their spine.

Nowadays, you can find pillows that incorporate memory foam and hypoallergenic materials. Opting for a pillow with hypoallergenic filling is ideal if you know that your toddler is allergic to dust, a common irritant that can get trapped in pillows. Shredded memory foam is a great option too for supporting the integrity of their spine.

Try to avoid fillings such as down feathers or pillows promoted as eco-friendly that are filled with buckwheat or hemp. The small particles can present a choking hazard. And feathers can trigger allergies as well. 

Safety:

While toddlers are adept at rolling over and moving, you should still be mindful of what’s left in their crib or bed when it’s time to go to sleep.

For this reason, make sure that your toddler pillow is sturdily made and not too fluffy. Regularly check there aren’t any loose threads or strings, frayed seams, or anything that could potentially pose a risk. 

And again, you do not want a pillow that's too large and over extends your toddler's neck.

Certifications:

Given that your child will sleep on their toddler pillow and inhale whatever it's made of for 10-12 hours a day, we think prioritizing a toddler pillow that has passed certain safety standards and received the following certifications is important.

CertiPUR-US

Off-gassing is the process of materials giving off chemical vapors. While we can't avoid all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) we do want to limit them as much as possible, especially in our child's room! The CertiPUR-US is a certification that offers peace of mind. This stamp of approval means that the pillow materials are free from harmful materials like heavy metals, flame retardants, ozone depleters, and formaldehyde and has low VOCs levels. 

OEKO-TEX

OKEO-TEX is a certification that screens for 100 substances that might pose a health or environmental risk. It’s considered one of the most thorough certifications a brand can receive. 

GREENGUARD Gold

If VOCs are your only concern, this certification specifically screens for chemical emissions. Picking a pillow with a GREENGUARD Gold certification means that off-gassing will be minimal. 

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)

For parents that are concerned about ethical supply chains and sustainability, a GOTS certification is going to be important. Along with ensuring that textiles are made to organic standards, this certification also verifies that workers throughout the production process are treated fairly.

FAQS About Toddler Pillows:

When can a toddler have a pillow?

A general rule of thumb is to wait until your toddler is between 18 to 24 months before introducing a pillow. However, the AAP stands by a strict recommendation to wait until your child is 24 months. 

Choosing when to give a toddler a pillow is a personal choice…

The timing for introducing a toddler pillow to your child is personal and will vary between families and even between children within a family! While the guidelines say to wait until your child is two, there may be other signs that your toddler is ready to upgrade their bedding with a pillow: 

  • Restless at night while sleeping
  • Struggles to sleep unless their head is propped up
  • Uses their blanket or a stuffed animal like a pillow
  • Wants to use pillows when they’re on your bed or on a couch
  • Asking for their own pillow

Do toddlers need special pillows?

Yes, toddlers need special pillows that are sized appropriately for safety and proper development.

Just like you wouldn't want them wearing toddler shoes that are too big, you don't want them sleeping with a toddler pillow that's too big!

While their bodies are more flexible and adaptable than ours as adults, you do want to choose a pillow that is on the flatter side to support the natural spine curve. Especially with the rise of “tech neck” (forward leaning head), you don't want your child sleeping on something that further pushes their head forward because it's too big for them.

What kind of pillow should a 2 year old have?

The most important thing is that you pick a smaller pillow that’s the right size for them. Don’t use an adult pillow as this can pose a suffocation risk — even for toddlers. Opt for a thin but slightly firm pillow like the ones on this list above.

From there, you'll want to look at materials, we suggest making sure the pillow has at least one of the safety certifications mentioned above, so you reduce the likelihood of inhaling toxins all night.

Can a 3 year old use a normal pillow?

It’s best to keep your three year old with a toddler pillow as larger pillows can still pose a suffocation risk and won't support proper spinal development.

With that said, obviously they can use a normal pillow, but we wouldn't want our kids using it every night.

Final Thoughts:

Making the choice to introduce a pillow into your toddler’s nighttime routine is a personal one. Along with following AAP guidelines of waiting until your toddler is two years old, you know best when your child is ready for a pillow. 

When the time comes, you can opt for a fantastic hypoallergenic and adjustable option like the Coop Home Goods Toddler Pillow which also has CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certification or the NaturePedic 2-in-1 Adjustable Toddler Pillow which is not only CertiPUR-US and GREENGUARD Gold certified, but is also UL-verified to be formaldehyde-free. 

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