Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Dolls - 2021

Last updated on October 29, 2021

We looked at the top 7 Dolls and dug through the reviews from 1 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Dolls.

Best Dolls

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Dolls

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Top Pick

Dolls To Play Traveling Baby Doll & Accessories

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Dolls To Play

Traveling Baby Doll & Accessories

Overall Take

Very PortableYou’ll get fun travel-friendly accessories with this baby doll, including a car booster seat, toys and bottles.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Runner Up

L.O.L Surprise! OMG Dance Miss Royale Doll & 15 Accessories

L.O.L Surprise!

OMG Dance Miss Royale Doll & 15 Accessories

Overall Take

For Young FashionistasIf your little one is into fashion, this fun dance-themed doll with 15 interior surprises will provide hours of fun.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Target.
  We Also Like

Barbie Cotton Travel Chelsea Doll

Barbie

Cotton Travel Chelsea Doll

Overall Take

Fun AccessoriesThis travel-themed Barbie doll comes with a variety of fun accessories, including a dog and a smartphone.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and Target.
  Strong Contender

L.O.L Surprise! Astrological Doll & 8 Surprises

L.O.L Surprise!

Astrological Doll & 8 Surprises

Overall Take

Great for Bath TimeLittle ones will get an additional color-changing surprise when this blind-box star sign doll is submerged in water.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon, Target, Walmart and Best Buy.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
14

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the dolls available to purchase.
7

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

1

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: and Words From A Mama.

175,286

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 7 Dolls and also dug through the reviews from 1 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Dolls.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Dolls To Play Traveling Baby Doll & Accessories

User Summarized Score

9.2
1,710 user reviews

Our Take

Keep your little ones engaged for hours with this realistic 12-inch baby doll. You’ll get accessories like a car booster seat, rattle toy, bib, two feeding bottles and a booster seat backpack to keep the doll strapped in while you’re riding along. The doll is made from vinyl with handcrafted facial details.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Barbie Cotton Travel Chelsea Doll

User Summarized Score

9.6
12,802 user reviews

Our Take

Take Barbie's stylish 7-year-old little sister on the road with this travel-themed doll set. It comes with a variety of well-thought-out accessories, including a travel companion in the form of a dog, a teddy bear, a pet carrier she can actually hold, a backpack she can wear, a smartphone and headphones.

Overall Product Rankings

Dolls To Play Traveling Baby Doll & Accessories

1. Dolls To Play Traveling Baby Doll & Accessories

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 1

Barbie Cotton Travel Chelsea Doll

3. Barbie Cotton Travel Chelsea Doll

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 5

L.O.L Surprise! Astrological Doll & 8 Surprises

4. L.O.L Surprise! Astrological Doll & 8 Surprises

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 6

Baby Alive Grow and Talk Doll

5. Baby Alive Grow and Talk Doll

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 6

L.O.L Surprise! OMG Sunshine Gurl Posable Doll

6. L.O.L Surprise! OMG Sunshine Gurl Posable Doll

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 5

L.O.L Surprise! OMG B-Gurl TV Doll & 15 Surprises

7. L.O.L Surprise! OMG B-Gurl TV Doll & 15 Surprises

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 5

Our Doll Findings


Dolls To Play Traveling Baby Doll & Accessories

What We Liked: Keep your little ones engaged for hours with this realistic 12-inch baby doll. You’ll get accessories like a car booster seat, rattle toy, bib, two feeding bottles and a booster seat backpack to keep the doll strapped in while you’re riding along. The doll is made from vinyl with handcrafted facial details.


L.O.L Surprise! OMG Dance Miss Royale Doll & 15 Accessories

What We Liked: You’ll get 15 extras, some of which glow under an included black light, with this fully posable dance-themed doll — including fashions, shoes, accessories and a garment bag for storage. Even the package offers fun; it has a tab you can pull to give the illusion the doll is moving.


Barbie Cotton Travel Chelsea Doll

What We Liked: Take Barbie’s stylish 7-year-old little sister on the road with this travel-themed doll set. It comes with a variety of well-thought-out accessories, including a travel companion in the form of a dog, a teddy bear, a pet carrier she can actually hold, a backpack she can wear, a smartphone and headphones.


Baby Alive Grow and Talk Doll

What We Liked: This battery-powered interactive doll “grows.” As a newborn, her eyes open to reveal a surprise color. The doll says a first word, learns to sit up, grows taller and gets longer hair. Eventually, you’ll get more than 75 different phrases and words. Eight accessories are included. The doll can be reset, too.

Our Doll Buying Guide

They’re a classic staple of every home’s playroom, enjoyed by so many children over centuries of use. Dolls are considered one of the most important toys a child can have, as their human-like form allows young ones to make sense of the world. But, for a long time, dolls were assigned solely to female children; parents believed that playing with them would help girls develop the nurturing skills they would need as caregivers later on.

Experts today see the benefits of dolls for all children, regardless of gender. Interacting with dolls can help a child prepare for a new sibling or simply develop empathy and social skills. As children get older, doll play becomes more imaginative, which helps strengthen the creative part of a youth’s personality.

When it comes to purchasing dolls, you have plenty of options to choose from today. Baby dolls are popular with younger children, who progress to fashion figures like Barbie dolls as they grow up. You’ll even find posable figures designed for kids who aren’t quite old enough for the small accessories that come with Barbie.

For younger children, realistic baby dolls can be a great learning tool. These dolls can vary in their functionality, with many speaking or drinking from provided bottles. Some are even bilingual, providing both English and Spanish vocalizations. As you choose from baby dolls, keep in mind that speech can put limitations on your child’s creativity. Instead of pretending the baby is talking, or even talking for the baby, your little one might treat the doll as mere entertainment.

Experts also advise avoiding dolls from popular TV shows and movies. These can also limit the child’s creative input. Also, certain dolls may promote unhealthy body image perceptions in young children, particularly girls. Mattel has even begun releasing Barbie dolls with more realistic body shapes.

Parents play the most important role in what children get out of playing with dolls. If parents emphasize the educational aspects, even an unrealistically-shaped Barbie can be an enriching experience. Dressing Barbie up in clothing specific to various professions can be a great way to empower children and help them try out various careers during play.

DWYM Fun Fact

Paper dolls inspired the creation of the Barbie doll. Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler was watching her daughter play with paper dolls and saw an opportunity to spark young children’s imaginations. For the look and feel of her new doll, Handler looked to an adult novelty toy in Germany called Bild Lilli, which was based on a comic strip character of the same name. Bild Lilli was a seductress in the cartoon, so her 3-D version was sold in bars and tobacco kiosks.

Barbie made her official debut in 1959 at the American Toy Fair in New York City. That first year saw 300,000 Barbie dolls sold, with those early dolls imitating the glamour of celebrities of the time like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. The doll continued to evolve over the decades to follow, with multiple professions and ethnicities built in to meet consumer demand.

The Doll Tips and Advice

  • Most dolls come with accessories, and many also offer accessory sets that can be purchased separately. Look into the availability of clothing and accessories for any doll you purchase to make sure your child will get extended use out of the new toy.
  • Younger children might want to take their dolls everywhere they go. A good bag or backpack to keep accessories together could be valuable.
  • Some dolls will require batteries. Check into this before you buy.
  • Children don’t have to lose their love for dolls as they get older. Collectibles can be a great way to keep the trend going into their teenage years.
  • When playing with dolls, children often imitate the behaviors of their parents. True-to-life accessories like smartphones or briefcases can inspire children who are old enough for smaller accessories.
  • L.O.L. Surprise Dolls have become popular in recent years as a stepping stone to posable figure dolls like Barbies. With an L.O.L. Surprise Doll, a child gets an unboxing experience. Each doll comes with several additional items encased in wrapping, which must be revealed. These are typically accessories that go with the doll.
  • Rag dolls are a classic favorite for many children. These dolls combine the convenience of cloth toys with the creative aspects of dolls.
  • Some experts believe families can benefit from a minimalistic approach to children’s toys. With too many options, children can suffer decision fatigue. They may also rely on their toys to passively amuse them rather than actively interacting with them. By reducing their options, you may actually encourage more creativity and boost the chances those toys will be played with.
  • If your children’s toys often linger in a toybox, unused, having them out on display could help. You might also consider rotating toys: simply pull a few toys out and leave them around while tucking the rest out of sight.

About The Author

Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She's also a wife and stepmom who lives in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. Her work has appeared on popular parenting sites. She also writes books for young children, including the Piper Morgan series of chapter books published by Simon & Schuster's Aladdin imprint.