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The Best Dolls

Last updated on June 1, 2023

We looked at the top 20 Dolls and dug through the reviews from 6 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Dolls.

Best Dolls

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Dolls

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

JC Toys Soft Vinyl Realistic Doll

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JC Toys

Soft Vinyl Realistic Doll

Toddlers will love this soft-bodied doll, which comes in several different ethnicities. The doll measures 11 inches in height and comes fully dressed with a blanket and pacifier as added accessories. Parents will appreciate that the dolls are washable and easy to keep clean.

Overall Take

Economical PickThe budget-friendly price tag on this doll makes it an excellent choice for gift giving.

 Top Pick

Gift Boutique Soft Body Lilly 18-Inch-Doll

Gift Boutique

Soft Body Lilly 18-Inch-Doll

Elegantly dressed, this 18-inch doll looks like she's ready for a fancy party. Little ones will love the doll's long brown hair, which can be brushed and styled. Parents will appreciate that the doll's body is nice and soft, making it a safe option for toddlers.

Overall Take

Poseable Arms and LegsIncluded with this 18-inch doll are a few fun accessories, including a pink dress, pink shoes, a hairbow and a gold purse.

 Runner Up

Melissa & Doug Pretend Play Jenna Baby Doll

Melissa & Doug

Pretend Play Jenna Baby Doll

This 12-inch baby doll is the perfect size for toddlers. The doll’s eyes open and close as she is rocked to sleep. Plus, her clothes are removable so kids can practice putting them on.

Overall Take

Perfect Size for ToddlersThis baby doll for 3-year-old girls is 12 inches long and the ideal size for little ones to play with.

" This soft doll is easy for little hands to grasp and has realistic features that delight."
 Runner Up

Rainbow High Cold Weather Skyler Doll

Rainbow High

Cold Weather Skyler Doll

Get your little one excited about winter with this fashion doll that comes dressed ready for the slopes and she even has her own snowboard. Little ones can continue the pretend play by swapping out the snowboard for the ice skates.

Overall Take

Affordable Price TagThe budget-friendly price makes it an excellent choice for gift giving.

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.

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.

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the dolls available to purchase.

Products Analyzed

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

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Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: The Spruce, Mom n Kids, Words From A Mama, The Attic Girl, Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter.


User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 20 Dolls and also dug through the reviews from 6 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.

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What to Look For

  • 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.

More to Explore

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.

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