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The Best Nesting Dolls - 2021

Last updated on February 24, 2021
Best Nesting Dolls

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Our Picks For The Top Nesting Dolls

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Our Take
  Best All-Around Pick

Amor Present Wooden Matryoshka Nutcracker Nesting Dolls, 5-Piece

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Amor Present

Wooden Matryoshka Nutcracker Nesting Dolls, 5-Piece

Overall Take

Classic Nutcracker DesignIf you're looking for nesting dolls in the classic nutcracker design, this is a great set to consider.

  Great for Kids

Bits and Pieces Willy & Friends Wooden Matryoshka Nesting Dolls

Bits and Pieces

Willy & Friends Wooden Matryoshka Nesting Dolls

Overall Take

Animal SetThe fun assortment of animals makes this a great set for children.

  Best for Style

Starxing Handmade Russian Nesting Dolls, 7-Piece

Starxing

Handmade Russian Nesting Dolls, 7-Piece

Overall Take

Intricate DetailThe detail in these nesting dolls sets them apart.

  We Also Like

King&Light Green Sweater Girl Russian Nesting Dolls, 7-Piece

King&Light

Green Sweater Girl Russian Nesting Dolls, 7-Piece

Overall Take

Vivid, Colorful DesignBright colors and a matte finish make this set of nesting dolls a great addition to any decor.

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Guide written by Stephanie Faris
Last updated on February 24, 2021

The nesting doll concept has been copied across many forms over the years. Simply put a smaller object inside a larger object, then put both in an even larger object until you have multiple items “nested” together. Think of it as putting a small gift into a larger box and wrapping it, then putting both in an even larger box and wrapping it.

But there are few replacements for the classic nesting doll concept. Known as Russian nesting dolls due to their origin, these dolls are typically made of high-quality wood, varnished to protect the wood beneath. They’re hand-painted in a variety of designs, from playful sea creatures to the more classic Russian dolls and nutcrackers.

Classic nesting dolls were made with wood and hand-painted using high-quality paints. Today, you’ll find plenty of imitators that are mass-produced in a factory, so it’s important to look carefully at the quality of wood and paint that’s used. You’ll also find that many nesting dolls are a little tough to separate at first, but over time, those joints loosen up a little and you can easily stack and unstack the dolls. You just might need to work a little harder to get them apart at first.

The Best Nesting Dolls

1
  Best All-Around Pick

Amor Present Wooden Matryoshka Nutcracker Nesting Dolls, 5-Piece

These Russian nesting dolls are hand-painted on natural wood for lasting color and quality. You'll get five dolls in diminishing sizes, each in a classic nutcracker design. These are a little tough to separate when you first take them out of the packaging, so you may want to use a little wax paper or olive oil to ease them apart.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Amor Present
Model
2
  Great for Kids

Bits and Pieces Willy & Friends Wooden Matryoshka Nesting Dolls

Called Willy And Friends, this set features five different sea animals in diminishing sizes. You'll get a killer whale, a walrus, an otter, a penguin and a little puffin. The largest of these dolls measures 5-1/2".

Features


Specifications

Brand
Bits and Pieces
Model
3
  Best for Style

Starxing Handmade Russian Nesting Dolls, 7-Piece

You'll get seven nesting dolls in diminishing sizes, each with handmade detail painted onto its surface. The linden wood used to construct these nesting dolls is carefully tested to ensure you're getting the best quality. The design is painted using eco-friendly paint.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Starxing
Model
4
  We Also Like

King&Light Green Sweater Girl Russian Nesting Dolls, 7-Piece

Known as "green sweater girl," the beautiful design on these nesting dolls sets it apart. You'll get seven nesting dolls in diminishing sizes for easy stacking. The dolls are made in China but designed to mimic the classic Russian nesting dolls concept.

Features


Specifications

Brand
King&Light
Model
5
  Cute Collection

Heka Naturals Owl Russian Nesting Dolls, 5-Piece

You'll give five nesting dolls, each with a hand-painted depiction of an owl on it. The set is also available with a snow maiden design. Each wooden doll is painted with a varnish to protect the wood beneath, and the design is painted using high-quality paints.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Heka Naturals
Model

Our Nesting Doll Buying Guide

The nesting doll concept has been copied across many forms over the years. Simply put a smaller object inside a larger object, then put both in an even larger object until you have multiple items “nested” together. Think of it as putting a small gift into a larger box and wrapping it, then putting both in an even larger box and wrapping it.

But there are few replacements for the classic nesting doll concept. Known as Russian nesting dolls due to their origin, these dolls are typically made of high-quality wood, varnished to protect the wood beneath. They’re hand-painted in a variety of designs, from playful sea creatures to the more classic Russian dolls and nutcrackers.

Classic nesting dolls were made with wood and hand-painted using high-quality paints. Today, you’ll find plenty of imitators that are mass-produced in a factory, so it’s important to look carefully at the quality of wood and paint that’s used. You’ll also find that many nesting dolls are a little tough to separate at first, but over time, those joints loosen up a little and you can easily stack and unstack the dolls. You just might need to work a little harder to get them apart at first.

DWYM Fun Fact

Russian nesting dolls are also known as Matryoshka dolls, a word coming from the Latin word “mater,” which means “mother.” The origin of these dolls has been traced all the way back to 1890, when Vasilii Zvyozdochkin made the first set. As the story goes, Zvyozdochkin set out to make a toy that had other toys hidden inside it. So he created the first set of nesting dolls, which featured a woman holding a rooster.

Nesting dolls first gained recognition in 1900, when they were presented at Paris’s Exposition Universelle. It won the Bronze medal at that exposition and soon after, the dolls became popular.

The Nesting Doll Tips and Advice

  • Nesting dolls can be tough to pry open at first. If you’re having trouble use something like soap or olive oil to lubricate the area you’re trying to separate. Don’t force it too much since that can crack or damage the wood.
  • If you’re buying nesting dolls for a kid, you may find that a set that depicts fun characters like animals goes over better than the classic nutcracker or doll.
  • The designs on some nesting dolls are more intricate than others. You’ll find some that feature great detail and ornamentation. This painstaking detail can stand out to someone who is truly interested in collecting nesting dolls.
  • Nesting dolls can come in a variety of configurations. Five is a popular number, but you can find nesting dolls with seven dolls in diminishing sizes.
  • The smallest nesting dolls are fairly tiny, so if you’re buying for a younger person, keep in mind that these small dolls can be a choking hazard.
  • Although you can easily purchase nesting dolls in classic designs, truly classic nesting dolls are collectors’ items. If you stumble upon such an item, it could be worth thousands of dollars. Higher-value classic dolls were made in Russia and are more than 20 years old.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and business writer whose work has appeared on numerous blogs. She worked for the State of Tennessee for 19 years, the latter six of which were spent as a supervisor. She has written content for entrepreneurs and marketing firms since 2011. In addition to her online content, she is also the author of eight novels for Simon & Schuster, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series.