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The Best Stuffed Animal

Last updated on December 17, 2019

We looked at the top 11 Stuffed Animals and dug through the reviews from 37 of the most popular review sites including The Z9, BestReviews, Hobby Help, Net Parents, The Spruce, Best Kid Stuff and more. The result is a ranking of the best Stuffed Animals.

Best Stuffed Animal

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Our Picks For The Top Stuffed Animals

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

GUND

Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch

Overall Take

Grows With BabyThe GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch is not only safe for newborns, but also provides musical entertainment for toddlers.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Toy Notes, Beginner Baby Care, Mom Loves Best, Children for Children, Best Kid Stuff, Toys4Minds and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Possibly the best part of this toy is that it is safe for any age. 0+ is clearly labeled on the tag for the Gund Baby Flappy Elephant and I think many children will get a kick out of him...."
Cons
"Only sings one tune"

Melissa & Doug

Giant Giraffe Stuffed Animal, 4-Feet

Overall Take

Stands AloneMeasure your child's growth when you take pictures of him or her next to the Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe Stuffed Animal, 4-Feet.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Children for Children, Mom Loves Best, The Spruce, Best Kid Stuff, Realistic Stuffed Animals. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The plush cloth is very huggable and cuddly. The lavish fur is at a great mix of colors such as a conventional giraffe, which makes the experience much more amazing to your child."
Cons
"While the stuffed toys are big enough to tempt children to ride them, they aren’t meant to be rocking horses. The manufacturer expressed that the stuffed toy is not intended to hold a kid’s weight. Some buyers reported that the..."
  The Best Value

Bedtime Originals

Plush Elephant, 8-Inch

Overall Take

A Customizable ChoiceThe perfect cuddle companion for children, the Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch features cotton eyes and a soft polyester body.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Mom n Kids, The Z9. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" It is a small, plush and cuddly elephant which is made from polyester fabric and has eyes which are sown in. This means that your child will not try to pick out the eyes while playing or choke on it..."
Cons
"It is a little stiffer."

Aurora

Plush Penguin, 9.5-Inch

Overall Take

Softest FurYou won't have to worry about any choking hazards with the Aurora Plush Penguin, 9.5-Inch, as its eyes are sewn in and there are no small parts.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus Net Parents, Date & Simple. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Two toned and mixed fabrics bring this cuddly buddy to life"
Cons
"The only downside to this product is height. When it comes to stuffed toys, some people prefer big and squishy plushies. The perky penguin, on the other hand, is only 9.5 inches tall. This might not be the right size..."
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.
18

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the stuffed animals available to purchase.
11

Products Analyzed

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

View All Product Rankings

37

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: The Z9, BestReviews, Hobby Help, Net Parents, The Spruce.

51,957

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Walmart and 7 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 11 Stuffed Animals and also dug through the reviews from 37 of the most popular review sites including The Z9, BestReviews, Hobby Help, Net Parents, The Spruce, Best Kid Stuff and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Stuffed Animals.

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.

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

The Best Overall

GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch

Our Expert Score
9.6
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
4,038 user reviews
Our Take

If you're searching for an adorable stuffed animal that is safe for newborns, the GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch is your best bet. Babies can cuddle this cute elephant from birth and then interact with it as they grow. The elephant not only sings when the button on its foot is pressed, but it also flaps its big ears to the music.

What other experts liked
Possibly the best part of this toy is that it is safe for any age. 0+ is clearly labeled on the tag for the Gund Baby Flappy Elephant and I think many children will get a kick out of him....
- Toy Notes
Soft, ideal for snuggling and surface washable
- Beginner Baby Care
It’s made from a high-quality plush material and suitable for children from birth.
- Mom Loves Best
February 15, 2019 | Full review
This animated elephant sings, plays peek-a-boo, and flaps its ears.
- Children for Children
September 4, 2019 | Full review
Just like with any elephant, big ears are this playful pachyderm’s best feature. Your baby will love playing peekaboo as the elephant hides behind its ears, or you can help baby sing along to “Do Your Ears Hang Low.”
- Baby List
September 13, 2019 | Full review
Premium-quality soft polyester plush makes Flappy a cuddly and huggable new friend for your child.
- Best Kid Stuff
January 28, 2019 | Full review
This super soft plush toy is great daytime companion for your baby or toddler. With a press of a button on his foot, Flappy will sing a nice little song.
- Toys4Minds
What other experts didn't like
Only sings one tune
- Beginner Baby Care
Batteries required.
- Mom Loves Best
February 15, 2019 | Full review
No volume control settings.
- Best Kid Stuff
January 28, 2019 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch

Our Expert Score
0.0
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
1,683 user reviews
Our Take

The Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch is made of a quality polyester material that is soft to the touch. Children will love cuddling with the elephant during nap- or bedtime. The plush has large ears that can also be customized with a newborn's birth date, weight and height, making it an excellent personalized gift.

What other experts liked
It is a small, plush and cuddly elephant which is made from polyester fabric and has eyes which are sown in. This means that your child will not try to pick out the eyes while playing or choke on it in any way.
- Mom n Kids
No choking hazards attached to it.
- The Z9
August 23, 2019 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
It is a slightly larger toy than others.
- Mom n Kids
It is a little stiffer.
- The Z9
August 23, 2019 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 13

2. Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe Stuffed Animal, 4-Feet

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 8

3. Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 5

4. Aurora Plush Penguin, 9.5-Inch

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 3

5. Aurora Small Plush Coco Bear, 10.5-Inch

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

6. Jellycat Bunny Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

7. Aurora Super Llama Plush, 27-Inch

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 4

8. JOY FOR ALL Lifelike Cat Stuffed Animal

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 5

9. Aurora Plush Dog, 12-Inch

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 3

10. Wild Republic Plush Sloth, 12-Inch

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 10

11. ebba Plush Elephant, 9-Inch

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 9

Our Findings

GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch

Best Animated

Baby GUND Animated Flappy the Elephant Stuffed Animal Plush, Gray, 12" (Toy)


New From: $27.25 USD In Stock
Used from: $27.25 USD In Stock

What We Liked: If you’re searching for an adorable stuffed animal that is safe for newborns, the GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch is your best bet. Babies can cuddle this cute elephant from birth and then interact with it as they grow. The elephant not only sings when the button on its foot is pressed, but it also flaps its big ears to the music.

Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe Stuffed Animal, 4-Feet

What We Liked: Ideal for older children, the Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe Stuffed Animal, 4-Feet has wire framed legs that are bendable. The giraffe can stand up on its own or be re-positioned to lay on the ground. Toddlers will also love the giraffe’s long neck, which is perfect for hugging and cuddling.

Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch

Best for Customization

Bedtime Originals Choo Choo Express Plush Elephant - Humphrey (Baby Product)


List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $7.99 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: The Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch is made of a quality polyester material that is soft to the touch. Children will love cuddling with the elephant during nap- or bedtime. The plush has large ears that can also be customized with a newborn’s birth date, weight and height, making it an excellent personalized gift.

Aurora Plush Penguin, 9.5-Inch

Best Handmade

Aurora World Sweet and Softer Perky Penguin 9.5" Plush (Toy)


List Price: $13.99 USD
New From: $13.05 USD In Stock
Used from: $9.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: Adorable is the best word to describe the Aurora Plush Penguin, 9.5-Inch. This penguin has eyes that are sewn in to eliminate choking hazards. It’s handmade using quality materials that are durable, so your child can enjoy having this fluffy friend for many years to come.

Our Stuffed Animal Buying Guide

Although you may think of small children when you hear the words “stuffed animals,” these toys are actually enjoyed by individuals of all ages as well as man’s best friend. If you’re searching for the best stuffed animal for your little one, friend or family pet, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.

Make sure the plush does not pose a choking hazard. For example, the Aurora Plush Penguin, 9.5-Inch has lock washer eyes that stay fastened. Other models have cotton eyes that are stitched into place, so they can’t be ripped off and swallowed by a curious toddler — or German shepherd.

Review the material used to make the stuffed animal. A child’s tendency is to snuggle the cute plush, so you want to make sure it is soft to the touch. The Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch is constructed from a quality polyester that is ideal for little ones to hold during bed- or naptime.

Check to see if the stuffed animal moves or plays music. This provides an added level of entertainment for toddlers between the ages of 2 and 4, who are exploring the concept of cause and effect. One example is the GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch. When children press on the foot of this elephant, it flaps its ears and sings the song “Do Your Ears Hang Low.” The elephant’s ears are also oversized so that the animal can play peek-a-boo with your child.

Examine the size of the stuffed animal and make sure it is appropriate for the age of the individual you plan on gifting it to. The Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe Stuffed Animal, 4-Feet is so big that it’s best for pre-school and kindergarten-aged children. It’s handcrafted and features wire-framed legs that are soft and bendable. Parents can even use this plush to keep an eye on how big their children are getting by taking pictures of their kids every six months standing next to the 4-foot tall giraffe.

Consider any extras that the stuffed animal may offer. Some models can be purchased and customized with a newborn’s birth date, weight and height on the animal’s belly or ears, while others have accessories, like a pacifier or outfit for dressing.

DWYM Fun Fact

Did you know that half of the American population actually keeps a stuffed animal from childhood into adulthood? Perhaps the teddy bear or plush elephant brings back fond memories or maybe it evokes a sense of calm. If you find yourself fitting into this statistic, you may be interested to learn a few more fun facts about stuffed animals.

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest teddy bear collection is held by Arnóczki Istvánné in Hungary. She is listed as having 20,367 stuffed bears.
  • Japan has a travel agency specifically for stuffed animals. Owners can book a trip for their favorite plush to tour Toyko and other exciting destinations.
  • One of the world’s largest stuffed animals is a pink bunny. It’s so big that it can actually be seen from space! The rabbit is positioned on its back and rests on the Colletto Fava mountain in Italy. It’s approximately 200 feet long.
  • One of the first manufacturers to produce stuffed animals came from Germany. The company, Steiff, got started in 1880 and still makes and sells stuffed animals today. They even have a museum with guided audio tours that reveals the history of their first teddy bear.
  • Teddy bears were named after America’s 26th president, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.

The Stuffed Animal Tips and Advice

  • Check the stuffed animal’s recommended age. Some are listed as not suitable for children under the age of 3, while others are approved for use with newborns.
  • Read the product care label to determine how the stuffed animal should be cleaned. Some teddy bears are not machine washable, while others can be machine washed using the gentle cycle and tumble dried using the low heat setting. It’s also a good idea to remove the plush as soon as the dryer beeps.
  • As your child grows, he or she may lose interest in their stuffed animals. You may wish to save a few of your child’s favorites to pass on to any future grandkids. To do this you’ll need a box that has a few moisture-absorbing gel packs placed in the corners. Place the toys in the box and seal it up to keep moths and other critters out. Label the box and then store it in a location that is cool and dry.
  • Unfortunately, lice is commonly passed among children. If this pest enters your home, it can live on your child’s stuffed animals. You’ll need to toss your plush creatures in a plastic bag and make sure the bag is sealed shut. Set the bag in an attic or garage for three weeks. Afterward, the toys will be safe for your child to play with.
  • Some parents opt to rotate their child’s toys. This keeps kids from getting bored or overwhelmed by a large number of available toys at once. Keep a large plastic tote in a closet or attic. Place a few stuffed animals and other toys in it that can be tucked away for a month or two. After your designated amount of time has passed, switch the toys in the tote with toys in your child’s playroom. Repeat every month or two.
  • As you compare prices for the stuffed animals you’re interested in buying, you’ll need to take into consideration any extra features the plush may have. For example, the Bedtime Originals Plush Elephant, 8-Inch and Aurora Plush Penguin, 9.5-Inch are basic stuffed animals and are therefore low in price. The GUND Animated Elephant Stuffed Animal, 12-Inch, however, costs more because it also sings and flaps its ears. At the top of the price range, you’ll find the Melissa & Doug Giant Giraffe Stuffed Animal, 4-Feet. This plush stands taller than most children and features wire-framed legs that can be bent during play.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer and mother of two. As an aunt to countless nieces and nephews, Alicia spends her free time researching the latest toys and educational products to purchase the best gifts for her favorite little ones. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading baby and parenting publications.