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The Best 18-Inch Doll - 2021

Last updated on March 19, 2021
Best 18-Inch Doll

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Our Picks For The Top 18-Inch Dolls

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Our Take
  Our Top Pick

Journey Girls Dana 18-Inch Doll

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Journey Girls

Dana 18-Inch Doll

Overall Take

Realistic Details and Fun FashionIf your child loves animal-themed clothing, this 18-inch doll can be a good option with accessories for more fun play.

  Best for Fashion-Lovers

Adora Amazing Girls Sienna 18-Inch Doll

Adora

Amazing Girls Sienna 18-Inch Doll

Overall Take

Flexible and Stylish DollChildren who like winter fashion and dolls with realistic hair and eyes will love this 18-inch doll.

  Great for Preschoolers

Fancy Nancy My Friend Fancy Nancy 18-Inch Doll

Fancy Nancy

My Friend 18-Inch Doll

Overall Take

Fun For HoursFancy Nancy fans will enjoy this 18-inch version of their favorite character and her fun sense of style.

  Good Starter Doll Set

Playtime By Eimmie 18-Inch Doll & Accesories

Playtime By Eimmie

18-Inch Doll & Accesories

Overall Take

Plenty of AccessoriesIf you're starting a doll collection for your child, this option comes with an extra outfit and carrying bag along with a quality doll.

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Guide written by Ashley Donohoe
Last updated on March 19, 2021

Because their size makes them compatible with a lot of clothing, accessories and furniture, 18-inch dolls make a great gift for children who love to play pretend. While some 18-inch dolls are based on popular TV, movie and book characters, most of them serve as fashion dolls that often come with a realistic appearance and fun clothing to keep your child entertained.

When shopping for 18-inch dolls, you’ll usually find them either completely made of plastic or with a cloth body and plastic limbs. Cloth-body dolls work well when your child wants something cuddly, while the all-plastic dolls can be easier to keep clean.

Some 18-inch dolls come with fine details that can make them realistic. For example, their eyes may open and close, or they may have realistic eyelashes. Many also have hand-painted faces for a unique and expressive look.

Children often love to play with a doll’s hair, so you’ll find that 18-inch dolls usually have long, silky hair that is fun to style. Many dolls will have rooted hair that you can’t replace, while others will have glued-on wigs that may be swapped out for another if the hair gets damaged. You can even find some 18-inch dolls with hair your child can wash with mild shampoo for more opportunities to play.

Fashion is a big part of playing with an 18-inch doll, so you can shop around for dolls with clothing for various occasions, seasons and styles. Some dolls have fancy dresses, while others have winter clothing or swimwear. Accessories such as purses, necklaces and glasses are also common.

The Best 18-Inch Dolls

1
  Our Top Pick

Journey Girls Dana 18-Inch Doll

This 18-inch doll has brown hair, blue eyes and realistic face paint. She comes with an animal-themed outfit complete with a handbag and glasses. She has rooted eyelashes and hair.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Journey Girls
Model
2
  Best for Fashion-Lovers

Adora Amazing Girls Sienna 18-Inch Doll

If your child wants a doll dressed for winter, this posable one comes with a winter coat and boots with faux-fur details, plus a handbag. She has curly hair and brown eyes that close and open.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Adora
Model
3
  Great for Preschoolers

Fancy Nancy My Friend Fancy Nancy 18-Inch Doll

Based on the character from the Disney TV show, this Fancy Nancy doll will appeal to preschoolers who want to make their own adventures. This posable doll comes with the well-known outfit from the show.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Fancy Nancy
Model
4
  Good Starter Doll Set

Playtime By Eimmie 18-Inch Doll & Accesories

Along with a carrying bag and pajama set, this 18-inch doll offers a realistic appearance with thick hair that will be fun to style. She has a dress, posable limbs and a cuddly body.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Playtime By Eimmie
Model
5
  Also Great

Adora Amazing Girls 18-Inch Ava Doll

This doll comes with a trendy outfit featuring winter boots, a scarf and a dress with layers underneath. The doll is posable with a realistic face featuring eyes that close and open.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Adora
Model

Our 18-Inch Doll Buying Guide

Because their size makes them compatible with a lot of clothing, accessories and furniture, 18-inch dolls make a great gift for children who love to play pretend. While some 18-inch dolls are based on popular TV, movie and book characters, most of them serve as fashion dolls that often come with a realistic appearance and fun clothing to keep your child entertained.

When shopping for 18-inch dolls, you’ll usually find them either completely made of plastic or with a cloth body and plastic limbs. Cloth-body dolls work well when your child wants something cuddly, while the all-plastic dolls can be easier to keep clean.

Some 18-inch dolls come with fine details that can make them realistic. For example, their eyes may open and close, or they may have realistic eyelashes. Many also have hand-painted faces for a unique and expressive look.

Children often love to play with a doll’s hair, so you’ll find that 18-inch dolls usually have long, silky hair that is fun to style. Many dolls will have rooted hair that you can’t replace, while others will have glued-on wigs that may be swapped out for another if the hair gets damaged. You can even find some 18-inch dolls with hair your child can wash with mild shampoo for more opportunities to play.

Fashion is a big part of playing with an 18-inch doll, so you can shop around for dolls with clothing for various occasions, seasons and styles. Some dolls have fancy dresses, while others have winter clothing or swimwear. Accessories such as purses, necklaces and glasses are also common.

DWYM Fun Fact

While they looked a lot different than the 18-inch dolls on the market today, dolls have been around for thousands of years. But unlike the modern plastic and cloth versions, ancient dolls were made of natural items like animal fur, clay, wood and even bones. In places like ancient Greece, dolls had even greater importance as a religious symbol.

In the 1800s, people in the United States made their own dolls at home. These came to be known as the traditional “rag dolls” made of cloth.

During the late 1980s, the Pleasant Company — now known as American Girl — would release its first 18-inch doll. Popularity would continue to rise for competing fashion dolls of this size.

The 18-Inch Doll Tips and Advice

  • When you buy extra clothing for an 18-inch doll, keep in mind that sizing can vary depending on the doll’s shape and material. While you’ll find clothes that make a general claim to fit 18-inch dolls, you can still sometimes get a snug fit. So, it’s helpful to check for brand compatibility and check out customer reviews.
  • If your child’s plastic doll gets dirty with play, first try to use water and a soft cloth to clean it. You can use dishwashing soap for some extra power or even toothpaste for more set-in stains.
  • To fix an 18-inch doll’s tangled hair, try using a small misting bottle filled with water plus a brush made specifically for doll hair. Brush the tangles out gently to avoid damaging the hair. Never allow any hair products or chemicals on the hair.
  • When researching dolls, keep in mind that many have posable limbs and a movable head. However, your child will want to avoid being too forceful with these dolls since the body parts can break off.
  • If you’re shopping for an older child, you can find 18-inch dolls that come with their own books. This provides a fun storyline for the doll’s character and can encourage your child to read more.

About The Author

Avatar
Ashley Donohoe 

Ashley Donohoe is an Ohio-based writer and small business owner with a background in business, technology and personal finance. When she's not researching and writing, she spends her time playing piano, making crafts and learning new things. She has 10 years of experience writing for various online publications.