Best Kids' Teepees

Updated March 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
412 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best kids’ teepees

Last Updated March 2020

Almost all children crave a private retreat all their own, whether it’s a treehouse hideaway or a blanket fort. Instead of handing over all your couch cushions, why not give them something a little more permanent, like a kids’ teepee?

Kids’ teepees are a definite upgrade from standard play tents. They’re tall and relatively narrow, like the traditional Native American dwelling, so they can accommodate older kids while taking up less floor space. Most have authentic-looking neutral hues, so they match most color schemes and décor. Many are made from natural cotton, so there’s no chemical smell. And unlike neon character-themed play tents, crisp cotton teepees give your child a soothing oasis to relax, read, and daydream.

As they navigate elementary and early middle school, kids need space to work out their own identity and put their world in order, according to child psychologists. A teepee gives them a spot to do it and a place to just have some plain, old fun, too. Which kids’ teepee will best fit your child, your home, and your budget? Take a look at our favorites, and keep reading to learn more.

Kids’ impulse to build forts usually emerges as they enter elementary school and starts to wane as they approach their teenage years.

Key considerations

Indoors, outdoors, or both

Will your kids’ teepee be an indoor dwelling or an outdoor hideaway? Or will it be nomadic like its namesake? Most kids’ teepees are made from cotton or other thin fabrics that aren’t waterproof. Cotton teepees are heavier, but more breathable and provide better air circulation.  In contrast, cotton-polyester teepees are lighter in weight. Also, some teepees made from cotton-polyester blends have enough water resistance to venture outdoors, but it’s a feature you’ll need to specifically seek.

Teepees that will be used outdoors should also have a floor, to keep your child’s clothing and playthings relatively clean. Note that some indoors-only play tents omit this feature. If there’s a chance your tent will be used outside, look for a model that has a floor made of water-resistant material.

Size

Teepees are significantly taller than toddler play tents, making them a natural choice for elementary-age kids. The shortest structures are around 4 feet tall; while the tallest teepees tower almost 7 feet, plenty tall for kids and adults alike. Most kids won’t be standing in their teepee but crowding and clutter can detract from relaxation. Make sure you buy a teepee with some room to grow. Larger models have more poles to set up, but these extra poles offer more stability than teepees with just four poles.

While two’s a crowd for some, it’s the perfect number for others. The tapered design of the teepee puts floor space at a premium. If you have a particularly sociable child, make sure your teepee has enough room for more than one occupant. Teepees that are 5 to 6 feet wide will definitely have room for more than one child or adult. Structures ranging from 3.5 to 4 feet wide are best for one child.

Floor vs. floorless

Floor: Some kids’ teepees are designed with a built-in floor. These models are preferable for outdoor use, so your child doesn’t get covered in dirt. They may also provide a layer of warmth in rooms with wood, laminate, or tile floors, although you’ll need to be careful that the tent doesn’t slip. Teepee floors can also help protect your carpeting or other vulnerable flooring from sticky spills, crumbs, or other debris. Some floors are permanently attached to the tent’s base; others can be easily removed for cleaning.

Teepees with floors have both advantages and drawbacks. If you decide you want a tent with a built-in floor, look for a model with nonskid material underneath. This prevents the whole structure from swaying if a child slips or trips while exiting the tent. A waterproof base is essential if the teepee will see outdoor action. Waterproofing keeps moisture from seeping through the floor into your child’s clothing and toys. This feature can be useful indoors, too, if kids are likely to snack and drink inside the tent, or if users aren’t yet potty trained. A floor that can be removed for washing gives you more flexibility for setup and cleaning.

Floorless: A teepee without a floor may be easier to manage on a practical level. The walls aren’t connected to a floor, so the whole structure doesn’t slip or shake if a child loses their footing. Most parents outfit teepees with throw rugs, pillows, or bean bags, so the user is comfortable with or without a built-in floor.

EXPERT TIP

A bean bag or kids’ chair, throw rug, and storage bin can make a teepee cozier.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Extras and accessories help your child make the teepee their own. Many teepees come with practical or themed extras for personalization.

Pockets

We all need space for our gear, and kids are no exception. Many teepee walls have built-in storage pockets for items like handheld toys, books, and tablets. Consider the pocket size as well as the weight of your kids’ favorite items, and consider adding a stand-alone bin for toys that are too heavy.

Windows

Native American teepees lacked windows, but you’ll be thankful for this modern design element. Built-in windows let light into the teepee, so your child can see to read and play. They also improve air circulation, which kids will appreciate on summer days. Windows also let parents peek inside, without announcing their presence, to verify that everyone is playing nicely.

Closure

Some teepees have flaps and can close fully; others are permanently open. Consider which option is best for your child and family.

Extras

You can always add curtains, lights, and rugs later, but some teepee sets get the ball rolling for you. Such items as flags, battery-operated string lights, teepee toppers, and dream catchers help your child customize the teepee both inside and out. They also save parents from additional purchases or trips to the store.

Teepees aren’t small, but like their namesakes, they fold down impressively. If you’re likely to move or store your teepee, make sure it comes with a sturdy bag to store, carry, and protect the light-colored fabric.

EXPERT TIP

A quiet space like a teepee can give your child a spot to decompress from the stress of the day.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Play tent: Pacific Play Tents 4-Kid Dome II Play Tent
If your child isn’t quite old enough for a teepee, consider this play tent. Unlike most teepees, this oversize tent is brightly colored, so it’s more attractive to younger children. Two crawl tunnel ports add even more fun.

Play tunnel: Poco Divo Play Tunnel
Kids love a play tunnel, whether it’s attached to a tent or open-ended. At almost 6 feet long, this tunnel offers your children plenty of room to explore, and it folds down to almost nothing for storage.

Kids’ chair: Flash Furniture Contemporary Kids’ Recliner
Now that your child has a space of their own, your little one needs somewhere to sit. This vinyl chair is a cozy, well-padded miniature of your favorite recliner. It even has a cup holder to help prevent spills in the new teepee.

Kids’ teepee prices

Prices for kids’ teepees depend mostly on size, although accessories can affect the cost as well.

Inexpensive: You can find quality kids’ teepees starting as low as $40. At this price, you’ll find tents that measure 5 to 6 feet tall and 3.5 to 4 feet wide.

Mid-range: The middle tier of kids’ teepees costs $50 to $70. Teepees in this price range also measure 5 to 6 feet tall but are wider, at 4 to 5 feet. You may also get some accessories in this price range, such as fairy string lights, feathers, and other fabric adornments.

Expensive: The most expensive kids’ teepees cost $80 to $100. At this price, you’re mostly paying for size and quality construction that’s able to support a structure that’s 7 to 8 feet tall. These teepees may or may not come with accessories.

EXPERT TIP

You might need to use a ladder to set up a larger teepee.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Don’t forget batteries. Teepees that come with string lights usually don’t include the batteries to power them, so don’t forget to pick up a pack.
  • Add some lights. If your teepee doesn’t include battery-operated LED lights, consider buying a set. They’re an inexpensive way to light the interior with minimal fire risk.
  • Take care when assembling your teepee. Most teepees come with substantial wooden support poles. Be sure the connections are solid to prevent collapse or injury.

Other products we considered

There are some great options in our matrix, but if you’re looking for something else, we have a couple of other choices for you. If your child wants something a little more striking, the 100% cotton DalosDream Teepee Tent may be just the thing. Bold gray stripes give more visual interest without being too precious. The tent measures 4 feet wide by 4.5 feet tall and comes with a carrying bag.

Little adventurers might like the spaceship-themed Delta Children Teepee. It’s over 5 feet tall and also comes with a storage bag. It’s darker in color than most kids’ teepees, so you might need to pick up some battery-operated string lights to go along with it.

Sleeping in a teepee can be a fun way to maximize floor and bed space for kids when guests come to visit.

FAQ

Q. How is a kids’ teepee different from a play tent?
A.
Play tents are designed mostly for toddlers and preschoolers. They’re shorter, usually brightly colored, and may feature favorite television or movie characters. Play tents are designed to handle rougher play and may include crawl tunnels or ball pits. Some teepees are shorter and can handle toddler roughhousing, but the height and balance of teepees better suit them as peaceful spots for older kids to retreat from the day.
 

Q. How do you clean a kids’ teepee?
A.
Most teepees are not machine washable unless specifically stated on the care label, so, unfortunately, spot cleaning is the go-to option. Use a damp rag and mild, colorless soap so you don’t discolor the fabric. If you have a teepee that’s machine washable, clean it carefully according to the directions, and don’t put it in the dryer. Cotton can shrink when exposed to high heat, and uneven shrinking will make it challenging to line up the poles and connectors safely. A removable, washable floor may cut your cleaning time significantly, since you can take it out for vacuuming and washing.
 

Q. Where did the word “teepee” come from?
A.
The word comes from the Native American Lakota tribe, from the word “thipi,” which means “they dwell.” The word can also be spelled “tipi” and “tepee.” The Lakota lived on the Great Plains and depended upon buffalo for their sustenance. They often followed the buffalo herds, so they needed lightweight, portable dwellings. These Native Americans made their teepees out of buffalo hide. Kids’ teepees are made from cotton, canvas, and fabric blends, but they mimic the simplicity of their namesakes.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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