Sturdy wood construction is capable of handling years of enthusiastic use. Beautifully crafted to complement any room. Lid features child-safe hinges to protect little fingers. Multipurpose design doubles as a bench. Available in multiple colors.
Expensive. Heavier than less substantial toy boxes.
Collapsible construction saves space when not in use, yet is surprisingly sturdy. Neutral design and a roomy interior make it easy to keep things neat and tidy. Lightweight flip-up lid is safe and easy for little ones to operate. Comes with handles for fuss-free portability. Nylon exterior is easy to clean.
May buckle if used as a seat or if heavy objects are placed on the lid.
Three-tiered design makes it easy to organize books, smaller items, and large toys. Holds a considerable amount without being bulky. Sits low enough to offer easy access for toddlers. Bright and cheerful colors. Available in popular Disney character options for boys and girls.
With only pictures for guidance, assembly can be tricky.
Easily hold 50lbs. of toys. Convenient carrying handles. Extremely durable plastic frame. Handy trio of dividers. Available in Minnie Mouse, Frozen, and Paw Patrol styles.
A little pricy, but it’s a large toy box.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Kids do not come with instruction manuals, but they sure do come with a lot of toys. As uncertain as every other aspect of parenting can be, there is one unavoidable reality you can bet your bottom dollar on: behind every child follows a trail of toys. While your little one probably doesn't mind having them strewn across the floor — and might even seem to make a concerted effort to keep a toy in every corner of the house — chances are you long for the day when you can get from the living room to the kitchen without stumbling over a block or tripping on a teddy.
There's no question that every kid-inhabited household needs a toy box or two (and perhaps even three), but choosing the correct storage solution for your child's treasures isn't always as simple as it seems.
If you're having a tough time settling on factors like size, style, or construction materials, you've come to the right place. With our detailed guide, finding the perfect toy box is child's play.
Toy boxes vs. toy organizers
Although there are some major differences between toy boxes and toy organizers, both will help keep clutter at bay, and they tend to work exceptionally well when used together.
Toy boxes: Whether they come with or without a lid, toy boxes generally have a straightforward design with a singular purpose: to hold toys of all shapes and sizes. Ideal for picking up everyday favorites at the end of the day, toy boxes allow you to quickly and easily toss and store items without giving too much thought as to what goes where. This can be a lifesaver for busy parents and is also a great starting point when teaching little ones the importance of cleaning up after themselves.
Toy organizers: Toy organizers come in various shapes and sizes and have several compartments for storing specific items. When used correctly, this layout is extremely helpful for keeping collections of smaller toys together and within easy reach. With separate bins and shelves, toy organizers make it easier to keep track of cars, blocks, dolls, art supplies, books, and more. However, until your child is old enough to understand the concept of organization, it will be up to you to make sure things don't become a jumbled mess.
Toy box styles
Toy boxes come in various styles, ranging from solid wood pieces that can serve as a storage solution for years to come to collapsible bins that are meant more for temporary use. Depending on where you plan to keep it and what you need to keep in it, you might find that one style works better for you than another. Or, as is the case in many homes, you could choose one type of toy box for your child's room and another for other living areas. The most common types of toy boxes include the following.
Toy chests: This enduring style has been a go-to choice amongst parents the world over for decades. Toy chests are typically made of wood and feature a rectangular shape with a hinged lid. While many still deliver a classic look that blends well with just about any background, most modern versions have been upgraded to be safer for little fingers to handle.
Toy boxes with removable lids: Usually constructed of clear or colored plastic, toy boxes with removable lids are an alternative worth considering if you’d rather avoid the possibility of a lid accidentally snapping shut altogether. Although these take a little more effort to open and close than hinged varieties, toy boxes with removable lids can afford parents of younger children additional peace of mind.
Collapsible toy boxes: With a design that's wholeheartedly focused on easy storage, collapsible toy boxes will hold all manner of odds and ends and can be folded flat and tucked away when they're no longer needed. Collapsible toy boxes can have either hinged or removable lids and usually consist of firm cardboard or plastic panels covered in fabrics like canvas or heavy-duty polyester. This style is undeniably convenient, but keep in mind that they're not designed to last forever and might eventually get bent out of shape.
Toy bins: Toy bins come in just about every imaginable shape, size, and material. However, one thing they all have in common is their lack of a lid. If you're interested in a toy box that’s easily accessible whether it's time to play or pick up and don't mind your child's toys being visible, a mid- to large-size toy bin is good bet.
When choosing an appropriate size, you’ll need to consider both your available space as well as the number of items you need your toy box to hold. If you have limited room and need a toy box as a primary storage solution, we recommend opting for a medium-size model over something smaller. Given the rate at which most toy collections expand, it probably won't be long before you need another one, and two smaller toy boxes placed side by side often end up requiring more space than a single medium-size model.
Safety is a top priority for any parent. Before you consider other fun and convenient features, make sure your child's toy box is equipped with the following safety features.
Lid supports/safety hinges: When it comes to toy chests with heavy lids, safety hinges are a must. Lid supports usually come in the form of spring-loaded hinges and should be able to hold the lid open securely at any angle, whether it's lifted completely or only partially. This will prevent the lid from slamming shut on little fingers or, worse still, your child's head.
Ventilation holes: If you’ve ever bought a large gift for a younger child only to find them more fascinated by the box it came in, you're probably already aware of the allure that small enclosures can hold. When purchasing a lidded toy box, remember to check for ventilation holes before you buy.
Finger cutouts: At first glance, gaps along the front and sides of a toy chest may appear to be a design flaw, but these happen to serve a very important role. In the event that a lid should unexpectedly drop while your child is holding onto the edges, cutouts will keep little fingers from getting squashed.
Colors, patterns, and prints
Many toy boxes feature bright colors, cute patterns, or unique prints. Brightly colored toy boxes often hold extra appeal for younger children, while older kids are more likely to appreciate muted tones. When choosing a color, try to find something that will complement the existing color scheme of your child's bedroom.
Patterns and prints add a personal touch that can give little ones an empowering sense of ownership. Whether it's a parade of their favorite animals, shapes, cartoon characters, or simply your child's name, these extra details are a great way to showcase your little one's unique personality.
A toy box that’s equipped with wheels can easily be moved from room to room, delivering fantastic playtime versatility. Kids of all ages love being able to cart things along with them. Wheeled models with handles can even pull double duty, and in many cases, the toy box itself ends up being played with as much as its contents.
A handful of toy boxes feature one or two drawers at the base to hold special toys, books, and other items that could get lost or damaged in the cavernous interior of larger models. Drawers are a useful feature if you're looking for a traditional toy box but could use a little extra help with keeping things organized.
Toy boxes that do more than just keep toys contained deliver great value. The most common example of a multifunctional toy box are toy chests that double as benches. This nifty design conveniently takes care of two common issues by providing seating and storage while saving space at the same time.
The price of a toy box hinges largely on factors like construction materials, size, and overall durability. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from around $15 for a small collapsible toy box or bin to over $200 for an elaborate wooden toy chest.
Budget toy boxes for $15 to $30
Whether you’re looking for a small toy box to hold a few extras or a mid-sized collapsible option for your living room, you’ll find some decent options within this price range. However, keep in mind that most budget-priced toy boxes aren’t generally designed for heavy-duty use.
Mid-range toy boxes for $30 to $70
This price bracket offers a host of options, from large collapsible models to sturdy plastic toy boxes and even a handful of smaller solid wood toy chests.
High-end toy boxes for $70 to $200
If you’re interested in something that will see you through the childhood years (and perhaps even beyond), consider a premium toy box made of solid materials like wood or sturdy plastic. Most toy boxes in this price bracket deliver a good combination of extra size, long-lasting durability, and convenient features like a multifunctional bench design, drawers, or wheels and a pull-along handle.
Try these easy tips to get the most out of your toy box.
Teaching your child the importance of putting their toys away acts as cornerstone in the cultivation of personal responsibility. One practical way to get a toddler to put her toys away is by letting her choose one or two items to play with at a time. When your little one is ready to move on to something else, explain that she has to return the first toy/s before taking another one out.
Whether you tidy up after every play session or once a day, set up a daily routine so your little one knows what’s expected of her. You can even make it fun by turning it into a game. Survey the room and ask your child if she can find the red car (or whatever else happens to be lying around). Or, try a toy packing race — just remember to hold off a little so your child has enough opportunity to pack at least a third of the toys away herself.
Keeping a toy box in the living room can make life a little easier. You're bound to find at least a few toys lying around at the end of the day, and having a dedicated spot for stray toys will help keep a lid on clutter.
Consider using a toy box and a toy organizer in tandem. An organizer will offer your child easy access to smaller items or favorite toys that might be tough to find at the bottom of a toy box, while a toy box can help keep larger toys corralled and out of sight.
In addition to our top five, se found these unique toy boxes to be worthy contenders that pack a little extra punch. If you love multitasking toy boxes as much as we do, the Step2 Lift and Hide Bookcase Toy Storage Chest is sure to please. With a roomy lower storage box, a book shelf, and a top shelf for displaying large toys, this option has a lot to offer. Fit for royalty, the Wildkin Princess Fainting Couch with Storage features a sumptuous seating area above a toy storage compartment and also has slow-closing hinges to keep your little one safe. Does your kid love all things race car related? If so, the Little Tikes Classic Racing Tire Toy Box should be right up their alley with its realistic stacked tire design and a reversible lid that becomes a racetrack when flipped over.
Q. Do wooden toy boxes require maintenance?
A. Unless the finish or the wood itself gets scratched, dinged, or otherwise damaged, a wooden toy box shouldn't require much maintenance. Beyond wiping it down with a suitable wood cleaner/all-purpose furniture polish and occasionally greasing the hinges, solid wood toy boxes are generally just as easy to care for as other varieties and tend to last a lot longer, too.
Q. What's the most durable toy box material?
A. Both heavy-duty plastic and solid wood toy boxes can offer excellent longevity. However, solid wood models do have a definite edge over their plastic counterparts in that most can easily be refurbished should any damage occur or if you decide it's time for a makeover.
Q. Are there any other storage alternatives for stuffed animals?
A. Whether your child has an extensive collection or just a few, stuffed animals can take up considerable space in a toy box. Storage bean bags like the QT Stuff and Sit can help tame a zoo of of stuffed animals while delivering comfortable seating at the same time. If you're short on floorspace, consider displaying stuffed animals on a wall-mounted shelf or suspending them in a storage hammock.