Updated June 2022
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Buying guide for best kids' sleeping bags

Whether for family camping trips, sleepaway camps, or sleepovers with friends, the majority of children will need a sleeping bag at one time or another. Kids' sleeping bags are sized appropriately for smaller humans — too roomy a sleeping bag can be unwieldy for a child, and the extra space inside can make keeping warm more difficult.

You'll need to consider a range of factors when buying a sleeping bag for your child. The first choice is between a classic rectangular sleeping bag and a mummy sleeping bag. Then you must consider what temperatures your child’s sleeping bag will be used in. The options don’t stop there: children's sleeping bags often feature the kinds of designs that young people love, from cartoon characters to bold and bright patterns.

This buying guide will help you with all these decisions and more. Once you've figured out what you need from a kids' sleeping bag and it's time to buy, please check out our top-rated kids' sleeping bags for some additional inspiration.

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Choose a kids' sleeping bag with a bit of extra room for your child to grow into, or you'll need to replace the bag before you know it.

Key considerations


Kids' sleeping bags are generally either standard rectangular bags or mummy bags, but which should you choose for your child?

  • Rectangular sleeping bags are roomy and can feel a bit more natural to sleep in for kids who aren't used to sleeping bags. What's more, they can be fully unzipped if it gets too hot and even used as a blanket. The extra space, however, can be a detriment in cold weather.

  • Mummy bags are fitted more closely to the shape of the body with a fairly wide top to accommodate the shoulders, tapering toward the feet. There's less space in mummy sleeping bags for heat loss, so they keep the user warmer. The downside is that they can feel constrictive, so you're more likely to feel too hot in warm weather or if sleeping indoors.

Warmth rating

The majority of kids' sleeping bags have a warmth rating. This rating is given in degrees Fahrenheit and is the bag’s minimum recommended temperature. The trouble with warmth ratings is that they're subjective since each individual feels the cold slightly differently. Moreover, the ratings can vary somewhat by manufacturer and so must be considered as ballpark figures.


A kids' sleeping bag should be long enough to accommodate your child with around two to nine inches of extra room at the bottom. It shouldn't be an uncomfortably tight fit, but neither should there be excess space in the sleeping bag, lest the user lose too much heat.


It's important to consider the materials of the outer sleeping bag as well as the inner lining. The outer layer of sleeping bags is usually made from ripstop nylon due to its overall durability. However, some kids' sleeping bags have dryloft outers, which are both durable and water resistant. Inside the sleeping bag, linings are most often made from nylon or polyester. Nylon linings have a slick, shiny finish and aren't particularly pleasant on the skin, whereas polyester linings feel more like cotton. You can also find kids' sleeping bags with cotton linings, but this isn't the best choice due to the fact that cotton traps moisture.


Shoulder baffle: A shoulder baffle is essentially a drawstring at shoulder level used to help keep heat in. Shoulder baffles are sometimes found on kids' mummy sleeping bags, especially those designed for cold weather.

Baffle stitching: Baffle stitching is stitching that goes all the way through from the outer layer to the lining. It can be arranged in horizontal or vertical lines or in curved patterns. The purpose of baffle stitching is to discourage the filling from clumping, keeping it evenly distributed for consistent warmth.

Hood: Some kids' sleeping bags have hoods to help stop the user from losing heat through their heads, which can greatly impact how warm a person feels. Hoods are more commonly found on mummy bags, but some rectangular sleeping bags have hoods, too.

Kids’ sleeping bag prices

How much does a kids' sleeping bag cost? We've found low-budget options for as little as $10 to $20, but these are usually for indoor use only or for outdoor use in warm weather. If you're looking for something warmer or more substantial, mid-range options are typically priced between $20 and $40. High-end kids' sleeping bags cost $40 to $60 — these are rated for cold-weather use and are extra durable.

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Did you know?
A zipper baffle is a piece of material that sits behind the zipper on the inside of the sleeping bag to help prevent heat from escaping.


  • Choose a reasonably lightweight and compact kids' sleeping bag. If your child will be regularly expected to carry the sleeping bag around, a lightweight, compact model is best.

  • Find out whether the sleeping bag you're considering includes any added extras. Some children's sleeping bags include matching pillows, camping mats, or even nightlights. While you shouldn't buy a sleeping bag based on extras alone, it's wise to know what you get for your cash.

  • Check whether your chosen kids' sleeping bag is suitable for outdoor use. You can find children's sleeping bags that are only meant for indoor use — for sleepovers or naps, for example. But indoor bags aren’t suitable for camping trips.

  • Consider how often your child will use the sleeping bag. Does your child regularly go camping, have sleepovers with friends, or get relegated to a camp bed when guests come to stay? It's worth paying a little extra for a highly durable kids' sleeping bag if the bag will see plenty of use.
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Some sleeping bag sacks have straps around them that you can tighten to reduce the size of the packed-down sleeping bag. This is useful when you're short on storage space.


Q. Can you buy kids' sleeping bags with fun designs?

A. Alongside some plain kids' sleeping bags, you can also find options featuring all kinds of prints and patterns designed to appeal to a younger audience — from jungle critters to dinosaurs to camouflage print. You can even find some children’s sleeping bags with glow-in-the-dark designs.

Q. Are kids' sleeping bags easy to pack away?

A. With a small handful of exceptions, kids' sleeping bags have outer bags to contain them when not in use. Standard rectangular sleeping bags need to be folded and tightly rolled to fit them back into the storage bag, which can be challenging for children to do alone. Mummy sleeping bags usually have "stuff sacks" into which you simply shove the sleeping bag — no rolling required.

Q. How should I store my kids' sleeping bag?

A. As mentioned above, kids' sleeping bags generally have storage bags, which offer some protection from dust and dirt while packed away. Before you store your child's sleeping bag for any significant length of time, however, make sure it's clean and completely dry. Otherwise, mold and mildew may form. It's also wise to store it somewhere dry and relatively warm, away from direct sunlight.

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