Updated June 2022
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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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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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Buying guide for best Pillow Pets

A Pillow Pet’s name speaks for itself. It’s a cozy combination of comfort and companionship designed for kids — and anyone else who likes the fun of a plush stuffed friend who doubles as a pillow.

Kids require a lot of gear, and the multipurpose Pillow Pet is certainly a versatile addition to your child’s arsenal of belongings. Pillow Pets solve kids’ longings for imaginative play, a cozy and welcoming place to rest, and time with a fluffy friend.

Pillow Pets can tag along on trips and make a comfy pillow when resting on a plane or in the car. Kids delight in the ability to easily convert the toy from a stuffed animal to a flat headrest with the Velcro strap. Pillow Pet characters may be detailed with fluffy unicorn hair, 3D dinosaur scales, horns, tails, and more.

One of the best features of Pillow Pets is variety. The toys come in different sizes and with a host of engaging features. There is truly a design for everyone, from simple animals to movie and television show characters.

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Pillow Pets make a great headrest and companion for airplane, car, and train travel. 

Which Pillow Pet should you choose?

Character

The main feature that sets each Pillow Pet apart from the pack is its character. When choosing a Pillow Pet, it is important to take into account the owner-to-be’s favorite animals, movies, and television shows. If you’re aware of their interests, it becomes far more likely you will find a Pillow Pet that pleases them (and you).

Travel

Many Pillow Pets are great for travel. That said, some travelers may find the Jumboz size less portable. In that situation, a smaller Pillow Pet of 11 or 18 inches would be easier to carry or pack in a bag.

What’s more, a Pillow Pet with lights or a scent may help a child feel more familiar and relaxed when they’re away from home. These toys can also keep kids more entertained and engaged during the trip.

Companionship

One purpose behind purchasing a Pillow Pet may be to calm a child’s fears. For a child who is afraid of the dark, for example, a Sleeptime Lites Pillow Pet may be the best choice. Theis pet can serve as a nightlight when the owner falls asleep. However, the light does not stay on all night. And, due to the hard shell, these pets may not be as comfortable for sleeping as other options.

A scented Pillow Pet could also help calm a child or bring back sweet memories and a sense of familiarity. On the other hand, the fragrance could bother those with sensitive noses.

Pillow Pets vs. competitors

The Pillow Pet concept of a Velcro strap transforming a stuffed animal into a pillow is unique, and most competitors (i.e., other stuffed animal pillows) do not offer this way to make the toy more compact. Rather, many competing stuffed animal pillows stay in a larger and flatter form or are shaped more like a stuffed animal than a pillow.

Pillow Pets are made from cuddly but sturdy materials and may hold their shape longer than other options that are not as structured. Some alternatives are also not machine washable like standard Pillow Pets are. Further, most competitors do not offer characters from popular movies and shows.

Pillow Pets are one of few, if not the only, scented stuffed animal pillows, although there are scented stuffed animals on the market. There are also various stuffed animal nightlights on the market, but Pillow Pets take it a step further with the pillow/companion design.

What is a good age range for Pillow Pets?

Pillow Pets are recommended for all ages, even adults who enjoy a creative and playful pillow. They can provide a soft prop for toddlers during playtime and can help to soothe all ages at bedtime.

Sleeptime Lites Pillow Pets are best for ages three and up due to the hard surface and batteries they have.

How can a Pillow Pet be safely used?

For questions on safe sleep and offering stuffed animals and pillows to kids, a great first step is to look on the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC websites. Keep these best practices in mind when giving a child any sort of pillow.

More than 30 million Pillow Pets have been sold since the company launched.

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Pillow Pets features

Materials

Pillow Pets are made without BPA and phthalates, potentially hazardous materials for the body. Knowing that Pillow Pets do not include harmful additives gives caregivers and friends confidence that the toys are safe.

Pillow Pets are made of soft plush material and supportive yet gentle filling that make the pillow comfortable. Characters such as unicorns include additional materials such as fluffy hair. Some variations have fabric eyes, while others have plastic eyes.

Some Pillow Pets have fragrant patches with scents, such as chocolate or cotton candy. The fragrances are made from sustainable sources. Sweet Scented Pillow Pets are approved by the International Fragrance Association and meet safety standards for toys.

Sleeptime Lites Pillow Pets have a projector through a plastic shell on the top and a battery compartment.

Strap

All Pillow Pets come with a soft Velcro strap. Attaching the strap makes the toy more compact and more like the shape of its character, while loosening the strap opens up the pillow. When the toy is in pillow mode, the strap hangs loosely.

Sizes

Sizing for Pillow Pets is determined by length when it is opened up as a pillow. Pillow Pets come in 11-inch, 18-inch, and 30-inch sizes. The 11-inch size doubles as a nightlight.

Original and scented Pillow Pets are 18-inches long.

The largest 30-inch Pillow Pets are available in original and scented variations and offer kids more room for lying down.

Extras

Pillow Pets can be purchased with extra capabilities, such as a fragrant patch or panel that projects rainbow stars in the dark. Some Pillow Pets, such as the unicorns, have glittery fur and bows.

Easy to wash

Original Pillow Pets without extra features are machine washable. The machine should be run with cold water on a delicate cycle. All other Pillow Pet types should be superficially wiped clean and left out to dry.

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DID YOU KNOW?
Pillow Pets have been in production since 2003.
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How much does a Pillow Pet cost?

Lower cost

The majority of Pillow Pets cost $35, including the Sleeptime Lites and Sweet Scented Pets. Some cost a few dollars less when on sale.

Higher cost

Jumbo Pillow Pets are the most expensive variety, costing around $90. You can also purchase combo packs of two to four Pillow Pets. These tend to cost between $60 and $120.

Pillow Pets feature characters from Nickelodeon, Disney, Sesame Street, Jurassic World, and more.

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Tips

  • Familiarize yourself with the washing instructions. If you anticipate the Pillow Pet needing to be cleaned frequently or heavily, it may be best to purchase the machine washable original Pillow Pet. Otherwise, you are limited to spot cleaning.
  • Machine wash your Pillow Pet in a pillowcase. Place your machine washable Pillow Pet inside a white pillowcase before you put it in the machine. This helps preserve the plush feel and any detail work, and it keeps the pet away from other items in the machine.
  • Use mild detergent when washing a Pillow Pet. Note, too, that some Pillow Pets should not be washed in a machine at all.
  • Buy extra batteries for Sleeptime Lites. Pillow Pets with projectors run on three AAA batteries, and they may not be included with your purchase. Make sure to buy extra batteries if you choose this variety, especially if your child will use the toy often.
  • Use the strap for travel. When bringing a Pillow Pet on a trip, the Velcro strap can be used to secure the toy to a bag handle. You can also wear it on your arm for hands-free carrying.
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If a machine washable Pillow Pet starts to feel flat, consider putting it through a wash cycle in your washing machine to fluff the filling. If you choose to do this, place the pillow in a pillowcase to protect its delicate outer fibers. Do not put battery-operated and scented Pillow Pets in the washer.

FAQ

Q. Where can I get a Pillow Pet?

A. Pillow Pets are sold in stores and online through accessible retailers like Amazon.

Q. Are Pillow Pets dryer-safe?

A. No, Pillow Pets are not safe for the dryer. Some Pillow Pets can be placed in the washer, but they must be air-dried. Consult the manufacturer's website before placing your Pillow Pet in a washing machine or dryer.

Q. What is the difference between a Pillow Pet and a Squishmallow?

A. Both Pillow Pets and Squishmallows are soft, squeezable collectibles that kids love to cuddle with. However, Pillow Pets have been around longer, and they convert to pillows courtesy of their foldable nature and Velcro closure.

 

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