Here’s a funny story that’s also true. According to the National Park Service, we have Teddy Roosevelt to thank for the teddy bear. He was on a bear hunt back in 1902, but couldn’t find a single bear to shoot. Finally, his assistants cornered and tied a black bear to a tree, and suggested that Roosevelt shoot it. But Roosevelt refused, because it was unsportsmanlike. Newspapers covered the event, a company started to produce stuffed versions and now, lo and behold, kids all over love their teddy bears.
There are few toys so iconic as the stuffed teddy bear. It belongs alongside red wagons, rocking horses, and rattles, though its simplicity outlast all of them. For children, they’re soothing companions, and the bond between them is one that you’ll only realize the weight of when their best friend is in another room.
Whether you’ll looking for a big, bold surprise or just searching for an affordable buddy, we’ve found our favorites of all sizes and for all budgets.
Steiff sets the gold standard in all things stuffed animal, and this teddy bear is no exception. Made from cuddly soft plush, it's great for kids two and up.
Pros: This teddy bear, measuring 16 inches, is machine washable. Fynn is handmade from cuddly soft plush and will be your kid’s go-to stuffy pretty much from the word go.
Cons: The quality is indisputable, but cheap, it’s not.
Meet your new favorite talking teddy bear. Gund's bear says one of six different phrases while playing peek-a-boo game.
Pros: This bear measures just over 11 inches, and has a satin blanket to add to its bear flair. And it plays a game that kids can’t get enough of.
Cons: The talking gets tiresome after a while.
Jelly makes quirky, innovative soft toys for kids of all ages, and while this bear is on the smaller side, we love the fact that unlike brown bears, it's of the polar variety.
Pros: While this bear is meant for babies and up, make sure you don’t put anywhere near your child’s crib when he or she is in it. It’s soft. It’s adorable. It’s hand-washable. And it’s cuddly as all get-out.
Cons: At just 10 inches, it’s on the smaller side.
Do you need a giant pink stuffed bear? Of course you do. It's meant for kids two and up, and will provides endless amounts of snuggly fun.
Pros: At two feet tall, the Melissa & Doug stuffed bear is all bear, all the time. It’s made of soft, furry material and quality construction, and will enhance any kids’ room.
Cons: Good luck cleaning it. And storing it.
One of the best-known bear companies in the world makes the quintessential plush toy. Vermont Teddy Bear’s Cuddly Soft Teddy Bear is a perfect specimen, sized just right for children from newborn on up.
Pros: Hugged from any angle, your son or daughter will find only smooth, silky fur and zero shedding, clumps, or coarseness. At 13 inches, it’s perfect for children of any age. We especially like the company’s use of recycled stuffing for a lighter impact on the environment, while you can rest assured by its lifetime guarantee, which pledges replacement or repair for any damages incurred over the coming years.
Cons: Parent after parent gushed about their child’s love for this bear. The only potential downside is if your son or daughter wanted a bigger size. But if a bear is as far has he or she has gotten in specificity, this is an easy choice.
Just look at the size of the giant teddy bear. Dwarfing your child (and likely you), it’s massive. If your purchase involves replacing carnival prizes or making enthusiastic displays of affection, there are few options more visible. Likely due to his massive size, he’s best for children ages 12 months and older.
Pros: A six-foot bear is anything but subtle, so when display matters, this one wins hands down. He’s also soft, with a polyester fill guaranteed not to clump over time. We liked the fact that he’s made right here in the U.S.
Cons: Amazon customers loved this bear, though some claimed that it wasn’t meant for roughhousing. If your son or daughter intends on using the bear for a WWE-style showcase, it may be damaged under extreme use. Also, have you considered where you’ll store a six-foot bear?
When you want to get your child an armful of teddy, the DOLDOA big teddy bear fits the bill. Super-soft and of size likely bigger than your child, it has one weakness in that he’ll need maintenance right out of the box. He’s best for children age three and up.
Pros: Amazon customers raved about the affordability of such a big bear. At 39 inches, it’s a healthy size compared to any child. We also liked that it’s machine washable simply by removing the stuffing.
Cons: Positive reviews were tempered by the recommendation to remove and re-fluff the stuffing upon receiving the bear, as it is compacted in shipping and needs a helping hand to fully fill the body. According to them, it can take around an hour. If you’re looking for less hassle, you can spend a few more dollars on another product, but for the slight effort, this one is worth it.
GUND knows accidents can happen, which is why it created its Slumbers Teddy Bear with cleanup in mind. For parents who know that they’ll need to triage a stained toy, this is a solid option for ages one and older.
Pros: Slumbers is a good bear even without his cleanup capabilities: fuzzy, plush fur and distinct paw pads make this 17-inch toy a kid favorite. But we especially liked its ability to be spot cleaned without effect to the color of the fur. It’s something the company planned, which goes to show how tuned in it is to its products’ final destinations. Wash and let the toy dry in the sun.
Cons: Some customers complained that it was smaller than expected. Likely they discovered that 17 inches isn’t tall when the bear is sitting. As such, older children may find it too tiny.
While many bears use synthetic fibers in their construction, we like the natural material used in Mishion’s MorisMos bear. Its ostentatious size is a ton of fun for kids ages three and up.
Pros: At 47 inches from ear to toe, this is the second-largest bear on our list, and as such, it serves as just the embarrassing gesture you’re going for. We also really like that it’s made from 80 percent cotton, which is a dramatic departure from other synthetic options.
Cons: Like the other large bear on this list, it arrives vacuum-sealed and must be fluffed to reach its full size. Take not that you’ll need to put in some work or it has the appearance of “a rag doll instead of a teddy bear,” as one Amazon customer says.
Kids who are ready to cuddle can do so with this teddy bear, which has curled-up shape. He or she is a perfect snuggle buddy for reading, sleeping or watching movies. Or whatever.
Pros: All you need is a comfortable position, and this Vermont giant teddy bear is ready to curl up with you. He’s soft. He’s silky. And he’s 36 inches.
Cons: Perhaps your kid wants to carry him around? If so, the shape may be unwieldy. But such are the hardships of teddy bear care.
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