Last updated: August 15, 2021
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Welcome to our big soft toy test 2022. Here we present all the soft toys we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best soft toy for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a soft toy.




Summary

  • Soft toys are children's loyal companions. They provide comfort and watch out at night that no monsters come.
  • A basic distinction is made between soft toys from different habitats and the classic teddy bears. Teddies are the fluffy miniature replica of a bear with cuddly brown, beige or golden fur.
  • A cuddly animal bath (washing machine) is something very special and should therefore remain an exception. When washing, make sure you know what material the soft toy is made of.

The Best Plush Toy: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for soft toys

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate soft toys. This will make it easier for you to decide whether the soft toy is best suited for you or your loved one.

In summary, these are:

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and which plays the most decisive role for you.

Testing for harmful substances

When making your choice, it is especially important to make sure that your little darlings have been manufactured without harmful substances. A plush toy that is free of harmful substances can be recognised by the quality seals. In addition, the smell of the cuddly toy should also be taken into account. If the smell of a cuddly toy is very unpleasant or strange, you should leave it alone.

Babies and toddlers cuddle and play with their teddy, plush monkey or bear. They let themselves be comforted by their cuddly friend and cuddle with him in bed. Unfortunately, according to Stiftung Warentest, only certain soft toys are suitable for cuddling. Out of 30 cuddly toys, only eight were recommendable, Stiftung Warentest reported.

Often the label or the mane of a little lion contains dangerous pollutants. The biggest spoilers turn out to be carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs for short.

The problem with PAHs is that they are not acutely toxic, but spread in the child's organism over the long term. Children can absorb them through the mouth and the skin. This is the reason why every cuddly toy should be tested in the laboratory.

Tear resistance

Testing for harmful substances should not only check the outer fur, but also test whether a cuddly toy can withstand children tugging at its arms and legs during romps or fights.

Cuddly toys should have neatly executed seams so that individual sewn-on parts are not accidentally swallowed by very young children.

Additional attached parts, such as small pendants, clothing or sewn-on ears and arms, must not be detached at the applied force of 90 Newtons (approx. nine kilograms). The parts of cuddly toys that are smaller than six millimetres, such as the eyes or the nose, must be able to withstand a tensile force of 50 newtons (approx. five kilograms).

If the seams should tear, attention must also be paid to what ingredients the filling contains, as small children could "pick it out" with their fingers and put it in their mouths.

Quality of the material

The first cuddly toys were made of wood and straw. In contrast to wooden toys, most cuddly toys have an outer material that is made of plush on the inside and polyester on the outside.

In contrast to these cuddly toys, the organic cuddly toys are made of wool or cotton. The choice of colours and quality is huge.

Cotton fabrics for soft toys should have a woven back, so they don't get out of shape so quickly. The material used for soft toys must be new, clean and free from pest infestation.

Here we distinguish between the outer material and the filling of a stuffed animal.

Outer material

The following table shows you the common outer materials of stuffed animals and their characteristics:

Material features
Terrycloth easy to clean, cheap, easy to wash
Alpaca only suitable for decorative cuddly toys, expensive, difficult to wash - do not put in the washing machine!
Mohair only suitable for decorative cuddly toys, very expensive, poorly washable - have it professionally cleaned!
Felt moderately difficult to clean, wears out quickly, relatively easy to repair

Filling material

Cuddly toys with soft filling materials must not contain any hard or sharp foreign bodies, such as particles of metal and splinters. It must be possible to squeeze the torso with the hands without any problems.

Cuddly toys containing small particles (for example, polystyrene balls, granules and so on) must be covered in such a way that the small parts cannot get out through an opening in the seam or through the material of the cover.

Synthetic wadding: One of the most popular and cheapest materials in cuddly toy production is synthetic wadding filling. In addition, the material is very suitable for allergy sufferers.

Stuffing wadding: Stuffing wadding is very often used for self-made teddies and other animal shapes. Caution: However, we would not recommend this filling material. The biggest problem with stuffing wadding is that it is too soft and therefore the stuffed animals often lack support. Another reason why you should keep your finger off this filling is because wet cleaning is out of the question.

Wood wool: In the early years of teddy bear history, the little bears were stuffed with wood wool. Today, this natural material is only used for high-quality and exclusively manufactured collector bears. Only professionals should undertake the repair of old bears with such stuffing.

Plastic, stainless steel, glass and mineral granulate: These materials are usually only used for individual parts of the cuddly animal's body. They are used to give it more weight and make it easier to grip. If the remaining material is ready for washing, these stuffed animals may also be washed in the washing machine.

Foam rubber: One of the first synthetic filling materials, which was already used in the 1970s. Foam rubber often contains toxic substances that can be very dangerous for small children. Again, we advise you to have a professional fix small problems or replace the entire filling if possible.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a soft toy

When are soft toys suitable for babies?

A cuddly toy is given to a child as early as infancy or toddlerhood, because almost all children between the ages of one and four need their "stuffed friend" to fall asleep.

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Soft toys, like this little lion, are particularly popular with children. To ensure that your child can play without danger, the cuddly toy should have been tested for harmful substances. (Image source: pixabay / Alexas_Fotos)

Basically, there is no rule as to when cuddly toys are suitable for babies. Immediately after birth, a fluffy animal can be placed in the baby's bed instead of a cuddly pillow.

Since children who have not yet passed the age of three like to put their toys in their mouths, this can lead to the transfer of harmful substances.

Did you know that the function of the soft toy used to be that the child had something for itself?

In the past, a lot of things had to be shared, so it was special for children to own something that belonged to them alone. Today, children own a lot more, from a well-equipped children's room to their own music box.

Parents should make sure that no more than two cuddly toys are placed in the baby's cot. On the one hand, because there will be more, and on the other hand, because soft toys in bed pose a risk to breathing.

Industrially manufactured cuddly toys may be very dangerous and in very many cases contaminated with harmful ingredients, such as nonylphenols, hydrocarbons and plasticisers.

In addition, terry cloth is more suitable for babies than long hair or plush, as the material does not tickle their faces as much and the small fibres cannot be swallowed.

Last but not least, the soft toy for the baby should not be too big, because otherwise "cuddling" becomes difficult.

What types of soft toys are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, cuddly toys are divided into the following categories:

  • Wild animals
  • Teddies
  • Arctic and sea animals
  • House and farm animals
  • Forest animals
  • Fantasy creatures

The most popular form of soft toy is the teddy bear. Teddies are the fluffy miniature replica of a bear with mostly brown, beige or golden fur colour.

Did you know that Margarete Steiff was the pioneer of the soft toy?

In 1880, the first stuffed animal factory was opened; The Steiff Gmbh. The stuffed animals produced were all very immobile. But in 1902, the movable stuffed teddy came onto the market, where it was successfully produced for many countries.

Fantasy creatures are very often forgotten in the listing. We thought that these little animals should definitely be included, as dragons are great playmates for adventure-loving boys and unicorns are a must for little princesses. Basically, it's completely up to you which category you choose.

Many people choose a fun cuddly toy based on their favourite animal or their own pet. After all, it's no wonder that cats, hedgehogs, mice and hamsters are always in high demand.

What are "Hatchimals"?

The Hatchimal is a new, innovative toy that was launched in October 2016. These are interactive stuffed animals that come in five different "species": Pengualas, Draggles, Burtles, Owlicorns and Bearakeet.

Each species has different identifying features. Owlicorns, for example, come in blue or purple, have a small horn and a pair of short wings.

Many children describe Hatchimals as a cross between a Tamagochi and a Surprise Egg. When you buy one, you get it in a magical-looking speckled egg that is slightly bigger than a grapefruit.

The Hatchimals can only hatch from their eggs if they get a lot of tenderness and care from their owners.

The children have to talk to their egg, hold it, move it and cuddle it to make sure that their Hatchimal really comes out of the egg. Once the Hatchimal is comfortable in its new home, the shell of the egg will start to glow and the little animal inside, which is about the size of a Furby, will slowly hatch out of the shell.

How do I wash my stuffed animals?

A "cuddly animal bath" is something very special and it should therefore remain an exception. There is a risk of severe wear and tear for the cuddly toy if this is not observed.

Material check: Check whether your cuddly toy is made of a material that is suitable for washing machine cleaning. Washable soft toys should have a label with washing instructions.

Preparations: First, remove all batteries, clothing and loose parts. Additional attention must be paid to whether the fur has holes. If so, these "cuddly animal wounds" must be closed with needle and thread.

plueschtier-2

When buying a soft toy, great importance should be attached to the workmanship and the materials used. In order for the owner to enjoy the cuddly toy for a long time, it should ideally be washed regularly.
(Image source: pixabay / Alexas_Fotos)

Protection: Pack your cuddly toy in advance in a washing net or in a pillow/blanket cover that cannot stain. It should never be washed with other laundry as it could cause discolouration.

Detergent: A mild detergent should be used for the delicate coat - wool detergent is best. Caution: Fabric softeners can damage the plush material.

Drying: After washing, the cuddly toy needs a few days to air dry completely. Under no circumstances should you place your cuddly toy in the sun, as this could cause the fur to fade. A hair dryer is not recommended because it could also damage the fur. Drying in a tumble dryer is only an option if there is a note to that effect on the washing label.

Cleaning the fur

Some cuddly toys have labels that tell you how and at what temperature you can wash your pets. Unfortunately, there is often no exact information. One thing is certain, however: you must at least use water.

So that you don't "look bad" or have to think about whether your cuddly toy can be "thrown into the washing machine" on the off-chance, we'll tell you some tips and tricks here.

How to wash? Description
Washing machine Basically, cuddly toys made of cotton and plush fabrics can be put in the washing machine. Very tightly stuffed cuddly friends do not belong in the washing machine. Soft toys with a short floor, made of terry cloth or microfibre can be put in the washing machine. We recommend using the gentle cycle and then a short spin cycle.
Hand wash For all soft toys that do not fit into the above category, it is better to hand wash them. Depending on the degree of soiling, you can clean some stains beforehand. Then put it in a "pleasantly hot water bath" (maximum 30 degrees Celsius) with soapy water or detergent. Finally, put the soft toy in the spin dryer for a short time.
Soft toys that you should not wash Older soft toys that are filled with wood wool or are partly made of felt should never come into contact with large amounts of water. You should use a hoover on a very low setting to remove dust or small pieces of dirt. Brushes can also be used.

However, if you want to take care of your fluffy friend as much as possible, we advise you to take it to the dry cleaner. It costs a little, but you leave the whole process to the professionals who do it every day.

What makes the stuffed animal so attractive?

No matter what kind of animal it is, the cuddly fur is the most prominent feature of all cuddly animals. Its softness and warmth make the cuddly animal an ideal companion through the night.

The faithful playmates, whether big or small, are loved by children and babies. Even adults can't resist the two beady eyes that light up.

In addition, the soft toys can be used as loving, personal but inexpensive gifts. For many, sewing stuffed animals is an exciting and extremely fun hobby.

Image source: pixabay / bluebudgie

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