Historically, rag dolls trace back to the first century when they were more synonymous with girls’ toys.
By design, the materials used to make rag dolls originated from environmentally sound materials. Although, people in those eras hardly knew that at the time.
But the reason rag dolls continue as a staple toy is likely associated with the classic design and soft, huggable feel. Perhaps another reason is the famed ragdoll, Raggedy Ann.
But I’ll cut to the chase. I’ve prepared the ultimate guide to everything rag dolls and have broken it down into categories.
Use the table of contents to jump to the section you’re looking for or start scrolling to see rag dolls for days (not literally, of course).
Best Rag Dolls for Babies
As far as the design of rag dolls goes, the options seem endless. While the design’s for rag dolls continue to evolve, it does remain true to form.
The materials to make these beloved children’s toys have come leaps and bounds across history. And no matter how descriptive one gets about the rag dolls’ history, the truth is, rag dolls are a classic child’s toy.
A beloved best-selling doll by Genius Baby Toys is 11″ with a peek-a-boo top and super soft exterior. And age-appropriate ragdoll for newborns and up.
- The doll is available for culturally diverse families.
- Some customers have beloved memories of their own and have purchased dolls as adults for their children.
- One grandparent reports no hazard concerns with this doll.
- Some customers express their disappointment and dissatisfaction with the rag doll’s size, appearance, and quality.
Genius Baby Toys’ Thermal Baby Doll is an affordably-priced doll for newborns and up. The doll is 11″ in length with superior thermal quilted material and an embroidered face with a snuggly, flexible body.
- Many reports of satisfied customers because of the high-affordability of the doll.
- No hard surfaces.
- Many happy customers report purchasing the doll multiple times.
- The doll has various soft textures from the clothes to the face, hands, and feet.
- Spot cleaning only.
- Some customers report design inconsistency in sizes from one limb to another, while other customers report manufacturing flaws that the product falls apart too quickly.
Conzy’s stuffed baby doll is 16.5″ is an excellent choice for newborns and up. The Finnish doll designs are complete with pastel colors made from super-soft high-quality cotton.
- Handcrafted dolls from environmentally-friendly materials.
- Toy assessment was completed and certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials: ASTM F963-16 /-17, meeting the U. S. Children’s Product Certificate under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) 2008.
- Machine washable.
- Tightly stitched seams for durability.
- A few reports from disappointed parents for various reasons: arrived dirty, manufacturing flaws, and not well-received by recipients.
Linzy Toys soft-plush 15″ baby doll comes in a peachy-pink or a white floral dress with an embroidered face and hair. The doll’s better known as Emily to Linzy Toys, and her rosy cheeks brighten any baby room.
Emily is also the perfect match for babies 12 months or older.
- There are NO beads or buttons.
- Handcrafted dolls.
- No hard plastic surfaces.
- Some customers report the doll holds up nicely in the washer machine.
- A few customers report manufacturer inconsistencies from strings that needed trimming upon arrival to uneven blush.
The Conzy stuffed baby doll ballet girl is 13″ in height; she comes with a permanently attached sparkly crown and ballet pointe shoes. Her delicate ballerina tutu has decorations of silver glitter and white embroidery too.
- Culturally diverse options for parents.
- Dolls manufactured using environmentally-friendly materials.
- ASTM F963-16 /-17, CPSIA, United States Children’s Product Certificate.
- Wash by hand or in the washer machine.
- Tightly stitched seams for durability.
- One parent reported their disappointment in the weak stitching.
Rag Dolls For Toddlers
Rag dolls provide endless hours of play for the imagination of a toddler and comfort at night. So if you’re looking for some good ragdoll options for your toddler, here are some great starter ideas.
From Playtime by Eimmie makers comes their soft rag doll ballerina, Emmie, 14″ in length and safe enough for toddlers three years of age and up.
- Well-crafted embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth, reducing the chances of choking.
- Clothes are removable.
- Invokes a child’s imagination during playtime.
- Convenient for long car rides and airplane trips.
- A few customers found quality control problems with poorly sewn fabric or unrealistic hair-design, leading to their disappointment or product return.
Dexter Store’s 18″ Preschool Pal Ragdoll has the fluffy yarn hair synonymous with many ragdoll designs historically with embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth. An excellent choice for babies one month or older.
- Machine washable.
- Many customers report how pleased they are with the product quality.
- No mention if the doll should be hand-washed and no word if it is safe for a washer machine.
Linzy’s adorable 16″ plush ragdoll is a perfect selection for children two to 10 years of age.
- Culturally diverse.
- Excellent travel, buddy.
- Worthy of the value spent.
- Durable and thick.
- Very few customers report being unhappy with the product quality; most suspect manufacturing flaws or something damaged the product during shipping.
The Houwsbaby brings the precious 15″ doll in a blue flower print dress or a white kitty print dress for tots 12 months or older—a 100% polypropylene cotton fill.
- No beads or buttons to cause choking.
- The soft plush exterior is a comfort during sleep.
- The Handcrafted product is of value.
- Hair is loosely secured and may be a choking hazard.
Haba’s snug-up boy doll, Jonas, is 11.5″, with removable clothes, has partially removable clothes with a nearly hairless head covered by a cap, and is perfect for babies six months or older.
- Machine washable.
- Some parents and grandparents report having ordered the doll more than once.
- Parents will discover this doll is an excellent learning tool for bonding with their baby.
- Not suitable for dryers.
- Embroidered facial features may pose a choking risk.
African American Rag Dolls
Rag dolls bring to life the imagination of a child; the kind of escapism adults often work too hard to find. So if you’re looking for adorable rag dolls to select from for your newborn, toddler, or preschooler, here are some fantastic starter ideas.
Eimmie’s ragdoll, Charlie, the design is part of their culturally diverse doll collection, including Jonas and Ollie. The 14″ doll’s material is a soft plush fabric that is squishy enough for newborns and older.
- Many customers repurchase these beloved dolls for the price, design, and feel.
- Doll’s clothes are removable.
- Excellent travel buddy.
- No hard vinyl surfaces.
- Some parents complained of poor craftsmanship and manufacturing inconsistencies, like a doll’s head was not entirely sewn, or a doll’s hair appeared incorrectly assembled.
- Soft and squishy to hold
- Super soft brown skin doll.
- Black eyes, brown fabric hair.
- Recommended for ages 3+.
Girlzndollz’s 18” soft plush fabric and embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth are perfect for three and up.
- The perfect nighttime sleep buddy for your toddler, soft and squishy to hold onto all night.
- The dress is removable.
- Special needs children also love this adorable little “pretty-n-pink” doll.
- The headband and shoes are not removable.
- Embroidered green eyes and cheery smile are safe for babies to mouth.
- Fuzzy peach hat to her soft, star-patterned flannel dress, and knitted body.
- Meets all European and American Safety standards with focus on craftsmanship and quality.
The Kaloo Store’s Tendresse collection of culturally diverse fabric dolls have embroidered eyes, a nose, and the sweetest smile. The darling hat, dress, leggings, and booties are perfectly peachy for any newborn to ten years old.
- Machine washable and safe enough for the dryer.
- Kaloo’s handcrafted doll meets all European and American safety standards.
- Research shows dolls help in teaching autistic children empathy skills.
- Clothes are NOT removable.
Plushible Bridging Miles with Smiles is the 18” doll is named Kaylie and comes from the Plushible Forest Friends collection of toys and dolls. From her embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth to her outfit changes, this sweet doll is perfect for babies three months and up.
- Well-crafted and durable.
- Good value for the product.
- No care instructions available online.
From Manhattan Toy’s comes Wee Baby Stella, 12” length and wearing the sweetest pink onesie. As a soft doll, Stella’s clothes are removable and interchangeable.
Her embroidered facial features come complete with a magnetically attached pacifier making her well-suited for children 12 months to six years of age.
- Pacifier secured to the doll to avoid loss.
- The manufacturer designed packaging to safely and securely protect the doll during transport.
- Many customers report loving the soft plush feel and thickness of the doll.
- Doll clothes velcroed in place.
- Spot cleaning only.
- NOT suitable for washer machines or dryers.
Handmade Rag Dolls
If you’re a parent that digs buying vintage products, handmade rag dolls are a perfect pick for your baby. Below are several beautiful vintage-looking rag dolls that are undeniably adorable.
From Hearts of Yarn comes MILA. She is wearing a removable white eyelet dress and a crossbody handbag with two pigtails. She is 19” tall and considered a large doll, which is best suited for toddlers three years of age and up.
- Meets ASTM F963 & CPSIA Safety Standards
- Soft and Plush
- High-quality of value to consumers.
- Not meant for use in washer machines, even on gentle, and not meant for dryers either.
- It can only be spot cleaned and laid flat to dry.
Alkimia Incorporated’s Mexican handcrafted Maria Painter rag doll is 9.5” in length and crafted in Queretaro, Mexico.
Her charm is in the details of adornments, from her colorful blue skirt and blouse to her matching headdress. Her arms and legs move, adding to the inspiration of a child’s imagination, making Maria the perfect handmade rag doll for tots three years and up.
- Small and dainty for tiny toddler hands.
- No care instructions available online.
From Hearts of Yarn, again comes another darling handcrafted 19” doll. They lovingly named her Autumn and adorned her with an A-line dress, beanie cap, boots, and scarf.
- Suitable for children over three years old.
- Harts of Yarn’s handmade dolls encourage imaginative play.
- Premium craftsmanship.
- Soft fabric.
- Quality design worth the value of the doll.
- NOT suitable for children three years of age and younger due to a choking hazard.
These lovely rag dolls will make a perfect gift for a baby or child. The rag dolls measure around 40cm and are suitable from birth. The clothes on this doll are removable. Handmade and ships from England.
From Bonikka doll makers of the United Kingdom comes a personalized 16” doll that you and your little one can name together. The doll’s clothes are removable to change outfits to match those embroidered eyes, nose, and mouth—a perfect keepsake for newborns and up.
- Plush soft material.
- Many customers profess their commitment to purchase dolls in the future because of the quality craftsmanship.
- NO instruction for care.
Personalized Stitch UK customizes their rag dolls with a tailored name of your choosing for embroidery on every doll’s dress. The handmade dolls vary in length from 14” to 16.5”, inspired by porcelain Bonikka rag dolls of Sri Lanka, and are suitable for newborns and up.
- High-quality craftsmanship.
- Dolls are custom ordered.
- Name embroidered in English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish.
- Thread colors available upon request.
- Personalised Stitch UK does NOT accept returns or exchanges on personalized orders.
- NO care instruction.
- NO fabric descriptions.
Sew A Smile Boutique handcrafts personalized 15” dolls customized as look-a-likes. Each doll comes with one outfit that you design—be it a skirt, blouse, pants, dresser, or onesie.
They have the capabilities to create culturally diverse dolls matching hair color, hairstyle, eye shapes, and mouth styles for you and your baby—adult supervision for children under the age of three.
- Hand-wash or spot clean ONLY.
- Sew A Smile Boutique personalizes each handcrafted doll as a look-alike.
- Customer service is exceptional.
- NOT recommended for use in washing machines.
Things to Consider When Buying Rag Dolls
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to rag dolls, like safety, care, durability, and materials. And as a parent, your child’s well-being is your top priority.
When it comes to the safety of a child, parents are often concerned with choking or suffocation.
In the U. S., companies must meet specified criteria under the Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) set by the Consumer Product and Safety Commissions (CPSC). The auditing authority, ASTM, conducts the assessment of toys and issues certificates that give manufacturers a high-safety rating label of ASTM F963-16 /-17.
Product care instructions are commonplace anymore and knowing how to care for something, like dolls, can mean extended longevity.
Care is also essential to sanitizing and mitigating germs that can build over time on some surfaces and certain material types. Surfactants and agitation are the most effective way to reduce germs, bacteria, and viruses.
When manufacturers don’t provide care instructions, it may be worth reaching out to see if the product is durable enough for use in a washer machine, washed by hand, or spot cleaned only.
Quality assurance is another critical factor for many parents. Knowing how tightly stitched seams are bound can mean the difference between life or death in some cases. Durable products are often considered safer for young children under ten, toddlers, infants, and newborns.
If a doll were to come apart at a seam and a child was to swallow the stuffing, it can lead to choking and possible suffocation—a frightening thought for any parent.
In other cases, knowing as much as you can about what material the manufacturer used during assembly is essential. An essential first best is educating yourself.
There are currently two popular material certifications to watch for by manufacturers.
- STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, a consumer confidence label associated with high product safety.
- The Global Organic Textile Standard, or GOTS Labeling. GOTS has strict certification requirements for a manufacturer to place the logo on products or even mentioned GOTS to improve sales.
Rag dolls are a timeless classic for children and parents. As unlikely as it may seem, the toy has withstood the test of time.
Even keeping up with the advancements in technology, rag dolls are simple, low-tech toys. It’s highly likely that if the toy design survived the first millennium, we should expect it to stick around for another millennium.