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The Ultimate Guide To Plush Toys From Selection To Care

The Ultimate Guide To Plush Toys: From Selection To Care

Guess what? 44% of adults still own their childhood teddies, while 34% sleep with a soft toy every night for emotional comfort. So, if you thought plush toys were just meant for kids, think again!

Stress busters to some, soul comfort to others; plush toys can hold different meanings for different people. For children, they become their first best friends, accompanying them wherever they go. For passionate collectors, plush toys can be a valuable item. And let’s remember the sentimental value plush toys hold for most adults. They become treasured keepsakes, carrying fond memories and nostalgic moments from our childhood.

Enough with the small talk now, do you know what plush toys really are? Well, we adore these cuddly companions for sure, but only a few know the history behind them, their make-up, or what makes them so special. Hence, we’re here to spill all the beans about plush toys in our comprehensive guide. We’ll cover topics like:

  • What are plush toys?
  • Different types of plush toys
  • How to choose the best plush toys?
  • How did Squishmallows become a global phenomenon?
  • Where to buy plush toys?

And many more!

So, buckle up and read on.

What Are Plush Toys?

Kawaii Disney amazon stuffed toy

Simply put, a plush toy is a toy made with an outer fabric such as cloth or plush (hence the name). They’re stuffed with flexible materials, usually wool, cotton, straw, wood wool, or coarse materials like foam, plastic pellets, beans, or mohair fiber.

Other names for plush toys are stuffed animals, stuffies, plushies, etc. In Australia and Britain, they are called cuddly or soft toys.

Plush toys have a long history, dating back to the 19th century. Germany’s Steiff company is credited with introducing the first stuffed animal. However, it was only after the creation of the teddy bear in the US in 1903 that these adorable toys gained widespread popularity.

Now, the main question is: what makes plush toys stand out? Well, it’s because of their soft and extra cuddly nature, exaggerated features, and resemblance to real animals, legendary creatures, and popular cartoon characters.

Fun Fact: Peter Rabbit was the first fictional character to be made into a stuffed toy.

Different Types Of Plush Toys

From the classic American teddy bear to playful creatures, from hilarious stuffed animals to educational anatomy plushies, there’s a plush toy for everyone. Whether you’re a parent searching for the perfect plush friend for your little one, an enthusiast seeking the rarest additions to your collection, or simply someone curious about the diverse world of plush toys, you’re in for a treat.

Scroll down to explore the 11 different types of plush toys:

Dive Into The World Of Cute Plush Dolls

The Pokemon doll stuffed toy

Cute Plush Dolls come in all shapes and sizes. Anything charming, endearing, and visually attractive falls under this category. Although some differences exist, these toys share common characteristics, such as extra cuddliness, softness, innocence, roundness, and playful expressions. Plus, they often come in bright colors.

The designs are adorable, ranging from cute animals, fruits, and vegetables to beloved characters from popular movies, cartoons, or TV shows. Here’s a little secret – one of our cutest plush dolls is the Pochita Plush toy inspired by the popular Chainsaw Man manga series. If you’re looking for more adorable plushies, don’t miss out on our Ultimate Guide On Cute Plush Dolls.

Squishmallows: The Soft And Squishy Favorites

The Soft And Squishy Favorites 1

Squishmallows have become synonymous with plush toys. They’re a brand of popular plush toys known for their ultra-soft and squishy texture. These toys were launched in 2017 by Kelly Toys Holding LLC. However, they gained widespread popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 through various social media platforms.

Notably, even prominent celebs like Charli D’Amelia and Lady Gaga have expressed their fondness for these plushies.

Squishmallows have created a distinct space in the toy market for their unique design and texture, broad range of characters, ever-expanding product line, and versatility.

Today, the Squishmallow family has grown exponentially, boasting over 1000 characters, each with unique names and background stories. They are available online and at various retail locations, including Dollar Tree and CVS.

Stuffed Plushie: A Classic Delight

Whether you’re a child or just young at heart, there’s something comforting about snuggling up to a soft, fluffy friend after a long day. It brings back nostalgic memories of childhood. It reminds us of simpler times when a plush toy was enough to make everything better and brighter.

Stuffed plushies are crafted using plush material on the outside and stuffed with malleable materials such as wool and cotton. People adore them for their irresistibly soft texture, providing a luxurious feel and overall simplicity that’s hard to resist.

You can check out this comprehensive guide to closely examine these classic stuffed plushies.

Squishy Marshmallow Plush: Unleashing Cuteness

As its name suggests, Squishy Marshmallow Plush toys resemble a blend of marshmallow appearance and plush charm. Thanks to its plush material, you can bend these toys a thousand times without worrying about wear and tear.

The resilient nature of these toys makes them perfect for endless cuddles and playtime adventures. You can squish, squeeze, and mold them into various shapes. And they’ll always bounce back to their original form.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the squishiness – Squishy Marshmallow Plush toys come in a mesmerizing array of designs that cater to various preferences. One of the most popular designs of Squishy Marshmallow Plush toys is the Carmelita S’more from Squishmallow, a marshmallow sandwiched between chocolate and graham crackers.

Funny Stuffed Animals: Adding A Twist Of Humor For Adults

Funny Stuffed Animals Adding A Twist Of Humor For Adults

Stuffed animals have long been cherished for their comforting presence and sentimental value. Undoubtedly, they’ve been a favorite among children. But the introduction of funny designs has breathed a new life into this classic toy category, making them popular among adults too.

Humor takes form in many ways in these adult-friendly plushies. From snarky cats and surprised bees to celebrity-inspired horses and hilarious puns stitched onto a character, each funny stuffed animal brings its unique brand of humor to the table.

People looking for stuffed toys that act as cuddlers and mood boosters can find something special in our post of the best Funny Stuffed Animals for Adults.

Kawaii Japanese Plushies: The Unbeatable Cuteness

The popularity of Japanese plushies shot up during the 1970s and 1980s with the rise of the Kawaii culture. In Japanese, “Kawaii” means “adorable,” or “cute.” The word defines anything overwhelmingly cute, such as plush toys.

Kawaii Japanese Plushies have a charm that sets them apart from the rest. For example- those classic wide, expressive eyes. They’re made from various materials like cotton, plush, and polyester. Popular designs include anime characters, smile emojis, animals, and other cute objects.

Thanks to their intricate designs, unmatched craftsmanship, and high-quality materials, Japanese plushies are highly sought after by serious collectors and fans of Japanese pop culture. No wonder they are priced relatively higher than their counterparts from other countries!

Embracing Tradition With American-Made Teddy Bears

Embracing Tradition With American Made Teddy Bears

There’s hardly anyone who can deny the comforting embrace of a teddy bear. They’re timeless treasures and make popular gifts for both children and adults. They’ve also become a symbol of Valentine’s Day, signifying love and affection.

But do you know the endearing history tied to American Made Teddy Bears? As the story goes, Teddy Bear got its name from the Late President Theodore Roosevelt following an incident where he refused to shoot a defenseless bear during a hunting trip in 1902.

The first teddy bears actually looked like real bears with extended snouts and beady eyes. Over the years, these toys have greatly changed in form, style, material, and color. Today’s teddies are much cuter with baby-like features such as small foreheads and big eyes.

Some of the most iconic teddy bears are Winnie The Pooh, Rupert Bear, Care Bears, Yogi Bear, and Paddington Bear.

An Unusual Twist: Anatomy Plush

An Unusual Twist Anatomy Plush

Anatomy Plush is the perfect example of when education meets fun. These types of plushies have their own fan base. Parents buy these for their little ones to help them learn about the human body.

Moreover, these plushies have found a special place in hospitals, adorning clinics and bringing smiles to patients and staff alike. After all, who can resist chuckling at a cute organ pillow or a brain plushie by the bed?

These unique toys have also become a go-to choice for hilarious gifts, winning the hearts of medical geeks, teachers, doctors, and nurses with their whimsical charm.

You can find Anatomy Plushies in various shapes, colors, and sizes. Whether you want to purchase individual parts like uterus plush, heart plush, kidney plush, or an entire human doll with multiple organ plushies attached, the choice is all yours!

The World Of Plush Plush is a plushie store owned by Zachary “Zach” Hsieh. More popularly known online as ZHC, he is an American YouTuber and a self-taught comic book artist from San Jose, California, US. He is known for his custom art, drawings, and giveaway videos.

Currently, ZHC offers four types of high-quality plushies, out of which two are available on pre-order. They’re priced at around $29 each. The most popular plushie from ZHC is the Space Turkey Plush which is signed by ZHC himself. Other items include the Bunbun Plushy, Fayur Plushy, and Turkey plushy.

The company’s standout feature lies in its tree-planting initiative. That means, when you purchase a product from them, you bring joy to your life plus contribute to a greener future.

Check out this comprehensive guide to get all the scoop on plushies.

The Grandeur Of Giant Plush Toys

duck lamb bear stuffed toy

When it comes to plush toys, the bigger, the better, agree? If yes, Giant Plush Toys are right up your alley.

These toys are the ultimate cuddlers. Their large arms can wrap around you in the coziest embrace, making you feel loved and safe. Moreover, the sheer size of these plushies makes them a visual spectacle. They can be the center of attention in any room, adding much to the beauty of your décor.

Giant Plush Toys are available in hundreds of characters, sizes, shapes, and colors. Whether you want a giraffe taller than you or a teddy with extraordinary arms, you can rest assured there’s a giant plushie that checks all the boxes for you!

Apart from their cuddly nature, giant plushies boast incredible craftsmanship. Thanks to their massive sizes, they feature a more intricate design, making them appear more lifelike than other toys.

Others: Celebrating The Diversity Of General Plushies

Cute Plush Dolls The Ultimate Guide

Beyond the types of plushies mentioned above, there is another sea of General Plushies that celebrates an even wider range of characters, objects, and themes.

These plushies can be anything from food items like ice cream cones or dumplings to everyday objects like kitchen items, pillows, and even pet clothes. While some general plush toys are made from soft and fluffy materials, others may incorporate synthetic fabrics or electronics to support movements and sound.

Truly, the sky is the limit when it comes to general plushies.

How To Choose A Plush Toy?

How To Choose A Plush Toy

Now that you know the different types of plush toys you can buy, let’s look at* HOW* to choose the perfect one for yourself, your kid, or a loved one.

Be sure to make these careful considerations:


When it comes to plush toys, size does matter. An important thing to note is that size isn’t merely about visual appeal. It impacts several other factors, including safety, experience, and comfort.

For example, you should avoid buying large or giant plush toys for infants and toddlers, as they risk accidental suffocation or entanglement. Instead, it would be best if you went for smaller stuffed toys. Children with tiny hands can easily hold onto such plushies.

In contrast, older children, teenagers, or adults may find more comfort in larger plush toys. They can provide the sense of security we seek or offer great support to just lounge while reading or watching the TV.

So, always ensure that the size of the plush toy is appropriate for your height and age or the recipient’s.


The price of a product often reflects its quality, making it a reliable indicator. Brands with established reputations in the market usually offer more expensive products. For instance, Japanese plush toys are generally pricier than those from American plush toy manufacturers. It’s because they incorporate pop culture references, superior craftsmanship, and world-class quality.

Luckily, not all plushies are priced high. What you pay ultimately boils down to the particular plush toy you’re eyeing and where you buy it from. For example, if all you’re looking for is a squishy friend, you can find budget-friendly plush toys from your local retail store.

However, you might have to shell out extra bucks if you’re looking for something specific or from a particular brand.


plush toy used good marterials

Remember, material sure affects the toy’s quality. But more importantly, it also influences its overall safety and durability.

The other coverings in modern plush toys are made of plush fabric, a.k.a. minky or microfiber fabric. It is a super-soft synthetic fabric made from 100% polyester. Hence, you need not worry much about the outer material of plushies.

However, you should check what goes inside your plush toy too. The stuffing material directly impacts your plushie’s softness and comfort. Thanks to their soft and cozy texture, ideal stuffing materials include wool and cotton. Additionally, these materials are easily washable, making maintenance hassle-free and extending the toys’ durability.

Besides, ensure the materials are hypoallergenic and meet safety standards to avoid potential health concerns.

Aesthetics And Visual Appeal

Anything to do with the visual appeal of a plush toy comes under aesthetics. That includes design, appearance, colors, patterns, texture, material, etc.

The overall aesthetics of a plush toy plays a significant role in attracting both kids and adults alike. So, this becomes an even more important factor to consider if you’re purchasing plushies as gifts. Whether it’s a popular cartoon character or a cute animal, a well-designed plush toy with the right colors and patterns can instantly light up the recipient’s face.

However, when purchasing plush toys for kids, an added layer of consideration comes into play. Some plushies have features like bulging eyes or buttons to increase their visual appeal. On the flip side, these features can pose potential hazards. Hence, it’s best to avoid such products for the safety of young children.


official plush toy is good for boys

Safety is paramount when choosing a plush toy for your child or anyone, regardless of age. Plushies are meant to bring joy and comfort. Hence, they should meet stringent safety standards to ensure a worry-free playtime experience or stress-free cuddle session.

Opt for plush toys with securely stitched features made from non-toxic and hypoallergenic materials to ensure they are safe for everyone. Avoid anything with small parts, loose accessories, or plastic components.

Digging Deeper Into The World Of Plush Toys

Today the world of plush toys is seemingly divided into two parts. One is dominated by Squishmallows, and the other is where all the other varieties of plush toys exist.

This section of the article will offer an insight into the dominant world of plush toys, Squishmallows.

The Global Phenomenon Of Squishmallows

Since its debut in 2017, Squishmallow has garnered a gigantic following and has become a global phenomenon. How? Let’s find out.

As mentioned, Squishmallow is a brand of stuffed toys launched by Kelly Toys company in 2017. The company has launched over 1000 Squishmallow characters in various sizes, colors, and textures. Some of the more popular Squishmallows around the globe are Cam the Calico Cat, Lola, Fifi, Winston, and Avery The Mallard.

In the words of Kelly Deen, senior VP at Jazwares (parent company of Kellytoy), the craze for Squishmallows hit a “fever pitch” in 2019.

In 2020, amid the pandemic, Squishmallows took the world by storm and transformed into a global phenomenon. And part of its success goes to social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Reddit.

Believe it or not, the hashtag #Squishmallows has gained over 550 million views on TikTok alone, with the Squishmallows official account earning over 300,000 followers. Consequently, the company sold 50 million Squishmallows as per a February 2020 report by Toy Book.

These squishy plush toys became so huge that they collaborated with Monopoly. Together, they created a monopoly board featuring Squishmallows as purchases instead of properties. This game gave birth to one of the most iconic Squishmallow characters, Cam the Cat, found only in this version.

huge squishy plush toys

Just last year, in 2022, Premium Joy reported that Squishmallows were the most popular holiday toys across the US, surpassing mega-brands like Hot Wheels, Play-doh, Nintendo Switch, Lego, and Nerf.

More recently, in 2022, Warren Buffet’s company Berkshire Hathaway acquired the parent company of Squishmallows, Jazwares. Squishmallows continue their upward trajectory, capturing the heart of millions with their irresistible charm and squishy appeal.

Unveiling The Adorable Mini Squishmallow Sets

Squishmallow’s latest brand extension, “Squishville,” offers some of the most adorable, pocket-friendly Mini Squishmallow sets. This new venture is geared towards expanding the Squishmallow universe with new characters, new themes, and petite versions of the classic characters.

Customers can find select items on Amazon, various retail stores, and the official Jazwares website.

The Size Spectrum of Squishmallows

Understanding Squishmallow sizes is important if you want to collect these squishy, cuddly, plush toys. Originally, Squishmallows came in four sizes. However, today, you can find these toys in as many as 12 sizes ranging from 3.5 to 24 inches.

what are plush toys

The 3.5-inch Squishmallow, also known as clip-on Squishmallows, are often found in the Squishville mini sets. They offer an adorable pocket-sized charm. You can use these pint-sized toys as keychains, on your backpacks, or even as decorative pieces.

Small Squishmallows are generally 5 to 10 inches. Hence, they’re the perfect palm-sized companions. These petite Squishmallows are a hit for their portability and versatility. The 8-inch Squishmallow size in this range is considered the perfect size to be squeezed, acting as a great stress busters.

Moving up the size scale, the regular or medium Squishmallows measuring between 11 and 13 inches are the most popular. They’re perfect for cuddling and hugging.

As for those seeking a giant dose of comfort, the large-sized Squishmallows measure anywhere between 16 and 24 inches. They’re undoubtedly great for cuddling but also provide extra comfort during bedtime.

Embracing Comfort With Pillow Giant Squishmallows

Big Pochita Plush 55cm Plush Pillow

These Squishmallows make the most magical bedtime experience. Whether you want to tuck it under your legs, rest your head on it, or simply squeeze them as you doze off to slumber land, Pillow Giant Squishmallows can be your best bedtime buddies.

They’re usually sold as Jumbo Squishmallows and come in the largest size, i.e., 24 inches. Some of the best Pillow Giant Squishmallows are Leonard, Brina, Hila, and Miles.

Check our Guide On Pillow Giant Squishmallows to explore more characters!

The Soft Appeal Of Pink Giant Squishmallows

Giant Squishmallows are inviting, cozy, and comforting on their own. However, its pink color adds an extra touch of sweetness. They make a colorful addition to any cuddle collection.

When you think about Pink Giant Squishmallows, you think of Archie from the Foodie Squad, Fifi from the Heroes Squad, and Piper the Penguin. These are just a few of our favorites. We have more recommendations in our Complete Guide To Pink Giant Squishmallows.

The Charm Of Dark Blue Squishmallows

The rich and deep shade of dark blue radiates a sense of calm and joy, making these Squishmallows ideal for relaxation. Neither too bright nor too dim, the best dark blue Squishmallows strike the perfect balance.

One of our favorite Dark Blue Squishmallows is Dani, the Navy Blue Bigfoot Plush Toy. As per her bio, Dani loves sushi (so do we) and achieves anything she sets her mind to (you go, girl!).

Celebrating Uniqueness with Cow Large Squishmallows

Celebrating Uniqueness with Cow Large Squishmallows

While you obviously can’t keep a cow at your apartment, you can experience the next best thing – the adorable appeal of Large Cow Squishmallows. With their oversized, squishy bodies, and cow-like faces and prints, these Squishmallows are the epitome of cuteness.

Do you know Candela? She is one of the latest additions to the Squishmallow Valentine Squad, released in 2023. She’s a Highland Cow with a patch of rainbow fur and a cool fringe haircut. Her pink ears and off-white muzzle add more to her beauty.

Hug Mee Squishmallows: Offering Unmatched Comfort

The Hug Mee Squishmallows bring a new level of excitement with a more lifelike experience. These Squishmallows offer unmatched comfort with their 3D look. Unlike regular Squishmallow plushies, they have hands, feet, or paws added to the characters’ oval bodies.

The lifelike features of Hug Mee Squishmallows make them even more huggable and lovable. When you embrace their cuteness, it feels like they’re actually hugging you back. Who can deny such a heartwarming experience?

The Attractive Panda Squishmallows

There are more than 20 attractive panda plushies at Squishmallow. They come in multiple sizes, colors, and designs. So, if pandas are your favorite animal, you will find a panda character that meets your personality.

Are you bold and outgoing? You might find a friend in Stanley the Panda. Are you an animal lover? Then Lander the Pandacorn might be your ideal match. Do you believe math is equal to fun? Check out Inez the Mint Pandacorn.

Likewise, the Panda Squishmallow collection offers various characters to suit every personality.

The Delightful Squishmallows Set

baby with the cow stuffed toy

If you deeply love and are fascinated with plush toys, you might want to explore the delightful Squishmallow sets. These plushies are a hit among passionate toy collectors for several reasons. One being the suspense associated with them.

Yes, we are talking about the mystery Squishmallow sets. These sets usually contain four plush toys, out of which two are concealed until they’re opened. This element of surprise adds a whole new level of suspense to your Squishmallow hunting expedition. Who knows, you might even find some rare, limited-edition characters!

Besides the mystery sets, there are others like the Squishmallow Mini Plush Rainbow Dream Squad Set, Easter Plush Set, Assorted Animal Squad Set, and many more.

Head over to our Ultimate Collector’s Guide to learn in detail about these adorable Squishmallow Sets.

Unraveling The Cost Structure of Squishmallows

The cost structure of Squishmallow is pretty straightforward. The larger the size, the higher its cost. Generally, the price ranges between $3 and $50.

Squishmallow prices also vary between stores and retailers. Rarer collections are often priced higher. For example, exclusive and limited-edition Squishmallows can reach extraordinary prices. Rare collections, sometimes sold as collector’s items, may reach prices of up to $1300 or even more in online stores or auction platforms.

The Secret Inside: What Are Squishmallows Stuffed With

Rabbit sutffed plush toy

All Squishmallows are stuffed with high-quality polyester fiber, making them ultra-soft and durable.

Polyester fiber brings in a lot of benefits. One of the main advantages is its breathable, hypoallergenic nature. Hence, Squishmallow is suitable for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Another notable benefit of polyester is its durability. Consequently, Squishmallows can endure countless hugs and squeezes without losing their original form.

Where To Buy Plush Toys?

What Are Squishmallows Stuffed With

Plush toys are readily available in both online and brick-and-mortar stores. While this detailed guide explores the Best Plush Stores, here are some general places where you can buy them:

1.Online Retailers: E-com websites like Amazon and eBay offer a multitude of plush toys from different brands under one roof. A simple search of “plush toys” will reveal countless products for you to choose from. The best part about shopping for plush toys on these platforms is that they offer customer reviews that can help your decision-making process.

2.Brand Websites: If you have a specific brand in mind, such as Squishmallow, you can simply visit the company’s official website to buy them. Buying plush toys from brand websites ensures you get the most genuine products.

3.Retail Stores: Gift shops, toy stores, shopping malls, and department stores usually carry a wide selection of plush toys. They are also your best bet to find cute plush toys on a budget.

4.Specialty Toy Stores Or Retailers: These places usually specialize in collectible toys such as rare plushies, vintage plushies, or limited-edition plush toys.

Visual Guide To Plush Toys

Here is your visual guide to the different kinds of plush toys on the market:

Want to explore more plush toys? Check out these links for further explorations:

Snapshot Serenade: Picture-Packed Guide To Stuffed Animals

Visual Journey Through The World Of Squishmallows: Picture Gallery

Wrapping Up: The Last Word On Plush Toys

To wrap up, we’d say plush toys are truly enchanting companions that bridge the gap between reality and imagination. Their beauty lies in their ability to evoke feelings of joy, nostalgia, and tenderness, winning the hearts of young and old alike.

With that, we come to the end of our Comprehensive Guide To The World of Plush Toys. We hope you’re leaving this page with newfound appreciation and knowledge about these cuddly toys.

References and Further Reading


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