There is no real estate agency when it comes to dollhouses … but can you imagine how cool it would be if there was?
The best dollhouses for kids and toddlers offer different styles, colors, floor-plans, and furniture kits, so it is safe to say that it is not exactly a “cookie-cutter market” out there. We’re here to serve as your own personal tour guide through a whole neighborhood of dollhouses, from the delightfully adorable to the stylishly restrained.
Here’s our look at some of the coolest dollhouses that we found:
The Annabelle dollhouse features three fully-decorated levels with four rooms total and a fancy top-level balcony. The wallpaper is expertly decorated with everything that your child needs to run a fully functional make-believe household. A complete set of movable furniture includes things like a bathtub, a dining table, a piano, and various beds and chairs. A sliding elevator provides an easy floor change for those that are not interested in taking the elegant white staircase. The Annabelle Dollhouse by KidKraft is made of lightweight wood, making it very easy to move around when it is not being played with.
Any grown woman who says that they did not grow up wanting a Barbie Dream House is probably lying. It’s one of the most popular selling toys of all time, and for a very good reason. The Dream House is the epitome of fanciful make-believe living, offering such amenities as a stylish tub, a moving garage door, and three metal-style balconies from which Barbie can survey her dreamland kingdom. 7 complete rooms with unique decorative schemes will keep your kid entertained for weeks at a time, not to mention provide enough space so every girl at the party can join in the fun.
The Charlotte Dollhouse offers a level of style and elegance that you simply cannot get anywhere else. Meticulously designed wallpaper that is different in all six rooms makes us want to go live in this dollhouse ourselves! Unfortunately, at 49” tall it is too small for us, however it is the perfect size for a group of kids to play together. There is truly enough room for everyone to get in on the fun. The Charlotte Dollhouse also happens to include some of the most beautiful furniture that we have ever seen in a dollhouse, only making us that much more jealous!
The Chelsea Doll cottage is not only adorable, but it also happens to be one of the most lightweight and portable dollhouses that you can get. While it is not as tall or bulky as some of the doll mansions out there, the Chelsea Cottage offers a more refined sense of space. Playful wooden accessories and furniture components are easily moved and rearranged. Kids will be absolutely delighted at both the folding patio umbrella and the movable swinging windowpanes. Five rooms plus balcony means that every member of the doll family will have enough space to do their thing.
Believe it or not, there is actually more than one Barbie Dreamhouse out there, so understanding the differences is important to making sure that you get the best one for your kid! This is the one that features a working twisty slide from the third floor down to the second, where a Jacuzzi tub in built right into one of two exterior porches. What’s really awesome here is the realistic yet delightful decor, featuring elegant printed paintings, restrained wallpaper styles, and pastel-colored furniture that just makes you want to spend the afternoon in with the dolls. Oh, and want to know a secret? The couch turns into bunk beds!
When you are a kid, there is nothing quite like a fairy tale to excite the imagination and open the mind to new possibilities. The little princess in your life deserves a space where her own fairy tales can come to life, and there is no better place for that than her very own royal castle, or in this case, the Disney Princess Cinderella Royal Dreams Dollhouse. Forget the chic hipster dollhouses with their miniature LCD TV screens … here is a royal estate that is truly fit for a princess. Watch as your child discovers the secret golden doors that lead up to a secret sewing room!
If you haven’t heard of TOP BRIGHT, then get ready to hear about one of the most talked about toy makers in the market today. Over the last few years they have developed a reputation for making high-quality wooden toys that are as safe and non-toxic as they are fun to play with. The Dream Dollhouse is no exception to this rule, and can lead your child on an array of imagination-fueled adventures that will all take place in the comfort of this little make-believe home. A total of five doll rooms and a balcony make this a great family estate, or a luxurious bachelorette pad for the working professional.
Sometimes, true style points come in the form of durability and portability, as opposed to just color and noise. The Fold & Go Wooden Dollhouse is another great product by Melissa & Doug, this one designed specifically for on-the-go toddlers and kids who would love to take their fantasy home wherever they go, whether it is a quick trip to the doctor’s office or a weekend stay at Grandma’s house. The wooden construction lends a definite sturdiness that plastic or cardboard dollhouses simply cannot match, which the included figurines are just so cute that you are going to want to spend the whole day with them.
Younger kids and toddlers are going to love the spacious and brightly colored floorplan of the Fisher-Price Loving Family Dollhouse. Featuring fold-in rooms and a flip-out swing set, this dollhouse offers an impressive amount of versatile fun. One of the more unique features is a built-in soundboard that plays fun sounds, making the dollhouse experience that much more exciting. The whole thing folds up with all the accessories stored inside, which means that clean-up is a breeze and storage is as easy as tucking it into a corner. Unlike many dollhouses, this one comes with a whole family of dolls, including Mom, Dad, and a little baby!
This is one of the biggest dollhouses that we have ever seen! Standing at a massive 54 inches high, the Majestic Mountain Dollhouse from KidKraft is simply the most spacious and accessible dollhouse that money can buy. Your kid will love exploring and decorating each of the 8 open rooms. An included accessory kit has 34 pieces, which isn’t limited to just boring old furniture. There’s a grandfather clock, a little cat, and houseplants that add the perfect flair, right where your kid thinks it should go. Movable components like swinging garage doors and a sliding elevator will keep even the most distracted child engaged for hours.
While it might seem that the basic design of the dollhouse hasn’t changed in centuries, cool new floor-plans are coming out from innovative manufacturers like Melissa & Doug that are modernizing the dollhouse market … mixing bold strokes of individuality with sensible, well-designed play components. Unlike a lot of dollhouses, the interior solid-wood construction comes unpainted, which not only presents the ideal opportunity for the artistically inspired child, but encourages the child’s imagination to go even further when dreaming up their ideal make-believe homestead. 19 pieces of solid-wood furniture complete this set in a way that is both durable and elegant.
Here is another awesome dollhouse that stands taller than the competition, offering three massive and spacious floors with a total of four rooms and two balconies. The total height reached just over 4.5 feet, which means that it is likely going to be taller than even your child is. No matter … they will love the immersive experience of being able to interact with a dollhouse that is big enough to reach their arms into. The furniture set includes a few unique items, like satin-style drapes and a makeup desk with a real mirror. And, the elevator goes to all three floors!
Recommended for kids who are 14 and older, this DIY house kit has every little piece that you need to build your very own romantic villa, right down to the detailed gables exterior and carefully decorated bedrooms and living areas. The whole kit comes completely disassembled, meaning that the real joy is putting this together with your child as a shared activity that you both can enjoy. And don’t worry too much about assembly, because each kit comes with a set of easy-to-understand English instructions that are very easily to follow, meaning that you can get your dollhouse dinner party started on time after all.
Young imaginations need enough space to stretch their legs, so to speak. You can give them that and much, much more with the Shimmer Mansion Dollhouse. This impressive estate is 49 inches high and 64 inches wide, making it perfect for group play during parties and sleepovers. We adore the brightly colored furniture and staircases, and the large modern hot tub offers an elegant touch. A full collection of fancy lifestyle accessories like a treadmill and a laptop computer offer a modern feel that some dollhouses don’t even try for. Perfect for 12 inch dolls like Barbies, the Shimmer Mansion Dollhouse is a great place to explore the imagination.
The ultimate hangout for the popular LOL Surprise series of kids dolls would naturally be the LOL Surprise dollhouse, which is absolutely one of the coolest hangouts on the block. Built especially for the lovable little LOL figurines that you may have seen before, the Surprise dollhouse has enough space for the whole extended family. The coolest thing is that all the furniture comes inside a cardboard moving truck. Every piece needs to be unpacked from little moving boxes, which is such a fun idea for kids who might be “moving in” to their very first dollhouse.
In what might be one of the slickest, most stylistic dollhouses that we have yet to encounter, the Girl’s Uptown Dollhouse by KidKraft offers a sense of modern style that no other dollhouse does. Take a look at the chrome-style staircase, the mini-pool, or the realistic fireplace decal to get a sense for just how cool the Uptown dollhouse actually is. It even has its own rooftop patio, perfect for entertaining make-believe guests for make-believe barbecue parties. Or, spend a quiet night at home in the chic living room by a roaring fire. As far as dollhouses go, this is truly living a life of luxury!
Not all make-believe adventures need to take place in a far off world. Some of the more realistically inclined might prefer to spend their time in a place with a bit more sophistication, and to these people we recommend the Victorian Dollhouse by Melissa & Doug. This has one of the most detailed exteriors that we have seen, a blend of carved 3D pieces and skillfully printed sides. Hardwood-style floors on the interior are nice enough to make even a real homeowner jealous, and high-detail carved furniture adds an element of sophisticated realism that you just can’t find anywhere else.
Sometimes, the only thing that any of us really needs is a relaxing weekend escape to the countryside, where time moves slower and the big things in life suddenly don’t seem so big anymore. That’s the kind of feeling that you get when playing with the Country Estate Dollhouse, another KidKraft release that is turning a lot of heads with its intricate design and attention to detail. This country retreat boasts a full 10 rooms, including a cute little outdoor patio and an enclosed garage. The only thing missing is a big old glass of sweet tea, but for that we might just have to use out imagination.
One of the problems with all the dollhouses on the market is that the large majority of them are made for smaller 1:12 scale dolls, which are sometimes a lot smaller than the average Barbie doll that your child might already have. The solution? The Bettina Dream House, a large, full-framed dollhouse and play set that is big enough to fit those Barbie dolls inside without any trouble. Four large rooms are accented by a pair of outdoor spaces: a 2nd level balcony and a lower level wood-style porch. This means that there is enough room for plenty of Barbies!
Open-walled dollhouses are a great way to make sure that everyone has easy access to playtime. As opposed to traditional dollhouses, this Hi-Rise Dollhouse can be accessed from almost any angle, which means even more kids can get in on the fun. Made by the toy experts at Melissa & Doug, this wood-framed dollhouse is constructed from sustainable and non-toxic materials. Bright colors and playful, simplistic wallpaper designs are sure to delight, while a 1:12 scale set of furniture accessories (15 in all) ensures that the fun isn’t going to stop for hours. If all that isn’t enough, Melissa & Doug offer a 100% Happiness Guarantee!
Buyer’s Guide: How To Shop For Dollhouses
There’s no real estate agency when it comes to dollhouses, so it falls on mom & dad to educate themselves as to what separates the good dollhouses from the bad, and what exactly to look for when comparing the best of the best.
What follows is a brief rundown of the criteria that we used to craft our suggestions, as well as a few things to keep an eye on when trying to select the most elegant, spacious, and style-conscious dollhouse possible!
Height & Total Footprint
Before signing the lease on a nee make-believe household, you want to make sure that you have the space for it. If the dollhouse is going inside of the play room, it might be a good idea to take a few measurement s to get an idea of how much space the dollhouse will take up, and whether other considerations need to be made.
If there isn’t much space around the house, then there are plenty of smaller dollhouses that provide the same level of style and interactive fun as the larger models. Some can even fold in on themselves, becoming smaller and creating an interior storage for easy portability.
Scale & Size
One of the biggest things to pay attention to when shopping for dollhouses is the scale, which refers no to the overall size ratios of the dollhouse construction. This is important because it gives parents an idea of whether or not the dollhouse in question is suitable for the dolls that you child already has.
As an example, the incredibly popular Barbie Doll is 11.5” tall, which is far too big to fit inside many of the dollhouses that appear on this page. For dolls of that size, larger scales are required, otherwise you might be looking at purchasing a few new dolls. Though some would say the more the merrier!
Scale is expressed as a pair of numbers, separated by a colon. 1:12 is one of the most common scales, so we can use it here as an example. A dollhouse with a 1:12 scale means that the items are going to be exactly 1/12th the size of the real life equivalent. For this reason, it is safe to say that the bigger the second number, the smaller the dolls and accessories will be.
Of you are buying new furniture for a 1:12 scale dollhouse, then you want to make sure that the furniture is also 1:12 scale.
- 1:4 OR 1:6 Scale – These are some of the “biggest” scale dolls that you can get. It is sometimes known as PlayScale, and is great for toddlers and younger children for whom some accessories might pose a choking hazard.
- 1:12 Scale – This is a popular scale because it allows for the immediate conversion of inches to feet. In other words, one inch of dollhouse space would be equal to one foot of space in real life.
- 1:24, 1:48, & 1:144 – These scales are far less common in the dollhouse world, and are actually usually only used by serious collectors. For the most part, the best dollhouses for kids and toddlers are going to have bigger pieces and accessories that these scales would offer, if for no other reason than the choking hazard that they pose to children.
Construction Material: Wood vs. Plastic vs. Paperboard Material
The large majority of dollhouses for kids are made from one of three materials: wood, plastic, or paperboard. While there are probably a few exceptions out there, these are by far the most common and as such we thought it might be worthwhile to go over the pros and cons of each.
Wood is becoming a more and more popular option for not just dollhouses, but for children’s toys of all sorts. Wood can be more sustainable than plastic in some circumstances (look for sustainably harvested products) and it is far less toxic than many of the plastic toys that come from China and Indonesia. Though regulations have greatly reduced the toxicity of imported toys and goods, some parents appreciate the extra peace of mind that comes from choosing wood over oil-based plastic.
Plastic has the incredible benefit of being remarkably cheap to produce. Dollhouses that are made from plastic tend to be more affordable, which is one of the most effective indicators of how well a toy is going to sell. Plastic is also easy to dye and print on, so some of the plastic dollhouses that we looked at are far more colorful and exciting than the plain wood-colored ones. Finally, it is lighter than wood, making it more appropriate for foldable-style dollhouses.
Paperboard is perhaps the lightest material, and in this instance refers to a number of different processed paper products that are intended to be cheap to produce, light enough to ship, and easy to assemble. There aren’t a whole lot of dollhouses out there that are made with this type of material, but it is fairly common to see individual components of plastic or wood dollhouses using paperboard here and there. The only drawback is that it is less durable than both wood and plastic.
Accessories, Furniture, And DOLLS!
Since many of the dollhouses that you see out there are somewhat similar in terms of room construction, one of the ways that manufacturers like to differentiate their products from the competition is by adding varying collections of exciting accessories, moving parts, chic furniture, and doll figurines of every size, shape, and color.
Every dollhouse comes with its own unique collection of furniture and accessories, so it is a good idea to get a feel for what is included in the box before placing the order. Once you know the scale of the dollhouse that you intend to buy, it becomes a piece of cake to find additional furniture and upgrades from different manufacturers to help fill out your child’s imagination space.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: What scale of dollhouse is best for toddlers?
A: Because both the doll figurines and many of the accessories included with dollhouses can pose a choking risk to toddlers and young children, it is best to stick to larger-size toys. These are also easier for youngsters to handle, and often utilize brighter colors and more exciting designs that are specifically crafted to appeal to the young and developing mind.
For toddlers, 1:4 or 1:8 scale is most appropriate.
Q: Can Barbie Dolls fit inside these dollhouses?
A: Barbie dolls are a good deal taller than many of the other dolls that are out there, so it’s important to make sure you are getting the right size dollhouse if you are expecting it to work with your kid’s Barbie dolls. Because Barbie Dolls are usually about 12” tall, a 1:8 scale dollhouse is the one that you are going to want to look for.
Our Favorite Dollhouse Of The Year!
Choosing a dollhouse should be as easy as strolling through its spacious halls, having a jump in the Jacuzzi tub, or watching the moon ride from the third story balcony. Barring the invention of a shrink ray, we’re just going to have to use out imagination to try to decide which dollhouse is going to be the perfect fit for you child.
For our money, it doesn’t get any more glamorous than the Victorian Style Dollhouse by Melissa and Doug. We love wooden dollhouses because of how sturdy they are, and this one in particular has one of the most beautiful floor plans that we have ever seen in a kids’ dollhouse. Maybe it’s those shiny wood floors!
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