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Over the years, I have done a lot of research into the best non-toxic toy companies for babies and toddlers. I have also had the opportunity to accumulate toys from most of the brands featured.
Several factors that I use to evaluate safe non-toxic toy brands include, among other things, whether the toy company is reputable, has a proven safety track record, uses non-toxic finishes and materials, or is based in the USA. (Note that I did not disqualify a company solely because their toys might be produced in another country.)
I have broken down my list into companies that focus primarily on wooden toys versus other safe materials.
Non-toxic wooden toy brands:
- Plan Toys
- Camden Rose
- Maple Landmark
- Bannor Toys
- Grimm’s Spiel and Holz
- Uncle Goose
Other non-toxic toy brands:
Non-Toxic Wooden Toys
Plan Toys – This is probably one of my personal favorite wooden toy companies. (When weighing cost vs. quality.) They are based in Thailand and use the wood from unfertilized rubber trees. Organic color pigment and water-based dyes are used to color the toys. Plan Toys has really thought about every step of the manufacturing process to ensure that the toys are made in a safe, non-toxic, and sustainable way.
They are among the kids’ favorite toys to play with and have held up beautifully over time.
Camden Rose – An amazing Waldorf-inspired, toy company based in the USA. They make products featuring silk, organic cotton and hardwoods. I have them listed as a wooden toy company because the majority of their toys are made from wood that are either left unfinished or polished with beeswax. You can find other types of toys as well at Palümba, which is their online retail store for “inspired natural living.”
Maple Landmark – This wooden toy company is based in the USA and creates a large variety of wooden toys. They do use many types of finishes (some, arguably toxic, e.g, petroleum-based lacquer and urethane) but clearly state which finish is used for each toy. I would recommend their Schoolhouse Naturals line which do not have any finish.
Bannor Toys – A popular Etsy shop for wooden toys made in the USA. (In general, Etsy is a great place to look for lesser-known, non-toxic wooden toys, which cannot all be listed in this guide.) Bannor Toys are handmade in Iowa and either left unfinished or finished with beeswax and/or flaxseed oil.
HaPe – HaPe is the world’s largest producer of wooden toys. They are a German-owned company but their toys are manufactured in China. The factory in China is owned and maintained by the company and the toys are all third-party tested to US and European standards. They source the wood and materials used from Germany, Russia, and Belgium.
I have a few HaPe toys and for the most part I think they are fine. (I really like their dollhouses.) I consider the quality to be a hair less than Plan Toys. My main complaint is that they use water-based paints which is more likely to chip or scratch off over time. (I usually prefer stains and dyes to paints.)
HABA – A German wooden toy company that sources their wood from Germany, Russia, and Finland. Many, if not most, of their wooden toys are made in Germany but they do own a factory in China as well. They use either water-based stains or water-based, solvent-free lacquer to color their toys.
Wonderworld – Wonderworld is located in Thailand and source their wood in an environmentally-conscious way from rubber trees that no longer produce latex. They use botanical-based stains but also non-toxic paints, dyes, and lacquers. However, “lacquer” is a tad vague and not as specific as I would prefer.
Grimm’s Spiel and Holz – A well-regarded, wooden toy company based in Germany. They make high quality, handcrafted toys but are on the expensive side (and harder to come by in the US). The toys are made from sustainable hardwoods and then finished with water-based stains and/or linseed oil.
Uncle Goose – My favorite wooden alphabet (in 23 languages!) block company. The blocks are handcrafted in the USA out of basswood and printed using non-toxic, mouth safe inks.
Other Non-Toxic Toys
Green Toys – Green Toys is hands-down, my favorite plastic toy company. Their toys are made in the USA from recycled plastic milk jugs (HDPE #2 plastic which is widely regarded as a food-safe, non-toxic plastic). Their toys are well-made, durable, and great for even sand and water.
Surprisingly, this is probably one of my favorite toys for its versatility. Not only does Max love using it to pretend serve us food, but we have also been able to use it to serve him his real food and snacks as well.
Spielstabil – A German company with all toys made in Germany. Spielstabil products are made of food-grade ABS plastic (which is considered a safe plastic, free of phthalates, BPA, lead and PVC). The company uses a process called hygenic ultrasonic welding rather than glue to ensure that there are no chemical glues or adhesives used. Additionally, Spielstabil plastic items are microwave, dishwasher and food safe. (Nonetheless, I try never to heat any form of plastic.)
Under the Nile – A company that specializes in 100% fair-trade, GOTS certified, organic Egyptian cotton toys and clothing. Their toys are probably best geared towards babies and newborn as they are simple, soft, organic, and can be washed.
My only concern is that it’s not clearly indicated where all of their toys are made. Some items are definitely made in Egypt but I’m not sure if that’s the case for all of their products..
Apple Park – Similar to Under the Nile in that they feature 100% GOTS organic cotton toys and clothing. They use hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial corn fiber to fill the toys. Their toys are also best for babies and infants. Apple Park owns and operates the first and only certified-organic soft toy factory in China.
Hevea – They specialize in 100% natural rubber products made in Malaysia. The colored bath toys are hand painted with plant pigments. The company is well known for their pacifiers but also make teethers and bath toys.
Vulli – The creator of the (in)famous Sophie la Girafe. Their toys are made from 100% natural rubber, sourced from Hevea trees grown in Malaysia. The classic Sophie is made in France and hand-painted using food-based paint that will fade over time. Vulli has since expanded their line and, while most toys are still made in France, some are produced in China.
If you are looking for gift ideas for toddlers, check out The Ultimate Gift Guide: Best Toys for Toddlers.
The universe of toys is large and ever-changing. If you have any other non-toxic toy company recommendations, feel free to let me know in the comments!
These toys designed and crafted to stimulate, educate and entertain your child. These are ideal toys for the kids and non toxic. This is really a ultimate guide of kids toys. Thanks for sharing.
Here’s another great one! https://www.mybrainblox.com/
thank for the reviews i found nice and non toxic !! stuff to buy for my new born baby
I’m happy I could help!
I am a new mommy and have been researching and researching as well! Thank you for this wonderful resource that confirms a lot.
In terms of mouth safe products (because my little one is shoving everything there;), what finishes do you trust the most?
Hi Ale, I’m glad my guide was helpful! In terms of finishes I trust most for oral contact in this order: 1) organic cotton (after being washed), 2) unfinished or polished with beeswax wood, and 3) unpainted rubber but I’m not super fond of the smell.
Thanks for your research. I have also found okoNORM products, made in Germany from plant-based materials, to be really good. They have non-toxic felt pens as well as paints, crayons, etc. The company is transparent in its practices which I really like.
Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll be sure to check them out!
We are an All-Natural, Non-Toxic wooden toy company too! Check us out. https://www.mybrainblox.com/
A lot of these are scratched out…. does that mean you changed your mind on the safety?
Hi Carley, the toys recommendations still stand but it just means my links may be a little out of date. I wrote this post a year ago (to the day!). Anyway, thanks for letting me know and I’ll be sure to update the links!
Hello, Thank you for putting that list together! What about The Wonderful Folks At Plan Toys ?
Hi Chloe, the toy you listed is by Plan Toys – one of my favorite non-toxic toy companies!
Hi!! I noticed you didn’t list Melissa & Doug. Can you share why? Do they use scarier coatings etc? Thank you!
I, personally, do not like Melissa and Doug. Their toys have tested positive for lead and other heavy metals in the past. In addition, there is a lack of transparency as to the paint used other than to say that it’s non-toxic. As you can see in my guide, other companies provide more specificity with regard to the paint or stain used. Regardless, I prefer stains over paints anyway.
Finally, compared to the other companies listed in my guide, I find Melissa and Doug toys to be inferior in quality. Again, this is my personal opinion where reasonable people may disagree. But that is why I did not include them in my recommendations for best non-toxic toys.
Trying to spread the word about our new All-natural, Non-toxic toy company, Brain Blox! https://www.mybrainblox.com/
What about the wooden toys from Manhattan toy Company? What do you think of those?
It’s hard to say – the company is not very transparent in terms of the wood and paint used. The most I could gather is that the toys are: 1) made in China, 2) from sustainable wood, and 3) use non-toxic, water-based finishes.
What do you think of a French company Janod? Their products are mostly wooden and for whatever reason more expensive than Hape.
Me too — I have just ordered a bundle of JANOD toys because they are suppose to be eco friendly and non toxic.
Any information on Discovery toys brand?
I really like this post! Keep sharing.
volgopoint Blocks Toys
Why do some have a strikethrough the text? Do you no longer consider those reputable?
Not at all! It’s just because sometimes the links change over time and a strikethrough will automatically appear even if the link reroutes.
I just may have purchased a bag of poison for my granddaughters. I ordered a set of Gorock plastic animals that are supposed to be compatible with duplo and now that they’ve arrived I’m wondering about their potential toxicity. I wasn’t thinking about that when I ordered them. Any info on them you can give me?
Would like to know about the Discovery toys?
I am also wondering about Discovery Toys. I noticed two others asked this question but it hasn’t been addressed. Would you mind weighing in on theses toys? Thank you.
Just recently bought Discovery Toys for my grandchildren. When they arrived I noticed they were all made in China. I loved Discovery Toys when most were made in USA and they carried the Ravensburger brand of games. Now wondering if these toys are safe. All of them are colored plastic.