This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which Elmo toy is best?

Elmo from “Sesame Street” has been well-known by kids in hundreds of countries for many years. Perhaps reaching peak popularity as a toy during the 1996 Christmas season, Elmo toys continue to make excellent gifts for kids and nostalgic adult fans of “Sesame Street.”

For the best electronic Elmo toy, try Hasbro’s Playskool Friends Tickle Me Elmo. Just like the version from the ‘90s, Tickle Me Elmo laughs and talks when his foot or tummy is pressed.

What to know before you buy an Elmo toy

Is Elmo your favorite?

Elmo is one of the most popular “Sesame Street” characters. If you like the whole cast of “Sesame Street” and not just Elmo, you might want to find toys of other characters to accompany Elmo in your collection. Cookie Monster, Grover, Big Bird, Abby and many others could also be fun toys if a kid already has an Elmo toy or would enjoy having other characters too. 

Electronic toys

Elmo toys that move, talk, dance or laugh make for a very interactive experience with a child. However, an Elmo plush with moving parts or plastic and electronic components inside may not be as soft and cuddly. If a child wants an Elmo toy that they can easily carry around and hug, a non-electronic toy may be the better option. 


A smaller Elmo doll is a good choice if a child wants to carry it with them everywhere. Easily portable and travel-size Elmo toys are a better option than a large Elmo plush. Depending on what kind of Elmo toy you’re looking for, items can be found in a variety of sizes. From fitting in a child’s palm to requiring both arms to carry, Elmo can take on many shapes and forms.

What to look for in a quality Elmo toy


Elmo toys should be soft for multiple reasons. It’s easier for children to grab and hold soft fabric than a hard plastic Elmo. Soft Elmo toys are easier to cuddle and safe for young kids to carry around or sit on without any risk of injury. Perhaps most importantly, a soft and fuzzy Elmo toy looks more like the real Muppet.


Consider how rough the intended user might be with the toy. The best Elmo plushes and toys don’t fall apart easily, but threads, fabric and plastic parts can only hold up to a certain amount of rough play. If durability is a concern, it might be worth getting two of an Elmo toy so that you have a backup if the original sustains serious damage and can’t be repaired.

Play value

Some Elmo toys make sounds and interact with kids when the electronic components are powered on. The best options have buttons or activators hidden on Elmo’s body so that when he’s squeezed or touched, the toy automatically makes sounds to entertain the child.

How much you can expect to spend on an Elmo toy

Simple toys and plush dolls can be found for under $20. If you want an Elmo toy that sings, dances or moves around with electronic components inside, expect to pay more.

Elmo toy FAQ

Are there good Elmo toys other than plushies?

A. There are lots of non-plush Elmo-themed toys featuring the iconic character. Some options are “Sesame Street” figures or hand puppets that help kids imagine their own stories for Elmo and his friends. Learning to control a hand puppet of Elmo is not just a creative activity, but can help a child practice eye-hand coordination and language skills. 

What are good Elmo toys for younger kids?

A. Many Elmo plush toys are safe for almost any age. Some other good toys for young children are bath toys or soft toys other than Elmo dolls. Always keep an eye out for small parts or components of toys that could break off and pose a potential choking hazard or other danger for a young kid. It differs depending on the age and the maturity of the child, so use your own judgment when determining appropriate and safe toys for a child.

What’s the best Elmo toy to buy?

Top Elmo toy

Playskool Friends Tickle Me Elmo

Playskool Friends Tickle Me Elmo

What you need to know: The original laughing Elmo toy from the ‘90s gets a modern update from Hasbro for a new generation.

What you’ll love: He has spots on his tummy and foot that can be squeezed to activate his laughter. The toy moves and makes sounds when tickled. It’s safe for kids older than about 18 months. It runs on two AA batteries.

What you should consider: It’s a pretty expensive electronic toy. Some customers reported receiving the wrong item or a defective Elmo that didn’t make sounds as intended.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Elmo toy for the money

Sesame Street Little Laughs Tickle Me Elmo

Sesame Street Little Laughs Tickle Me Elmo

What you need to know: This affordable and portable little Elmo plush toy is a soft and cuddly doll that can talk when you press his belly.

What you’ll love: He has six phrases that are said when his belly is pressed. He measures about 10 inches tall, making it easy for young kids to pick up and carry on their own. This Elmo plush is easy to travel with.

What you should consider: It can only handle surface cleaning and cannot be washed through submersion.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Sesame Street Plush Bundle featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover

Sesame Street Plush Bundle featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover

What you need to know: This set of plush toys includes Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover, all easy for kids to hold and play with.

What you’ll love: The plush figures are about 10 inches in height and soft, safe for any kids older than 12 months. Each plush has a unique design to resemble an iconic “Sesame Street” character. Hasbro makes other character plush toys at the same scale to match with this little collection.

What you should consider: The plush toys don’t make sounds or move, they’re just soft stuffed dolls. Some customers have reported receiving defective products.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Elliott Rivette writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.