3 Best Kinds of Stuffing for Stuffed Animals (2023)

3 Best Kinds of Stuffing for Stuffed Animals (2023)

Have you heard the saying, “It’s what’s inside that matters”? In the case of stuffed animals, it is literally the most important part.

Our team has researched, gathered, and cuddled loads of plushies and developed an in-depth guide to help you figure out which is the best stuffing for stuffed animals.

Top 3 Stuffing Materials for Stuffed Animals

1.  Natural Soft

Natural Soft

Natural soft toy stuffing materials are probably the most popular filling for stuffed animals. These natural fibers can be made from cotton, wool, down, or feathers. 

  • Cotton: Cotton stuffing is a popular toy stuffing material because it’s soft and hypoallergenic – a good component for most sewing projects [1]. 
  • Cotton Fabric Scraps: These machine-washed types of toy stuffing are a great option if you’re looking for something environment-friendly. 
  • Corn Fiber Fill: Corn fiber is a combination of corn starch sugars and other ingredients which are hypoallergenic, environment-friendly, and derived from natural fiber. This is great for knitted toys, especially if you’re looking for naturally soft toys. 
  • Kapok: Kapok is a natural, plant-based fiber from the seed pods of the kapok tree. It is soft and lightweight and is often used as stuffing for toys and pillows.
  • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is another fiber from natural materials that’s both soft and hypoallergenic. It’s also anti-bacterial and mold-resistant, making it a great choice as a toy stuffing. If you’re looking for another antibacterial option, you can consider using dried lavender too.
  • Mohair: This type of wool stuffing is soft and durable. It’s often used as a toy filling for teddy bears but may attract bugs.
  • Bamboo: For a natural, sustainable toy stuffing material with a fine texture, consider using bamboo. It is soft, eco-friendly, and antimicrobial.
  • Wool: Besides buckwheat hulls, wool is popular because of its softness and durability, although it can be more expensive than other options [2]. Do watch out for dust mites when using this as filling.

2.  Synthetic Soft

Synthetic Soft

Synthetic soft is usually made from polyester toy stuffing fiber or poly pellets. Here are the most popular types of synthetic soft stuffing materials:

  • Recycled PET FiberFill: This is a great choice for synthetic stuffed toys. The material is made from various materials, including recycled plastic bottles, making recycled polyester an eco-friendly toy stuffing.
  • Polyester FiberFill: Commonly found in t-shirts, poly-fil is one of the most prevalent synthetic toy fillings. Polyfill stuffing is also inexpensive and very easy to find. 
  • Polyester: Known as a synthetic toy stuffing fiber that’s soft and durable, polyester stuffing is often used in teddy bears and other plushies.
  • Polystyrene Bean Bag Filling: As the name suggests, this polyester filling is often used in bean bags. It also has a texture similar to other more brittle heavy metals. 

3.  Hard


Hard stuffing is usually made from pellets or beads and is considered one of the most durable types of toy stuffing materials. It is often used to stuff plush children’s toys that need to be able to stand up on their own, such as a teddy bear.

Here are the most popular types of hard stuffing materials:

Pellets: Pellets are one of the great alternatives for stuffing because they’re inexpensive and easy to find. One example of this is ground walnut shells.

  • Glass Pellets: While glass pellets are a bit hard, they are environment-friendly and water-resistant. Another great thing about them is that they won’t compress over time, unlike other stuffing components.
  • Plastic Pellets: These synthetic pellets are popularly used on a finished toy because they’re soft and lightweight. Plus, they won’t degrade as much over time.

Steel Shots: For a more durable toy filling option, consider using steel shots as a filling for your stuffed animal. Steel shots are non-toxic, fire-resistant, and hypoallergenic like the previous options, but they are somewhat heavier due to the material used.

However, be careful since this can be a choking hazard, particularly for small children.

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Factors to Consider

Safe for Infants/Babies

Safe for Infants/Babies

The first thing you need to consider is whether or not the stuffing material of the toys you have at home is safe for infants and babies. Other materials like wool, when used on a toy, can be irritants for the young ones.

Meanwhile, safer variants such as organic cotton are ideal for infants.


Some toy stuffing materials like bamboo and wool toy stuffing can be difficult to find, while opting for cotton may lead to more stuffing availability.



Some materials, such as steel shots and glass pellets, are heavier than others. You might want to consider opting for toys with lighter filling for infants and go for those which are somewhat heavier for older children.


Another thing to consider before you stuff a toy is the softness of the material you are about to use. For instance, Kapok and polyester are softer than pellets and steel shots.

Price & Value

Price & Value

Finally, you need to consider the cost of your toy stuffing options to see if it is within your budget. Mohair and wool can be quite expensive, while a Polyester FiberFill is more affordable.

Go for the ones that can provide you with the best value for your money.

Types of Stuffing Materials

After learning about the different types of stuffing components, it’s time to decide which suits your project best. Here’s a quick overview of the most popular types of stuffing materials:


Any stuffing material derived from an animal or plant is considered organic and environmentally friendly. Common organic stuffing materials include wool, bamboo, and Kapok.



For a more sustainable option, consider using an eco-friendly stuffing material. These materials are usually made from recycled materials and are biodegradable. 

Some popular environment-friendly stuffing materials include recycled PET fiber fill and bamboo.


When it comes to stuffing materials, synthetic options are usually the most affordable. These materials are often made from plastic or polyester. Some popular synthetic stuffing materials include polyester fiber and microbeads.


What is the best filling for a stuffed animal?

The best filling for a stuffed animal will depend on your specific needs. However, some popular and environment-friendly choices include recycled PET fiber fill, bamboo, and wool.

Can cotton balls be used as stuffing?

Yes, cotton balls can be used as stuffing, but they’re not the best choice. The reason is simple - they are not durable and can easily fall apart. 


Finding the perfect stuffing, whether for a DIY project or to repair your stuffed animal, should be a breeze now that you know which ones work best for a specific type of toy. There are many available options out there - all you have to do is figure out exactly what you need and check if it is within your budget.

If you are looking for plushies to add to your collection, make sure to check Toynk out!

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  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/cotton-fibre-and-plant
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/materials-science/wool-fiber

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