Best pacifiers of 2020

Pacifiers are a great way to help your little one soothe herself if she enjoys the sucking action. Because you can’t really tell ahead of time which pacifier your little one will like best, you may wish to buy a few types and try them all to find which one your baby prefers.

To help you select a couple of pacifiers to try, we surveyed more than 4,000 Pampers Parents to discover which one they like the best and to collect some pros and cons for each product.

Why Your Baby Might Love a Pacifier

Babies have a strong sucking reflex, and many babies enjoy the soothing sensation that sucking provides. Beyond what nursing or a bottle can provide, your baby might love the chance to suck on a pacifier after or between feeds.

The key to offering your baby a pacifier is to follow his cues about whether he feels like taking it or not, and not to force it.

Another guideline is that you shouldn’t give your little one a pacifier as a way to delay or replace a feeding; rather, it should be given to satisfy your baby’s desire to continue to suck. This is why a great time to offer your little one a pacifier is after a feeding.

You may also like to offer a pacifier to your little one at bedtime, as experts say it may help him calm down and fall asleep. Sucking on a pacifier at bedtime may also reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Nevertheless, if your baby doesn’t want the pacifier or if it falls out of his mouth while he’s asleep, there’s no need to place the pacifier back in your baby’s mouth.

You might have heard that using pacifiers for a long time can harm the development of your baby’s teeth and gums. According to children's health experts, normal pacifier use in the first few years won't lead to long-term problems. If you’re unsure or if you have any questions on which pacifier is best, ask your baby’s healthcare provider or dentist.

If you are breastfeeding, don't introduce a pacifier until your newborn is at least 1 month old and your breastfeeding routine is on track. This is so the action of sucking on a pacifier doesn’t cause what’s called “nipple confusion,” which can make it harder for your newborn to learn to suck on your nipple during feedings.

Things to Consider When Buying a Pacifier

These are some of the factors to consider when deciding which may be the best pacifier for your baby:

  • Safety. Check that the pacifier meets safety standards set by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and hasn’t been recalled. [anchor link to recall notice] Experts also recommend the pacifier be made of one piece, as this helps reduce the risk of small parts breaking off. Small parts can be a choking hazard. Multiple-piece pacifiers typically have a nipple, a guard or shield, and a ring that are stuck together. Never buy a pacifier that has a string, ribbon, or cord on it, as these can be strangulation hazards. You also shouldn’t use anything to attach the pacifier to your little one’s clothes or hands, or to the crib, for the same reason.

  • Shape. Experts recommend giving a pacifier that has a soft nipple. A pacifier nipple with a round tip may be more “nipple-like,” while an “orthodontic” nipple typically has a flatter side and an angled shape. Manufacturers often make claims about their pacifier being better for your baby’s orthodontic development or better at preventing nipple confusion. According to experts, most of the pacifiers sold in the US are orthodontically correct, and it’s probably best to ask your baby’s healthcare provider about which pacifier is best for your baby’s healthy development. Ultimately, the best pacifier nipple is often the one that your little one enjoys using.

  • Material. Experts recommend choosing a pacifier made of silicone. Babies are often allergic to latex, so it may be safest to avoid pacifiers that contain latex. Once you have some pacifiers at home, check them from time to time to make sure no parts are loose and that the pacifiers haven’t fallen apart.

  • Ventilation holes. Make sure there are small holes on the pacifier shield to allow for ventilation. This helps prevent the buildup of moisture on your little one’s skin.

  • How easy it is to clean. Go for one that is dishwasher safe so that you can easily put it in the dishwasher or boil it to keep it clean. You should do this regularly until your baby is 6 months old. After this time, rinsing it with soapy water may be enough as your baby’s immune system is now stronger.

  • The recommended age. Pacifiers come with an age recommendation, so look for one that suits your baby’s age. Remember to buy a new pacifier if your little one reaches the maximum age recommended by the manufacturer of your existing pacifiers. Most of the pacifiers on this list are good for the first three to six months, but many manufacturers also offer the same pacifier in a bigger size for when your baby is older and it’s time to upgrade.

  • Size. For your little one’s safety, the shield (sometimes called the “guard”) should be at least 1.5 inches across, to make sure that the entire pacifier cannot fit in your little one’s mouth.

  • Design. Pacifiers come in different colors and styles. One pacifier on this Pampers Parents list even comes with an attached soft toy that your little one might love. Some manufacturers claim their material or design helps prevent the pacifier becoming discolored or going out of shape. Even if this is the case, you should keep an eye on the pacifier over the course of its use and throw it out if it does bend out of shape or if there are any parts missing.

  • How many you’ll need. It’s easy for pacifiers to become lost — dropped on the ground or behind the couch, for example. You might want to buy several at once, or buy a multi-pack or two. Because your baby may not take to one pacifier or another, you may like to buy a few different kinds and see which one your baby prefers. Once you’ve found the best pacifier for your baby, buy some spares to have on hand.

The 8 Best Pacifiers as Voted by Pampers Parents

These are the eight best pacifiers for babies according to Pampers Parents:

1. Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier

Why pick this one? The Soothie pacifier by Philips Avent is the very best pacifier for babies, according to Pampers Parents, who voted it number one.

The Avent pacifier is made of a single piece of hospital-grade silicone. The manufacturer claims the material resists discoloration and changes in shape, but you should still keep an eye out for this, just in case.

The manufacturer also claims the shape of the nipple won’t affect the healthy development of your baby’s teeth and gums. The shape of the nipple is round, and the shape of the shield is also round.

Unlike some of the other pacifiers on this list, the Soothie comes in lots of colors including blue, green, pink, yellow, and purple.

This pacifier is BPA and latex free. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning; however, you can also boil it or clean it with a steam sterilizer.

Highlights: The manufacturer claims the pacifier doesn’t have a taste or odor, making it more likely to be accepted by your little one.

Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier
How many in a pack 2
Baby age 0 to 3 months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $3.19 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: Many Pampers Parents said that this pacifier was the only one their children would accept, and that it was recommended by the hospital where their child was born. Other plusses include that it’s soft and easy to clean. Some Pampers Parents wished it came with a U-shaped handle instead of a straight handle. It would also be good if this Avent pacifier came in more colors.

I like this one because it’s easy to clean and nothing gets stuck in it that I can’t clean later. And it’s lightweight so my baby could hold it herself from the start.

Pampers Parent

2. NUK Sensitive Orthodontic Pacifiers

Why pick this one? Number two on this Pampers Parents list is the NUK pacifier. The nipple is shaped so that it’s flatter at the bottom and more rounded up top. The manufacturer claims the shape mimics the shape of a real nipple during breastfeeding.

The shield is contoured in a way that helps prevent it from rubbing against your baby’s skin.

The handle on this pacifier is rather short. The benefit of this is that you won’t accidentally knock the pacifier out of your baby’s mouth; the downside is that you don’t have much of a handle to grab a hold of.

Unlike most of the others on this list, the NUK pacifier comes with a storage case. This could be handy for keeping the pacifier clean when it’s stored in your diaper bag, for example.

This NUK pacifier is dishwasher safe, and it’s BPA free.

Highlights: This pacifier has a heart-shaped design so the top of the pacifier shield doesn’t rub against your baby’s nose. This design might also help make it easier for your little one to breathe while sucking.

NUK Sensitive Orthodontic Pacifiers
How many in a pack 2
Baby age 0 to 6 months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $5.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: The curved shape of the pacifier shield and the orthodontic design of the nipple were listed as big plusses by many Pampers Parents. Some Pampers Parents wished it came in more colors, and that it was more readily available in stores.

The NUK pacifier is great. It allows for proper air flow so that my baby’s skin on and around the lips isn't getting irritated or red. It is a great fit in terms of the size of the nipple, and it calmed and soothed my baby every time!

Pampers Parent

3. WubbaNub Infant Pacifier - Giraffe

Why pick this one? The really cool thing about this pacifier is that it comes with a plush giraffe toy that hangs off the end of the shield. Your baby will love holding onto the giraffe, and may find it soothing.

The one downside of this design is that you may find the plush toy gets quite icky from all the drool, and the entire pacifier may be harder to keep clean as a result. This pacifier is not dishwasher safe, and the toy cannot be taken off the pacifier.

Although this pacifier is more expensive than the others on this list, the plush toy may make it worth it.

The nipple of the pacifier is round. There are two ventilation holes on the shield. The shield itself is a flat, round disc, with no contours or cutouts, so you may find it doesn’t follow the curve of your baby’s face as much as some other models do.

The pacifier element is made of one piece of silicone. It’s latex, BPA, PVC, and phthalate free.

Highlights: Don’t like the giraffe? You can also choose from a puppy, an elephant, or a reindeer plush!

WubbaNub Infant Pacifier - Giraffe
How many in a pack 1
Baby age 0 to 6 months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $13.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: Unsurprisingly, Pampers Parents who voted for this pacifier loved the attached soft toy. They loved that the giraffe gave the pacifier an extra function as a soothing cuddly toy that the baby could snuggle and hold onto. Keep in mind that some Pampers Parents wished the toy was detachable for easier cleaning.

My son loved this because of the animal attached. He would snuggle with it and it would help him sleep. It would also calm him down if he was upset.

Pampers Parent

4. Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci

Why pick this one? This simple pacifier by Dr. Brown’s is made of silicone and has a one-piece construction.

The nipple shape is round. The shield has a butterfly shape, which may make this pacifier more comfortable for your baby’s nose, cheeks, and chin.

This BPA-free pacifier can be placed in the dishwasher and sterilizer. It also comes in a pink version.

Highlights: This pacifier comes in a pack of three, so if your little one is happy with the HappyPaci this is a great value purchase.

Dr. Brown’s HappyPaci
How many in a pack 3
Baby age 0+ months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $5.09 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: If you give your little one a Dr. Brown’s bottle, you may like that the nipple of this pacifier likely matches the nipple of the bottle you use. Some Pampers Parents wished it came in more size and color options.

5. Chicco PhysioForma Soft Silicone Orthodontic Pacifiers

Why pick this one? The nipple of this pacifier is angled upward and shaped so that it’s flatter at the bottom and rounded at the top. There are tiny ridges on the flat side to encourage your little one’s tongue to sit against it. In this way, the manufacturer claims your baby’s tongue will be coaxed forward, which helps to clear the airways.

The base of the nipple is thin so that your little one can close her mouth over the nipple more easily than over a thicker nipple base.

This pacifier is made of silicone with a satin feel. It’s both BPA and latex free.

You can also buy this pacifier in pink and green. Once your baby is older, you can buy this same pacifier in designs for 6- to 12-month-olds, and for toddlers older than 16 months.

Highlights: This pacifier comes with a storage case. You can place it in the microwave when it’s in the case for easy sterilization.

Chicco PhysioForma
How many in a pack 2
Baby age 0 to 6 months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $5.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: This pacifier is well made and sturdy. It’s also easy to clean and durable. The clear color means it can be harder to find when it drops on the floor.

6. The First Years Gumdrop Newborn Pacifier

Why pick this one? Just as the name suggests, these Gumdrop pacifiers come in bright colors, from greens and blues to pinks and purples. This might be a big pro for you because some other pacifier manufacturers offer only a few color options. Plus, the bright colors may mean these pacifiers are easier to find when dropped.

The nipple shape is round, and the shield has a cut-out section up top to leave plenty of room for your baby’s nose.

Made of silicone, this pacifier is both latex and BPA free.

Highlights: With this purchase, you get two pacifiers in two different colors.

The First Years Gumdrop Newborn Pacifier
How many in a pack 2
Baby age 0 to 3 months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $5.13 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: The material and texture of this pacifier are great. The bright colors make it easier to find when the baby drops it. One Pampers Parent mentioned it would be great if it came with a carrying case.

7. Nanobebe Pacifiers

Why pick this one? You may like to pick this Nanobebe pacifier if you’re looking for a round extra-soft nipple.

This pacifier is mostly clear with a colored trim, in teal, pink, gray, and white. Like the others on this list, this one is a one-piece silicone design. It’s also BPA and phthalate free.

The handle on this pacifier is small compared to some of the other pacifiers on this list. This could be a pro or a con depending on your preferences. The shorter handle makes it less likely you’ll accidentally knock the pacifier out of your baby’s mouth, but the downside is that the pacifier will be harder to grab and hold onto.

If your baby likes this pacifier, you might like to upgrade to the same pacifier designed for babies aged 3 to 6 months when the time comes.

Highlights: The ergonomic shape of the shield is the big plus of this pacifier. It’s curved to follow the contour of your baby’s face, and it has a cutout at the nose and the chin so as not to irritate your baby’s skin or cover her nose.

Nanobebe Pacifiers
How many in a pack 2
Baby age 0 to 3 months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $5.49 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: The shape of the nipple means water doesn’t get trapped inside when you clean it. Although some Pampers Parents loved that this pacifier is small, others found it to be too small.

8. Evenflo Feeding Balance Plus

Why pick this one? Last but not least, this is the most affordable pacifier on this Pampers Parents list. This pacifier has a round nipple shape./p>

The grip of this pacifier is quite big and sturdy, making it easy to grab ahold of. The shield has several ventilation holes to prevent the build-up of saliva or moisture on your baby’s skin.

This one-piece pacifier — just like the others on this list — is made of silicone. It’s free of BPA, polycarbonates, PVC, and phthalates.

This pacifier comes in an opaque white color; there aren’t other color options.

Highlights: The nipple is made with soft silicone, which the manufacturer claims helps prevent mouth fatigue in your baby.

Evenflo Feeding Balance Plus
How many in a pack 2
Baby age 0 to 6 months
Material Silicone

Price*: about $3.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons: The cutout at the top of the shield was liked by some Pampers Parents because it creates more room for the baby’s nose. Some Pampers Parents mentioned the hole at the tip of the nipple as a pro, possibly because it allows the water to drain out during cleaning. Some Pampers Parents wished the base of the shield had ventilation holes.

As you stock up on all the baby gear you need for your baby, grabbing a few different pacifiers is a great idea. We hope you’re in luck and that your baby takes to one of the pacifiers that other Pampers Parents found worked for their children.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.