In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Best Baby Pacifier

By Molly Bradac ⋅ Review Editor
Tuesday July 7, 2020
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Need a pacifier to help soothe your baby? After searching the market, we purchased and tested the top 9 baby pacifiers available in 2020. To determine the best, we compare each product side-by-side with the competition. We assessed each one for size, material, and nipple shape. Let our recommendations help guide you to the best product to help calm your little one.

1

Best Overall Pacifier


WubbaNub Pacifier


WubbaNub Pacifier
Editors' Choice Award
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$13.95
(7% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 0-6 months | One-piece design: Yes
Cylindrical nipple
Pacifier not easily lost
Machine washable
0-6 months only, no next-stage pacifier available

The WubbaNub Pacifier quickly became a tester favorite, and we bet your baby will enjoy it too. This pacifier is medical-grade silicone (free of latex, BPA, and Phthalates), and is attached to a soft plush animal. There is a wide selection of adorable animals to choose from, and we are sure you will have fun selecting one. Since babies can have a difficult time keeping pacifiers in their mouths, the plush animal stabilizes the pacifier. Also, thanks to the plush animal, it is not easily lost around the home, compared to small, clear pacifiers. During testing, we noticed that it is easier for older newborns to grab and that babies enjoy playing and stroking the soft plush. In terms of cleaning, WubbaNubs are handmade, so it is best to hand wash or surface clean the plush animal with cold water and allow it air dry. For added convenience, it is machine washable on a gentle cycle, before air drying.

The WubbaNub is for babies ages 0-6 months, and, unfortunately, there is no next-stage pacifier available. Also, If you have an early teether on your hands, be aware that emerging teeth can damage the pacifier. If so, immediately stop using it. There is no doubt that this baby pacifier brings a dash of fun to the world of pacifiers, and we recommend it to families with babies within the first six months of age.

The plush animal at the end of the WubbaNub helps stabilize the pacifier  and it makes it easier for children to pick-up.
The plush animal at the end of the WubbaNub helps stabilize the pacifier, and it makes it easier for children to pick-up.

2

Best Newborn Pacifier


Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier


Editors' Choice Award
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$1.60 each (in 2-pack)
(60% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 0-3 months | One-piece design: Yes
Cylindrical nipple
Tab to hold
May occassionally pop out

The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is a great pacifier for newborns with its cylindrical nipple shape that is soft and collapsible to respect the baby's sucking pattern. With a nipple similar to a mother's, it is suitable for breastfeeding babies, too. This pacifier is medical-grade BPA-free silicone, and it is of one-piece construction, which means no spaces for germs to hide. The silicone shield is flat, and it offers a tab for parents to hold. While testing, we found this pacifier readily taken among a handful of tester babies. We also found it easy to clean, thanks to its hollow nipple.

During testing, this pacifier fell out of the baby's mouth while sucking; however, this situation is not unique to this product. It can happen with other pacifiers, and it may be a result of the baby biting down on the nipple, causing it to pop out. We recommend this pacifier for families with newborns within the first three months of life.

The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is distributed in hospitals nationwide.
The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is distributed in hospitals nationwide.

Tip: If a pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth and lands on the floor, do not clean it by sticking it in your mouth before inserting it back into baby's mouth. This cleaning method is not "clean" and harmful bacteria from your mouth can transfer to your baby. Instead, wash it with soap and water, or sanitize it.

3

Best Bang for the Buck


Dr. Brown's HappyPaci


Best Value Award
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$1.66 each (in 3-pack)
(67% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 0+ months | One-piece design: Yes
Similar to Dr. Brown's standard/narrow nipple
Large loop easy to hold
Longer nipple

The Dr. Brown's HappyPaci is BPA-free silicone and offers the same shape as Dr. Brown's standard/narrow bottle nipple. Its butterfly-shaped shield curves away from the baby's face for comfort, providing room for nose and cheeks. It is available in either blue or pink. During testing, we found the loop handle to be one of the largest among the competition, making it easier for babies to grab.

The pacifier is suitable for newborns, but it does have a nipple that is longer than others, so if your newborn easily gags, we worry this may not be a match. Also, we noticed that our six-month-old tester's top lip would occasionally come over the top of the pacifier, which may imply the pacifier's size is not compatible with this child. Although this is not a deal-breaker, it is merely an observation, and it does not mean that it will not fit your child of the same age as every child is different. We recommend this pacifier to families who are using Dr. Brown's bottles and would like a pacifier with a similar shape to make the transition easier.

The Dr. Brown's HappyPaci is easy for little ones to grab  and it has the same shape as the bottle nipple.
The Dr. Brown's HappyPaci is easy for little ones to grab, and it has the same shape as the bottle nipple.

4

Our Favorite Glow in the Dark Pacifier


MAM Air Night Pacifier


Top Pick Award
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$3.50 each (in 2-pack)
(50% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 6+ months | One-piece design: No
Orthodontic nipple
Glow-in-the-dark button
Extra airflow shield
Travel-friendly case
Risk of water entering nipple

The MAM Air Night stands out among the competition with its glow in the dark button, making it easier for babies and parents to locate in the middle of the night. To maintain the pacifier's glow, keep it in the light during the day, but not direct sun. Another noteworthy feature is its minimal shield, allowing more generous airflow for babies with sensitive skin. This product is BPA-free, the shield is plastic, and the orthodontic nipple is silicone. It is available in a variety of colors and patterns, plus each set comes with a plastic sanitizer case. During testing, we found our little tester could grab and hold the pacifier with ease. Also, we like that the case helps keep the set of pacifiers together in the diaper bag and safe from germs.

If heating a pacifier in a plastic sanitizer case concerns you due to potential leaching of chemicals, we find the old-fashion method of boiling water works just fine. Also, the pacifier is not of one-piece construction, and there is potential for water to enter the nipple, leaving moisture for germs to grow. However, we did not experience this during testing, but it is a possibility. With that said, we recommend this product to families who will appreciate the glow in the dark feature or those who like a minimal shield with extra airflow, reducing the chance of skin irritation for their little one.

The MAM Air Night is easy for children to pick-up  and it illuminates in the dark  making it easier for babies to find in the crib in the middle of the night.
The MAM Air Night is easy for children to pick-up, and it illuminates in the dark, making it easier for babies to find in the crib in the middle of the night.

5

Best Option with Airflow


MAM Clear Pacifier


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$3.33 each (in 3-pack)
(67% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 0-6 months | One-piece design: No
Orthodontic nipple
Multiple airflow holes
Run the risk of water entering nipple

The MAM Clear Pacifier may catch your eye with its butterfly-shaped shield and fun button designs. It is available in a variety of colors and patterns. The shield is thinner, and it has a slightly textured surface and many small openings to allow air to circulate and baby's skin to breathe. The product is BPA-free, and it has a silicone nipple. Also, instead of a cylindrical nipple, it is orthodontic in design, with a thinner base, which increases to a bulb shape. The nipple is straight with no incline. The manufacturer claims this nipple shape is ideal for oral development. We find this pacifier to have a close fit against the baby's mouth.

Since this pacifier is not one-piece construction, there is potential for water from entering the nipple while cleaning and sterilizing. Trapped water is not ideal for hygiene reasons as it can promote germ growth. If this occurs, the manufacturer suggests squeezing and shaking the nipple to expel the water. Although we did not experience this situation while testing, we feel it is important to share as it can be a downside of multiple-piece pacifiers. We recommend this pacifier to families who are interested in using an orthodontic nipple that is straight, with no upward flex.

The MAM Clear Pacifier has a curved shield  big air holes  and an easy to hold button. For our little tester  she found the shield easy to grab and hold  which works  too.
The MAM Clear Pacifier has a curved shield, big air holes, and an easy to hold button. For our little tester, she found the shield easy to grab and hold, which works, too.

6

Runner-up Best for Newborn Option


RaZbaby JollyPop Pacifier


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$2.50 each (in 2-pack)
(50% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 0-3 months | One-piece design: Yes
Cylindrical nipple
Loop easy to hold
The nipple is soft, but not the softest

The RaZbaby JollyPop Pacifier is a one-piece 100% medical-grade silicone. It is free of BPA, DEHP, phthalates, and latex. The shield has a soft curve with two airflow holes on the upper lip. We appreciate the loop handle with small textured bumps, which we find easier for parents to hold.

Although the cylindrical nipple is soft, we find it to be not as soft as the Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier and the Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier. Although this is not a deal-breaker, it provides a sense of range among the pacifiers. This baby pacifier may be good for families with a newborn baby as it is suitable for babies within the 0-3 month range.

The RaZbaby Jollypop is a single-piece 100% medical grade silicone that meets the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines.
The RaZbaby Jollypop is a single-piece 100% medical grade silicone that meets the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines.

7

Good Soft Option


Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier


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$2.00 each (in 2-pack)
(60% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 0-6 months | One-piece design: Yes
Soft cylindrical nipple
Loop easy to hold
Frosted color may be easy to overlook

The Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier is soft and easily bendable. It has airflow holes on the upper lip, and the shield has a minimal curve with a downward angle loop for baby or parent to hold. The cylindrical nipple is malleable and collapsible.

One drawback to consider is the pacifier's frosted color, which may be easy to overlook or misplace. But, if you don't mind this factor and are searching for a soft pacifier, then look no further, this may be a match for you and your baby.

The Evenflo Balance Plus pacifier is 100% silicone. The pacifier for babies ages 0-6 months has a cylindrical nipple  whereas the 6 months+ version has an orthodontic nipple shape.
The Evenflo Balance Plus pacifier is 100% silicone. The pacifier for babies ages 0-6 months has a cylindrical nipple, whereas the 6 months+ version has an orthodontic nipple shape.

8

Good Option with Orthodontic Nipple


Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier


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$3.00 each (in 2-pack)
(50% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 0-6 months | One-piece design: Yes
Nipple has upward flex
Airflow holes on the top and bottom
Reusable case to sterilize and keep pacifiers clean
Transparent color may be easy to overlook

The Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier is the only pacifier in our review with a nipple with an upward flex. The manufacturer claims this design is to help position the tongue forward to maintain an open airway. The pacifier is 100% silicone, and the nipple is orthodontic in shape. The shield has four heart-shaped airflow holes, two on the top, and two on the bottom. It also has a very slight curve and offers a loop that is one of the largest, right behind Dr. Brown's HappyPaci Pacifier. This pacifier comes with a reusable case, which we find helpful to keep a pacifier from vanishing in a diaper bag, plus free of lint and germs. Also, our little tester appreciated the loop for holding the pacifier.

If heating items in a plastic sanitizer box does not sound ideal to you due to the potential of leaching chemicals, we find boiling water to sanitize is just as easy. One drawback of this pacifier is that its transparent color is easy to overlook around the home. We recommend this pacifier to families who are interested in an orthodontic nipple with upward flex and don't mind the clear coloring.

The Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier is a one-piece 100% silicone design with an orthodontic nipple.
The Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier is a one-piece 100% silicone design with an orthodontic nipple.

9

Good Option for Older Baby and Toddler


Tommee Tippee Closure to Nature Pacifier


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$2.21 each (in 4-pack)
(87% off)
at Amazon
See It

Age: 6-18 months | One-piece design: No
Orthodontic nipple similar to Tommee Tippee bottle
Many airflow holes
No loop

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier is slightly bulkier in appearance thanks to the plastic shield. The pacifier is BPA-free and made of polypropylene plastic with a silicone nipple. The shield is flat without any curve. The silicone nipple has holes around the base, like a clock, for airflow, which can decrease the chance of skin irritation.

Unfortunately, this pacifier does not offer a loop. Our little tester (6 months old) couldn't hold onto this pacifier, and accidentally put the paci in his mouth like a wafer, causing us to remove the pacifier and help with proper positioning. Once in place, our little tester enjoyed it. We recommend this pacifier to families who use Tommee Tippee bottles and would like a pacifier with a similar nipple for their baby in the age range of 6-18 months.

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier offers an orthodontic nipple and is easy to grip.
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier offers an orthodontic nipple and is easy to grip.

Tip: Pacifiers can crack and tear over time. Occasionally, inspect and pull on the nipple to look for wear and tear to avoid potential choking or ingestion hazards.

Each pacifier in our review experienced hands-on testing.
Each pacifier in our review experienced hands-on testing.

Why You Should Trust Us


BabyGearLab has been testing a wide range of products for more than eight years, accumulating extensive experience and knowledge with every review. Leading this review is Molly Bradac, holding over 14 years of experience as a professional Nanny and Newborn Care Specialist. While testing, we were able to enlist the help of some awesome little testers, ranging in age from newborn to 6 months, including Lilia, who is nearly six months and modeling in our pictures. Each product in our review experienced side-by-side testing for size, material, and more to find the best in the bunch.

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier has a shield that is slightly bulkier in comparison to other products in our review.
The WubbaNub Pacifier is soft and cuddly.

Analysis and Test Results


Each product in our review experienced lots of use and a side-by-side comparison to compare performance.

Every pacifier will differ in size and shape depending on age. This information is found on the packaging  and it is best to follow manufacturer recommendations.
Every pacifier will differ in size and shape depending on age. This information is found on the packaging, and it is best to follow manufacturer recommendations.

Size


It is best to choose a pacifier that is appropriate for your baby's age and size because a pacifier will change based on development and teething. Typically, the suggested age range is on the product's packaging. The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is suitable for babies within the 0-3 month range, whereas the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier is better suited for older children within the 6-18 month age range.

The MAM pacifiers have different shield designs  with the MAM Air Night (right) offering minimal surface area for babies with sensitive skin.
The MAM pacifiers have different shield designs, with the MAM Air Night (right) offering minimal surface area for babies with sensitive skin.

Material


Although silicone use tends to be high, we suggest double-checking the material before using a pacifier with your baby. All of the pacifiers in our review use silicone, like the Dr. Brown's HappyPaci and the Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier, but there are latex pacifiers on the market. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure your child does not have a latex allergy before purchasing and using a pacifier with this material. The benefit of silicone is that it can withstand high temperatures, which is excellent for boiling and sterilizing a pacifier for hygienic reasons. Also, a few pacifiers in our review use some amount of plastic, like the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier, the MAM Air Night, and the MAM Clear Pacifier. If you are looking to avoid plastic, perhaps due to the possibility of leaching of chemicals under high heat, then this is a factor to consider.

Nipple Shape


What is best, a cylindrical nipple, or one that is orthodontic? Honestly, the answer depends on a few factors, plus every baby is different. The baby pacifier, Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, has a soft, cylindrical nipple. However, the Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier has an orthodontic nipple with an upward flex, unlike any other in our review. Finding the right pacifier for your baby may take some trial and error, and we suggest discussing the nipple shape with your pediatrician, or even a lactation consultant. There is some discrepancy in what style is best for breastfeeding babies or when to introduce a pacifier to breast-fed babies, so your pediatrician and consultant can help you navigate these waters.

Tip: Purchase several pacifiers to disperse them around your home, car, and diaper bag. Keep a couple in the diaper bag for moments when one hits the floor, and you'll have a backup

The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier was one of our little tester's favorites.
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Pacifier was one of our little tester's favorites.

Conclusion


A pacifier can help soothe and comfort your baby. It may also help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If you determine that a pacifier is right for your baby, we encourage purchasing a variety of baby pacifier brands and styles to try, and you'll know when one works. But, don't force it. We are confident that the information and recommendations in our review will help your decision-making.

Molly Bradac