In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Best Baby Pacifier

By Molly Bradac ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Tuesday October 27, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$15.85
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. The pacifier is medical-grade silicone (free of latex, BPA, and Phthalates) and attaches to a soft plush animal. In our experience, younger babies can have difficulty keeping pacifiers in their mouths, and the plush animal helps stabilize the pacifier. We noticed that the plush animal makes it easier for older babies to grab and navigate the pacifier to their mouth, plus we often find children 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 to air dry. It is machine washable on a gentle cycle for added convenience, then let it air dry. Thanks to the plush animal, we believe this pacifier easier to locate around the home as it is harder to overlook than single small pacifiers, especially clear ones.

The WubbaNub is for babies ages 0-6 months, and, unfortunately, there is no next-stage pacifier available. 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 the WubbaNub brings a dash of fun to the world of pacifiers, and we highly recommend it to families with babies between 0-6 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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$4.99 each (in 2-pack)
at Amazon
See It

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

The Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier is an excellent pacifier for newborns with its cylindrical nipple shape that is soft and collapsible to respect the baby's sucking pattern. This pacifier is medical-grade silicone (BPA-free), and since it is of one-piece construction and hallow nipple, with no nooks or crannies for germs to hide, it easy to clean. The silicone shield is flat, and it offers a tab for parents to hold.

In our experience, this pacifier can fall out of the baby's mouth while sucking; however, this situation is not unique to this product. It can happen with other pacifiers, too. We recommend this pacifier for families with newborns within the first three months of life despite this possible situation.

If this pacifier works for your newborn, consider moving onto the Philips Avent Super Soothie once your little one hits the 3-month mark and beyond. It is similar in design, but for older babies.

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 the 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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$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 silicone (BPA-free) and offers the same shape as Dr. Brown's standard/narrow bottle nipple. The butterfly-shaped shield curves away from the baby's face for comfort, providing room for nose and cheeks. The pacifier's loop is one of the largest among the competition, and we believe this makes it easier for babies to grab.

The pacifier is suitable for newborns, but we noticed the nipple is longer than others. Therefore, if your newborn easily gags, this pacifier may not be a match. We also 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 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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

$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 the pacifier 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 generous airflow, which is excellent for babies with sensitive skin. The orthodontic nipple is silicone, and the shield is plastic, both BPA-free. It is available in various colors and patterns, plus each set comes with a plastic sanitizer case. During testing, our little tester could grab and hold this pacifier with ease. We also like that the case helps keep the set of pacifiers together in the diaper bag and safe from germs.

With concerns regarding plastic and the potential of chemicals leaching, we feel that sanitizing the pacifier in its plastic sanitizer case is not the best method. We think the old-fashioned boiling water method 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. Nonetheless, we recommend this product to families who will appreciate the glow in the dark feature and 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


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$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 various colors and patterns. The shield is thinner, and with many small openings, air can circulate and allows the baby's skin to breathe. The pacifier has a silicone nipple (BPA-free). 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 think this pacifier has a close fit against the baby's mouth.

Since this pacifier is not one-piece construction, there is potential for water to enter the nipple, which 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. We recommend this pacifier with adequate airflow to families 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


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$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 100% medical-grade silicone and one-piece construction. 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 think is easier for parents to hold.

Although the cylindrical nipple is soft, we believe it is not as soft as the Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier and the Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier. We recommend this pacifier to families with a newborn as it is most 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


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$2.10 each (in 2-pack)
(58% 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 we think is 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


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$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 think is helpful when keeping 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.

We prefer not to use the plastic sanitizer box given the potential of plastic leaching chemicals, and we think boiling water to sanitize is an easy task. Also, we think the pacifier's transparent color can be easy to overlook. We recommend this pacifier to families 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


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


$3.90 each (in 4-pack)
(77% 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, prompting parent 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 over the past decade, accumulating extensive experience and knowledge with every review. Leading this review is Senior Review Editor, Molly Bradac, who also holds 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. We purchased each product in our review and completed hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons to assess performance.

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


We tested our lineup with various little testers and evaluated each one for size, material, and more, which played a role in our ranking of contenders.

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 essential to choose a pacifier's size that is appropriate for your baby's age and stage. As babies develop and teeth, pacifiers can change, so keep an eye on the suggested age, typically found on a 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


Often, pacifiers use silicone, but latex nipples are available. We suggest double-checking material before using a pacifier, especially if your child has a latex allergy. All of the pacifiers in our review use silicone, including the Dr. Brown's HappyPaci and Evenflo Balance Plus Pacifier. The benefit of silicone is that it is less porous and less prone to bacteria than latex nipples. It also can withstand high temperatures, which is excellent for boiling and sterilizing for hygienic reasons. 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 due to the possibility of leaching of chemicals under high heat, this is a factor to consider.

Nipple Shape


What is best, a cylindrical or orthodontic nipple? Honestly, the answer depends on a few factors, and every baby is different. We suggest discussing this topic with your pediatrician and lactation consultant, but we can kick start the discussion and provide information. A cylindrical nipple is bell-shaped, whereas an orthodontic nipple has an irregular shape with an indent in the center. For instance, the Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier has a soft, cylindrical nipple. In contrast, the Chicco PhysioForma Soft Pacifier has an orthodontic nipple with an upward flex, unlike any other product in our lineup. Finding the right pacifier for your baby may take some trial and error. Also, since there is some discrepancy in what style is best for breastfeeding babies or when to introduce a pacifier to breast-fed babies, 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 times 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 comfort your baby and meet non-eating sucking needs. It may also help reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If you determine that a pacifier is right for you and your baby, make sure the pacifier's size is appropriate for your baby's age. 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