We are presenting a selection of the best therapy dolls reviewed here for our viewers- to assist people with selecting the perfect doll for their loved one with dementia.
We have also provided a comprehensive guide to buying and utilizing a therapy doll.
The newborn comfort dolls we have chosen were specifically selected for adults with memory loss.
Before you consider the products we have reviewed, you may be interested in reading our article on the Pros and Cons of therapy dolls. Here we outline the benefits and risks.
9 Best Therapy Dolls Reviewed
|Doll||Average Customer Rating||Features||Price|
|Baby Doll Therapy New Born||4.5 STARS||Designed for dementia|
Easy to wash clothes
|Someone to Love Dolls||5.0 STARS|
9 dolls to select from
|Comfort Companion Therapy Doll Holly||5.0 STARs|
Soft to cuddle
|Ashton - Drake Therapy Doll||4.4 STARS||Designed for Alzheimer’s|
Donates to charity
Vinyl & cotton
|Baby Boy Doug Doll Therapy||4.5 STARS||Easy cleaning|
|CHAREX Reborn Sleeping Baby DollsCHAREX Reborn Sleeping Baby Dolls||4.3 STARS||Lifelike|
5 piece ensemble
Vinyl & silicone
|JIZHI Lifelike Reborn Baby Dolls||4.4 STARS||Conforms to safety |
Detail (wrinkles etc)
Value for price
Vinyl & cotton
|Zero Pam Reborn Baby Dolls||4.1 STARS||Lifelike|
Fits newborn clothes
Detail - wrinkles etc
Easy to clean
Has boy/girl parts
Silicone & cloth
|Kaydora Reborn Baby Doll||4.5 STARS||Lifelike|
Durable & sturdy
Value for price
Silicone & cotton
Scroll Down, below ‘Buyer’s Guide’, for full review on selected therapy dolls
Ultimate Guide to Buying a Therapy Doll
Therapy dolls have an incredible effect on people in the middle and later stages of Alzheimer’s. They are calming, soothing and gives people a sense of responsibility.
Alzheimer’s doll therapy brings dementia patients back to a time in their life when they cared for a young family. Rather than having someone caring for them, dementia patients can do the caring- giving carers an opportunity to relax.
The simple act of cuddling a doll can help re-establish nurturing feelings, express emotions, provide a sense of purpose, and bring joy and comfort.
Expertly crafted therapy dolls can look and feel very lifelike.
A quality doll will have the following features:
- Sturdy and durable
- Easy to clean
- Attention to detail
- Made from safe materials that look and feel like a real baby
- Weighted body and head (reality)
- Realistic hair
- Body parts that can move
- Life sized
- Well-made clothing
- Appropriately clothed
- Silicone material over vinyl
ReaDementia identified 3 excellent therapy dolls available at the Alzheimer’s Store to review as well as some of the better doll products from the Amazon Store.
In our view, the far better products were the better quality dolls specifically designed for adult people with Alzheimer’s disease, rather than regular dolls designed and made primarily for children.
In the end the choice you make will be based on what doll best suit your family member with dementia and what your budget allows. Some of the less expensive dolls do offer value for money.
Positive outcomes of doll therapy for dementia patients:
- Offer an opportunity to give care rather than receive it
- Giving and receiving of unconditional love
- Reach the patient and establish a connection
- Opportunity for structured reminiscence sessions
- Planned opportunities for meaningful interactions with the environment
- A tool to help alleviate changing behaviours which may include anxiety, agitation, or low mood
- To engage in an activity which reminds them of their past roles
Considerations when selecting a therapy doll
In choosing the most appropriate doll, try to select the most lifelike one that fits your budget.
As a rule, dolls with soft bodies, but hard hands, feet and heads provide a more realistic ‘feel’ than those which are solid plastic or vinyl throughout. Dolls made with silicone do offer this feel.
Select dolls that reflect a realistic size and weight for a real baby.
Ensure that the therapy doll is appropriately clothed. Inappropriate dress shows little respect for the reality of the dementia patient.
Be aware of culturally specific practices in relation to childcare. Seek a doll that reflects the culture of the patient.
Introducing a Therapy Doll
Carry the doll into the room respectfully as if the doll were a real baby. This gives the dementia patient the chance to choose between reality and fantasy.
Do not coerce the dementia patient to hold the doll but wait for them to notice and acknowledge it. Invite them to hold the doll if they show interest
Observe the dementia patient to see Let if they enjoy interacting with a therapy doll. Watch to see if they smile and use loving tones.
If the patient questions if the doll is real, offer a response such as “it’s whatever you want it to be”.
Allow them to discover for themselves if the doll is real.
If the patient recognizes the therapy doll as a doll, don’t deny it. Rather, explore how lifelike it is and use it as an alternative form of looking back in their lives at experiences with babies.
Regardless of whether the patient considers the therapy doll as real or not, it is still important that the doll is always treated with dignity and respect. This also applies to when the doll is being stored. It isn’t a good thing for a patient to discover their doll tossed in some box or left on a table. This may trigger them as they may perceive that the doll is in danger.
Observe the dementia patient’s reaction and intervene if you feel they are made uncomfortable or become agitated by. Gently taking the doll and sitting with it yourself whilst continuing the conversation, may be enough to relieve anxious feelings. Then gradually reintroduce the doll.
Best Therapy Doll Reviews
Baby Doll New Born Comfort is a professionally designed therapy doll for adults with dementia. It is realistically proportioned and weighted to provide a realistic experience for the patient.
This product is available from the Alzheimer’s Store. They offer five different dolls, each with variances with gender, ethnicity, and characters. Attention to detail has been applied to the dolls.
The 19” dolls are appropriately clothed with quality easy to wash clothes. Further ‘newborn’ clothes can be bought for the dolls.
Having moulded heads and wispy hair, these therapy dolls are very realistic.
Rated 4.5 Stars by customers (not many ratings given) and almost all positive feedback from customers, suggesting that people have been very happy with the product.
The Alzheimer’s Store based in USA offer fast shipping. Be careful if ordering internationally, as the cost of postage is high.
Someone to Love Dolls are professionally designed specifically for adults with dementia. This product is similar to the above product in that it is a quality product with attention to detail. A realistic 17” long and heavy weighted (3lbs) to resemble a real baby. The dolls clothing is well made and additional newborn clothes can be bought and will fit the doll.
We like that the dolls have a warm welcoming realistic face and that there are nine different dolls to select from covering baby boys and girls as well as different cultures/races.
So far customers have given the product a 5 Star rating, however, there have only been a few reviews. This appears to be a new product line.
The Someone to Love Dolls are in the upper price range, however, at the time of writing this review they were being offered with a good discount by the AlzStore.
The AlzStore, based in USA, are fast with processing and with dispatching orders, however, if you are an international buyer, there will be a hefty postage.
Comfort Companion Therapy Doll Holly, a soft fabric doll supplied by the AlzStore has been designed for adult dementia patients.
The doll is easy to care for as it can be washed and dried and has been well sewn together. We like that it has a large front pocket on the outfit it wears. Memorabilia can be placed in this pocket for the patient to play with.
The doll is 25” X 12”, with a body that is both weighted and textured with different brightly colored materials gives patients, not only a doll, but something they can manipulate, touch and be excited by the colors.
The Comfort Companion Doll Therapy is a soft and cuddly affordable product, sure to delight people with dementia. This doll is obviously not meant to be lifelike as it is a cloth doll, however, it is perfect for stimulating the senses offering a pleasant experience to dementia patients.
The Ashton Drake Therapy Doll is an Amazon product designed for children (6+ years) as well as adults with Alzheimer’s disease. We selected this product as a low-cost option for our viewers.
The hands, feet and head of the doll are made of vinyl. The body is a cotton cloth. Although the doll looks very lifelike, it lacks the soft skin feature of other dolls due to the vinyl.
The 18” doll has the body and head weighted, helping with it being more lifelike. To help stimulate the patient’s senses there has been a powdered scent added.
The Ashton Therapy Doll is probably more a collectable than a toy. The eyes are fixed open and the company only offers one choice of doll.
We like that the company selling the product gives a small portion of each sale to research into Alzheimer’s. This therapy doll is a lower cost product with a 4.4 Star rating from 53 reviewers, with many very happy purchacers.
Baby Boy Doug is an Amazon product from the Memorable Pets brand, specifically designed for people with dementia. It is a little smaller than other dolls, at 15”. The entire doll is made from quality vinyl.
Being all vinyl, it is easy to wash and clean and patients can take it into the bath or shower. The downside to vinyl, is that the doll won’t feel as soft as dolls made from materials such as silicone. This makes them less lifelike.
The product is lower in cost offering value for those on a budget. Accessories can be bought separately, such as pacifiers and bottle that can be used with the doll.
Customers from 9 reviews have rated the product 4.5 Stars. The company doesn’t offer a selection of dolls to choose from.
The Charex Sleeping Reborn Baby Doll is an Amazon product made more for children, but can certainly be utilized as a therapy doll.
The company offers a boy as well as a girl doll. The doll is a realistic newborn size of 22” and the body has been weighted.
Made from soft vinyl and silicone, with attention to detail to hands and feet (wrinkles and color), the Charex doll has a relatively lifelike look and feel.
Rated 4.3 Stars by 53 reviewers, the doll is popular. The product quality is not high standard, but the price is reflected in this. The doll’s clothing also lesser quality, however, you can buy better quality newborn clothing that will fit this doll.
A 5 piece ensemble of accessories comes with this doll, including a magnetic pacifier that won’t fall out when given to the doll.
The JIZHI Lifelike Reborn Baby Doll has a soft cloth body 17” long. Another Amazon product offering value for the low price. At the time of writing the review it was being advertised with a discount.
The doll’s limbs and head are made from vinyl with a cotton filled body. The designers have given attention to detail with wrinkles on fingers and toes offering a lifelike doll.
The doll conforms to safety requirements with nontoxic materials and non-choking parts suitable for toddlers through to adults.
A range of accessories come with the doll and additional newborn clothing can be bought to fit the doll.
Although limbs and head appear lifelike, the puffy body looks ‘stuffed’ and proportions are out.
The JIZHI Baby Doll is not specifically designed with dementia patients in mind. Although only one choice of product is available to purchase, it is a popular choice with a 4.4 Star rating by 434 reviewers. Many people comment on the product being a good buy for the cost.
We selected the Zero Pam Reborn Baby Doll (Brand: Binxing Toys) to review as it is a full body silicone weighted (3lb) doll offering a more realistic feel for dementia patients. Being silicone the doll can get wet and be taken in the bath or shower, and it is easy to clean.
The non-toxic 18” doll available from Amazon stores is dressed in beautiful outfits. Additional newborn clothing can be bought that will fit the doll.
Having a chubby face, detail such as wrinkles on the toes and fingers, and all the ‘boy’ parts, this doll is very lifelike, feeling and looking like a real baby.
6 accessories come with the product and additional newborn outfits can be bought and will fit this doll.
Detracting aspects of the product were the limited movement of arms and legs (up and down only) and that people who bought the doll commented that the doll wasn’t as robust as other dolls.
The company, who designed this doll more for children than dementia patients, only offer one choice of doll.
Customer reviews give it 4.1Stars from 166 reviewers. Most people were happy with the product. Some mention that the doll feels more ‘vinyl’ than silicone and that the hair wasn’t so realistic.
The Zero Pam Doll is reasonably priced (at the time of this review it was on sale with a significant discount) offering good value.
Our final doll we have selected is the Kaydora Reborn Baby Doll. It is a realistic 22’ long, lifelike sleeping doll sold in Amazon stores for a price at the lower end.
The doll, not specifically designed for dementia patients (a child’s toy) has head and limbs made from silicone and a cotton filled body. The doll has been made to be durable.
Being weighted (3.16lbs) with attention to detail (wrinkles and fingernails), this cute looking baby doll is lifelike to touch and appearance.
Rated 4.5 stars by 968 people, the Kaydora Doll is a popular choice with many positive comments by reviewers. Negative aspects mentioned include: the hair is not well put together, the eyes are fixed open, and the body is over-stuffed- giving it a distorted appearance.
The company offers only one choice of product and it comes with a selection of accessories.