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©2018 by Red Jellies.  All rights reserved.

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THE BEST DOLLHOUSES

We heart dollhouses.

Open-ended play. Storytelling. Imagination. This classic childhood toy is beloved for good reason.

These days, dollhouses come in nearly every shape, size, material, and style (not to mention price!).     

 

We considered 153 models across 31 brands and then tested the six most promising dollhouses.  Here's the scoop on our top picks.

 

Want to know more about our methods?  Here's why you should trust us.

THE TOP 6 DOLLHOUSES

* If you’re considering buying something featured on Red Jellies, click the link we provide and we’ll receive a commission on the sale from our retail partners (no extra charge to you).  That helps us focus on the products, so you can focus on the fun.

 

** The adjusted price is our rough calculation of the total cost of this item once you’ve bought any accessories (i.e., furniture, dolls) that aren’t included with the dollhouse.  You’re welcome.

THE STANDOUTS

Top  Pick

Playmobil Deluxe Dollhouse-min.jpeg

The Fun

  • Quality

  • Lots of rooms

 

The Frustration

  • Pricey

  • Furniture not included
     

The Playmobil Deluxe Dollhouse is a quality standout.  The pieces are robust and the house sturdy.  It’s pricey, especially since it doesn’t come with furniture, but the furniture sets available for purchase are super cute.

MSRP: $99.99

Read full review here

Top  Pick

The Fun

  • Openness

  • Simplicity

 

The Frustration

  • Minor quality issues
     

The Hape All Season House excels when it comes to play potential.  There are plenty of rooms and play space, and its features tend toward the understated, which allows the child’s imagination to take center stage. 

MSRP: $199.99 (typical retail $126)

 

Read full review here

Best

All-

Inclusive

Calico Critters

Luxury Townhome Gift Set

The Fun

  • Cute critters

  • Open-ended storytelling

  • Furniture included

 

The Frustration

  • Narrow rooms

 

The Calico Critters Luxury Townhome makes your life easier.  It’s essentially an all-in-one package with enough furniture and two super cute bunny figures to get your kiddo playing right away.  Plus, assembly is a breeze.  We would’ve loved for the rooms to be a little wider, but the floor extension helps.
 

MSRP: $99.95

 

Read full review here

Best

for Toddlers

Fisher-Price

Little People Surprise & Sound Home

The Fun

  • Sturdy

  • Great for little hands

  • Easy assembly

  • Portable
     

The Frustration

  • Minimal furniture 

 

This dollhouse is a great bet for little ones who love to pretend but aren’t quite ready for tiny, detailed accessories.  Figures are a great size for little hands.  The house is sturdy, assembly is minimal, and the set is portable.

 

MSRP: $41.99

 

Read full review here

Biggest

Play

Space

The Fun

  • Huge play spaces

 

The frustration

  • Lengthy assembly

  • Space hog

 

If play space is what you’re after, the KidKraft Majestic Mansion is your ticket.  The Majestic Mansion offers loads of room for storytelling.  We won’t kid you, assembly is lengthy and involved.  But if you’ve got the space and follow a the-bigger-the-better approach to dollhouses, it’s hard to beat the Majestic Mansion.

 

MSRP: $189.95

 

Read full review here

Snazziest

Features

The Fun

  • Fun features
     

The Frustration

  • So-so quality

  • Advertising in the dollhouse

  • Pricey

 

Nobody does snazzy accessories like the DreamHouse.  From the waterslide to the working elevator, the DreamHouse has excellent features.  We found it pricey for the quality (and we are pretty annoyed by the in-house Mattel advertising), but for some kids, it’s gotta be Barbie and her DreamHouse. 

 

MSRP: $199.99

 

Read full review here

Dollhouse Basics

The dollhouse is one of those bedrock toys that open up pretend play possibilities and encourage storytelling.  Investing in a dollhouse, while not necessarily cheap, can get you a lot of play value for your dollar (for more on this, check out our Ultimate Dollhouse Buying Guide.

 

The good news (and the bad news) is that there are a lot of dollhouses to choose from at a wide variety of price points and sizes.  We scoured the market to find the six dollhouses that we think you should consider.

 

For most people, our top picks are the Playmobil Deluxe Dollhouse and the Hape All Season House.  These dollhouses really shine when it comes to play value, thanks to their open, accessible spaces and broad storytelling possibilities.  Quality is solid, too.  You’ll need to buy something for each set:  the Hape All Season House comes furnished but without dolls; the Playmobil Deluxe Dollhouse set comes with two figures but no furniture.  All in, the All Season House plus dolls will run about $150 and the Deluxe Dollhouse plus furniture will cost around $200.  Check out our full reviews of the Hape All Season House and the Playmobil Deluxe Dollhouse.

 

We love the Fisher-Price Little People Surprise & Sounds Home for the youngest dollhouse fans.  It’s a sturdy little house with most of the furniture built-in—the only separate pieces are a table and three chairs.  The three figures that come with the set are perfectly sized for toddler hands.  Assembly is a breeze and it comes at the lowest price point of any dollhouse we tested.  Here’s our full review of the Fisher-Price Little People Surprise & Sounds Home.

 

The Calico Critters Luxury Townhome Gift Set is a dream because it is ALL-INCLUSIVE.  That’s right—this set comes with furniture and two bunny figures so your kiddo can get started playing immediately.  It’s small, pretty portable, and an adorable blank slate against which littles can engage in storytelling.  Check out our full review of the Calico Critters Luxury Townhome Gift Set.

 

For pure wow value, we recommend the KidKraft Majestic Mansion.  You’ll have to devote some serious space to it—the Majestic Mansion stands about four-and-a-half feet tall.  You’ll also have to devote some serious time to it.  It took us 5+ hours to construct this one.  But if you want jaws to drop on Christmas morning, you’d be hard pressed to beat the Majestic Mansion for immediate impact.  Full review of the KidKraft Majestic Mansion here.     

 

It wouldn’t be a dollhouse review if we didn’t talk about the Barbie DreamHouse.  The 2018 Barbie DreamHouse is certainly snazzy.  It’s got a waterslide, a pool, a working elevator, and all kinds of gadgets and gizmos.  Assembly is pretty quick and simple (though we had a hard time getting some of the pieces to fully connect).  We found the quality of this one to be a bit meh (especially given the price tag), and we were seriously disturbed by the not-so-subtle advertising for other Mattel products in the house.  But sometimes it’s gotta be Barbie.  Check out our full review of the Barbie DreamHouse.

 

For more on how to choose a dollhouse, check out The Ultimate Dollhouse Buying Guide.

 

Why You Should Trust Us

We conducted the world's most ridiculously thorough dollhouse tests.

 

OUR MISSION:  You want the best for your kids. We want the best for you. We research the best products on the market so you don’t have to.

We spent 130+ hours exploring dollhouses.

Market Research

Before we decided which models to put through our rigorous testing process, we surveyed the market.  We scouted dollhouses at toy conventions, examined the holdings at retail stores, and plunged into the deepest depths of online reviews.  We carefully considered 153 dollhouses across 31 different brands before boiling down the list.

 

We wanted to focus specifically on traditional children’s dollhouses, so we excluded adult-oriented DIY dollhouses and modular dollhouses from our main review category (though we do have a separate write-up on modular dollhouses).  e also excluded play structures like castles, fire stations, farms, and the like that aren’t actually houses.  Other dollhouses were put aside due to quality concerns. We ultimately selected the six most promising dollhouses of varying price, popularity, and size to test. 

 

 

Purchase Methodology

We paid retail for all six models, just like you.

 

Assessment Criteria

We evaluated each dollhouse based on assembly; play potential; and quality.  Here’s what went into each of those components:

 

Assembly (10%)

A measure based on the speed and ease of assembly.  How long does assembly take?  Are the instructions clear and easy to follow?  How many pieces are there?  Points deducted for lack of clarity, parts that were difficult to fit together, missing pieces, and requiring tools beyond those included with the dollhouse.

 

Play Potential (70%)

Based on dollhouse structure and features. 

 

Structure:  We checked out the number, size, and proportion of the dollhouse rooms.  We looked for a sufficient number of rooms to accommodate different storylines and rooms sufficiently sized to accommodate little hands (along with dolls and furniture, of course!).  Bonus points for dollhouse rooms that were wide enough such that our littlest testers could access the backs of the rooms. 

 

Features:  There’s a fine balance here.  On the one hand, we looked for dollhouses with colors and components that were enticing to our littlest testers.  These ranged from attractive decor to a working doorbell to a waterslide.  And while we appreciated the way that these features could draw a child into play, the best dollhouses managed to engage our littlest testers without dominating the storylines.  They might have some exciting features, but they were essentially blank slates, allowing the child’s imagination to dictate the direction of the play.  We docked points for advertising in the dollhouse. 

 

Quality & Ease of Use (20%)

The dollhouse’s longevity potential.  This category is based on the quality of the dollhouse components (i.e., is the wood splintering?), whether the components arrived dirty or damaged, and the durability of the dollhouse once constructed.