Choosing the right underwear for your child is important whether you are at the beginning of your toilet training journey or have already passed the “dry all day” milestone.
It’s not just a case of buying a multipack and hoping for the best. You will need to consider:
- Cut and comfort.
- How well they hold up.
- Your child’s preferences.
Let’s take a look at the most common options for children’s underwear and our top picks for the best underwear for kids.
- Accurate sizes
- Withstand multiple washes
- Easy to pull up
- Padded front area
- Washes well
- Hold heat when wet
- Naturally flame-resistant
- GOT organic certified
- Soft fabric
- Cute and fun patterns
- Fast drying
- 100 percent organic
- Washes well
- Doesn’t shrink when washed
- Soft cotton fabric
- Made in the US
- 100% cotton
- Machine washable
What Types of Kids’ Underwear Are Available?
Children’s underwear is available in a wide range of cuts and styles, almost as many as are available for adults.
These are the most common cut of children’s underwear as they are suitable for both boys and girls.
Briefs usually start at just below the belly button, are fairly snug to the body, and have leg openings that sit at the crease at the top of the legs.
Boxers are shaped like shorts and are loose at the legs.
These are the same shape as boxers but fit snugly to the body in the same way as briefs.
The name pull-ups covers both disposable training underpants which are designed to be worn once and brief-style toddler underwear that has absorbent padding to catch accidents. This second type is not disposable and is designed to be worn repeatedly in the same way as regular underwear.
When Should Toddlers Wear Underwear?
At what age your child should begin to wear underwear depends on how you intend to toilet train them (1).
Once your child shows readiness for toilet training you have a choice to go for either regular underwear or disposable pull-ups.
Which is best depends on your child, your potty training journey, and your lifestyle.
How to Choose the Best Kids’ Underwear
Cotton is the most popular material for children’s underwear, with many parents opting for organic cotton. They do this to minimize the number of potentially toxic chemicals their children are exposed to.
How well your children’s underwear stands up to the rigors of the washing machine and dryer is a major consideration when making your choice. This is especially important when you are potty training and your child may go through multiple changes of underwear in a day.
You don’t want to be throwing away multiple pairs of underwear and going to the expense of replacing it every few weeks. You can avoid that issue by ensuring the children’s underwear you buy washes well, keeping its shape, color, and feel.
Some underwear has a snug fit which some children don’t like. But other children may find loose underwear uncomfortable. Find the right size for your child’s weight to get the best fit.
What you can’t go wrong with is choosing underwear without seams. Seams have the potential to irritate sensitive skin or bother children with sensory issues.
This might not be a big issue for most parents, but it may be the deciding factor on whether your child will wear the underwear you buy. The best thing to do is to choose a range of underwear that you would be happy to buy and allow your child to make their own pick from this limited choice.
If your child is still potty training you might want to buy underwear which has a padded area to catch accidents. These are not designed to act as training pants and catch a full bladder. Rather, they catch those little “starter dribbles” that may begin before your little one gets to the washroom.
Another consideration is how well your child can pull their underwear up and down unaided. Younger children may struggle to dress and undress themselves, so underwear with a looser waist or with grip holes may be your best bet.
The Best Kids’ Underwear of 2021
1. Boboking Baby Soft Cotton Underwear
This soft cotton underwear from Boboking comes in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Made of 100% cotton, the elastic is sewn into a cloth pocket so your child does not experience any pinching or discomfort.
- Multiple reviews say that the sizes of this underwear are accurate so there’s no guesswork and no having to buy bigger or smaller than you normally would.
- Stand up well to multiple washes.
- The leg openings are larger than in some underwear.
|Sizes Available||2T to 12 years|
|Number In Pack||Six|
|Colors/patterns available||24 multipacks available from brights to pastels.|
2. EZ Undeez Boys
Designed and made by parents for their own toddler, the soft, wide waistband of this underwear makes them especially comfortable to wear.
The waistband also has a reinforced, embroidered hole at each hip. This makes it easier for your child to pull them up.
There are no tags or uncomfortable seams, and the legs do not have tight elastic around the openings.
- Also available in toddler briefs style.
- A slightly padded area at the front catches tiny accidents before they can soak through to outer clothes.
- Reviews say this underwear washes well and lasts long enough for kids to grow out of them.
- Some users say the sizing comes up a little small, so it is advisable to check the sizing charts or order a size larger than you think you need.
|Style||Boxers, also available as briefs.|
|Sizes Available||2 to 3 years and 4 to 5 years|
|Number In Pack||Four|
|Colors/patterns available||Six different theme packs are available.|
3. Merino Wool, Kids’ Thermal Underwear/PJs
Organic, hypoallergenic Merino wool is much softer than other wools. That makes this thermal underwear exceptionally non-irritating. The natural elasticity of the fabric makes the fit snug but comfortable while allowing your child flexibility of movement.
Even though they are made of wool, they can be machine washed, which means they are practical as well as comfortable. Plus, they are warm so they’re a great pick for winter.
- They hold heat when wet so if your child has an accident when wearing them, they will not get cold and wet.
- Naturally flame-resistant, so they are not treated with dangerous chemicals and are GOT organic certified.
- Can also be worn as PJs.
- At the upper end of the children’s underwear price range.
|Style||Long johns with matching long-sleeved vest.|
|Material||100% Merino wool|
|Sizes Available||6-12 months to 6 years|
|Number In Pack||One pair of long johns and one long-sleeved vest per pack|
|Colors/patterns available||Six colors|
4. KicKee Pants Bamboo Potty Training Pants Set
KicKee Pants are part of a range of children’s clothing made by KicKee.
Its philosophy is that children’s clothes should look like children’s clothes and not the scaled-down clothing of adults.
Their signature material is a cloth made of 95 percent viscose from bamboo and 5 percent Spandex, which makes it soft and fast drying.
- Exceptionally soft fabric.
- Cute and fun children’s patterns — but no character-driven designs.
- The seam is not as small as it could be.
|Material||95% viscose from bamboo and 5% Spandex|
|Sizes Available||2T to 3T and 3T to 4T|
|Number In Pack||Two pairs per pack.|
|Colors/patterns available||19 different style packs available.|
5. City Threads Boys Certified Organic Cotton Underwear
Made with the most sensitive kids in mind, City Threads are made from 100 percent certified organic cotton. They are also dyed with non-toxic coloring and are pesticide-free, insecticide-free, and fire retardants-free.
Some organic clothes can be scratchy or take a few washes to soften up, but not these. The City Threads certified organic cotton briefs are made of soft fabric which is comfortable from the first wear.
- They are 100 percent organic and free from chemicals so you know you are dressing your child in the safest clothes.
- Reviews say this underwear washes well, doesn’t shrink, and lasts long enough for their kids to grow out of them.
- Some reviewers have said they do not like the fit.
|Material||100% certified organic cotton|
|Sizes Available||2T to 16|
|Number In Pack||Three pairs per pack|
|Colors/patterns available||Six different packs available for boys and five for girls.|
6. SmartKnitKids Seamless Undies
Created by the same company that produces patented seamless socks, the SmartKnitKids seamless undies are truly seamless.
Unlike other “seamless” underwear for kids, the leg openings and waistband are woven into the main body of the underwear so even the openings are seam-free.
In addition, there are no tags, and no elastic is used.
- Extremely soft cotton is suitable for even the most sensitive of children.
- The fabric is made firm enough to slightly “hug” your child and does not feel, in any way, constrictive.
- Designed and made in the U.S.
- There is currently a limited range of styles and colors available.
|Style||Available in boxer briefs and girls’ “boy cut.”|
|Sizes Available||4 to 12 years|
|Number In Pack||Three|
|Colors/patterns available||One mixed pack for boxer briefs and one mixed pack for girls’ briefs.|
7. Hudson Baby Kids’ Unisex Pants
Hudson Baby gender-neutral underwear for kids makes toilet training easier for both parents and children.
These unisex toddler training pants have an absorbent layer that stretches from the front to the back of the underwear. This gives reassurance that any small leaks will not spread far, and makes it easier to leave the house in the early days of potty training.
- The underwear is 100% cotton with polyester and PEVA padding. This makes them easy to machine wash and dry.
- Reviewers say this underwear lasts well and maintains its size and shape after multiple washes.
- Light elastic around the legs and belly is firm enough to hold the underwear in place but not so tight it makes the underwear uncomfortable.
- Reviewers report the sizing can come up small. Consequently, you may have to buy a couple of different sizes before you get the right fit for your child.
|Style||Briefs with padding|
|Material||100% Cotton with Polyester & PEVA padding|
|Sizes Available||12 months to 4T|
|Number In Pack||Four per pack|
|Colors/patterns available||3 different packs available with a total of 10 designs|
|Boboking Baby Cotton Underwear||Girls||Girls’ briefs||100% cotton||2T-12 years|
|EZ Undeez Boys||Boys||Boxers, briefs.||Cotton||2-3 years & 4-5 years|
|Merino Wool Thermal Underwear/PJs||Thermal||Long johns||100% Merino wool||6-12 months to 6 years|
|KicKee Potty Training Set||Quick-Dry||Briefs||95% viscose; 5% Spandex||2T-3T & 3T-4T|
|City Threads Organic Cotton Underwear||Sensitive Skin||Briefs||100% organic cotton||2T to 16 years|
|SmartKnitKids Seamless Undies||Seamless||Boxer briefs||100% cotton||4 to 12 years|
|Hudson Baby Unisex Pants||Gender-Neutral||Briefs||100% Cotton||12 months to 4T|
A Big Choice For Little Bottoms
Whether you are buying children’s underwear for your school-age child or purchasing your little one’s first pair of “big kid” pants, making the right choice is important.
Any kids’ underwear has to pass the all-important “Will my child actually wear them?” test and all of the choices above come with a child-tested seal of approval.