Can You Use Rice To Stuff Toys? 5 Types of Toy Fillings You Can Use Apart From Rice

Can you use rice to stuff toys? Is it safe? If these are your concerns, you can read this article to get all the answers

Who does not like stuffed toys? Children and elders, everyone loves stuffies as they are cute, adorable, and perfect for gifting. Stuffed toys are known by different names. Few call it plush toys, stuffies, cuddle toys, and even stuffed animals. 

Can You Use Rice To Stuff Toys

Ever wondered what is used to stuff a stuffed toy? A stuffed toy is filled with fiber, cotton, wool, sand, fish tank pebble, old pillow pilling, foam, and rice. I know rice sounds a bit surprising! But it’s true. Read the article to know more about stuffing rice in a stuffed toy.

Why Choosing The Right Filling Is Important?

The filling that you use in a stuffed toy decides its shape and feel. Choosing the suitable material is essential to make your toy look appealing. 

For example, imagine stuffing colored wool inside a toy with the white knitted outer fabric. Most likely, the inner filling will show. This will spoil how your toy looks. Further, if you have a budget constraint and the toy you want to fill is large, choosing wool can be a costly affair. 

Before filling a toy, you need to be clear about who you are stuffing. Is it for a baby, a toddler, a teenager, or an elder? The stuffing gives firmness to the toy and decides. Thus, the stuffing of a stuffed toy plays a vital role in making the toy attractive and easy to play with. Always choose a stuffing that is eco-friendly and long-lasting, like rice or kidney beans. Some also use coffee beans to fill up stuffed toys. 

Can You Use Rice To Stuff Toys

Pros And Cons Of Using Rice As A Stuffing


  • Rice is heavier. This helps to give the stuffed toy a proper shape.
  • The heavier the filling of the stuffed toy you make, the more durable the toy will be.
  • Rice helps add weight to specific areas of the toy, for example, the base, the hands, and the legs of a teddy bear.
  • It helps to soothe the painful areas in the body.
  • As rice is a natural product, it is skin-friendly and safe for kids too.


  • Rice attracts bugs quickly.
  • Make sure the toy does not get wet; otherwise, it will start to stink.

Few Things That You Need To Follow Before Buying Stuffing

Eco-friendly and Non-allergenic

  • Before buying the stuffing, make sure for whom you are buying. If it is for a child, then keep in mind that the stuffing material must be skin-friendly, non-allergenic, and bacteria-resistant.
  • If you are planning to courier your toy abroad, make sure it has an eco-friendly filling so that it is safe during the shipping process.
  • Choose a stuffing with a marking of CE that implies that the filling is safe according to the safety standards set by the EU.

Weight Considerations

  • The type of filling depends on the toy and the user. For example, if you choose heavy stuffing like rice, fish tank pebbles, small stones, and sand, the toy may not be appropriate for a baby or a toddler. If you choose lightweight filling material, it will be perfect for small children.
  • How much filling you need to buy depends on whether you want your toy to be firmer or lighter and its use.
Can You Use Rice To Stuff Toys

What Are The Benefits Of Weighted Stuffed Toys?

A few studies show that weighted stuffies help reduce anxiety. Holding a weighted toy close to your body makes you feel loved. A teddy bear or any other toy filled with rice will make you feel as if someone is close to you. 

The science behind this is simple. Hugging someone makes the brain release hormones like dopamine that help reduce anxiety and increase happiness

Doctors say that this therapy is being used in hospitals and by psychologists as it helps people forget their grief of losing someone—kids who have Autism and problems like ADHD. 

Children who cannot control their behavior and stay still and calm tend to suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD). Weighted plush toys are the best for sensory stimulation. Thus, to add weight to a stuffed toy, you can use rice, tiny pebbles, gravel, and sand.

Can You Use Rice To Stuff Toys

Is It Safe To Use Rice As A Filling For Stuffed Toys?

Rice is perfect if the outer material of the toy is thick and the fiber density is high. This is because rice can come out of the pores of the clothing if you choose a thin or low thread count outer covering.

Many toy makers use rice to add weight to the toy to be used to soothe tight muscles. Make sure that the outer material is fleece so that it helps keep the body warm. 

Different Types Of Fillings

Today with the changing time, toy fillings have also changed. Stuffings that are eco-friendly, synthetic, and skin-friendly are best suited for stuffed toys. Here is a list of fillers that work great

#1. Cotton

Cotton being a natural fiber, is the best for baby toys. It is soft to touch and is fluffy, making the toy look great. Cotton is a vegetable fiber; thus, it is safe for kids and is less expensive than other toy fillings. 

#2. Wool

Wool is excellent for filling toys. As it is a natural fiber, it is soft, lightweight, and highly durable. Its elastic nature makes wool ideal for stuffing dolls. But, ensure that you don’t wash the toy-filled with wool as it can become uneven.

#3. Bamboo

100% natural and a biodegradable fiber is bamboo which has a soft feel and is highly skin-friendly. It is antibacterial and organic, making it perfect for filling stuffed toys.

#4. Polyester filling

when making dolls or teddies at home, polyester toy filling is used. The lightweight fiber is perfect for making baby toys. It is made using coal, water, petroleum that makes the fiber synthetic and eco-friendly too.

#5. Pellets

Beads made of plastic and glass, both are known as pellets. Both are good for stuffing toys and bean bags. Sitting on a beanbag makes you feel relaxed as the bean bag takes the shape of your body. It not only provides stability to the toy but makes it weighted too. 

Note that:

  • Plastic pellets are smaller than 3cm. Thus, it is not suited for kids’ toys. Kids can put it in their mouths, and it can be dangerous. 
  • On the other hand, glass pellets provide weight to a particular part of the toy to make it stay stable. For example, the base of a teddy bear or a “hit me” toy.
Can You Use Rice To Stuff Toys

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you stuff a stuffed animal with rice?

Yes, stuffed toys can be filled with rice. Rice makes the stuffed toy heavy that helps to give a deep touch pressure therapy to ease out tight muscles or paining shoulders. Adding weight can be helpful in different ways, but not for kids below the age of two and people with heart issues and breathing issues.

What can I use for stuffing a toy?

Stuffing a stuffed toy can be creative, as it depends on how you use your old stuff to fill the toy. Using old socks, old clothes made of polyester and nylon material are a few great options. Newspaper is another good option to fill a toy. Old wool and plastic bags can be used. Foam pieces or old pillow’s cotton, tissue paper, bubble wrap, used gift wrapping paper, and old toy filling are a few good options to use for stuffing a toy. 

What to use to weigh down stuffed animals?

Stuffing the toys with rice can make the toy heavy. Lifting the toy from one place to another can become difficult. Thus, it is better to use things that are not weighted, like old socks, bits of foam, tissue paper, newspaper, and cotton. All these items will make the toy portable. Filling the toy with something heavy can ruin the shape of the toy. Further, the stitching can come out. Thus, it is essential to fill a toy with light-weighted filling like foam and old pillow cotton. 

Can You Use Rice To Stuff Toys

What is the best filling for a stuffed animal?

The best filling for a stuffed toy is polyester toy filling. It is lightweight, is made of fiber. Thus, making the toys easy to carry by small babies and kids. Acrylic toy filling or polyester filling is very common for homemade dolls and other stuffed toys.