Choosing a night light for your child may seem like a simple task, but anyone who’s actually shopped for one knows that the number of options to sort through can quickly feel overwhelming.
We’re here to help! After learning about the different night light categories and assessing your family’s specific needs, our list of the best night lights for toddlers can help you find the right one for your child’s bedroom.
Our Top Picks at a Glance
Note: There’s a lot more information below but clicking the above links will take you to current prices, further information and customer reviews on Amazon.
Types of Night lights
Rather than distributing solid light evenly around the room, these devices use directed light beams to create a pattern of projected images on your child’s ceiling or walls.
Some projection night lights use shaped holes on the unit’s top to create a static image projected directly upward, and others have a spinning feature that slowly rotates the projected scene around the room.
These free-standing devices run on batteries and are easy to pack into an overnight bag. Many portable night lights also have a fun shape that almost looks like a toy.
While a portable model is obviously great for travel, they could also be a better fit for your family if your child’s bedroom is small or you are short on shelf space.
Certain models use a rechargeable battery, while others require disposables. If you plan to use the night light primarily in your child’s own room, don’t overlook the fact that frequently purchasing disposable batteries could add up quickly.
These night lights use a standard wall outlet as their power source and come in two general categories.
Lamp-style lights with a power cord
These night lights usually offer a range of brightness settings, and some offer a range of color options.
Any night light that has a cord could present a safety hazard if the device is within your child’s reach. Place the night light on a high shelf or at the back of a dresser, and run as much of the cord as possible behind furniture where your child can’t reach it.
Small units that plug directly into the outlet
These small night lights are great for small spaces or when you just want to provide a gentle glow, and they are easily portable.
Most wall plug-ins have a light-sensing feature that automatically turns the night light on when the room starts getting dark, so you never have to worry about manually turning the light on or off.
How to Choose the Perfect Night light
Are you looking for extra features?
Some devices stick to a single task and do it well, and others offer a great range of features that can enhance convenience or just add a little extra fun.
You may find a simple night light to be the best choice if your child usually falls asleep quickly on their own, and you just need a bit of extra light in case your child wakes up in the night.
If your child needs a little extra time to fall asleep, they may find that having a variety of colors or a projected light show can provide just the right amount of quiet entertainment without being too stimulating.
How big is your child’s bedroom?
If your child’s bedroom is on the smaller side, a device that offers multiple brightness settings can be helpful since a small room could easily become too bright. If you lack shelf or tabletop space, you may find that a portable model gives you more flexibility to place the night light wherever you like.
Unless your goal is a minimal amount of light, small plug-in devices may not be a good choice for larger bedrooms since they usually produce a dimmer light.
How long do you plan to use the night light each night?
Depending on whether you want to use the night light all night or just while your child falls asleep, an automatic timer shut-off could be either an annoying or a convenient feature.
Some devices have a mandatory timer. These are typically battery-powered models, and the automatic shut-off helps extend the battery’s life. If you want to provide light all night, look for a device that has an ambient light sensor, a manual power switch or an optional timer.
Does your child spend the night away from home often?
If your child frequently sleeps away from their primary bedroom, a night light specifically designed for easy portability might be the most convenient. These models usually have sturdy, smooth surfaces that are less likely to get tangled up with your child’s other packed belongings.
Our Choices for the Best Night Lights for Toddlers
Cloud b Twilight Turtle Blue Plush Night Light Soother
This turtle’s head and legs are soft plush, and the hard plastic shell contains a multitude of tiny star-shaped holes. Soft shades of blue, green and orange light-emitting diode (LED) beams shine through the holes to project a starry light show on the ceiling and walls of your child’s bedroom. The projected image includes eight accurate constellations, so your child can get an early introduction to astronomy.
The Twilight Turtle runs on three AAA batteries, so you have the freedom to place the device anywhere in your child’s room without having to worry about cords. The battery panel fastens in place with a screw for added security if your child wants to use the turtle as a toy. The light automatically turns off after 45 minutes to conserve battery power.
The Cloud b Twilight turtle comes in blue, purple and classic mocha color options. Choose the solid blue or purple turtle if your little one prefers a bit of whimsy, or pick the classic mocha for a more realistic green and brown combination.
This night light takes the shape of a fun marine friend and provides a soothing night-sky light show.
VAVA Night Lights for Kids
Forget about buttons or dials to control this night light’s power and brightness. When you pass your hand about eight inches over the VAVA, the unit will turn on, go up in brightness or turn off.
This silent, touch-free control can come in especially handy if you need to make any adjustments after your child has already fallen asleep. However, you will need to be careful not to accidentally reach over the VAVA and inadvertently make a change.
The VAVA’s rechargeable battery gives you the convenience of cordless light without the extra expense of replacing batteries. Plug the VAVA into any USB port to charge the unit.
Multiple brightness settings give you the option of lighting your child’s room enough for one last book before bed, or low enough to provide just a soft glow through the night.
A lightweight design and battery power team up to make the VAVA a great traveler.
Touch-free controls let you easily and quietly choose your settings, and the VAVA is equally at home in your child’s bedroom or anywhere else they need to sleep.
Star Light Rotating Projector with Timer
With its oval shape and glossy finish, you don’t even have to turn this night light on to appreciate its modern and sleek look. When you do turn it on, you have the option to use this device as either a traditional night light or as a mesmerizing projector.
Leave the muting outer dome on to gently illuminate your child’s room with a soft light, or remove the dome and turn on the spinning projector feature to treat your toddler to a light show featuring stars and moons.
Four LED bulbs produce a variety of colors. You can choose to enjoy just one or select the auto-cycling mode that rotates through the different shades. Four buttons on the front panel control light mode, color choice, rotation and the timer.
This device offers a timer that you can set for as little as five minutes. However, the upper limit is 995 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about this device shutting off in the middle of the night if you don’t want it to.
Place the night light on a shelf or table, or use the included hanging strap to place the light well out of your child’s reach.
This night light looks great whether it’s on or off, and it also offers a great variety of colors and power options.
Safety 1st LED Night Light
This night light from Safety 1st is probably exactly what you would picture for a traditional compact plug-in.
The night light couldn’t be easier to use: Just plug it in, and the light will automatically turn on when the ambient light gets dim.
The LED bulb is highly energy efficient, so the increase to your electric bill should be minimal even if you leave the device plugged in all the time. With a flat-panel light source that sits almost flat against the wall, this night light has a low profile that shouldn’t present a tripping hazard.
While this device provides a dimmer light than some others, it is usually still enough to give a soft glow that could be especially ideal for smaller rooms.
Since this device runs on a standard wall outlet and has a compact size, the Safety 1st night light is a great traveler.
This little light can provide just the right amount of illumination for small spaces. Its tiny size and plug-in power also make this device a great choice when you’re away from home.
Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise
This chic and clever device from Hatch Baby is a truly multi-purpose item. In addition to being a night light, the Rest also functions as a sound machine and a wake-up alert.
Choose from a wide variety of background noises, including ocean sounds, rainfall and white noise.
If you choose to set a wake-up time, the Rest will automatically change to a preset color at the selected time to let your child know they can get out of bed. This wake-up alert feature can be especially helpful if you are trying to train an early riser to stay in their bed or room until a set time.
You can control the device’s various functions using push buttons or a smartphone app for iOS or Android. The app lets you turn the Rest on or off, select and run a program or change the brightness level without having to go in your child’s room and risk waking them up.
Since older toddlers may quickly learn they can push the buttons themselves, make sure you place Rest out of your child’s reach or activate the toddler lock feature on your smartphone.
The Hatch Rest has a smart design that could eliminate the need for an additional sound machine, and the morning alert can be a great way to help your child establish a daily routine. The remote control capability allows you to make any adjustments you need to without disturbing your child’s rest.
Night Lighting Lamp Rotating Cosmos Star Sky Moon Projector
This night light consists of three separate pieces: one base with LED lights, one frosted white dome and one night-sky patterned dome. Place just the white dome on the base to use the device as a night light, or choose the patterned dome to turn the device into a projector. For a more muted projection, use the frosted dome over the patterned one.
Eight available light color options include soft yellow, blue, red and green or combinations of these. If your child wants to enjoy a moving light show, turn on the spinning feature to slowly rotate the scene around the room and help your child drift off.
Three buttons on the front of the unit control the power, color setting and spinning feature. This device does not have a timer, so you will need to manually turn the light off if you don’t want it to run all night.
This night light gives you multiple color and power options, but you don’t have the ability to set a timer.
Motion Sensor Night Light Warm White, Zitrades LED Baby Night light
This happy rainbow from Zitrades provides just enough light to gently illuminate your child’s bedroom while adding a bit of colorful fun.
In addition to the ambient light sensor that most wall plug-ins have, this device includes the impressive feature of a voice/noise sensor. If you select this option, the light will only turn on when it detects noise nearby, like your child moving around or talking. A sliding switch lets you choose which sensor option works best for your family.
The device plugs into any standard wall outlet, and its flat bottom keeps the lower outlet free if you plug the device into the top outlet. As with almost any wall plug-in, this rainbow night light can also be a great choice for traveling.
This small night light has a fun, kid-friendly design that can bring some gentle light as well as a bit of color to your child’s room. The dual sensors also let you choose whether the light will stay on all night or only if your child gets up or calls for you.
SOAIY Sleep Soother Aurora Projection LED Night Light Lamp with 8 Lighting Mode & Speaker
This device comes with a removable faceted dome and several options for different light colors and galaxy-inspired projections. Use the device as a night light by leaving the brightness-muting dome on, or take it off to make for an intriguing and soothing light show.
Most projectors produce an image in a fixed area, but the Sleep Soother’s light source is on a pivoting axis that lets you adjust the image’s direction. A one-hour automatic shut-off feature means that you don’t have to worry about coming back to your child’s room to turn the device off.
If you have your child’s favorite lullabies or white noise on your smartphone, you can play them through the Sleep Soother’s speakers. An included cable lets you easily connect your phone to the night light and add whatever sounds your child finds soothing.
Rather than an LED bulb, this device uses a laser to produce red light. Lasers could be harmful to your child’s eyes if they look directly at the source for extended periods of time, so you may want to place the device out of your child’s reach if you think they may be tempted to play with it.
This device lets you direct the light show where you want it to go, and you can also plug your phone into the built-in speakers to play your choice of music.
VAVA VA-CL006 Night Lights for Kids
This egg-shaped night light from VAVA offers a number of innovative and handy features. Quickly and quietly change the light’s brightness or turn the device on or off by touching either the top of the dome or the front panel. The only potential downside to these easy controls is the possibility that your older toddler might imitate your actions and figure out how to make their own changes.
Use the daytime setting to provide bright light while your child gets ready for bed and enjoys a final bedtime story, then switch to the softer yellow nighttime mode. Even in the night mode, this unit still gives off enough light to gently illuminate a larger room.
A rechargeable battery means less money for you to spend on disposables, and VAVA gives you two charging options. Use the included USB cable to connect the device to your laptop or other port, or place the device on the charging base. The base can also help stabilize the device and prevent tipping.
The VAVA has a silicone ring on its bottom that serves an interesting dual function. Part of this ring’s purpose is to provide grip when you aren’t using the charging base, but it is also partially detachable and serves as a hanging strap. Attach the included carabineer to the silicone strap, and hang the light upside down wherever you wish.
This night light is strong enough to work well in larger rooms, and the silent controls mean your child can sleep through whatever changes you need to make. The clever design also gives you plenty of options for charging and using the device.
Cat Lamp, NeoJoy Remote Control Silicone Kitty Night Light for Kids
Add a touch of animal fun to your child’s bedroom with this cute cat night light. A rounded shape, little ears and a feline face give this device an abstract rather than realistic cat look, and a soft silicone outer shell makes this kitty squishy and cuddly.
The NeoJoy cat lamp offers 16 color choices, so your child can pick a new favorite every night. You also have the option to set one of four light modes: strobe, smooth, flash or fade. The device runs for three hours, then automatically shuts off. After shutting off, you need to use the power button on the bottom of the device to turn it back on.
One of this device’s cool features is the easy-to-use remote control. The remote has a working range of up to 15 feet, and you can use it to turn the light on or off, adjust the brightness level, choose a color and select a light mode. Each color option and light mode has its own individual button, so you don’t have to scroll through all the options to find the one you want.
This device runs on a rechargeable battery, and a USB charging cable is included. In addition to its battery power, the soft exterior and small size make it easy to tuck this cat into an overnight bag.
This is a cute night light that gives you several color and light options, and the handy remote control feature lets you easily choose your settings.
Cute Elephant Shape, Touch Sensitive Control, 3 Brightness Levels Dimmable Bedside Lamp
With its elephant body and dome-shaped upper lamp, this night light’s unique construction resembles an elephant blowing water out of its trunk.
The dome connects to the elephant’s body by a long, flexible “trunk”. The actual light comes from an LED bulb in the upper dome, and you can point the light in any direction by bending the trunk. Whether your child’s room is large or small, you should be able to configure this night light to fit into the room you have to work with.
A touch sensor on the elephant’s back lets you turn the device on, choose one of three brightness levels or turn the unit off with a simple touch of your finger.
This night light comes with a USB charging cable, and it’s easy to access the device’s charging port on the back of the elephant. The device should run for about five hours on a full charge, so you won’t be able to use it for the entire night.
This elephant is cute, easy to control and works for a variety of spaces, but the battery won’t last through a whole night.
Plug-in Night Light for Kids - Compact RGB Color Changeable LED Night Lamp with Dusk to Dawn Sensor
While most compact plug-ins just produce white light, this device offers you the choice of eight different colors. If your child has a favorite shade, you can choose to hold that color all night, or you can turn on the cycling feature to gently rotate through all the shades. The lower front panel is touch sensitive to let you easily set your light color preference.
A light-detecting sensor on the front of the device automatically turns the light on in dim settings and off in bright ambient light, so you never have to worry about manually turning the power on or off. The sensor is fairly sensitive, so you may notice some flickering or flashing if an object is partially obstructing the night light or the ambient room brightness is somewhere between full light or dark.
The slim design reduces the chances of you or child bumping or tripping over the device in the night, and the small size makes this night light great for traveling.
This small night light offers a nice selection of colors to gently illuminate small spaces at home or away, but be sure to place it in a wide-open section of wall.
ANGTUO Baby LED Mushroom Night Lamp
With its genuine wood base and adorable mushroom shape, this night light can be a great choice if you are looking to add a natural touch to your child’s bedroom decor.
The silicone mushroom dome stays cool to the touch even if you run the lamp all night, so you don’t have to worry about your child getting a burn from touching a hot bulb.
Four LED bulbs let you choose between a total of 16 different colors. This lamp produces a fairly bright light, so you may need to stick with the warm red tones during the overnight hours. You also have the options of setting a certain color on hold or turning on a flash, strobe, smooth or fade light mode.
The night light plugs into a wall outlet, and the power cord is just shy of five feet long. A switch on the cord turns the lamp on or off. Once you turn the unit power on, use the included remote control to set your color choice, light mode and brightness level. This night light also comes with a spare remote, so you don’t have to worry if one mysteriously goes missing.
This fun night light produces a vibrant, colored light that can fit right in with nature-themed nurseries.
Cute Chick Bedside Night Light
As the name implies, this night light is in the shape of a very cute chick hatching from its egg. In addition to its fun look, this device also offers several other child-friendly features.
This night light has a rounded design with no corners or pieces that could break off, and the chick’s head is made of soft, huggable silicone. The lower “eggshell” portion is a toy-grade hard plastic, and the rounded bottom lets the night light wobble and rock when your little one pushes on it. The small size and light weight also make this lamp easy for your child to pick up, play with or carry around the house with them.
The included USB cable lets you easily charge the chick, and the battery life for each charge is impressive. At the lowest setting, this night light will run for up to 300 hours on a single charge. Even if you left this lamp on its highest setting, it would still run for around eight hours. Combined with its compact size, the long battery life makes this night light a great option for traveling.
Easily and quickly control the power and brightness settings by touching the top of the chick’s head. The highest light setting is bright enough to read a bedtime story, and the lowest is ideal for using all night. One caution: You may want to place this chick out of reach at bedtime if you think your toddler may get the idea to tap the chick’s head on their own.
Besides its charming chick motif, this night light offers long battery life, easy controls and can double as a toy.
LumiPets Cute Animal Silicone Baby Night Light with Touch Sensor and Remote
Whether your child favors bears, rabbits, dragons or owls, they can have a LumiPets night light in the shape of their favorite animal. These devices are generously sized, and the soft silicone outer shell makes them fun to play with during the day.
The remote control had individual buttons for power, color selection, brightness and the timer feature, so you won’t have to fumble around to choose your preferred settings.
This device offers the choice of nine color options, and you can select your preferred shade with the remote or by tapping the top of the animal’s head. While the ability to change colors by tapping is convenient, this feature is very sensitive and you could end up changing your setting if you accidentally touch or bump your LumiPet.
All LumiPets have a silicone outer layer that remains cool to the touch, so your child can safely cuddle or even sleep with this night light. To make each battery charge last as long as possible, the timer will automatically shut the device off after 15, 30 or 60 minutes.
This cute night light can do double duty as a toy and comes with a handy remote control. Just be careful: Accidentally touching the device could lead to a different color or light mode.
Each family’s needs are unique, and the best night light for your child is the one that fulfills the greatest number of those needs.
Whether you favor a compact plug-in, a solid light with brightness control or a colorful projector, our list of the best night lights for toddlers can provide you with many great options to give your little one’s room a warm, comforting glow.