MFM Awards 2023 Winners – Lifestyle: travel, fashion, books and gifts
Award-winning products tried and tested by families, highlighting the best lifestyle products including kids fashion, travel, books, subscription boxes and gifts
From family-friendly products that are perfect for travelling, to the best books, clothing ranges and subscription boxes — our home testers got stuck into testing a wide range of entries in our lifestyle category this year. Subscription boxes were eagerly unpacked by families, budding bookworms of all ages got stuck into some fantastic new releases and toddlers had great fun splashing in puddles whilst testing waterproof suits.
Testing criteria varied from category to category, but we really concentrated on performance and value as well as appearance. We checked the UV protection offered by items made for the sun, we spent many hours folding travel cots up and down and checking the breathability and firmness of their mattresses, and clothing, swimwear, shoes and pyjamas were judged on their comfort, fit and quality by families all across the country.
Our team of judges and home testers put these products through their paces and scored them carefully to ensure that only the best received a badge this year.
See the winners in:
- Family Travel/Holiday Product Under £25
- Family Travel/Holiday Product Over £25
- Travel Cot
- Baby & Children's Clothing Range
- Children's Outdoor Clothing/Active Wear
- Baby & Children's Swimwear
- Children's Shoe Range
- Sleepsuits & Pyjamas
- Book for Children 9 Years+
- Book for Children 5-8 Years Old
- Preschool Book
- Baby & Toddler Book
- Baby Shower Gift/Newborn Keepsake
- Subscription/Gift Box & Service
Key features we tested/judged — Effectiveness, ease of use, travel-friendly features, quality, durability, worth the money.
Gold – Splash About Happy Nappy Sunsuit, £24
Why it’s a winner: A unique combination of a soft, stretchy rash top and Splash About’s best-selling reliable, reusable leak-proof swim nappy, this sunsuit provides UPF50+ sun protection and features a zip at the back of the top to make it easier to get off when wet. Our testers praised the high quality of the suit and loved how “the soft fabric and large zip made it really easy to put on, while the lovely soft cuffs around the arms and leg holes didn’t dig in or leave marks.”
In the words of parent tester Katie, who tested this with their 18 month old: “This made life easier by having everything (sunsuit, swimming costume and swim nappy) in one great-looking, effective product. We had no leaks, it looked really cute on and there was no colour fade from chlorine or washing.”
Joint Silver – Babiators Original Sunglasses, £24
Best for: Robustness and durability – stamp on them and they won't break!
In the words of parent tester Nicky, who tested this with their 3 year old: “I am very happy with the quality of the sunglasses and the durability. They are of soft material making them comfortable for our 3 year old and I also think that the bonus of having a replacement pair of sunglasses if they were to get lost is a very relevant offer when dealing with young children.”
Buy from: Babiators
Joint Silver – Rockit Wooshh, £24.95
Best for: A compact white noise machine for on the go.
In the words of parent tester Robyn, who tested this with their 1 year old: “I believe the fact this is so tiny, light and portable sets it apart from other baby sound machines and makes it unique. It is also a lovely design rather than just a round shape; for the price I think the quality is fab.”
Bronze – SavviSand Starter Set, £19.99
Best for: Removing sand easily after a trip to the beach.
In the words of parent tester Jasmine, who tested this with their 10 month old and 6 year old: “This is a really impressive product – I was amazed! Within the first few swipes you could see the product get to work and it brushed the sand off instantly. Perfect for getting absolutely all the sand off little feet on family beach days.”
Buy from: SavviSand
Shortlisted: Ashton and Parsons Teething Gel | Trunki Toybox & Play Tray
Key features we tested/judged — Effectiveness, ease of use, travel-friendly features, quality, durability, worth the money.
Gold – Amelia the Aeroplane Trunki, £44.99
Why it’s a winner: Our home testers and editorial judges were completely won over by Amelia the Aeroplane and found it to be a durable and long-lasting travel item with a fun design that kids love. Our testers loved how spacious it is and it proves to be an essential when travelling with children, with one tester praising it for being priceless: "When you're waiting in a long queue at the airport and your young child doesn't want to stand as they can sit on top of the Trunki and even be pulled along - which is so much fun!"
In the words of parent tester Janet, who tested this with their 2 year old: "As a parent, you are always looking for new ways to try and save time, space, money etc. I think the Trunki really does fill a gap in the market where there isn't anything remotely similar that can help parents as much."
Buy from: Trunki
Silver – JetKids™ CloudSleeper, £119
Best for: Families that travel or have sleepovers a lot
In the words of parent tester Anita, who tested this with their 4 year old: "It’s light and compact which makes it easy to bring along and it is really easy to set up and put away. The mattress itself seems comfortable and the CloudSleeper’s excellent quality and design are worth the extra money, especially if you have a younger child that can use it when your older child grows out of it."
Joint Bronze – Splash About UV Sun & Sea Suit, £25
Best for: Splashing about and keeping warm in swimming pools
In the words of parent tester Gemma, who tested this with their 2 year old: "It was easy to put on and off with plenty of room to manoeuvre limbs through the arms and legs and kept our little one warm which meant more fun and time in the swimming pool. As a family who swim most weeks the cost per use is attractive."
Joint Bronze – Bubba Board, £65
Best for: Extra leg support on long flights or train journeys
In the words of parent tester Gemma, who tested this with their 2 year old: "We really loved testing the Bubba Board and can really see how this item will make travelling much more enjoyable for our 2yr old who described it as "so comfy!" It is compact, easy to carry around and sets up in seconds, it's definitely worth the investment."
Buy from: Bubba Board
Shortlisted: DockATot Cabana | Purflo Total Eclipse Portable Blackout Blind | Nuby RapidCool Kit
Key features we tested/judged — Ease of assembly/set-up, comfort for baby/child, quality and design, worth the money, ease of use, appearance.
Gold – Micralite Sleep&Go, £125
Why it’s a winner: A worthy winner that ticked all our boxes, including longevity, as there's no weight limit for taller or heavier toddlers. Style conscious parents will love the modern, sleek look of Micralite’s Sleep&Go, but beyond its appearance, our testers and expert judges raved about features such as the easy assembly: it takes only a few seconds to put this up. Even the carry case is sophisticated, portable and perfectly sized for a car boot. A great value-for-money option for holidays and overnight stays.
In the words of parent tester Emma, who tested this with their 7 month old: “It’s extremely quick and easy to put up. The instructions are clear and concise – perfect for when you are in a rush. As our baby is still a wobbly sitter, this has also been really handy when used as a playpen; there’s no risk of getting hurt if she falls back in it.”
Silver – Chicco Next2Me Pop Up, £199
Best for: Bedside sleeping and night time breastfeeding.
In the words of parent tester Shannen who tested this with their 4 month old: “This cot definitely made my life easier; with breastfeeding I no longer have to get up in the middle of the night and lift my baby into the bed with me. The mattress is thick and good quality, and the frame seems very durable – even with a fidgety baby it doesn’t rock or move out of place.”
Bronze – Tutti Bambini CoZee Go 3-in-1 Bassinet, Travel Cot and Playpen, £169
Best for: Stylish sleep and play.
In the words of tester Claire, who tested this with their 3 month old: “I like the pale oak-style wooden bars and the mottled charcoal pattern on the mattress/base. The light grey of the mesh means it's nice and easy to see through (or out for the child!), while the case to carry it is lightweight but not too flimsy.”
Shortlisted: ErgoPouch Easy Sleep Portable Bassinet
Key features we tested/judged — Comfort and fit for the child, quality and softness of fabrics, ease of dressing, appearance, worth the money.
Gold – Pickle SS 23 Collection, £10 to £25
Why it’s a winner: From the great packaging – including a personalised note – to the thoughtful design touches for easy nappy changes, the attention to detail by small UK brand Pickle really did win over our testers and judges. This collection of cute, easy-to-wear, baby and kids’ clothes features plenty of fun, bright prints, all at a great price point – most pieces are under £25. The quality of the fabric used was perfect, with one tester commenting that "the soft, stretchy material feels lovely and comfortable", while our MFM expert judge, Janet, praised the clothing for having “no scratches or bumps” to annoy little children.
In the words of parent tester Tammy, who tested this with their 2 year old: "My daughter absolutely loved all the designs and I know she will get a lot of wear out them. Everything washed well, with no colour fading or shrinkage; the quality after washing was still amazing."
Buy from: Pickle
Silver – Pigeon Organics Cotton Clothing, £10 to £58
Best for: Unisex, organic designs you'll want to hand down.
In the words of parent tester Alex, who tested this with their 2 year old: "The clothes are easy for my son to put on and are comfortable to play in. I like that the cotton is organically sourced and everything feels really soft and high quality; the hoody has a fleece lining which makes it very cosy."
Buy from: Pigeon Organics
Bronze – Blade and Rose Peter Rabbit Collection, £3.50 to £18
Best for: Fun yet practical clothing at good prices.
In the words of parent tester Liz, who tested this with their 22 month old: "The leggings are soft and stretchy and move with your child, no matter what they are doing; running, jumping or stretching. They have already been through multiple washes without showing much sign of wear."
Buy from: Blade & Rose
Shortlisted: Emile et Rose Dusty All-in-One | 2 Little Legs | OriOrso Jogger Socks
Key features we tested/judged — Quality of fabrics, ease of dressing, appearance, comfort for the child, worth the money, durability, water resistance.
Gold – Kidunk Eco Waterproof Suit, £29.99 to £69.99
Why it’s a winner: We love that Kidunk worked with nurseries, forest schools and parents to create these waterproof tops and bottoms, which can be worn separately or zipped together for some serious puddle jumping protection. Made from 100% recycled materials, they are comfy and stretchy, with chunky zips and a welly tuck detail to keep feet dry. Our testers loved the “smart” style of these waterproof separates, commenting that the top “is something you could dress them in all day and they wouldn't look out of place in the shop on the way home.”
In the words of parent tester Emily, who tested this with their 3 year old: “My son splashed through the waves and stayed dry, slid down icy slopes on his bum and the stains just washed out, and climbed rocks and trees without tearing the fabric. This set has kept him warm without over-heating and allowed him to move as he wants, as an active 3 year old.”
Buy from: Kidunk
Silver – Hippychick Toddler Waterproof Fleece Lined Suit, £32.50
Best for: A lightweight suit to keep out the wind and rain.
In the words of parent tester Anita, who tested this with their 3 year old: “My 3 year old was very happy splashing in puddles or running in and out of little waves at the beach wearing this. It will definitely last a full year or more, sizing wise, thanks to all the adjustable straps.”
Buy from: Hippychick
Bronze – Muddy Puddles Ecowarm Waterproof Puddlesuit, £69
Best for: Long-lasting, warm protection from the elements.
In the words of parent tester Christy, who tested this with their 2 year old: “The fabrics are flexible and soft and, most importantly, waterproof. A big thumbs up for the lovely fleece layer that kept my son warm on freezing days and the hood that is big enough to accommodate a hat underneath for extra warmth.”
Key features we tested/judged – Comfort for the child, worth the money, quality of fabrics, appearance, quality after wash, swimwear fit, effectiveness.
Gold – Splash About Baby & Children's Swimwear Collection, £8 to £26
Why it’s a winner: Splash About’s swimwear collection features everything you need to hit the pool safely with your water baby, including learn-to-swim buoyancy jackets and must-have swim nappies. With a special lining that prevents any leakage our testers agreed it was “worth its value in saving on disposable nappies,” as well as keeping them from landfill, while they praised the lining as “a great addition for cleanliness and hygiene.” The comfortable swim jacket doesn’t ride up and felt less bulky compared to other swim vests, with one tester adding “it has made swimming easier and a load more fun!”
In the words of parent tester Meegan, who tested this with their 1 year old: “The nappy dries really quickly when wrapped in a towel. The duo layer did its job by keeping everything inside perfectly; it's a brilliant design and definitely does what it says it will.”
Silver – Konfidence Splashy™ Swim Nappy, £11.99
Best for: Swim-school approved alternative to disposable nappies.
In the words of parent tester Laura, who tested this with their 8 month old: “The nappy was good quality, well made and washed well between swimming lessons. I liked the fit, which had a good seal around my daughter's legs and tummy, without leaving horrible marks from being too tight.”
Key features we tested/judged — Comfort for the child, worth the money, quality and design of shoes, shoe fit, ease of doing up, child-friendly styles, robustness.
Gold – KEEN Newport H2 Sandal, £35 to £55
Why it’s a winner: These thoughtfully-designed sandals are just the thing for outdoor adventures, thanks to the rubber toe bumpers to protect little feet from knocks and stumbles. Easy for kids to put on and take off independently with the hook and loop fastenings, our testers found them to be supportive, well-fitting, and good quality. We love that these are fully washable – one tester said they came up looking brand new – and have an eco anti-odour treatment to help keep them smelling fresh. While they don't come cheap, our testers agreed that “the quality, durability and comfort justifies the price.”
In the words of parent tester Kayleigh, who tested this with their 6 year old: “My son tested these sandals daily and has loved wearing them; they have quickly become his favourite shoes due to comfort, grip and durability. These are going to be perfect during warmer weather, for beach days and adventures.”
Silver – Start-Rite Shoes, £25 to £60
Best for: Comfort and support for growing feet.
In the words of parent tester Bryony, who tested this with their 4 year old: “My daughter had a great time testing these boots. They were comfortable, great for climbing trees and puddle jumping! I was impressed with the overall quality and cute design; absolutely worth the money.”
Buy from: Start-Rite
Key features we tested/judged — Quality of fabrics, worth the money, comfort for baby/child, extra features, tog rating, ease of dressing.
Gold – ergoPouch Winter Onesie, £49.95
Why it’s a winner: Essentially a cosy sleeping bag with legs, this clever design is ideal for toddlers who like to stand and walk about in their cot, or babies who tend to kick off their blankets at night. Made from and filled with GOTS-certified organic cotton, our testers found it “very well made and cosy for the winter months” without being too thick. It's easy to wash and the 3-way zip makes night time nappy changes quick and easy; one of our testers commented, “I LOVE the zip – my daughter wasn't able to take it off herself either, which is great!”
In the words of parent tester Abbey, who tested this with their 3 year old: “My daughter loves how comfortable this is and that she can jump around in it; she always says it is warm, cute and cosy. It's also really easy to wash, can go in with normal washing and has kept its shape.”
Silver – DockATot Romper, £60
Best for: A cosy layer over a sleepsuit or pyjamas for active toddlers.
In the words of parent tester Gemma, who tested this with their 11 month old: “My daughter looked super comfy in the romper; it always kept her warm, especially on those colder nights. I love the softness of the material too.”
Key features we tested/judged — Appeal, quality of product, value for money, design, unique concept, age suitability.
Gold – Curse Breaker, £7.99
Why it’s a winner: “A new experience for young readers” was just one of the comments praising this engaging, captivating book for ages 9+. A fun game challenge in an adventure story, our testers thought this book was unusual and entertaining. They also liked that it inspired their children to create their own stories.
In the words of parent tester Kate, who tested this with their 9 year old: “The design of the book is appealing but it is the style of the book that creates a whole new interest. My daughter really enjoyed the puzzles and the ability to make choices in this book. She also took it into school to share with friends.”
Silver – The Night We Got Stuck in a Story, £12.99
Best for: Children who love magical stories and getting lost in adventure books.
In the words of parent tester Carla, who tested this with their 10 year old: “My daughter loved it so much. I found her sat with her reading light in bed reading it as she couldn’t put it down.”
Bronze – Social Media Survival Guide, £6.99
Best for: Helping tweens safely navigate the tricky social media landscape.
In the words of parent tester Bryony, who tested this with their 10 year old: “It's full of really useful information. Perfect for when pre-teens start to venture into the world of phones and social media. And it's put to them in a fun and engaging way.”
Key features we tested/judged — Appeal, quality of product, worth the money, design, unique concept, age suitability.
Gold – Where Does My Food Come From?, £7.99
Why it’s a winner: Educational and informative with bold illustrations, this book by Annabel Karmel is a fun way to explain to children about where their food comes from. With easy-to-follow recipes included, it’s also an engaging introduction to cooking. Our testers praised the illustrations and photos of real-life food. It’s a detailed and well-thought-out book, with one tester noting that “every part of the page feels well thought out.”
In the words of parent tester Charlotte, who tested this with their 5 year old: “My child was able to create some yummy treats which everyone was able to enjoy. It's a fun and informative way to get the children involved in baking.”
Buy from: Amazon
Silver – Do Bears Poop in the Woods?. £12.99
Best for: Animal and nature-loving children who are keen to find out new facts.
In the words of parent tester Carolyn, who tested this with their 6 year old: “My son gave this book a huge thumbs up. He has just turned 6 and has a real thirst for knowledge so it is a great book for engaging his curious mind.”
Joint Bronze – Curtain Up! Behind the Scenes at the Royal Opera House, £12.99
Best for: Creative children who are fascinated by books that take a detailed look behind the scenes.
In the words of parent tester Carolyn, who tested this with their 6 year old twins: “My daughter loves ballet and she even learned a few of the moves from the illustrations. Her twin brother also loved the book, and it really captured his imagination.”
Joint Bronze – Flip & Flow – Once Upon a Breath... In a Magical Forest, £29.99
Best for: Parents and children who want to practise mindfulness and relaxation together.
In the words of parent tester Katy, who tested this with their 5 year old: “It is a helpful tool to teach mindfulness and emotional self-regulation; for me that makes it worth spending money on.”
Buy from: Flip & Flow
Shortlisted: Can We Really Help the Bees?
Key features we tested/judged — Appeal, quality of product, worth the money, design, unique concept, age suitability, learning opportunities.
Gold – My Mum’s a Tiger, £7.99
Why it’s a winner: Our testers loved this positive, empowering book that helps to introduce your children to body positivity at an early age. One tester stated, “I absolutely loved the diversity in this book.” It also proved to be great communication tool, enabling our testers to start conversations with their little ones about how everyone is different.
In the words of parent tester Jodie, who tested this with their 3 year old: “I love the unique aspect of the story. I like how it teaches children to be comfortable in their own bodies and encourages mothers to talk about their own stretch marks and normalises them.”
Silver – The Gecko and The Echo, £12.99
Best for: Children who love rhyming stories with a positive message.
In the words of parent tester Katie, who tested this with their 3 year old: “It is a lovely book with a very thoughtful meaning. The illustrations are colourful and have a lot to them, while the storyline is very relatable to everyday preschooler life.”
Bronze – Mouse’s Wood: A Year in Nature, £14.99
Best for: Animal-loving preschoolers who enjoy detailed illustrations.
In the words of parent tester Rebecca, who tested this with their 4 year old: “It’s the perfect pre-school read. Not only is it educational, teaching children about the changing seasons, animals, plants, birds, insects, and flowers, but it sparks their imagination too.”
Shortlisted: I’m (Almost) Never Bored | Miffy’s Treasury
Key features we tested/judged — Value for money, product design, quality, durability, story, learning opportunities, suitability for age group.
Gold – Let’s Look at... Nature, £6.99
Why it’s a winner: With bold and colourful illustrations, Let’s Look At Nature is a board book for outdoor-loving parents and children that our testers thought it was “bright and engaging.” With each page detailing an element of nature, such as grass or wind, it is a great prompt for learning, with one tester stating, “We have also used the book alongside sensory play”.
In the words of parent tester Leah, who tested this with their 2 year old: “This would be great as a first book for babies/toddlers as it’s really sturdy. I think this board book is worth the money, especially when purchased for a 1 year old as it will grow with their speech.”
Silver – Do You Want a Hug?, £8.99
Best for: Teaching young children about boundaries in an age-appropriate way.
In the words of parent tester Elizabeth, who tested this with their 1 year old and 2 year old: “I really like how this book allows you to discuss consent and body autonomy in a fun way with young children. It's a tricky subject to bring up with toddler-aged children so this is really useful.”
Bronze – The Littlest Yak: The New Arrival, £12.99
Best for: Pregnant mums looking to talk about a new baby with their toddlers.
In the words of parent tester Kate, who tested this with their 3 year old: “This is a beautiful and touching read; my daughter was mesmerised throughout the story and enjoyed the lovely illustrations. It is a reassuring tale and a relatable storyline to any older sibling who is learning to share their parents for the first time.”
Key features we tested/judged — Appeal to parents, quality and effectiveness, design, worth the money.
Gold – Bumbles & Boo Baby Hampers and New Baby Gifts, £24.95 to £125.95
Why it’s a winner: With a range of prices from individual gift giving to a healthy workplace collection pot, our category winner will delight expectant mums no matter the budget. There are options to customise so you can add a bit of personality or meet specific needs, with all gifts coming from trusted brands, like Neal's Yard. Our home testers loved that it was a treat for mum and baby, and that the packaging was like digging into a treasure trove as they worked through the layers of ribbon, tissue paper, fabric roses and notecard.
In the words of parent tester Mary, who is pregnant: “The hamper arrived beautifully, very easy to unpack and I enjoyed rifling through to see what treasures were inside! The bib, hat, baby blanket and hedgehog toy feel well made and I can't wait to try them once baby arrives!”
Buy from: Bumbles & Boo
Silver – Etta Loves Hanging Squares, £22
Best for: Science-backed newborn sensory play.
In the words of parent tester Michelle, who tested this with their 13 week old: “Just the perfect little toy for a new baby to stimulate their senses. Beautifully designed, lovely to the touch, easy to clean and the mirror is a decent size for the baby to see themselves in.”
Buy from: Etta Loves
Joint Bronze – Nuby Animal Adventures Baby Toy Gift Set, £16.99
Best for: Sweet and functional baby essentials.
In the words of parent tester Emily, who tested this with their 6 month old: “My little one is too young to squeak the koala herself, but she is able to use everything else to its full potential at just 6 months old. She loves to snuggle the koala squeaker.”
Joint Bronze – Neutrum Bear Winter Warmer Set, £32.99
Best for: Little babies born during the winter months.
In the words of parent tester Alysia, who tested this with their 4 month old: “I love this gift set. The hat and mittens are lovely and so well made. I think this would make a really nice gift for a mum who had a baby due September-February, based on the wintery items it contains.”
Buy from: Neutrum Bear
Shortlisted: Munchkin & Bear Babushka Bear Family
Key features we tested/judged — Quality of products, value for money, ease of use, subscription/customisation options, innovation/unusual features.
Gold – The Bear Can Read: Learn-to-Read Subscription Box, £19.99
Why it’s a winner: “A clever, innovative and sweet idea that's been very well executed”, “a really special and well-constructed gift box that is entertaining as well as educational” and “extremely good value for money,” are just some of the glowing comments that reflect how our judges and testers felt about the boxes. The subscription boxes from The Bear Can Read are personalised and tailored to your child’s reading level, so everything from the book to the activities included supports their phonics learning perfectly. It’s great to have the flexibility to choose a level that suits your child, as one tester commented: “If your child is more advanced in age or less experienced, you can curate the material you receive so that it's the right level for them.”
In the words of parent tester Laura, who tested this with their 4 year old: “I was surprised by how engaged my child was in the stories and activities and how well she did at completing them. The activity cards are so well presented and she got such a kick out of completing them, especially the ‘Spot the Difference’ and ‘Odd One Out’ games.”
Buy from: The Bear Can Read
Silver – My Mini Maker: Monthly Activity Kit, £22.99
Best for: Convenience and time-saving crafts.
In the words of parent tester Emily, who tested this with their 3 year old and 5 year old: “Open the box and off you go – that's it other than you might need a pair of scissors. The super clear labelling and instructions with photos made them much easier for younger kids to access. My eldest was able to complete a few of these solo following the instructions on her own, which shows how clearly and thoughtfully they have been planned.”
Buy from: My Mini Maker
Bronze – Little Big Kid: Children's Healthy Snack Box Subscription, from £12.50
Best for: Healthy and unusual kids’ snacks delivered to your door.
In the words of parent tester Ruth, who tested this with their 5 year old: “The box is well designed to appeal to children and adds excitement to healthy snacks. My son loves them and it has made healthy snacks feel like a real treat.”
Buy from: Little Big Kid
Shortlisted: Aqua Wipes Range
See all our MFM Award winners:
- Prams, pushchairs, lightweights and double buggies — 2023 winners
- Car seats — 2023 winners
- Baby carriers, slings and wraps — 2023 winners
- Sleeping and nursery products — 2023 winners
- Breast and bottlefeeding products — 2023 winners
- Products for your pregnancy — 2023 winners
- Family health, bathtime and skincare products — 2023 winners
- Nappies, changing and potty training products — 2023 winners
- Baby & toddler weaning and feeding products — 2023 winners
- MadeForMums Special Awards — 2023 winners
- MadeForMums Editor's Choice Awards — 2023 winners
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