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10 of the best nightlights for babies and children

Are you looking for the perfect nightlight? We've picked the best nightlights currently on the market, that've been recommended and tested by parents

Best nightlights

In the early days of having a baby, a nightlight may be more for your benefit than theirs ­– for example it can help if you’re getting up for night feeds, where a soft glow is preferable to a search-light style ceiling lamp.

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But as your child develops and grows, it can become a key part of their bedtime routine, helping them to settle, reducing fears about the darkness or helping them find their missing teddy or beaker. Older children who get up at night to use the bathroom (toilet nightlights are great for this too) may also benefit from the extra guidance in the dark and find comfort in seeing a familiar shape if they wake in the night.

We’ve researched the market and asked parents what nightlights they use for their little ones to bring you a list of the best nightlights for babies and toddlers. We’ve chosen a whole range from basic plug-in lights to colourful projectors, sound machines and more.

Getting your little one off to sleep can be a tricky task, if you’re looking for more ways to soothe your child to sleep, take a look at our best sleep aids and white noise machines. It’s also important that your child is dressed in the best baby and toddler sleeping bags for ultimate comfort during the night. If your baby is sleeping next to you, it may be useful to take a look at the best co-sleeping cots and cribs.

Best nightlights at a glance

  • Best for sleep training toddlers: Tommee Tippee Ollie The Owl Groclock, £35
  • Best for measuring temperature: Tommee Tippee GroEgg2, £25
  • Best for a soft, safe light: LED Chick Nightlight, £18.49
  • Best for colds and sniffles: Calpol Vapour Plug-In & Nightlight – Lavender & Chamomile, £7.50
  • Best for portability: Shnuggle Moonlight Nightlight, £29.95
  • Best for value: Nuby Penguin Colour Changing Nightlight, £12.50
  • Best multifunctional nightlight: Tommee Tippee Dreammaker, £29.99
  • Best for baby to squeeze: Babymoov Squeezy Nightlight, £24.99
  • Best for attaching to crib: Chicco Next2 Stars Projector, £24.99
  • Best for main light and nightlight feature: Tommee Tippee Grolight 2-in-1 Nightlight, £19.99

Should I use a nightlight?

Experts actually recommend that babies and children sleep in completely dark rooms to stimulate the production of melatonin, which in turn causes drowsiness. However, the reality of getting a small child to sleep can be quite different.

It’s therefore perhaps a good idea to use a nightlight that either times out and turns off by itself after a fixed time period, or try to get into the habit of turning it off once your child is soundly asleep.

This is not always that easy either – many toddlers will profess to being scared of the dark and many parents like being able to check on the baby regularly without turning the main lights on. In those circumstances, try to opt for a very low glow rather than a big flashing lights show.

Establishing and maintaining a bedtime routine is a key part of any young child’s life and you can build a nightlight into this. Depending on their age, you can turn it on at the same time each evening to signal bedtime is coming or with toddlers and pre-schoolers, you can ask them to do it as a fun way of involving them in the wind down before bed.

What age do children become afraid of the dark?

As much as you may believe babies are scared of the dark, it’s not actually until around the age of 2 when your child’s fear of the dark comes in. In fact, babies find the dark soothing as it simulates the darkness of the womb.

However, a nightlight can still be helpful even if your child is not afraid of the dark. They are a great way to be able to check on your baby and do night time feedings without having to turn the main light on and disturb your baby.

Are nightlights safe to leave on all night?

In general, it should be safe to leave a nightlight on all night. However, it’s important that you check the manufacturer’s guide of your particular nightlight to make sure that it’s okay for your specific make.

What should I consider when buying a nightlight?

Age of your child – Lullaby Trust guidelines recommend that the cot is clear of all loose items, so although they may seem cute, plush toys with built-in lights should not be placed in the cot with your baby for the first 12 months. You will want to opt for a light that can hung or placed away from them.

Battery life – It’s important to consider how long you need the light to stay on, whether you need it on all night or just to send your little one off to sleep. If you wish to leave the nightlight on all night, you need a nightlight with a long battery life or a plug.

Added sound feature –  children find lullabies, songs or even white noise very soothing so you could opt for a nightlight that has this added feature.

Sensor – Some lights also have a sensor that is activated when your baby wakes, stirs or cries causing the light – and possibly associated sounds – to turn back on.

Portability – If you travel a lot or your little one goes and stays at their grandparents regularly for example, it would be useful if the nightlight was portable and could easily be transported to different houses.

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations. 

To collate this list of best nightlights, we asked the Made For Mums community which nightlights they use and recommend, as well as what’s great about it and what may be not so great. We believe this helps give you a true picture of what the nightlight is like before you spend your money.

When testing nighlights we look at; value for money, added features, adjustable brightness, battery life and ease of use.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

Here’s our pick of the best nightlights for babies and toddlers…

1. Tommee Tippee Ollie The Owl Groclock, £35

– Best for sleep training toddlers

Type: Nightlight and clock | Power supply: Mains powered

Tommee Tippee’s Groclock is not just an adorable nightlight, it also communicates to your child when they should and shouldn’t be getting out of bed. The clock face will show a blue light with images of stars and a sleeping owl to signal it’s bedtime. Then, in the morning the face will turn yellow with an awake owl, to tell your child it’s okay to get up now.

This nightlight is perfect for older toddlers, when you’re trying to get them to understand the concept of time. It’s also a great way to set boundaries as to when is an okay and not an appropriate time to get out of bed. The adjustable screen brightness means you can set it to be the ideal brightness for you.

As you child gets older, you can also display a digital clock, great for when they’re starting to learn to tell the time. There’s also an optional audible alarm feature if you wish to use this as an alarm clock too.

As an added bonus is it comes with a bedtime story book too, all about sleeping through the night.

MFM home tester Chloe, uses the Groclock with her 5 year old son. “I really like the Groclock because it has taught my son about time…he knows when it’s bedtime and when he’s able to get out of bed due to the stars remaining till the morning,” she eplained. “I like that we can travel with it if we need to on holiday as it is lightweight and not bulky. Furthermore, I like that you can lock the home screen so little fingers cannot switch from day to night when it suits or vice versa”. However, Chloe did warn that “it’s not user friendly when you first buy it. The different buttons that control it on the screen are not clear and it takes some getting used to”.

Anna, another MFM home tester, mum of an 8 and an 11 year old, also loves the Groclock and said, “it was great when they couldn’t tell the time and, as it doesn’t look too babyish, it’s not out of place in Leo’s room even now. So no complaints from me!”.

Pros: Sleep trains, adjustable brightness, teaches to read the time, portable, home screen lock
Cons: Can be tricky to use at the start, quite pricey if just being used as a nightlight

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Argos

2. Tommee Tippee GroEgg 2, £25

– Best for measuring temperature

Type: Nightlight and room thermometer | Power supply: Mains, USB rechargeable

With it’s easy to use traffic light-style system that sees the egg change colour depending on whether your baby’s room is too cold (blue) too hot (red) or just right (amber), the GroEgg is a long-established favourite among parents who are keen to keep an eye on their child’s sleeping environment at a glance.

The GroEgg 2 has the added bonus of being a dimmable nightlight with three different levels of brightness meaning it offers comfort and reassurance for the child as well as a digital thermometer with permanent lit LCD readout temperature for the parents.

Our MFM Awards testers praised its sleek design, easy to read screen and durability. Our journalist reviewer Natasha was particularly impressed with its aesthetic appearance, saying, “The Groegg 2 is a sleek and stylish product that would look good in a modern nursery. The flexible silicone dome is a pleasant design choice and remains cool to the touch when the nightlight is on.”

Parent tester Kate added: “It is robust and appears to be accurate in it’s reading, a must-have for a new parent.”

MFM home tester Jenny uses the GroEgg 2 with her 5 year old son. “I like the fact that you can set the brightness or turn the light off. I also like the fact it has the temperature reading on the front as it saves also having a room thermometer. Especially in the early days of being a first time mum with a newborn and worrying about the temp of the room the GroEgg 2 helped to make sure my son had a safe sleeping environment, especially as he was born in the summer,” she explained. However, Jenny did further say, “the only thing I don’t like is that you can’t change the colour if you want to which would be nice as the colour is set to the temp of the room”.

The GroEgg 2 is supported by safe sleep experts The Lullaby Trust and is 33% bigger than the original GroEgg, making it that bit easier to use and view and that bit stronger too – it should bounce if an overzealous toddler decides to use it as a toy. The USB cable to charge this nightlight is included but no plug is provided. It comes with a guide to help you decide which tog of sleepwear your child should be wearing in each temperature.

Pros: Has a built in thermometer, dimmable
Cons: Can’t change the colour, limited charging options

Read our full MadeForMums review of the GroEgg 2 here

Available from: Amazon, Argos and John Lewis

3. LED Chick Nightlight, £18.49

– Best for a soft, safe light

Type: Nightlight | Power supply: Rechargeable USB

This smooth surfaced LED Chick nightlight does not harm the skin of babies and children. The brightness can be adjusted by pressing and holding the nightlight to suit you and your child’s preference.

The cute chick light is made of non-toxic silicone, ABS and PC. It’s soft, allowing it to be kneaded without making it deformed.

With its long battery life, it can last up to 200 hours in low light conditions and 5 hours in bright light. It’s easy to charge, using the USB cable included.

MFM home tester Jessica listed all the positives she found when using the LED Chick Nightlight: “good battery life, easy and simple for child to control by pressing squishy head for on/off and holding to change brightness. Easy and fairly quick to charge on the mains so no batteries required and fun design kids like.” In terms of what to look out for, there’s “no indication if battery is about to die, [and the] dimmest setting still gives off quite a lot of light so it may be too bright for some.”

Pros: Safe for child’s skin, adjustable brightness, long battery life
Cons: No indication of when the battery is about to die

Available from: Amazon

4. Calpol Vapour Plug-In & Nightlight- Lavender & Chamomile, £7.50

– Best for colds and sniffles

Type: Nightlight and vapour plug| Power supply: Mains operated

Does your child get the night-time sniffles? This Calpol plug-in nightlight contains a blend of lavender, chamomile, menthol, camphor and eucalyptus to help your child breathe clearly as they sleep.

Not only does this nifty nightlight ease congestion, it also provides a comforting glow for your child’s bedroom. Simply plug it into a mains socket, the nightlight is only activated when the lights are turned off.

MFM home tester Charley-Marie, mum of 2 boys, “loves the Calpol plug-in because it’s like a two in one purchase”. She went on to say, “I find it helps the boys so much when they are full of cold with the pads in but you can also use it without the pads for the nightlight aspect. We originally used it when my son was poorly and then he asked for it on every night so we just went with it. I honestly would said there’s nothing I don’t like about it”.

You can easily refill with the Calpol Vapour Plug refills, which last up to 8 hours. You can buy the refill pads for £5.99 for a pack of 5.

It’s important to note that this nightlight is only suitable for children 3+ months.

Pros: Helps ease congestion, easy to use, just plug in
Cons: Have to buy replacement pads, have to be 3+ months

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Superdrug

5. Shnuggle Moonlight Nightlight, £29.95

– Best for portability

Type: Nightlight and room temperature sensor | Power supply: Rechargeable USB

This Shnuggle Moonlight nightlight is perfect for older kids to take with them to the toilet at night time when switched to child mode. However, it’s also great for younger children when it’s in parent mode with its baby-safe glow to comfort your child and make midnight baby changes and feedings easier.

Not only can this clever nightlight be used as a torch for your child, it also has a temperature sensing dock to help you keep the room temperature optimal for your child.

In parent mode, if the nightlight is left on, the light gradually dims before turning off after 1 hour.

When put on child mode, the nightlight gradually dims to simulate a sunset, but it stays in nightlight mode all night. The handy strap makes it easy for your child to carry it to the bathroom or wherever they may need to get to in the dark. Simply shake the nightlight and the light will be activated. It’s safe too, as its cool to touch.

MFM home tester Clare has a 13 week year old daughter and uses this nightlight. “The Moonlight nightlight is good on the whole but the controls are a little difficult at times. When you pick up the light from the charging base it will turn on, it can then be shaken to make brighter however, this is also how it’s turned off so you have to cycle through each brightness before it will turn off,” said Clare.

The nightlight is rechargeable using a USB, this is not included but any regional USB can be used.

Pros: Can be used as a torch, has parent and child mode, automatically dims
Cons: Controls can be a bit difficult, quite pricey for a nightlight

Available from: JoJo Maman Bebe, Amazon and Bella Baby

6. Nuby Penguin Colour Changing Nightlight, £12.50

– Best for value

Type: Colour changing nightlight | Power supply: Rechargeable USB

This little penguin makes an adorable nightlight. It’s made of soft silicone and gives out just the right amount of glow to gently light your child’s bedroom.

It’s super easy to use too, with its easy tap technology. Tap once to turn the light on, it will cycle through 8 different calming colours to soothe your child to sleep. You can tap the little penguin again if you wish to pause the cycle on a particular colour. Tap once more to turn the light off.

MFM home tester Siobhan uses the penguin nightlight with her 2 little boys, and said “It doesn’t use batteries so I can charge it in the day and use at night.” She liked that it “has multiple colours, it’s portable, so good to move around the house and out and about”, she also went on to say how “it’s a good price…and it has a nice glow that’s not too bright but enough to see”. One thing Siobhan did find was that the port for charging it can be slightly tricky.

The nightlight’s battery is rechargeable using a USB cable which comes included. With full charge, on warm light mode it should last approximately 10 hours, 9 hours if on colour changing mode.

Pros: Colour-changing, great value, cute design, easy to use, portable
Cons: Charging port can be tricky

Available from: Nuby, Boots and Amazon

7. Tommee Tippee Dreammaker, £29.99

– Best multifunctional nightlight

Type: Nightlight and pink noise machine | Operated by: USB plug

The Tommee Tippee Dreammaker is designed to simulate the best sleeping conditions for your baby. Once your baby is asleep you can adjust the settings to help you sleep too.

Its red nightlight feature, allows for the production of melatonin which relaxes the body, getting it ready for sleep. You can choose from 3 brightness levels. This makes it the perfect device to use as a nightlight when breastfeeding or just during the night to prevent disturbance.

Another fantastic feature the Tommee Tippee Dreammaker has is a pulsing light. The rhythmical pulsing light waves encourage deep and low breaths to help the baby relax, ready for sleep. There are two settings, one faster, meant to reflect your baby’s breathing rate and one for you. Once your baby is asleep, you can change the settings to help you relax.

The pink noise omitted from the device imitates the natural sounds of the womb, providing comfort and more natural background noise for your baby to fall asleep to. The manufacturer claims this is a better sleeping environment than other noise, or even no noise at all.

As well as the noise helping to send your baby to sleep, it’s also designed to be safe. The maximum volume is 50dBA, which is loud enough to be heard, but not loud enough to damage your baby’s hearing.

It also has CrySensor technology, to detect when to switch back on to soothe your baby back to sleep.

MFM home tester Casey used this with her 11 week baby and said “it worked to help my daughter with her sleep and it did make the initial bedtime quicker and she definitely didn’t fuss anywhere near as much as she did”. “She is going down much easier and and her first stretch of sleep is 4-5 hours compared to 2-3 prior which for me is fantastic.”

The device is USB powered. The plug is not included but it’s compatible with most USB plugs used as phone chargers.

Pros: Doubles up as a pink noise machine, rhythmical pulsing light, has CrySensor technology
Cons: Quite pricey if just being used as a nightlight

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Argos

8. Babymoov Squeezy Nightlight, £24.99

– Best for baby to squeeze

Type: Nightlight  Power supply: Rechargeable USB

This light is not only cute, but it’s also great to use as a sensory toy. Thanks to its clever air sensor technology your little one can give Squeezy a little squeeze and it will glow a warm white. It claims to give off just the right amount of light to comfort and reassure your child.

MFM home tester Kimberly uses this nightlight with her 9-month old. “we love this light because it’s small and portable. It’s soft and easy for our 9-month old to hold and squeeze. The rechargeable battery lasts ages so doesn’t need charging regularly and when the battery is running low there is a little red light that indicates a low battery. The light has 2 brightness settings both of which are a nice soft glow and also a choice between a timer or to be on all night. However, Kimberly did say, “it’s more expensive than others on the market and doesn’t change colour like others but as a simple nightlight this product is great”.

You can adjust the brightness of the nightlight by squeezing it twice and you squeeze again to turn it off. With its automatic built-in timer, Squeezy can turn off after 10 minutes or 30 minutes.

The Babymoov Squeezy nightlight is operated by a rechargeable lithium battery, with over 200 hours battery life. It’s easy to recharge using the included micro-USB cable.

It’s also compact and portable, great for travelling with or taking with you wherever you need.

Pros: Built-in timer, great for sensory, adorable design, excellent battery life
Cons: Quite expensive

Available from: :La Redoute, Amazon and Kiddies Kingdom

9. Chicco Next2 Stars Projector, £24.99

– Best for attaching to crib

Type: Nightlight and projector, with sensor | Power supply: 3 x AA batteries

This three-setting nightlight has an option to suit all tastes – a projector-style setting for colourful displays, a soothing glow and a more distinctive crescent moon night light that projects on to your nursery wall.

Plus, this nightlight also comes with a sensor, so it automatically detects when your baby starts crying and will switch on the lights or music – a great feature given the price. The projector also comes with a little plush bear toy, which can be detached and is washable. 

It can be attached to the side of a cot or crib (obviously out of reach of your baby) and can also stand separately when placed on a bedside table. With 30 minutes of different styles of music, including classical and pop, and volume control, this is a good value night light. 

MFM home tester Krupa, mum of 2 boys said, “we like that it changes colours and the stars light up the whole ceiling, the sound is also calming and the light switches on by itself when baby cries for example so it’s almost reassuring to them”. However, Krupa added that, if all the elements are in use frequently,  the battery life leaves a little to be desired.

Pros: Can be attached to the side of the crib, has music, has a projector, crysensor
Cons: battery life isn’t great

Available from: Very, Boots, Amazon and Mamas & Papas

10. Tommee Tippee Grolight 2-in-1 Nightlight, £19.99

– Best for main light and nightlight feature

Type: Overhead light and nightlight| Power supply: Bayonet or Edison screw light fitting

If you have no bedside table to place a nightlight, this overhead nightlight is perfect. The Grolight is a 2-in-1 nightlight and normal overhead light. It simply fits into your normal light socket. Flick the light switch once and your child’s room will be filled with a comforting nightlight glow. Flick the light switch again to turn on the usual main light.

This easy-to-use nightlight is ideal for children who need a bit of comfort light to get to sleep but also for late night breastfeeding and to check-in on your child without causing too much disturbance.

The Grolight is compatible with Bayonet and Edison light fittings.

Kayleigh, a MFM home tester who has 7 children has one of these lights in each of their bedrooms. She went on to explain why her kids love the Grolight, “my eldest is 12, but loved his because it makes him feel secure at night time, as he suffers a little with anxiety so he find it hard to settle without some sort of soft light in the room. I also have one on in my bedroom as my 1 year old is still in with me, in her cot. I like that I can see her clearly, but not so brightly that it’s disrupting her sleep, so checking her at night is easy”. Kayleigh continued to compliment the Grolight by saying, “we have literally never had to replace one, they are ever so durable and long lasting, they are very easy to use, it’s just a simple click on/click off function where you pick whether you want the nightlight or main light”. “It was also very simple to fit, as you just fit it to the main light fitting in their bedroom or a lamp if you choose to, so it’s not a separate device that you have to keep track of.

When Kayleigh was asked what could be improved, she said, she “would love them to add a feature to let you know when you’ve left them on during the day, as sometimes it can be very easy to just forget that they’re still on”.

Pros: Attaches to main light, easy to use, long-lasting and durable
Cons: Easy to leave on all day

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Argos

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About the author

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for Immediate Media’s Parenting team. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products for parents, ranging from best sleep aids to best playpens. She has a First-Class Honours Psychology degree where she developed a strong interest in child development.

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