Bubble machines are one of the most simple yet effective toys you can buy for your children. Bubbles can provide great sensory play for babies and even better outdoor and physical play for toddlers and older kids as they run around trying to reach and pop the bubbles.


Qualified Early Years consultant and parenting expert, Kirsty Ketley, explains, “There are so many benefits to bubble play. It’s great for visual tracking (the ability to control your eye movements following objects) which is essential for reading and fantastic for children’s coordination. From blowing bubbles to chasing and popping them, children get to develop their fine and gross motor skills as well as their oral motor skills.”

Best bubble machines at a glance

  • Best moving bubble toy: Hamleys Dinosaur Bubble Machine, £16.59
  • Best budget buy: Extreme Bubble Fountain, £10
  • Best for imaginative bubble play: Mega Bubble Mower, £8
  • Best for siblings: Little Tikes Foamo 3-in-1 Water Table, £69.99
  • Best easy-to-use bubble machine: Early Learning Centre Flora The Fish Bubble Machine, £20
  • Best bubble gun: EPCHOO Bubble Gun for Kids, £14.99
  • Best for quality: Dkinghome Q Shape Bubble Machine, £24.99
  • Best value character design: Chad Valley Narwhal Bubble Machine, £14
  • Best for older kids: Hamleys Volcano Light up Bubble Machine, £19.59
  • Best for lots of bubbles: Gazillion Bubbles Whirlwind Bubble Machine, £29.99

What to consider before you buy a bubble machine

What does it offer? Bubble machines can do all sorts of fancy things. Does it light up? Does it spin? Can it move? Before you buy, decide if you want a simple no-frills machine or something a little extra.

Is it good value for money? – As above, there’s really no need to spend a fortune on a bubble machine unless it offers you something extra you really want. Check for all the product’s features and whether it’s worth the additional cost.

How many batteries does it need? Let’s face it, kids will make no effort to save on battery life so it’s likely they’ll run out pretty quickly. Knowing how many batteries the product takes will mean you’re never caught short of bubble fun, and will prepare you for future costs.

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Does it come with bubble solution? There’s nothing worse than unboxing a bubble machine in front of excited children, only to discover there’s no bubble solution included. Some machines don’t include any mixture, others may come with a giant bottle.

Age suitability – You'll see that the majority of bubble machines have a 3 yrs+ suitability rating. This relates to the fact that you should never leave your 0-2 year old alone with a bubble machine (and probably slightly older children too) due to small and moving parts. However, it doesn't mean that younger children can't enjoy bubble machines - you just need to supervise at all times and keep them out of little inquisitive hands.

Here’s our pick of the best bubble machines for toddlers and kids as tested by children and rated by parents

1. Hamleys Dinosaur Bubble Machine, £16.59

Best moving bubble toy

Dinosaur Bubble Machine

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 3 x AA (not included) | Size: L17 x W13.3 x H22.5 cm | Bubble mixture: included

Dinosaurs and bubbles – a winning combination as far as our little testers are concerned! We love this quirky bubble machine, where the electronic dinosaur moves around, blowing bubbles out of its mouth. It even lights up! Yes, it really is as fun as it sounds.

As you can imagine, this definitely works best on flat, smooth ground – a patio or pathway is perfect, so it may struggle to move on the lawn.

Wendy, mum to our child tester Caleb, age 3, said, “My son loves being ‘chased’ by our moving dinosaur bubble machine. We use it outside, but also in the kitchen – you just have to remember to clean the floor well afterwards!”

Standing at 22.5cm, it is a little smaller than the photos online might lead you to believe, but this purple dino still manages to blow plenty of bubbles – plus there's a bottle of mixture included.

Pros: Lots of kid-appeal, good value for money

Cons: Requires space to move around, needs to be on a flat surface to work

Available at: Hamleys and Amazon

2. Extreme Bubble Fountain, £10

- Best budget buy

Extreme Bubble Fountain

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 4 x AA (not included) | Size: 18.5L x 15W x 19.5H cm | Bubble mixture: included

It’s not called an Extreme Bubble Fountain for nothing – this impressive kit promises to give you more bubbles than you’ll know what to do with; 250,000 bubbles in 5 minutes to be precise. Complete with a reasonable-sized 118ml bottle of bubble mixture in the box, the 10 rotating bubble wands promise to fill your garden with bubbles in a flash – up to 30 feet in the air.

Although it’s marketed as suitable for children aged 3 and over, it’s guaranteed to mesmerize younger children - but you need to supervise all young children when using a bubble machine. Liey, mum to our child testers age 18 months and 4 years, testifies: “This is something both my children love having out.” We’re not surprised; the sensory experience this offers is epic.

There’s a handy spill tray included, which is essential when you’re dealing with so many moving bubble wands. And, while some bubble machines can make great indoor toys, we recommend keeping this one outside or you’ll have 1,000s of bubble drips to clean up.

Pros: Affordable, creates a huge amount of bubbles, spill tray included

Cons: Can be messy due to multi-wands

Available at: Morrisons and Smyths Toys

3. Mega Bubble Mower, £8

Best for imaginative bubble play

Mega Bubble Mower

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 3 x AA (not included) | Size: 26.5L x 26.5W 46.5H cm | Bubble mixture: included

Combine bubble play with role play, with this cute mini mower. It may be cheap and cheerful, but this classic outdoor toy offers plenty of extra fun for your little ones, and the play potential defies the budget price tag. Toddlers, pre-schoolers and beyond will have hours of fun as they push this mower up and down the garden, creating their own bubble trail.

Katie, mum to our child testers, Arthur, 3 and Ronnie, 21 months, couldn’t agree more. She told us: “My sons have a lawnmower bubble machine and it's really good for outside. Although be warned, using it inside makes the floor wet and slippery!”

It comes with a reasonable-sized 118ml bottle of bubble mixture, but we suggest stocking up with a giant bottle of bubbles as soon as possible, as the mower powers through the mixture quickly. We also found the bubble mix spills out when the kids are zooming around.

It requires 3 x AA batteries (not included) and on that note, it’s very likely your little ones will walk away and leave the mower running after the bubbles run out – so keep an eye out and turn it off as soon as play is over.

Pros: Brilliant value, role play toy, can be used without bubbles

Cons: Goes thought bubble mixture quickly, likely to be left switched on when kids are playing

Available at: Amazon and Smyths Toys

4. Little Tikes Foamo 3-in-1 Water Table, £69.99

Best for siblings

Little Tikes Foamo 3-in-1 Water Table

Age: 2-6 | Batteries: 2 x LR20/D and 4 x AAA (not included) | Size: 65L x 65W x 73.6H cm | Bubble mixture: not included

A different level in terms of price, but this is not just a bubble machine, it's a 3-in-1 water table from outdoor toy specialists Little Tikes. It features a bubble machine at the top and a foam machine with a motor, which creates the kind of soap suds you can only dream of at bathtime.

There are loads of cool features to capture the imagination of toddlers, pre-schoolers and big kids alike, including a ferris wheel to whizz the foam around, a foam clapper that sprays bubbles everywhere and a hand pump to keep the bubbly fun coming. For the best bubbles, we recommend buying some proper mixture (as bubble mix isn't included), however, any homemade bubble mix will also do the trick.

There’s plenty of room for siblings or friends to play alongside each other – but it is a big toy and requires an equally big storage area when it's not in use.

Assembly is required for this product, but it’s pretty quick and straightforward (we found less than half an hour but you’ll need a screwdriver). Definitely keep this for outdoor use as it can create a lot of mess!

Pros: Long-term play potential, sensory fun, good quality from trusted brand

Cons: Expensive, bulky to store, lots of batteries needed, not suitable for indoor use, bubble mix not included

Available at: Very, BargainMax, Argos and Amazon

5. Early Learning Centre Flora The Fish Bubble Machine, £20

Best easy-to-use bubble machine

Flora The Fish Bubble Machine

Age: 3-6 | Batteries: 6x AA (not included) | Size: 19L x 18.5W x 19H cm | Bubble mixture: not included

Bright, colourful and easily portable, it’s no wonder the ELC’s Flora the Fish has earnt cult status among parents in the know. Flora is very simple and easy to use – you just pour the bubble mixture (not included) into Flora’s mouth and press the button – your pre-schooler will love the sense of independence as they do it themselves.

Small and compact, Flora is one of the easier bubble machines to transport, so great if you’re planning a party at the park. Just note, it’s a little noisy when switched on – not that you’re likely to hear over the squeals of excited children.

As you might expect from ELC, the quality is good. It's become a longterm family favourite for Elena, mum to our child testers aged 5 years, 3 years and 6 months. “We bought this after being recommended it by a baby sensory class – 5 years later, it’s still going strong. All my children love it, especially outdoors in the summer!”

Pros: Easily portable, robust, cute design

Cons: Slightly costly, lots of batteries needed, a little noisy, bubble mix not included

Available at: Early Learning Centre and The Entertainer

6. EPCHOO Bubble Gun for Kids, £14.99 for a pack of 2

Best bubble gun

EPCHOO bubble gun for kids

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 3 x AA batteries for each gun (not included) | Size: 11W x 17H cm | Bubble mixture: included

Perfect for family games, this 2-pack of bubble guns encourages plenty of interactive play for little – and big – kids. The set also includes 4 pots of bubble mixture, so you’ve got plenty to keep you going from the moment you open the pack – just don't forget the 6 batteries.

Lightweight and easy to carry, these are great for summer playdates, picnics and fun walks.

As if a fancy bubble gun wasn’t exciting enough, they also light up and have a see-through body, which little engineers will be fascinated by. For the ultimate sensory experience, we recommend giving these a try outside at dusk with the lights off.

Pros: Portable, cool light-up design, will appeal to a wide age range

Cons: Good value 2-pack, lots of batteries needed, needs to be rinsed after every use

Available at: Amazon

7. Dkinghome Q Shape Bubble Machine, £24.99

Best for quality

Studio shot of Dkinghome Q Shape Bubble Machine

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 4 x AA (batteries not included) | Size: 15.9L x 23W x 15.7H cm | Bubble mixture: included

Powerful, easy to use and with the ability to create LOTS of bubbles, this Dkinghome machine has a white space-age/alien style look and a sturdy, drop-resistant design. Plus it comes with a helpful 2-pack of bubble mixture.

At just under £25, this sits at the slightly higher end of the bubble machine market price-wise, but with 10 rotating wands and a large 110-150ml capacity, you get masses of bubbles and longevity to justify the cost.

Samantha, mum to our child testers aged 6 months and 2 years, says, “It’s fab – it makes sooo many bubbles! We’ve used it lots outside in the garden and for party times in the house, although it can make the laminate floor a little slippy!”

Pros: Robust design, large bubble capacity, portable

Cons: Costly, uses lots of bubble mixture

Available at: Amazon and OnBuy.com

8. Chad Valley Narwhal Bubble Machine, £14

- Best value character design

Chad Valley Narwhal Bubble Machine

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 4 x AA (not included) | Size: L24 x W17.5 x H16.8cm| Bubble mixture: included

One of the most toddler-appealing bubble machines on the market, this Chad Valley product offers a huge amount of bubbles, for a small price – and it’s in the shape of a narwhal.

A good-size, straightforward-to-use bubble machine, you simply fill with the included bubble mixture, press the button and sit back as this cute offering creates up to 20,000 bubbles in 5 minutes.

Amber, mum to our child testers Effy, 20 months and Remi, 2 years, rates this Chad Valley bubble machine and says it’s perfect for her “bubbles obsessed” children. “My eldest daughter absolutely loves it!” she adds.

It comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s guarantee, which is useful as some reviewers have suggested it can wear out sooner than expected - just don't leave it out in the garden to face the elements.

Pros: 1-year guarantee, affordable price, appealing design

Cons: May not be robust enough to withstand several summers

Available at: Argos and Amazon

9. Hamleys Volcano Light up Bubble Machine, £19.59

Best for older kids

Volcano Light up Bubble Machine

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 3x AA (not included) | Size: 23L x 23.2W x 26H cm | Bubble mixture: included

It might not look like a volcano, but it certainly delivers on an eruption of bubbles. Simple to use – you just pour the bubble mixture into the top of the machine and turn it on – and then the wow factor kicks in, with flashing lights around the edge of the machine. We think it would make a great addition to an outdoor birthday party.

Charlie, mum to our child tester age 3, rates the Volcano bubble machine for quality and longevity. “We bought this when my son was 2 and he’s now coming up to 4 and still loves it. Even his big sisters who are 10 and 12 love joining in. It’s brilliant in the garden and makes loads of bubble!”

It’s larger than your typical bubble machine, but it’s still easy to move around the garden and store away when finished. The spill tray is an added bonus.

Pros: Lights up, creates a lot of bubbles, spill tray included

Cons: Slightly costly, goes through bubble mixture quickly

Available at: Hamleys

10. Gazillion Bubbles Whirlwind Bubble Machine, £29.99

Best for lots of bubbles

Gazillion Bubbles Whirlwind Bubble Machine

Age: 3+ | Batteries: 10 x AA (not included) | Size: L15.5cm x W37.1 x H20.6 cm | Bubble mixture: included

Forget about cries of “more bubbles!” from the children; switch on the Gazillion Bubbles Whirlwind machine and in just a few seconds your garden will be a bubble wonderland. While it may not deliver a 'gazillion' bubbles, it does a pretty impressive job (37,500 bubbles in 5 minutes in fact).

We like how you simply attach the bubble solution (it comes with one good-size 450ml bottle) to the machine, meaning you don’t have to consistently keep topping it up to keep the bubbles coming. However, you may need to give it a little clean halfway through as the bubble nozzles can get a bit blocked up.

Jen, mum to our 3-year-old and 5-month-old testers, found it's been a hit with her kids. “We use it outside as it produces lots of bubbles which is great.” The only downside is that it takes a lot of batteries to power this Gazillion (10 x AAs) and Jen found that they need changing fairly frequently.

Pros: Creates huge number of bubbles, spill tray included

Cons: Lots of batteries needed, uses lots of bubble mixture, nozzles need regular cleaning

Available at: John Lewis and Amazon


How we tested:

When choosing and testing these bubble machines we considered size, price, how many batteries were needed (and whether they were included), whether bubble mixture was included, any extra features and play value.

Out 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our testing during the MadeForMums awards and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club.

Each year, 1000s 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.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, but instead 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 aim to help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Zoe Adams is a freelance journalist with over 10 years experience in the industry. She’s written about parenting on titles including Mother and Baby, Pregnancy and Birth, Practical Parenting and OK!. She’s a mum of 2 young boys so it's unlikely you’ll find her sitting down.