By:  Lime Green Giraffe Social Director, Evelyn H.

Tier List Key (in order of greatest to least)

S - (superior/highest tier); the stuffed animal is perfect in every way.

A - the stuffed animal is almost perfect, but not quite.

B - stuffed animal is in a respectable position.

C - stuffed animal is of average quality. Not awful, but not amazing.

D - stuffed animal is below par.

E - the kind of stuffed animal you have but never use.

F - (lowest tier) stuffed animal is absolutely horrendous and should never see daylight.

Tier S

  • Squishmallows. If you don’t know what a squishmallow is, you have not LIVED. There are entire social media accounts dedicated to collecting these plushies, and with good reason! The animals are a round, friendly egg-shape, and made with a soft fabric of the perfect thickness. The designs are so pleasing and adorable, and there are even squishmallows of pop culture characters like Baby Yoda! These stuffed animals live up to their name, too: they are filled with an insanely soft polyester fiber. I own a cat squishmallow (I named him Bob), and I’ve used him as a pillow for the past three years. If he gets lumpy, I just give him a few good squeezes and he’s good as new! These cuddly companions have more than earned the rank of S tier.

Tier A

  • Beanie Babies. These adorable stuffies have been appreciated by people of all ages since their creation in 1993. Instead of being filled with stuffing or foam, beanie babies are filled with thousands of tiny plastic beads (save for their head and tail). Made to be hugged and squeezed, these stuffed animals will NEVER get lumpy. Ever. The only thing holding them back from A tier is that sometimes their seams tear open a little, and then all the small beads will spill out everywhere.

  • Webkinz. I had exactly one interaction with Webkinz as a child, and I have to say, there wasn’t really anything bad about the experience. Webkinz stuffed animals come with unique codes that you can enter into the Webkinz website, and the code will make your pet virtual! You can digitally interact with the pet, adopt it, name it, and customize its house. Personally, I didn’t see the appeal of having a stuffed animal in a computer, because you couldn’t hug it. But Webkinz definitely introduced a new generation of cyber creativity, and for that, I say it deserves its place in A tier.

Tier B

  • Teddy Bears. Created in 1902, these lovable fluffy bears are cherished by children and adults alike. Heck, there’s even a whole store dedicated to building your own toy bear! Teddy bears come in all shapes, sizes and colors; some are small enough to be a keychain, and others can be six to over sixty feet long! While I do appreciate the comfort a huggable stuffed bear can give, I also think these bears are just a little too ordinary to be placed in tier A, so they’ll rest at a comfy B.

  • Blankie pups. Or rather, blankie animals! They come as dogs, cats, frogs, you name it. The perfect size for a baby to snuggle and cuddle, these blankets with loveable stuffed animal heads come with everything a baby needs. You can chew on the soft fabric corners, rub your hands along the soft fur, or hug it for warmth and comfort. Sadly, these cuddle buddies do get rough looking after a few years of baby teething. They also are rather small for anyone keeping them for sentimental value to hug. A wonderful toy, but it does not last nearly long enough in my opinion.

Tier C

  • Sock Monkeys. A classic stuffed animal that nearly everyone has in their collection, sock monkeys are loved by many for their sturdy build and calming qualities. I went through a sock monkey phase in the fifth grade, and I named my beloved stuffed primate Benson. Within a few weeks of having him as my companion, I began to dread looking into his soulless button eyes, his beanie sliding lopsidedly off his limp-hanging head. Around Christmas time, I couldn’t take it any more and pawned Benson off as a gift to one of my classmates.

  • Aquarium toys. The toy that sets the standard, if I’m being honest. Just walking into a gift shop at any aquarium will make happy shivers run down anyone’s spine- the surreal experience of being surrounded by marine-themed trinkets of all kinds cannot be replicated anywhere else. The toys are always sturdy and huggable, and will often have little to no suspicious stains from previous individuals who held them. My personal favorite aquarium plushie will always and forever be the baby harp seal plushies. Do not argue with me, you know I’m right.

Tier D

  • Sleeptime Lites. I owned a purple unicorn Sleeptime Lite when I was seven, and let me tell you, this thing is NOT a pillow. It’s a hard plastic rock with fluff and fabric glued to the sides; essentially a decorative night light. The only reason it’s not in ranks E or F is because usually these light-up toys are surprisingly well made. The lightbulb didn’t burn out once in the three years that I owned my Sleeptime Lite, and the designs (in most cases) are very cute.

Tier E

  • Those poorly made, cheap snake plushies that you win from arcades. These things are just plain disappointing. They cost close to 1,000 tickets, which could take the average person 1-2 hours and maybe 20 dollars to acquire. Then, after you’ve worked to gain the amount of tickets you need, the ticket booth owner hands you this sad, limp excuse for a stuffed animal. The snakes usually come in colors ranging from eye blindingly neon yellow to an unpleasant, dusty brown. I earned one of these snakes at my eleventh birthday party, and within five minutes of carrying it, the stitching on the sides had started to unravel from the plastic-y fabric, and stuffing was spilling out everywhere. The only thing saving this plushie from F tier is the fact that it’s just so gosh darn CUTE.

Tier F

  • The absolutely HORRIFYING stuffed animals at the dentist with realistic teeth. THESE THINGS HAUNT MY NIGHTMARES. You’re forced to stare at their motionless, tortured faces while the dentist stabs your gums with sharp objects. There’s always a suspicious stain or glob somewhere on them that nobody bothered to clean, and their jaws are always too heavy for their head to support, so they just sag to the side. More often than not, there’s a poster next to the plushie detailing exactly how you might lose all your teeth to gum disease (which is disturbing in and of itself). If you stare at them too long, you can almost hear them begging you to end their suffering.

  • Just straight up taxidermy. These are technically stuffed animals, just not the kind made of fabric. You’ll usually only find these in scientific biology institutions, or stacked precariously on shelves owned by trigger-happy individuals. In my fourth-grade summer camp, the camp counselors would host dance parties in the storage room filled with taxidermied roadkill. The lights would be turned off, all the children would have glow sticks, and we would have to make sure not to knock over the stuffed, lifeless bodies of raccoons and foxes while dancing to the cupid shuffle.

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