Jan 27, 2024

The best baby walkers 2023: top push

The best baby walkers are sturdy, engaging and build to withstand some bumping into walls and furniture

Encourage first steps with our pick of the best baby walkers and push toys for girls and boys.

Choosing the best baby walker for your little girls or boy is an exciting moment – it means they've found their feet! And while it's natural to feel a bit daunted by the prospect of your baby on the move, nothing compares to the joy of watching your little one learn to walk. There's a walker here to suit every budget and all design tastes, whether your house resembles a colourful plastic factory or you're into Scandi-chic and stripped-back baby gear. Here's everything you need to consider before you decide which is the best baby walker for your own adventurous tot.

If you've got a little walker on your hands, it might be a good time to check out our guide to the best baby carriers and the best pushchairs roundup might also be a helpful read.

You can also read about how we test and review products to learn more about how we selected the best baby walker toys to feature in this guide.

Our pick of the best baby walker is the Vtech First Steps Baby Walker. It's robust enough to withstand crashing into walls and doors when your toddler picks up speed, but it's also light enough for little ones to manoeuvre around the room easily. We love the fact that it has a detachable play panel with light and sound features so you get real value from it – it's not 'just' a walking aid but an interactive toy that's likely to hold your little one's attention in both modes of play. Our tester found it easy to put together and noted that it's easy to pop away when it's no longer in use. Best of all, it really made a difference to our little tester's independent walking skills.

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: This colourful, sturdy walker is packed with fun and appealing sounds and features to keep busy hands and brains occupied. It gives good support for little feet just starting to step out, and offers plenty of playtime appeal, both before and after its use as a walker.

It has a detachable two-mode panel with lights and sounds including a movable bird character, rotating gears, piano keys and a toy smartphone, while the frame also houses a simple roller rattle. It's easy to assemble and its compact size make it easy to store at bedtime.

Our tester says: 'Thea was immediately interested in this walker when it arrived, getting very excited as I went through the simple process of putting it together,' says Katy Islip, mum to Thea, nine months. She gave her baby the play panel to explore on the floor at first, which was an instant hit.

'Thea got straight into pushing the piano keys and opening and closing the central door,' says Katy. 'There are loads of engaging toys in the play panel, which doubles up on the fun by offering a music mode and a learning mode. This effectively gives every feature a dual purpose, so there's no danger of Thea getting bored with it - or of me getting fed up with the same noises and tunes.'

Our tester also commented on the wide range of music and songs that this walker plays, with more natural voices than baby toys typically feature. 'The two-volume levels help keep the chaos to a dull roar when needed, too,' she adds.

Verdict: Babies seem to universally love this walker toy – our baby gear expert had one for her first baby almost 16 years ago – and we think it offers brilliant value for money. Our tester found this walker gave her daughter hours of fun play, as well as physical support which helped build her confidence as she moved towards independent walking.

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: The Babymoov 5-in-1 Progressive Baby Walker has two core functions – it's a baby walker for up to 12kg, and a pusher toy for use up to 24 months. When your little one gets bigger, the 360° seat can easily be lifted out and the back bar moved to become a handle for toddlers to hold onto, so they can use the walker and guiding wheels to continue exploring the world.

Our tester says: 'I absolutely loved this walker – it's very simple to assemble and took around 20 minutes to build – I'm not usually very confident building anything on my own, but even I found it super easy,' says our reviewer, Tess Watkins, mum to ten-month-old Isla.

The seat is height adjustable and has three different settings, while the learning tray features a music box with three tunes and toys. Our tester found her daughter got the hang of this walker straight away and was soon cruising all over the living room. 'I really love the freedom this walker toy gives her; it encourages her development and lets her move around and get used to being on her feet in a safe way,' she adds.

Verdict: The 360° rotating seat is a brilliant feature. 'Isla gets so excited spinning around to discover the different toys,' says our tester, Tess. 'The walker is exceptionally good quality and extremely stable, and the seat cover is easy to remove and wash. And with three different height settings, I think we’ll get a great deal of use out of this walker, making it superb value for money too.'

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: This push toy offers three modes of play for babies aged six to 36 months – sit and explore, stand and play, and the discovery car walker. It also features lights, sounds, songs and toys. A height-adjustable handle ensures a sturdy grip for little ones, while lockable back wheels stop the walker rolling away from little standers. The eyes roll open and closed, and tactile toys like the abacus, shape sorter and ball tunnel add further interest to each side of the car.

Our tester says: This little car quickly became a firm favourite in our house – it was simple to put together and with batteries included it was immediately good to go," says our tester, Katy Islip, mum to Thea, nine months. They started using the sit and play mode while Thea explored the various features, particularly enjoying the car's cute rolling eyes and the amusing light and sound effects triggered when each one moves. 'As she's just started cruising, we soon moved the handle up to the stand and play setting, giving her a better grip as she used it to pull herself up and lean on,' adds Katy.

The musical effects and sounds are cute and so far haven't proved annoying, according to our tester, and the additional toys have added to the fun – although Katy thinks it's a shame the ball tunnel only comes with one ball, and the door comes off very easily. 'That has become a bit of a game for Thea,' says Katy.

Verdict: 'Once in place, the shape sorter pieces are very firmly wedged in position so she's not been able to remove them yet, but has hilariously tried latching on to their protruding tops, which made us laugh. Overall, this is a sturdy little toy with lots to discover and hold Thea's attention. I might not have considered buying this over a 'traditional' walker but I've been impressed by its stability and charm.'

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: The Little Tikes Fantastic Firsts 3-in-1 Activity Walker is ideal for encouraging little ones take their first steps, projecting colourful lights onto the floor to encourage babies to get moving. It's a 3-in-1 toy; a walker, standing activity table, and sit-and-play activity centre. With over 70 songs, sounds and activities – including piano keys, a peekaboo slider and a glowing light dome – the activity centre is designed to help develop curious minds. It also folds down flat for floor-time fun and easy storage.

Our tester says: 'This is the best walker we've tried – it's so simple to put together as it all snaps into place, taking us about ten minutes to assemble in total, and it's super easy to use – we loved it,' says our tester, Tess Watkins, mum to Isla, ten months.

Katy particularly loves the light projector; she says it really works to encourage first steps but adds excitement and fun for babies. 'The activity centre is amazing; my daughter was still discovering new features days after it arrived, from piano keys which illuminate different colours to a spinning drum featuring the alphabet,' adds Tess.

Verdict: Another huge plus is that this works as a standing toy and stores away easily if you're short on space. 'It's also much sturdier than other walkers – in particular, the speed restrictive wheels stopped it from getting away from Isla too much,' adds Tess. 'Most importantly, this kept Isla entertained for ages while encouraging her development. She gets so excited to see the lights illuminate and the music start playing when she takes a few steps. This walker has really built up her confidence on her feet and it's been amazing to watch her mobility develop.'

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: This is a strong little wooden walker and ride-on toy made of solid wood with cute additional features including a shape sorter, space to hide things in underneath, and spinning picture blocks.

Our tester says: 'This is by far the most robust walker I’ve seen and it's great for a little one starting to toddle – I’d have been much more confident using this rather than the walker we had when my daughter was little, as this seems less likely to roll away, leaving her flat on her face,' says Pippa Elmes, mum to Lara Elmes, 18 months.

The shape sorter was an immediate hit – being low on the side makes for a different shape sorting angle than most top-down sorter toys, which adds to the challenge, according to Pippa. 'The two different heights for pushing/holding when riding is a great design idea too,' she says.

Verdict: This is a great walker and a great idea to transition to a ride-on. 'My little one always wants to ride things ‘backwards’ and this works as a ride-on in either direction,' concludes Pippa. 'However, its weightiness made it harder for her to heft it round corners.'

'It took 20-25 mins to build as it needs proper screwing together but it does make for a really solid toy as a result. It's feels as though it will last us a really long time and could be passed on to younger friends or family members.'

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: Appealing to our insatiable appetite for all things foxy, The Great Little Trading Company have created a beautiful traditional walker with an open compartment for storing small books or toys. This sturdy wooden toy arrives flat-packed ready to be screwed together so you'll need to do a little DIY, but it's worth it for an attractive addition to any nursery or playroom.

Our tester says: 'The walker was easy to put together once we’d located the right screwdriver – even with a little person hovering and trying to ‘help’ – and I love the bright fox design, which manages to be both contemporary and timeless,' says Becky Barclay, mum to Charlie, 14 months.

Charlie was immediately keen to pile in some cuddly toys and take them for a ride. 'He loved pushing the walker around, but needed help to turn a corner and set off again as the sturdiness of the walker makes it quite heavy,' says Becky.

'The long ‘tail’ prevents the walker from tipping up when your toddler pulls themselves up on the handle – a great design feature. Meanwhile, the ‘nose’ sticks out at the front and it's wide too, making this a walker which requires some space. In a smaller room, it could be cumbersome to turn, and the nose might scratch doors or furniture. But the real wood gives a robust feel to the walker and it seems like it would cope with a lot of boisterous play and still be in good condition to pass down to a younger sibling – or even the next generation.'

Verdict: The ‘lastability’ makes this product good value for money, although if you’re looking for a toy to play tunes to entertain your toddler and teach them to count, this is not the walker for you. But it's classic, classy and it will last a long time.

Our expert review:

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: This walker demonstrates what Fisher-Price does really well: bright, fun, good quality plastic toys which last. It's designed to grow with your baby from sitting up through to first steps, and it doubles as an entertainment centre as well as a walker.

Our tester says: 'As soon as the box was open, Charlie was attracted by the bright colours of this walker and crawled over to investigate – thankfully assembly took just a few minutes, with easy-to-follow instructions and large parts to click together,' says our tester, Becky Barclay, mum to Charlie, 14 months.

You’ll need a screwdriver to take off the battery cover, and two AA batteries which aren't included, so don't forget those. The zebra's friendly smile, flashing buttons and catchy tunes immediately won over our tester's son, who was keen to explore the different activities designed to support fine motor skills.

'His favourite is the page, which he can flip over to play a counting song on one side and an alphabet song on the other,' says Becky. 'He also likes pushing the walker around, and while its wide-set wheels make it nice and sturdy, it's light enough for him to turn corners.'

Verdict: While Charlie's a fan, Becky says she can't pretend the zebra's giggle and chatter don't grate on her a little. Happily, there's an easy-to-find off switch. 'Good news if you want a break from the tunes or don't enjoy being urged, in a sing-song voice, to ‘go for a walk’ when you accidentally nudge it with your foot after bedtime,' adds Becky. 'The walker is good quality and not at all flimsy. It feels like it would survive plenty of rough play, and provide a lot of entertainment for the price.'

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: For a baby coming up to six months this walker offers a great way for them to get upright and on the move. It offers early independence for baby. It allows your baby to play, explore and to stay safe close to you without actually needing to be held, allowing you the opportunity to multitask if necessary.

This sit-in walker allows your baby to stand and toddle about before they're walking by themselves. It has three height settings to accommodate growing babies, with a high back feature to provide support and a removable washable seat – always handy. On the front tray there's a bead chaser to give little ones something to play with as they move around, and two loops to attach their own favourite toys. It's also foldable and lightweight. For a baby coming up to six months, this walker offers a great way to get upright and on the move. It also allows your baby to play, explore and to stay safe near you without actually needing to be held, allowing you a hands-free moment if necessary.

Our tester says: This walker was reasonably simple to put together. 'It took me around ten minutes and although it's lightweight, once it was all clicked together it felt sturdy and secure,' says our tester, Katy Islip, mum to Thea, nine months.

'When we first put her into the walker, Thea actually squealed with joy, loving the upright position and security it gave her. She quickly got the hang of moving about, backwards at first, progressing from a two-footed push to taking proper steps in just a couple of sessions in it.'

Verdict: The bead chaser toy kept Thea occupied and the tray also gives space for your own toys or to serve snacks. 'The front wheels swivel for steering, while the back ones are fixed, and having put it together on carpet it quickly became apparent that this walker really needs to be used on hard flooring,' adds Katy. 'For the most efficient propulsion, Thea needed to wear grippy socks or go barefoot, so using it could get a bit chilly in winter.'

Our expert review:

Our consumer editor says: This is a walker, a play table, a shape sorter, and a beautifully designed wooden toy which will appeal to both toddlers and their parents. Play value is maximised on every inch, with interactive moving parts to entertain and educate. There's a shape sorter on the front, numbered tiles to spin round, colours to find and even a chalkboard. We think it's guaranteed to provide hours of fun for babies and toddlers.

'Even Charlie's older brothers, aged seven and five, thought this walker looked exciting – I had to stop them from diving straight into the box when it arrived!' says our tester, Becky Barclay, mum to Charlie, 14 months. She found screwing it together a little fiddly, with minimal instructions and some concentration required to get the pieces the right way round and lined up. 'I was glad I'd chosen nap-time to put it together or there might have been tears, but it's definitely worth the effort to assemble – it's sturdy and heavy enough not to tip, and you can tell it will withstand years of play,' she says.

Verdict: I've even pulled the walker alongside us during nappy changes – which have become rather wriggly recently – so Charlie can spin the numbered tiles as a distraction. He'll also push it the length of the room, and its rubber-covered wheels suit hard floors, making it both safe and quiet. It's too heavy for Charlie to turn on his own, but the play value of this toy is not only as a walker – it's an entire entertainment station.'

If your baby is beginning to cruise around the furniture and pulling themselves up to standing, you need to think practically about the best baby walker for your needs.

Before they're ready to walk, babies need lots of tummy time to help strengthen the muscles they'll eventually use for rolling over, crawling and walking. Once your baby starts pulling up to standing and holding on to the furniture to cruise around the room, a baby walker can be a useful tool to help develop those skills. The best baby walkers help build your baby's confidence, ready for taking those important first steps.

Some types of baby walker toys are associated with a risk of injury. In particular, your baby shouldn't spend long periods of time in the type of seated baby walker that encourages standing on their tiptoes. You should never leave your baby unattended in a baby walker and do not use them for more than 15 or 20 minutes at a time.

This depends on which type of baby walker you choose. Many baby walker toys are suitable for use from six months, but do check the age recommendations for the walker you're interested in, to make sure it's safe and appropriate for your baby's age and your child's stage of development.

Having a baby walker among the toys in your baby's playroom or nursery means your little one is likely to gravitate towards it when the time comes for taking those memorable first steps.

Our product review testing process is fair, consistent and robust.

Our Consumer Editor Heidi Scrimgeour came up with a shortlist of the best baby walkers based on her product knowledge and industry research. She looked at the latest offering from the market-leading brands - and as a parenting journalist for 15 years and mother of three, what she doesn't know about baby products isn't worth knowing. She also selected products from a broad range of price points so there's a baby walker toy on this list to suit every budget.

Next, we called on our pool of reliable parent testers and assigned each of them a baby walker to review with their baby. They tested the product rigorously for at least ten days.

After this, they gave each product a rating out of five for overall performance. We also asked for comprehensive feedback on key factors including design appeal, functionality (how easy is it to assemble and use), portability (how easy is it to carry around the house and how compact when stored) and value for money.

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As a parenting specialist for more than 15 years, Heidi has written for most national newspapers and for a wide range of consumer magazines, including Mother & Baby where she was the Shopping Editor for six years, looking after regular consumer features including buying guides and gift roundups.

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Encourage first steps with our pick of the best baby walkers and push toys for girls and boys Our consumer editor says: Our tester says: Verdict: Read our full Vtech First Steps baby walker review Our consumer editor says: Our tester says: Verdict: Read our full Babymoov 5-in-1 progressive baby walker review Our consumer editor says Our tester says: Verdict: Our consumer editor says: Our tester says: Verdict: Our consumer editor says: Our tester says: Verdict: Our consumer editor says: Our tester says: Verdict: Our consumer editor says: Our tester says: Verdict: Our consumer editor says: Our tester says: ' Verdict: Our consumer editor says: . Verdict: How much space does it need? How mobile is your baby? Finally, factor in the longevity of the walker you choose. Related features: