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The Best Nesting Dolls for Decor and Play

Colorful Russian nesting dolls lined up
Sanna Huttunen/Shutterstock

Nesting dolls, also called matryoshka dolls, are sets of figures that open to display a smaller-sized doll with an identical shape inside. They originate from Russia, where the biggest doll in the set is portrayed as a woman, symbolizing fertility. Today, nesting dolls are painted more creatively with different colors, designs, and themes. Whether you’re planning to arrange these dolls on a shelf or to give them to your child as a toy, take a look at these great nesting dolls we’ve rounded up.

What to Look for in a Nesting Doll

Here are some factors to consider before you purchase a nesting doll set:

  • Number of Dolls: Depending on your own needs, you may want a large set of dolls or a small set of dolls. Typically, the more nesting dolls in a set, the larger or smaller each doll will have to be in order to fit inside one another. Consider this if you’re using this for play, as small objects can be hazardous around children.
  • Design: Aside from the nesting, the doll’s artistic design is its most defining characteristic. This is up to your personal preference, so choose what you like!
  • Durability: Durability isn’t as much of a consideration if you’re just using these dolls for household decoration. But if you or your child will be playing with them often, be sure that the dolls aren’t fragile. Wood is a great material, but the doll’s paint may be prone to scratching off. Materials like plastic may be better if you’re using them for play and not for presentation.

Best Traditional Look: Moonmo Handmade Wooden Russian Nesting Dolls

lower halves of a nesting dolls stacked inside each other with the upper halves on display.

This set of nesting dolls is a similar version to the original nesting dolls in Russia. It offers 10 multicolored dolls that are all made from basswood, a high-quality and durable material. Each doll features a woman’s face and is hand-painted with beautiful, rich colors. Additionally, the first seven dolls feature a floral design on the back.

Best Traditional Look

Moonmo 10pcs Blue Loving Heart Shaped Handmade Wooden Russian Nesting Dolls Matryoshka Wooden Toys

These multicolored dolls are crafted with basswood and are painted by hand.

Most Design Options: HYCLES Nesting Dolls Russian Matryoshka

upper halves of an animal-themed nesting doll set on display, with the smallest doll standing on the lower halves.

HYCLES offers five different nesting doll design options: a snowman set, a princess set, a dog set, a Santa set, and an animal set. The nesting dolls are handcrafted with durable basswood and hand-painted with non-toxic acrylic paints. Additionally, the dolls have a lacquer finish that gives off a pleasant shine.

Best Customizable: BestPysanky Set of 5 Blank Unpainted Wooden Nesting Dolls

a person painting an unpainted nesting doll with a paintbrush.

If you can’t find a set of nesting dolls you like, why not create your own? BestPysanky offers a set of five blank nesting dolls to paint. The dolls are made of linden wood and are carved by hand. The only limit is your imagination!

Best Customizable

BestPysanky Set of 5 Blank Unpainted Unfinished Wooden Nesting Dolls 5.75 Inches

You can design your own set of nesting dolls with these blank ones.

Also Consider: Universal Specialties T-Rex Dinosaur

front view of six dinosaur-themed nesting dolls.

This set of nesting dolls comes with six dinosaur-themed nesting dolls, which are great play toys for children. The set features a Tyrannosaurus-rex, brachiosaur, velociraptor, triceratops, stegosaurus, and pterodactyl. The dolls range from 4.5 inches to 2.5 inches and are made of plastic.

Also Consider

Jonah Chin Jonah Chin
Jonah Chin is a freelance writer for LifeSavvy where he's able to openly share his thorough product considerations, critiques, and recommendations for you to benefit from. When he's away from the keyboard, he enjoys competing in sports like wrestling and playing instruments like the guitar. Read Full Bio »
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