What are the best kids’ t-shirts in 2021?
No matter how old you are, t-shirts remain a wardrobe essential. As expected, kids wear their fair share of t-shirts, and since they’re constantly growing, you’re regularly buying replacements.
The Adidas Boys’ Short Sleeve Logo Tee, is a crowd favorite for its breathable, lightweight design, but there are many more if that look isn’t quite right.
What to know before you buy kids’ t-shirts
Most kids’ t-shirts follow traditional toddler, boys’ and girls’ sizing. However, while many manufacturers share the same size ranges, fit tends to vary quite a bit. As a result, it’s not uncommon for kids to wear different sizes in different brands.
Finding the best t-shirt boils down to finding one that fits well. A well-fitting shirt allows kids to move freely, whether they’re sleeping, lounging, running or playing.
Some kids are most comfortable wearing fitted or slim-fit styles, where others prefer relaxed-fit t-shirts. Other kids may like sizing up so they can enjoy a baggy, loose fit. Additionally, sizing up may offset any shrinkage due to washing, as is common with cotton t-shirts.
Washing kids’ t-shirts
When it comes to t-shirts, how you wash them impacts their lifespans. Most styles are machine-washable and dryer-safe, but some styles require special care.
- T-shirts with graphics or logos, for example, should be washed with bleach-free detergent. Some people prefer hanging them to dry, as the heat may cause graphics and logos to deteriorate.
- If possible, always wash t-shirts with garments of the same color to prevent discoloration and bleeding.
- You can wash kids’ white t-shirts with a load of light-colored clothing. Or, they can be cleaned on their own with bleach to preserve their bright, white color.
- It’s often recommended to wash t-shirts in cool water, as hot water may cause cotton t-shirts to shrink.
What to look for in a quality kids’ t-shirt
Classic t-shirts are made of 100% cotton, though that’s far from the only material choice. Here are some other options you’ll come across, followed by the pros and cons of each material.
Cotton: Popular for their soft, breathable designs, all-cotton blends are also affordable, which is why it’s common to invest in more than one or multi-packs. However, cotton is prone to shrinking and fading in the wash.
Cotton blends: Cotton blends may include polyester, spandex, elastane, rayon or bamboo. Cotton blends are durable, as they’re color-fast and retain their shape. Unfortunately, some of these t-shirts are more expensive than others.
Polyester: Polyester t-shirts are popular for activewear, especially for sports, gym class or play. They have a moderate amount of stretch and a lightweight feel. However, one of the pitfalls of polyester is that it’s rarely as soft as cotton or cotton blends.
Many clothing brands have embraced tagless t-shirt designs. They’re popular for kids’ t-shirts because they don’t chafe or irritate sensitive skin. In most tagless t-shirts, size and care information is printed on the inside of the shirt near the collar.
Crew neck vs. v-neck
Kids’ t-shirts are available in either crew neck or v-neck styles. Crew neck is more common, though some kids aren’t fans of the high-cut, close-fitting styling. On the other hand, V-neck styles may offer a more comfortable fit since they have slightly larger neck openings.
How much you can expect to spend on kids’ t-shirts
Plain cotton t-shirts for kids cost $3-$10 each, while t-shirt multi-packs cost $10-$18. Kids’ t-shirts made with blended materials or featuring designs run between $12-$35.
Kids’ t-shirts FAQ
Should I buy a multi-pack of kids’ t-shirts?
A. Many people gravitate toward multi-packs since they’re cost-effective. They’re usually available in solid colors, though some sets include t-shirts with designs. However, quality is generally hit or miss with multi-pack t-shirts.
How long will a kids’ t-shirt last?
A. If kids are tough on t-shirts, particularly with sports or outdoor play, you may find yourself replacing them more often. For all other t-shirts worn casually, they usually last until the next growth spurt.
What’s the best kids’ t-shirt to buy?
Top kids’ t-shirt
What you need to know: Lightweight and breathable, this polyester Adidas tee is ideal for activewear.
What you’ll love: It has soft chafe-free details that won’t irritate sensitive skin. It features Adidas’ signature Tri-stripe logo, and the fit doesn’t cling to the body like other polyester t-shirts.
What you should consider: A few consumers felt the quality wasn’t as high as expected from Adidas.
Where to buy: Amazon
Top kids’ t-shirt for the money
What you need to know: Popular for everyday kids’ white t-shirts and crafting, these classic white tees are affordable and practical.
What you’ll love: This option uses 100% cotton that becomes progressively softer with wash and wear. The soft details include a tagless design and chafe-free stitching, and the crew neck retains its shape well.
What you should consider: There are occasional reports that the sizing was off. Prone to shrinking.
Where to buy: Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: An updated design, this Champion tee features a new-and-improved fit that is comfortable true to size.
What you’ll love: The easy-care design is machine-washable and dryer-safe. Its relaxed fit is ideal for active or everyday wear. It uses a lightweight and breathable cotton blend and comes in a wide variety of colors.
What you should consider: There have been several reports that the tee doesn’t run true to size.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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