Best Barbie doll

Dolls & Dollhouses

If your child is in a phase where a particular career appeals to them, pick a Barbie that parallels the career to foster professional and intellectual interest.

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Anything is possible in Barbie’s world, which is why she has remained a leading fashion icon and role model for the past 60 years. It’s no wonder every girl wants the doll who inspires.

Part of the magic of Barbie is that she comes in all shapes and sizes. A simple Barbie comes with one outfit, but if you’re looking for a Barbie with big plans, there are full-blown accessory sets that cater to her career, hobbies, and sports. In recent years, Barbie has become a mermaid and graduated in her level of interactivity, so there are plenty of new ways to engage with the doll who has it all.

If you’re ready to party with Barbie, take a look at our buying guide to choose the best one for playtime. We’re including our favorite, the Barbie Baby Doctor Playset, which includes the various medical accessories that Barbie would undoubtedly use as a doctor in a pediatric hospital.


How to choose a Barbie

For some, choosing a Barbie with a similar personality or appearance is the way to go. Barbie also inspires young girls to explore ideas and situations through role-playing. As a result, the role-playing encourages independent thinking and situational awareness. It helps with becoming more prepared for real scenarios, such as relationships, conflict resolution, or how to handle difficult situations.

Fostering early interests

When it comes to exploring something new and exciting, let Barbie lead the way. Career Barbies let young women try their hand at just about anything they can imagine, whether it’s a farmer, a veterinarian, or an engineer. Their accessory sets include realistic tools and devices unique to those jobs.

Barbie can also be a child’s teammate or fellow hobbyist, as there are plenty of sport and hobby Barbies to choose from. If your child is new to a certain activity, pick a Barbie who shares that interest, and they can learn about it together. If your child is shy and hasn’t joined that team, club, or class yet, Barbie can help build confidence to sign up and start enjoying new activities.


There are several different types of Barbie dolls to choose from:

Traditional Barbie

Traditional Barbies come with one outfit and only a few accessories. They’re often themed and coordinate with accessory sets of the same line, like the Musician Barbie set. These Barbies also have friends and family members who like to join in on the fun, like Ken, Skipper, or Kelly.

Accessory sets

Barbies who come with their own accessory sets are equipped to have a lot of fun at work, in a sport, or doing their favorite activity. These feature realistic, job-specific accessories that engage you to explore real-life duties in careers or on teams.

Special features

There are Barbies who have special features, such as mermaid tails, wings, or interactive capability. These Barbies have somewhat specific functions, so while you probably can’t change outfits or accessories much, you can still have plenty of fun with them.


Barbies are meant for everyone to enjoy, which is why they’re relatively affordable. You can find a simple Barbie doll or one with accessories for between $10-$30. If you’d like to splurge on a collectible or a specialized Barbie with interactive features, you can expect to spend between $30-$100 for all the added bells and whistles.


Q. We have so many Barbie accessories. How do we keep them all in one place instead of losing them?

A. Barbie accessories are notoriously tiny. Use tackle boxes or bead organizers to store them. There are plenty of compartments for shoes, playset accessories, and jewelry. If you have a lot of Barbie outfits, keep them in transparent shoe storage boxes.

Q. We have a Barbie that is water-friendly. What’s the best way to dry her after she’s been submerged?

A. You can set the Barbie on a towel to dry out in a well-ventilated area, but make sure she’s not in direct contact with any heating vents. If you have a strong bath accessory clip, you can hang her from the curtain rod to drip-dry.


Top Barbie doll

Barbie Baby Doctor Playset

Barbie Baby Doctor Playset

Our take: An empowering professional Barbie who serves as a positive role model. Fosters interest and imagination for careers in the medical field.

What we like: Comes with two babies and examination table. Realistic accessories allow for genuine role-play as a doctor.

What we dislike: Given the number of small accessories, it’s recommended for older Barbie fans only, as there could be a choking hazard.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Top Barbie doll for the money

Barbie Rainbow Lights Mermaid

Barbie Rainbow Lights Mermaid

Our take: Bright and fun rainbow-themed mermaid. With a variety of advanced functions like her light show, it’s well worth the price.

What we like: Water-activated rainbow tail lights up for a fun show. Hair is long for fun styling. Easy to operate buttons for little fingers.

What we dislike: No bend at the waist, so doll has somewhat limited mobility. Can’t change outfits or accessories as costume is molded onto the body.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Worth checking out

Barbie Happy Birthday Doll

Barbie Happy Birthday Doll

Our take: Great as a special birthday gift that serves as a memorable addition to any Barbie collection.

What we like: Hot pink accessories including stacked heels, necklace, and sparkly skirt. Waist-length hair is fun for styling and brushing. 

What we dislike: Gifting and purchase is somewhat limited to birthdays, so it’s not the most versatile Barbie present option.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


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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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