The 9 Best VR Headsets For Kids of 2023

The Meta Quest 2 provides a modern, wireless virtual reality experience

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The 8 Best VR Headsets For Kids of 2022

Walmart / Amazon

Virtual reality (VR) headsets are an easy, novel way to turn a traditional gaming or viewing experience into an immersive one. This advanced technology uses specialized LED screens that take images and distort them to look multi-dimensional. These screens are then nestled into an eye case that helps eliminate light, sounds, and distractions from the outside world, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in a 3D virtual reality.

Reviewed and Approved

The Meta Quest 2 is the latest and greatest in VR tech while still maintaining an affordable price point. For a multiplayer option, check out the HTC VIVE Pro, which is large enough to let the whole family game together.

Because these devices can be advanced, it can be hard to shop for the best fit for your family. We spoke with Winston Nguyen, VR developer and founder of VR Heaven, and Dr. Zishan Khan, MD, a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist with Mindpath Health, to learn about what you need to know before you hit “add to cart” on a VR headset for your kids. When picking the top products for our list, we read reviews and considered features, parental controls, ease of use, and device compatibility.  

Here are the best VR Headsets for kids that you can buy right now. 

Good to Know

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that younger gamers work towards finding “balance between digital consumption and healthier activities,” so it’s important to ensure that your child is taking plenty of breaks while playing and is using their electronics in moderation. Additionally, you’ll want to keep in mind the potential harms of games with virtual violence. This doesn’t mean that your children shouldn’t be playing video games—simply be mindful of what they are consuming. One way to mitigate any negative effects of video games is gaming together as a family or mixing in real-world games.

Best Overall

Meta Quest 2

4.5
Oculus Quest 2

Best Buy

Pros
  • Wireless headset

  • Hand tracking and haptic feedback

  • Guardian boundary feature keeps you safe in your physical surroundings

Cons
  • A Facebook account is required to log in

  • Shorter battery life

The Meta Quest 2 is the latest all-in-one VR headset to come from the experts at Facebook. This package offers 3D positional audio, gives you access to more than 350 titles and unique VR experiences (including live events), and doesn’t require the use of a PC or console. To ensure you’re using the device safely, it has a guardian boundary, which alerts you if you leave your designated play space.

Price at time of publication: $400

Weight: 1.83 pounds | Platform(s): Oculus Quest 2 | What’s Included: Two touch controllers, VR headset, Beat Saber game, charging cable, power adapter, and glasses spacer | Age Recommendation: 13 and up

What Our Experts Say

“[The Meta] Quest 2 is definitely a ‘best overall’ as it offers the most bang for your buck in terms of specs and features. It's one of the most durable headsets with one of the lowest weights. Also, it gets the most updates out of any headset and is constantly improving.” —Winston Nguyen, VR developer and founder of VR Heaven

Best Budget

HP Reverb G2

4.6
 HP Reverb G2 VR Headset

Amazon

Pros
  • Flexible headset sizing

  • Comes with four cameras

  • Compatible with Steam VR and Windows Mixed Reality

Cons
  • May be hard for glasses wearers

This ergonomic design set comes with mura-free 2160 x 2160 LCD panels for each eye, which offer a more realistic and immersive experience. There is also fully immersive spatial audio, which increases the overall virtual reality effect. With four cameras built into the headset, you should experience high-quality tracking and movement. The headset is made from a flexible material, and the lenses can be adjusted to fit different eye spacing, allowing multiple members of the family to enjoy it.

Price at time of publication: $599

Weight: 1.1 pounds | Platform(s): Windows | What’s Included: Headset, headset cable for desktop and mobile PCs, two motion controllers, one DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort adapter, and one power adapter | Age Recommendation: 13 and up

Best For Families

HTC VIVE Pro Virtual Reality System

HTC VIVE Pro

Amazon

Pros
  • Multiple users can play at once

  • Noise-canceling headphones prevent distractions

  • Can add real-life objects to the tracker

Cons
  • Costly

The HTC VIVE Pro can be enjoyed by the whole family thanks to the larger than normal room-scale (the headset can cover a space that is 22 x 22 feet). The dual-OLED monitors offer a high-resolution display with an expansive 2880 x 1600 pixels. Plus, the audio experience adds to the immersive experience since the noise-canceling headphones prevent real-world distractions from seeping into playtime. 

Price at time of publication: $1,201

Weight: 3.82 pounds | Platform(s): SteamVR, Windows | What’s Included: Headset, cable, base station, power adapter, two controllers (with power adapters and micro-USB cables), link box for VIVE Pro, power adapter, DisplayPort cable, and USB 3.0 cable | Age Recommendation: 13 and up

Best Splurge

Meta Quest Pro

Meta Quest Pro

Amazon

Pros
  • Ergonomic headset allows for longer wear time

  • Mixed reality passthrough

  • 256GB storage

Cons
  • Doesn’t fully block light

  • Battery life is short

Facebook’s latest invention is the Meta Quest Pro, which allows users to play (or even work) in a virtual atmosphere. The headset boasts pancake lenses, local dimming, high pixel density, and quantum dot technology for a more realistic VR experience. Teens can bring their personal life into the game thanks to the controllers, which allow the user to write, draw, or message with friends. Plus, the full-color sensors incorporate the user’s environment in the virtual world, and Meta Avatars translate the user’s natural facial expressions into a cartoon avatar.

Price at time of publication: $1,500

Weight: 1.94 pounds | Platform(s): Oculus Quest | What’s Included: Lithium Ion batteries, headset, two controllers and stylus tips, a charging dock, protective cover, partial light blockers, wrist straps, charging cables, and an adapter | Age Recommendation: 13 and up

Best For Tweens

Nintendo Labo VR Kit

Nintendo Labo VR Kit

Amazon

Pros
  • Create your own toys

  • Customizable experience

  • Can be shared with younger siblings

Cons
  • Graphics are more pixelated than other products

  • Nintendo Switch is required

Nintendo Switch owners can turn their existing devices into VR headsets using this modification kit from Nintendo. The kit includes all of the necessary materials to build several cardboard creations, which are then brought to life in virtual reality with fun corresponding games. This headset isn’t as visually refined as some of the other options on this list, but it’s great for a younger audience that’s just getting started with virtual reality products. 

Price at time of publication: $260

Weight: 5.4 pounds | Platform(s): Nintendo Switch | What’s Included: Full VR kit | Age Recommendation: 10 and up

What Our Experts Say

“If your kids have never tried VR before, it'll be a cool thing to show them, especially since the content is tailored towards kids.” —Winston Nguyen, VR developer and founder of VR Heaven

Best for Teens

Oculus Rift S

4.2
Oculus Rift S

Amazon

Pros
  • Large gaming library

  • Next-generation lenses

  • Ergonomic headband design

Cons
  • May need to purchase accessories to improve audio

  • A gaming PC is required for optimum play

The Oculus Rift is a good jumping-off point for teens who would like to get started with VR gaming. This updated version comes with a Halo headband, touch controllers, and insight tracking. Users will need to have a Facebook account to log in and enjoy their gaming experience. The resolution is 2560 x 1440 pixels, which is comparable to products like the HTC VIVE. 

Price at time of publication: Starting at $614

Weight: 5.91 pounds | Platform(s): Oculus | What’s Included: Headset, two touch controllers, headset cable, and AA batteries | Age Recommendation: 13 and up

Best for Learning

Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard

Amazon

Pros
  • Works with most smartphones

  • Budget-friendly

  • User-friendly design

Cons
  • Not as high-tech as other options

  • May feel more 3D than VR

Google Cardboard turns your phone into a VR device in an instant. The design is lightweight, so it’s good for smaller users. It’s also universally compatible—most mobile phones with a 4 to 6-inch screen will work for this product. Kids will love turning YouTube videos, home movies, apps, Netflix, and more into a multidimensional experience. 

Price at time of publication: $20

Weight: 3.52 pounds | Platform(s): Android, iOS | What’s Included: Google Cardboard viewer | Age Recommendation: 13 and up

Best for Phones

BNEXT VR Headset

BNEXT VR Headset

Amazon

Pros
  • Breathable headset

  • Adjustable straps

  • Eyesight protection

Cons
  • Can only be used with a mobile phone

  • Not as high definition as other models

Turn your mobile phone into a VR device with the BNEXT headset. The adjustable straps and foam lining make it easy to adjust to fit many different head sizes. The size of the field of vision depends on the size of your phone, but all users will experience an immersive 360 experience. 

Price at time of publication: $24

Weight: 14.4 ounces | Platform(s): Android, iOS | What’s Included: Headset | Age Recommendation: 13 and up

Best With Controllers

Sony PlayStation VR

4.2
Sony PlayStation VR

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight, comfortable design

  • Camera included in bundle

  • Works with PlayStation Library of Games

Cons
  • Some accessories sold separately

The PlayStation VR hooks up to your PlayStation console, allowing you to begin gaming almost immediately after receiving your headset. The VR kit gives you access to a different version of all your favorite PlayStation games: Currently, there are more than 100 games in the PlayStation library that are compatible with this system. You can expect 1920 x 1080 resolution with this model.

An upgraded model is coming out in February 2023, promising updated graphics—the resolution will jump to 2000 x 2040 pixels—and visuals that improve upon the best parts of the PSVR 1.

Price at time of publication: $335

Weight: 7.95 pounds | Platform(s): PlayStation | What’s Included: Headset and camera | Age recommendation: 12 and up

How We Selected the Best VR Headsets for Kids

To select the best VR headsets for kids, we spoke with Dr. Zishan Khan, MD, a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist with Mindpath Health, and Winston Nguyen, VR developer and founder of VR Heaven, to learn about the most important factors to consider when shopping for VR devices for your tweens and teens. We also considered recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding digital media consumption by children. Finally, we conducted thorough research into many of the top VR headsets on the market before making our final selections.

What To Look For in VR Headsets for Kids

Features

The most important features buyers should be on the lookout for are comfort, resolution, field of vision, wirelessness, and whether it requires a VR-compatible device, like a phone, computer, or gaming system, Nguyen tells Verywell Family. Tracking features are less important, he says, since most modern headsets have very accurate tracking, and the minute differences only matter when users are trying to be a competitive leaderboard player.

Ease of Use

We know how busy families are, and you’ll be much less likely to use a VR headset if the directions are too complicated to get started. That’s why all of the games on this list have user-friendly directions and are easy to access after the initial setup process. Additionally, each pick on our list comes with all of the necessary accessories to play, except for some devices that require a connection with a separate phone, computer, or gaming system.

Parental Controls

With the introduction of virtual reality comes a whole new host of things for users to immerse themselves in—and for parents to be aware of. Just like with other video games, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a system that allows you to monitor screen time and content, as well as verify the ratings of the games being played.

Fortunately, every system on this list either uses a platform that already has these devices in place or relies on the use of a cell phone, most of which can have parental control options added to them. 

Device Compatibility

Before purchasing a VR headset, consider what the child you are buying it for intends to do with it. Nguyen notes that it’s important to ensure any games your child intends to play are supported by the device. “Headsets either support PC games, Oculus exclusive games, Playstation exclusive games, or phone experiences,” he says.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do VR headsets work?

    The VR experience is created by video monitors mounted within a headset. These devices often come with screens, speakers, sensors, and controllers to submerge the user into a virtual world. The best VR headsets will completely block out the external world, including both sights and sounds, to give you a fully immersive experience. 

    One of the key components that make VR headsets work is the user. The way the user interacts with the images and sounds being broadcast through the headset helps to increase the sense that they’re actually experiencing these things in the real world. 

  • Is VR bad for the eyes?

    To work well, these screens need to be very close to the eyes, which can be bad for vision. Dr. Khan says excessive use of VR devices can lead to several physical health concerns. “Excessive eye strain is one of the most frequently experienced effects people deal with after excessive use of VR devices,” he tells Verywell Family. Users should consider taking frequent breaks or using screens that have built-in eye protection.

  • Does VR cause motion sickness?

    This will vary from person to person, but users may develop problems with balance that can lead to dizziness, vertigo, headaches, nausea, vomiting, or increase the possibility of seizures, says Dr. Khan. These sensations can present as motion sickness, which can be quite unpleasant to users.

    To avoid motion sickness, gamers should take frequent breaks from wearing the VR headset. If a user is already feeling sick, laying down in a dark room with a cool, damp towel over the eyes can help.

  • What is the safest VR headset for kids?

    When purchasing a VR headset for your kids, make sure to consider the age recommendations for each product. Many VR headsets are not recommended for children under the age of 13, and they should always be used with adult supervision and suitable time limits, says Dr. Khan. “Excessive use of VR devices…can be damaging to a person’s physical health, particularly to one’s eyesight, or mental health, such as the sense of comfort one feels in public around others.”

Why Trust Verywell Family

Lauren Wellbank is a freelance writer and mother of three. During her downtime, she frequently looks into ways to keep her children entertained with the latest technology. Since technology develops and changes at the speed of light, she is frequently researching the latest news and safety findings about the items she lets her children use.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. "Media and children."