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11 best kids’ Halloween costumes for 2021: Spooky costumes that will scare and delight

From pumpkins to bats and werewolfs, these ideas will make trick-or-treating easy

Sarah Dawson
Wednesday 13 October 2021 15:40
<p>We considered cost-per-wear as well as how fuss-free, quick and easy to get on and off they were </p>

We considered cost-per-wear as well as how fuss-free, quick and easy to get on and off they were

Halloween is one of the most hotly anticipated dates in the calendar for kids, and it’s not hard to see why. A legitimate excuse to eat a ridiculous amount of sweets combined with the chance to indulge in fancy dress? What’s not to love?!

After last year’s celebrations were somewhat muted due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year Halloween is firmly back on the agenda, and what better way to embrace all things spooky than with some epic fancy dress choices?

Supermarkets, the high street and smaller, indie businesses have pulled out all the stops this October, offering a huge choice of costumes and accessories for children to really get into the spirit of Halloween (pun very much intended). Our two-year-old and five-year-old testers have been living their best lives, trying out a whole host of fancy dresses, for us to bring you an honest round-up of what’s really worth buying this year.

How we tested

When choosing our favourites, there were a few factors we took into consideration. All of the costumes in our round-up are no-effort and fuss-free – we looked for outfits that were easy to get little kids into and easy for older kids to dress and undress on their own. We also wanted fancy dress costumes that were comfortable and wouldn’t hinder them pulling out their best moves at a Halloween disco.

Of course, budget has to be a consideration, so almost half of the outfits in our round-up come in at under £15. The costumes that sit at the pricier end of our selection are ones we feel can get plenty of use whatever time of year, making cost per wear much more reasonable.

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For some, any fancy dress goes at Halloween, but here we’ve stuck with the traditionally spooky (avoiding a gore-fest – this is absolutely a PG round-up) and a little “out of this world” thrown in. Whether you’re after a head-to-toe fancy dress costume or just some accessories to give off a Halloween vibe, we’ve got you all covered.

The best kids’ Halloween costumes for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Mimi & Lula Bewitched velvet cape: £25, Mimiandlula.com
  • Best gruesome costume – Morrisons zombie costume with mask: £12, Morrisons.com
  • Best Halloween accessories – Meri Meri bat wings costume: £29, Merimeri.co.uk
  • Best for comfort – H&M mummy fancy dress onesie: £14.99, Hm.com
  • Best for year-round wear – Melissa & Doug astronaut role play costume: £19, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best budget buy – Tesco pumpkin onesie: £9, Tesco.com
  • Best wow-factor costume – Very ride-On dinosaur: £20.99, Very.co.uk
  • Best luxury buy – Meri Meri octopus costume: £62, Merimeri.co.uk
  • Best Halloween dress – Morrisons unicorn costume with wings: £12, Morrisons.com
  • Best for babies – Halloween pyjamas: £32.50, Babymori.com 
  • Best for older kids – Morrisons werewolf costume with mask: £12, Morrisons.com

Mimi & Lula Bewitched velvet cape

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Luxurious black velvet, with sparkling silver star embellishments and a satin lining; we are obsessed with this high-quality cape. Sized to fit children between three and 10 years (although we’d suggest it works better at the younger end of the scale), this sumptuous accessory from Mimi & Lula is the ultimate dressing-up box essential for an easy costume. It feels so soft and is light to wear – perfect for rampaging, sugar-high kids.

Come Halloween, it works for little witches, wizards or even magicians, and because it makes such a statement on its own, you really don’t need to give much thought to the rest of the outfit – a black dress or black top and leggings and you’re sorted.  We loved the child-friendly, popper button closure round the neck, and the cute, black glitter star charms on the ribbon tie. It’s simple but ridiculously pretty and magical, and our two-year-old has refused to take it off since we unboxed it. You can also buy a matching mini witch’s hat and wand if you fancy – equally gorgeous and beloved by our little tester.

Morrisons zombie costume with mask

Best: Gruesome costume

Rating: 9/10

This three-piece costume was an instant hit with our five-year-old tester. Comprising a long-sleeve top, trousers with frayed bottoms and a pretty revolting mask (maggoty brain, anyone?), it manages to sit on the right side of gory, keeping it a kid-friendly gross, rather than terrifying.

The costume was a breeze to get on and off, with no zips or fasteners to contend with and got extra marks for being machine washable on the hand wash cycle. We particularly liked how the inside of the mask was made from fabric rather than plastic, and lined with soft-touch felt, making it nice and comfortable for our testers to wear. In-store only.

Meri Meri bat wings costume

Best: Halloween accessories

Rating: 8/10

For a subtler take on the theme, this two-part bat costume is a great understated but effective choice. The black felt bat wings, complete with silver stitching detail are easy to slip on, using the, quite fabulous, black glitter straps. The wings are wired inside, meaning you can bend them once on, to get them looking just right.

The natural leather headband, complete with leatherette bat ears, has a sparkly cord with tassel ends that you simply tie in place. Our testers found it easier for us to tie once on, then they were able to slip their “ears” on and off themselves. Designed to fit children aged 3-6 years, with a wingspan of 49.5cm, this costume adds an adorable-but-Halloween-appropriate touch to everyday clothes – or they can go the whole hog and dress head to toe in black to channel their inner bat. It’s cute, well made and is one of those costumes that can work outside of Halloween. We also like how it comes in its own little drawstring bag – perfect for keeping both parts together.

H&M mummy fancy dress onesie

Best: For comfort

Rating: 8/10

H&M do kids’ Halloween fancy dress well, and this zip-up mummy onesie is a great example. Made from soft jersey, it’s unrestrictive – in fact, our five-year-old has taken to wearing it around the house as his “chill out” clothes, it’s that comfy. The onesie comes in sizes 2-4 and 4-6, leaving plenty of room for children to wear their usual clothes underneath if they like – perfect for chilly evenings trick-or-treating. It zips up at the front, making it simple for kids to get in and out themselves.

The bandaged mummy print, dotted with the odd spider and pair of spooky eyes, feels original, and little design touches like the frayed bandages dangling from each sleeve and the extended hood with peep-holes, make this feel more thought-out than many other offerings at this price point.

Melissa & Doug astronaut role play costume

Best: For year-round wear

Rating: 8/10

OK, so not strictly scary, but definitely hitting the “out of this world” brief, this astronaut costume from Melissa & Doug more than earns its place in our round-up. The jumpsuit feels durable and made to last – it’s also machine washable, which we can attest to after our tester had a run in with a smoothie while wearing it. Suitable for ages 3-6 years, we loved the intergalactic silver detailing, but it’s the gloves and (soft) helmet that really elevate this outfit.

It’s the kind of costume that lends itself to all manner of fancy dress occasions or imaginative play at home. There’s even a nametag to display in the jumpsuit pocket, which can be personalised, then wiped clean and reused for the next sibling.

Tesco pumpkin onesie

Best: Budget buy

Rating: 7/10

A toddler dressed as a pumpkin is peak cuteness, and this affordable buy ticks all the boxes. Available in size 1-2 years and 3-4 years, it’s made from recycled polyester and feels super-soft to the touch – non-negotiable when it comes to little ones. Emblazoned with a smiley (non-scary) carved pumpkin face, edged with gold detail, we found our 2-year-old tester was instantly drawn to it and actually wanted to put it on straight away (certainly not the case with all the costumes we tried).

It fastens at the back with Velcro, although this only goes to just above waist-height, so if you’ve got a particularly wriggly toddler it’s not the easiest. We liked the green leaf embellishment around the neck – it looks cute on. Coming in at under a tenner, you can add it to your basket next time you’re doing a food shop. In-store only.

Very ride-on dinosaur

Best: Wow-factor costume

Rating: 9/10

Want to make an entrance without the effort? This is the ultimate statement fancy dress with zero faff required by you – and it blew our five-year-old tester’s little mind! In the costume, your child’s legs essentially become the dinosaur’s legs, and there are adjustable straps to put over their shoulders to hold the dino’s body and tail upright. There’s a loop handle to lift up the T-Rex’s head, which our little tester used to maximum effect as he chased us around the house.

We were incredibly impressed with the level of detail – from the embellished, scaly texture of the dinosaur’s body to the sparkling claws and padded little T-rex arms, but what we all loved was the cool interactive element. Press one of the dinosaur’s scales and it starts to roar, while the eyes flash red – absolute, kids’ Halloween party gold!

Meri Meri octopus costume

Best: Luxury buy

Rating: 9/10

We appreciate not everyone has the budget for this premium offering, but as an “evergreen” costume, it’s certainly not just for Halloween. Plus, it’s so beautiful we just had to include it in our round-up. This quirky outfit gives us real “octopus in Love Actually” vibes, and both of our testers have been fighting over who gets to wear it every day. The quality is just off the scale – everything from the iridescent, green lame fabric to the awesome hooped sequins as suckers has been thought through, but it’s the giant padded head and googly eyes that really won us over. Yes, as a Halloween fancy dress it may not scare us, but it certainly makes us smile.

Fixing in place with a simple popper under the chin, it can be worn over normal clothes, or you can go hard on the “sea creature” theme in all blue. It fits ages 3-6 years, but we think older kids could easily wear it comfortably, considering we may have been wearing it around the house ourselves over the past week..

Morrisons unicorn costume with wings

Best: Halloween dress

Rating: 7/10

We know some kids aren’t keen on the overly-scary side of Halloween, but still want to get involved in the fun. In that case, this unicorn-themed dress and accessories is a great choice – feeling magical and surreal enough to grace any Halloween party.

Made from recycled polyester, the velvety bodice and silky skirt feature a mystical unicorn print, while the netting on the skirt and straps makes this dress feel extra-special. The detachable wings – which fix to the back of the dress with Velcro – are such a fun touch, as is the unicorn horn headband, which our two-year-old tester wore with no complaints – mind-blowing! The dress is stretchy enough to pull on and off and it’s made a fun addition to our dressing-up box. Available exclusively in-store.

Mori Halloween pyjamas

Best: For babies

Rating: 9/10

Babies plus Halloween equals cuteness overload, but we get that you might not want to wrangle a six-month-old into awkward and uncomfortable costumes just to get them involved. Been there, done that; not worth it.

These sweet pyjamas from Mori could be the answer to your prayers. Made from organic cotton and bamboo, they are the softest pyjamas in existence and come in a great range of sizes from newborn to six years. Patterned with tiny ghosts – the happiest ghosts we’ve ever seen – they are snuggly enough for daywear, so you can keep your little ones cosy, while still being terrifying (err, terrifyingly cute). Our two-year-old tester is a big fan and would wear them on repeat if we let her.

Morrisons werewolf costume with mask

Best: For older kids

Rating: 8/10

This is such a brilliant costume, which both the kids and grown-ups loved. The two-piece werewolf costume has a touch of Teen Wolf about it, thanks to the ripped baseball jacket and jeans get-up, and we thought the hair around the neck and through the ripped knee was a genius touch.

It’s an all-in-one, fastened at the back with Velcro, and comes with a quite excellent, fierce werewolf mask, complete with soft felt lining. Our five-year-old tester was a big fan of the padded six-pack (actually, this werewolf is so beefy he has an eight-pack) and proceeded to show off his “muscles” at every opportunity. It’s a really original costume idea, so we’re pleased it’s affordable, too. Available in-store only.

The verdict: Kids’ Halloween costumes

The Mimi & Lula Bewitched cape gets our vote because it’s such beautiful quality, easy to get on and off, adored by the kids and absolute Halloween party perfection – as well as being a great general addition to your dressing-up box. If you’re looking for an affordable option, we think Morrisons’ zombie costume is loads of fun and really great value.

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For the latest discount on kids clothing and other essentials, try the links below:

Refresh your kids’ wardrobe for winter with a brand new pair of trainers or waterproof trousers

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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