Why are millennials still sleeping with their teddies?

Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go—but teddies are for life

millennial woman wrapped in towel using smart phone while lying on bed holding teddy at home, millennials sleeping with teddy bears
(Image credit: Getty Images / Westend61)

We all had a favorite teddy growing up, one that would come with us everywhere and that we couldn’t sleep without. As adults though, most outgrow their need for stuffed animals and say goodbye to them along with our childhoods—but it turns out a surprising amount of millennials are still sleeping with theirs.

Maybe it’s our obsession with nostalgia hitting home or us just seeking comfort from something familiar during a radically changing time—but one in four millennials still sleep with their teddy bears, according to a new study from AO.com.



Three teddy bears in a bed

(Image credit: Getty Images / Westend61)

We’ve seen the likes of Love Islanders like Molly-Mae (remember Ellie Belly?) and Faye bring their beloved teddies on the show, and according to research, it’s pretty normal. In fact, Jo Hemmings, a behavioral psychologist, says it's a sign of emotional intelligence. 

In the study, researchers found that 80% of the millennials surveyed did not feel at all embarrassed about still having or sleeping with their teddies. Forty-seven percent explained that their teddies brought back good memories, and 45% said they brought them comfort.

Also, 44% said they would feel too guilty throwing their childhood toys away—perhaps unsurprising when we all grew up watching Toy Story. And 26% simply said they love their teddy bears more than anything else and don’t want to be parted from them.

woman in bed cuddling a teddy bear

(Image credit: Getty Images / Matthias Heitmann)

Jo Hemmings explains that having your teddy around can be reassuring and a big stress reliever, especially during a traumatic time like a global pandemic. Hemmings said: “We know that infants become really attached to what are known as transitional objects, which tend to be chosen in the first year of life and provide comfort when a parent isn’t with them.”

Hemmings continued: “Teddies trigger good memories, are reassuring and comforting and have their rightful place in our bedrooms where they are most associated.

"It’s lovely that 80% of millennials are happy to admit they still have their teddy—they grew up in an era when a high value was placed on self-care, work/life balance, and emotional intelligence.”

The goal is to always make your home and bedroom a comfortable space, whether it’s creating the perfect sleep environment, or making your house cozier with hygge home decor. Either way, display your teddies proudly on your bed—they count as self-care!

Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is a trainee News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on fashion, wellbeing, and entertainment for GoodTo and My Imperfect Life and is training for an NCTJ Qualification. 

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.