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15 best and most spooky Halloween costumes for kids

If you're running short on spooky inspiration this year, we've got kids' costume ideas ranging from quick and easy to all-out Halloween extravaganzas.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Oct 21, 2021

children in Halloween costumes

The scariest night of the year is almost upon us. If you’ve left it a little late for stitching Frankenstein outfits, don't fear (well do be a bit afraid - it is Halloween, after all), we’ve got kids’ Halloween dressing up outfits that you can order online or buy in the shops today.

From ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night to characters altogether a little less terrifying, we think you’ll find something to treat your trick-or-treaters here.

Here are the best kids' Halloween costumes to buy this year.

1. Best overall Halloween costume for kids: Cheerful Ghost Costume

ghost halloween costume

Price: £14.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Growing up in Ireland, we always dressed as witches, ghosts or monsters - that was the whole point.” DeadRinger

Every child loves a classic ghost costume and this one is beautiful in its simplicity. Yes, you could make it yourself quite easily, but if you want something that will last and is just a bit more upmarket than an old sheet, this is a great buy.

It’s just a one-piece cape costume that hangs from the head (Scooby Doo style) with black mesh over the eyes and mouth to make it easy for children to breathe inside. The hem has a torn zig-zag look for extra spookiness. It’s really easy to pull on and off and is perfect for trick or treating as it will go over any outfit, including bulky coats.

One thing to know is that the ‘mouth’ doesn’t open so they can’t eat sweets (or anything else) while wearing it. But given that it’s white, that may be no bad thing. The cape style of this costume means it will grow with them and last for years, and we think this will become a dressing-up box stalwart post October.

  • Sizes: One size (107cm long). Reviews suggest best for children aged 6 to age 13

2. Best budget Halloween costume for kids: Smiffy’s Bat Cape

bat halloween costume

Price: £6.99 | Buy now from Amazon

At under a tenner, this bat costume will save you from getting in a financial flap over Halloween and it should last a few years too.

Like the ghost costume above, it’s a simple cape style but this one has a hood that can be taken down. The hood includes bat details such as stand-up ears and teeth. You'll just need to add block tracksuit or leggings and plimsolls. Comfy and easy to wear, this costume will suit children who don’t like restrictive clothing.

  • Sizes: 4-7 years and 8-12 years

3. Best Halloween costume for babies: John Lewis & Partners Baby Spider Romper, Hat & Tights Set

spider halloween costume

Price: £18 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

“Kids tend to look cute whatever they're dressed in. You just need to think about what will be popular with other kids for the toddler events. More like sweet monsters with big eyes, big furry spiders or bats etc rather than blood-drenched bandages that they won't really understand.” MRex

Yes, they may be a little young to really enjoy the spooky stuff for themselves, but your baby will look very cute and feel very cosy in this spider romper, hat and tights.

Knitted from pure cotton and with poppers on the romper for easy changes, this is a very practical outfit for little ones, without any fiddly bits that might be dangerous for babies. And it all goes in the washing machine too. We can’t resist the dangly legs on the hat.

  • Sizes: Newborn-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-19 months, 9-12 months and 12-18 months

4. Best Halloween costume for toddlers: Yaphets Mall Baby Infant Dinosaur Onesie

dinosaur halloween costume

Price: £20.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Look for a cosy onesie - monster, dinosaur, etc.” Normhonal

This dragon onesie makes for an easy, last-minute costume that can always be recycled for fancy dress parties throughout the year – a solid investment.

It’s made of a soft, breathable flannel fabric that they won’t get too sweaty in but also will keep them nice and cosy if they’re outside trick-or-treating or making potions in the garden.

The onesie zips up so is easy for older toddlers to take on and off themselves and features dragon eyes, a nose and teeth on the hood. And when it gets covered in chocolate and other Halloween treats, you can simply chuck it in the machine. Practical and magical.

  • Sizes: 12-18 months, 18-24 months, 24-30 months and 31-36 months

5. Best Halloween costume for preschoolers: Spooktacular Creations Baby Pumpkin Costume

pumpkin halloween costume

Price: £18.99 | Buy now from Amazon

"Oh I just love a pumpkin costume. I'm perhaps overly happy that our child will be at just the right age to look super cute in one.” FlowThroughIt

Pumpkin costumes are a bit of a rite of passage and they look especially cute on younger children who often don’t want to wear something too scary for Halloween.

This one is a two-piece ensemble with a pumpkin body and pumpkin hood that does up with Velcro. If they find the hood a bit much, the body part is more than pumpkin-y enough to be worn on its own. Just add an orange or green top and leggings.

With warm clothes underneath it should be plenty cosy enough for heading out on All Hallows Eve.

  • Sizes: 12-24 months, 3-4 years and 5-7 years

6. Best Disney Halloween costume for kids: The Aristocats Marie Fancy Dress Costume

the aristocats halloween costume

Price: £10 | Buy now from George at ASDA

“DS is 2.5. He's going as a spider from ASDA. Their toddler costumes are cute rather than scary.” Camomila

The supermarkets have pulled out all the spooky stops in recent years and there are plenty of costumes you can pop in your trolley at this time of year.

We really like this cat ensemble from ASDA, which is not too Halloween-y so could be worn at any time of year and even as everyday wear, and it comes with a cat ears hairband that your child can wear as part of other dressing up costumes.

The Disney Aristocats graphic of Marie will appeal to fans of the show, and we love the mesh overlay and the ruffled shoulder detailing.

  • Sizes: 1-1.5 years up to 7-8 years

7. Best Halloween costume for primary school kids: Halloween Dracula Costume

Dracula costume

Price: From £11 | Buy now from Tu

For primary-aged children who like to get into the Halloween spirit but don’t want to terrify the neighbours, this fun, dare we say ‘friendly,’ Dracula costume is bright, colourful and comfy. Perhaps he was misunderstood after all.

The two-part set includes a padded vampire face long-sleeved top with large googly eyes and black and red stripy bottoms with an elasticated waist.

We particularly like the fact that you won't need to add anything else to this costume, except maybe some thermals if they’re off terrorising the neighbourhood for sweets.

  • Sizes: 6-9 months up to 5-6 years

8. Best Harry Potter Halloween costume for kids: Rubie's Official Harry Potter Pack Gryffindor Robe

Harry Potter costume

Price: £16.98 | Buy now from Amazon

"DS1 tends to be Harry [Potter]." BertieBotts

If you don’t already have a Harry Potter costume in your dressing up box, Halloween is the time to invest and we guarantee it’ll see you through multiple parties, World Book Days and school plays for years to come.

This Gryffindor version from Amazon is unisex enough to work for Harry, Ron or Hermione and, at well under £20, is good value too. As well as the hooded Gryffindor robes, it comes with a wand and a pair of HP specs. You can do the scar yourself.

  • Sizes: One size (age 5-8)

9. Best Halloween costume with mask: Halloween Werewolf Sound Effect Costume

werewolf costume

From £13 | Buy now from Tu

“DC2 and 3 have a soft play party on Halloween. They are six. I have bought them a werewolf and a pink and sparkly witch costume from Sainsbury's.” CanOpenWormsEverywhere

This one’s sure to keep them warm while trick-or-treating. The werewolf costume has a furry collar, long sleeves and trousers (pop some thermals underneath and they won’t show) and a wolf mask. We particularly like the push button that makes a terrifying werewolf howl when pressed!

  • Sizes: 3-4 years to 11-12 years

10. Best non-Halloween costume for kids: Minecraft Steve Costume

Minecraft Steve costume

Price: £31.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If your child doesn’t enjoy spooky stuff, a generic costume will also do the trick. Mini gamers will love this 3D Minecraft Steve outfit with it’s squared-off style and fun face mask.

Just pair the shaped top and headgear with jeans and you’ll be ready for nightfall and any creepers creeping around.

  • Sizes: 4-6 to 10-12 years

11. Best Halloween pyjama for kids: Skeleton Glow in the Dark Pyjamas

skeleton pyjamas

Price: £13.49 | Buy now from Amazon

“My son had a skeleton onesie he lived and now has a skeleton T shirt. He wears it all year round.” Museumum

Onesies and pyjamas can be a great option for a Halloween costume. They’re comfy, come in all sorts of spooky themes and you can barely tell a costume from a pair of PJs in the dark. Best of all, they’ll get lots more wear out of them than a costume, which won’t be suitable to wear in bed for health and safety reasons.

These skeleton PJs have glow-in-the-dark ‘bones’ that will look spooky on the big night and will be fun at bedtime for long after too.

  • Sizes: 3 to 10 years

12. Best Halloween costume for role play: Melissa & Doug Astronaut Costume Set

astronaut costume

Price: £22.95 | Buy now from Amazon

“Does it have to be 'spooky'? Mine want to go as an astronaut thanks to NASA's first all-female space walk!” AfterSomeAdvice1234

Melissa and Doug make superb role play costumes and toys. Mumsnetters are big fans of their wooden toy sets, which are always beautifully made with brilliant detail, and the same is true of this astronaut costume, which any small space fans will love for Halloween and will surely wear again and again.

The set includes an astronaut jumpsuit, helmet, gloves and a reusable name tag, all with lots of shiny metallic fabric and bold details. And it’s all machine-washable too, so it can be chucked in the machine if they jump in any puddles while out trick-or-treating - someone tell Tim Peake’s parents!

  • Sizes: 3-6 years

13. Best Halloween costume for older children: Rubie's Official Disney Star Wars Darth Vader

Darth Vader costume

Price: £29.99 | Buy now from Amazon

If your child is a Star Wars fanatic, Halloween is the perfect opportunity to dress up as the galaxy's ultimate baddie – Darth Vader. This outfit includes a jumpsuit, cape and the iconic mask, though you will need to supply your own lightsaber and gloves.

  • Sizes: 3-4 years and 8-10 years

14. Best kids’ Halloween princess costume: Freefly Snow Queen Costume

snow queen costume

Price: £9.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“If a little zombie princess turned up trick-or-treating at my door I’d love it.” Barkandcheese

Princess costumes are a staple of any dressing-up box and there’s no reason why you can’t Halloween one up a bit or simply let them go full-on Royal.

This blue dress is excellent quality, with a jewelled white fur collar and printed snowflake detailing. It makes a great Snow Queen outfit, but would easily satisfy most would-be Elsas too.

  • Sizes: 2-3 years up to 9-10 years

15. Most scary Halloween costume for kids: Headless Horseman Costume

Headless Horseman costume

Price: From £24.94 | Buy now from Amazon

"Go gory. It's Halloween!" RedHelenB

For teens and tweens of a more bloodthirsty bent, you might have to up the fright factor a little. And this Headless Horseman costume ought to do it.

The costume comprises a shirt with attached vest and cape, and a neck and headpiece with shoulder risers. A mesh panel at the base of the fake neck allows your child to look out without being seen.

Be warned though - the headless bit is pretty gruesome. But if it’s the shock value you’re after, then this costume is it. It’s also worth being aware that the headpiece can get a bit hot and uncomfortable after a while. Head not included.

  • Sizes: 6-8 years to 12-14 years

What is the most popular children's Halloween costume?

Ghosts are a classic Halloween choice and are easy to pull off at any age. We like the Cheerful Ghost Costume from Amazon as it’s so easy to wear (even over outdoor clothes) and will last for years.

How we chose our recommendations

We turned our torches on and tiptoed cautiously into the scarier regions of the Mumsnet forums (obviously without turning any lights on or letting anyone know where we would be) to find out from real parents which Halloween costumes their children were coveting most this year and which had gone down well on previous All Hallows Eves.

Armed with that information, we braved the darker passages of various consumer reviews sites and hunted down Halloween costumes that we thought would fit the bill. We looked for those outfits that were well made, adhered to all the relevant safety standards and would last more than just the one night.

Why you should trust us

Here at Mumsnet HQ, we’ve been making, borrowing and buying Halloween costumes for centuries between us, and we know what makes a scary dress-up and what makes for a Halloween nightmare. We’re also lucky enough to benefit from the experience of our millions of users on every subject who are always on hand to tell us about their best buys and worst purchasing errors, so we can pass that advice on to you.

We always strive to give you honest and independent advice you can trust, so we spend hours on the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents truly rate, not just the newest thing on the market.