When it comes to wooden train sets, there is a range of options to choose from, catering to various age groups, budgets, and preferences. From small beginner sets that make perfect gifts for toddlers to larger models with elaborate tracks, bridges, and add-ons that could appeal to tweens and teens, there is something for everyone.
However, finding the best one can be a daunting task. That is why we have researched and tested the market’s best train sets, taking into account safety features, age restrictions, size, and features. We understand that parents’ concerns and preferences differ, and therefore we have created a comprehensive guide that caters to all needs. Whether you are looking for a simple, affordable set or an intricate, sophisticated one, we have got you covered. When it comes to wooden train sets, safety and durability are crucial, and our top picks assure that your child can enjoy hours of imaginative play without any concerns.
#1. KidKraft Bucket Top Wooden Train Set
When it comes to the best wooden train set, we think you should try out the KidKraft Bucket Top Wooden Train Set. This is definitely one of the better sets out there for those who an easy-to-assemble 61-piece wooden train set for their kids to enjoy. The quality is pretty good for the price and overall it is just a great bargain.
Best Wooden Train Set Reviews in 2023
- #1. KidKraft Bucket Top Wooden Train Set – Best Overall
- #2. Tiny Land Crane Wooden Train Set – Best Quality For Toddlers
- #3. SainSmart Jr. Wooden Train Set – Best compatibility
- #4. Orbrium Toys Wooden Train Set – Best Pack
- #5. Kidzzy Toys Wooden Train Set – Best Colorful
- #6. Brio My First Railway Pack Train – Best Beginner
- #7. Lionel Thomas & Friends Christmas Freight Set – Best Xmas set
- #8. KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table – Best Table Set
- #9. Bigjigs Rail Wooden Fairy Town Train Set – Best Wooden Track and Plastic Accessories
What is a wooden train set?
Wooden train sets for children consist of wooden pieces that can be put together to create a variety of track configurations. The trains themselves are made of wood, with wheels that fit into the grooves of the tracks, allowing them to roll smoothly. These sets are often designed to be expandable, with additional track pieces and train cars available for purchase, so children can continue to build and create new routes for their trains to travel on.
Wooden train sets can be enjoyed by children as young as two years old, as they are easy to manipulate and the natural material is safe to play with. Additionally, these toys promote imaginative play and encourage children to develop their fine motor skills as they build and play with their train sets.
#1. KidKraft Bucket Top Wooden Train Set – Best Overall
For those who want the best wooden toy train set, we highly recommend you try out the KidKraft Bucket Top Wooden Train Set. This is a great wooden train set for those who have a smart and sturdy construction.
This 61-piece wooden train set is incredibly easy even for kids to put together and it is definitely quite safe for children of all ages. For the price, the quality is pretty good in our opinion.
Additionally, we really like the fact that this set stores easily as everything just goes back into the bucket where it came from and the entire thing isn’t too heavy to carry. All in all, this wooden train set will lead to endless amounts of fun and creativity for your kids. There are multiple ways to assemble the various parts as well.
- High quality pieces
- Perfect for toddlers
- Great brand
- May come with no instruction manual
#2. Tiny Land Crane Wooden Train Set – Best Quality For Toddlers
Next up, we have the Tiny Land Wooden Train Set, which is the best wooden train set for those who want something incredibly kid friendly and made for kids 3 years and above. This set also comes with one of the best wooden train track sets. Note that both the trains and tracks are made of polished beech wood and are definitely quite smooth. They definitely don’t give you splinters and are absolutely safe to play with.
As a nice bonus on top, it comes with this magnetic crane that can be used to pick up removable cargo by cars and trucks. This one is definitely a crowd-pleaser. All in all, kids definitely find this set absolutely fascinating and are able to entertain themselves for long periods of time with this set.
- Safe for kids
- Easy to store
- Versatile compatibility
- Not all tracks are two-sided
#3. SainSmart Jr. Wooden Train Set – Best Compatibility
Another really nice option when it comes to the best wooden train set is the SainSmart Jr. Wooden Train Set. This is a 37-piece double-side track that is compatible with plenty of truck brands. We think it goes without saying that this wooden train set is pretty safe for children and made of safe splinter-free beech wood that is nice and polished off.
It also features non-toxic water-based paint and makes it such that your kids won’t just swallow toxic ingredients if they end up trying to eat it. The little magnet trains are definitely a joy to play with and can even be played with on their own outside of the tracks.
- Universal brand compatibility
- Premium craftsmanship
- The middle tier of the spiral is a bit tight
#4. Orbrium Toys Wooden Train Set – Best Pack
The Orbrium Toys Wooden Train Set is a very nice 52-piece set that includes everything that you need to get started with your kids. It is quite entertaining for kids and includes a nice little bridge run-up. First of all, the wood parts are all quality and definitely don’t look like they are chipping away or rotting any time soon. It is nice to know that it is compatible with Thomas Wooden and other major brands.
We also really like that the trains are pretty heavy, which means that they are not flying off the rails anytime soon. On the other hand, it makes for a heavier projectile, which can be a hazard. Overall, this is a great stand-alone or add-on for Thomas the Train. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the price and quality.
- Versatile track pieces
- Comes with 11 different layout plans
- Crafted with premium wood
- No instruction manual
#5. Kidzzy Toys Wooden Train Set – Best Colorful
Lastly, we have the Kidzzy Toys Wooden Train Set, which is the best wooden train set for kids who like dinosaurs and trains, and all sorts of colorful objects. There are 12 different trains in this set and they are all neatly packed in this beautiful box which also makes it a really neat gift idea for the holidays.
Also, it is nice to know that this wooden train set is quite compatible with Thomas sets and all of the magnets line up perfectly. You can also play with these trains stand-alone off the tracks if you want. Take a look at some more pictures of the train set and details with the link below.
- Compatible with Thomas
- Great colors
- You may need to buy more accessories
#6. Brio My First Railway Beginner Pack Toy Train Set – Best Beginner
The Brio My First Railway Beginner Pack Train is simply the beginner’s best Brio train set for any young train lover. This great train set comes with a colorful train sporting reversible magnets, a rattle wagon that makes sounds as you play, a special rainbow bridge, guiding ramp tracks for on and off rail play, and wooden railway tracks.
Perfect for the creative toddler, this train set helps develop important skills while providing endless hours of fun. Parents can rest assured that this train set is safe for their child, with more than 1,000 safety tests per year under the brand’s belt.
Furthermore, the parts, which are made of solid wood, are easy to put together and the set is compatible with all of the other BRIO train sets, enabling you to expand your child’s collection over time for limitless possibilities. Bring home the best Brio starter set today, and watch your child’s imagination soar.
- Well known brand
- Perfect for toddlers
- High safety
- High quality pieces
- No small pieces
- Some magnets are weaker than other models
#7. Lionel Thomas & Friends Christmas Freight Set For Toddlers – Best Xmas Set
The Lionel Thomas & Friends Christmas Freight Set is arguably one of the best Xmas sets available out there. The set includes Thomas the Tank Engine, two pieces of rolling stock, three interchangeable Thomas faces, a circle layout, a wall pack power supply, and a LionChief Remote for the locomotive.
The electric locomotive can be easily controlled by either the LionChief remote or Bluetooth LionChief app, and features a RailSounds RC sound system with steam chuffing and background sounds, whistle, bell, and user-activated Thomas announcements. The engine also has an on/off switch and a maintenance-free motor.
Furthermore, the Xmas Freight Set comes with a removable Xmas hat that can be placed on the smokestack of the locomotive, adding a festive touch to the set. The Thomas wooden railway sets have always been popular with kids and parents alike, and this Christmas set is no exception.
- Recognizable character
- Xmas ready
- Quality may not be as good as other models
#8. KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table – Best Table Set
The KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table is undeniably one of the best train table sets out there in the market. This quality train set comes with everything kids need to get their train game on, including the table.
The set includes 100 pieces of wooden track, additional vehicles, people, signs, animals, trees, bridges, and more. The colorfully illustrated and durable play surface serves as the perfect setting for hours of imaginative play. The table is compatible with other major brand trains, allowing for even more creative play options.
With rounded corners for safety, this train set is constructed of durable wood. And it includes two storage bins that hide below the table for easy storage and organization. Furthermore, the set also includes an airport with a runway and helipad, a hospital with an ambulance, and a farm for even more exciting play scenarios. With 100 colorful pieces included, this KidKraft train table set is sure to provide endless entertainment for young children.
- Easy to assemble
- Can be used with other sets
- Includes storage space
- Most complete set for fun
- A bit expensive
#9. Bigjigs Rail Wooden Fairy Town Train Set – Best For Girls
The Bigjigs Rail Wooden Fairy Town Train Set is the perfect gift for 4-year-old girls who are mini-train enthusiasts and fairy fanatics. Specifically designed for girls, this wooden railway train set features a sprinkle of fairy dust, pink bridges, pastel engine sheds, and an array of accessories.
Kids can make their very own train set design, promoting imaginative play and creativity. Moreover, this 75-piece wooden train set is compatible with other wooden railway brands, allowing for endless hours of play. Note that the accessories are made of plastic material.
The Bigjigs train sets are made from premium quality, sustainably sourced wood to ensure safe and sustainable wooden toys. It conforms to the EN71 Toy Safety Standards and has non-toxic paints and lacquers. Parents can rest easy knowing that their children are playing with toys that are both fun and safe. In conclusion, the Bigjigs Rail Wooden Fairy Town Train Set is one of the best for girls who enjoy playing with wooden train sets that are compatible with other major brands.
- Nice unique design
- Great colors
- Multiple pieces and ways to play
- At times some pieces may not snap in perfectly
- Accessories made of plastic
What to look for when buying a wooden train for kids – Buying Guide
- Safety of a wooden railway sets
- Size of the best wooden train set
- Age restrictions of wooden train set for kids
- Extra features or accessories of a wooden model set
1. Safety of wooden railway sets
Safety is a top priority when it comes to the use of the best wooden trains. Each toy train set generally comes with packaging that advises buyers of any safety concerns and recommended age for usage. One of the safety concerns involves small pieces that may cause safety risks for young children. For this reason, it is important to follow the guidance given by the product and always stay close by when the wooden toy train is in use.
For those opting for electric trains and wooden railway sets, it is important to remember that electric trains operate on a plugged 120-volt system. Parental guidance may be necessary for electrical cord or battery installment that may be required. However, the voltages on the tracks remain very low, ensuring safe and enjoyable play-time for children.
2. Size of the best wooden train set
When it comes to choosing a wooden train set for your child, size is an important factor to consider. While larger train sets may provide more fun for younger kids, they do require a significant amount of space to house them. If you have a large playroom or a dedicated space for your child’s train set, then a large one would be perfect. But if you only have a small corner of a room to use, then a smaller train set would be more practical.
Additionally, it’s important to consider how easy it would be to take apart and store the train set. If you have limited storage space, then a smaller train set that can be easily taken apart and stored away is the better option. Ultimately, the size of the best wooden train set for toddlers or younger kids depends on the amount of space you have available and how convenient it is to store when not in use.
3. Age restrictions of wooden toy train set for kids and toddlers
When it comes to wooden children’s train sets, there are age restrictions that should be taken into account. These sets come in different difficulty levels and can range from self-build (construct your train yourselves) to out-of-the-box options that are perfect for toddlers. When shopping for a set, it’s important to consider the child’s age, abilities, and interest level. You need to buy a train model set that will hold your child’s interest. The aim is that the choice of the model is not outgrown too quickly.
As a rule of thumb, the younger the child, the larger the scale. This means that the size of the pieces in a train set should be big enough for toddlers so that he/she does not try to swallow them. This is why wooden train sets with big pieces are suitable for these little ones.
For grade school children, an O gauge set (larger set) is a nice option (though most would want a much more advanced train). As they enter high school or adulthood, they can then move to an HO set. In conclusion, when buying a wooden train set, keep in mind the age restrictions, skill levels, and interests of the child. This will ensure a long-lasting and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
4. Extra features or accessories of a wooden model train
There are a lot of extra features and accessories that can enhance the playability and realism of a model train set. Some sets include just the basics, like a train track, a train car, and a train engine. Others come complete with a train table, additional vehicles, people, and scenery to interact with the trains. This is where it’s important to consider your budget and your child’s preferences when choosing a set.
If your child is younger or just starting out with trains, a simpler set might be the better choice. On the other hand, if your child is a train enthusiast, a more feature-packed set might be right up their alley. However, it’s worth noting that toy trains with several extra features may require more maintenance. And when you need more maintenance, this means higher costs. So take this into account. Ensuring that the child can easily operate the train and that the set is appropriate for their age and skill level will ensure they get the most enjoyment out of the set.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Question
Is Brio train worth buying?
If you’re considering purchasing a wooden train set, the BRIO wooden train set is a great option to consider. This brand is known for producing some of the highest quality wooden trains available, with excellent build quality and a high level of play value. BRIO has been making wooden train sets for many years, and their reputation for durability and longevity is well-deserved.
In fact, some people still have BRIO train sets that are several decades old and they are still in good condition to use. If you’re looking for a train set that will stand up to years of play and provide endless hours of fun, investing in a BRIO train set is definitely worth it. So, if you are looking for a good quality wooden train set, the BRIO train set should be a top option to consider.
What is the difference between Ikea and Brio?
There are some notable differences between the two brands. The most significant one is that Brio wooden train sets are made entirely of solid wood, while with Ikea, the connectors are plastic. This difference in construction affects the overall flexibility of the sets. With the Ikea set, you have the advantage of being able to take out the plastic connectors and attach them to different pieces, thereby giving you more flexibility.
Brio wooden train sets do not offer this option, as the sets are designed to be more rigid due to the solid wood construction. The material difference also affects longevity and durability. Brio wooden sets are super durable thanks to the solid wood construction, while Ikea sets may be prone to wear and tear due to their plastic connectors. Ultimately, both Ikea and Brio offer high-quality wooden train sets that are sure to delight any child. The choice between the two may depend on personal preferences, budget, and specific needs.
What age are wooden train sets for?
The vast majority of wooden train sets are produced for ages 3 and up. This is mainly for safety reasons such as choking hazards and swallowable magnets. However, there are some brands that produce trains for younger kids. One such brand is BRIO, which has come out with a line of My First Railway sets for children as young as 18 months old. These sets feature larger train pieces that are safe for little ones to pick up and play with. As children grow older, they can enjoy more complex wooden train sets with intricate tracks, bridges, and buildings. Older kids can also experiment with different accessories like cranes and tunnels. Overall, wooden train sets are perfect for children of all ages to enjoy and explore with.
What age is best for using a train table for children?
A train table is specifically made for kids over the age of three. However, based on experts’ advice, the best age range for a train table is from around four to nine. At this age, children have developed their motor skills and are able to manipulate the various pieces on the table with ease. Moreover, they are also starting to develop their imaginations and the train table provides the perfect platform for them to use their creativity.
Kids in this age range tend to be more independent and can spend hours playing with the train table on their own or with their friends. The train table is also an excellent toy for sharing, due to the large number of pieces available. Overall, the train table is a fantastic toy for children aged four to nine, providing endless hours of fun and allowing them to explore their imaginations to the fullest.
How long does a toy train set last?
Investing in a wooden train set is a wise decision as they are known for being a long-lasting, high-quality toy. Any wooden railway system can last for a lifetime and even be passed down between generations. In contrast, a plastic train set may not last as long, but it can still withstand many hours of playtime. It is important to care for your wood train set and model train set because they are built to last a lifetime. If treated correctly, you shouldn’t need to replace your train set at all. Overall, a train set is a great investment for any child to enjoy and play with for years to come.
How much does a good train set cost?
The cost of a good train set varies depending on the brand, type, and size of the set. You can usually find a decent train set for around $20, but some of the better ones can cost up to $200. These more expensive sets typically include electric wooden tracks with multiple interconnecting tracks, bridges, freight trains, train stations, and a wide variety of accessories like trees, buildings, and figures. The more expensive train sets offer more intricate and realistic details and better-quality tracks. Additionally, the most expensive train sets offer the opportunity for your train enthusiast to expand the set even further with additional tracks and accessories. Ultimately, the cost of a good train set is dependent on the individual and their level of interest and commitment regarding their train hobby.
How fast does an electric toy train set travel?
If you’re someone who enjoys speed, you might be curious about how fast an electric toy train set travels. The answer is that it varies depending on the specific train set you have. Wooden train brands such as Brio and Thomas and Friends typically have slower speeds, around 5-6 miles per hour.
However, there are faster train sets on the market that can travel up to 15 miles per hour right out of the box! These types of trains are usually designed for older children or adult hobbyists who want a more thrilling experience. It’s worth noting that if you do modify your train set to go even faster than it’s built for, you run the risk of damaging your model train cars. It’s best to start slow and gradually increase the speed, but regardless of the speed, electric toy train sets are a fun and entertaining way to enjoy model trains.