Many dads don’t need much encouragement to explore VR headsets. They offer an entirely new way to enjoy entertainment and have been hyped in movies for as long as I can remember. Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to afford a VR headset. Yes, some devices can be crazy expensive. A hefty price tag for a children’s device can be tough to swallow as kids aren’t always the most gentle with gadgets.
To help make the buying decision easier for fellow Nerdy Dads we delve into the best VR headsets for kids in 2020. These are devices designed with kids in mind. So they hold up with wear and tear, but won’t destroy your wallet.
Best VR Headsets for Kids in 2020
Merge VR Headset
The Merge VR headset is designed with kids 8+ in mind. Compatible with iOS and Android the Merge works with most smartphones. One nice feature for the Merge headset is the soft and flexible foam that makes up the device. This makes it easier to wear for extended periods of time and won’t cause pain. Just be sure to be a good dad and discuss healthy screen time habits.
The Merge has a few other cool features worth mentioning. First, and foremost on any parent’s mind, is the device can hold up with minor bumps or drops. I can’t say it will hold up if it’s tossed out a second story window, but a short fall from the couch to the floor shouldn’t pose any issues. The headset also provides 300+ virtual experiences that are kid friendly. Explore a cave, view human cell division, or take in an exploding volcano. All are educational and fun adventures for any young mind!
The device prices out at $49.99 and comes in two colors. The low dollar entry point makes this enticing for parents who aren’t sure kids might enjoy VR and want to test the waters.
Real Feel VR Racing
Start your engines! This is the VR headset for any kid (or dad) that feels the need for speed. Designed for kids 7+ the Real Feel VR Racing headset literally puts you behind the wheel. The headset is smartphone-powered so you don’t need any fancy gear. The realistic steering wheel just needs AAA batteries and it’s ready to roll.
A key selling point is the 3D graphics. If you can’t actually drive at Daytona this might be the next best option. While racing is the key attraction you can also play hundreds of other games with an Android or iOS device.
Similar to other kid-focused VR headsets the Real Feel VR has a comfortable and adjustable head strap. The secure frame and latches will ensure that even with all the excitement your phone won’t go flying out of the device.
Google Cardboard provides a VR experience without any fuss. Simple and easy to use for any kid, the Cardboard headset can be setup in seconds. The headset is built with safety and education in mind. Kids can use the devices to explore foreign lands while dads rock out with their favorite bands. It’s a device that is cheap at only $15.00 for the basic Google Cardboard. Other styles can be purchased that look cooler, but if you are just going for functionality the basic model will work just fine.
Some pros from the Google Cardboard are that it works for Android (as we’d expect) and iOS (which is awesome). The easy setup is also a plus. You could get the device and have your kids exploring the moon all within minutes of each other. Finally, the interior foam padding helps prevent any sores or scratches.
Samsung Gear VR
Thus far we’ve covered headsets that would appeal to younger children. The Samsung Gear VR brings us into the teenage category. The Gear VR is a great option for teenagers and adults. Samsung has developed a solid reputation in the VR headset community and the Gear lives up to expectations.
While the headsets for a younger audience tend to include a headset only, the Gear comes with a hand-held controller to manipulate virtual objects. The device is also powered by Oculus and can support experiences in 2D, 3D and 360-degree.
Sticking with the theme of being for older users you can also experience live events, such as UFC, through the Gear VR. The device is comfortable with padding lining the internal side that touches the face.
Oh, and in the event you think you might get bored know that the Gear VR has 1,000+ apps as of this writing. If you do go through all of them let us know and we’ll create a custom award for most intense VR gamer!
Google Daydream View
Another Google product you ask? Yup. Google knows what we want and they deliver. The Google Daydream View provides a higher-quality experience than the Cardboard we mentioned above. However, Google keeps the setup simple. All you need is the Daydream View and a Daydream compatible smartphone.
Users will find an extensive collection of games and apps that provide endless hours of entertainment. To make those hours fly by the Daydream View is built with a comfortable and breathable fabric. Finally, if you’re a sharing person you can cast your adventure to your smart TV using Chromecast. Family and friends can now follow along and admire your game play or provide “constructive” commentary on your skills.
The one drawback is that you need a Google, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Asus, or ZTE smartphone. Careful readers will notice that Apple isn’t on the list.
Rounding out our list of best VR headsets for kids is the Oculus Rift. Oculus basically brought VR into the modern age and into our hearts. This list just wouldn’t be complete without them. The Rift is best suited for teenagers, parents, or kids with wicked good gaming skills.
Users have access to hundreds of games with titles for all ages. The headset and hand controllers are comfy and can make hours melt away. With a starting price of $399 on Amazon it can also melt away your savings. Given the price tag on the Rift I’d recommend this for serious gamers or families that don’t have young children using the device. The Google Cardboard is better for young kids. You don’t want an Oculus Rift taking a fall down the stairs after someone gets upset.
If you’re a dad who enjoys gaming then investing in one of the best VR headsets for kids might be a fun and exciting way to connect with your children. New technology provides new opportunities to spend time together. Just remember that not all your time should be spent in a virtual world. IRL also has some amazing adventures for us to explore.