If your child has taken an interest in drumming, you may be thinking of what drum set to get them to keep that passion going. There’s a fairly big gap in the gear market between kids’ drumming toys and actual drum sets, and you should know which one to get.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best drum kit options for children. Some of them are very affordable, while others are solid options from reputable drum brands. Whether you want to get a toy or a kit that your child can grow into, every option on this list will have you covered, and make learning drums easy for your child.
- 1 Top 3 Drum Sets for Kids
- 2 Best Drum Sets for Kids Reviews
- 3 How to Choose the Best Drum Sets for Kids
- 4 Final Thoughts on the Best Drum Sets for Kids
Top 3 Drum Sets for Kids
The Mendini by Cecilio Kids Drum Set is our Best Budget Option. It’s an inexpensive kit that will allow your child to test the waters and see whether they’ll be interested in drumming or not.
The Mapex Venus Fusion is our Editor’s Choice. It’s a full-sized drum set that a child can grow into. The bass drum and floor tom are slightly smaller than normal, making the kit feel a bit smaller than most other full-sized kits.
Best Drum Sets for Kids Reviews
A small beginner drum kit package with excellent tones and build quality.
A miniature version of Pearl’s popular Roadshow drum set. It has the same shell and hardware makeup, but everything is a bit smaller to perfectly suit a young child. It has excellent tones, and the hardware is surprisingly sturdy.
The Pearl Roadshow Jr. is our top pick as it was one of the only kids’ sets that felt like playing a full-sized set. We loved how it had two rack toms, and we thought all the hardware on the shells made it feel very secure.
It’s the kind of kit you want for a kid that you know will bash the drums quite hard. It can take a beating, and it’ll reward you for it with musical tones from the poplar shells.
You get brass hi-hats and a crash cymbal, along with stands, a throne, and a kick drum pedal. It’s the ultimate package, as it even comes with a pair of small sticks to use.
Our only gripe was that the cymbal stands had very thin legs. Only adults playing the kit would notice those, though. So, it was a very minor issue.
Verdict: The Pearl Roadshow Jr. is one of the best kit options for young drummers. It’s designed to feel exactly the same as a large kit, giving young drummers experience with the way shells and cymbals are spaced out. It has amazing value, considering that the package includes all the components you need to start playing as soon as you unbox it.
One of the most popular kid drum sets due to how affordable it is.
An incredibly inexpensive drum set for children. The sounds are quite bad, but it’s the perfect kit for a young child to test the waters of drumming.
Most of us were never fans of this kit, especially considering that there are so many better options from other brands. However, this is one of the most inexpensive drum kits on the market that gives you a relatively normal setup.
You need to understand the goal behind it to appreciate its value. It’s not a kit for kids that sounds amazing and can be used for performances. It’s a kit for parents to spend the least amount of money possible to see if their children enjoy playing the drums.
When trying it out, we realized that it does its job quite well. Anyone shorter than 5ft will feel very comfortable. Anyone taller would need to get something that can be elevated a bit higher.
If you’re looking for half-decent sounds, you’d need to look for an option from one of the larger drum brands.
Verdict: The Mendini by Cecilio Kids Drum Set is the best kit to get for children if you want to spend as little money as possible. It doesn’t sound great, but it’s perfect for allowing a kid to figure out if he loves the feeling of drumming or not. It will work well for a year or two. Then you’ll need to replace it with something better if your child decides that drumming is their thing.
A high-quality full-sized kit that a kid can grow into and continue playing.
While this kit is Mapex’s entry-level kit, it’s a luxury option for a young child to learn to play on and grow into. It’s a full-sized kit, but the bass drum and floor tom are slightly smaller than average, making kids feel more comfortable when playing it.
The Mapex Venus was a breath of fresh air to the entry-level drum kit market when it got released. When comparing it to other entry-level kits, we found the best feature to be the hammered brass cymbals that it comes with.
We also realized that the Fusion version of the kit is a brilliant option for young kids. The 20-inch bass drum allowed us to position the toms lower to the floor, giving better reach for smaller people.
With the hardware feeling so durable, this was definitely a kit that we felt we could buy for ourselves if we needed to. So, it’s a fantastic kit to invest in a child who shows great promise with their drumming.
It may be a bit too big for a toddler, but it’s fantastic for kids aged five to thirteen.
Verdict: The Mapex Venus Fusion is an excellent long-term kit to get for a child. It’s an adult-sized kit, but it’s small enough for young children to feel comfortable while playing. The drums and cymbals have high-quality tones for kids’ standards, and the stands are incredibly sturdy. The downside is that this kit is expensive compared to most of the other kids’ drum set options.
One of the most affordable electronic sets with trusted brand quality.
An excellent beginner kit from Alesis. The drum module is very simple to use, giving children a good entry point into the world of electronic drums. It comes with everything you need except for headphones or an amp.
Our favorite thing about this drum kit is the simplicity of its drum module. Drum modules are often quite intricate, and that becomes overwhelming for kids. The Turbo module is very easy to understand, so we think it’s a great tool to get kids to figure out how drum modules work.
The kit itself is quite low to the ground, so it’s very comfortable for a young kid to play. While the fact that it has a kick trigger and not a pedal would typically be a drawback, we felt that it was actually a perfect addition for toddlers. You don’t need as much force and strength to play the bass drum with this design.
We’d love it if this kit came with an inexpensive pair of Alesis headphones to make it the full package, but you’ll need to buy those separately.
Verdict: The Alesis Turbo Mesh is a good electronic drum kit option for kids. It’s also one of the better electronic kits for toddlers, considering how low the drums are positioned and the kick trigger being very easy to play. We love how simple the drum module is to figure out as well.
A solid kids’ drum set with a small footprint and light hardware.
A drum set designed by Questlove, who is a popular funk drummer from New York. It’s the juvenile version of his Breakbeats kit, and it works best for kids aged four to twelve.
We found the drums on this kit to have surprisingly good tonal quality. We managed to tune them so that they had almost as much rich resonance as full-sized drums.
We also loved the compact design. The cymbal stand mounts to the bass drum, significantly lowering the footprint of the kit. It’s a great size for a child to keep it in the corner of their bedroom.
The nature of this kit made it feel very fun to play. Its design (and the pocket name) is very inspiring, and it’s a fantastic starter kit for any child.
The big issue was the drum throne that came with the kit. It’s far too high for the kids that the kit is marketed for. Even at its lowest setting, a small child will be reaching for the pedals. So, we suggest getting a smaller throne if your child is three to six years old.
Verdict: The Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit is an excellent drum kit option for kids with small spaces to set the kit up. It’s very compact, yet it has full tones with plenty of depth. The cymbals sound very bad, but that’s not too important for a child who is just starting out. You’ll just need to get a smaller drum throne for a young child to feel more comfortable.
A compact drum kit with finish options that are amazing for kids.
A high-quality drum kit from PDP that is intended for drummers to use for gigs where large kits won’t fit. The smaller size makes it a good fit for kids, though. It also has bright finish options that are highly appealing to children.
While this kit isn’t directly aimed at kids, the Pale Rose and Electric Green Sparkle finishes made us instantly add it to this list. You’ll find that kids are more interested in looks than sounds at first, and these finishes are perfect for getting kids interested in their kit.
Once they’re at the kit and playing, they’ll realize how good it feels. We appreciated the great build quality here. We loved the PDP mini-turret lugs, and we found the tones to be very punchy and strong.
The 16-inch bass drum was low enough to allow us to position all the drums fairly low to the ground, allowing easy reach for a young child. It’s a top-quality kit that a young kid can easily grow into.
The big issue is that it just comes as a shell pack. You’ll need to get hardware and cymbals separately, and that will boost the price quite a bit.
Verdict: The PDP New Yorker is a good compact set with finish options that any child will love. It’s the kind of set that you can get for your kid and then use it yourself for gigs where a small kit would be a better option. It has excellent build quality with good tones. You just need to add some cymbals and hardware stands to have a full kit setup.
A full drum kit package with smaller shells and cymbals to cater to young children.
A small kit that is designed for children from the ages of three to seven. It’s an excellent beginner kit, giving toddlers the feeling of playing a larger set structure.
The PDP Player Junior has the same design concept as the Pearl Roadshow Jr. We felt this kit was a bit flimsier, but it’s still a great option for young kids.
The bass drum is 18”, which gave us a meatier tone than what the Roadshow had. Other kid drum sets have 16-inch kick drums, so we thought this was a cool and unique feature. It still allowed us to set the toms low, as you can sink the arms quite deep inside the bass drum shell.
The tom and snare tones were also better than we expected them to be, and we could tune them to sound great in medium to high settings.
Like the Roadshow, the cymbals were terrible. These are the first things you’ll want to replace if your child starts taking drumming seriously.
Verdict: The PDP Player Junior is an excellent kit for children aged three to seven. It will feel a bit small for kids older than that, so it’s a good starter kit to have before buying something with regular shell sizes. The tones are surprisingly good, and we were particularly impressed with the low-end of the kick drum. You’ll just need to replace the cymbals to have a decent overall sound.
The undisputed best electronic drum set option for kids.
This kit offers so much value in a small package. The height suits children perfectly, and the extensive module features will keep them busy for hours on end.
The Nitro Mesh is one of the most loved electronic drum kits on the market. It’s only a good option for beginners, though, so we don’t suggest getting it for a kid with a few years of experience.
While it’s a kit for all ages, the drums all sit quite low to the ground, allowing young children to feel right at home.
We think this is the best electronic drum kit for kids as it’s very affordable, and it has large mesh pads that are great for developing good drumming technique. The module is also packed with features, and we loved switching through the 40 preset drum kit sounds.
This kit would be a better option compared to the Turbo Mesh that we mentioned earlier, purely due to the fact that it has a proper kick drum pedal. It’s a bit more expensive, though.
Verdict: The Alesis Nitro Mesh is a top-tier electronic drum kit option for kids. It’s arguably the best option, considering the value for money that it has. With a short frame and large mesh pads, kids will love how it feels to play. They’ll also love all the sounds that you can fiddle with on the module.
A cool toy drum set for babies.
This is a great toy to get for a child to start them on their rhythm journey. It’s for kids that are aged around one or two, and it has a few playful features to keep them interested.
If you really want to start them young, this is an incredible toy to get a child. It has bright colors to keep babies fascinated, and the interactive features will keep them fairly entertained.
We loved the educational aspects of it. A small kid will have fun hitting the pads while also learning the alphabet and counting different numbers. We thought the follow-along feature was a great introduction to rhythm and coordination.
We found the hard pads to be quite loud, but the rubber sticks provided minimized the sound a bit. We were also able to adjust the sounds that the drums made, giving us even more variety.
Overall, it’s a fantastic toy. Just keep in mind that this is only going to appeal to incredibly young kids that aren’t able to sit at a drum set yet.
Verdict: The VTech KidiBeats Drum Set is an excellent drum kit toy for babies. It’s a lot of fun for them to play, and there are plenty of features to keep them entertained and learning at the same time. It’s very inexpensive, so it’s an easy toy to get for a kid that shows a bit of rhythmic potential.
A good kids’ electronic drum set with impressive sound quality.
This is Roland’s most affordable drum set. It has sizes that cater better to kids, so it’s become a popular option for children since its release.
We found the Roland TD-1K to have amazing playability. It wouldn’t be something we recommend to adults due to the rubber pads and kick trigger pedal, but it’s certainly a top-quality option for kids.
We thought it had much better sound quality than any of the Alesis drum sets, so it’s a good pick for a kid who wants the best-sounding electronic drums.
We loved how compact it was. You can fold it up and move it around, making it ideal to fit anywhere where your child is most likely to play it.
The downside is that it’s very expensive for what it is. If you’re happy to spend the money, you’ll appreciate the sound quality and playability. If you’re a bit hesitant, you’ll be better off with one of the Alesis kits.
Verdict: The Roland TD-1K is a premium electronic drum kit option for kids. It has an extremely small footprint, and the sound quality is much better than what you’d get from Alesis drum kits. Just note that it’s a fairly expensive option. It’s a good kit to get if you want your child to learn what high-quality drum kit sounds are.
A compact drum kit with incredibly small shell sizes.
A similar kit to the PDP New Yorker, but its shell sizes are a lot smaller, making it even more appropriate for small kids to play on.
We thought this AQX Micro kit had amazing quality. It’s another kit that drummer dads would love to get for their children, but they’d have just as much fun playing it themselves.
The bass drum is only 14”, which is the same size as most snare drums. The toms and snare are even smaller, allowing you to make a small kid setup that will feel great to play.
We appreciated the build quality the most. The Sonor SmartMount and die-cast lugs made the kit feel very solid. Although the drums are tiny, this felt like a kit that would stand the test of time.
Overall, it’s a fantastic option for any kid aged four to twelve. It’s another shell pack, so remember that you’ll need to buy cymbals and hardware on their own.
Verdict: The Sonor AQX Micro is an amazing tiny kit that will work well for both kids and experienced drummers. The miniature bass drum is highly unique, and it somehow produces deep tones that compete with the other bass drums on kids’ drum sets. The hardware quality is the standout aspect, and it ensures that this kit will last many years.
How to Choose the Best Drum Sets for Kids
The biggest feature to take into consideration when getting a drum kit for a child is size. Depending on the age, a standard drum kit will be too big to be played comfortably. A small child would be reaching for the pedals and all the cymbals.
The smaller the kit is, the better it will be for young ages. However, some kits are too small, and it would be better to get a standard-sized kit for a child who is bordering on their teenage years.
You could also bank on getting a kit that a child can grow into. If your child keeps their love for drumming up through the years, you’ll need to get a larger kit as they get older. If you start with a large one, you won’t need to make that purchase again. You just need to find a sweet spot when it comes to size and age.
Acoustic Drum Sets
Acoustic and electronic kits are your two options. Acoustic kits are the standard drums with wooden shells and metal parts. They don’t need to be plugged in, and they have a setup with cymbals and separate stands to hold everything together.
While acoustic drum sets are typically the better option to go with, you should think carefully about it when getting a drum set for a child.
Acoustic kits are very loud, so you should also get suitable ear protection along with whatever kit you purchase. They’re also comprised of multiple parts that may not come with the kit that you buy. You often need to buy sticks and a drum throne separately.
If you’re happy with those aspects, then you should go ahead with an acoustic kit. It will have much better playability than an electronic kit, especially in the kid drum set range.
Electronic Drum Sets
Electronic drum sets involve a set of rubber or mesh pads that are set up to mimic acoustic kits. They work electronically with the pads triggering sounds that come through a drum module.
For kids, electronic drum kits work incredibly well. They’re easy on the ears, and most electronic kits have multiple sounds and features that will keep children entertained for hours. They’re a lot of fun to play.
The drawbacks are that electronic drums don’t quite replicate the exact feeling of acoustic drums. If you want your child to develop good playing techniques, it will be a lot harder on an e-kit.
You also need to buy a set of headphones or a small amp to be able to hear the drum sounds coming from the module. With that being said, inexpensive electronic kits are a lot more affordable than acoustic drum kits, considering that you don’t need to buy too many extras.
Toy Drum Sets
If you want something very inexpensive to get for a toddler, a toy drum set may be a better option. These toys are designed to look like drum sets in some way, but they don’t share the same rich tonal qualities and durability.
The easiest way to tell the difference between a toy set and a real set is by checking the colors. Toy sets are always over-the-top colorful. You also can’t change their drumheads to get better tones.
Real drum sets can be identified by seeing that there are shells made out of certain woods, cymbals made from either brass or bronze, and hardware that can be set up in different ways.
For any kid older than five years of age, getting a toy drum set won’t be a good idea.
There are a few factors that will determine the price of a drum set. For acoustic drums, it depends on the type of wood, hardware density, and overall build quality. For electronic drums, it depends on the module technology and whether the kit has rubber or mesh drum pads.
We don’t recommend spending too much on a drum set for kids. You never know if their passion will stick, so it’s better to get something affordable that can be sold for a decent price if it goes unused for too long. Luckily, these days you can get a great set for pretty cheap (unlike old 80s kits like the CB700s that many went through back in the day).
If your child ends up loving the drums and becoming a fantastic player, you can always add small upgrades to a set that will improve its quality, such as getting better cymbals.
Final Thoughts on the Best Drum Sets for Kids
It’s impressive how many high-quality options there are for kids. You’re spoiled for choice, as all the kits we’ve mentioned will work very well for learning the drums.
Here’s a quick recap on our picks. The Pearl Roadshow Jr. is our Top Pick, as it caters best to small children while feeling like a solid drum set. The Mendini by Cecilio Kids Drum Set is the Best Budget Option. It’s insanely cheap, and it’s a good starter kit for a kid who is showing a bit of interest in drumming. The Mapex Venus Fusion is our Editor’s Choice. This is what you should get a child who shows massive potential and will continue to use it for a decade or longer.