Updated: March 23rd, 2023
Finding the best drum set for kids who are learning to play can be challenging. They’ll need a junior kit due to their shorter arms and legs, but you won’t want to spend too much since all too soon they will graduate to a full-size kit. You will also want something that is not too complicated to use and is easy to maintain (since that will probably be your job!), but it has to produce a decent sound or your child might become discouraged in their progress.
That’s a pretty tall order, so where do you start? I’ve put together a list of the fifteen best junior drum kits for kids to get you started. I have also included a complete buying guide for parents, so you know exactly what to look for when choosing the right set for your drum-friendly household.
- 16x16” bass, 17x10” tom, 13x13” floor tom, 5x14” snare
- 7-ply wood shells with Remo heads
- Stackable, with nylon storage bags included
Best Junior Drum Sets For Kids – Top Picks
15 Best Junior Drum Sets For Kids Reviewed
- Four-drum set for a more complete drumming experience
- Quality wood with good Remo heads
- Compact and portable for storage and travel
- Travel bags double up as dampeners
- Relatively expensive
- Cymbals and foot pedal not included
- 16×16” bass, 17×10” tom, 13×13” floor tom, 5×14” snare
- 7-ply wood shells with Remo heads
- Stackable, with nylon storage bags included
All of the Ludwig Questlove junior drum kits are among the top-rated on the market, and this 2022 set has been extremely popular. It comes as a four-piece drum set with bass, tom, floor tom, and snare, but note that the kick pedal and cymbals need to be purchased separately. This is standard with most basic drum kits, and the good news is that you can start with affordable cymbals and then upgrade as your drummer improves, transferring the cymbals to their full-size kit later.
This kit is stackable for easy storage, and portable with nylon bags included. These are designed to double up as dampening bags so your child can keep the noise down while practicing during unsociable hours.
Verdict: This kit is at the more expensive end when it comes to drums for kids, but it is a great choice for serious drummers who have a passion that is likely to carry on over the years.
- Easy to assemble and maintain
- Highly affordable
- Durable and difficult to break
- Limited kit with only three drums
- Avid drummers will grow out of this kit quickly
This 3-piece kit is excellent for kids from 2.5 to 5 ft tall and is available in several attractive colors. Featuring three drums and a cymbal, your child will look forward to drum sessions on this model. The 16-inch bass drum has six lugs on each side of the head to keep the drum stable, while the hanging tom and snare each have five lugs on the sides of their heads.
Other necessary parts include a bass drum pedal, cymbal holder, snare drum stand, drum throne, an assembly manual, and two drumsticks. There is no floor drum or hi-hat, but your kid will enjoy spending time on it regardless.
Verdict: If you have a small child who seems like they are interested in drumming, this is a great affordable set to test their talent and interest. They won’t break this while they play, and it will help prepare them for a more professional kit as they grow.
- Full range of different elements
- All pieces included to get started
- Well-made with 12-month warranty
- Very affordable
- Drum heads could be better quality
Eastar is a brand known for high-quality drum sets such as this one. The tom, bass, and cymbal all produce a good sound, and the drum skins vibrate uniformly and wonderfully. There is a key included so you can tighten and adjust the drum heads properly.
Eastar drums are made of wood, with plastic heads and metal hardware. The metal parts were passed through a high level of electroplating to ensure the appearance is not treated lightly. On observing the drum set, you know the parts are not going to come apart any time soon.
Verdict: Considering the price and quality, this drum set is well recommended as a mini version of a professional drum set for young drum enthusiasts.
- Cheapest complete junior-sized drum set on the market
- Includes everything needed to start playing
- Surprisingly good sound for a kid’s set
- Low-quality cymbals and hi-hat
The kit includes a 16×11” bass with a foot pedal, two mounted toms at 8×6” and 10×5”, a mounted snare at 10×6”, an 8” hi-hat with a stand, a 10×12” floor tom, a 10” cymbal with arm, and a stool and drumsticks. It is relatively easy to assemble to get started right away. With time, the cymbals will need to be upgraded to something more professional.
The Mendini kit also comes in 6 color options. That’s not a huge difference and doesn’t impact how the drums sound, but in my experience, drum color can influence a child’s motivation to practice.
Hear the kit in action!
Verdict: The Mendini 5-piece junior kit is the best kid’s drum set for those on a budget. Before you buy, though, check out my Mendini by Cecilio junior drum set review.
- All necessary components are included to start drumming immediately
- Drum sound is exceptional for the price
- Video instructions and playing tips are included
- Drum heads will require upgrading for optimal sound
- Cymbals are low quality and may need replacement as you advance
With the Ludwig Questlove Pocket Kit, drummer legend Ahmir Khalib “Questlove” Thompson aimed to create a drum set that would provide a full-scale playing experience for young drummers, and his pocket kit hits a bullseye with a quality-to-price ratio that fits just about any budget.
The hardwood drum shells are durable and sound surprisingly good for a kit at this price point. (Check out the video provided below and judge for yourself.) With some tuning experimentation along with some drum head upgrades, the Questlove Pocket Kit will sound exceptionally good. (For the drum head upgrades, see the “Making A Junior Drum Set Sound Fabulous” section below.)
Verdict: This kit is so good that a professional drummer could use it for portable gigging. Your child will certainly come a long way on their drumming journey with such a good-quality option.
- Lightweight and portable – play whenever you want
- Good value for your money
- Suitable for both beginners and professional drummers
- Bluetooth MIDI
- AeroBand app is free to download
- Complete junior drum set with bass, tom, and snare
- Cymbal and cymbal arm included, along with drum throne and drumsticks
- Available in five different colors
- Two hanging toms, bass, and cymbal
- Drum throne and sticks included
- Available in blue, red, and black
- Adjustable-height snare stand
- Adjustable-height, foldable drum throne
- Quality components including real wood drum bodies
- Comes in three different colors
- Solid poplar wood drum bodies
- Top-quality chrome hardware and accents
- Adjustable-height throne, snare stand, and hi-hat
- Real brass cymbals
- Hi-hat and bass drum pedals feature chains instead of straps.
- Durable drums, stands, and drumsticks
- Suitable for a beginner young drummer
- Compact size, perfect for young kids & small spaces
- Poplar hardwood drum shells
- Attractive chrome hardware/accents
- Comes in 5 colors
- Ideal for taller pre-teens and teens who have outgrown kid-size drum sets
- Adjustable height stands
- Sturdy components
- Quality drum skins
- Wood drum shells
- Chrome-plated hardware
- Adjustable stands
- Compact size
- Electronic drum kit with drum brain for learning
- Includes 4 drum pads, 3 cymbals, 2 foot pedals, headphones, stool, and sticks
- Play to speaker or headphones
- Smaller size for easier reach
Junior Drum Kit Buying Guide For Parents
There is a range of different drum kits for kids, from sets that are little more than toys to get kids accustomed to the drums, to full professional kits on a smaller scale for smaller bodies.
There are now also virtual and electronic options which can be connected to apps and other specialized equipment to produce excellent sounds.
The type of drum set you purchase should depend on your budget and the interest your child has in music.
Before you begin your quest for the perfect junior drum kit, you need to know whether you are looking for a toy for toddlers to develop an affinity for the drums, a starter kit to help them develop basic skills, or a more professional kit for avid players that are progressing seriously on their drumming journey.
You will want to look for a junior drum kit if your child is less than five feet tall. They are smaller so your child can comfortably reach the bass drum pedal and the cymbal (highest and lowest points of the drum set) while sitting on the drum throne.
These junior drum sets will work best if he/she is between 2.5 ft and 5 ft tall. Shorter children will have to stretch, but will at least be growing into the set. Taller kids will need bigger drum sets to avoid unhealthy squatting which will obviously get worse in time.
So, if your child is taller than 5 ft or quickly approaching that mark, I recommend you consider purchasing a full-size beginner drum set instead. You can check out this article for my best full-size beginner drum sets.
Typically, you should only consider a basic three-piece drum kit for younger children (under six) who aren’t ready for serious learning yet, or as a cheap kit for kids who are just testing their interest in learning to play. Be aware, though, if they do find a passion for drums you will want to upgrade.
If you don’t know much about drums yourself, you will probably want to choose a complete kit that comes with everything, including the foot pedal and cymbals. These kits tend to be easy to assemble, and you don’t have to seek out additional pieces.
If you know quite a bit about drums, you could be better off buying a shell kit that includes the main drums and then finding the remaining items yourself. You can spend a little more on quality pieces that can be moved to a full-size kit in the future if they are still in good condition that way.
If you are worried about getting your child a drum kit due to the space and sound, remember that there are options to develop their talent that won’t have your neighbors complaining. Consider electronic drums or even air drums; while they will need to graduate to acoustic drums eventually, these can be great tools for kids who are learning.
Making A Junior Drum Set Sound Fabulous
If you have a junior drum kit that needs an upgrade to match your child’s growing skill, you can do a few simple things to make it sound fabulous.
The first thing to do is to buy new heads, new cymbals, or – ideally – both. This is the main area where costs are cut on more affordable drum kits, so they are the elements that will make the biggest difference to the sound produced by the kit.
Looking For Alternatives?
If your child is taller than 5ft or will soon be taller than that, I recommend you look for a complete full-size drum set for beginners instead.
What age is a junior drum set for?
Junior drum kits are for children who are too short to play a full-size drum set. This is generally children between 2.5 and 5 feet tall. Some junior drum sets are simplified for younger children to make them more affordable and easier for toddlers and young kids to engage with.
Which drum is best for beginners?
For kids who are old enough to seriously learn the drums (about six and up) and are therefore looking for more than a toy, it is a good idea to skip the drums that only have the snare and toms and choose something that also includes a bass drum and cymbal. It is important for them to learn how all the elements coordinate, and they will be missing a big part of that without a foot pedal and cymbal.
What is the best age to start drumming?
You can start learning to drum at any age, and you are never too old to master the art. When it comes to kids, it is recommended not to put them in drum classes until they are around six years old. Prior to this, they are unlikely to have the mental focus or the coordination to make serious progress when learning, but a toy drum kit that will familiarize them with the concept and sound of drums is a great idea for younger kids.
Is drumming good for kids?
Kids gain a lot from learning the drums. It develops coordination and fine motor skills, and teaches them rhythm and music fundamentals. It also teaches them how to develop new skills through deliberate practice as well as the discipline needed to master a new skill.