Ostheimer Vs. Holztiger

A comparative analysis between two European toy makers

Ostheimer and Holztiger are both manufacturers of wooden animals (among other things). I’m going to break down the similarities and differences so you can easily compare the pro’s and con’s when deciding which brand to buy.

First, the similarities…

Both make high-quality, handcrafted figures with sustainably-harvested wood. Both primarily make wooden animals, but have other figures and accessories as well (such as people and trees).

Now for the differences…

Manufacturing Location:  

Ostheimer is made in Germany, while Holztiger doesn’t specify a country, but is made in Europe. Both are German-based companies.


The wood: Ostheimer is “Made of certified wood” and Holztiger is “Made of hard maple and beechwood”

The finish: Ostheimer is colored with non-toxic stains and finished with natural plant-based oils. Holztiger is colored with non-toxic water-based paint and finished with a water-based sealant.

The Overall Look:

Generally, Ostheimer animals are more abstract looking when compared to Holztiger. Holztiger are more realistically cut and often have more details, such as eyes and mouths painted on. Due to the use of stain vs. paint, Ostheimer figures have a more muted color scheme, whereas Holztiger figures have a more vibrant color scheme. I’ll do some side-by-side comparisons below.


Typically, I’ve found that Holztiger is cheaper. I’ll include prices in the side-by-side comparison below. For the purposes of this comparison, I took prices for Ostheimer from Bella Luna Toys and prices for Holztiger from Padilly. Both are U.S. based on-line retailers.

Side-By-Side Comparison:  

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of some popular animals, so you can see the difference in both appearance and price. As mentioned above, I took the prices for Ostheimer from Bella Luna Toys and prices for Holztiger from Padilly (both United States-based on-line retailers).


If Google searches are any indication of popularity, Ostheimer is the clear winner. The chart below compares the two search terms from 2014-present. Ostheimer is the blue and Holztiger is the red. (If anyone is curious, the spikes in the chart represent the month of December.)


Ostheimer’s popularity vs. Holztiger
The Modern Mindful Mom

But depending on where you’re located, one brand may be more popular than the other. As shown below, in the United Kingdom, Holztiger is slightly more popular.

*These stats were pulled from Google Trends (a really neat tool to play around with if you’re not familiar with it).

The Variety:

In general, Ostheimer has a wider variety and selection of animals. However, Holztiger does have animals that Ostheimer doesn’t (dinosaurs, for instance). There’s a lot of animals that both companies make (many of your basic animals, like cows, pigs, elephants, giraffes, etc.).

The Bottom Line…

Both Ostheimer and Holztiger are great brands and you can’t go wrong with either! It really comes down to personal preference and what factors are most important to you. And who says you can’t mix and match?!

Which brand do I prefer?

Holztiger. Since both brands are non-toxic and sustainably/ethically made, the next factor I look at when choosing between the two is price. Holztiger is significantly cheaper than Ostheimer (at least in the U.S. where I live). However, I do mix and match, as Ostheimer has some animals that Holztiger doesn’t. And of course I gladly accept either brand as a gift (hint, hint)!

“Which brand is more aligned with Waldorf?”

Ostheimer. Waldorf emphasizes imaginative play and the Ostheimer figures are slightly better from this perspective. For instance, the Holztiger pig shown in my side-by-side is clearly awake and happy. Whereas the Ostheimer pig is expressionless, thus may inspire more imaginative play. For instance, the child may pretend the pig is asleep, sad, or angry.

“Which brand is more aligned with Montessori?”

Holztiger. Montessori emphasizes realistic play and the Holztiger animals are arguably more realistic out of the two. It does depend on the animal as well. Some of Ostheimer’s animals are more realistic than others. For instance, some are more accurate color-wise or have more realistic details (such as eyes).

Where to Buy:

Some of our favorite stores recently started carrying these brands! Natural Baby Co. has a great selection of Ostheimer! Check out Danny & Luca for Holztiger!  

I’d love to hear from you! You can reach out via e-mail or Instagram @modernmindfulmom. Let me know what you think! Which brand do you prefer? Did you like this post? Want to see more like it?


Get the latest posts and more from The Modern Mindful Mom!