Last Updated: Apr 7, 2023 @ 1:46 pm.

What is the best electric drum set for kids? To find out, we asked our parent readers for their first-hand experiences. Then we interviewed three teachers who have taught percussion for a combined 29 years. Which sets are best for younger kids (under 7)? What about small spaces? Here are the best bets.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best Compact Size

Tried and true brand
We love the quality of the sound samples in this kit—and the rubber heads can take all the abuse a kid can dish out and more.

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Finding the Best Electric Drums for Kids: 3 Quick Tips

Let’s talk electric or electronic drums for kids.

First, why trust me? Yes, I am the drummer in the back playing in a tribute band with a basic set of Roland electronic drums:

And of course, I’ve also played with acoustic drums over the years, learning the key differences between both experiences.

You probably realize the key advantages of electronic drums: they can be played with headphones (and make a fraction of the noise of acoustic drums). And they never need tuning. Electric drums allow you to play a variety of kit sounds (sampled from acoustic and drum machine sounds), better fitting today’s musical trends. 

Before I go over recommended kits, here is a quick 411 on electric drums.

  1. What do you get for more money? Yes, you’ll see a wide variety of price points when it comes to electronic drums, from entry-level kits aimed at beginners to more advanced kits that run thousands of dollars. Here’s the key thing to keep in mind: the more you spend, the better the triggers (mesh versus rubber heads) and the better sound quality and number of samples (multiple different kits versus a limited number of sounds). You also get features like the ability to choke a cymbal.
  2. What kind of space do you have? Even the most compact electric drum sets can take up a good amount of floor space. Besides these kit-based drums, there are also tabletop models that are great for kids or just for practice.
  3. Brand reputation does make a difference when it comes to durability. This matters more if your child is more serious about this hobby—that is, taking the kit and playing with others, versus just practicing at home. The best brands, Alesis and Roland, may be worth the extra investment. If you are trying to develop drum skills to play with other musicians, investing in a brand name kit makes more sense. 

When it comes to recommending drum kits, we break down these picks based on different uses: younger kids (under 7), travel/portable solutions and more.

What is the difference between kits designed for adults versus kids? Adult-sized electric drums better mimic the distance between heads (triggers) that you see in an acoustic set . . . but all that space can be more difficult for a child to play on. And for some kids just starting out, a desktop model may make more sense if space is at a premium.

Best Compact Size: Roland TD-1K Entry-level Electronic V-Drum Set

Roland is to electronic drums what Tesla is to electric cars—they set the standard for quality and ease of use. This model, the TD-1K is their entry level kit and is sized to fit into compact spaces. We liked the features here, including the same quality drum samples (sounds) that are featured on Roland’s most expensive kits.

What We Liked

• Rubber pads can take a beating.

• Very good quality sound samples.

• Great for practice.

• Small footprint.

What Needs Work

• Foot pedal triggers don’t have same responsiveness as acoustic pedals.

• Rubber pads are louder than mesh heads.

• Pricey, especially consider there is no throne.

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Best For Kids Under 7

Great for those starting out
Excellent bang for the buck here—note the included throne and 100 sample sounds. Controller is super easy to use.

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Best For Kids Under 7: Alesis Drums Debut Kit – Kids Drum Set

For the youngest learners, we liked this kit by Alesis for its easy to use controller (yes, there are built-in lessons). The quality of the samples is also impressive, given the price. Note the 100 different samples. 

What We Liked

 Sized nicely for kids just starting out.

• Easy to move from room to room.

• Good sounding samples.

• Can play in headphones or output to amplifier.

• Affordable.

• 60 drum lessons.

What Needs Work

• Small pads may frustrate older drummers. best electric drum set for kids

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Best For Travel

Excellent for practice
The headphone jack is the star feature here—so kids can practice to their heart's content! Good sound and easy to use. Nice feature: rolls up for storage.

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Best For Travel: Electronic Drum Set, Roll Up Drum Practice Pad

If your child wants to take their percussion on the road or your house is space-limited, a desktop practice pad is a good solution.

Let’s be honest—not everyone has the room to set up a big electric drum kit like the previous pick. And when it comes to kids just starting out, an affordable desktop model might be more appropriate than a full-size kit. 

After trying out several brands, we like this one by Paxcess as the best bet for most kids. Basically, it offers decent sound and is super easy to use—plus it has a built-in speaker and (yes) a headphone jack.

What We Liked

 Easy to use.

• Great for practice.

• Headphone jack or use the built-in speakers.

• Mp3 jack to play along with other tracks.

• Portable—can be rolled up into a small size to fit in a backpack.

• Comes with drum sticks.

• Includes pedals for bass drum and high hat expression.

What Needs Work

• Sound bleeds from triggers too close together.

• A bit of lag time between pad strike and sound. best electric drum set for kids

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Best For Toddlers

Headphone jack is a plus
The sound quality from the built-in speaker is quite impressive for this little pad. We love the small footprint, perfect for those starting out.

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Best For Toddlers: Electronic Drum Set Kids

We know—the smallest kid learners may not be able to sit even at a kid-sized drum kit. When it comes to toddlers, a desktop practice pad may be the best solution. We asked our parent readers for their favorites in this category and heard about this pad—it impressed us with its good sound and small footprint.

What We Liked

• Easy to use.

• Good sound.

• Small footprint.

• Good for beginners.

• No batteries.

What Needs Work

• Crosstalk (hitting one pad may trigger the others). best electric drum set for kids

About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

best electric drum set for kids

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

best electric drum set for kids