Looking to improve relaxation and tap into your artistic side? Coloring books for grown-ups can help you with that. Many adults find coloring to be an effective stress-relieving activity; little wonder it is rapidly increasing in popularity.
To help you get the most out of this art therapy, we’ve compiled a list of the best coloring books for adults.
From the coolest designs to the most zen-inducing options, these carefully curated coloring books for grown-ups will increase your chances of bringing more tranquility into your life as well as stimulate creativity. But first, do coloring books actually work?
Do Adult Coloring Books Work?
Here’s a straightforward answer: yes, they work!
While the activity might seem a bit childish, research reveals that coloring intricate designs like mandalas can bring about a calming effect on the mind, leading to increased relaxation. And we are better equipped to take on life’s challenges when we’re more relaxed and centered.
Think of coloring like meditation; although it doesn’t involve sitting or laying in a meditative pose, it can induce a tranquil state of mind while helping you tap into your artistic side.
You might even play relaxing music in the background during coloring to boost your mood and enhance your overall experience.
6 Best Coloring Books for Adults
Whether you’re a seasoned colorist or just dipping your toes into this therapeutic hobby, these top adult coloring books are your gateway to a world of vibrant imagination.
1. Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
Johanna Basford’s bestselling Enchanted Forest takes you on a magical journey through a whimsical forest filled with enchanting creatures waiting to be discovered and colored.
This special edition of the book features stunning illustrations and intricate details for coloring, making it a captivating book for those seeking a creative escape.
Printed on thicker card stock, this adult coloring book allows you to continue your coloring masterpiece without worrying about bleed-through from the previous page.
Here’s one delightful bonus: Enchanted Forest comes in poster book-style format, making it easy to remove and frame your completed artwork. Each pull-out poster showcases a single image, so it’s easy to choose what to frame and display.View on Amazon
2. The Calm Coloring Book by Patience Coster
Designed specifically for relaxation and stress relief, The Calm Coloring Book contains tranquil landscapes and beautiful images of flora and fauna to please the senses.
Presented in paperback format, this delightful book contains 128 pages of gorgeous scenes, soothing patterns, and mandalas, giving a vast range of images to color.
Regardless of your experience level, you’re sure to find something suitable in Patience Coster’s adult coloring book.View on Amazon
3. 125 Mandalas: Adult Coloring Book by Cath Dobbinson
This adult coloring book takes you into the captivating world of intricate mandalas, designed to ignite your creativity and bring a sense of calm to your life. With 125 intricately crafted mandala designs, this book offers a vast array of patterns, each waiting to come alive with your personal touch.
Its cleverly designed single-sided pages offer you the freedom to unleash your creativity with your preferred coloring medium without worrying about ink or color bleeding through to the other side
125 Madalas is suitable for all levels of enthusiasts, from seasoned colorists in search of a serene escape to newcomers eager to explore the calming world of coloring.View on Amazon
4. Animorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge by Kerby Rosanes
If you enjoy coloring and seek a bit of a challenge, Animorphia is a fantastic choice. This New York Times bestselling coloring book for adults features extremely detailed yet doodle-style illustrations of animals that blend with surreal, imaginative landscapes.
Here’s what sets Animorphia apart: it’s not just a coloring book but also a visual puzzle to solve.
Whether you prefer crayons, markers, or colored pencils, this coloring book works well for a variety of coloring tools. Plus, it is available in three formats: spiral-bound, hardcover, and paperback, so you can choose the style that best suits your coloring preferences.View on Amazon
5. Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
Another masterpiece by Johanna Basford, the Secret Garden, is a beautifully illustrated coloring book filled with intricate designs of plants, animals, and hidden objects. It takes users on a leisurely exploration of a beautiful garden, allowing them to bring the images to life with color.
Containing 96 coloring pages, this interactive book offers a meditative and immersive coloring experience, making it one of the most popular choices among adult colorists.
With over 15 thousand reviews on Amazon and an impressive 4.7-star rating, the Secret Garden is undeniably one of the best coloring books for adults on the market.View on Amazon
6. 101 Incredible Patterns by Madison Taylor
If you’re new to the concept of adult coloring for relaxation, 101 Incredible Patterns is an excellent book to start your coloring journey. It’s captivating and diverse patterns are a welcoming entry point for beginners. Advanced colorists can also enjoy the therapeutic benefits it offers.
With 101 mesmerizing patterns to choose from, you’ll hardly run out of images to color in this easy adult mindfulness coloring book. And featuring over 200 pages of patterns, ranging from simple to complex, it offers plenty of opportunities for creative expression.View on Amazon
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Coloring Books for Adults
There is no right or wrong when it comes to coloring, and there are certainly no hard and fast rules here. Remember that your personal preference counts when picking out an adult coloring book, so make sure to only choose a book that vibes with you. This is the best way to ensure a relaxing experience while coloring.
That said, here are some factors to keep in mind when making your selection:
- Complexity: While anyone can benefit from coloring, no matter their skill level, you want to factor in the book’s design. Some adult coloring books offer intricate, detailed designs that may be more suitable for experienced colorists, while others have simpler patterns ideal for beginners. Choose a book that matches your comfort level and desired challenge.
- Theme and subject matter: Coloring books come in a wide range of themes, from nature and animals to mandalas, fantasy, and more. It is usually a good idea to choose a theme that resonates with your interests and preferences. Besides helping you to relax, a book with a theme you love will keep you engaged and motivated.
- Paper quality: Pay attention to the paper quality of the coloring book. Thicker, high-quality paper is better for colored pencils, markers, or watercolors. Thin paper may lead to bleed-through or tearing. Keep an eye out for books printed on paper that suit your preferred coloring medium.
- Binding style: Coloring books can have various binding styles, such as paperback, spiral-bound, or hardcover. Choose a binding style that suits your coloring environment and comfort. For example, spiral-bound books are better for laying the pages flat while coloring.
- Illustration style: Different artists have unique illustration styles. Before settling for one, browse the book to see if you connect with the illustrator’s artwork.
- Size and dimensions: Factor in the size of the coloring book. Smaller books are usually more portable, so you can use them nearly everywhere. On the other hand, larger options provide more space for intricate coloring. When choosing an adult coloring book, think about where and how you plan to use it.
- Single-sided or double-sided pages: Decide whether single-sided or double-sided pages work best for you. Single-sided pages allow you to use wet mediums like markers without worrying about bleed-through. Double-sided pages provide more designs in one book but require care when using markers or pens.
- Perforated pages: Some coloring books have perforated pages, making it easy to tear out and frame your finished artwork. This feature can be beneficial if you plan to frame or display your colored pages.
- Reviews and recommendations: Read reviews or seek recommendations from other colorists. Online reviews and social media groups often provide insights into the quality and experience of coloring books.
- Additional features: Some coloring books include extra features like coloring tips, inspirational quotes, or information about the illustrations. These can enhance your coloring experience.