6 Relaxing Coloring Books Amazon Reviewers Swear By

Coloring combines both the logical and creative parts of the brain and prompts you to focus on one task, allowing the worries of the day to melt away. As more people turn to coloring books as a source of comfort and fun, the market has been saturated with options and it can be more difficult to find quality books. The best coloring books for adults features a variety of designs that challenge you at your level, and are made from paper that is thick enough to accommodate your preferred writing tool, whether that's markers, gel pens, or pencils.

There are a few things to consider before buying a coloring book to ensure your experience is relaxing and stimulating. For starters, paper shouldn’t be so thin that your color bleeds onto other pages, and if you prefer working with markers it's important to choose a book with thicker paper or even a black background that ensures your color won't bleed through. If you like to display your work, look for perforated pages or single-sided paper that is easy to tear out.

Depending on your preferences you can find adult coloring books that feature animals, mandalas, flowers, and even hilarious quotes and inspiring mantras. A book designed with intricate drawings that take up an entire page is usually best for intermediate to advanced artists and anyone who wants a long-term project. If you're just starting out or are strapped for time, designs with larger spaces that are smaller on the page may be more your speed.

Get ready for some active relaxation — these are the best coloring books for adults that will keep your mind challenged and rested.


The Overall Best Coloring Book

As one of the original adult coloring books that is sometimes credited for kickstarting a brand-new devotion to coloring, the Secret Garden coloring book has more than 7,500 reviews and a 4.7-star rating. This book of detailed pen and ink illustrations is filled with flowers and greenery, and even little hidden garden creatures. Find them as you color and check off the key in the back to keep track of your discoveries.

Many reviewers rave about the variety of its designs and commented on the thickness of the paper, saying the heavy paper will stop bleed through from ink pens. The pages do feature back-to-back designs, which limits your ability to color with some markers. However, its intricacies and edge-to-edge designs keep artists and novices alike focus and entertained for hours.

Helpful Review: “ ... trust me, NO other book compares to Johanna Basford's coloring books ... The paper quality is FANTASTIC. I cannot express how much I RECOMMEND this book!!!! This is an AWESOME coloring book for adults, and a great stress reliever for anyone (retired, at-home-mommies, hard-workers needing a break, etc)."


Best Motivational Coloring Book

Color your way to a better day with this inspirational coloring book. This book features both designs and quotes that inspire you to stay positive, grateful, and fearless in your pursuit of your goals. The heavy paper is bright white, which most reviewers noted that they prefer, and is single-sided and designed to be used with markers, colored pencils, gel pens, or even watercolors.

The pages are not perforated, but reviewers say they were able to cut the pages out easily. The quotes are short and sweet — for example, "start each day with a grateful heart" — and offer something positive to focus on while you relax.

Helpful Review: “I love this book! I love coloring with brush pens in my spare time to relax and recently ordered a few books. This is by far my favorite. So much variety and I love the quotes! Super fun to color. I was quite surprised to find that the back of the pages are black and have a cute pattern as well. No bleeding and worry for showing through to the other side."


Best Nature Coloring

Calling all budding horticulturists: this coloring book features 100 designs made up of a variety of flowers, as well as some more intricate mandala flower designs. The backside of each single-sided page is black, ensuring markers and gel pens won't bleed through, though the pages are not perforated.

The designs are less intricate than some other books and fill up a medium-sized space on the pages, which is better for a beginner or intermediate, according to reviewers. But even if you've been coloring for ages, this is a great book to pull out when you want a dose of floral charm or only have a few minutes to color.

Helpful Review: “Love, love, love the delightful variety of pictures in this adult coloring book. I especially appreciate that the pictures have medium size areas to work with so that it doesn't take forever to finish one!"


Best Mandala Coloring Book

Mandalas are popular among coloring book lovers and offer a more intricate and creative coloring experience. This single-sided mandala coloring book features high-resolution illustrations that are designed to relieve stress. Reviewers rave about the variety of design difficulty, but the paper is on the thin side, so marker lovers may want to choose a different book or try their hand at using colored pencils instead.

The pages are not perforated and are not designed to be removed, but hundreds of reviewers say the designs are beautiful and purposeful, and that they stimulate your brain and challenge your creativity.

Helpful Review: “This artwork is challenging, and thought-provoking, which I really prefer in my adult coloring books. My long-forgotten art classes were challenged into memory with this — some of the patterns were so well done that I could take one color and make a striking, even elegant design with only one color. This is a very satisfying book for me.”


Best Animal Coloring Book

Bring your favorite animals to life with this New York Times bestselling coloring book. It features 65 detailed animals such as lions, horses, rams, elephants, and owls to please any animal lover. The paper is heavy and single-sided, perfect for any coloring tool you like, though it is unclear whether the pages of perforated.

If you’re looking for a book that caters to a variety of skill levels, this is for you. Some reviewers mentioned this inconsistency can be frustrating for experts, while others say the variety allowed them to share the more simplistic designs with their kids, or even improve their own skills. On the more difficult designs, the lines are very complex and require a pen or a very sharp pencil to color in.

Helpful Review: “This is a wonderful coloring book with artistic drawings of animals that will delight any animal lover. I just received this book yesterday and have finished coloring the turtle. I used gel pens for this picture but some of the drawings will have to be colored with pencils as some of the pictures have tiny, tiny areas. I am very happy with this book and would recommend it to anyone that isn't afraid of a challenge.”


Best Inappropriate Coloring Books For Adults

If you need a little levity in your life, this coloring book will make you chuckle while you flex your creative muscles. It’s packed with sarcastic, relatable phrases like “suck it up, buttercup,” or “home is where the vodka is.” These quotes are accompanied by a labyrinth of designs like fairies, animals, people, and random doodles that range in difficulty. The book is single-sided with perforated pages and features 21 designs, though some reviewers say the paper quality is too thin for markers.

As you may predict from its title, this book does use profanity, but more than 4,000 reviewers love that it's a reminder not to take everything so seriously.

Helpful Review: “I mostly choose coloring books with animal designs, mandalas, and various patterns but I needed something to satisfy my sarcastic side. Once I found this book, I immediately ordered it because many reviewers claimed it was stress-relieving AND hilarious, which was exactly what I needed! When I started coloring in this book, I couldn't believe how funny and sarcastic it is! Seriously, you can't own this book and not laugh while coloring in it. The saying goes, "Laughter is the best medicine" and this book is a very inexpensive and enjoyable way to relax.”