Best Adult Coloring Books: Top 5 Titles Most Recommended By Experts

Coloring books aren’t just for kids. Plenty of products are available for adults to relieve stress, zone out, and express their creativity without the endless scrolling we usually default to instead. They have exploded in popularity in recent years, offering a fun and relaxing way to unwind. But with countless options on the market, finding the perfect one can feel overwhelming. That’s why StudyFinds sought out the best adult coloring books so you can take a much-needed break from the daily grind. For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which adult coloring books were most frequently listed. Our list is ranked based on the most recommended coloring books for adults across these sites. Let us know if we missed one you love in the comments!

1. “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” by Johanna Basford

adult coloring book with colored pages
“Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book”

“The Secret Garden” adult coloring book knocks it out of the park with its intricate images, thick paper, and interactive options available through digital platforms like YouTube. Coloring books for adults have become a thing for a reason: they’re a fantastic way to unwind and unleash your inner artist. Verywell Mind says this isn’t your average coloring book – it’s a creativity playground! Think intricate mazes, coloring challenges, and even blank space to design your own masterpieces. Whether you’re a seasoned doodler or a coloring newbie, “Secret Garden” has something for everyone. Plus, if you love a design, you can snag it on postcards, notecards, or even a whole journal.

Here’s the thing – this is kind of a cult classic in the coloring book world. New York Magazine swears by it, calling it the undisputed champion of coloring books. They’ve tried others, they admit, but “Secret Garden” reigns supreme. Reviewers rave about the high-quality, heavyweight paper that takes markers and colored pencils like a dream. No more bleed-through or frustration here – just pure coloring bliss!

This book is a visual feast, brimming with intricate animal designs, floral patterns, and swirling paisley. It’s like stepping into a world of imagination with every page, perfect for meditative moments of stress relief and artistic exploration (Artlex).

2. “Calm the F*ck Down” by Sasha O’Hara

 white book cover with patterned border
“Calm the F*ck Down” Coloring Book

Looking for a side of humor with your stress relief? “Calm the F*ck Down” is a great option if you want to get creative without taking yourself too seriously. Verywell Mind says it lives up to its name (in the best way possible). This hilarious book is packed with sassy one-liners and therapeutic swear words – like coloring therapy, but with a whole lot more attitude! The designs are intricately detailed, but not so difficult that they’ll leave you feeling frustrated. Plus, each page is bursting with positive affirmations like “Dance like nobody attractive is watching” – a perfect reminder to let loose and embrace your inner artist. So go ahead, grab your colored pencils, crank up your favorite tunes, and let the stress melt away, one sassy saying at a time!

Okay, so the title might be a bit of a giveaway, but let’s be honest – sometimes we all need a good way to vent. Artlex says this is the ideal coloring book for those who find humor in the unexpected (and maybe a strategically placed curse word). This book isn’t for the kiddos – it’s packed with hilarious insults, funny sayings, and wacky images that range from adorable fairies to majestic animals. Plus, each page is printed on thick, single-sided paper, so you can unleash your inner colorist without worrying about ruining the design on the back.

3. “Stress Relieving Designs” by Cindy Elsharouni 

black background yellow border coloring book
“Stress Relieving Designs” Coloring Book

Calling all nature lovers and coloring enthusiasts! If you’re looking for endless picture-perfect pages of soothing wildlife and nature, the bestselling “Stress Relieving Designs” coloring book is perfect for you. Artlex says this unnamed coloring book is your new best friend. Dive into a world of intricate flora and fauna illustrations – think majestic owls, wise wolves, playful raccoons, and stunning horses. But that’s not all! Swirling paisleys and calming mandalas are sprinkled throughout the book, offering endless opportunities for stress-melting artistic expression. With over 64 unique images to color, this book is a one-way ticket to relaxation station. 

Reviewers also love that this coloring book’s pages are one-sided, eliminating the risk of bleed-through from pencils or markers. The book also comes at a super reasonable price-point, and with the varied images it’s sure to have something for just about everyone.

4. “Art Deco Fashion Coloring Book” by Ada Ashley 

white background book with illustrations of people
“Art Deco Fashion Coloring Book”

Art comes in all shapes, forms and sizes, which is why coloring books aren’t boxed into solely animals or nature anymore, they can be fashion-forward too! New York Magazine is raving about this coloring book that’s equal parts fashion inspiration and historical adventure. Imagine swirling flapper dresses, sharp-shouldered suits, and all the glitz and glamour of the Art Deco era, just waiting for your creative touch.

But here’s the best part: it won’t break the bank. Good Reads says this book is the perfect budget-friendly way to unleash your inner artist. Plus, each page is cleverly perforated and printed on one side only, so you can tear out your masterpieces and display them with pride. Specially designed for experienced colorists, this is an escape into a world of artistic fulfillment and historical flair.

5. “125 Mandalas” by Coloring Book Cafe

back book cover with colorful mandalas
“125 Mandalas” by Coloring Book Cafe

The “125 Mandalas” adult coloring book is all about details, details, details and it’s the perfect choice for those looking for a bit of concentration and challenge while coloring. Verywell Mind says the book’s circular designs, hailing from cultures around the world, are like mini meditations on a page. As you color within the lines (or playfully burst outside them, it’s your world!), you’ll find your mind calming and your worries melting away. Plus, each mandala is printed on a single sheet, so you never have to worry about ruining the masterpiece on the other side. And the best part? The designs come in all shapes and sizes, from beginner-friendly to intricately detailed.

But wait, there’s more! Mind Body Green says this isn’t a one-trick pony. This mandala coloring book boasts a kaleidoscope of designs, from stained glass to classic to gemstone mandalas. So whether you crave a splash of color or a touch of elegance, there’s a mandala waiting to spark your creativity. Grab your favorite art supplies – pencils, crayons, markers, you name it! – and let your worries fade away with every stroke of color. Namaste, colorist!

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

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