• 10 Best Coloring Books for Adults in 2022 (ColorIt, Steve McDonald, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Coloring Books for Adults in 2022 (ColorIt, Steve McDonald, and More) 2
  • 10 Best Coloring Books for Adults in 2022 (ColorIt, Steve McDonald, and More) 3
  • 10 Best Coloring Books for Adults in 2022 (ColorIt, Steve McDonald, and More) 4
  • 10 Best Coloring Books for Adults in 2022 (ColorIt, Steve McDonald, and More) 5

10 Best Coloring Books for Adults in 2022 (ColorIt, Steve McDonald, and More)

Coloring books for adults are a great pastime, as they offer both stress-relief, creative outlet, and a chance to hone your dexterity. You can even learn about color theory or a specific subject. In this article, we'll cover our 10 favorite coloring books for adults. There's also a buying guide at the end that will help you find the best choice for you.


If you're having trouble choosing a book for yourself or a gift, check out our list of favorites. We love Blue Star Coloring's Stress-Relieving Patterns for its variety of patterns, which makes this a coloring book suitable for beginner to advanced levels. We've also included many other fun choices, so take a look below!

Featured in this article

mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 08-30-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Coloring Book for Adults - Buying Guide

When choosing a coloring book, it's important to keep in mind what coloring tools you plan to use and what you hope to achieve through coloring. 


Of course, taking a look through the designs and getting an idea of what the coloring book aims to do is important, but remember to check details like paper quality and binding, especially if you plan to use heavier, wetter media or want to hang up your finished piece. 

Think About Why You Want to Color

Perhaps you're looking for a way to clear your mind or you want to play around with colors. There are many reasons to start using coloring books, and there are coloring books to cater to those many reasons. 

Patterns or Mandalas for Stress Relief

Patterns or Mandalas for Stress Relief

Mandala or pattern coloring books are great for those who want to color to practice mindfulness or meditate by coloring. The repetitive elements of the images gives your mind something pleasant to rest on while maintaining an aspect of activeness through the coloring, making them great for stress relief and relaxation.

Themed Coloring Books for Enjoying Your Interests

Themed Coloring Books for Enjoying Your Interests

No matter what you're into, there's likely a coloring book that caters to it. Disney fans can find a plethora of Disney-themed coloring books, just as those who love tattoos can find books where they can color in tattoo designs. Add keywords to your search to help you find a coloring book that will shower you with images of the things you like.


Furthermore, coloring books are a calming, often meditative activity, making it a great time to connect with your spiritual practice. Whatever your beliefs, coloring books with spiritual themes or subjects can be a nice way to help you reflect and connect with your spiritual side. 

Informational Coloring Books for Studying or Knowledge

Informational Coloring Books for Studying or Knowledge

Coloring books may generally be looked at as a hobby, but they can also be a helpful and productive tool. Learning or studying with coloring books is great because it allows for the active association of information with color or structure.

Decide How Intricate You Want the Designs to Be

Decide How Intricate You Want the Designs to Be

Intricate designs may look pretty, but they require time and dexterity. That's why they might not be suitable for elderly adults or others with limited hand function. Moreover, if you don't have a lot of spare time to color, simpler designs may be better because they are quicker to finish. That way, you can enjoy your completed pictures!

Pick a Book That Suits Your Tools

When it comes to coloring utensils, basically anything goes. Different tools produce different effects and you can even mix and match tools to give your coloring pages more depth. 

Colored Pencils for Different Effects

Colored Pencils for Different Effects

Colored pencils are a popular tool because of their versatility. You can easily shade, blend, and build colors, resulting in many possible effects. Coloring in intricate details is as easy as sharpening the pencil. Colored pencils are compatible with most coloring book paper and don't have a high risk of bleed-through. 


However, those who want bright, saturated colors may find themselves a little disappointed when using colored pencils. They may also prove to be tedious when coloring in large areas

Markers for Bold Impact

Markers for Bold Impact

Markers are a favorite for many coloring book enthusiasts. Bright, vibrant colors, as well as faster coloring, can be achieved with markers. Markers can have different tip shapes that make them effective for different goals such as filling in large areas or coloring in small patterns.


However, markers have a high risk of bleeding through to the next page because they are more saturated and wetter. It's important to do a test swatch before coloring in pages to see if there is any bleed-through.

Markers for Bold Impact

You can choose between water- and alcohol-based markers. Water-based markers don't smell and are easy to use. And if they dry out, they can be reactivated by being dipped in water. However, their ink is prone to fading and they take longer to dry on the paper.


Alcohol-based markers are available in plenty of vibrant colors. They're quick-drying and transparent, which means they can be blended. Their ink is also more resistant to fading. The downsides are they may have a strong smell and can bleed through thin paper.

Pens for Small Details and Line Work

Pens for Small Details and Line Work

Gel pens are great for coloring in small patterns or adding cool effects like sparkles or metallics. They are also great to use for adding more detail over other coloring mediums like markers or colored pencils, but are not good for filling in big chunks of space on a coloring page.

Crayons for a Nostalgic Feel

Crayons for a Nostalgic Feel

Crayons may spark nostalgic memories of school, art projects, and of course, coloring books. Crayons are a classic coloring book tool that work well for coloring in large areas or capturing that childhood feel. However, they are difficult to use with precision, making them inadequate for realistic or detailed coloring books.


Alternatively, you can try oil pastels, which are made with a non-drying oil and wax. Their colors are bolder and easy to blend, but also break easily. They feel similar to crayons but may have a steeper learning curve. In return, you get bright and vibrant colors.

Look at the Paper Quality, Binding, and Size

Look at the Paper Quality, Binding, and Size

Coloring books vary in paper quality, binding, and size. Look through descriptions and reviews to ensure that you're choosing a coloring book that is as nice to handle as it is to color. For example, if you want a coloring book to fill your time in waiting rooms or on public transportation, you may find a large coloring book bothersome to bring.


Spiral-bound coloring books lie flat on surfaces, making it easier to color. If this is something that could potentially bother you, prioritize lay-flat or spiral binding. However, most coloring books aren't bound too tight, so they should be able to lie relatively flat.

Look at the Paper Quality, Binding, and Size

Companies typically don't list the paper thickness (GSM) of their coloring books. That means you might have to look carefully at the product descriptions to figure out whether a coloring book is suitable for your coloring tools.


Paper that is too thin risks bleed-through and ripping, which is a problem especially if the coloring book is double-sided. If you plan on only using colored pencils, most coloring books should pose no problem.


And if you want to show off or display your finished work, look for a coloring book with perforated pages. That way, you can easily tear out the page when you've finished coloring it. Store it in a folder, take it with you, or frame it on your wall, the choice is yours.

10 Best Coloring Books for Adults

We have put together a 10 best list with attention to the types and complexity of illustrations, the paper quality, and the entertainment factor. Read on to find your perfect coloring book!

Image
Blue Star Coloring, Adult Coloring Book Teams Stress Relieving Patterns 1

Blue Star Coloring, Adult Coloring Book Teams

Sasha O'Hara Calm the F*ck Down 1

Sasha O'Hara

ColorIt, Hasby Mubarok Blissful Scenes Adult Coloring Book 1

ColorIt, Hasby Mubarok

Steve McDonald Fantastic Cities 1

Steve McDonald

Random House The Splat: Coloring the 90s 1

Random House

Kerby Rosanes Mythomorphia 1

Kerby Rosanes

Johanna Basford Secret Garden 1

Johanna Basford

Caffeinestar Publishing Drinking Animals Coloring Book 1

Caffeinestar Publishing

Coloring Book Cafe 125 Mandalas 1

Coloring Book Cafe

MantraCraft Stress Relieving Animal Designs 1

MantraCraft

Name

Stress Relieving Patterns

Calm the F*ck Down

Blissful Scenes Adult Coloring Book

Fantastic Cities

The Splat: Coloring the 90s

Mythomorphia

Secret Garden

Drinking Animals Coloring Book

125 Mandalas

Stress Relieving Animal Designs

Features

Best Coloring Book for Stress Relief

Best at Humor and Sass

Best for Relaxing Scenery Coloring

Best for the Cityscape Lover

Best for the 90s Kid

Best for an Advanced Challenge

Best for an Intricate Challenge

Best Coloring Book That Doubles as a Recipe Book

Best for Coloring Mandalas

Best for Animal Lovers

Price$9.95$4.99$19.99$10.39$13.49$12.59$9.99$8.97$9.99$5.54
ThemeRelaxing, stress-reliefStress relief, humorRelaxation, sceneryRelaxation, imaginationNickelodeonFantasy, mythologyStress relief, detailed coloringStress relief, recipesMandalasStress relief
Number of designs4521 50584753962412550
Difficulty levelAllAllAllBeginner, intermediateBeginnerAdvancedIntermediate, advancedBeginnerBeginner, intermediateAll
Best forColored pencils, crayons, markersColored pencils, gel pens, markersColored pencils, crayons, markersColored pencils, gel pensColored pencils, gel pensColored pencils, watercolor pencilsColored pencils, gel pens, markersColored pencils, gel pensColored pencils, gel pens, markers, watercolor pencilsColored pencils, gel pens, markers
FeaturesPerforated pages, single-sidedSingle-sidedBlotter included, perforated pages, single-sided, spiral-boundDouble-sidedSingle-sidedDouble-sidedDouble-sidedSingle-sidedSingle-sidedSingle-sided
Link

Blue Star Coloring, Adult Coloring Book TeamsStress Relieving Patterns

$9.95

ThemeRelaxing, stress-relief
Number of designs45
Difficulty levelAll
Best forColored pencils, crayons, markers
FeaturesPerforated pages, single-sided

Sasha O'HaraCalm the F*ck Down

$4.99

ThemeStress relief, humor
Number of designs21
Difficulty levelAll
Best forColored pencils, gel pens, markers
FeaturesSingle-sided

ColorIt, Hasby MubarokBlissful Scenes Adult Coloring Book

$19.99

ThemeRelaxation, scenery
Number of designs50
Difficulty levelAll
Best forColored pencils, crayons, markers
FeaturesBlotter included, perforated pages, single-sided, spiral-bound
ThemeRelaxation, imagination
Number of designs58
Difficulty levelBeginner, intermediate
Best forColored pencils, gel pens
FeaturesDouble-sided
ThemeNickelodeon
Number of designs47
Difficulty levelBeginner
Best forColored pencils, gel pens
FeaturesSingle-sided
ThemeFantasy, mythology
Number of designs53
Difficulty levelAdvanced
Best forColored pencils, watercolor pencils
FeaturesDouble-sided

Johanna BasfordSecret Garden

$9.99

ThemeStress relief, detailed coloring
Number of designs96
Difficulty levelIntermediate, advanced
Best forColored pencils, gel pens, markers
FeaturesDouble-sided

Caffeinestar PublishingDrinking Animals Coloring Book

$8.97

ThemeStress relief, recipes
Number of designs24
Difficulty levelBeginner
Best forColored pencils, gel pens
FeaturesSingle-sided

Coloring Book Cafe125 Mandalas

$9.99

ThemeMandalas
Number of designs125
Difficulty levelBeginner, intermediate
Best forColored pencils, gel pens, markers, watercolor pencils
FeaturesSingle-sided

MantraCraftStress Relieving Animal Designs

$5.54

ThemeStress relief
Number of designs50
Difficulty levelAll
Best forColored pencils, gel pens, markers
FeaturesSingle-sided

Find Some Art Supplies to Go With Your Coloring Book

Now that you know what coloring book you want, you'll need something to color it with. Check out the links below to get you started on finding the tools you need to create a beautiful piece.

Amazon's Best Selling Coloring Books

If you want to explore more options, check out Amazon's best selling list of coloring books for grown-ups.

Author: Rachel Ikegami

Updated by: Eren Gudny, 2/28/2022


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