• Top 10 Best Desktop Zen Gardens in 2020 (Toysmith, ICNBUYS, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Desktop Zen Gardens in 2020 (Toysmith, ICNBUYS, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Desktop Zen Gardens in 2020 (Toysmith, ICNBUYS, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Desktop Zen Gardens in 2020 (Toysmith, ICNBUYS, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Desktop Zen Gardens in 2020 (Toysmith, ICNBUYS, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Desktop Zen Gardens in 2020 (Toysmith, ICNBUYS, and More)

Sometimes, life feels like a game of whack-a-mole. You finish one thing, and something else pops up. You finish that thing, and then something else pops up. It’s a frustrating, dizzying, tear-inducing game, and you need to stop. Relax. Gaze upon a mini Zen garden.

There’s something about ripples–maybe the way they seem to just flow on forever, freely–that’s supremely calming. This, all Zen gardens have in common. But–and here, we return to the practical side of things–every kit has its own features: from the kind of sand and rocks used to what little statues are included. Only once you know what’s out there (and know yourself) can you find the garden that speaks most directly to you, as the Toysmith Deluxe Zen Garden did for us.
  • Last updated: 07-03-2020
  • 5,966 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Desktop Zen Gardens to Buy Online

Here are ten little gardens that we found both calming and adorable, and they come in different sizes and shapes for your desk.

1

ToysmithDeluxe Zen Garden

$20.48

RakesLong-handled rake, bamboo rake, broom
Extras2 ceramic cranes, polished stones, meditation booklet
Size9 x 9 in.
2

ICNBUYSZen Garden with Boat Bridge

$39.99

RakesPronged rake, pen rake, T rake
ExtrasBoat bridge and others
Size9.4 in. diameter

3. We Pay Your Sales Tax Tabletop Zen Garden Home Decor Gift

$18.99

4. Be Good Company Executive Sandbox – A Day at the Beach

$24.99

5. Wonderful Zen Deluxe Wooden Zen Sand Garden

$22.95

6. fengshuisale Feng Shui Zen Garden

$19.98

7. Paintspiration Handmade Natural Mini Zen Garden Kit

$39.99

8. Gifts & Decor Tabletop Zen Garden Kit

$11.35

9. Toysmith Mini Zen Garden

$9.75

10. SPACECARE Magnetic Zen Sand Garden Box Set

$31.99

How to Choose a Desktop Zen Garden – Buying Guide

And now we begin our quest for the best desktop Zen garden. Let’s contemplate together the components, size, and features each of these kits has to offer.

Will You Draw Only Waves or Express Yourself in Many Patterns? Rakes

Will You Draw Only Waves or Express Yourself in Many Patterns? Rakes
First off, all rakes need to be a practical size. There’s no “magic measurement” though–they just need to be a good deal smaller than your garden. Too large, and you can’t maneuver them into ripples and swirls.
Most rakes are make up of two interlocking cylinders (the handle and the head), with prongs coming out of the head. You use the prongs to draw out waves, and the cylindrical end to rub them out. If you want a really smooth surface to work with, see if the set includes a giant T-shaped rake. Or, if you want to design your own patterns–drawing out swirls or the petals of a flower–look for a pointed pen.

If You Don’t Want It Flying out of the Box, Look for Bigger Grains: Sand

If You Don’t Want It Flying out of the Box, Look for Bigger Grains: Sand
We know, you’re tempted to go for fine grains that feel like silk under your fingers. But, remember, these gardens are desktop. Indoors. If the sand’s too light, it’ll fly out of the box at the slightest breeze. Bigger grains are heavier and easier to shape. (It’s also a bonus if the set comes with extra sand, because you do lose some over time.)
Magnetic sand’s also making an appearance. It’s a break from tradition, but building gardens in three dimensions is quite absorbing.

Where Are You Going to Put the Thing? Shape and Size

Where Are You Going to Put the Thing? Shape and Size
If your desk looks like a tornado’s been through, then you’ll have to settle for a matchbox garden–smaller than 5″ x 5″, maybe. If you’ve got the room though, bigger is better. There’s more space to rake and draw. We’ve found that gardens 7″ x 7″ and above are the most satisfying.
The same goes for shape. Narrow gardens are easy to squeeze along the edge of a desk and seem to take up less room. Square ones are more prominent, but allow you more freedom when designing. Circular ones are also lovely to draw on, and the lack of sharp edges somehow makes everything even more calming. But since you can’t push them up against walls, they take up the most space.

A Little Buddha Statue? Incense? Beach Umbrella? Themes and Extra Features

A Little Buddha Statue? Incense? Beach Umbrella? Themes and Extra Features
Traditional Zen gardens use rocks to represent islands and mountains. If you want to be faithful to this practice, look for sets with stones to scatter throughout the sand. If the pebbles are smooth and you’re a fiddler, it’s also calming to run your fingers over them.
Some gardens come with holders for incense or tealight candles, if you want to attain inner peace through your nose. You can find your favorite scents and just inhale as you quietly tend to your garden.
You can also get extra figures–ceramic animals, for example, or Buddha statues. The animals often symbolize different meanings: cranes for luck and longevity, oxen for strength. The image of a meditating Buddha inspires tranquility and contemplation.
And for beach-dwellers: there’s now tabletop Zen gardens with little umbrellas and pails and shovels. It’s not the most Buddhist, per se, but if it calms you down, who’s to judge?

Summary

Serenity, religion, and rest can feel very distant from the roar of everyday life. These Zen gardens aren’t much, they’ll help you take a breather. Whether it be the contemplative face of the Buddha, the aroma of incense, or the look of a sandy beach, we hope you found what slows down your pulse and makes you happy. Go forth, grasshopper.

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