Big Kid Catharsis: Best Adult Coloring Books in 2022
Parents and teachers used to use coloring books to keep children entertained, express creativity, and develop their fine motor skills. We all, at some point, have enjoyed coloring books, even if some of us had trouble staying inside the lines. But in recent years, the joys of coloring have been rediscovered for adults. As a result, the coloring book industry has blossomed and boomed. It is not merely a way to keep you entertained during rainy days, though.
The coloring book has been designed to promote mindfulness and aid in relieving stress, all through the (mostly) calming nature of coloring. The use of coloring books in adults has helped many adults manage stress, relax, focus or pass the time. We understand how important it is to feel at peace with the world and how difficult that can sometimes be. So sit back, relax, check out our selection of the best coloring books for adults. Let’s see if we can help put your mind at ease.
- Best Ocean Designs: Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure And Adult Coloring Book
- Best For Beginners: Coloring Book for Adults: Amazing Swirls
- Best For Calming The Mind: Color Me Calm: A Zen Coloring Book
- Most Unique Designs: Adult Coloring Book: Designs
- Best For Fans Of Nicktoons: The Splat: Coloring the 90s – Adult Coloring Book
- Best Mandala Drawings: Mandala Adult Coloring Book
- Best For Peanuts Fans: Posh Adult Coloring Book: Peanuts for Inspiration and Relaxation
- Best Architectural Details: Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
- Best For Game Of Thrones Fans: The Official Game of Thrones Coloring Book
- Best For Horror Lovers: Adult Coloring Book: Horror Hotel (Volume 1)
- Best Floral Designs: Jade Summer – 100 Amazing Patterns: An Adult Coloring Book with Fun
- Best For Cocktail Lovers: Caffeinestar Publishing – Drinking Animals Coloring Book
The Best Adult Coloring Book Review
The Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book provides a variety of illustrations for the ocean-loving adult. These images are thoughtful, varied and detailed to create a meditative experience for the user. As I explored the pages, I loved the variety in the detail between each page so I could choose my time commitment. I used this book to warm up creative muscles before painting, and it worked excellently and allowed me to play with color combinations.
The smooth, untextured pages take color exquisitely and allow you to use gradient techniques and play with color blending in ways that traditional coloring book pages don’t allow. Read the in-depth review here.
Crisp ivory paper
Smooth, untextured pages
A variety of beautiful and intricate ocean designs
Ideal for pens and pencils
Hunt for hidden items
- AuthorJohanna Basford
Around and around, you will go with the Amazing Swirls Coloring Book for Adults. This book is a bestseller and a great gift for those who love relaxing and indulging in their creativity. The book comes with 68 pages to keep even the most experienced adult coloring book aficionado interested by offering a selection of animals, flowers, and swirly patterns that range from simple to intricate.
For some, this is a great way to unwind after a long day. Channeling your frustrations into this book can help with mental and emotional health as you get all of the mess out of your brain onto the page. For this reason, and because of the great price, the Amazing Swirls color book for adults is a great choice for any budding artist or just someone who loves to color.
Great for either concentrated or mindless activity
Designs printed only on front of page to prevent bleed through
Variety of subjects
- AuthorsHappy Coloring, Elena Bogdanovych
Yet another in a long list of stress relief coloring books, the Color Me Calm: Zen Coloring Book provides templates for relaxation and meditation with 100 images designed to help you find balance in your life. Designed by art therapist Lacy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter, you will be treated to various designs that help you cast off the problems around you.
Separated into seven thematic chapters that include mandalas, wooded scenes, and geometric patterns, this book offers a variety that you don’t often see in other coloring books. The paper is thick to prevent bleed-through and comes with clear lines to prevent any mishaps. The designs themselves range from quick and easy to more complex patterns that might require more effort and engagement. There is a lot to love in the Color Me Calm book and a lot to be gained from taking it easy and moving at your own pace through this book to help repair mind, body, and soul. Fans of yoga will be interested in some of the best yoga books from our list, as well. Check them out.
Created by certified art therapist, Lucy Macklow
Seven therapeutically-themed chapters
Perfect for channeling anxiety
Both simple and complex patterns
100 coloring templates
- AuthorLacy Mucklow
This mandalas adult coloring book is a collection published by Two Hoots Coloring that perfectly fits any coloring cravings. The Adult Coloring Book: Designs comes with 48 designs that include everything from mandalas to more doodle-esque patterns to satisfy all sorts of desires, from the fun and intricate to the highly unusual.
The patterns in the designs have been licensed from real artists and not merely created in a computer program so that you can be certain of quality patterns and excellently printed lines. In addition, this book supports real artists. As for paper quality, while it isn’t as thick as some books, it is still good enough to prevent most bleed through from markers. There are fewer products available that will give you this amount of coloring for the price, so grab yourself a copy and a collection of coloring pencils if you still haven’t scratched that coloring itch.
Lots of licensed designs
- AuthorTwo Hoots Coloring
Anyone who did not experience the classic Nickelodeon cartoons of the 90s, essentially, did not have a childhood. It sucks to be you, dude. But those that weren’t deprived of the Golden Age of after-school and Saturday morning cartoons will greet this cool coloring book like an old friend. The Splat: Coloring, the 90’s Coloring Book, features all of your favorites, from Arnold to Ren and Stimpy to Rocko to good old Tommy Pickles. It will feel like stepping back into simpler times where the only things you were concerned about were whether the girl sitting next to you had a crush on you and when your pizza rolls would be ready.
Coloring the 90’s is comprised of 96 pages featuring your favorite characters from over twenty different cartoons. Unlike other coloring books, you have the chance to fill out scenes instead of merely one subject per page, giving you the chance to experiment with your own creativity and imagine an alternate world of all your most cherished TV memories. Be sure to check out our list of the best adult graphic novels for more great items like this.
All your favorite characters from Nicktoons
Variety of scenes
Pages don’t let gel pens or water-based markers bleed through
Flat opening by breaking book spine
- AuthorRandom House
Unlock your inner zen with the Mandala Coloring Book designed by Jade Summer. Featuring 100 different images focused on creating peace, you will have the opportunity to color mandalas, including circular patterns, floral patterns, and more. This book is the ideal solution for achieving the relaxation that you so desperately crave. It can also help promote mindfulness through coloring and offering a mandala for meditation when complete.
This mindfulness coloring book is designed to help you relieve stress and find peace in the hectic world around you. Experiment with various designs with all the colors that you can fit in your pencil case. This product boasts both complex and simplistic designs to suit anybody. Grab your favorite cup of tea and have a seat. If you’re still not sure about coloring, our handy guide to the best magnetic toys features a different option for relaxing.
Variety of floral, circular, star and other patterns
Free digital edition included
Popular amongst other colorists
Promotes mindfulness, relieves stress and encourages calm living
- AuthorJade Summer
This anti-stress coloring book takes you into the world of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, which, much like the Splat coloring book, allows you to relive your childhood through some of your most treasured memories of a simpler time. The Peanuts edition of the Posh Adult Coloring Book is part of the trend of funny adult coloring books that focus more on enjoying yourself instead of painstakingly crouching over your paper to fill in every design.
Made up of 124 pages, the book sports many classic Peanuts themes, including the Snoopy Dance, Schroeder, and musical items, as well as Charlie Brown and the kite-eating tree. Unlike the Splat book, this combines the coloring book style of different, (sometimes) intricate designs that interweave the characters themselves, effortlessly combining classic and modern designs. For those with kids, this is a great introduction to the marvels of Peanuts for a generation who might not have any idea what it is.
All your favorite Peanuts characters
Independent designs interwoven with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and more
Inspiring and relaxing
Easy to transport size
- AuthorCharles M. Schulz
If you’ve got the travel bug but can’t afford to run away, then Steve McDonald’s Fantastic Cities collection is the next best thing. Throughout the book, you will get to see and color aerial views of stunning cities such as Paris, London, and New York. Additionally, you will experience more exotic locations such as Istanbul, Tokyo, and Rio. Steve is a lifelong traveler, and his knowledge of the world around us shines through with intricate and detailed designs that capture the individuality of every city that the book contains.
Also included are imagined mandala-like designs of cities that no longer exist (or don’t exist yet) to take you on a journey to a time you never got to experience. The pages come with either one mammoth design splashed across the whole page or several smaller designs to really master your craft. This unique adult coloring book is the perfect gift for those who like to travel and can’t wait to pack their life into a suitcase for their next adventure. It might even give them some ideas about their next destination.
Stunning, detailed designs of cities and places all over the world
Imagined cities to inspire your creativity
Heavy white paper
Drawings don’t run into the seams of book
Unique, large square format for increased detail
- AuthorSteve McDonald
When winter has finally come, what better way to hole yourself up inside the great hall (okay, your bedroom, living room, or the crawl space near your attic) with this great Game of Thrones companion. Packed with different designs by several world-class illustrators, there is something for all fans of the book and TV series and has everything from sigils to scenes imagined in the books that bring Martin’s words to life. It’s a perfect gift for any fan who has frustration to work out about season 8 or is still waiting on that ever-elusive (and probably never going to happen) The Winds of Winter.
From Casterly Rock to well-beyond The Wall, you will feel the chill of the coming winter with the intricately designed pictures that go much deeper than your average imagination. The images immortalize Cersei, Sansa, Khal Drogo (before he fell from his horse and became a husk of nothingness), and, while detailed, comes with enough space to fill in little details of your own. Massive fans of the TV series will be disappointed at the lack of a certain brooding former-Lord Commander or Mother of Dragons, but The Official Game of Thrones Coloring Book feels very much like a book for fans of the book series.
Officially licensed product
Detailed scenes of famous locations
Based on the books, not the show
Sigils, characters and scenery
45 exclusive illustrations
- AuthorGeorge R. R. Martin
Full of spooky and scary delights, the Horror Hotel Coloring Book is a cool coloring book that features some of the creepiest, disfigured, and downright weird creatures that you will ever have the pleasure (or displeasure) of coloring. This coloring book is nothing like you have ever seen before and brings all the glamor of early-20th century USA with an ugly twist.
Set in the luscious gardens of Coral Gables, FL, you will be treated to something on the other side of the grave and soon find yourself slowly being pulled away from reality. If you are a little twisted, then you can lose hours exploring all the terror that Horror Hotel has to offer you, with a few surprises sure to chill you to the core over its 46 pages. It is perfect for fans of all things horror. You can check in anytime you want, but you can never leave. It also makes an amazing gift for those who have everything.
Wild selection of weird, creepy and disgusting creatures
Perfect for horror fans
Inner details unravel a story of bloody massacres
Unique in its design, unlike other coloring books
Ideal for relaxing (as long as you’re not too scared)
- AuthorA.M. Shah
If you’re getting into the world of adult coloring books, it might be best to start with the Jade Summer- 100 Amazing Patterns Coloring book. Featuring over 100 different flowers, these drawings are geared toward beginners. I know what you’re thinking: “I’m pretty sure I can handle a coloring book.” But when you open some of the books on this list, you’ll be amazed at how intricate the designs are. A book like this is perfect because you can do it while watching TV. You don’t need to concentrate that hard.
Each beautiful design is on a single page with a blacked-out back. This stops the color from bleeding through the page and ruining another image, a common problem of cheap adult coloring books. There’s also a fun community of customers of the Jade Summer brand. People share their favorite designs, recommend other products, and more.
Single-sided pages (no bleed)
Online community of colorers
- AuthorJade Summer
Who said adult coloring books need to be serious? When it is time to relax, it’s good to inject a bit of humor into your chill time. The Caffeinstar Publishing – Drinking Animals is packed with (you guessed it) cartoon animals drinking. Each page has a different animal holding a fancy cocktail.
The pages feature the drink recipe so that you can get sloshed alongside your new furry pals. Whether you’re buying this as a gift or for yourself, it’s guaranteed to be a hit. No one can resist the charm of animals drinking cocktails. The only slight complaint we’ve heard is that the pages are quite thin, but you can remedy that by putting a blank sheet of paper under the page that you’re coloring.
Pictures of drinking animals
Makes a perfect gift
- AuthorCaffeinestar Publishing
Why Trust Us
Well, I’m an artist — if anyone knows a thing or two about colors, art, and relaxing, it’s me. I drew from my artistic background and my understanding of stress as it related to well-being levels to ensure this guide boasts options and solutions for anyone with an interest in adult coloring books.
Art is therapeutic, but many people become overwhelmed by blank pages. Art and, subsequently, coloring books, can provide a meditative reprieve from anxieties both acute and ongoing. Prior to seeing things through an artist’s lens, few folks are able to fully appreciate how cathartic and powerful simply putting color on a page can be.
You’re in good hands with this selection of coloring books.
Who This is For
This guide is for anyone interested in adult coloring books. Whether you want something to do with friends, need a way to unwind at night, or want a chance to express your creative side, this guide is for you.
We’ve included options with nature scenes, designs, mandalas, and even a few themed options based on your favorite TV shows for an extra dose of nostalgia. No matter what relaxes you, there’s a coloring book for you.
How We Picked
Curating a selection of the best adult coloring books meant considering several factors, including a variety of themes, budgets, and styles.
We opted for some nostalgia with The Splat coloring book, appealed to the Game of Thrones fandom, offered options for those who just wanted fun designs or nature scenes.
We read reviews and considered the interests of adults who have the desire to sit back, relax and color. Lots of people turn to the simple but gratifying act of coloring as a means to unwind, practice mindfulness, unleash some untapped creativity.
Our selection of coloring books provides just that, no matter your style, reasons, or state of mind.
Features To Look For In Coloring Books
The best coloring books contain several features that help you distinguish the best from the rest.
Design - Whether it is an animal coloring book, a mandala coloring book, or a smorgasbord of all kinds of images, you want your coloring book to have interesting and intricate designs. Otherwise, boredom is imminent.
Time - For those short on time, having a coloring book that allows for a quick little color when you get the chance is a great feature to have. Rarely do our schedules allow us the chance to sit down for hours and color, but being able to do little bits here and there will help you keep your love for the book alive.
Coloring Reasons - Why do people color? To relax, to unwind, to feel better, or because they simply want to. Not everyone can come up with designs independently, so the option to "just add color" is enticing and an expression of creativity without the pressure of a blank page. You can also buy an inspirational coloring book to help get the creative juices flowing if you feel drained. Many artists use coloring as a warm-up before diving into large, committing pieces, and a coloring book is a great option.
Materials - The most popular adult coloring books come with paper that doesn’t allow colors to bleed through or offers something to act as a protector for the other pages. Some coloring books will suggest a certain medium to reduce bleed.
Budget - With the top adult coloring books, you will be paying a premium. However, many cheaper options can still give you a great coloring book experience if you don't have the cash. Most coloring books are under $30 and remain within the budget of most folks.
Coloring Book FAQ
Q: What is a coloring book?
A: A coloring book features images with outlines and blank, white spaces for you to color and complete the image. Coloring for grown-ups can come with themes like you had as a child but often feature more intricate and detailed designs to keep you focused and interested.
Q: Do coloring books relieve stress?
A: Coloring books have been proven to help with stress. The act of coloring is relaxing and, like other creative ventures, helps to reduce anxiety, fight depression, and generally uplift your mood.
Q: How do I choose which colors to use?
A: It is totally up to you and your style. Some people choose to stick to the traditional colors for things like plants, flowers, and even people. Others want to indulge in experimentation and go for colors that you typically would not expect.
Q: Should I use pens or pencils?
A: This choice is up to you. Use whatever you are comfortable with, but keep in mind that pens and markers are more likely to bleed through the page. Of course, the classic crayon is also an option.
Q: How can I improve my coloring skills?
A: If you get bored with the simple coloring books but don’t think you have the skills to move onto advanced coloring books, you can watch videos from professionals on improving or check out advice on ways to improve.
Q: Why is drawing good for you?
A: Like coloring, drawing allows you to embrace creativity and can help put you at ease. Using illustrations and colors to express how you feel is an excellent way of coping with the world's problems.