The Best Adult Coloring Books

Updated by Brandon F. on July 13, 2020

adult coloring books

So what are the best adult coloring books?  Before we get into that, let’s discuss adult coloring books in general and how they have changed in recent events.  We have seen a huge trend over the past year with adults picking up colored pencils for the first time. 

We would have to say a majority of people that have come to this site have been adults researching their own good rather than for their children or other young ones.  We think that this is great, but what spawned it?  And will this adult coloring book trend continue?

A significant cause of this has been the increased popularity of adult coloring books.  Oftentimes when we think of coloring book images we picture magical creatures, cartoon animals, and fairy tale characters.   More broadly, we think of books that are intended for children.  Also, conventionally when people imagined adults using colored pencils they viewed them drawing on blank paper rather than following pre-made shapes and lines.

However, adult coloring books have found a unique niche in that they find a happy medium between the controlled and stress-free act of coloring in objects that are already present with more adult-friendly designs.  These adult-oriented pages can range from more elaborate landscapes that might be difficult for a child to color into random shapes and patterns and even adult-themed topics that might not be suitable for children.

The key driver behind this is the fact that many find coloring books to be a great stress-reliever.  Sometimes people don’t want to put forth the effort or don’t feel that they have the proper skill to create an image from scratch.  Instead, having the image already present and simply letting the user color it in themselves is a popular alternative.

This trend was especially noticeable during Christmas last year.  We saw many offices purchasing colored pencils and adult coloring books for office parties and they were one of the most popular new white elephant gift ideas on the market.

Overall we feel that anything that introduces colored pencils to more people is a great idea.  And while adult coloring books won’t necessarily help you directly practice on your freestyle works, it is a good way to understand color balance and become more familiar with how your particular set of colored pencils communicates with the paper.

adult coloring books 2

For those wishing to try out adult coloring books, we would recommend going with one of our colored pencil sets that fall under student or scholastic grade. 

A lot of coloring books won’t require you to utilize advanced blending techniques, so if you plan on using your colored pencils specifically for adult coloring books going with a premium-tier product might not justify its price.

There are A LOT adult coloring books on the market.  It would not be very effective to try to review all of the different types of adult coloring books because it is a very subjective and personal topic and what you enjoy or don’t enjoy will have a lot to do with what type of themes and topics you wish to color. 

One person may enjoy coloring in elaborate mountainscapes while someone else may want to color in cuss words (and yes, there are books for that!  🙂  ).

However, we will list a few of the most popular adult coloring books on the market and give an overall summary of each.  We hope that you find these reviews helpful and encourage you to try out an adult coloring book for yourself and enjoy the many stress-relief benefits that they possess.

Adult Coloring Books: A Coloring Book for Adults Featuring Mandalas and Henna Inspired Flowers, Animals, and Paisley Patterns

adult coloring books a coloring book for adults featuring mandalsDon’t let the incredibly long name fool you.  This is a very popular offering that focuses on extremely elaborate patterns with hundreds of sections to color in for each image.  This allows for great flexibility and variety in colors that are used.  Many of the sections can be quite small so using a fine-tip pencil that is often sharpened may be necessary.  It has 48 images.



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Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Animal Designs

adult coloring books stress relieving animal designThis book contains intricate animal drawings that have plenty of individual sections to color in, meaning that there is still a lot of flexibility despite having a more contained subject.  While the designs might not necessarily reflect realistic animals (horses that are made of flowers, for example) they are a lot of fun to draw.  There is a nice variety of small sections that will require precise points and larger ones where you can enjoy broader strokes.  In total there are 40 images.



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Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book

inky gardenThis coloring book mostly consists of vegetation and forest/garden scenes.  This means a lot of leafs and flowers, so if that is your cup of tea then you should enjoy this product.  A nice added bonus is that there are hidden animals throughout the pages that you try to find and color in.  Due to the large numbers of flowers on a given page we recommend getting a colored pencil set that has a nice color variety so as to minimize copying colors (unless you want to!).  This coloring book contains an impressive 96 pages.



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Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book

calm the f downTrue to the “adult coloring book” topic, we found it only fair to include an actual “adult” coloring book.  As the title suggests, these images are built around more mature words and phrases that might not be suitable for children.  There is a pretty nice variety of background imagery to color in, and it ranges from animals to vegetation to buildings, although the intricacy levels are a bit lower than the other books mentioned.  This isn’t necessarily bad, however, as it allows for more blending and less-stringent colored pencils sharpened point requirements.  It contains 50 pages.



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B*tch: Adult Swear Words Coloring Book

btch-swear-words-coloring-bookThis is another perfect example of an adult coloring book that really stresses the “adult” side of it.  It is intended for those who have some vulgar words that they wish they could say to a friend, family, or coworker but instead can vent that anger and frustration into a coloring book.  It has 50 different curse words that you color in along with a variety of patterns that surround the word.  Make sure not to leave this one sitting out in the open around your office!



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BestColoredPencils tests and reviews colored pencils and more to find the best products for you. When readers buy our reviewed picks, we earn affiliate commissions that help support our work.
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