The 5 Best Adult Coloring Books in 2022

Adult coloring books provide stress relief when feeling overwhelmed in our overly busy lives. Offering relaxing patterns such as flowers, mandalas, mazes, or animals helps one relax and unleash their creativity. When buying a coloring book for adults, look for the quality of the paper to prevent bleeding, the type of patterns available, and if it’s a coloring and activity book combined.

While the craze for coloring books designed for adults is relatively new, dozens of options have popped up in the past decade to help busy adults relax and free their imagination. A quick search will bring up a coloring book for everyone including modern-day witches, tarot-readers, or anything in-between.

Types of Adult Coloring Books

Today there is a range of coloring books for all interests whether these are animals, plants, fantasy, and even favorite artists such as Bob Ross and Thomas Kinkade. We have chosen our favorite adult coloring books from those with curse words in them – for those with a sense of humor – or classic Disney characters painted by the famous Thomas Kinkade.

There are also a variety of images to choose from including a coloring book filled with mandalas, symmetrical designs, or even an activity book for those interested in combining fun and interesting activities while expressing their creative potential.

Fun fact: The first adult coloring book was created by a woman named Kate Greenaway – a children’s author, and illustrator – over 100 years ago.

Our Recommendation List for the Best Adult Coloring Books

  1. Best Adult Coloring Book Overall: Cindy Elsharouni Adult Coloring Book
  2. Best Beginners Adult Coloring BookThomas Kinkade Studios Coloring Book
  3. Best Funny Adult Coloring Book: Irreverent Adult Coloring Book
  4. Best Quality Paper Adult Coloring BookMaria Trolle Luna Coloring Book
  5. Best Intricate Designs Adult Patterns Coloring BookJohanna Basford Secret Garden Inky Treasure Hunt Coloring Book

 

1. Best Adult Coloring Book Overall – Cindy Elsharouni Coloring Book

  • Price – ~$6.30 – Our score: 9/10
  • Quality of paper – Thin – Our score: 7/10
  • Patterns available – 64 – Our score: 8/10
  • Activities included – No – Our score: 8/10

This bestselling coloring book from Cindy Elsharouni can promote relaxation and creativity with its fine lines and world animals.

As the paper is a bit on the thinner side, colored pencils or fine point markers that don’t bleed are best when coloring each page.

Images include intricate designs of animal and plant life, such as owls, a wolf, a raccoon, horses, and flowers. There are also paisleys, and mandalas included to allow hours of stress relief while coloring each printed page. Relax and relieve stress with over 64 different images in this book.

Pros

  • Beautiful and intricate images
  • Makes an excellent gift for the quality and price
  • Pages are one-sided to reduce bleed through

Cons

  • A few pages aren’t well printed

2. Best Beginners Adult Coloring Book – Thomas Kinkade Disney Dreams Collection

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Selection Criteria Scores

  • Price – ~$6.79 – Our score: 7/10
  • Quality of paper – Thick pages – Our score: 9/10
  • Patterns available – 63 – Our score: 8/10
  • Activities included – No – Our score: 8/10

Thomas Kinkade Disney Dreams Collection

Let out the kid in you with this beginner-friendly book with designs from the beloved Thomas Kinkade. Printed with Disney characters from The Little Mermaid, Fantasia, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and more, there is something for every Disney lover.

As the pages are thicker, a wider variety of coloring instruments can be used, such as Tombow markers, gel pens, and colored pencils. We suggest using cardboard between pages if using alcohol-based markers, water-based markers, or other dark inks.

More deals are available with the purchase of several Thomas Kinkade Disney coloring books. For more suggestions on which markers are best for adult coloring books, read our article here.

Pros

  • Lines are more clear than in other books
  • Pages are thick enough for most markers
  • This is the third book in his series
  • High-quality images and printing

Cons

  • There is no margin
  • When using certain markers, there will be some bleed through

3. Best Funny Adult Coloring Book – Irreverent Adult Coloring Book

Selection Criteria Scores

  • Price – ~$4.99 – Our score: 9/10
  • Quality of paper – Thick – Our score: 9/10
  • Patterns available – 21 – Our score: 7/10
  • Activities included – No – Our score: 8/10

About Irreverent Adult Coloring Book

It was a tie for us between this coloring book and the Drinking Animals Coloring Book with its drink recipes filled with humor and silliness.

People with a sense of humor will appreciate the curse words and sarcastic sayings in this wacky coloring book. Each thick page has one-sided printing to allow coloring without worrying about bleed-through.

While most coloring books have clean content, this book boasts humorous curses and fun images of fairies, paisley designs, and animals. The final product is sure to bring a smile to a goofy loved one’s face.

Pros

  • Great choice as a gift for witty friends and family
  • Several other books are available for those interested in multiple gifting
  • Coloring test pages are available
  • Many intricate designs

Cons

  • Not appropriate for kids

4. Best Quality Adult Coloring Book – Luna Coloring Book for Adults

Selection Criteria Scores

  • Price – ~$12.59 – Our score: 7/10
  • Quality – Thin – Our score: 7/10
  • Patterns available – 88 – Our score: 9/10
  • Activity book – Yes – Our score: 9/10

About Luna Coloring Book for Adults

For artists that love the idea of the whimsical and carefree, this art therapy coloring book for adults from Maria Trolle is just the ticket because it provides stress relief and relaxation.

Each page brings to life the magical world of fairies, woodlands, castles, and flowers. While the pages are thick, they are double-sided so using colored pencils will avoid bleeding. If using markers or other thicker inks it’s imperative that they don’t bleed.

The black background and intricate pages allow artists to take their time and unleash their creative potential. There are links to some of Maria’s other coloring books after a quick search on Amazon.

Pros

  • Small and intricate designs
  • Hardcover book
  • Pages have enough margin to cut out, frame, and gift

Cons

  • Must use pens or markers that don’t bleed
  • Some drawings might be too small for the vision-impaired

5. Best Intricate Patterns Adult Coloring Book – Johanna Basford Secret Garden Adult Coloring Books

Selection Criteria Scores

  • Price – ~$9.99 – Our score: 8/10
  • Quality – Thick – Our score: 9/10
  • Patterns available – 96 – Our score: 9/10
  • Activity book – Yes – Our score: 9/10

About Johanna Basford Secret Garden

One of many gorgeous and intricate books available from Johanna Basford, this complete book is meditative and relaxing for older artists. Creating interesting art of animals, flowers, and paisley designs bring artists into another world of imagination and stress relief.

Since each page is thick, artists can easily use markers including some alcohol brands without bleeding through each page. We suggest avoiding watercolor markers as the paper will not hold the water well.

Even though each page isn’t one-sided, the sheet thickness will still provide beginners a great place to enter the world of intricate coloring books for adults.

Pros

  • Dozens of small and detailed pictures
  • Thick enough paper to avoid markers going through the paper
  • Pages are creamy instead of white
  • Coloring tutorials are available on YouTube

Cons

  • Pages are double-sided

Conclusion

We hope you found our guide to the best coloring books for adults helpful. We’ve covered the different types of coloring books available along with our recommendations in various contexts.

We’ve discussed how you can choose the best coloring books for plant or animal lovers, with mazes,  word searches, or ones that are filled with themes that would even make kids want to join in on the fun.

Lastly, we’ve combined our recommendations for those books to reduce stress and inspire the creation of intricate and beautiful pictures that can be framed and gifted to loved ones.

Thanks for reading. We hope our suggestions help you choose the best coloring books, whether using colored pencils, colored markers, or watercolor markers to create interesting works of art.