7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (2023)

Mental Health

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Updated on January 13, 2022

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer

By Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.

Expert review by

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN

(Video) Fidget Toys - Should YOU buy one?

mbg Vice President of Scientific Affairs

Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Georgia.

Last updated on January 13, 2022

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Do you ever find yourself stressed out and feel inclined to do something with your hands? Fidgeting is a natural response to stress and discomfort, which is where stress balls and fidget toys come in.

Here's why you might want to get your hands on a stress toy, plus eight of our top picks on the market.

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Benefits of stress toys.

According to clinical psychologistNicole Beurkens, Ph.D., CNS, there are a few different benefits of using stress balls.

calm+★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★(18)

For one, she says, "They serve as a nice distraction tool for someone who's feeling really stressed. Focusing on the physical action with the tool can be stress-relieving."

On top of that, she adds, using these toys can also be a mindfulness practice, as they bring people back into the present, grounding them in their bodies and helping them to focus on their immediate surroundings.

Lastly, if your stress toy involves squeezing or exerting pressure (like a stress ball, for example), "that gives good proprioceptive input," Beurkens explains. "It gives this sort of deep pressure input to that part of the body, and we know that proprioceptive input is very calming and grounding for the brain and the body."

(Video) These Fidget Toys Changed My Life

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What to look for.

With so many options available today, it can be hard to know what to look for in a stress ball. As Beurkens explains, it really comes down to the individual, including factors like their age, personal preferences, and where they'll be using it.

Generally speaking, though, she says you want to go for a toy that feels calming and soothing to use and also fits into the environment in which you'll be using it. For example, if you're using it in a school or work environment, you want something that's not too noisy or distracting to the people around you, she adds.

And because you never know when stress could strike, Beurkens tends to recommend options that are easily portable so you can grab them whenever you need.

Lastly, of course, be sure to double-check the materials used in the toys, opting for natural, toxin-free, and/or hypoallergenic options when possible.

Our product recommendations.

The following stress balls and fidget toys were chosen based on a combination of affordability, positive reviews, and suggestions from Beurkens, who often suggests stress balls and fidget cubes to her patients.

These silicone stress balls by Speks come in three unique, tactile designs and colors, offering a different feel from your standard circular stress ball. They're made from 100% premium silicone, ring in at just under $25, and have an average rating of 4.5/5 stars.

Speks Blots Silicone Stress Balls ($24.95)

7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (8)

Speks

With this set of monster-themed stress balls,your kiddos can squeeze the stress monster away! The pack of 12 costs just $17.99 and has stellar reviews, including one buyer who notes the balls are"cute, durable, and help kids stay focused rather than provide an additional distraction."

Oriental Trading Co. Monster Character Stress Ball ($17.99)

7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (9)

Oriental Trading Co.

(Video) 7 DIY STRESS BALLS! DIY Fidget toy ideas! Viral TikTok fidget toys

Looking for endless fidgeting options? This 12-sided fidget cube from Happy Hands has a different fidgeting surface on all 12 sides of the toy. Beurkens notes these tools can be particularly helpful for fidgety hands, and with nine color schemes to choose from, there's one for everybody.

Happy Hands 12-Sided Fidget Cube ($11.99)

7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (10)

Happy Hands

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What kid doesn't love a good bubble popper fidget toy? This one by Chuckle & Roaris perfect for kids between the ages of three and 10—but let's be honest, anyone could have fun with it. This toy also comes with instructions for a two-player game, doubling as a fun activity.

Chuckle & Roar Pop It! Fidget and Sensory Game ($7.99)

7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (11)

Chuckle & Roar

If one fidget toy is simply not enough, enter this 24-piece variety pack by Toyly. The pack has over 1,700 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/5 stars. From bubble poppers to stress balls to fidget spinners and more, this pack truly has something for everyone.

Toyly Fidget Packs, 24-Pack Sensory Toys Set ($25.99)

7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (12)

Toyly

Perfect for someone who wants to work on their grip strength while also squeezing stress away, this three-pack ofgel stress balls by MindPanda comes with a hand therapy exercise guide, and each ball is a different size and firmness. They're also scented and have positive affirmations on them, offering a rich sensory experience overall. Plus, they're latex and BPA-free.

(Video) 12 Top Fidget Toys For Stress

MindPanda 3X Empowering Gel Stress Ball Bundle ($20.99)

7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (13)

MindPanda

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What's better than a fidget toy? A fidget toy that also functions as a pen. This one by Mindvocates is perfect if you already find yourself fidgeting with your pens and pencils anyway. You can manipulate the magnetic ball around the pen in endless ways as you stay focused on writing.

Mindvocates Focus Pen ($19.99)

7 Of The Best Stress Balls & Toys To Fidget Your Worries Away (14)

Mindvocates

How to make your own stress ball at home.

If you'd rather go the DIY route, here is a quick method to make your own stress ball in a snap.

What you'll need:

  • The thickest balloons you can find (you don't want them to break!)
  • A filler like sand, cornstarch, flour, or uncooked rice
  • An essential oil of choice (ideally one that's good for stress)
  • An empty and dry water bottle
  • A funnel

Method:

  1. Funnel roughly 1 cup of your filler into your water bottle (less filler = smaller stress ball, so adjust as needed).
  2. Add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil to your bottle, and shake to distribute the oil.
  3. Blow up your balloon to a larger size than you want your stress ball to be, and attach it to the top of the water bottle.
  4. Flip it over and squeeze, letting the filler fall into the balloon.
  5. Carefully squeeze the balloon opening and remove it from the top of the water bottle.
  6. Very gently allow air to slowly come out until the balloon is deflated with the mixture inside.
  7. Tie the balloon opening in a knot, and you're done!

Note: Beurkens tells mbg that while you can certainly buy or make your own stress balls and fidget toys, she finds things like rubber bands or even paper clips offer a good tactile sensation similar to an actual toy.

Other ways to relieve stress.

While tools like stress balls and fidget toys are great when you're feeling stressed, they're certainly not a cure-all, and it's important to take other lifestyle factors into consideration, too.

As Beurkens notes, things like deep breathing and mindfulness are crucial, as well as making sure you're getting enough physical activity.

On top of that, getting enough quality sleep and having a strong support system can go a long way. And if you still need an extra hand, incorporating a stress-reducing supplement might be a good idea as well.* Check out our full guide for combating stress for more inspiration and tips.

The bottom line.

We all feel stress from time to time, and knowing how to deal with it can make it so much more bearable. Tools like stress balls and fidget toys are great if you're the kind of person who needs to do something with your hands when stressed, and with so many clever toys available today, there are options for everyone.

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FAQs

What is the most popular stress toy? ›

Our picks of the best stress-relief balls of 2022
  • Peradix Hand Grip Stress Relief Ball.
  • Small Fish Sensory Stress Ball.
  • IMPRESA Stress Relief Balls.
  • Lavender Luvies Scented Stress Balls.
  • MEIEST Dumpling Squishy Stress Balls.
  • KDG Motivational Stress Balls.
  • MONBASA 3D Pop It Ball.
  • Fun a Ton Stretchy Balls.
8 Apr 2022

What is the #1 fidget toy in the world? ›

Best Overall: Small Fish Infinity Cube Fidget Toy

With limitless reconfiguration possibilities, the Infinity Cube offers a discreet way to fidget at home or in the office. It's made to fit in one hand, and the flips and folds offer a source of constant movement similar to that of fidget spinners.

What toy is good for anxiety? ›

Types of Fidget Toys for Anxiety
  • Fidget Spinners. Fidget spinners, usually made from plastic or metal, are a three-pronged tool that fits in your hand and is meant to be spun. ...
  • Stress Balls. ...
  • Putty. ...
  • Chewable Pendants and Mindful Breathing Straws. ...
  • Fidget Cubes.
27 Jun 2022

What is the oldest fidget toy? ›

One of the earliest examples of fidget toys are the Baoding balls. The Ming Dynasty first produced metal Baoding balls thousands of years ago as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What is a rarest fidget? ›

The most expensive and rarest fidget toy on our list is the Caviar fidget spinner made from 18-karat gold and diamonds. Made by a Russian luxury goods brand, this one-of-a-kind toy came out in 2017, gathering attention as the most luxurious and ludicrous item on the list. What is this?

Are fidget toys for all ages? ›

In addition to the improved learning benefits, fidget toys can also reduce anxiety and stress, enhance dexterity, improve coordination and fine motor skills and assist in the development of muscles of small hands. Fidget toys are appropriate for all ages and genders and most developmental abilities.

What are 5 stress Busters? ›

10 stress busters
  • Be active. ...
  • Take control. ...
  • Connect with people. ...
  • Have some "me time" ...
  • Challenge yourself. ...
  • Avoid unhealthy habits. ...
  • Help other people. ...
  • Work smarter, not harder.

Do stress balls actually work? ›

Though squeezing a stress ball is not a long term solution for stress, it can help your body to release tension in the moment. The motion acts as a reminder to relax the muscles that are clenched when you're anxious, which can help avoid complications like headaches or pain that accompany long periods of tensing.

How long do stress balls last? ›

Homemade stress balls will last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, but balloons will degrade over time. If you notice a small hole or crack in the surface of the balloon, it is time to throw it away and make a new one. INSTRUCTIONS: 1.

What is a good stress relief gift? ›

Healthline's picks for the best 25 gifts for stress relief and relaxation
  • Bearaby Tree Napper Blanket.
  • Neckteck Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager.
  • Nectar Donut Delight Bath Bomb Box.
  • Nodpod Weighted Sleep Mask.
  • Vitruvi Stone Diffuser.
  • Book of the Month Membership.
  • Healing Solutions Bergamot Essential Oil.

What are stress reliever toys? ›

There are different kinds of Stress Relief Toys. Some of them include-
  • #1 Fidget Spinners-
  • #2 Stress Balls-
  • #3 Fidget Cube-
  • #4 Tangle Therapy Relax Toy-
  • #5 Squeeze Aromatherapy Dough-
11 Apr 2022

What to buy someone who is stressed out? ›

From back massagers, calming tea, and weighted blankets, to aromatherapy, and bath bombs, we've found something for everyone on your holiday shopping list. And the best part? These stress relief gift ideas are all aimed at self-soothing, chilling out, and generally providing a state of inner zen.

What is the smallest fidget toy in the world? ›

It's a tiny Fiddle Spinner, the popular finger spinning toy! The "World's Smallest" miniature Fidget Spiiner car fits on the tip of your fingers and can go anywhere with you.
...
Features
For AgesAges 8+
MaterialPlastic
ColorAssorted Colors

Are fidget toys allowed in school? ›

Many teachers are fine with your child using a fidget toy in their classroom as long as it isn't distracting.

Do fidget toys actually help? ›

According to recent studies, fidgeting may help children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by increasing their concentration. And now, specially-designed objects known as “fidgets” are helping them do just that.

What can I buy for anxiety and depression? ›

Gifts for Anxiety
  • Weighted Blankets. Weighted blankets are shown to reduce anxiety as the weight of the blanket applies pressure to the body as human contact would (like a hug or a cuddle), which can help one's body relax. ...
  • Essential Oils. ...
  • Acts of Service. ...
  • Art Supplies. ...
  • Journal. ...
  • Sensory Rings / Anxiety Rings.
7 Dec 2021

What is an anxiety stick? ›

An anxiety pen is basically a vape with CBD in it. CBD is a chemical substance that is also known as a cannabinoid. This substance has numerous health benefits, which include stress management, inflammation & pain management and anxiety management.

Who had the first fidget? ›

Fidget toys date back to the Ming Dynasty in China, approximately 3,500 years ago. In a small town of Baoding in the North China Plain, those who practiced traditional Chinese medicine created Baoding balls as a health precaution to keep fidgeting hands busy and out of trouble.

What was the first pop it? ›

The mechanical design or the Pop-It bubble popper was originally invented in 1975 by Theo and Ora Coster of Theora Concepts: a married Israeli couple who had invented many games including Guess Who? and Zingo!. Incidentally, Theo was a former classmate of Anne Frank.

What is the oldest toy on earth? ›

What would you say if I asked you what you think the world's oldest toy is? You're right, it's the spinning top! Believe it or not, the oldest top ever found was dated to be about six thousand years old and there was a wooden top found in King Tut's tomb! The beauty of these toys is in their simplicity.

What age do kids like Popits? ›

Remember fidget spinners? Water bottle flipping? Slime? The latest viral summer toy trend captivating children ages 5 to 20 is similarly sensory-friendly, the perfect blend of therapy and whimsy.

What age is pop for? ›

It's versatile. Play it alone, in parties or as family games. Fun games for kids ages 4-8.

Why do kids like pop its? ›

Fidget toys, in general, help kids release nervous or restless energy, Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York City-based neuropsychologist tells InsideHook. And kids could be subconsciously using the Pop It! as a stress reliever. “Popping the little bubbles may also relax muscle tension, reduce anxiety and stress,” she says.

What are 10 stress relievers? ›

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  • Get active. Virtually any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever. ...
  • Meditate. ...
  • Laugh more. ...
  • Connect with others. ...
  • Assert yourself. ...
  • Try yoga. ...
  • Get enough sleep. ...
  • Keep a journal.

What are 7 tips to relieve your stress? ›

In this Article
  • 1.Exercise.
  • 2.Relax Your Muscles.
  • 3.Deep Breathing.
  • 4.Eat Well.
  • 5.Slow Down.
  • 6.Take a Break.
  • 7.Make Time for Hobbies.
  • 8.Talk About Your Problems.
29 Apr 2021

What is the 54321 coping technique? ›

The 5 senses grounding technique, often referred to as the 54321 method or 54321 anxiety trick is a tool that helps relieve anxiety symptoms and panic attacks. The 54321 method can be used as a practical way to calm anxiety by isolating each of your senses through observation.

How do Chinese stress balls work? ›

Baoding balls are usually used two at a time, with the balls touching, in a circular motion in your hand. This can improve finger dexterity, range of motion, fine motor skills, and increase hand strength before or after an injury.

Do stress balls help with depression? ›

Owning and using a stress ball can not prevent illnesses, diseases or depression, but it can improve those conditions. It is one of the most powerful mindfulness products that can help individuals deal with their condition.

What's inside of stress balls? ›

Both stress balls and squishies are made of polyurethane, a “polymer” that forms when its component “monomers,” namely isocyanates and polyols, are linked together into long chains.

Do you squeeze a stress ball? ›

Stress balls can be squeezed over and over again until you feel your nerves calming down because most are made from materials that regain their original shape when they are not being squeezed. Squeezing the ball activates the muscles of your hand and wrist, releasing the grip allows the muscles to relax.

Can you freeze a stress ball? ›

Thank you for your question! If you were to freeze the IMAK Ergo Stress Ball for at least an hour, it should stay cold for approximately 10 minutes.

What are stress balls called? ›

The most common type of stress ball in America is the "bean bag" type, commonly known as a "Hacky Sack". In Australia, most common are the foam type, which prevents stress through resistance from squeezing the ball.

What are 3 stress relieving activities? ›

Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders.

What should be in an anxiety box? ›

You can include strong mints, chocolate, chewing gum and sour sweets. Herbal teas and calming teas also help people to relax. You could also keep a small bottle of water in a self-soothe box, which works as a gentle reminder to stay hydrated.

What are calming items? ›

15 products to help you relieve stress
  • Our favorite weighted blanket. ...
  • An adult coloring book that redirects your focus. ...
  • An essential oil diffuser for a calming atmosphere. ...
  • A kit that teaches you a soothing craft. ...
  • A yoga mat for stretching and meditating. ...
  • Epsom salts for relaxing in the tub.
21 Oct 2020

What are all the fidgets called? ›

39 Classroom-Friendly Fidget Toys and Devices To Help Students Focus
  • Fidget Spinner. Here's the original that started the trend: a fidget spinner! ...
  • Mini Spinners. Want enough spinner fidget toys for the whole class? ...
  • Fidget Band. ...
  • Bubble Pop Fidgets. ...
  • Marble Fidgets. ...
  • Marble Maze. ...
  • Infinity Cube. ...
  • Rainbow Fidget Ball.
8 Sept 2022

Do toys help with depression? ›

Fidget toys can actually be very helpful in depression as well,” Feibel said. “If you think of them as a distraction tool, people can deflect some of the symptoms of depression, such as rumination and negative thoughts.

What do you get a sad person? ›

Here is the list of gifts you can give to your friends in depression and cheer them up:
  • A Pill Case. ...
  • Gift Card For Body & Mind Relaxing Massage. ...
  • Books To Escape Thoughts. ...
  • Essential Oils. ...
  • Journal. ...
  • A Comfortable Or Weighted Blanket. ...
  • A Personalized Jar Of Messages. ...
  • Plants.
27 Jul 2022

How do you comfort a stressed person? ›

Listen to how they feel

Having a chance to talk could help them feel calmer and more able to deal with their stress. Being there for them and listening without judging them can help. “[My friends can help by] making me a cup of tea, holding me while I cry, making me laugh...”

How can I help someone emotionally stressed? ›

Try one or more of the following:
  1. Take some time to relax: Take some time to care for yourself. ...
  2. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is learning how to focus your attention and become more aware. ...
  3. Distract your mind and focus on something else: Focus your mind on something other than what's causing your stress.
29 Dec 2020

Do fidget toys help with stress? ›

For some people, fidgeting may engage and stimulate parts of the brain involved in attention. Repetitive movements can act as displacement behaviors to relieve stress. Although this may affect people differently, some research has suggested that fidgeting provides more relief for men in high pressure situations.

Does fidget toys reduce stress? ›

Pune: Fidget toys such as Slime and Pop It have become popular means to relieve stress for children and adults alike. Mental health professionals said that poking, prodding, stretching, twisting, kneading, squishing can be therapeutic have a calming effect on the mind.

Do fidgets help with anxiety? ›

This is a common use for people who have anxiety because it offers a way to self-soothe in predictable, rhythmic motor patterns that are calming. As a result, a fidget can be a great way to provide stress relief or anxiety relief.

Do people with anxiety need fidget toys? ›

Fidget toys and tools can be very helpful for people with certain anxiety disorders like skin picking (dermatillomania) and hair-pulling as they give the hands something else to do. Fidget bracelets, charms and necklaces can also be a pretty and stylish way to wear something that helps keep your hands occupied.

What was the first fidget toy? ›

One of the earliest examples of fidget toys are the Baoding balls. The Ming Dynasty first produced metal Baoding balls thousands of years ago as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Should fidgets be allowed in school? ›

Unless it is written into a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 accommodation, fidget spinners should not be allowed in the classroom." Logan agreed. "I've found for most of my students, fidget spinners tend to be a distraction—especially since they spin them inside their desks, which makes noise.

Are fidget toys healthy? ›

Fidgets aren't only useful for kids with ADHD; they can also be useful for those on the autism spectrum or with sensory disorders. In fact, Gilormini says that many adults and people without disabilities can benefit from fidgeting.

What can I chew on for anxiety? ›

A study out of Swinburne University found that people who chew gum while multitasking under stress had lower cortisol levels, reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and increased levels of alertness and performance. Another found that chewing gum can improve a negative mood, and increase levels of peace and calm.

How can I calm my anxiety? ›

There are a number of things you can try to help combat anxiety, including:
  1. Behavioral therapy.
  2. Deep breathing.
  3. Exercise.
  4. Journaling.
  5. Meditation.
  6. Reading.
  7. Socializing, following pandemic guidelines of social distancing, masking and hand hygiene)
  8. Speaking with your health care provider.
10 Feb 2021

What is an anxiety ring? ›

An anxiety ring is literally a ring you can wear on your finger. “It can have beads on it that you can roll around on the ring. Or it has a band within bands, where the center band twists around if you move it with your fingers or your thumb,” says Dr. Childs. “It helps with self-soothing.”

Why do people fidget with pens? ›

It's associated with not paying attention, and often reflects discomfort and restlessness. For example, if you've been listening to a lecture for a long time, you may find yourself tapping your pencil. Fidgeting can increase your physiological arousal and help you feel more alert.

How do you pick a fidget toy? ›

Hard plastic, wood, and metal are likely to stand the test of time longer than the rubbery or gel-filled items, which pick up more dirt and are more difficult to clean. Weight – our fidget toy testers tend to prefer items that have a little heft or weight.

How do fidget toys affect the brain? ›

Fidget toys improve learning as they allow the brain to filter out extra sensory information, helping the child actively listen, pay attention and focus on the task. Fidgets help improve attention through toy manipulation, allowing the child to concentrate on tasks in the classroom or online.

Do fidgets help with depression? ›

Fidget toys can actually be very helpful in depression as well,” Feibel said. “If you think of them as a distraction tool, people can deflect some of the symptoms of depression, such as rumination and negative thoughts.

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