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Fidget toys have exploded in popularity in recent years as a way to increase focus, reduce restlessness, and manage anxiety. Experts have mixed feelings about how effective they are, but plenty of people swear by them.
Curious to give them a try? We’ve rounded up 18 well-reviewed options that meet a variety of needs. We’ve taken into account user reviews and price point.
Price is indicated by a dollar sign as follows:
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–$30
- $$$ = over $30
Best on-the-go toys
Looking for something you can fidget with while you wait for an appointment or during your commute?
These handy options can be thrown in a bag or even stowed in your pocket.
This mini Rubik’s Cube may require a little more involvement than some fidget toys, but if you’re a puzzle-solving fiend, it should hit the spot.
Just keep in mind that some reviewers found this mini version a bit uncomfortable for larger hands.
Fidget tools made of clean bike chain links can stand up to a lot of use.
This flippy chain can fit in your pocket. It includes small silicone bands for added texture. Some reviewers recommend putting it on a keychain to avoid losing it.
This option is made of smooth, interlocking rings. If you enjoy textures, stroking the rings may have a calming effect. This toy’s small size may make it ideal for quiet fidgeting with one hand, whether you stroke or rotate the rings or simply spin the ball in your hand.
It may be too small for young children, however, since it could present a choking hazard.
This aluminum cube consists of eight smaller cubes you can rotate to create different shapes and configurations. Reviews suggest this fidget toy has enough weight to give it a sturdy feel without being heavy.
It can make a small amount of noise when in use, so it’s probably not ideal for a very quiet environment.
Best desk toys
These options are a little larger, making them better suited for a spot on your desk. Some of them can make pretty sleek decorations, too.
This desktop toy comes with a magnetic base and 220 small magnetic balls. You stack the balls onto the base, arranging them into various shapes. Use it when you’re taking a break from work or need a few minutes to relax or ease anxious thoughts.
The small balls pose a choking hazard, so be sure to keep it out of reach of children.
This product is currently out of stock, but this is a comparable option.
Zen gardens typically include patches of gravel or sand that visitors can rake to promote a meditative state. Keeping a miniature version on your desk may help make it easier to take a break and focus on something calming if you start feeling anxious.
To work the toy, you set the disk onto the mirror and spin it. The disk spins continuously, creating different patterns of color and humming as it spins faster and faster.
Because this toy does involve noise, it may not be ideal for very quiet work environments. And if you have any sensitivity to light, you may want to skip this one.
A classic Newton’s cradle consists of spheres that hang from a metal frame. By drawing one ball back and releasing it, you set a pendulum effect in motion. Watching how the balls move can have a soothing effect.
The spheres click when they touch, so keep that in mind when you choose to use this fidget tool.
The EASTBULL Useless Box isn’t a traditional fidget toy, yet it can still offer a distraction from distressing or upsetting thoughts.
To use it, flip the switch on and wait for the box to turn itself off.
Fidget jewelry can be a great option to help soothe anxiety when you’re on the move or trying to be discreet.
You can find spinner rings in a variety of styles and colors. This one is versatile and has a unisex style and reasonable price. It’s also made of sterling silver, so it won’t turn your finger green after a few wears.
Like the Möbii Fidget Ball mentioned previously, the pendant of this necklace features smooth, interwoven rings. They come in a variety of colors, so you can choose your favorite or even customize a design with multiple colors.
Reviews suggest this fidget necklace may work well for adults and children old enough for jewelry, since it offers a quiet, discreet way to fidget at school, work, or home.
These springy rings are designed to strategically stimulate pressure points on your fingers, but they can also make great fidget toys.
Slide it up and down your finger for stress relief and a massage.
Best for the classroom
Keeping fidget toys in the classroom may help some kids manage stress and anxiety. Just make sure to establish some ground rules around their use, so they don’t become a distraction.
Kick bands, also called resistance bands, may be helpful for anyone who tends to jiggle their feet or kick chair, table, or desk legs when feeling anxious or stressed.
They attach to the chair legs. Reviewers say they’re relatively silent.
Pencil toppers may offer a soothing, fun distraction for some kids. And chewing may offer a quiet way to relieve tension and stress.
Just make sure students don’t share them and spread germs.
The Tangle is a popular fidget for classrooms and other quiet environments because it doesn’t produce noise. It includes connected, curving pieces you can reshape, take apart, twist, and put back together.
Reviews suggest it can benefit children and adults alike. Children may find the toy entertaining and soothing. It may promote relaxation or stress relief in teens and older adults.
Many reviewers reported this fidget toy helped them manage symptoms of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other distress.
The Tangle Jr. is a smaller version that may work well in the classroom or on the go.
Best sensory toys
Autistic people may feel stressed or anxious at times as a result of sensory overload. But not having enough sensory input can also cause distress. That’s where sensory fidget toys come in.
In addition to offering an outlet for stress and anxiety, squeeze balls can also relieve tension and stiffness, which can be physical symptoms of anxiety.
You can find tons of varieties online and in stores, but this set by Freegrace comes with different resistance options.
Also called stress-relief dough, adult play dough is pretty similar to the stuff you played with as a kid. But it comes in more neutral colors and even essential oils, in some cases.
For anxiety, consider trying The Squeeze’s lavender-infused dough.
Some people may chew things, including pen caps, fingers, and shirt collars, when feeling anxious. This offers some sensory input that can be calming for some.
Chewable necklaces are a discreet option that you can use just about anywhere. ARK Therapeutics makes a pendant that’s sophisticated enough for adults but durable enough for children.
Fidget toys can be a handy thing to keep around for moments of stress and anxiety.
While there’s some debate over how well they work, there’s no evidence that they’ll make your symptoms worse, so they’re worth a shot if you’re interested in them.