Which squishy fidget toys are best?

Fidget toys have become commonplace in recent years. Both children and adults have benefited from their soothing and relaxing properties. Fidget toys work to calm the mind by giving it something to focus on rather than feeling stress or anxiety. There are many varieties of toys, but squishy fidget toys have been around for decades.

The best squishy fidget toy is the Power Your Fun Arggh! Mini Stress Ball, which comes in a pack of three stress balls that change colors as you squeeze them. You can keep one in the car, one at the office and another at home for yourself and your children.

What to know before you buy a squishy fidget toy

History of fidget toys

Fidget objects have a long history in cultures around the world. The Ming Dynasty in Ancient China created Baoding balls, which were used to stimulate meditation. Squishy stress balls have been around since 1988, when a New York businessman invented them for stressed-out workers in the city. This clever invention would kick off the fidget toy boom. 

Panic Pete was the next popular squeeze toy, featuring the head of a cartoon man that, when squeezed, would pop out his eyes. Nerf balls would also see huge success as squishy toys in the 1990s. Around this same time, companies began using squishy balls as promotional products to pass out at conventions to promote their businesses.

Modern squishy fidget toys

Fidget toys are still popular today. In fact, in the 2010s, fidget spinners saw a huge uptick in sales. These devices were usually made of a fairly weighty metal and were able to spin for several seconds, creating a calming hum and pleasing feeling when held between the fingers. Their popularity helped bring back the squishy fidget toy, or stress ball. Today, squishy fidget toys come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and densities. 

Squishy fidget toy benefits

Fidget toys have been lauded for their ability to curb stress. While this is mostly based on anecdotes from people who swear by them, it does match up with some research on the subject. According to Scientific American, preliminary studies show that “attitude, attention, writing abilities, and peer interaction” improved in children who used stress balls. The toys help to keep their minds from wandering and help them with social interaction. The only negative some people offer is that fidget toys can be too distracting for some children. 

What to look for in a quality squishy fidget toy

Glow in the dark

Some manufacturers of fidget spinners put lights on their toys. These devices light up while spinning and create a colorful show to dazzle the eyes. But adding a battery into the center of a squishy fidget toy would destroy its squishiness, so some toy makers have opted for glow-in-the-dark balls. These high-quality toys don’t require batteries but still offer a good amount of light in dark settings. To charge the ball, simply expose it to direct sunlight for several minutes. 

Beaded squishy fidget toys 

While there are many different types of squishy fidget toy, one stands out as the most popular: beaded balls. These use a soft, squishy shell on the outside while the inside is filled with liquid and dozens of small beads. The result is a satisfying squish that comes from the slippery beads pressing against the soft shell. 

Squishy toy variety packs

Squishy fidget toys are inexpensive to begin with, but you can always get more bang for your buck with a variety pack that offers several different squishy toys. This allows you to place toys in different places, so you always have one nearby, and lets you switch things up if you want a different sensation from your toy. These variety packs can have the same toy with different colors or several completely different toys. They can range from squishy blocks to adorable squishy cats or stretchy strings.

How much you can expect to spend on squishy fidget toys

Squishy fidget toys cost between $9-$21.

Squishy fidget toys FAQ

Are squishy fidget toys safe for children?

A. Most are considered safe for children. They are often too large to be swallowed and therefore shouldn’t pose a choking risk. Be sure to read the safety instructions and age requirements for each toy before purchasing it for a child. 

How do you clean a squishy fidget toy?

A. You can clean them with warm water and mild soap. You may also want to disinfect them using anti-bacterial soap or spray. Do not put your toy in the dishwasher or washing machine, which may ruin its shape or penetrate the exterior shell.

What’s the best squishy fidget toy to buy?

Top squishy fidget toys

Power Your Fun Arggh! Mini Stress Ball

Power Your Fun Arggh! Mini Stress Ball

What you need to know: This variety pack of squishy balls includes three toys with varying levels of resistance. 

What you’ll love: Arggh! Balls are classic squishy fidget toys, small enough to fit in the palm of your hand but big enough to have a satisfying squeeze. These balls are not only different colors, they change into another color as you squeeze them. 

What you should consider: They may be too basic looking for some people.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top squishy fidget toys for the money

Kingyao Squishy Fidget Toy Bundle

Kingyao Squishy Fidget Toy Bundle

What you need to know: This variety pack of squishy toys is ideal for those who want a wide variety of options to squeeze.

What you’ll love: There are 24 toys in this pack, each with its own shape, style and feel. There’s a liquid motion timer, adorable moshi squishies, stretchy strings, Easter egg slime, whacky tack and squishy sports balls. This pack also comes with a convenient carrying case that fits each and every toy inside. 

What you should consider: Some of the toys aren’t squishy, but instead offer more of a brain game puzzle.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Beyond Innovations Sticky Balls

Beyond Innovations Sticky Balls

What you need to know: This is a good cross between sticky wall balls and stress-relieving fidget balls. 

What you’ll love: This pack contains eight balls, each a different color. Their sticky exterior clings to walls and ceilings for a few seconds before falling down, and they have beads inside so you can squeeze them for satisfying stress relief. Plus, they glow in the dark. 

What you should consider: They need to be rinsed often due to their sticky exterior.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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