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Fidget toys are tools that may help children and adults to focus and destress. However, there is little scientific evidence that these products affect focus.

A quick look at the best fidget toys for anxiety

This article discusses what fidget toys are, how they work, and some of the best options available to purchase online.

Fidget toys are small items that are self-regulatory tools. These products can be handheld devices that a person squeezes or more multifaceted products with switches to slip, dials to rotate, and buttons to click.

Most fidget toys allow a person to engage in repetitive actions that can help focus the mind. People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, or sensory conditions may use these products to release tension and stress.

CHADD, an advocacy organization for children and adults with ADHD, states that the act of fidgeting can help some people focus, solve problems, and remember information. However, there has been little scientific research to support these claims.

People may find fidget toys helpful if they have conditions such as ADHD, stress, and anxiety. Those without a diagnosis of a mental health condition or behavioral condition may also benefit from these products to help them focus on the tasks at hand.

However, there is little scientific evidence that fidget toys can help improve focus and relieve stress. One study on school-age children with ADHD found that while fidget toys decrease activity levels, they also negatively affect levels of attention.

There are some studies on fidget toys for anxiety or OCD, though most have found there is no effect. There is n ot enough evidence to say that the use of fidget toys reduces anxiety.

However, anecdotally, these products may give people a point of focus that may help distract them from some of the symptoms of their condition. There is no harm, risk, or significant cost of fidget toys, so they may be a lower-budget option for people who are trying to ease symptoms of anxiety.

One of the most common anecdotal support for fidget toys is that these products may help people with ADHD focus on tasks, especially children. However, research is limited and provides mixed results.

For example, a 2022 study on three students with ADHD, ages 7 or 8 years old, found that the fidget toys helped increase on-task behavior. On-task behavior in this study meant that children were sitting at their desks and not disrupting lessons.

However, the researchers note that it is impossible to determine how well the children were concentrating on the task at hand. While fidget toys appeared to make the classroom less disruptive, there was not enough data to suggest that children who use these products pay more attention in class.

Another 2022 study found that supplying three students ages 8 or 9 years old with perceived attention difficulties with a fidget toy did not improve behavior.

Medical News Today chooses products that fit the following criteria where possible:

  • Budget: Products that fit a range of budgets.
  • Type of fidget toy: Products that click, spin, twist, and stretch.
  • Age suitability: Products that are suitable for adults and children.
  • Noise levels: Products in a range of noise levels, including silent toys.
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There are several fidget toys available to purchase online. Below is a selection of products that a person may wish to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for all ages: Chuchik Toys Fidget Cube

  • List price: around $8
  • Age range: children and adults
  • Material: non-plastic silicone
  • Customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

The multiple features of this device let users flip switches, roll gears, click buttons, glide a joystick, circle a disk, and rub.

This product has a rubber-like feeling, and the company claims it is durable enough for all ages. However, adults should supervise young children to ensure they do not swallow any small parts.

Best for the office: Ono Roller

  • List price: around $35
  • Age range: adults
  • Material: aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Customer rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars

This aluminum silent hand roller can help massage cramping hand muscles.

The company states that this product may help relieve stress at work and prevent habits such as nail-biting. It is reportedly silent to use.

This product is available in various colors.

Best for older children: Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty Intergalactic Triple Color Changing Putty

  • List price: around $14
  • Age range: children older than 3 years
  • Material: nontoxic silicone
  • Customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

This product responds to a person’s body heat, changing color from blue to pink. People can pull, twist, and stretch this silent fidget toy.

This product is a non-drying, silicone-based putty.

It is not suitable for younger children due to being a choking hazard.

Best for fidgeting legs: Gnawrishing Chair Bands

  • List price: around $16
  • Age range: children
  • Material: nontoxic latex
  • Customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

These natural latex chair bands fit around the legs of chairs and school desks.

The company states that this product can help children focus by pressing their legs and feet against the band.

The product is suitable for use at home or in a classroom if a teacher allows it.

Best for studying: AUSTOR 20 Pieces Fidget Toys

  • List price: around $12
  • Age range: children and adults
  • Material: nylon and marble
  • Customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

This product is a marble in a nylon pouch. People can squeeze, twist, bend, pull, and push the marble for quiet fidgeting.

The 20 pieces are available in a variety of colors.

The company states that this product may be suitable for people with ADHD and those with autism.

Best for meditation: 4E’s Novelty Expandable Breathing Ball Sphere

  • List price: around $30
  • Age range: children and adults
  • Material: plastic
  • Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

These colorful, plastic spheres expand from 5.6–12 inches (in).

People can inhale when they contract the ball and exhale as the sphere expands, which can help encourage mindful breathing and meditation.

The company states that this product is suitable for adults and children.

Best for sensory stimulation: Impresa Monkey Noodle

  • List price: around $15
  • Age range: children 3 years and older
  • Material: latex
  • Customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

These hypoallergenic toys do not contain latex, BPAs, or phthalates. This product is available in various colors and can stretch up to 8 feet and bounce back to its original shape.

The company states that this product is suitable for individuals 3 years and older. However, children should use these toys with adult supervision to ensure a child does not injure themselves or others.

Best for relaxing: Palm Tangle Classic

  • List price: $10
  • Age range: children 3 years and older
  • Material: plastic
  • Customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

This fidget toy is a hard, smooth, plastic product that bends, twists, and stretches. It is 10.5 in when fully uncoiled. It comes in 4 color options.

This product is quiet.

However, the company does not recommend it for children under 3 years due to the choking hazard of this toy.

Best for school: B-KIDS Fidget Pencil Toppers

  • List price: around $10
  • Age range: children 3 years and older
  • Material: plastic
  • Customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

One order contains 12 colorful fidget pencil toppers.

The pencil toppers are plastic nuts and bolts or wing nuts, which a person can quietly twist and flip.

They come in the colors blue, green, pink, and orange.

The following table compares the products in this article on price, age range, material, and more.

List priceAge rangeMaterialCustomer rating
Chuchikaround $8children and adultsnon-plastic silicone4.3 out of 5 stars
Onoaround $35adultsaircraft-grade aluminum4.7 out of 5 stars
Crazy Aaron’saround $14children 3 years and oldernontoxic silicone4.6 out of 5 stars
Gawrishingaround $16childrennontoxic latex4.3 out of 5 stars
AUSTORaround $12children and adultsnylon and marble4.8 out of 5 stars
4E’s Noveltyaround $30children and adultsplastic4.5 out of 5 stars
Impresaaround $15children 3 years and olderlatex4.6 out of 5 stars
Tangle Classic
$10children 3 years and olderplastic4.8 out of 5 stars
B-KIDSaround $10children 3 years and olderplastic4.5 out of 5 stars

People may wish to consider the following when choosing a fidget toy:

  • Noise levels: A person may wish to opt for quiet products if they intend to use them in public, schools, or places of work to avoid disturbing others.
  • Age of the user: People should avoid fidget toys that present a choking hazard due to small parts or the design.
  • Ease of use: People may wish to purchase a fidget toy that does not require focus to use the product. This can help stop people from paying more attention to the fidget toy than the work or studying they want to focus on.

Below are some common questions about fidget toys.

What is the best fidget toy?

There is no one best fidget toy. People should consider the type of fidget actions a product offers, the noise levels, and the toy’s safety when choosing a product.

What is the best fidget toy for anxiety?

There is no scientific research into the best fidget toy for anxiety.

People should consider which type of fidgeting they find the most calming. For example, some people may find stretchy putty calming, whereas others may prefer toys that they twist and pull.

What is the best fidget toy for focus?

The best fidget toy for focus is one that a person can use while engaging in other tasks.

For example, some people may prefer a toy that they can rub, twist, or turn without looking at it. Fidget toys that are quiet and unobtrusive may also help with focus.

What is the best fidget toy for kids?

Fidget toys for children should not have any small parts that are a choking hazard or a design that could otherwise harm them.

Children may find that small, quiet, and unobtrusive toys are more suitable to keep their focus on school work and to avoid distracting others.

Fidget toys offer a range of activities that may help increase focus and reduce stress.

While people with ADHD, OCD, and anxiety may benefit from these products, there is little scientific evidence that fidget toys can increase focus and reduce stress.