The 12 Best Fidget Toys of 2021, According to an Expert

Keep your hands busy with these gadgets

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Our Top Picks
Perfect for those who struggle with anxiety, its one-hand design allows for constant movement in a discreet cube form.
An affordable option that gives you four for the price of one, the snap and click mechanisms help decrease restlessness.
Ideal for adults and kids looking to occupy restless fingers and soothe tired joints, it features multiple textured surfaces.
This two-in-one pick is both a pen and a spinner, making it easy for you to transition from doodling to building.
With a bright look and a long spin time, it creates a cool rainbow effect when spun.
Stay focused at your desk with this sophisticated pick, which offers a long spin time and scratch prevention.
Designed for quiet fidgeting, this chain-style toy fits in one hand or in a pocket for easy access.
This unique jewelry piece discreetly doubles as a fidget tool you can use in any public setting.
A putty for both kids and adults, it features a non-sticky formula that will bring you a calm feeling while in your hand.
Covered in a soft, sand-like texture and crafted with vinyl, the strips provide a touchable surface for any stress-related habit.

Defined as the generation of small movements through nervousness or impatience, fidgeting is one of the notable characteristics of ADHD and anxiety. While the habit used to be most apparent in kids, it's become more noticeable in adults now that working from home and zoom calls are more popular.

“A good sensory toy should have some weight or texture to it that the user can focus on," says Elizabeth Hankin, MA., L.M.F.T., licensed marriage and family therapy therapist at Whole Health Psychological Center. "Movement of the toy causes instant grounding effects by taking the user out of their head and refocuses them back to the present moment,” she adds.

Anxiety, nervous energy, boredom, and fidgeting can be a thief of concentration and productivity in the workday, leading to unwanted habits such as leg shaking, nail-biting, skin picking, and checking our phones too often. Fortunately, fidget toys—designed to decrease feelings of boredom while increasing focus—can be used to avoid these potentially harmful habits.

Here are the best fidget toys on the market, according to a licensed mental health counselor.

Best Overall: Small Fish Infinity Cube Fidget Toy

Pros
  • Fits in one hand

  • Easily carried

  • Good for kids and adults

Cons
  • Cannot be disassembled

  • Not multi-sensory

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.

Great for kids and adults alike, it's crafted with durable ABS plastic blocks and stainless steel rivets for durability, no matter how often it's used.

Best Budget: Big Mos Toys Wacky Tracks Finger Fidget Stress Reliever

Big Mos Toys Wacky Tracks Stress Reliever
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Multiple options for kids

  • Brightly colored

Cons
  • Not discreet

  • Clicks may be too loud for some

  • Only one function

Available in a pack of four, these fidget spinners are great for storing in your bag, a desk, or in a drawer in your home. Since they're easy to use, they're ideal for both kids and adults.

The snap-and-click mechanisms in this toy decrease restlessness and provide an outlet for boredom or pent-up energy. The bright colors and the ability to mix and match the pieces make them fun for anyone looking for a budget-friendly solution to nervous habits.

Best for Kids: Tangle Creations S&S Worldwide Therapy Tangle

Pros
  • Good for young kids

  • Easy to clean

  • Brightly colored

Cons
  • Not good for adults

  • Not discreet

  • Only offers one function

With no small pieces or complicated construction, this toy is suitable for ages 3 and up. It offers multiple textile surfaces—from jelly to textured plastic—to keep restless fingers occupied. This fidget toy is also a therapeutic option to soothe tired fingers and joints from too much phone time or long writing assignments.

Because the pieces are plastic, they can be easily cleaned with soap and water—great for parents and office workers trying to decrease the spread of germs.

Best Fidget Pen: Wish.com Magnetic Metal Fidget Pen

Magnetic Metal Fidget Pen
Pros
  • Unique design

  • Good for boredom

  • Discreet  

Cons
  • Not good for young kids

  • Small pieces can get lost

  • Expensive

With endless fidgeting possibilities, this multi-purpose pen can be transformed from a pen to a spinner to a magnetic toy effortlessly. It's a great pick for someone who gets bored easily and needs frequent activity to stay entertained.

It comes with magnetic rings, pen refills, magnetic balls, and more—making it easy to doodle, spin, and build with a single gadget.

What Experts Say

“People with sensory issues struggle with things like fidgeting, boredom, or emotional outbursts usually due to sensory overload. These people are overloaded from too much stimuli. This is common nowadays especially with so much technology use. Sensory toys serve their purpose by allowing a person to ground themselves and re-focus their energy and efforts in a more productive manner,”Elizabeth Hankin, MA., L.M.F.T.

Best Spinner: MAGTIMES Rainbow Fidget Spinner

Pros
  • Long spin time

  • Multi-colored

  • Quiet

Cons
  • Only one function

  • Cannot be disassembled

Featuring bright colors and a long spin time, this spinner has the winning combination for an effective fidget toy. It’s made with durable stainless-steel bearings to create a fast and lengthy spin and it comes with a carrying case for easy transport. 

While spinning, it creates a neat rainbow effect. The brand also offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, which is ideal if you're looking for a new toy without a commitment.

Best for Office: Mezmoglobe Silver Mezmoglobe

The Mezmoglobe Desk Companion

If a neon, multi-colored fidget spinner doesn't work with your office decor, the Mezmoglobe Desk Companion is a sophisticated and sleek pick to keep at your desk instead.

Made from aerospace-grade aluminum, an anodized exterior, and a CDC-machined helix design, this is a top-quality product. The helix design creates a mesmerizing pattern and offers a long spin time to help maintain good focus. The leather bottom also prevents it from scratching the surface of your desk.

Pros
  • Fits with office decor

  • Made with aluminum alloy

  • Leather bottom to prevent scratching

Cons
  • Not great for kids

  • Expensive

Best Chain: Fidgetland Noah Bike Chain Fidget

Etsy Fidgetland Bike Chain Fidget
Pros
  • Portable and fits in pocket

  • Durable

  • Multiple color options

Cons
  • Not good for kids

  • Only offers one function

Originally seen on Shark Tank, this fidget toy has a unique design that allows for discreet and quiet fidgeting. Featuring a sleek and rounded shape, it's covered in multiple textured surfaces and comes in several colors.

It also fits easily in your hand or pocket and is an inexpensive option compared to other fidget gadgets marketed toward adults.  

Most Discreet: SILVERBOHOJEWELERY Textured Sterling Silver Ring

SILVERBOHOJEWELERY Textured Sterling Silver Ring
Pros
  • Stylish and discreet

  • Handmade

  • Good for meditation and fidgeting

Cons
  • Not good for kids

  • More feminine design

  • Slower shipping

This ring is handmade, uniquely designed, and hand-hammered to be a beautiful and unique jewelry piece. But instead of serving exclusively as a style must-have, it doubles as a meditation aide and multi-textured fidget ring.

Perfectly discreet, it looks like regular jewelry, but it can be worn on any occasion where anxiety might be present. It's accompanied by rave reviews and it's available in ring sizes 5 to 14.

Best Putty: Crazy Aaron's Crystal Clear Thinking Putty

Pros
  • Portable

  • Not sticky or greasy

  • Good for kids and adults

Cons
  • May attract dirt

  • Color may change over time

Need to de-stress? This squishy putty can keep kids and adults occupied and entertained for hours. The putty is soft and malleable without being sticky or greasy, so you don't have to worry about it making a mess or creating stains.

Some children with sensory difficulties may find the smooth texture of this putty more soothing than other fidget toys with harder finishes. The putty has the appearance of liquid glass and comes with its own storage tin for easy transport. 

Best Adhesive: Calm Strips Fidget Toy

Calm Strip Circles
Pros
  • Unique design

  • Many styles available

  • Discreet use

Cons
  • May lose stickiness

  • Only one function

  • Not good for all surfaces

Made with thin and durable vinyl, Calm Strips are a sensory adhesive designed to soothe anxiety and minimize fidgeting through the process of grounding. Great for those who struggle with stress-related habits, such as nail-biting and skin-picking, the 1.5-inch crescents feature a texture similar to smooth sand, providing a surface that you can rub as a relaxing outlet.

Place the strips on a laptop, phone, notebook, and more for easy access in tense environments. And since the back is covered in residue-free adhesive, they can be removed and easily transferred to a new surface.

Best for Popping: Louliou Fluorescent Bubble fidget toy

Pros
  • Durable

  • Colors are soothing

  • Washable and reusable

Cons
  • Popping sound may be distracting

  • Larger in size

  • Only one fidget option

This is a unique option for anyone ages 5 to 86 years old. The large fluorescent bubble fidget toy has 100 “bubbles” to keep boredom and fidgeting at a minimum. The colors are also soothing to those with symptoms associated with ADHD and autism.

Made from silicone, you can “pop” the bubbles on one side, turn it over and continue for endless fidgeting. Because it’s made from durable silicone, you can wash it as many times as you need to and not worry about anxious hands breaking the toy. 

Best Glow-in-the-Dark: Faimocas Fidget Spinner

Pros
  • Made from aluminum alloy

  • Long spin time

  • Quiet and descreet

Cons
  • Lights may be distracting

  • Expensive

  • Not suitable for very young kids

Made from 100 percent aluminum alloy, this high-quality and well-made spinner is small, easy to carry, glows in the dark, and perfect for calming ADHD symptoms and feelings of boredom. It is also designed to be disassembled and reassembled to further decrease boredom. 

The rotation time is longer than most, and the bearings are quiet, making it a good option for homework or tutoring sessions. This spinner is a good option for those who struggle with symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD, and autism.

Final Verdict

While it may not be shaped like a traditional fidget toy, the Small Fish Infinity Cube Fidget Toy (view at Amazon) is ideal for both kids and adults. The eight-piece toy is crafted for durability and designed to hold up to constant flips and folds. It's also small and discreet—making it portable and easy to take wherever you find yourself most stressed and uneasy.

What To Look for in a Fidget Toy

Durability

 Because a person is usually frustrated, anxious, or doing something that requires concentration like homework, a good fidget toy should be durable enough to handle strong fingers and stressful use. Fidget toys are not made to be “handled with care” and people should feel comfortable being a little tougher on them.

Soothing Colors

Soothing colors can help calm the mind, focus the brain, and redirect thoughts from stressful preoccupations to more calming topics. Attractive colors will also encourage people to choose a fidget toy to take their frustrations out on rather than a more breakable object. A toy that changes colors or lights up can also be helpful for some people to further decrease episodes of boredom.

Sounds

Some people with autism struggle with sensory sensitivity and even quiet noises can feel overwhelming. Smooth fidget spinners that are completely silent are a good option for those with noise sensitivity. For some people who struggle with ADHD or anxiety, slight clicking or popping noises can feel satisfying like with the Bubble fidget toy (view at Amazon) or Fidget Cube (view at Amazon).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to make a homemade fidget toy

    The weighted pencil fidget toy is an easy and cheap option. Take an ordinary pencil, use rubber grips as stoppers, and add different colored beads and even metal nuts to the pencil. Kids can spin the various beads and metals around the pencil for fidgeting relief while the rubber grips add texture for textile soothing. Simple origami folds and doodling can be quick and easy fidget fix options as well. 

  • Do fidget toys help with anxiety?

    Fidget toys may offer the right amount of stimulation to help increase focus but not too much to cause distraction from the task at hand. Anxiety is often energy that has nowhere to go. Fidget toys can be a useful energy outlet especially for those who struggle with work and test-taking anxiety. 

  • Do fidget toys help with ADHD?

    While minimal formal research has been done on ADHD and fidget toys specifically, researchers have spent time observing ADHD children using fidget toys. Some research supports the claim that fidget spinners may increase attention to the task at hand in children who already have attention disorders. Research also shows that fidget toys are more helpful when the task at hand requires lower cognitive effort.

  • Are fidget toys good for autism?

    More research is necessary to support claims that fidget toys can help individuals with autism, however, similar to those with ADHD, fidgeting may help with fine motor control.

    Some people with autism struggle to manage their frustrations and are more prone to outbursts. Fidget toys may help distract the mind when frustrated and give anxious fingers a way to release energy. They can also help calm frustrations when in boring situations like car rides and waiting in lines.

Why Trust Verywell Mind?

Licensed Mental Health Counselor Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC has worked with both adults and children struggling with anxiety and ADHD for almost 15 years. She understands the importance of finding routines and methods that work for each person. Mary has seen fidget toys be very beneficial in helping increase focus, creativity, and for grounding work when anxious emotions become intense. 

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6 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Hakami MH, Isa ZM, Khairani AZ. Teaching students with disabilities in mainstream schools dealing with students with asd and students with adhd challengesadv sci lett. 2018;24(1):236-238.

  3. Marco EJ, Hinkley LBN, Hill SS, Nagarajan SS. Sensory processing in autism: a review of neurophysiologic findingsPediatric Research. 2011;69(5 Part 2):48R-54R.

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