A great many have taken to using a stress ball, which can do wonders at the right time. These handheld curiosities do work, they offer certain therapeutic advantages for relaxing both mind and body.
Their popularity has brought a plethora of fuzzy and cute options to market, which can appear rather overwhelming at first. Still, these basic and yet useful devices can provide a soothing measure of distraction whenever anxiety comes.
The type known as stress balls have become the rage in the last few years. Manufacturers have launched models to meet the needs of anxious executives and staff for ways to calm themselves down and divert their frustrations.
Finding the best stress ball that works for you should be quick and easy. You will be happy to find that there are a great many designs that you can pick up and try out for the price of a cheap lunch. We looked at a dozen or so that struck us as, particularly effective or appealing designs.
But, you might be swamped by the huge number of types and sizes available at online sellers such as Amazon. To assist you in making a useful purchase, we have listed here a series of short reviews of the coolest stress balls we can find.
Types of Stress Balls
The point of grabbing one and manipulating it for all it is worth is to divert your thoughts from whatever is causing stress, eventually helping you regain your nerve.
Stress toys for adult users are produced in a broad range of shapes and colored themes. The types most used for relieving anxiety are fidget and stress ball designs. Each has its advantages, which we explain here.
Fidget toys can be very good for moderating your mood. By keeping you busy with manipulating their complex features, they work to soothe the mind, encouraging you to focus with calm on the small tactile drama playing out in your hands.
The stress ball is among the most popular stress-relieving adult toys. These are essentially palm-sized globes made of pliable gels or clays, which you can readily grab and manipulate with your fingers. As you squeeze the ball, the repetitive action helps to release your anxieties as well as divert you from dwelling in any pent-up emotions. The action can also assist in increasing circulation in your extremities.
Relieves stress. Whenever you squash balls in your grip, muscle groups in the hands and wrists will tighten. Once released, those same muscles will become relaxed. Repeating the motion assists in relieving stress, particularly during or after intense meetings or anxious calls.
Stimulation of nerves. Handling these balls helps to stimulate the nerves of your hands, which are linked to your brain’s limbic regions. These areas relate to the expression of emotional content. This may be why you start to feel a bit more relaxed and soothed whenever you repeatedly squeeze then release stress balls.
Diverts attention. Handling stress balls can really feel great over time. Your entire concentration is eventually directed to working on the figure, even as you slowly stop paying attention to the sources of your anxieties. As with people who are into meditation, both mind and body enter a zone of relaxation after some time.
Improves the mood. Your mind gets stimulated as you handle a stress toy, exuding endorphins in the process. These are your body’s natural sources of sedative or pain relief that function by positively enhancing your current moods.
A set of stress balls can be more than just some toys to occupy your time with. These can really relieve physical tension and steady your moods. It is for these health benefits that we made a list of what we believe to among best stress balls you can buy.
Best Stress Balls For 2020
The search for a good stress reducer should not lead to a rise in your stress levels. It can sure help to have some anxiety-reducing pointers, though. To that end, we compiled summaries of more than a dozen well-reviewed models.
Gaiam Restore Hand Therapy Kit
Gaiam’s kit is one of the biggest sellers online, due to its many advantages. Stress reducers treat not only worries but can also serve well as physical treatments that can help to relieve pains from disorders such as carpal tunnel.
This set is designed more to help strengthen hands that have suffered injuries and are in need of rehabilitation. Three levels of grip resistance are offered, the better to let you tailor a treatment course that works. All balls have a 2-inch diameter and are covered with a rubberized material.
These are probably the best option if your aim is to strengthen your hands while improving the flexibility of the fingers. The firm provides a workout guide with easily understood illustrations that will help you maximize your rehab potential.
The good-sized shape of each ball makes these the choice for serious hand therapies, especially when recovering from injury and where relief is needed for the painful conditions that arise from everyday computer usage. The rubberized covering does attract lint, so it would be best to store these in a tidy and clean drawer.
- Choice alternative for serious hand treatment
- Covering draws lint
The Friendly Swede Hand
Quite possibly the highest-ranked set of stress balls for consumer use, these are also best-selling items that compare well with Gaiam’s stuff. Each ball varies in firmness, so as to adapt to progressive degrees of gripping strength in the hand, while still providing for pain relief.
Each egg-like form is some 2.5 inches in length and 1.75 inches in diameter. The rubberized covering has a slight but pleasing texture to it. Although these are made of rubbers, the covering draws less lint in comparison to others.
These are superb devices for strengthening your hand grip. They offer a nicer fit in the hand than most classic round balls. All come in one standard but compact size, which may not be a suitable option for bigger hands, though.
- Nicer fit in comparison to classic stress balls
- Excellent quality and value pricing
- Might not be appropriate for a bigger hand
Serenilite Stress Ball
With its 2.25-in diameter body, this ball will attract your many senses, making the best use of its features for strengthening your hands and improving your mental well-being. It is designed as an all-purpose option that delivers the main benefits of a handheld stress reducer.
The dual-colored theme is meant to induce in you enhanced moods through what is known as color therapy. The combination of colors works to enhance specific emotional states. The green/pink Springtime scheme encourages relieved emotions, the mixed blues of the Ocean Breeze version promotes a calming sense, while the red/purple Electrical Surge theme should empower the mind as you exercise with its energizing colors in hand.
Each ball features a nicely squeezable gel center similar to that of most therapeutic designs. It readily springs back into shape, while a sturdy and smooth cover surrounds it that fortunately does not get overly sticky with time. The product is a bit expensive, though.
- Not too gummy nor too dense
ACF Grip Strengthener Ball Kit
Those with a less than youthful grip may find this to be a manageable set. The three included balls each feature a different firmness, in soft-yellow, medium-orange, and firm-blue varieties. The included hand gripper is an all-purpose exercise for strength workouts.
The soothing effect of squeezing balls is much like with other stress toys. However, the design does one better over most standard-sized models as it is sized to fit almost all hands.
Although the manufacturer markets these to athletic users, they do suggest use by anyone who suffers from injuries or disorders that affect the hands, elbows, and forearms. These can also be used by a guitarist or drummer who is in need of hand and digit strengthening exercises.
- Robust quality comes with a lifetime guarantee
- No guide is included to instruct you on needed exercises
Scented Therapeutic Gel Stress Ball
This ball’s design attracts the various senses to make you focus on manipulating it, alleviating your anxiety and bringing a bit more peace to your day. Each ball features a squeezable gel center that’s enclosed in a tough-wearing Lycra covering.
It is different from other balls that only use therapeutic colored themes. This design additionally employs aromatherapy according to coded coloring, in order to draw you through your sense of smell.
The Red scheme provides a soothing mint fragrance that improves your mental state and mood. Purple exudes calming Lavender to relieve you of insomnia and headache symptoms. Blue brings on encouraging Jasmine that both relaxes and enhances your emotional state. Each toy has a gel center surrounded by a tough Lycra shell.
Most users feel that the scents last quite a while. A drawstring pouch is included to keep it clean and potent when not in use. Unlike other models with like cores, the gel core does not become clumpy or cold. And it helps that the material does not quickly get smelly with use.
A minority of buyers found that the Blue-Jasmine and Purple-lavender models can emit a brothel-like whiff. Others thought that the Red-mint was hardly noticeable at times. Some scents could be overwhelming to persons with certain allergies, or sensitivities to strong perfumes. Still, the overall quality exceeds that of most alike products.
- Superior quality
- Some users may not like the stronger scents
Tangle Relax Therapy
Much like a strand of DNA, this ergonomically-designed fidget is different in that it is configured with twenty interlinked parts. Trying to keep all these in order (or not) with your hands and fingers should keep you pleasantly engaged.
For the stimulus-addicted, the gadgets can even connect with one another for a literally bigger challenge. If you get all tangled up in resolving its complexities, you can be sure that you are being physically served by its purposeful dynamic design, which works to toughen muscle groups and ease stress.
With its rubberized exterior, handling the pieces is gratifyingly easy. You may find yourself twisting and turning things in ways that will pleasantly divert you from your present worries.
It works as a great convenience for breaking unwholesome habits. However, the fidget may be too small and easily wrecked to last, particularly in the hands of those with rough nervous conditions.
- Good for de-stressing, breaking habits
- A bit tiny and easily abused
CanDo Digi-Squeeze Hand Exerciser
This advanced ball provides indents on either hand for the thumbs and other digits, which is good for individually exercising each finger. These are sold in small, medium, and large sizes, offering a remarkable five choices of grip firmness.
Recovery from hand injuries is the main purpose of the design. The small version has 3-inch diameter body, the medium has a 4-inch diameter, while the large one has a 5-inch diameter.
All sizes are available in a range of colored themes, and the packages include an informative workout guide. Just ensure that you select a proper size and firmness that will suit your grip and moods.
- Ideal for recovery from hand injuries
- Can smell after a while
FUN Emoji Face Squeeze Balls
Among the newer novelties, the idea in relieving stress is this set of a dozen stress balls. All feature the Emoji faces that are known and loved by all.
The huge 4-inch diameter body may be too large for many hands, though. Some owners do not consider these to be classic hand grippers, as each is a bit too large for the purpose. The stiff foam cores can be squeezed to an extent, although the polyurethane outer layers are a bit too rigid.
- Fun and novel look
- Large size is hard to grab
- Bit too firm
Fun Express Farm Animal Relaxable Balls
These animal-themed stress balls come in sets of a dozen and are probably a better match in the appeal to kids than to adult users. There is a playful novelty to these things, which unlike other models are not precisely “globes”, but instead are squishy palm-sized items in the form of various farm animals.
Every dozen provides a pair each of bulls, chickens, cows, horses, pigs, and sheep. Constructed of foam cores of some 2 inches or so in dimensions, each shape is readily squeezed for a fun yet calming effect.
These can serve as fine gift alternatives if the receiver is not of the athletic type. And the package is value-priced, considering the large number included.
Some users appear to be unsure as to whether differences in foam density between types are part of the design. While many do welcome the changes in firmness as beneficial, other users tend to view it as a quality-control issue and are slightly displeased as a result.
- Value pricing
- Differences in firmness
Sports Themed Mini Stress Balls
Perhaps you have not seen the more serious stress-reducing devices that are meant to relieve hand strain and personal anxieties. But surely you have come across these simpler and more common squeeze toys, which evoke the fun of your sports favorites.
These items are often given as office gifts. A number of brands are found at big online sellers like Amazon, with most products necessarily different in size. Most have cores that are typically formed of foams and are nicely squeezable.
Baseball shapes tend to be big crowd favorites since these can be rather close in size to that of the genuine article. However, a few versions can smell of sharp chemical odors at first.
- Sized much like the genuine item
- Pungent chemical odors
JapanBargain Baoding Balls
Originally constructed of iron-type materials for medicinal uses, these meditative Chinese devices known as Baoding Balls come in a range of modern materials, normally in a stainless-steel models.
When turned over in your hands, the light and hollow shells generate chimes that can be calming. Each ball can be rotated either way about each other. Similar to other stress toys, they can increase circulation while exercising your hands and forearms.
The balls come in various sizes, although the regular 1.5-inch diameter version is the most popular. Whatever you do, ensure that you get the most polished and smoothest type you can afford. Steer clear of materials that readily disfigure into deformed, uneven globes.
- Calming sound of chimes
- Some materials readily disfigure
SUCK UK Stress Ball Paul
This Paul is not a ball. Or at least, the silicone form is in the shape of a person bent over and holding his head. At 1.4 inches thick, 3.1 inches long, and 2.3 inches in width, this unconventional fidget settles firmly into your palm, the better for you to squish its uncomplaining figure when anxiety looms.
Are among those who can find satisfaction in squishing a rubber figure of a human in a fetal-like pose? Or maybe you can give this as a nice gift to busy and harassed office mates. At the very least, it should draw some interesting remarks from those who have pushed it for its soothing and diverting benefits.
- Entertaining looks
- Figure might put off some
Stress Ball Buyer’s Guide
Why Use Things that Squish Good
Your well-being and its practical aspects must be dealt with eventually, as even young gamers have physical issues that cannot be dismissed. Research has discovered that some four in five of graduate students and staff in Europe suffer a variety of muscle disorders that can depress their productivity and outlook in life.
Spending too much of your time while being stressed a lot and with little to no relief can diminish physical well-being and mental health in the long term.
The Right Stress Ball
Finding the right stress ball is thankfully an enjoyable and calming task. We all have our personal likes, with some designs being more appropriate for those who really need their therapeutic benefits.
A few models are more explicitly designed for hand therapies, such as the various sets that packaged three balls of different characteristics. Many are meant for more occasional or entertaining usage, such as the figure mashers. Certain models are firmly made, others are more pliable in use, while many feature springier and more squeezable bodies.
The densities and therefore firmness of various balls are based on the core materials used, of which there are typically three kinds:
Foam-cored toys frequently come as novelty items. Sports toys, in particular, are usually formed of soft and malleable cores for safer use and retain their shapes for a time. These tend to degrade eventually, for most are rarely built for reckless handling and outright abuse.
Most stress reducers used in serious physical therapy are normally formed with gel cores. Although the surrounding materials may differ, the gels allow both a firm and yet squeezable response. Balls encased in fabric shells tend to be cooler to hold than others, which can also help with hand inflammations.
Among the firmest options, rubberized balls bounce and can also offer a firmer and denser composition than either foams or gels. Gel types can be similarly decent for serious hand therapy, but may also have too much firmness. Sets formed of rubber that offer a range of grip resistance can be decent, although the material tends to gather hair and lint.
Squeezing the Stress Out Right
Squeezing balls is getting to be quite the thing among stressed-out users. You will not be caught ill at ease and in the social fringes, where you will try one out for the first time.
If on the other (figurative) hand, you are in need of serious hand therapies, do consult doctors or therapists on how to narrow the choices to meet your needs. For more casual use, the squeezable novelties are nice alternatives for quick and handy, soothing action.
There is no product that best fits and pleases everyone. But if you are in need of intensive therapies for certain hand conditions, you might want to look at the first few items in this list, starting with the sets of balls from Gaiam and The Friendly Swede.