Stress relief is something that is pretty subjective. It really depends on the person. Something that is completely stress-relieving for me might be something that makes you freak out, or vice versa.
But you know what is pretty universally stress relieving? Coloring mandalas.
Mandalas are repeating, kaleidoscopic patterns that bloom out from the center. They can look like flowers, or take on stranger or more geometric forms. Since they are not based in realism, like many other types of coloring books, you have complete creative control over the colors you choose. (I mean, really, you’ve always got complete control over colors when you’re coloring. I won’t judge you if you want to make the sky purple. That sounds pretty awesome, actually!)
When I color mandalas, I like to start with a color scheme in mind, one that really inspires me. Maybe I’ll look up a painter whose work I really like on Pinterest (that’s why I have boards devoted to Leonid Afremov and Alphonse Mucha, two of my favorite artists), or I’ll start with a really eye-catching and colorful pattern. Then I can pull in colors from that work of art or pattern as I color, filling the mandala with a color scheme that inspires me.
Other times, I’ll just splay out my colored pencils around me (or organize them neatly) and pick up whatever color calls to me.
And don’t forget, you can make your colors pop by selectively leaving spaces blank white or filling them in with deep black.
In either case, mandalas are your opportunity to relax and explore colors in action. Just look at these gorgeous examples from Instagram…
If you’re so inclined, you too can share your colored mandalas to Instagram! Popular hashtags include #mandala, #mandalas, #mandalacoloring and #mandaladesigns.
For this list, I’ve collected more than 20 of the best mandala coloring books for adults. They’re on this page in two sections: general mandala coloring books (just your standard but beautiful patterns!) and themed mandala coloring books, which feature everything from architecture to fruit to celestial symbols and more.
I hope you love this list! Don’t forget to check out my other coloring book lists, too!
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With no further ado, here are the best mandala coloring books for adults!
General Mandala Books
These are mandalas in their purest form — complex kaleidoscope designs that are a joy to fill with color.
Creative Haven Mandalas Collection Coloring Book
Marty Noble and Alberta Hutchinson illustrated this massive volume of mandalas published by Creative Haven, one of the most well-known brands of coloring books for adults on the market today. Though this is a 2015 coloring book, it actually combines designs from two earlier mandala books by Creative Haven: Mystical Mandalas and Nature Mandalas. So be careful if you are buying this one not to get the other two or you will find yourself with a number of duplicates.
There are 63 mandala designs in this collection, running the full gamut of abstract geometric shapes, organic flower designs, and themed mandalas featuring animals and other motifs. The designs are just over 7 inches across and printed in the center of each page. The paper is a medium weight that fully supports colored pencils and markers, though the latter will bleed through, so be sure to put a few sheets of blank paper behind the page you are working on. The pages are single-sided and perforated for easy removal, like every Creative Haven book.
If you are just getting into the wonderful world of mandala coloring, this is a great introductory book, which is why I’ve included it here at the top of the list. It has five stars on Amazon. You’re sure to love it!
Balance (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1)
This book, Balance, is the most popular of bestselling coloring book illustrator Angie Grace’s coloring books. It has spent some time as one of the 10 most popular books on Amazon. The 50 designs are intricate and delightfully detailed and are a little over 7 inches across like other coloring books, despite the book being a slightly smaller than average 8.5 inch square size.
The designs here are more complex than the Creative Haven book above, and the spaces are small enough to use gel pens to fill them with color instead of just pencils or markers. Any medium works, though if you’re using markers you will probably want fine point ones, like Staedtler Triplus Fineliners. Ink media will bleed through, but fortunately the book is printed single-sided.
Mandala Designs Adult Coloring Book
Indie brands of coloring books are often hit or miss, but I have to say, I have really been impressed with the Peter Pauper Press coloring books I’ve seen. The designs are printed single-sided on heavy paper that stands up to colored pencils, markers, gel pens, and even watercolors. The paper is acid-free, so your colored in pages will stand the test of time (as long as you’re using an acid-free medium, too, like Caran D’Ache colored pencils). They are also “micro-perforated,” making pages easy to remove.
The book is a little squatter than your standard coloring book, an almost-square 9.5 by 9 inches. The binding lays flat while you color. There are 31 designs, some of which are printed right up to the edges of the page.
There are a variety of zendoodle style designs, including mandalas but also featuring elephants, butterflies, Buudhas, flowers, and paisley swoops and swirls. There’s something for everybody in this gorgeous coloring book.
Creative Haven Mandala Techellations Coloring Book
Do you prefer the sharper, more even lines of a geometric design? Then this techellations mandala coloring book is for you! Illustrated by John Wik and published by Creative Haven, this book features 31 mandalas with all kinds of shapes: cubes, stars, ovals, triangles, diamonds, and more. Unlike many other books, the mandalas are the center of a design that continues up to a border about a half inch from the edge of the page.
Like other Creative Haven books, the pages are printed single-sided with a blank reverse on medium-weight, perforated paper. Some reviewers mention that this book is an updated reprint of an earlier Creative Haven title, Mandala Madness, so be careful if you are buying both.
Creative Haven Square Mandalas Coloring Book
This book features exactly what you would expect: mandalas all contained within a square shape. Each of the 31 mandalas features a matching border, and the designs range in difficulty from fairly easy to pretty elaborate. Some of the mandalas are themed around different kinds of flowers, but most are more abstract.
Like all Creative Haven books, this one is printed single-sided with perforated pages.
Mandala Magic: Amazing Mandalas Coloring Book for Adults
This book is a smaller-than-average 8.8 inch square, and for an indie brand of coloring book is well-reviewed on Amazon. The inside covers each feature a colored in example mandala, which is a feature I always find inspiring in coloring books!
Mandala Magic has 76 pages to color, which are printed double-sided on thick paper. Despite the weight of the paper, wetter media like markers will likely bleed through a little — you’ll want to test them in the back of the book before coloring anything in with them to save the back of the page.
The unique thing about this book are the designs that are printed on black backgrounds. This type of printing really makes your color POP, and a little under half of the book is printed this way. Most of the book features mandalas that are a little over 7 inches across, though some of the designs are smaller. The designs vary in complexity, although most have spaces that are quite small; some reviewers complain that some are too small. This is a book that would be well-suited to gel pens. Definitely not one for crayons.
While the double-sided designs are a con against this book, as is the lack of perforations in the pages, I’m still pretty impressed with the unique designs in this one. Remember that you can always scan your coloring books and print the designs individually for personal use; don’t let double-sided printing stop you if you really love something!
The Craft of Coloring: 30 Floral-Inspired Geometric Designs
This book is inexpensive as indie coloring books go, and features 30 single-sided mandalas that, according to the description, are “complex, but not overwhelming.” All the designs feature floral elements and many look like geometric or abstract flowers.
The paper is relatively thin, so definitely take care to protect the following page by using a few sheets of paper in between, or removing the page you are working on from the book. This needs to be done carefully, as the pages aren’t perforated. I recommend using an x-acto knife, as it will let you get closer to the spine than if you use scissors.
The Craft of Coloring: 35 Mandala Designs
This book is by the same indie brand as the previous book. It features 35 basic mandala designs which vary in complexity; most have relatively large spaces somwwhere in the design. The pages are printed single-sided on relatively thin paper. Again, not perforated. I thought the designs seemed pretty unique — I could see a really colorful rainbow mandala being made out of that second example up there!
Adult Coloring Book: Designs
This book features a variety of designs that are not all mandalas. There are also paisley designs, henna designs, and various other zentangle style images to color. The complexity varies from page to page.
The 48 illustrations are printed single-sided on relatively thin paper. Some reviewers remarked that the images aren’t particularly challenging, so this book may be better for a beginner than a more experienced colorist.
Mandala Design Coloring Book
Jenean Morrison is a talented pattern designer and full-time artist, and she illustrated each and every image in this book. The mandalas are eclectic and begging to be colored. Some look like flowers and some are more geometric, looking more like stained glass windows. They are all relatively detailed and on a few of the pages, the spaces get quite small.
Fifty illustrations are printed on one side of the page only of medium, bright white paper. I’m sure you’ll love these mandala designs!
Adults Who Color: Mandalas
This book has some nice abstract mandala designs in it. The 40 mandalas inside are about 7 inches across and printed on just one side of the page.
The pages are a tad on the thin side and some reviewers noted that their gel pens or markers didn’t glide across the page as easily as in other books. The pages are not perforated, so if you would like to remove your pages from the book you’ll need to use an x-acto knife or carefully take the binding apart. Still, for the price, this is a nice book for the beginner.
The Mandala Coloring Book
This book is one of the biggest mandala coloring books out there, featuring 100 original mandalas by the illustrator Jim Gogarty. Each image is printed on just one side of the page, and this 200+ page coloring book is a beast among coloring books!
The paper quality is thin and the pages aren’t perforated, but you can’t beat this many mandalas in one book!
Stress Less Coloring: Mandalas
This book is the second mandala coloring book by Jim Gogarty. Each image is printed on just one side of the page, and this is another 200+ page coloring book!
The mandalas are pretty unique, with lots of organic forms and unusual shapes. The paper quality is thin and the pages aren’t perforated, but you can’t beat this many mandalas in one book!
Coloring to Calm, Volume One: Mandalas
This book includes 25 original mandalas illustrated by Shelly Fagundes. The pages are single-sided and the paper is a medium weight that supports pencils, markers, and pens easily, though you’ll want to slip a page or two behind the one you’re working on if using an ink medium. (There are two blank pages at the end of the book you can use for this purpose.)
Themed Mandala Books
These mandala coloring books fit different themes — from fruit to architecture to animals and more.
Fruit Mandala Coloring Book
This coloring book is exactly what it says — 30 pages of original artwork featuring fruits arranged into mandala patterns. There are a total of 39 different varieties of fruits inside the book, including full and sliced versions, from apples, to oranges, bananas, pumpkins, blueberries, strawberries, and more. The difficulty ranges from beginner to intermediate; there is nothing incredibly intricate here, but you could make the images more intricate by delicately shading the fruits and leaves.
The images are printed on only one side of the page. The paper is a medium weight, so it will support markers, but they’ll bleed, so be sure to protect the next design with a sheet of paper.
Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
I know, I know, this book is not mostly mandalas — it is mostly incredibly detailed architectural scenes, and I’ve included this book in my huge coloring roundup. But there are a dozen or so architectural mandalas that take elements of the full-page illustrations and turn them into a kaleidoscope of buildings and streets. LOVE IT!! Really gorgeous, unique, and incredibly insanely detailed. I’ve never seen anything like it (and I’ve reviewed a LOT of coloring books).
This book is oversize (it’s almost a square foot) and has a few flaws, as gorgeous as it is. First of all, the paper is relatively thick, which is great, but the designs are printed back to back, so if you plan on using markers in it, you’re probably going to lose half the pages. Also, the pages are not perforated. But this book is so original and such a work of art to flip through, even uncolored, that I can forgive it these few faults and appreciate it for what it is: a beautiful architectural masterpiece of an adult coloring book.
Coloring Animal Mandalas
Wendy Piersall is an artist who has crafted a number of coloring books with original artworks. This one, themed around animals, includes butterflies, swans, peacocks, tigers, foxes, unicorns, insects, wolves, seahorses, snakes, lions, dragons, birds, and more interspersed with geometric shapes. The book is slightly smaller than a typical coloring book and the mandalas are about 6 inches in diameter.
There are 30 original designs printed on one side of the page only. Each page has the title at the bottom of the page, which is slightly unusual, so you may want to crop your pages if you plan on framing them. The paper is a medium weight that markers and gel pens do bleed through, so make sure you protect the following pages with a few extra sheets of paper.
Overall this is a lovely book and a nice change from your typical abstract mandala coloring book!
Coloring Flower Mandalas
Like the book above, this coloring book also features 30 original mandala designs illustrated by Wendy Piersall. The book is a similarly smaller-than-typical size and the images are 6 inches across. The pages are single-sided and the paper is a medium weight.
This book has a floral focus, featuring orchips, roses, gardenias, vines, lilies, sunflowers, lotuses, marigolds, poppies, tulips, and more. Many are kaleidoscopic and repeat in a circular pattern, but some break the mandala “mold” and are more like circular, patterned scenes.
If you love flower coloring books, you’ll enjoy this mandala take on them!
Coloring Ocean Mandalas
This book is like the two above, containing 30 single-sided illustrations by Wendy Piersall. These are ocean-focused, possibly to compete with Johanna Basford’s Lost Ocean coloring book, and include whales, mermaids, sea turtles, seahorses, dolphines, sea urchins, jellyfish, narwhals, and more. Some are repeating, traditional mandala patterns, while the others are more like circular scenes.
Creative Haven Celestial Mandalas Coloring Book
Celestial Mandalas is an upcoming Creative Haven coloring book illustrated by Marty Noble, due to be released on April 20, 2016. It features 31 delightfully detailed star, sun and moon patterns.
Like other Creative Haven books, it will be printed on just one side of the page of medium weight paper that is perforated for easy removal. If you love celestial designs, pre-order your copy today!
Mystical Mandala Coloring Book
Though the cover may make you think this book has a celestial theme, it actually is mostly your typical abstract mandala designs. It was illustrated by Alberta Hutchinson and released in 2007, making it older than many of the coloring books on this list but no less great!
There are 30 designs in this book and they all have that wonderful hand-drawn quality that is missing from books that are more computer generated. There is variation in the line width, with a lot of quite thick lines, and not that many super tiny spaces. The one flaw with this book is that the pages are printed on both sides (as is typical of Dover Publications books), so if you want these designs in single-sided format, you’ll want to instead buy the Creative Haven Mandala Collection coloring book that I put at the very top of this list — it includes designs from this book and one other.
Creative Haven Flower Mandalas Coloring Book
This mandala coloring book was illustrated by Marty Noble and features dramatic black backgrounds that really make your colors pop off the page. There are roses, vines, and many other types of plants and flowers represented here.
Like all Creative Haven books, this one is printed single-sided on medium weight, perforated pages. If you enjoy floral-themed mandalas, you’re sure to love this book, which is due out in April. Pre-order your copy today!
Creative Haven Wondrous Nature Mandalas
This mandala coloring book with a nature theme was illustrated by Jo Taylor. It is a part of Creative Haven’s hidden picture twist coloring books, which all have a secret image hidden on the page for you to discover as you color! There are 28 images in all.
Like all Creative Haven books, this is printed single-sided on medium weight, perforated pages. It is available for pre-order and will be released on August 17, 2016.
Well, there you have it — over 20 of the best mandala coloring books for adults, of all varieties: abstract, floral, themed, and more! I hope you enjoyed perusing this list as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Have you found a really incredible book that I missed in my roundup above? Share it in the comments, and I’ll check it out!
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