If you’ve never heard of a squishy before, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “what on earth is it and why does it sound so silly?” Well, squishies are responsible for making stress balls a thing of the past while offering a whole new world of benefits along with them. They come in the form of tiny animals (like cute kittens!), shapes, or even foods, and their main job is to be squeezed — But that’s not all. Squishies are a Japanese creation that is formulated to be nearly indestructible. You can squeeze them as much as you want, pull them, twist them, whatever you can think of, and miraculously, they still hold their shape. Each of these little squashable squishes is carefully designed to be cute and attention-grabbing, as you’ll see on our list. There are many reasons why they’re so good for kids, many of which we’ll get into later on, but all you really need to know before diving into the world of squishie is this: They’re great stress-relievers, provide a fun small-muscle workout, and they’re simply adorable!
These tiny guys are fun for adults as well and the great thing is that there’s really no age limit (although some companies recommend not giving these toys to kids younger than seven due to choking hazards). They’re no fuss and required no batteries, additional accessories, or assembly. If you’re not looking for some kind of stress relief for your child, they’d make a good toy as well! When we started out searching for the best squishie toys out there, it was news to us when we realized how many there really were to choose from and how many different options you’d have as a parent or caretaker. Some are bright and vibrant, others muted and pastel, some coming in a myriad of animal shapes, and some were even scented. They’ve definitely gained popularity with the increase of popular Japanese games and products, and since it can be overwhelming to pick out the right squishie figure for your child, we’re here to help. We’ve taken all the work out of it for you so that you’re left with only the cutest, most fun squishable toys out there!
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Squishies Reviewed
- 1. Oh So Squishy Slow Rising Cat
- 2. AOLIGE Kawaii Panda
- 3. Satkago Mochi
- 4. UMIKU Slow-Rising Jumbo
- 5. Areedy Colossal Slow-Rising
- 6. Party Wiz Jumbo 20 Piece
- 7. Kiibru English Bread
- 8. OVERMAL Slow-Rising Rainbow
- 9. Outee Mini Animals 25-Piece
- 10. Rosybeat Slow-Rising Jumbo
- Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Squishies
10 Best Squishies Reviewed
Expands slowly to help with focus Able to be reduced three times in size Cute and adorable design CPSC-certified Safe for children of all ages The berry smell might be too much for some kids
1. Oh So Squishy Slow Rising Cat
This proper squishie comes with a bag that can be resealed so if your child doesn’t want their room or backpack smelling like berries all the time, they can seal their new toy right up. This is also great for preserving its shelf-life since it’ll be protected and won’t be exposed to moisture or dust.
What We Like About It
We never thought that squishing a cute cat would be so much fun. Each time this toy is squashed down, not only do you get a waft of that delightful berry smell, but you’ll be reducing your stress each second you watch this cat come back to life.
Expands slowly to help with focus
Able to be reduced three times in size
Cute and adorable design
Safe for children of all ages
The berry smell might be too much for some kids
Very slow-rising Cream smell is sweet but not obnoxious Large enough to be age-friendly Cute addition to an existing collection Can be squashed down into a ball The ears can rip off easily
2. AOLIGE Kawaii Panda
Since this panda is small enough to fit in a child’s palm but big enough to prevent any potential choking hazards, it’s very age-friendly. Some might find the sweet cream smell to be a bit overwhelming at first, but over time it will eventually air out and become less overwhelming.
What We Like About It
The slow-rising quality of this squishie is exactly what helps kids to calm down when they’re suffering from significant anxiety. One squashed, this toy will take at least 20 seconds to fully expand again, thus holding a child’s attention and forcing them to slow down, breathe, and focus.
Cream smell is sweet but not obnoxious
Large enough to be age-friendly
Cute addition to an existing collection
Can be squashed down into a ball
The ears can rip off easily
Durable and long-lasting Made from tough materials Five different options to choose from Each squishie is different and unique Can be used a decor as well Not safe for kids under seven
3. Satkago Mochi
There are plenty of cute Kawaii pieces for your child to choose from in this set and they’re great for siblings or even trading amongst friends. This is the perfect gift for children who might suffer from anxiety-inducing disorders or just need something to fidget with.
What We Like About It
The fact that this set contains so many various animals keeps it interesting and prevents kids from getting bored with it. Not only does each piece look different, but they can all be squished in a different way.
Durable and long-lasting
Made from tough materials
Five different options to choose from
Each squishie is different and unique
Can be used a decor as well
Not safe for kids under seven
Pack of three Nicely scented to resemble fruit Super slow rising Soft to the touch Great for most ages They’re not very interesting as far as squishies go
4. UMIKU Slow-Rising Jumbo
A squishie like this is the perfect mindless fidget activity for kids while they’re doing their homework or even sitting in class. It promotes slight muscle movement while helping to keep your kids focused.
What We Like About It
These are some of the slowest-rising squishies we have on our list, so if you’re looking for a great stress relief option, these fruits are it. They expand in just over 20 seconds, meaning your child will have 20 seconds to de-stress, breathe, and focus on the slow rise.
Pack of three
Nicely scented to resemble fruit
Super slow rising
Soft to the touch
Great for most ages
They’re not very interesting as far as squishies go
Nice-looking design Fun and brightly colored Very slow-rising Requires a two-handed squish Lightly scented After regular use, it might have an issue rising to full size again
5. Areedy Colossal Slow-Rising
The creators of this squashy mango describe it as being similar to a “marshmallow” which might sound funny, but it makes for a perfect squishie. Kids will love the fact that it’s jumbo-sized and pretty to look at.
What We Like About It
We love that this wasn’t about creating something super realistic. The gold mango is really a good-looking addition to any collection, and it’ll easily take the place of having tons of small squishables.
Fun and brightly colored
Requires a two-handed squish
After regular use, it might have an issue rising to full size again
Variety pack of 20 Travel-friendly They each have a keychain option Great as party favors Perfect for your entire family They’re all completely different sizes ranging from small to medium The smell is rather strong
6. Party Wiz Jumbo 20 Piece
You’ll get plenty of great squishies in here for an awesome price. There’s plenty of variety and your child will have a blast being able to trade them and swap with his or her friends.
What We Like About It
Each of these was designed to be travel-friendly, so while it says that they’re “jumbo” size, they’re not nearly as big as some of the other products on our list. They fit perfectly in your hand and are easily concealed.
Variety pack of 20
They each have a keychain option
Great as party favors
Perfect for your entire family
They’re all completely different sizes ranging from small to medium
The smell is rather strong
It’s an out of the box gift Smells like bread Great for fans of baking Good for any age Choice of four different bread styles Not as slow-rising as many others
7. Kiibru English Bread
The tantalizing aroma of this faux bread is what makes it so delightful and it’s really perfect for the little baker in your life. Bread lovers rejoice, you can now have freshly baked bread any time of the day!
What We Like About It
All joking aside, this is a one of a kind squishie. It’s common to find various cutesy animals and even fruits and veggies, but when it comes to bread, it’s so random that it’s actually enjoyable.
It’s an out of the box gift
Smells like bread
Great for fans of baking
Good for any age
Choice of four different bread styles
Not as slow-rising as many others
Beautifully designed Slow-rising squishie Light strawberry scent Very Kawaii in style Great for ages six and older It’s not the highest quality and can rip or tear easily
8. OVERMAL Slow-Rising Rainbow
The bright berry looks like it was literally glazed in metallic paint before becoming squishable. It’s realistic to a certain point, but still fun and creative.
What We Like About It
Have you ever seen a more unique strawberry? We have no doubt that your kids will love this as a replacement for a stress ball because it’s so one of a kind. The slow-rise gives way to allow kids to focus on something besides their stress, while the look of it will hold their attention.
Light strawberry scent
Very Kawaii in style
Great for ages six and older
It’s not the highest quality and can rip or tear easily
You get 25 different pieces Each one designed uniquely They’re durable and long-lasting Great for Kawaii collections Very travel-friendly They’re not super slow-rising due to gel formula rather than foam
9. Outee Mini Animals 25-Piece
Each squishy in this collection is unique. Even the same animals, the cats, for example, are laying in the same position but are all designed and colored differently to enhance the variety throughout this set.
What We Like About It
We love that this 25-piece set can be used as decoration as well. Each of this tiny animals is super portable but they all look positively adorable when they’re set up on a desk, nightstand, or shelf.
You get 25 different pieces
Each one designed uniquely
They’re durable and long-lasting
Great for Kawaii collections
They’re not super slow-rising due to gel formula rather than foam
Slow-rising foam material Safe and non-toxic Improves muscle movement Three differently colored designs available Great for kids of all ages It can rip or tear easily so it’s not good for young kids who are rough with their toys
10. Rosybeat Slow-Rising Jumbo
The size of this toy lends itself to improved circulation and minor muscle improvement. It can increase flexibility and help your child with their hand-eye coordination as well.
What We Like About It
The galaxy-effet look of this cat is what really caught our attention. It’s about as Kawaii as you can get and your child will have his or her choice of up to three different galaxy designs and colors.
Slow-rising foam material
Safe and non-toxic
Improves muscle movement
Three differently colored designs available
Great for kids of all ages
It can rip or tear easily so it’s not good for young kids who are rough with their toys
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Squishies
Squishies toys have been slowly making their way overseas for quite some time now. They’re great for relieving stress, but they are in no way “stress balls” — We’ll get into more of this further on down. These squishy toys are designed to promote blood circulation, muscle coordination, and dexterity among children as well as adults, which is why they’re loved by everyone. The design of many of these is traditionally Kawaii, which is another aspect we’ll explain further in-depth in this article — Japanese creations are often colorful, vibrant, bright, fun, and full of life. They’re often designed to be cute but still age-appropriate for everyone, which is why their products are so successful. Japan is a very advanced country when it comes to inventions that can help in your day-to-day life, which is why something with such a simple concept, like a squishy, is so impressive. They’ve taken the idea behind a stress ball and turned it into something that’s fun, incredibly creative, and potentially collectible as well. Let’s dive into a little bit of history and learn some interesting factoids about these adorable squishies.
What Exactly Are Squishies?
Squishies, as they’re known in North America, got their big start on YouTube when people started taking notice of the cute little squishy toys. They originated in Japan, where they’re referred to as “squeeze”, which is what you’re meant to do with toys such as these. Overseas, they’re largely popular mostly amongst teenagers, but they have a fairly wide following of fans all over the country due to how satisfying they are to play around with. The process of how they came to be is rather interesting; the fun foam that allows them to rise slowly as well as be squashed down into half their size is actually polyurethane. This foam allows the toys to be flexible and moldable while still maintaining the naturally-given shape. It’s easily painted on and safe to handle, which makes squishies both natural stress-reliever as well as kid-friendly. Polyurethane was originally invented and intended to use when making seats for cars, but Japan had other ideas for the German-engineered flexy-foam. The material is soft, able to be pulled, tugged, squeezed, twisted, you name it — And it’ll still retain its shape and durability. This truly makes for the perfect toy!
Why Are They Mostly Kawaii-themed, And What Is That?
When many people think of Japan, they think of things such as anime, manga, and video games. While these things are all very popular there and make up much of pop-culture, the Kawaii style is what influences much of it. Kawaii is most simply translated to “cuteness”, which is something that’s plain to see when it comes to much of Japan’s toys and overall style. While not everything is designed in Kawaii, squishies are an excellent representation of what that style means. One of the most iconic and best examples of Kawaii that made its way overseas many years ago is Hello Kitty. This adorable cat and her cute friends are a perfect example of the brightly colored, simple art that goes into designing Kawaii-style art. Squishies have followed in her footsteps, being created in the form of kittens, pandas, bears, sea life, and even food. There’s a long and expansive culture that goes along with Kawaii art which is most prominently seen in Harajuku, which is home to entire stores devoted to the squishy toys that everyone loves so much. The great thing about these is that they come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors, which make them appealing to both girls and boys alike. Each one is uniquely designed so that no two are the same, making them super fun to collect, trade, and play with.
What Are They Good For?
Much like stress balls, squishies are excellent for coping with anxiety. However, they differ significantly in how they’re used. While the same “squeeze” theory applies to both, squishies have the unique ability to do something called a “slow-rise”. Due to the polyurethane foam, they’re created with, theses squishy toys are able to be squeezed just like a stress ball, but will slowly puff back up into their original shape. It’s during those 10 to 20 seconds that your child is watching their squishy, that they’re also focused on their toy and not on whatever is stressing them. This causes an effect similar to what controlled breathing does; by constantly going through the motions of squeezing the squishy, your child is reducing their stress and doing something they can focus on physically. By letting the toy inflate back up into its original shape, they’re focusing on it mentally and thus gaining both physical and mental stimulation that takes away from high anxiety levels. It’s this routine that will help them cope as a stress-relieving method. In addition to that, squishies, just like stress balls, will help them build muscles in their hands, forearms, and fingers. However, since many of these can be used with both hands (we’ve listed several jumbo-sized toys on our list), they’re twice as beneficial as your average stress ball. They can also improve circulation by increasing blood flow, which is great for kids who might have weakened hand muscles or lack some coordination in their fingers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is this product helpful while my child is in school — Will it be a distraction?
A: Yes and no. Depending on your child’s needs and inclinations, squishies might initially be a distraction due to their brightly-colored nature, but will eventually just become a method of focusing. It gives their hands something to do which, in turn, will help them to focus their mind on the front of the class. It’s also great to help with memory because the motion of constant squeezing will increase their muscle memory as well while helping them to find a calm state.
Q: How safe are these for a toddler?
A: We wouldn’t really recommend small squishies to any child under the age of six. The bigger squishies shouldn’t be an issue, but definitely require parental supervision because they’re not completely indestructible.
Q: Could these be given to boys as well as girls?
A: Of course! That’s the beautiful thing about squishies — They’re unisex and make a perfect gift for anyone. Many of these listed can be purchased in various colors and designs and the Kawaii style is open to anyone and everyone.
Q: Will these eventually lose their shape?
A: Over very long periods of time and after many squeezes, some squishies might lose their shape a bit or fail to expand as fully as they used to. There are only two products on our list that are truly at risk for that happening sooner rather than later, and they’ve been listed under “cons”. If you’re worried about a younger child squeezing them too much, you should go for the squishies that are defined as “durable” or “long-lasting”. For older kids, any squishies will be just fine. Before a squishie eventually does lose its shape, you’ll be able to tell.
Q: How strong is the scent on this product?
A: For some kids, any scent is a strong scent. That’s something you have to decide based on how your child reacts toward different smells. These toys can smell rather sweet which can either be lovely or unpleasant, depending on your child’s preferences. We have listed some non-scented squishies on here just in case.
Q: Can these be brought outside, are they waterproof, etc.?
A: Unfortunately, squishies are not waterproof. While some moisture won’t completely damage them, they do best when kept in a dry environment. Over time, the polyurethane will degrade and your squishie won’t expand or squish like it once did.
- What Is Kawaii?, Informative Article, ,
- Squishies: Everything you Wanted to Know About The Coolest Kawaii Collectables!, Online Article, ,
- Get your hands on all the squishies you need in the squishy holy land Harajuku, Informative Article, ,
- Stress Toys: Mindlessness With a Purpose?, Online Article, ,