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, they 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. They are a Japanese creation that is 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, some of which we’ll detail later on, but all you really need to know before diving into the world of this kind of toys 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 7 due to choking hazards). They’re no fuss and require 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 one, 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 are 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 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. Slow Rising Santa and Friends Jumbo Pack
- 4. UMIKU Slow-Rising Jumbo
- 5. Areedy Colossal Slow-Rising
- 6. Party Wiz Jumbo 20 Piece
- 7. Kiibru English Bread
- 8. Chuchik Sweet Scented Dinosaur
- 9. 6 Jumbo Slow Rising Pack in a Gift Box
- 10. R.HORSE Jumbo Rainbow Cake 2 Pack
- Criteria Used in Evaluation
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
Comes with Santa, Christmas tree, stocking, and snowman Premium quality squishies measure 4.5 inches tall Pre-packaged in a holiday-themed gift box Includes bonus sticker sheets and rainbow scratch paper Not suitable for children under 4 years old; CAUTION: CHOKING HAZARD May have an unpleasant chemical-like smell
3. Slow Rising Santa and Friends Jumbo Pack
Each of these adorable squishies measures a whopping 4 ½ inches tall and is made of premium materials. Designed to slowly rise, it can take up to a full minute for each figure to completely reform. All four squishies arrive vacuum-sealed in a decorative holiday-themed box already wrapped and ready to deliver! Each package also includes bonus stickers!
What We Like About It
Your little one will jump with joy watching these adorable squishies rise up and out of their vacuum-sealed box on Christmas morning!
Comes with Santa, Christmas tree, stocking, and snowman
Premium quality squishies measure 4.5 inches tall
Pre-packaged in a holiday-themed gift box
Includes bonus sticker sheets and rainbow scratch paper
Not suitable for children under 4 years old; CAUTION: CHOKING HAZARD
May have an unpleasant chemical-like smell
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
Made of 100 percent nontoxic polyurethane foam Lightly scented for a sweet and pleasant smell while playing Jumbo-sized squishy measures over 5 inches tall Long-lasting materials resist cracking and peeling Not designed to rise slowly and will reform quickly when squished Squishies arrive vacuum-sealed and may take several hours to fully reform when first removed from packaging
8. Chuchik Sweet Scented Dinosaur
Made of nontoxic and child-friendly materials, Chuchik’s squishies are the epitome of high quality. Designed with a high level of detailing and double-coated for extra endurance, your little one’s dinosaur will last through dozens of squishes without peeling or cracking. Squishies are a great, noiseless toy option that can also help your child focus their energy and relieve anxiety.
What We Like About It
Soft and satisfying, this adorable dinosaur is perfect for children who suffer from sensory overstimulation or anxiety!
Made of 100 percent nontoxic polyurethane foam
Lightly scented for a sweet and pleasant smell while playing
Jumbo-sized squishy measures over 5 inches tall
Long-lasting materials resist cracking and peeling
Not designed to rise slowly and will reform quickly when squished
Squishies arrive vacuum-sealed and may take several hours to fully reform when first removed from packaging
Comes with ice cream, panda bun, cake, toast, whale, and owl Pre-packaged and vacuum-sealed in a gift box Squishy sizes vary from 3 inches tall (cake) up to 6.5 inches tall (ice cream) Slow-rising materials take minutes to reshape after squishing Cracking and tearing can occur over time, especially at the seams or keychain connections May have an unpleasant smell
9. 6 Jumbo Slow Rising Pack in a Gift Box
Squish it! Squeeze it! Watch it reform! Squishies can be as much a practical gift as a fun one! Great for relieving stress, this jumbo pack is made of high-quality materials that resist cracking and peeling over time. Supringsly satisfying, your little one can stave off school anxiety with a quick squeeze of their favorite squishy friend!
What We Like About It
These adorable stress relievers make the perfect stocking stuffer for children of all ages!
Comes with ice cream, panda bun, cake, toast, whale, and owl
Pre-packaged and vacuum-sealed in a gift box
Squishy sizes vary from 3 inches tall (cake) up to 6.5 inches tall (ice cream)
Slow-rising materials take minutes to reshape after squishing
Cracking and tearing can occur over time, especially at the seams or keychain connections
May have an unpleasant smell
Two-piece set includes rainbow and narwhal cakes 100 percent nontoxic PU foam material Jumbo-sized squishies measure between 3 and 4.5 inches tall Lightly ice cream-scented for a more pleasant odor Not recommended for children under 3 years old; CAUTION: CHOKING HAZARD May crack, tear or peel over time
10. R.HORSE Jumbo Rainbow Cake 2 Pack
Beyond being adorable keepsakes, squishies can serve several other functions. They can be used as a non-breakable decoration option, especially useful around small children and pets. They relieve stress and help young children vent and express emotion without tantrums. They are also ideal for building hand and grip strength for rehabilitation or the development of fine-motor skills.
What We Like About It
These slow-rising squishies are tons of fun to squish and watch reform over and over again, no need for lights, noises, or complicated electronics!
Two-piece set includes rainbow and narwhal cakes
100 percent nontoxic PU foam material
Jumbo-sized squishies measure between 3 and 4.5 inches tall
Lightly ice cream-scented for a more pleasant odor
Not recommended for children under 3 years old; CAUTION: CHOKING HAZARD
May crack, tear or peel over time
Criteria Used in Evaluation
These 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 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 toys.
What Exactly Are Squishies?
They 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 its naturally given shape. It’s easily painted on and safe to handle, which makes them both natural stress-relievers as well as kid-friendly. Polyurethane was originally invented and intended for 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 every one is designed in Kawaii, they 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. They 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, they are excellent for coping with anxiety. However, they differ significantly in how they’re used. While the same “squeeze” theory applies to both, they 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, this kind of toys, 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, they might initially be a distraction due to their brightly colored composition, 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 ones to any child under the age of 6. The bigger ones 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 them–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 of them 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 ones that are defined as “durable” or “long-lasting.. For older kids, any one will be just fine. Before a squishy 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 toys on here just in case.
Q: Can these be brought outside, are they waterproof, etc.?
A: Unfortunately, they 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, ,