Shopping·10 min read

These Adult-Friendly Fidget Toys Helped Me Cut Back on Doom-Scrolling

Design: theSkimm | Photos: Speks
January 23, 2024

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Welcome to Skimm Tested, where we put products to the test and then give them a report card. (Check out all of our tried-and-tested faves here.)

The assignment...

To see if Speks’ fidget toys are just as fun to play with as they seem (based on the countless Instagram ads fed to me) and if they’re worth the premium price tag for a desk toy.

What I tested...

  • Matte Speks 2.5mm Magnet Balls: The brand’s namesake product. They’re small magnetic balls that can be used as a stress ball, magnetic putty, and building blocks. ($34.95+)

  • Gump Memory Gel Stress Ball: A malleable stress ball that feels like a combination of putty and slime, without the mess. PS: This has a waitlist right now. ($7.95)

  • Crags Magnetic Putty: Magnetic pebbles that you can hold in your hands, form into shapes, and create mosaics with. ($24.95+)

  • Fleks Flexible Silicone Fidget Magnets: Soft silicone X’s that connect via magnets. ($26.95)

  • Blots Silicone Stress Ball in Green Splotch: A squishy stress ball with an additional six fidget nodes. ($24.95)

Matte Speks 2.5mm Magnet Balls ($34.95+)

Matte Speks 2.5mm Magnet Balls
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Speks

Straight A’s in…

  • Versatility. I love that you can do multiple things with these magnets – from crushing them between your fingers to using them to build small structures.

  • Portability. The pack of 512 (which is what I tested) came with a small plastic case that fit in the palm of my hand. They’re easy to throw into any bag to take on the go.

  • Design. Out of all of the Speks toys that I tested, these felt the most discreet. So if you are looking for a fidget toy that you can take to in-person meetings or days in the office, these are a great starting point.

Room for growth…

  • Price. The smallest quantity at 512 magnets, which sounds like a lot but is still incredibly tiny when you hold them together, is about $35. While Speks are made from neodymium magnets (aka a rare earth metal), this still feels steep — especially if you’re new to fidget toys.

  • Size. While I love how small and portable these are, they are easy to lose. Some have lost their lives to my couch cushions.

Gump Memory Gel Stress Ball ($7.95)

Gump Memory Gel Stress Ball
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Speks

Straight A’s in…

  • Design. This is perfect if you love the texture of slime, but don’t want to deal with the mess. The colors are calming and translucent, but the most satisfying part is that this stress ball springs back to hold its shape. I found myself playing with this while sitting on the couch, reading, and watching TV. It replaced the urge to reach for my phone instead.

  • Price. Out of all the Speks products I tried, this one felt the most reasonably priced. You can get one for under $8 or a pack of three for about $24.

Room for growth…

  • Breakage. I noticed that as I was kneading this product, my nails punctured it in a couple of spots. Nothing leaked, but it did cause some stickiness along the exterior.

  • Lint attraction. There’s something about the matte design of this product that attracts a lot of lint, so this product requires occasional cleaning. Luckily, the brand has an instructional video on how to do so, but still an annoying step nonetheless.

Crags Magnetic Putty ($24.95)

Crags Magnetic Putty
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Speks

Straight A’s in…

  • Relaxation. The texture of these magnetic pebbles is so soothing. I used them as if they were clay or putty, and I found myself laying them out on my couch to make a mosaic.

  • Size. These are easier to see because they’re larger in size than the original Speks magnets. I’m not worried as much about losing them.

  • Price. The standard size feels appropriately priced at just shy of $25.

Room for growth…

  • Versatility. These magnets are more for crushing between your fingers, as opposed to building structures. If you want more versatility, I would buy the Speks magnetic balls to start. It just depends on what your needs are.

  • Smell. Upon first usage, these had a little bit of a chemical smell. Over time it wore off, but it did make my hands smell a little strange.

  • Storage. These come in a larger storage container that’s sleek and compact for your space, though I wouldn’t want to carry these around in my bag.

Fleks Flexible Silicone Fidget Magnets ($26.95)

Fleks Flexible Silicone Fidget Magnets
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Speks

Straight A’s in…

  • Design. A couple of my friends tried this product and it was by far the biggest hit — and the most unique toy out of the bunch. These silicone X’s are soft and squishy, but also double as magnetic building blocks.

  • Versatility. Each set comes with six pieces you can form into shapes, squish around, and break apart. I liked this one because you can fidget with the individual pieces or focus on building a larger structure.

  • Price. I was satisfied with the $26.95 price here – given versatility and uniqueness of this product.

Room for growth…

  • Discreetness. Because of how eye-catching this product is, it’s not really a subtle toy. So if you’re in environments where you don’t want to call attention to the fact that you’re fidgeting with something, I would buy their Gump or Speks magnetic balls instead.

  • Lint attraction. Once again, lint loves the silicone material that this brand uses. I simply wiped the pieces down with a damp washcloth to clean them off.

Blots Silicone Stress Ball in Green Splotch ($24.95)

Blots Silicone Stress Ball in Green Splotch
Design: theSkimm | Photos: Speks

Straight A’s in…

  • Design. If you’re looking for a simple, yet elevated version of your classic stress ball, buy this. Its ergonomic design allows it to easily fit the palm of your hand and the additional silicone nodes are fun to play with. Out of all the Speks products, I found this one to be the most no-frills, while still feeling exciting and stress-relieving.

  • Portability. This is small enough to fit in a backpack or tote bag with ease.

Room for growth…

  • Lint attraction. Surprise, surprise. Keeping this in my bag attracted dirt and lint. But it still wiped clean easily.

  • Price. Nearly $25 felt expensive for a stress ball, but I did feel as though it was worth it for portability, simplicity, and basic ease of use.

More about the brand…

Works best for…

  • Those who tend to use screen time and doom-scrolling as a form of fidgeting (👋).

  • Adults looking for an aid when trying to focus on everyday tasks — particularly with fidget options that feel elevated and age-appropriate.

  • Anyone looking to destress in a more mindful way, without having to turn to meditation or other methods where focusing might be challenging.

Gets extra credit for…

  • Their satisfying nature. The ultimate goal of a fidget toy, aside from stress-relief and increased focus, is satisfaction. The more satisfying one is to play with, the more you end up reaching for it. Each of the five products I tested had that feeling of satisfaction, so I used them a ton — which says a lot since I’ve never used fidget toys before. While the prices felt steep in some instances, these toys really delivered and kept me entertained.

How I did my homework…

  • I tested five different Speks products over the course of a month. I kept them on my desk during busy work days and with me during calm nights spent with friends on the couch. I took note of my focus and stress levels when using, and the general enjoyment I got when picking up these products.


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