If you are looking for FREE coloring apps for adults, check out my full reviews of the best. Most of these color apps have free pages and colors. You’ll also learn which subscriptions are worth it!
Updated: October 2021 with the latest apps from the Apple Store and Android.
When I thought about reviewing adult coloring apps, something came to mind immediately. Adult coloring is supposed to be relaxing, and even an escape from electronic devices. So what is the deal with these apps? Why use them over an adult coloring book and your pencils?
I’m not going to lie – I was skeptical myself. That was until I downloaded all of these to review and gave them an honest go . . . and then I discovered: adult coloring apps ARE relaxing!
Apps vs. Traditional Coloring
Here are the top things I noticed about the apps:
I don’t have to break out the books and colored pencils like in traditional coloring. Sometimes I just don’t like having supplies everywhere.
It’s a lot less expensive than books and pencils, markers, etc. If you are looking for an inexpensive hobby, ALL of these apps have a free option. Some are better than others which I address in each review.
These apps are perfect for waiting rooms, the line at the DMV, and anytime you are bored and don’t want to be on Facebook or some other app.
They STILL relax me. Yes, it’s on an electronic screen, but I can still zone out.
Color Apps that are Free
Only a few of these apps are truly free (Coloring Book, Coloring Book for Adults), as most color apps in general have in-app purchases. Having said that, a lot of them have free pages that refresh regularly.
However, Happy Color® has 15,000 free pages, so I consider it to be a free app even though there are ads. It is a color by number app.
Things to keep in mind about the “free” portions of these apps:
A lot of apps have switched to color by number. It’s like a paint by number, where you tap an area and add a color. That means you won’t necessarily be able to choose the colors that you use. Some of them are still traditional digital coloring.
Usually there are new “dailies,” or a new design every single day that you can color. So if you only do one drawing a day, you can probably stick with the free and not get a subscription.
Prepare yourself for lots of ads! Watching them to unlock pages, tools, etc. If you commit to free and don’t want a subscription, you’ll have to watch a lot of ads.
My Selections for “Best Of”
After reviewing these adult coloring apps, I like them all – but Pigment and Happy Color® are my DEFINITE front runners (reviews below). I also really like Chroma because of the value for what you get. Take a peek and let me know what you think!
Adult Coloring Apps
I've used every single one of these coloring apps, and they are in order of my preference.
This is called a color by number "game," but really it's less of a game and more of a "pick the color and then fill in the corresponding area by tapping it." But that shouldn't take anything away from the mindless coloring that this game affords.
Sometimes you don't want to pick the colors, but you want them picked for you. You just want to fill in the areas. And that's exactly what you'll do with this app.
There are 15,000 designs that are free in more than 15 categories: animals, flowers, places, hobbies, mandalas and more. There's also Disney, Marvel, and some other big characters you'll recognize.
It's not just solid colors as well. Sometimes you'll be coloring with with ombre, and other times you're coloring with a design. The app determines it for you - there's no thought required. It's perfectly relaxing.
Subscription - I tried to figure out where I would pay in this app, but the only thing I could find was removing ads for $7.99. There were some full screen ads when I went into various coloring pages, and they weren't too annoying. Given how much you get for free, I consider this to be a free app if you don't mind ads.
This is the closest to real coloring you can possibly get - and this adult coloring app is truly amazing. Unlike any of the other apps, you can choose brushes that allow you to *really* color by swiping your finger across the screen.
You can fill like the other apps by just tapping in areas, but if you want to, you can select an eraser (to remove some of the color) as well as a coloring "brush" that gives you the real coloring experience.
There are quite a few palettes that are free, and each palette has nine colors on it. Right now there are at least 20+ palettes for free, giving you lots of colors to choose from!
Subscription - You can get a free 7-day trial for premium access. It's $4.99 weekly or $59.99 if you subscribe for a year. You'll get access to 6000+ pages, premium brushes, exclusive color palettes, and new books each week. To remove the watermark on your art, you'll have to have the premium subscription.
I am so pleasantly surprised with this app! As I mentioned, a lot of the apps have turned into color by number. While I love it, I also love the purist coloring apps, of which this is one.
At the time of this writing there are 18 free pages available, and hundreds more you can get with a subscription. But here's the deal . . . I like the pages that they have available for free.
As soon as you open an image, they give you a suggestion for how to color it (briefly) as well as a link to inspiration in a gallery. But that's not the best part.
The best part is that you have seven tools and brushes, which at this point is hard to find in any other app. You also have a freehand marker you can use as part of that, meaning you can draw or accent anywhere on the coloring page, not just where the app wants you to.
There are templates/backgrounds you can color and freehand on - you can also important your own drawings (and I could color on those without paying).
Now, to get the real goodies you're going to have to get a subscription, but this is the cheapest subscription and best value of any of them.
Subscription - only $.57 per week if you sign up for a year ($29.64). For that price, you'll get tons of new pages, millions of colors, creating/saving your own palettes, and other exclusive content.
If you're looking for a free coloring book app - this one is going to be refreshing. There are no subscriptions, no in-app purchases . . . just a few ads now and again. It's not bad compared to some of the other apps. They also ask for reviews to get access to some images.
What I love about this app is that there are over 30 categories of free pages, and LOTS of pages within those categories. I love mandalas and there are plenty of those.
There are a good mix of simple and more complicated designs. So technically if you want to color yourself and then also have your kid color a few images, this would be a good app.
One of the biggest limitations of this app is the colors. While there are 168 colors in the palette (which is free), there aren't any brushes or tools or anything fancy. Which for some people, is fine. If you just like filling in areas with color and don't want to go crazy, this is going to be a great option for you.
Subscription - none. No in app purchases. It's completely free!
After reviewing a bunch of coloring book apps, this one was so refreshing! What first drew me to it was the small French bulldog icon in the app library. Then I opened it and realized - this is ridiculously simple!
You'll get over 25 free pages with a variety of brushes and a variety of colors. The pictures are limited, but guess what . . . this app is actually free. Right now there's nothing to buy. And you can color to your heart's content.
The way to select colors is to choose them on a color wheel, and I imagine there are over 100 - any shade you need. There aren't a lot of special effects, but that's what makes this nice. It's pretty straightforward, and it's free. Did I mention it's actually free?
Subscription - None offered at this time. There are ads but they are minimal.
This app by far has my favorite artwork of all of the coloring apps for adults! The categories seem simple: Classic, Seasonal, Animals, Art, Fashion, etc. . . but the drawings are REALLY cool.
There are cityscapes, women, famous paintings, dreamcatchers, sea life, peacocks, words, holidays, and more! These closely resemble drawings you might see in an actual coloring book.
For each free drawing, you'll get to pick whether you want to color it by number or color it "freehand." the choice is up to you. In terms of colors, you get a ton of free colors to start under the Basic Solid palettes as well as the Basic Gradient Palettes.
There are challenges and contests where people can vote, as well as featured recolors by artists. There's a lot going on in this app, which is why I like it so much.
Subscription - If you upgrade to VIP All Access, you get 8000+ more of designs, colors, brushes, and more - plus no ads. This costs $5.99 per week, $9.99 a month, or $59.99 a year.
Super Color is a great color by number app with one of the same complaints I have about a lot of these coloring apps - so. many. ads! Pretty much everything you'd like to try can be accessed - if only you'll watch a few ads.
Having said that I'm a fan of the pictures; I especially like the categories that includes nature, flowers, animals, mandalas, mystery, food, and even some quotes. I love coloring quotes, and the resulting pictures are pretty cute!
You can save your work and change your shading effects. You can also turn off "auto pick color" so that YOU can pick the colors versus the app. I'm pretty happy with the color selections they've put together.
A lot of people say in the comments and reviews that this is the only color by number app they would pay for.
Subscription - to purchase the Premium, you'll either be able to subscribe for 1 month at $9.99, 3 months at $23.99, and 1 year and $69.99. This unlocks all images and you'll have no ads except hints (which annoys me a little). You'll also get rid of the watermark when sharing.
Okay, this app only has one free drawing. And I had to watch a video ad to get it. But the reason I'm including this app in this review is because I LOVE the art! It feels very inspired by Anime.
If you choose to unlock the subscription, you're going to get a ton of great artwork. The drawings are also pretty detailed, which means you're going to get a lot of hours of coloring. If I had to pick an app to subscribe to, it would be this one.
There are hundreds of colors with the best tools of any app. You'll get all sorts of brushes, so there's a lot you can do to personalize the drawing and make it your own. You can ombre hair, add galaxy effects . . . I'm impressed!
Subscription - To get access to the goodies, you'll have to pay $4.99 weekly, $7.99 monthly, and $49.99 yearly. This unlocks all pages, effects, colors, unlimited importing, removes the watermark, and no ads. Start with a 7 day trial and then let me know what you think!
When I first opened this app, it took me a moment to get used to all. the. ads. I saw that it had a lot of reviews and they were good, so I decided to give it a chance!
Turns out this is actually a pretty unique app - because while it is simply color by number, you're coloring more with designs than actual colors on a lot of the designs. Some are basic, but some of the colors get kind of wild as you can see in the sample photo.
But I love it. Because honestly, I really like the pictures and the designs.
The only complaint I have is the sheer number of ads to unlock images, unlock tips, etc. The brushes are predetermined for you since it's color by number, so you don't get to pick the colors.
In terms of free images, there are only a few on each page. And you have to watch a video to access them. If you use this app, you'll probably want to do it with a subscription so you get access to everything without frustration.
Subscription - you can get a 3-day free trial and then do $69.99 for a year, or you also have options for $7.99 per week and $9.99 per month. This unlocks all pictures and collections, removes the ads, and gets you unlimited tools.
This is an interesting adult coloring app because it's design to actually look like mini coloring books within the app.
Under each section (Flora, Mandala, Fauna, Holiday, Animals, etc.) you have several free designs, and then a lot more that are available with a subscription.
There is also a free daily design available for 24 hours. What I like is that under each "book" there's a hyperlink that says "Get Inspired" and takes you to the gallery to show you how other people have colored that design.
It's nice if you get stuck. You can also color a design multiple times and it's saved in your book (and shown on the left). Kind of interesting the way they lay it out, and I like it.
In terms of colors, you'll start with a basic palette of 24 called "Essential." It's definitely not enough, so you'll want to either get the subscription or jump through the hoops to download a few additional palettes (you can like the app on Instagram, share drawings, etc). I still feel like they don't give me enough for free, honestly.
Subscription - To join Adult Coloring Book Plus, you'll spend $4.99 a month or $22.99 per year. You do get a free trial of a week if you like.
When I tried out this coloring app for adults, I was a little surprised at how few free images were available. I've used this app before, and it seems that in the past there were a lot more freebies.
There are a lot of categories of pages, including Mandalas, Places, Zodiac, Animals, Famous Art, Florals, and more. Each category has a few free pages until you scroll down to the bottom, when they are all under the premium subscription.
When you do access a free page, you'll need to watch a few ads to get to it. Once you get into the free pages, you will get to access a ton of colors across the bottom. You can apply filters once the coloring is done.
You can import your own drawings, but you will need a subscription for that!
Subscription - a free trial to Colorfy Plus is available for one week. One week is going to cost you $7.99, and I don't see any way to upgrade to a monthly or yearly option. The subscription includes new pictures every day, all features unlocked, and no ads.
This app has greatly changed since I first reviewed it! Everything out this app is designed to get you to subscribe to a premium account. Before we talk about that, let's talk about the artwork.
Some are quite detailed and some are very basic . . . but there are a lot of options (words, mandalas, people - and some odd ones like a rabbit being pulled out of a hat).
The color palettes are great, and you get an option for gradient colors depending on the drawing - but here's the deal. You have to watch a video every time you want to access a free page. I hate it. Your only other option is a subscription.
Due to this, I would only recommend this app for serious colorists. The subscription is quite expensive . . .
Subscription - a Recolor Premium 7-day free trial is available. You can pay monthly for $29.99 or yearly for $89.99. This subscription gives you access to 5000+ pictures and new ones every day. You'll also get access to all palettes and effects, plus no ads.
I think you’ll find that Recolor annual subscription is now $150!!! New daily pics are mostly recycled, so not a lot of value for a renewed subscription. Not what it was ☹️
Wednesday 2nd of February 2022
Have you tried Mega Color - Paint by Number? Really been enjoying it - it's refreshing to have an app without intrusive ads. Might be good for this article
Here is the link if you want to try it out! https://apps.apple.com/us/app/mega-color-paint-by-number/id1604026277
Monday 17th of January 2022
Look forward to the new apps.
Sunday 19th of December 2021
Colorfly has too many vulgar inappropriate images that do not get taken down. Me and many other users have reported and tried to get removed with no response. Kids and teens are seeing these images that are disgusting. They have been flagged many times and no one is monitoring this app or cares. The users who post them create their own images which is a feature that needs removed.
Sunday 19th of December 2021
Oh wow - thanks for the info Jessica! I didn't realize that and never saw it as part of the app. But good to know . . . I agree, needs to be removed or monitored, one or the other.