The best water bead pack

From bestreviews.com
By
Allen Foster
BestReviews

To get beads of uniform size, many manufacturers suggest soaking them in shallow water -- usually no deeper than 1.5 inches.

Whether you want a cool tactile toy for your kids or you would like to add a sparkle of color to your décor, water beads may be the answer. These colorful items come in packs containing several thousand beads that swell when soaked in water.

When shopping for a water bead pack, purchase durable beads that come in your favorite colors. We love Magic Beadz Crystal Jelly Beads because they come in a jar holding more than 20,000 colorful beads. If you'd like to learn more about water beads, keep reading.

Considerations when choosing water bead packs

Color

Many water bead packs come in a wide variety of colors. These are the most versatile packs because you can separate them according to color, if needed. However, if you prefer a certain color theme for an event or a holiday, it would be a wiser option to purchase a pack limited to the colors you need. Additionally, consider whether you prefer vibrant or pastel colors.

Size

After hydrating water beads, they expand. Some stay fairly small, while others may increase significantly. In some packs, all the beads are relatively similar in size, while other packs may feature beads that come in a variety of sizes.

Quantity

Water bead packs contain several thousand water beads. The beads start off very small, but after expanding, a pack that used to fit in the palm of your hand may cover the bottom of a kiddie pool. Since some companies sell by weight and others by volume, you may have to do a little comparison shopping to find exactly what you want.

Features

Durability

While water beads are made from water-absorbing polymer, not all feature the same level of durability. In general, smaller, harder beads tend to hold up a little better than larger, softer beads. Other factors that can reduce the lifespan of a water bead are exposure to direct sunlight and allowing them to soak longer than recommended.

Container

Depending on how you plan on using your water beads, the container may not be that important. After opening, you may fill vases or other decorative containers with them. However, if you aren’t using all your water beads, purchase a pack that comes in a container with a lid that securely seals.

Extras

Most water bead sets simply come with water beads. However, there are play sets which also include toys that make playtime more fun. These tools can be scoops, tweezers, spoons, and more. You can also get themed kits that may include other toys such as tiny plastic animals or balloons.

Price

Water bead packs are relatively inexpensive — you can get roughly 1,000 beads for $1. Most packs cost between $8 and $13, but there are some which can cost as much as $20. If you’re considering a higher-priced pack, be sure you’re getting your money's worth.

FAQ

Q. What do you use water beads for?

A. Water beads are a fun toy that can be used as a calming sensory experience for adults and children with sensory processing disorder. They can be placed in clear containers and used primarily for decoration. Also, because water beads slowly release water after being hydrated, they can be a clever solution for individuals who frequently forget to water their house plants.

Q. Are water beads dangerous?

A. While water beads are nontoxic, biodegradable, and otherwise safe, they are small and can pose a choking hazard to children who think they look and feel like gummy candy. Once ingested, these beads may continue to grow and create an obstruction in a child's gastrointestinal tract.

Water bead packs we recommend

Best of the best: Magic Beadz Crystal Jelly Beads

Our take: A jar filled with over 20,000 tiny hard beads that expand to larger (small marble-size) squishy beads when soaked for three to four hours.

What we like: These nontoxic water beads come in plenty of colorfast colors and there are enough to fill the bottom of a baby pool. Having a jar with a lid is an appreciated storage option.

What we dislike: These water beads may be a little smaller than many are expecting.

Best bang for your buck: MarvelBeads Water Beads Rainbow Mix

Our take: These vibrantly colored water beads achieve an impressive size after soaking and can be used in several ways, from toys to decorations.

What we like: While these water beads can be great for sensory play, they can also be placed in containers to slowly water your favorite house plants. They are reusable, biodegradable, and don’t have a chemical smell.

What we dislike: The larger water beads in this pack aren't as durable as other options.

Choice 3: Sensory Jungle Water Beads

Our take: Because of the aqua color theme, these water beads stand out visually from many other options on the market.

What we like: These reusable and nontoxic water beads have no slimy residue, which makes cleanup easy. The beads are designed to be durable enough to hold up to multiple uses.

What we dislike: You don’t get as many water beads in this pack as you get from other manufacturers.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.