If you want to find out which YouTube channels offer the “best” ASMR — autonomous sensory meridian response — experiences, it’s important to remember that “best” means different things for different people. You could just go by which channels attract the most subscribers, and which videos are most often viewed.
But we’re talking about sensory inputs here, and the kinds of sensory inputs that you enjoy may not fall in line with those preferred by others.
So by all means check out the top-drawing channels, but also shop around. Then, if you’re a person who experiences ASMR, tune into whichever videos give you the most satisfying, relaxing, irresistible tingles.
Interest in ASMR Booming
Researchers at Swansea University in England were among the first to rigorously study ASMR, which was only coined as a name for the brain tingles in 2010. When those researchers listed the top ASMR artists in a seminal paper, published in March 2015 in the journal Peer J, they based their choices on total views that the various artists had accrued.
At that time, the runaway top contender was Maria of Gentle Whispering. Her videos had more than 88 million views. Today, the channels of some top ASMRtists, including several listed below, have accrued 200 or 300 million views.
The biggest draws among ASMRtists tend fall into a certain mold: pretty, young, white women with smooth complexions, bright eyes, and long, shiny hair. If a more diverse sort of ASMRtist appeals more to you, there are lots of videos available by men and people of color, too.
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The Most Popular ASMR Creators
The most popular ASMR channels by numbers of subscribers are the following:
- ASMR Darling Wholesome, young ASMR Darling (who uses no other name) has 2,260,964 subscribers and defines ASMR as the “calming, euphoric, tingly feeling you get when it’s triggered” — and trigger she does. Her raft of videos include one offering a basic makeup role-play while another promises “intense mouth sounds to help you sleep.” Still other ASMR Darling videos offer 20, 30, or 100 triggers, respectively, to help you sleep. ASMR Darling on YouTube
- Gibi ASMR This creator, with 1,707,619 subscribers, pronounces her name “Jibby” (rhymes with “Libby”). At times, Gibi takes a playful, humorous approach to ASMR in her videos. For instance, in one she dons a bright-green wig and black lipstick as she impersonates a flight attendant taking the viewer overseas. In another video, she wears a bright pink wig as she takes the viewer camping in Japan. Gibi ASMR on YouTube
- Gentle Whispering Although she has fewer subscribers — just 1,623,562 — than some other ASMRtists, Maria, who uses her first name only and who speaks with a soft Russian accent, is the incontestable ASMR star of the mainstream media. Stories in The New Yorker, CNBC.com, and the The Washington Post, among other major publications and websites, have focused on Maria’s immigrant story and her approach to ASMR. Gentle Whispering on YouTube
Other ASMRtists You Might Enjoy
While these ASMRtists have fewer followers, they might just have that special something you respond to:
- BlackMaleASMR Luke, this channel’s creator, declares, “I am addicted to ASMR!” His videos often feature him speaking softly, whispering, or, in one case, purring like a cat. He also does occasional role-plays, including playing a help desk agent and “ignoring” the watcher while talking on his cellphone. BlackMaleASMR on YouTube
- TirarADeguello This ASMRtist has an otherworldly vibe, speaking — usually in a whisper — to and about spirits and aliens. He often wears and makes noises with latex gloves. His wide array of videos includes one in which he repairs Woody from Toy Story, another called “Infinity Time Loop ASMR” that runs for more than three hours, and yet another in which he conducts a “Third Eye Sensitivity Test.” TirarADeguello on YouTube
- Latte ASMR Latte, a soft-spoken Korean woman, features haircuts, makeup application, and other salon services in her videos, as well as doctor or nurse visits, in which various exams or treatments are performed. She’s done several ear cleaning videos, as well as ear makeup and ear brushing. Many of Latte’s videos are in Korean, some in Japanese, and some in English. Latte ASMR on YouTube
- ASMR Hiking Do you like the sound of gravel or leaves crunching under your feet, and views of nature? Then you’ll likely enjoy the videos on ASMR hiking, which also include water sounds, chirping birds, and other outdoor noises. ASMR Hiking on YouTube
- ASMRTheChew There are those who can’t stand the sound of others chewing. For those who enjoy it, there’s ASMRTheChew, who munches down dill pickles, Peeps marshmallow candies, a candy apple, and much, much more. ASMRTheChew on YouTube
- Ephemeral Rift This ASMRtist has been making videos since 2011, enough time to develop whole categories of videos, including traditional ASMR, sound-only ASMR, character performances and role-plays, relaxing nature scenes, and one he calls Rift World, featuring characters and story lines created by the artist that have some relationship to real works of fiction. Also known as Paul and Uncle E, Ephemeral Rift brings a sense of humor to his videos yet manages to keep a straight face even when discussing such topics as the International League of Idiots and how the Snack Man is related the Candy Man. Ephemeral Rift on YouTube
RELATED: Best ASMR by Type: Intentional and Unintentional
Bring the Spirit of ASMR Into Your Daily Life, With or Without Videos
While watching or listening to ASMR videos may be the easiest way to bring this relaxing phenomenon into your day, it’s possible that simply being more mindful of the triggers that exist in everyday life can provide you with some of the same benefits.
“Little taps and crinkles, or the way certain thicker pages create the most amazing sound when they turn — many times we miss that,” Maria says. “There are these beautiful little things that we don’t pay attention to.”
But you can choose to pay closer attention, and thereby bring some ASMR consciousness into your life throughout the day, for more calm and less stress.
Try it. Focus. Soak in the soothing sights and sounds that may pop up throughout an ordinary day — whether it’s the sound of water running into the sink or tub, the bristles of a brush moving through your child’s or your own hair, or the pages of a good book turning.