Coloring is an easy enough activity that every parent can get stuck into with their kids. And with the wide range of coloring books on the market at the moment, coloring can now be as intricate and nuanced as you make it. Which is just what you want for your kid to earn their bragging rights.
But, for the best results, no-one should have to make do with inferior tools. I mean, have you seen how patchy and useless crayon coloring can be? Please!
And if you do invest in markers instead, you don't just want some cheap, 10-color set that simply does not have all the colors you need.
That's where this article comes in. We've been checking out and testing some of the best markers for coloring on the market, and we're going to be sharing our reviews with you here today. Our reviews are unbiased, and include a summary of pros and cons.
But we totally get that choosing a set can be tricky, which is why we've also put together a handy buying guide that highlights the key points to consider before you buy. Then we're going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
And without further ado…
OUR TOP PICK
Now, if you're looking for a professional marker pen set that also happens to be washable for when your kids decide to play with them, this option is right up your alley!
Each available set comes with a total of a whopping 60 different shades, in a beautiful, wonderfully decorated cylindrical tin.
The collection in the black tin features some gorgeous forest and greenery shades, along with some really nice autumnal shades, and some really bold blues.
The collection in the white tin meanwhile features lots of lovely spring time shades long with some really nice waterfall shades, and oranges and purples.
I wouldn't want you to miss out on any of them, so if you have the budget, I recommend that you buy both.
Admittedly they do cost more than Crayola markers, but we would argue that it's totally worth it for the extra shades and beautiful tin.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention. These are dual tip markers. On one end they have a brush tip, like a typical felt pen, but on the other, in the same exact shade, they also have an incredibly fine tip, which is perfect for the detail in those adult coloring books.
And, because they are water-based pigments, this means that they can be easily washed from skin and clothes. They're also non-toxic and acid-free. And the set comes with a few replacement tips to boot.
They are a prominent bestseller with the leading online retailers, where they've been met with excellent customer ratings and reviews.
Testing them out: We were feeling greedy so we tried out both the black and the white collections.
It was super fun, with some really bright colors thrown in there. They're all fast drying and don't smudge. We did accidentally get some on Junior's clothes, but it came right out in the wash!
- Elegant storage container included
- Very affordable and reasonably priced
- A total of 60 excellent shades in each set
- A very nice range of colors in each selection
- Each marker features a brush tip and a fine tip
- Markers are water-based so they're easy to clean away
- Blending the colors can be tricky if you use the wrong sort of paper
Also available to buy at Walmart
Today the name Sharpie is synonymous with markers. They're a very well-established brand, and this is one of their biggest collection of markers. It's 115 count altogether, and here's a breakdown of what's included:
- 40 fine markers
- 42 ultra fine markers
- 12 twin tip markers
- 8 chisel tip markers
- 5 luminous neon markers
- 8 metallic markers
It's an excellent selection of colors, with numerous blues and purples, pinks, lime greens, and some great skin tones too. And of course some nice reds and yellows.
The color is quick to dry when it hits the paper, and the pigment resists fading.
The set has seen phenomenal customer ratings on Amazon, where, at the time of writing, it has earned a full 5 stars even after well over 6,000 individual ratings.
Testing them out: You know what? I think Junior was just as mesmerized by the neon colors as I was with the metallic ones!
There's a huge range of different shades in the collection, and it felt like there was nothing missing.
I was really impressed with the ultra-fine markers. I was reluctant to let junior play with them for long however, as I was concerned he'd get ink on his clothes.
- Excellent selection of 115 colors
- Includes neon & metallic colors
- The color is quick to dry
- The pigment resists fading
- Phenomenal customer ratings
- The ink from Sharpie's is permanent and does not wash out easily
- There's also a 45-count and a 72-count option on the same product page, so be sure you select the one you want
Also available to buy at
Now, I know most people see Crayola markers as being cheap but cheerful, but it's also important to note that they can often be of utmost quality.
Crayola has been in the business for many decades longer than most of the other top brands, and can afford to sell their wares at rock bottom prices.
And you don't have to make my word alone for their quality. On the Amazon page, these particular markers have earned an average customer rating of a full 5 stars out of 5. Even after well over 27,000 individual customer ratings.
Now, this particular set of markers feature what Crayola calls a super tip. And what this is, is a conical shaped tip.
You can either use the very tip of the conical shape to color in very fine lines, or you can turn them on their edge to color in thicker lines.
This makes them appeal to kids of all ages, and for designs with differing levels of intricacies.
And another great thing about them is that they are washable, so when you're coloring with your kids, you don't have to worry about them getting marker on their skin, their clothes, or even the walls, because you can rest assured that it will all wash out.
It's available in sets of different sizes, including in 10, 80, 100, and 120 counts. As we discuss in our buying guide a little later, we would recommend that more is more. Don't bother with the 10 count, go for 80 or more.
Of course, the price does go up with the count, but even the 120 count is very reasonably priced, and counts a fraction of that of some of the other marker sets out there – a bargain in our books.
Testing them out: We tried out the 100 count version of this set, and found that there was a great selection of shades with a nice mix of both bright and muted colors.
They easily glided across the page. The conical tips took a bit of getting used to, but we soon had the hang of it.
- Conical tip for thick or fine coloring
- Comes from a top of the industry brand
- Large number of colors available
- Good selection of shades included
- Phenomenal customer ratings & reviews
- Bargain, affordable price point
- The caps don't fit on the ends
- This is such a popular set of markers that even the larger online retailers occasionally run out of stock
Also available to buy at
For the uninitiated, Staedtler is quite a big name in the field of arts and crafts, and they are known for their excellent quality.
Their double ended fiber-tip markers feature a conical tip on one end, which enables the user to color in quite thickly and quickly when they wish to.
Yet at the opposite end, they get the same color but with a much finer tip, which can be used to color as finely as 0.5 to 0.8 mm, for those who really like their detail.
And the really great thing about this set is that, with such different coloring techniques available, it's suitable for siblings of different ages to play with together, one using the thicker end and the other using the finer point.
There are a total of 72 colors available in the set (twice as much as you can see in the photo, because half of them are behind). And the color range is superb, with several of the colors that you see in nature, including some nice skin tones.
And you don't need to panic if the little one gets ink on their clothes, because the ink will easily wash out of most fabrics.
It has been met with excellent customer ratings and reviews. Customer reviews frequently mention such phrases as “high quality”, “highly recommended” and “worth the money”.
Testing them out: Junior and I really enjoyed using these markers together. I used the fine tips for detailed, intricate coloring, and while Junior isn't quite at that stage yet, he loved using the thicker tips for making a colorful park scene with the conical tip.
- Double ended for thick and fine coloring
- There's an excellent selection of useful colors
- The ink is easily washed out of most fabrics
- Excellent customer ratings and reviews
- There's also a pack of 36 colors on the same product page which doesn't offer as good a selection of colors as the 72 color version, so be sure you're buying the right one
Also available to buy at
Here, again we have a great set of markers with outstanding customer reviews and ratings on Amazon.
Although this set only has 24 markers included, the options are so much more, and it does have a USP that makes it worth the while…
These markers are designed to be 100% blendable, which means you can achieve excellently toned and shaded effects.
What's more, each marker is actually 3 markers in one. Each pen features a light, a mid, and a dark version of that particular color scheme. The three related tints create a smooth, realistic gradation from light to dark.
The markers have a precision tip, and the caps are air tight, so the tips won't dry out over time.
Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular set – simply click on “check price” to see if there happens to be a deal on now.
Testing them out: I certainly enjoyed using these markers, but Junior struggled with getting the blending right.
- Excellent selection of colors
- Phenomenal customer ratings
- Colors are incredibly blendable
- Premium product at a premium price
Also available to buy at Walmart
Best Markers For Coloring Buying Guide
As promised, here's your buying guide. Let's walk you through the key points to consider when shopping for markers for coloring.
Number And Range Of Colors
As we mentioned in our introduction, a cheap set of just 10 colors just isn't going to give you all the nuance and intricacy you want in today's more advanced coloring books.
And to be honest, we would also argue that 20 colors doesn't offer quite enough variation either.
We would recommend going for a set of markers with at least 30 different colors included, but preferably more. A hundred would be perfect.
Are Yours And Your Kid's Favorite Colors In There?
Hobbies are about having fun and enjoyment. And if your kid is going to get into coloring in a big way, you shouldn't settle for bland, mediocre colors.
Instead you should look for bold, bright colors and pastel shades that can truly make your coloring books a portable work of art.
Thick Vs Fine Tip Markers
Coloring markers tend to come in two main varieties, those with thick tips and those with thin tips. Those with thick tips are fine for use with younger kids, of ages say 6 and under.
But kids aged 7 and above tend to have much better dexterity, and are far better suited to coloring with fine tip markers, so that they can add finer details to their pictures.
It is possible to get markers that have a thick tip on one end and a fine tip on the other. This way they can start off using thick tips, and as their skills improve they can move on to the fine tips. Or, alternatively, your kid could use the thick tips and you can use the thin ones.
Depending on the ages of the kids who are coloring you may wish to invest in washable markers.
It's just too easy for kids to get marker on their skin, their clothes, and even the walls. But if you invest in washable markers, the color should come straight out.
So if you're coloring with kids of say age 10 or under, we would definitely recommend going for washable markers, because accidents can and will happen.
You can also get scented markers, which add a whole new dimension to your coloring. Or you might also consider investing in metallic marker pens, which tend to be sold separately.
Or glitter markers are something else to consider, they could really bring a drawing to life, and make it something special.
Now, Crayola may be best known for their crayons, but they also have a very extensive collection of markers to their name.
To this day, Crayola is still the main brand dominating the best seller charts in the category of coloring pens and markers with the leading online retailers.
This is why it's a no-brainer that Crayola markers take up several spots on our shortlist of the best markers for coloring out there.
You may also recognize other big brands in our line-up including Staedtler and Sharpie.
Value For Money
One of the reasons that coloring is such a popular activity among both kids and adults is just how inexpensive a pastime it is.
Even the best adult coloring books around are quite reasonably priced, and markers are very readily available and easy to get hold of.
However, a quality finish requires good quality tools, and you should be prepared to pay a little more money for your markers than you'd expect to pay in some thrift shop. Especially if you are looking to buy a large set of colors.
But to be honest, top brands like Crayola still remain very reasonably priced to this day and you should never have to pay more than 180 dollars tops for a really good set.
We don't include prices in our reviews in case they change, but we do encourage you to check prices as you go along.
Answers To Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
Are Markers Good For Coloring?
Markers are excellent tools for coloring with.
What Are The Best Fine Tip Markers For Coloring?
Our favorite fine tip markers for coloring are our number 1 pick, the Ohuhu Markers for Adult Coloring. Here's a quick recap on why we like them so much:
- Elegant storage container included.
- Very affordable and reasonably priced.
- A total of 60 excellent shades in each set.
- A very nice range of colors in each selection.
- Each marker features a brush tip and a fine tip.
- Markers are water-based so they're easy to clean away.