Are Sharpies or Crayola markers better?
Markers are great for coloring and drawing original artwork regardless of your age, but choosing the right markers isn’t always the easiest task. Crayola markers and Sharpie markers are two of the most popular options, but which is better?
Crayola markers are mostly designed for kids and offer plenty of washable options, while Sharpie markers are aimed at a older audience of teens and adults who aren’t likely to doodle on walls.
You probably remember these colorful markers from your childhood and they haven’t changed much over the years. You can still buy larger, broad-tipped Crayola markers that are great for young children, but you can find finer-tipped options on the market, as well as options designed specifically for adults.
While they’re certainly not the best markers for serious artists, they’re decent enough if you choose the right options. Crayola markers cost around $4 to $25 depending on the number of markers in a set. If you’re looking for more art supplies for kids, check out the BestReviews guide to art sets for kids.
Crayola marker professionals
- Many Crayola markers are washable, so you can remove markers from fabric and walls, which is perfect if you want to let kids loose with them.
- Wide line markers are great for young children, while fine line options are perfect for older users who want to create more detailed work.
- Crayola markers come in more shades than you might remember – around 120 in all, in different types and sets. This allows you a wide range of colors when creating artwork.
- All Crayola markers designed for kids are non-toxic, so they are safe for young children to use and are not dangerous even if the little ones put them in their mouths.
Crayola marker cons
- Being water based, Crayola markers are not blendable or suitable for layering as too many layers can saturate and damage the paper.
- The pigments in Crayola markers are not as vibrant as others and are not fade resistant, so they become more muted over time.
Best Crayola Markers
Crayola Ultra-Clean washable wide line markers
These are the classic bold Crayola markers that most kids in the US used at some point as adults. This is a simple, affordable pack of just 10 markers. The colors are Crayola’s brightest, but they are fully washable so you don’t have to worry about stains.
Crayola Ultra-Clean washable fine line markers
Crayola’s fine line alternative to classic markers are a better choice for older children who want to work in more detail. They’re also washable – of fabric, walls and skin – and available in a choice of 40 colours.
Crayola Fineline Marker
Designed for adults and teens, these markers are more vibrant than the kids offerings, but they aren’t washable so there might be a mess. You get 40 shades in one box, which is more than enough for most users.
Sharpie markers are aimed at teens and adults with their bright, alcohol-based colors. They are permanent, which can cause problems in the wrong hands, but also means users have the ability to create long-lasting works of art.
They come in a decent range of colors, but the nibs are firmer than high-end art markers, making them better for casual use and writing than for other purposes. You can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $30 depending on the package size, pen type, and color palette.
Sharpie marker professionals
- Sharpie markers are known for writing on just about anything and appearing well on materials like plastic and wood, so they’re great when you want to create art in unusual places. Some are even UV resistant for outdoor use.
- Sharpies are water and fade resistant, allowing you to create artwork that will remain in the same condition as it was first drawn for years.
- You can buy Sharpie markers with either fine or extra-fine tips, making them great for detail work – you can also find chisel-tipped options that are great for calligraphy and other fancy lettering.
- Twin Tip Sharpie Markers have a fine tip on one end and an ultra-fine tip on the other and are perfect for people who can’t decide between the two options.
Sharpie marker cons
- Sharpies don’t come in as many colors as Crayola markers – around 65 compared to over 120 for Crayola. However, this is still enough to create a number of works of art.
- Unlike Crayola markers, there are no washable sharpies, so they are not suitable for children until you are sure they don’t make a mess.
Best Sharpie Markers
Sharpie fine-tipped permanent marker
These fine-tipped Sharpies come in 12 standard colors that are vibrant but not overly nuanced, making them best for basic art, coloring and lettering. The ink dries quickly and will not fade or run.
Sharpie Electro Pop permanent marker
Sharpie’s classic fine tip markers but in a limited edition of 24 colors including Ultra Violet and Nano Blue, with some classic colors in the mix to create a versatile palette. These are great for creating bold artwork, but can still give you enough detail for relatively fine work.
Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Color Burst Permanent Marker
With their ultra-fine tips, these markers are an excellent choice for creating drawings with lots of fine detail. You get 24 different colors in this pack to give you plenty of choice.
Should you get Crayola markers or Sharpie markers?
Both Sharpie markers and Crayola markers are good at what they’re designed for, but they have different primary audiences. If you’re buying for a child, Crayola is the obvious choice, with plenty of washable options and non-toxic pens. If you want to create the most daring works of art or draw on surfaces other than paper, you should choose sharpie markers with their vibrant colors and fade-resistant hues.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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