The Best Markers for Coloring

The type of markers you use for coloring can make a big difference in the look of your finished coloring pages! After trying dozens of different marker brands, here are my recommendations for markers you should use with your Elyse Breanne Design coloring book.

What I look For in a Pack of Markers

1. Ink Type. I prefer alcohol-based markers, but also use water-based markers occasionally!

2. Number of colors vs. cost. I always want to maximize the color options I have to choose from when coloring, so I'm always looking for packs that have the most colors I like to use (usually pastel colors for me!) versus the cost of the pack.

3. Dual Tips. I love markers that have two tips: usually a fine tip or brush tip and thicker tip on the other side. I like to have the option to use the thicker end for larger spaces and the finer end for smaller spots.

4. Fine Tips. Even if a marker doesn't have dual tips, a finer tip is non-negotiable because my coloring books have fairly fine lines, and a thicker-tipped marker will make it a lot harder to stay in the lines!

Two Main Types of Markers
Alcohol vs. Water-Based Ink

Alcohol ink is the ink used in Sharpie Brand and other permanent markers. It is also available in art marker brands like Copic and Ohuhu. Some professional artists use alcohol ink markers as their primary medium! Overall, these markers have a really smooth, blended look when the ink is dry.

Most people will recognize water-based ink as the ink in Crayola Brand markers. Water-based ink is more common in markers as it is washable, safer for children, and less expensive than alcohol ink. Overall, water-based markers leave a streaky finish and tend to show every stroke.

Water-Based Markers


Safe for children

Inexpensive & accessible

Less likely to bleed through the page

Streakier appearance

Alcohol-Based Markers


Not safe for children

Often expensive and harder to find

Likely to bleed through the page

Refillable marker bodies, therefore less waste

Less streaky, smoother, professional-looking finish

My Picks: Alcohol Markers

Copic Markers

Most expensive option, but most loved by professional artists. These are also the only alcohol markers I have found with a brush tip, which is really nice to color with!

See them here

Ohuhu Markers

A far cheaper option that allowed me to get more colors for the same price as Copics. I really enjoy using these, although I miss the brush tip that Copics have!

Ohuhus are my overall pick!

See them Here

Caliart Markers

The cheapest option I have found! They look very similar to Ohuhu markers, but I have not personally tried them myself.

See them here

My Picks: Water-Based Markers

Ooly pastel Hues

Smaller, less expensive pack of dual tip markers that include my favorite colors to use while coloring!

My overall pick for water-based markers!

See Them Here

Crayola Brush & Detail Dual Tips

Classic Crayolas but in dual tip form! Each side is a different color so you get 32 colors in only 16 markers. These are more traditional, bolder primary colored markers.

See them here

Zebra Mildliners

Really nice dual tip markers in a variety of pastel colors!

See them here