The best markers in 2023

best markers - Ohuhu pens with an image drawn in pen
(Image credit: Ohuhu)

Every creative needs a set of the best markers. Whether or not marker pen is your chosen medium for creating artwork, playing around with marker pens can be a great way to experiment. Also, blocking out the basic shapes of your creation in marker pen and examining its silhouette can be a great way to examine whether your idea is going to work in another medium.

To collate this list of the best markers right now, we've tested out various pens, asked our artist friends for their recommendations and also scoured the internet for markers with tip-top reviews. When choosing a marker, think about the size and shape of the tip, lightfastness – this is how the colour will fade when react to light – as well as the range of colours available.

If you need to stock up your pencil case, you may also want to check out our list of the best coloured pencils, the best pens and the best sketchpads.

The best markers available now

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Copic markers 6 pack product shot

(Image credit: Copic)

01. Copic Ciao Marker Set of 6

The best markers are well-loved for a reason

Reasons to buy

+
Refillable ink
+
Dual-tips
+
Long-lasting

Reasons to avoid

-
An investment

Copic markers are popular with artists for a reason. These reliably good markers won't let you down, delivering consistent, attractive colour across a range of surfaces. They'll last a lifetime too, as you can replace the tips and refill the inks, and are versatile, with a super brush nib on one end and a medium broad nib on the other. This six-pack is a good starter set, which can be built on in future, once you get the Copic bug, and we've no doubt you will.

Winsor & Newton promarkers in case

(Image credit: Winsor & Newton)

02. Winsor & Newton Promarker set of 24

The best markers for colouring

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous hues
+
Dual tips

Reasons to avoid

-
Bleeds through paper

Winsor & Newton is a well-respected maker of art materials, and its Promarker pens are fantastically vibrant and brilliant for colouring. These alcohol-based markers have a dual tip, so you can use one end for fine details and another for filling in between the lines. They also blend nicely together, and can be used on a variety of materials including plastic, glass and wood. Note that if you're using these on paper, they can bleed through unless you're using high-quality artists' paper. There are various sets available but we think this set of 24 should be perfect for getting you started.

Tongfushop marker set in black case

(Image credit: Tongfushop)

03. Tongfushop 80 coloured markers

The best cheap markers

Reasons to buy

+
Cheaper than Copic
+
Comes with case

Reasons to avoid

-
May dry out

For those who want a lot of markers for as little money as possible, Tongfushop has an interesting offering in the form of its 80 coloured marker set. They are marketed for drawing manga in particular, and like the markers above, have a dual tip – one for fine drawing and another for colouring and shading. The markers come in a handy bag for storage. Just be wary that these won't last as long as the more expensive markers above, and some may be prone to drying out. 

Ohuhu brush markers 168 set in bag

(Image credit: Ohuhu)

04. Ohuhu alcohol brush markers

These brush markers are ideal for calligraphy

Reasons to buy

+
Brush and chisel tips
+
Includes blender pen

Reasons to avoid

-
Not replacable

Ohuhu is a Copic competitor and this set has dual-tipped markers with one end for brush work, and another for blocking or colouring in. Reviewers found them easy to control and use, and the brush end is ideal if you want to try out a little calligraphy. This set comes with a whopping 168 different colours, with a carrying case and colour chart included. Enough to keep you busy for a while, we're sure.

Chartpak pack of 24 markers

(Image credit: Chartpak)

05. Chartpak Ad Marker

These classic markers have 3 weights in 1 tip

Reasons to buy

+
Nice colour selection
+
Even coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
Weights take getting used to
-
Smelly

These classic markers are still beloved by artists. They are built to last – the tips are replaceable – and are a cheaper alternative to the likes of Copic. These markers take a different approach to different line weights, having just the one tip that you can manipulate to achieve three different weights, rather than the dual tip like some of the other markers on this list. This can take a bit of getting used to, but once you get it, it works well. Note that although these markers are blendable, the amount of bleeding can be an issue for fine detail work. Also some people find their odour overwhelming, so make sure you're working in a well ventilated room.

Sharpie best marker pens set of 24 product shot

(Image credit: Sharpie)

06. Sharpie Color Burst Permanent Markers

These markers are much-loved by kids and adults

Reasons to buy

+
Vibrant colours
+
Good for detail

Reasons to avoid

-
Not refillable

Sharpies are much-loved around the world, and have a great reputation for a reason, they're great for drawing as well as colouring in. We particularly like Sharpies for fine detail, and there are lots of different sets to choose from. We also like how the colour of these pens stays, without running or streaking. This set of 24 is particularly bright, as the name Color Burst, suggests, ideal for livening up your sketchbook.

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Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where her blogging prowess led her to become Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on art and design magazines, including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw, and got the 'Apple bug' when working on US title, Mac|Life. In 2018, she left the world of print behind and moved to Creative Bloq, where she helps take care of the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach through trying to please the Google Gods, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure its content serves its readers as best it can. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.