The 6 Best Markers For Adult Coloring Books

Shoppers swear by these sets for vibrant color without bleed-through.

Written by Rachel Dunkel
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Adult coloring books are made all the more fun when you have the right coloring tools to use with them. While crayons and colored pencils definitely have their place, the best markers for adult coloring books offer vibrant color payoff and come with a range of tip sizes for intricate details or filling lots of space — and many options are highly bleed-resistant. There are tons of marker styles to choose from, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding the right ones to fit your coloring style and needs.

How To Choose The Best Markers For Adult Coloring Books

Shopping for markers is a fun colorful journey with only a few considerations to keep in mind — mainly what shape the marker tip is and how many colors you’d like in a pack.

  • The markers on this list have a variety of fine, chisel, bullet, and brush tips, each with their own pros and cons when it comes to coloring in an adult coloring book. Think about what kind of coloring you normally do and pick a tip you think will suit it. Fine tips are ideal for detailed work but not for filling in large spaces. On the other hand, chisel tips, brush tips, and bullet tips with an angled point can easily cover lots of area on the page or focus on smaller areas, depending on how you hold them. Many markers for adult coloring books are also dual-ended, meaning they have two different kinds of tips on one marker. These are a great option to consider if you want a more versatile pack of markers to suit different types of adult coloring books.
  • You’ll encounter a variety of ink types in markers. Typically, the best option for coloring is water-based ink, which will be less likely to bleed through the paper than permanent, alcohol-based markers. But one perk of permanent markers is you can use them on surfaces other than paper.
  • The number of colors you want is totally up to you. A larger variety pack of markers will be fun but might be more difficult to store. A smaller pack will leave you with fewer creative options but could be good for tucking into a bag for coloring while traveling.

Shop The Best Markers For Adult Coloring Books

In a hurry? These are the best markers for adult coloring books.

  1. A Set Of Crayola Markers Made For Adult Coloring: Crayola Fine Line Markers Adult Coloring Set (40-Pack)
  2. A Dual-Sided Marker Set With 132 Colors (& A Carrying Case): ZSCM Art Markers Coloring Dual Brush Pens (132-Pack)
  3. A Set Of Dual-Ended Markers In A Cute Case: Ohuhu Dual Brush Markers for Adult Coloring Books (60-Pack)
  4. A Fan-Favorite Set Of Washable Crayola Markers: Crayola Super Tips Marker Set (100-Pack)
  5. These Brush Pens That Come In Small Packs Of Themed Colors: Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers (10-Pack)
  6. A High-Quality Set Of Vibrant Fine & Chisel Tip Markers: Prismacolor 3620 Premier Double-Ended Art Markers (12-Pack)

Here are some of the best markers for adult coloring books — plus a set of gel pens with fun finishes — ensuring you have just the tools you need to make the most of your meditative and creative activity.

1. A Set Of Crayola Markers Made For Adult Coloring


  • Fine tip is ideal for intricate designs in adult coloring books
  • Ink is vibrant, according to reviewers


  • Not washable

Bring your childhood love of Crayola art supplies into your grown-up life with this 40-pack of fine-line Crayola markers. The nontoxic ink is formulated specifically for coloring, so the markers should be perfect for your favorite adult coloring books. Interestingly, the ink is water-based but not washable, according to the manufacturer — so you can expect the ink to stay put on the page but not work on non-porous materials like plastic. The markers have a stunning 4.6-star overall rating from over 13,000 ratings.

One reviewer wrote: “I don’t care for colored pencils because so dull. These are markers and very bright but don’t bleed everywhere. When coloring they really last a long time - I was surprised. Bought another set already.”

Tip: Fine point (1 millimeter) | Ink: Water-based (nonwashable) | Number of colors per pack: 40

2. A Dual-Sided Marker Set With 132 Colors (& A Carrying Case)


  • Comes with tons of colors
  • Packaged in a zippered canvas carrying case


  • Some reviewers had markers dry out quickly

This 132-pack of double-ended markers helps ensure you have any color you could imagine right at your fingertips. Each marker has a brush tip for sweeping, watercolor-esque lines and a fine tip for detail work, and the ink is acid-free and nontoxic. For easy storage, the markers come in an organized carrying case with a zippered closure and a handle.

One reviewer wrote: “Great marker set. The wider side is more of a brush tip that allows for easy coloring of large items. The small side is small enough for the tiniest of details. Well worth the investment.”

Tip: Dual-sided with brush tip (1 — 6 millimeters) and fine point tip (0.4 millimeters) | Ink: Water-based (washable) | Number of colors per pack: 100, 132 (featured above), or 160

3. A Less Expensive Set Of Dual-Ended Markers In A Cute Case


  • Comes in cute case that doubles as a stand
  • Includes extra tips in case any get damaged


  • Reviewers report some colors are very similar

These dual-ended markers have a reasonable range of colors and come in an adorable illustrated cylindrical case that’s available in either white or black. They have both a brush tip and a fine point for different kinds of coloring. Tend to press a bit hard while coloring? The set comes with three extra nibs and two extra tips to replace any worn out markers. Their ink is water-based, washable, acid-free, and nontoxic.

One reviewer wrote: “Both the fine line tip and brush tips of these markers are easy to use and the colors have a decent range to them. I swatched the colors on a passion planner page, there was faint bleeding with some of the darker colors but can see myself using the lighter colors both in coloring books and in my planner. In the coloring books I’m using I haven’t noticed any bleed through with their pages, but the paper feels a bit thicker than the planner’s pages [...] I love the container for storing the markers, too, it’s a pretty design and makes me happy. I thought it was handy that they included replacement marker tips with instructions, I haven’t had to use them yet but it felt thoughtful.”

Tip: Dual-sided with brush tip (1 — 2 millimeters) and fine point tip (0.4 millimeter) | Ink: Water-based (washable) | Number of colors per pack: 60

4. A Fan-Favorite Set Of Washable Crayola Markers


  • Has a near-perfect overall rating of 4.8 stars after 28,000-plus reviews
  • Less than $20 for 100 markers
  • Variable tip width based on how you hold the the marker


  • Colors don’t have names or numbers

Crayola’s classic set of markers feature washable, nontoxic ink — so they’re a fit for kids and kids at heart alike. They’re made with a “Super Tip,” which is similar to a bullet tip but with a more pronounced cone-like angle at the end. Due to the unique shape of these markers, the line thickness they produce is variable based on the angle at which you hold them.

One reviewer wrote: “I love them. They look like you are painting with watercolors. The small tip is narrow enough to get into some pretty tight spaces when coloring. The colors are vibrant and they don’t bleed through unless you go over and over the same spot. I am using them for my large print adult coloring books. I am enjoying using these more than colored pencils because they are so smooth and easy to color with. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sharpening them. One minor drawback is that the colors aren’t named or numbered. So if you aren’t careful separating the colors you are working with, you can easily grab a similar wrong shade. Also, the pen cap is not the best representation of what the color will actually look like on paper. That’s not a huge deal because I just keep a test paper for swatches handy.”

Tip: Pointed tip that can write thick or thin (size not specified) | Ink: Water-based (washable) | Number of colors per pack: 10, 80, or 100 (featured above)

5. These Brush Pens That Come In Small Packs Of Themed Colors


  • Packs come in unique color combinations
  • A nice complement to sets with more standard hues


  • Brush tip can have a bit of a learning curve

For the colorer who has tons of standard markers but is in search of some more specific shades, these smaller marker packs with similar color families could make a great addition to your existing collection. The dual-ended markers are available in sets of up to 20, as well as in 20 color varieties — the skin tone, pastel, and grayscale sets stand out as options that could be the most useful. Their ink is nontoxic and water-based, and each set comes with a colorless blending pen so you can effortlessly mix shades right on the page.

One reviewer wrote: “My friend introduced me to these markers and I wish I knew about them sooner. They are great for art work, scrap booking and adult coloring. There are a lot of cool blending opportunities and there are a lot [of] cool tutorial videos out there. If you want something that is like painting but still want the practical use of a marker these are the ones to get.”

Tip: Dual-sided with brush tip and fine point tip and (size not specified for either end) | Ink: Water-based (washable) | Number of colors per pack: 10 (featured above) or 20

6. A High-Quality Set Of Vibrant Dual-Tip Markers


  • Feature a chisel tip and a fine point tip
  • Super pigmented ink


  • Expensive
  • Permanent ink tends to bleed through regular paper

Prismacolor markers are splurge-worthy for their super pigmented, high-quality ink. I personally love these dual ended fine tip and chisel tip markers and recommend them to anyone who wants to feel like a real artist, whether working in their coloring book or outside the lines. The markers’ alcohol- and dye-based ink does tend to bleed through paper though, so consider slipping a second sheet of paper under any project you’re working on — and know that you may have to sacrifice the opposite side of thinner pages to ghosting. They’re available in packs ranging from six to 72 markers.

One reviewer wrote: “I bought these for my adult coloring books and they are great. I also use them for designing colorful activities for my students. They maintain their color throughout my drawings and are really worth the price of you are really in need of art supplies.”

Tip: Dual point fine tip and chisel tip (mm not specified) | Ink: Alcohol-based ink (permanent) | Number of colors per pack: 12

Also Great: A Gel Pen Set That Includes Metallic & Glittery Colors


  • Includes metallic and glitter colors
  • Comes with refill ink, zippered case, and coloring book


  • Gel ink can smear somewhat easily
  • Not ideal for filling large areas

If you find markers to be too unwieldy or inky for the fine detail work you’d like to put into your coloring, consider a pack of gel pens. This 60-pack of gel pens comes with a variety of metallic, glitter, pastel, neon, rainbow, and classic colors along with a refill cartridge for every color — so they should last you a long while. Be aware that gel ink can smear, so be sure to give your lines a second to dry before running your hand over them. They have a comfort grip and come in a zippered case. Oh, and this set also comes with a small coloring book so you can get started right away. Fun!

One reviewer wrote: “I just got these pens today and decided to try them out on my Hanna Karlzon coloring book. My first time buying gel pens for myself–I just recently got into adult coloring as a hobby. I love these pens, especially the sparkly ones, as you can tell. They color smoothly, but like most things that have ink, let the ink dry before you touch the page, because they have a light smear if you touch the fresh ink. Otherwise, this is a great set with ink refills and even a mini coloring book. Definitely worth the buy.”

Tip: Ballpoint (0.8 — 1 millimeter) | Ink: Gel | Number of colors per pack: 60

About The Recommender

Rachel Dunkel is a commerce writer whose work has appeared on sites including Bustle, Elite Daily, and The Zoe Report. She has four years of experience in sourcing, testing, and recommending products in a wide range of categories, including art, crafting, and other lifestyle products.