Dry erase boards are a terrific brainstorming tool. They can help you keep track of key topics during meetings, illustrate a point, or map out a plan. Of course, without dry erase markers, the board itself is no good. And the quality of the markers you buy can make a big difference in terms of how your board looks.
Office supplies like dry erase markers are not in short supply, and for that reason, it can be difficult to figure out the differences between products so you can choose the one that’s best for your needs. That’s why we’ve taken the time to test out some of the dry erase markers on the market and 7 of our favorites for you to choose from. In other words, we’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to.
Before we reveal our picks, let’s talk about which features you should be considering when buying dry erase markers.
What to Consider When Buying Dry Erase Markers
Dry erase markers all do the same basic thing, but there can be significant variations within those parameters. Here are some of the key considerations to keep in mind:
- The size of the markers should be your first consideration. Dry erase markers are available in a variety of tip sizes, as follows:
- Mini (1-2 mm)
- Small (6-7 mm)
- Large (11-12 mm)
- Jumbo (7-15 mm)
- If you plan to use markers in a large conference room, you may want to opt for a thicker tip for readability.
- The tip style is the next consideration. Some dry erase markers have a rounded tip called a bullet tip. These create a consistent line regardless of the angle at which you hold the marker. The other type is the chisel tip, which allows you to vary the width of your lines based on how you angle the tip.
- The material used to make the tip is also important. A marker that contains cheap material may end up with a frayed tip shortly after you start using it – something that can affect the readability of your words. The best dry erase markers have firm tips that hold together even with repeated use.
- Durability should be a consideration since you probably don’t want to have to buy new dry erase markers frequently. The material in the tip is one consideration, but you should also think about how long you can expect the markers to write clearly. Some markers have a longer life than others.
- Color choice is a key concern for many people. Since dry markers are often sold in sets, you’ll want to make sure to look for an array of colors that suit you.
- Perhaps you want only black markers, but many people like to have several colors so they can highlight their points or differentiate information on the board.
- Finally, you’ll need to think about your budget. Dry erase markers are not a big-ticket item, but some products are costlier than others. Think about how much you want to spend and then choose the best quality markers you can find in your price range.
Best Dry Erase Markers in 2020
Now that you know what you need to look for before buying new dry erase markers, it’s time to reveal our 7 favorite products in this category. Here they are.
Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
7. AmazonBasics Dry Erase Markers
Our first pick is a 12-marker set of AmazonBasics Dry Erase Markers. Here are a few of the things we like about them:
- Versatile 12-pack includes 2 black markers plus a variety of colors to suit all your needs
- Chisel tips allow for drawing thin or thick lines as needed
- These markers don’t have the unpleasant odor of some dry erase markers
As you might expect, these markers aren’t perfect. Here are a few potential negatives to consider:
- Markers must be stored on their sides to prevent the tips from drying out (the manufacturer says they won’t dry out even if left uncapped for 2 days, but they do need to be stored horizontally)
- The colors are not as saturated as some of the name brand markers on our list
- These markers are inexpensive, but may have to be replaced more frequently than the costlier ones
These markers would be a good choice for personal use, but not particularly for presentations when it’s important for people in the back of the room to read them.
6. Board Dudes SRX Magnetic Dry Erase Markers
Coming in at #6 on our list, we have the Board Dudes SRX Magnetic Dry Erase Markers. This is a 6-pack of markers, and here’s why we like them:
- Set includes the following colors: black, blue, green, orange, pink, and purple (note: this manufacturer also sells markers in sets of 12, 18, and 24 if you want more variety)
- Each marker has an attached magnet so you can store them on the metal frame of the board, and a built-in eraser for easy corrections
- Bright colors are true to their appearance online
There are a few potential caveats to keep in mind:
- These markers work best with Board Dudes dry erase boards, and are not particularly effective on black dry erase boards
- Must be hung with the tips down to prevent them from drying out
- The built-in erasers don’t work as well as a regular eraser so you may need to have one on hand
If you want bright colors at an affordable price, this set is a good buy.
5. Quartet Dry Erase Markers
The #5 pick on our list is the Quartet Dry Erase Markers, which come in a set of 12. Here are a few of the main reasons we like them:
- This product comes with assorted colors, including Black, Red, Blue, Green, Purple, Teal, Orange, Lime Green and Magenta
- Chisel tips allow for creating a wide variety of lines of different thicknesses
- These markers have a see-through ink gage so it’s easy to tell how much ink you have left
We like a lot of things about these markers, but here a couple of potential negatives to consider:
- These work well on white dry erase boards, but the colors are too pale to be effective on black dry erase boards
- These are a bit more expensive than other dry erase markers on the market
- Some of the lighter colors may not show up well on a white board
If you want a big variety of colors and the ability to tell when it’s time to reorder, this dry marker set is a good choice.
4. Best Dry Erase Whiteboard Markers
Our #4 pick is this huge set of 36 markers, the Best Dry Erase Whiteboard Markers. Here are some of the things we like most of them:
- 36-marker set includes 6 black markers and 3 each in: red, dark blue, light blue, dark green, light green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and brown
- These markers are low-odor and non-toxic, making them safe for use by both kids and adults
- Comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee so you can return them if you’re not completely satisfied
Here are a few potential caveats to consider:
- You’ll need to erase carefully to make sure these markers don’t stain your white board
- Some of the lighter colors may not be ideal for presentations
- Must be stored horizontally or with the tip down to prevent drying (lay the included case on its side for the best results)
If you’re looking for non-toxic markers that are safe for kids to use, these are a good choice.
3. EXPO Original Dry Erase Set
Coming in at #3 on our list is this 6-piece set from Expo, the EXPO Original Dry Erase Set. Expo is the best-known name in dry markers, so it’s no surprise to see them on our list. Here are some of the reasons that we chose this set:
- Set comes with four markers in black, blue, green, and red, as well as a small bottle of White Board Care spray and an eraser – everything you need to use and maintain your white board
- Colors are bright and easy to read, making them ideal for presentations and classrooms
- Markers dry quickly and erase quickly and cleanly using a standard dry eraser or a dry cloth
There isn’t much we don’t like about this marker set, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- These are not low-odor markers. They have that classic marker smell, which is part of the reason that they dry and erase quickly.
- These markers dry out rather quickly if left uncapped, so it’s important to replace the caps after each use.
- Color selection is limited to only four colors (although Expo does sell other colors separately), so if you need more colors you may want to opt for a larger set
If you want a classic dry marker set and don’t mind the odor, these markers deliver saturated colors that work every time.
2. CraftSkill Dry Erase Markers for Kids
Not all dry erase markers are meant for the boardroom, which is why this CraftSkill Dry Erase Markers for Kids makes our list at #2. Here are a few of the reasons that we selected it:
- Non-toxic, water-based markers are kid friendly, and the liquid chalk finish makes these perfect for use on white dry boards and black dry boards – and they can also be used on glass and mirrors
- This set comes with 18 colors plus six extra tips, and the tips are reversible from round to chisel depending on your needs
- Can also be used as permanent markers on paper, wood, and other surfaces as needed
There isn’t much we don’t like about this marker set for kids, but here are a few things to keep in mind before buying:
- You’ll probably need to shake them and get them ready for use before giving them to your kids, since the color takes a while to get down to the tip
- While these are low-odor markers, they do have some smell
- They need to be capped between uses to prevent them from drying out
Whether you want a fun, creative activity for your kids or some cool colors to spice up your presentation, you’ll love this marker set.
1. EXPO Low-Odor Dry Erase Set
Finally, our #1 pick is also our second pick from Expo. The EXPO Low-Odor Dry Erase Set has the quality you expect from Expo without that unpleasant marker smell. We like this set for business, school, and home use. Here are the reasons it’s our top pick:
- Comes with eight markers in black, brown, red, orange, green, blue, pink, and purple
- The ink is bright and vivid, making it ideal for classrooms, presentations, or your home shopping list or dry erase calendar
- Non-toxic ink makes these markers safe for use by kids of all ages – and the odor is minimal, too
We really love this set, but here are a couple of things to keep in mind before buying:
- The one exception to the “bright and vivid” classification above is the red marker, which is lighter than we would like
- You must keep the markers capped between uses to prevent them from drying out
Anybody who’s in the market for non-toxic dry erase markers in a rainbow of colors should enjoy this affordable set. That’s why it’s our top pick!
Choosing the right dry erase markers can mean the difference between a good presentation and a great one – and it can help in the classroom, too. The seven marker sets on our list provide a variety of colors and price points so you’re sure to find the perfect set for your needs.