Best Crayon Sets

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

60 Models Considered
18 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
131 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best crayon sets

Crayons give children a fun way to show off their artistic talents and creativity. Whether your child is writing, drawing, or coloring, you’ll want to have a high-quality crayon set on hand. And sometimes parents want to use the crayons too. Coloring books for adults continue to grow in popularity because it’s a fun and relaxing hobby for all ages. Whether you’re coloring with your child or on your own after a tough day at work, you’ll appreciate a nice crayon set too.

Crayon sets are available in the collections you’ve probably seen for many years, the ones that feature long, cylindrical crayons with paper sleeves in a rainbow of different colors in boxes of 16, 32, or 64. There are also other sets available that have crayons in nontraditional shapes and materials.

Our buying guide can help you find the best crayon set for your family’s needs. Don’t forget to take a look at some of our favorites too.

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Most crayons consist of pigment and paraffin wax that has been heated and molded. Especially durable crayons contain some plastic or beeswax too.

Key considerations

Start comparing crayon sets by comparing the number of crayons, their size and shape, and the container they come in.

Quantity

The number of crayons you want in your set may depend on the people who will be using it. Older kids appreciate a wide variety of colors and so will probably want at least 32 or 64 crayons in a set.

A set with 8 or 16 crayons is usually fine for younger children, especially if they’re just learning how to tell different colors apart. A preschooler might not yet be able to tell the difference between sky blue and royal blue, for example.

Size and shape

Traditional crayons look like short pencils. These are suitable for artists of any age.

Large crayons are easier for small children to hold. Some jumbo-size crayons come in triangle and square shapes, which allow the child to press their fingers on a flat side for better control.

Nontraditional crayon shapes include blocks, which resemble erasers, or egg shapes, which are easier for kids to hold.

Flat-sided crayons won’t roll off a table or workbench. Construction workers use six- or eight-sided oversize crayons to mark lines on different surfaces and materials.

Container

Crayon sets come in a variety of containers. Basic cardboard and flexible plastic boxes are common and the least expensive. However, cardboard boxes may not hold up well with rough handling by young kids. A sturdy container that won’t easily tip over is great for younger kids and if you want to take the crayon set with you.

Some plastic cases have an individual space for each crayon, holding the crayon tightly in place to keep the colors organized. This might be an important consideration for older kids who want an easy way to sort the different colors so they can quickly find a particular one.

Occasionally, you can find a crayon set that comes in a wooden case, but this is more common in art sets that also include several other types of art supplies.

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Did You Know?
The paper sleeve helps give the crayon stability and strength.
Staff
BestReviews

Features

If you haven’t bought crayons in a while, all their different features may surprise you. Note that some of these features may not be appropriate in a crayon set for very young children.

For young kids

Durable: Crayons that contain some plastic resist breakage better than wax-based crayons.

Washable: Certain types of crayons are made with a water-soluble formula that simplifies removing marks from walls or furniture.

For older kids and adults

Gel: These crayons create marks that are a little more like those of grease pencils, allowing you to blend the colors with your fingers. Many of these are easily washable, but very young children could make quite a mess with them!

Twistable: A twistable crayon consists of a plastic cylinder with a crayon inside. Twisting the plastic cylinder extends more of the crayon out of the tip. Many of these are gel crayons.

Flat-sided: If you want to make rubbings of textures with crayons on thin paper, purchase crayons that have a flat edge and no paper sleeve.

Scented: Manufacturers have added scents to some types of crayons, making them a little more fun to use for older kids. However, the scent might tempt younger kids to mistake the crayons for candy and try to eat them.

Crayola, the largest crayon manufacturer, creates about three billion crayons each year.

Staff
BestReviews

Accessories

Coloring book for adults: Disney Dreams Collection Thomas Kinkade Studios Coloring Book
Adults looking for a chance to relax will enjoy coloring. This adult coloring book has amazing line art of all your favorite Disney characters, allowing you to create some beautiful artwork.

Coloring book for kids: Little Bee Books My First Big Book of Coloring
Younger children who like to color will love this durable book. It has a wide range of different types of art with thick lines on big pages.

Art set for kids: Art 101 USA 142-Piece Art Set
Once a child’s artistic skills advance beyond coloring, an art set allows them to try different tools and materials. This set comes in a handy wooden carrying case to keep the supplies organized and portable.

Crayon set prices

Crayon sets vary in price depending on quantity, shape, size, and ingredients.

Inexpensive: The least expensive crayon sets cost about $0.10 to $0.30 per crayon. These are traditional crayons with no special features. These crayons may break more easily than those that cost more.

Mid-range: These crayon sets cost $0.30 to $0.60 per crayon. Some include jumbo-size or scented crayons.

Expensive: These crayon sets cost $0.60 to $2.50 per crayon and may contain nontraditional shapes as well as scents and gel crayons with twistable handles.

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Did You Know?
By age ten, the average American child has used the equivalent of about 730 crayons.
Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Keep the crayons sharp. When you need to color in a small area, use a crayon sharpener on the tip.
  • Color with a consistent stroke. To create the most uniform color with crayons, stroke back and forth using steady pressure in the same direction rather than mixing horizontal and vertical strokes.
  • Create textures with various strokes. If you want to give your artwork some texture, start with light-pressure strokes before adding darker strokes on top with more pressure.
  • Blend the color. If you want uniform color with soft edges, rub it with a little bit of baby oil on a cotton swab.
  • Use the right paper. Thick, slightly textured paper gives a much different appearance than thin, smooth paper. If you plan to blend the colors with baby oil, you need to use thicker paper.
  • Learn to mix colors. If you want to mix colors without using baby oil, put the lightest color down first and add darker colors on top.
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The most common crayon colors are black, blue, brown, green, orange, red, violet, and yellow.

FAQ

Q. Are crayons toxic?

A. Crayon manufacturers do not use any toxic materials in their products because they know children may sometimes try to eat them. Ingesting crayons might cause a mild upset stomach for a couple hours. You should monitor children using crayons because they do represent a choking hazard.

Q. How many different colors of crayons are available?

A. Each crayon manufacturer uses a slightly different pigment combination to create a certain color, so, technically, the number of colors is infinite. Crayola officially recognizes 120 different colors.

Q. Are crayons collectible?

A. Some people collect vintage crayons, but they want unused crayons in their paper sleeves and the original packaging. Some highly collectible crayons are renamed or discontinued colors. Popular Crayola crayons are especially collectible because they date back to 1902.

Q. How can I remove crayon marks from painted drywall?

A. You can try a variety of methods depending on the type of crayon and the type of paint. Dish soap and a microfiber cloth work well for starters. Or you can create a paste of baking soda and water for a mild abrasive cleaner. Magic Erasers also work well. For stubborn marks, look for products that remove adhesives, tar, sap, wax, and similar materials. Apply these harsher cleaners to a cloth, not directly on the wall, and test the cleaner on a small section of the wall first to make sure it won’t damage the paint.

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