Best Dry Erase Marker Sets

Updated October 2019
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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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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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Why trust BestReviews?
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
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 we never accept free products from manufacturers. 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 
How we decided

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

38 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
152 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 dry erase marker sets

Last Updated October 2019

Whiteboards seem to follow us through the years: as young students, they’re a classroom focal point, and as adults, they’re one of the most important fixtures in the office. If you use a whiteboard as an educator or corporate professional, then you appreciate the importance of having the right dry erase markers at your disposal.

Dry erase markers are write-and-wipe instruments for whiteboards. Imagine the whiteboard as a giant blank slate — the possibilities are endless. It’s pretty incredible to imagine how many lessons, lines, and lists appear on one through the years.

Dry erase markers come in a variety of colors to create vivid notes that disappear with the simplicity of a dry cloth or eraser. You even have the choice between chisel, fine, and round tips to make lines as thick or thin as you like. If you’re sensitive to the smell or concerned about letting children use them, rest assured there are plenty of non-toxic and low-odor marker sets available. We dipped our quills to review the best dry erase marker sets and invite you to read on to find the right set for your classroom, home, or office.

Inspire students to volunteer to write answers on the classroom whiteboard by letting them choose their favorite from a rainbow of marker colors.

Key considerations

Amount per set

Dry erase marker sets may include up to a dozen colors. Some sets duplicate popular colors (such as primary ones) as they tend to get the most use. There are also classroom-size sets available which include several complete sets of the full color spectrum. Having multiples is helpful, especially during the school year — you never have to worry about running out of specific colors.

Tip style

  • Chisel: Chisel tips are at a 45° angle. They give the option of creating either thin or thick lines, depending on how you place the tip on the board. If you’re creative and experiment with lettering, chisel tips offer some latitude when it comes to calligraphy and other artistic writing styles.

  • Fine: Fine tip is the thinnest available and is often used on smaller whiteboards. The ink is limited because the barrel and brush are obviously smaller, so using these on larger boards could be a wasted effort.

  • Bullet: Bullet tips are rounded and create consistently thick lines. As far as ink reliability goes, bullet tips are top performers because they feed ink evenly to the brush tip. This style is beneficial if you find yourself drawing large diagrams and lettering on a regular basis.

Whiteboard size

Large whiteboards like the kind used in classrooms usually call for larger markers, especially those with chisel or bullet tips.

Medium-size boards often seen in offices can use any type of dry erase markers. If you find there is a lot of information that goes up on these boards, you may prefer using fine tip markers to properly form letters and numbers in a limited space.

Small whiteboards used by individuals or on the refrigerator do well with fine tip markers, especially since the surface area is so limited. If you’re not putting much information on it, any marker size will do.

Shelf life

Dry erase markers dry out as any ink writing implement does. The average shelf life is between one and two years. Of course, the lifespan accelerates with use, so the shelf life truly refers to how long a marker still has moist ink when it’s not in use. The longest-lasting markers are equipped with caps that seal tightly, so look for those that feature a snapping closure for a secure fit.

If a lot of people at your office write on the whiteboard, attach markers to a magnet holder or string so they don't get lost.

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Features

Ink ingredients

The ink of dry erase markers is made with a formula that combines alcohol, resin, and silicone-based polymers for a nonstick, non-permanent mixture. These special ingredients have different properties than other pens as they do not get absorbed and therefore are not permanent. Pigment is added to the formula during the manufacturing process.

Stay-put features

In addition to their unique formula, dry erase markers also include stay-put features to reduce the likelihood of unwanted ink transfer. Some markers have smearproof or quick-drying formulas that are forgiving with gentle, superficial contact over the ink. Quick-drying formulas bank on eliminating smearing by not staying wet long enough to transfer. They require a few additional strokes of a dry eraser to come off a board. If you’re left-handed, these features are definitely worth exploring.

Safety engineering

Dry erase markers include safety precautions to make them as safe as possible for users. Low-odor markers cut down or eliminate the chemical smell emitted in regular markers, which can trigger migraines or allergies. Non-toxic formulas are ideal in classroom environments, as they don’t contain certain chemicals that could be dangerous if ingested or if they come in contact with skin.

Some dry erase markers are AP Certified, which is an official seal of approval for art supplies from the Art & Creative Materials Institute, ensuring they contain no substances in sufficient quantities to consider them toxic or hazardous. Others meet ASTM and EN71 regulations, which means the markers have undergone rigorous lab testing at the global level and meet a series of international safety standards.

Color variety

Dry erase markers used to be limited to plain colors: black, blue, red, and green. While sets still include these colors, there are new additions of different shades and other bright colors like pink, purple, or orange. More expansive sets include over a dozen colors, so if color coordination is part of your organizational plan, you’ll be thrilled with what’s out there.

Value packs

Marker sets may come packaged as a value pack which includes other dry erase accessories. Simple value packs come with a matching eraser, a useful addition. Other value packs come with whiteboard cleaning supplies such as a specially formulated solution to clean ghosted markings or a microfiber cloth. There are also marker sets that come as a part of office supply packs that include a collection of sticky notes, paper clips, and staples, though these markers tend to be inferior in quality compared to regular marker sets or value packs.

Dry eraser marker set prices

Dry erase marker sets cost between $8 and $30. It really depends on how many markers are included, though they average about a dozen to a set.

Inexpensive: At the low end between $8 and $15 are sets with at least four different colors, though they tend to dry out quickly.

Mid-range: Mid-range market sets cost between $15 and $20 and often have smearproof features as well as a larger array of colors.

Expensive: Between $20 and $30 is where you find the most highly pigmented and longest lasting markers.

EXPERT TIP

Organize your household with a magnetic dry erase board on your refrigerator. Assign a different color to each family member to indicate the division of labor when it comes to chores, homework, and activity calendars.


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EXPERT TIP

Design a calendar on your whiteboard with boxes for days of the month. Use string or thin-cut electrical tape to partition the calendar. In the event you want to repurpose your whiteboard, you can return to using the entire board.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Remember to cap the marker tightly. After each use, remember to secure the cap back onto the marker so it doesn’t dry out. Once you hear or feel a snap, you know it’s properly sealed.

  • Buy more than one tip style. If you’re writing on your whiteboard often, you may benefit from having more than one tip style. Fine tip markers are ideal for writing, but if you’re drawing large diagrams, opt for a bullet or chisel tip.

  • Give markers as a gift to a new teacher. When someone close to you teaches their first class, they need all the right tools. Giving them a bright collection of dry erase markers gives a pop of color as they write their first lesson on the board.

  • Change markers when streaking starts. Once you begin to notice drying or streaking, it’s time to change your dry erase marker. Even though what you’re writing is still visible, people at the back of the room could have difficulty seeing it, especially if there’s a glare.

  • Color-code your lessons. If you like to incorporate a visual element into your lessons, utilize a color-coded system so students can associate important information with specific colors.

Other products we considered

We enjoyed the bright colors of Arteza Dry Erase Markers with Chisel Tip in 12 Colors. This set comes in a bulk pack of 52 markers with five each of the primary colors and four each of the others. These high-quality markers are low-odor, non-toxic, and are AP Certified, making this set fantastic for classrooms. The markers deliver high pigment color and dry quickly, so you don’t need to worry about smearing or bleeding down the board. Best of all, this Delaware-based company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you’re looking for a fine tip dry erase marker set, June Gold 39 Assorted Colored Dry Erase Whiteboard Markers are great. Enjoy 13 fancy colors in a thin, easy-to-hold barrel. It’s designed more like a pen than a marker, so the cap features a durable metal clip that can be secured in a pocket or pen wallet. There’s no need to worry about your markers drying out, either; the caps deliver one of the tightest seals out there. In fact, they last as long as two years.

If your child wants to color on an open space but you prefer an eco-friendly and paper-free medium, use dry erase markers on a whiteboard. When they’re ready to move on to their next drawing, take a picture of their creation so it’s permanently saved in your image collection.

FAQ

Q. Can I use regular dry erase markers on glass whiteboards?

A. Yes. Like traditional whiteboards, glass whiteboards also have non-porous surfaces, which means your dry erase markers glide across them with ease. One thing to keep in mind when using glass whiteboards is the color of the wall behind it. Always choose the color of your markers based on what is easiest to see from the farthest corner of the room.

Q. I have a small personal whiteboard for my child to practice their homework. What tip style should I choose?

A. It depends on both their age and the nature of their homework. For younger children who are learning to hold writing instruments, opt for thicker markers for little hands to grip. For grade school children who practice math, choose fine tip markers so they can write out intricate problems with precision.

Q. What is the most universally visible marker color on a whiteboard?

A. Everyone sees colors differently, but generally speaking, blue and black are easy to see against the white background. If you want a consensus, write a word in each color you have and ask people in the back of the room which one they can see better.

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