I’ve been coloring for nearly a year now! Adult coloring has been the rage for awhile and I’m still in love with it. Given that I’m so obsessed, I get asked some questions about it pretty frequently – and one of them is, “what are the best colored pencils for coloring books?” Well, I’m here to help you!
Here are my top five picks for colored pencils. And the great news? I’m picking them based on actual testing that I have done myself! Yep, I own all of these sets of pencils (and many more) and have tested them all. These are my thoughts, and here is my ranking below from 1 – 5.
1. Crayola Twistables Colored Pencils (starts at $6 for a pack of 12) – my set was purchased online and includes 30 pencils.
Pros: These have a Great color palette; no sharpening is required, you just twist! The color goes on smoothly and wax-like, somewhere in between a crayon and a pencil. I love the feel.
Cons: There are no labels on the colors! You don’t think labeling colors is important until you don’t have them – some of the colors look the same so it was hard for me to remember what I had used.
Overall: I’m pretty much in love with these pencils. I’m going to be honest – I love two big things about them: 1) how the color applies to the page and how smooth it is and 2) how you don’t have to sharpen them. Now having said that, sometimes it’s hard to get a sharp tip on them for detail areas. But to me, if you want a nice set for a a reasonable price, this is a great option.
2. Pentel Arts Color Pencils (around $7 – $8) – this set includes 24 pencils; I believe this is the only size set you can buy from them.
Pros: The pencils tubes are hexagons which make them easy to hold; the colors go on smoothly and waxy just like I love; they are easy to blend.
Cons: The only bad thing I can say is that there aren’t enough colors! I wish Pentel would have made some larger sets too.
Overall: LOVE this set! Your only limitation is going to be the colors available. So whether or not I’d recommend it depends on your color needs. I like it better than the more inexpensive sets I’ve tried – I’m just sad I can’t get it in a larger range of colors or this would be my go-to set!
3. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils (starting at around $19.99) – Prismacolor pencils are not cheap – but I opted for the 72-count set anyway. These come in a variety of sizes.
Pros: What can I say about Prismacolors except that they are amazing? Easy to layer, go on smoothly . . . they go over markers well and markers go over the top of them well.
Cons: To me Prismacolors are like the Copic markers of the pencil world. They are expensive. Having said that, the quality is there! I did feel like I had to buy a pretty large set to get all of the colors I wanted.
Overall: It’s hard to complain about Prismacolors – the price is really the only thing that is daunting. In terms of pencils, these are the best quality as far as I’m concerned.
4. Koh-I-Noor Tri-Tone ($19.99) – what is a Tri-Tone pencil? I didn’t have any idea when I purchased this set of 12!
Pros: Makes VERY cool colors – so fun to experiment with! Includes a blending pencil.
Cons: You’ll still need a basic set with basic colors other than this set because these are all literally as they are described – three colors in each pencil tip.
Overall: Man, I really love these. If you get seriously into adult coloring and have a birthday or other holiday coming up, ask for the Tri-Tones. They are THAT fun. Color effects like no other . . . but they can’t be your only set (unless you’re just crazy with your coloring!).
5. Sargent Art Colored Pencils ($6.99 for 12 and up) – my set included 24 pencils for a great price!
Pros: The colors are vibrant; the pencils are easy to hold; great value for number of pencils.
Cons: Hardly any! There’s a bit of dust that comes off the pencil but unlike some of the others, it was easy to wipe away without getting any smears.
Overall: In terms of the wood pencils that you have to sharpen, these were my favorite! They were actually recommended to me by someone on Instagram who said she had arthritis and these were comfortable for her, so I had to purchase. I agree; they are easy to hold. You can’t go wrong with the Sargent pencils.
So these are my picks for the best colored pencils for coloring books. Have you tried any of them? What are your faves? I’d love to know in the comments!
Don’t forget to check out other articles about coloring from me and my friends: