Best highlighter

Writing Supplies

It’s best to highlight on the second read-through of your notes or book to make sure you understand the information well enough to know what’s most important.

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Which highlighter is best?

Highlighters are great tools for organizing and drawing attention to the most important information in your notes. They should be stark and eye-catching so you don’t miss the essential facts. Whether they are bright neons or light pastels, there are many types of highlighters for almost every student or office worker. 

Whether you have a specific color-coding process or just need a little help organizing, the Sharpie Accent Pocket Assorted Highlighters set is a top choice that will set you up for success. 

What to know before you buy a highlighter

Color-coding style

If you’re very specific in your color-coding style, you will likely need as many color options as possible. Most sets come with at least 4-8 highlighters and colors, but you can find sets with up to 15 different shades. You’ll also want to be sure that they won’t smear, Otherwise, your system will be messed up quickly. 


There are several kinds of highlighters that are best suited for different situations. If you use thin notebook paper, be sure to look for markers that won’t bleed through. Ink highlighters are the brightest and last for many uses, but they are more likely to run through onto the page beneath. 

Gel highlighters dry quickly and don’t smear, which makes them great for all paper types. However, their texture makes them difficult to use quickly and efficiently. 

Wax or pencil highlighters are neon and bright, but they can clump up on the page. However, they can be sharpened and won’t dry out, so they’ll likely last the longest. They’re best for bibles and journals.

Writing speed

Your highlighters should be quality enough to keep up with you. If you highlight quickly to keep pace with your studying, you’re going to need highlighters that are quick-drying and non-smearing. 

If you put a lot of pressure on your writing utensils, be sure to get markers with a tip that’s strong enough to hold up without splitting or fraying. Otherwise, you’ll end up with marks that are inconsistent and messy. 

What to look for in a quality highlighter


The shape of the highlighter pen or pencil is important to how comfortable they’ll be to hold and use for any length of time. If you have small hands, you may have a difficult time holding thick and chunky markers. If you have larger hands, small markers may hurt your hand after using them for a short while. If you plan to use your highlighters for a variety of situations and lengths of time, you might consider getting different sizes and shapes of markers. 


The tip type is important to the situation you need it for. Wide chisels are best for large print notes, but aren’t very precise. Pencils and fine tips are much better for accuracy, but won’t cover large areas easily. Bullet tips are much better suited for small notebooks, books or bibles. There are even more specific tip types for specialized uses. Pronged tips will let you make multiple lines at once, or highlight around the words so you can see them more clearly. Some highlighters even have clear middles or windows that allow you to see what you’re highlighting as you do it.


The highlighter marks shouldn’t be so bright that you can’t read the words underneath, but not so light you have to search to find the highlighted information. Pastel highlighters will be on the lighter side, while bright neons will be darker and easier to see. 

How much you can expect to spend on a highlighter

Highlighters can cost you $5-$25 depending on the quality of the markers and the number included in the set. Highlighters that cost slightly more will likely last longer. 

Highlighter FAQ

How long do highlighters last?

A. The lifespan of your highlighters heavily depends on how often you use them. If you use them every day, multiple times a day, you’ll need to replace them regularly. If you use them less frequently, they can last anywhere from a few months to a year. 

How can you remove highlighter stains?

A. You can get rid of most highlighter stains with a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a rag or paper towel and dabbing away the stains. 

What’s the best highlighter to buy?

Top highlighter

Sharpie Accent Pocket Assorted Highlighters

Sharpie Accent Pocket Assorted Highlighters

What you need to know: These bright, fluorescent, no-smear highlighters come in a wide variety of colors. 

What you’ll love: This chisel-tip set is available in both 12- and 24-count. The colors vary from classic yellow to lavender. They’re odorless, easy to hold and the colors are long-lasting. 

What you should consider: Some of the darker colors may be harder to see through. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top highlighter for the money

Mr. Pen No Bleed Gel Highlighters

Mr. Pen No-Bleed Gel Highlighters

What you need to know: This pack of eight highlighters features no-smear colors that don’t easily dry out. 

What you’ll love: These highlighters have a twist-up design that can be sharpened for extended use. The pen-style has a precise tip that’s perfect for notebooks and bibles. They have a thick, crayon-like consistency. 

What you should consider: Pushing hard against the page will quickly use them up. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Zebra Pen Double Ended Highlighters

Zebra Pen Double-Ended Highlighters

What you need to know: These pens have two types of highlighters in one pen and come in 15 shades. 

What you’ll love: You get both a chisel and bullet tip for versatile use. They’re water-resistant and quick-drying. The colors are soft and pleasing. They have a secure cap and the ink doesn’t bleed through. 

What you should consider: Some customers said they received duplicate markers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Anabelle Weissinger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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