The humble highlighter—unheralded and often underutilized—makes life (and learning) more vivid and convenient. Highlighters are a powerful aid to studying, helping readers distill and remember information. And their bright neons can add a fun pop of color to any artwork or craft. Browse our roundup of highlighters to choose the proper addition to your office, studio, or classroom.
1. Arteza Highlighters
There’s little chance you’ll run out any time soon with this set of 64 highlighters from Arteza. They boast a wide chisel tip for easy underlining, regardless the size of text. They’re also smear-proof, which is the bane of any serious scholar dedicated to pristine notes. This set is great for a home office or classroom, being more comfortable to grip than a standard highlighter. The packaging also doubles as a handy organizer when the highlighters are not in use. We did find that the tip of the highlighter can wear out after strenuous, prolonged use—so highlight gently.
2. Zebra Pen Double Ended Highlighters
This is the set for those interested in detailing, annotation, underlining, or bullet-pointing, given the pen’s two ends, one a fine and the other a broad tip. The set includes 15 soft colors, ranging from magenta to deep blue to gold (the color of the cap is that of the ink). The red is a bit pinker than advertised, and the orange is much lighter than some may prefer, but the other colors are accurate. The gold, green, and indigo shades are especially vibrant. Pricewise, this set is near the top of our roundups, but the unique features and range of colors make it worth every penny.
3. TWOHANDS Highlighter Set
We’ve all been there: gliding your highlighter across text only to discover the bold, opaque color has nearly concealed the writing underneath. There’s no danger of that worst-case scenario with this set of soft pastel-colored highlighters, and the ink is quick-drying and bleed-proof. The tip is wide and strong for precise highlighting. This set works best over pen and not pencil markings, as fresh graphite will stain the tip of the highlighters. It’s not an insurmountable problem, but one to be avoided for sure.
4. PILOT FriXion Light Pastel Collection Erasable Highlighters
What student, confronted with pages of fluorescent lines, hasn’t regretted an overly effusive bout of highlighting? Fortunately, erasable highlighters exist to undo any mess without damaging books or important documents. This set includes five highlighters in subtle pastels that glide easily across the thinnest of papers without bleeding. These highlighters do have a few drawbacks, as do all good things in life. Foremost, they have a significant drying time, due to the erasable formula. Second, the erasers are quite tough, so erase gently to avoid tearing pages.
5. Sharpie Clear View Highlighters
The Sharpie name promises two things: permanence and clever design. This pack of highlighters delivers on both fronts, with a convenient see-through tip that allows the user to see what they’re highlighting as they go, a sturdy chisel tip, and smear-guard ink formula to avoid any bleeding or smudges. The pack includes four colors that apply smoothly and with easy coverage. We recommend you avoid layering the darker colors, as it may be difficult to read text afterward. Unlike lower-grade markers, the ink isn’t watery, and the tip is precise enough to write notes in the margins.