Which dry erase marker is best?

Dry erase markers are one of the most essential tools of the classroom and office. While they’re incredibly useful, they’re also extremely fickle. Dry erase markers always seem to dry out at the most important moment of your presentation. 

Quality dry erase markers are reliable, smear-free and easy to wipe off. They should also last most, if not all, of the school year. The ink should be bright and clearly visible from any point in the room. 

What to know before you buy dry erase markers

Where you’re going to use them

If you need dry erase markers to write strictly on a whiteboard, most will work for you. But if you plan on using them in a more versatile workspace, such as glass-top desks or windows, you should look for markers that work well on all surfaces. Generally, all dry-erase markers should be compatible with smooth and nonporous places, but ones with runnier ink that leaves residue can streak your workspace. Consider washable dry erase markers if you’re going to use them with children. 

How many you will need

If you’re buying dry erase markers for the classroom, you’re going to need a lot. A large pack with a wide color variety is good for longevity and engagement with your students. If you’re just buying for your home office, you might prefer a smaller pack with specific colors. 

How often you’ll use them

If you’re going to use your markers daily, get a large pack of reliable markers. Even if it costs a little extra, it will save you money later on. It can be tempting to go for quantity over quality, but a huge pack of poor markers will only lead to frustration and waste. 

What to look for in dry erase markers

Tight-sealed caps

Make sure the markers you buy have caps with a good seal. If the caps are loose or made of flimsy material, it’s likely the markers will dry out and you’ll have to buy more. The best dry erase markers close tightly to prevent any air from getting in to ruin the markers. 

Quality ink

Good dry erase marker ink is easy to wipe away and doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind. It doesn’t smudge, smear or stain your writing surface. It should be brightly pigmented and easy to read. 


There are many dry erase marker sets that pack a lot of value into one bundle. These can include a wide range of colors, an eraser and cleaning spray. These are great for home offices and classrooms alike. Smaller sets will offer a short array of more unique shades. Which package is best for you will depend on your needs. 

How much you can expect to spend on dry erase markers

Quality dry-erase markers will cost $6-$25, depending on the variety of colors and supplies included. Bulk packages can cost $40-$50. 

Dry erase markers FAQ

What are dry erase markers made of?

A. Dry erase markers are made of resin or polymer, pigment, a co-solvent (such as alcohol) and ethanol or isopropyl. The ethanol or isopropyl acts as a carrier that helps the ink dry and not smear. The co-solvent keeps the ink from setting onto the surface. The resin/polymer ensures the ink is cohesive and even. 

How do you clean dry erase marker stains off a whiteboard?

A. Whiteboard cleaner won’t remove stains, but it can prevent them. You can use a diluted alcohol-based cleaner, such as hand sanitizer or isopropyl alcohol, on tough leftover marks. Wipe down the board with a dry towel, apply the cleaner, let it sit and wipe it dry. 

What are the best dry eraser markers to buy?

Top dry erase markers 

Expo Low-Odor Dry Erase Markers

Expo Low-Odor Dry Erase Markers

What you need to know: Bold, smooth and reliable chisel-tip markers that are a good value. 

What you’ll love: These are low-odor, fast-drying, bright and easy to see. 

What you should consider: Some customers found these markers quickly dry out and lose pigmentation. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Staples

Top dry erase markers for the money

BIC Magic Marker Brand Dry Era

BIC Magic Marker Brand Dry Erase Marker

What you need to know: Fine tip dry erase markers that feature a visible ink supply and long-lasting, non-fading colors. 

What you’ll love: These have smooth and consistent ink flow, are easy to erase and feature bright and varied shades. 

What you should consider: These markers are known to leak and stain erasers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Staples 

Worth checking out

Quartet Bold Color Dry Erase Markers

Quartet Bold Color Dry Erase Markers

What you need to know: These markers also feature an ink gauge to keep track of the bright and easily erasable liquid. 

What you’ll love: These markers have low-odor and streak-free ink that comes in a wide variety of bold colors. 

What you should consider: The caps on these markers are tough to remove and the ink often shows up translucent. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Arteza Dry Erase Marker Set

Arteza Dry Erase Marker Set

What you need to know: This large value pack of brightly colored markers is good for any non-porous surface. 

What you’ll love: These markers are quick drying and easy to erase. They’re safe to use and vivid for visibility. 

What you should consider: Not all of the colors show up as brightly as others. Some darker shades stain surfaces. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

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

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.