7 Sharpie Alternatives You Need in Your Drawer Today!

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Whenever you think of buying a new marker, be it at your favorite stationery store or an online retailer, it’s hard not to come by the brand – Sharpie. Known to be widely available at affordable prices, Sharpie markers are used for almost everything today. 

However, some users may find the smell of the marker ink off-putting. Granted, the ink from Sharpie markers may come off vibrant and sharp (absolutely no pun intended), but these are just the nitpicky things that come to mind when someone picks up a Sharpie. 

If so, why do Sharpie markers still come up top when someone mentions buying a permanent marker? And are there any alternatives to Sharpie markers that can challenge their position of being one of the most popular markers today? Let’s find out.

7 Sharpie Alternatives You Cannot Miss

If you need a marker but you’re not keen to take on a Sharpie, you may consider some of the alternatives that are available in the market today. Below, we’ve compiled you 7 Sharpie alternatives that you cannot miss having in your stationery drawers.

And without further ado, let’s begin. 

Amazon Basics Permanent Markers With Fine Point Tip Nibs

Aside from being one of the biggest e-commerce websites, Amazon has also launched a range of household products in their name. This includes the Amazon Basic Permanent Markers with a Fine Point Tip in Black. They’re available for sale on Amazon in packs of 24, making it an affordable investment for students or business owners. 

These permanent markers are the ideal dupe of Sharpie markers and feature numerous user asks, including quick-drying ink that is smear-proof, waterproof, and bleed-free. The dark, black ink makes surface marking easily visible and allows the marker to be used on almost every surface like wood, glass, and plastic. 

To conclude, the Amazon Basics Permanent Markers are a good alternative for its affordability and ease of use. The ink used is also non-toxic and doesn’t smell as strong as Sharpie markers, so they’re ideal for anyone who can’t stand the sickly odor of ink. 

Amazon Basics also offers fine point tip permanent markers in colors. With up to 24 colors to choose from, it’s a great alternative to Sharpie markers if you’re looking to explore marker use for art projects without breaking the bank.

Crayola Take Note Permanent Markers In 12 Colors

Best known for their vibrant crayons for children, Crayola has also decided to take on the market for permanent markers. Packed in a set of 12 vibrant colors, these Crayola Take Note Permanent Markers are ideal for schools or offices that need a pop of color in their writing and space. 

Made with non-toxic ink, these Crayola markers are a great alternative to Sharpie, thanks to its odorless ink. They’re also easy to rub off the skin in case of accidents but stays on permanently when used on surfaces like fabric, metal, and wood. This comes off as a surprise, as the ink from these markers dries quickly too.

All in all, the Crayola Take Note Permanent Markers are an affordable alternative for times when you need more than just black markers. Users often shout about how well these markers work for doodling thanks to their fine tip and have a comfortable grip for prolonged use. 

BIC Marking Permanent Marker With Fine Point Tip Nibs

BIC Marking Permanent Markers are one of the most raved about markers in the industry today, with my reviews claiming that they are far better than Sharpie markers. Available in a fine tip, BIC’s permanent markers offer vivid black ink that goes on virtually any surface and is smudge-proof. 

For daily use comfort, BIC Marking Permanent Markers feature a rubber grip to allow better marker control. Another top-selling point to these BIC markers is how long-lasting they can get. Many of their returning buyers have noted how the ink doesn’t dry out even when the permanent marker is left uncapped overnight. 

This is different from Sharpie markers, as you’ll often be left with dried out ink should you leave it uncapped by accident. Ideal for use in both offices and schools, BIC Marking Permanent Markers are widely available online but may be difficult to find in stationery stores.

PILOT Permanent Marker 100 4-er Set 

Sold in packs for 4 basic colors, including black, blue, red, and green, the PILOT Permanent Marker 100 4-er Set is one of the top Sharpie alternatives in the market today. Made for vivid marking on most surfaces like wood, metal, and glass, these PILOT markers offer long-lasting marking capabilities that are smudge-proof and waterproof. 

These PILOT markers also offer thicker marker tips for bolder marking, a feature in which is lost in Sharpie markers. PILOT permanent markers also come with a long off-cap technology, allowing you to leave the markers uncapped for over 24-hours, and the ink will still flow smoothly during your next use. 

They’re an affordable investment especially for offices or warehouses that require clear marking on various surfaces. The only downside to these markers is that users have reported that the ink may smell uncomfortable, the same way Sharpie markers are. But it shouldn’t hinder you from giving it a try if you’re not too concerned about marker fumes. 

Shuttle Art Permanent Markers With Fine Point Nibs

While not as popular as most stationery brands in the industry today, Shuttle Art Permanent Markers are quickly making their way as one of the best Sharpie alternatives there is. Featuring 30 vibrant markers in a single pack, it’s an affordable investment to use in schools or offices.

The ink in Shuttle Art Permanent Markers are best known to be non-toxic and features waterproof and smear-proof capabilities for precise marking. You could use them to mark various surfaces, including glass, paper, or plastic and the ink dries almost immediately. 

When placed in comparison to Sharpie markers, Shuttle Art Permanent Markers takes the lead in how affordable they are. In a single purchase, you’ll be offered up to 30 vividly colored markers instead of a single black color, making it a worthy investment for use daily. 

Shuttle Art also makes vivid black permanent markers, in case you don’t require a variety of colors for your projects. They’re widely available online, or you may occasionally spot them for sale at your local hardware stores.

Prismacolor Premier Fine And Chisel Tip Double-Ended Art Markers

Although they’re marketed as art markers, the Prismacolor Premier Fine and Chisel Tip Double-Ended Art Markers will make a fine replacement to Sharpie markers. This is as the permanent hold of the ink allows for marking on most surfaces, and it’s mostly used for art projects. 

With Prismacolor markers, you can expect a variety of vivid colors for use. The double-ended markers also give you more control over the thickness of the marker tips, so you can choose to mark your surfaces with either the fine or chiseled tip. This is something Sharpie markers may not offer in their products. 

A downside to Prismacolor markers, however, is the price point when compared with Sharpie markers. It’s a product that values quality over quantity, and you’ll often see both amateur and professional artists reaching out to their Prismacolor permanent markers for this reason alone. 

Avery Marks-A-Lot Permanent Markers With Ultra Fine Tips

Avery isn’t as popular as most of the marker brands in this list of Sharpie alternatives, but it doesn’t mean it lacks in many aspects. Avery Marks-A-Lot Permanent Markers features an ultra-fine tip in their markers for small scale uses. This allows you to use Avery permanent markers for all fine arts and crafts projects that Sharpie cannot provide in preciseness. 

Paired with a waterproof and smudge-proof ink that doesn’t rub off, it’s easy to see why Avery is quickly becoming more popular in the industry of writing instruments. The vivid black in Avery permanent markers are virtually odorless – unlike Sharpie markers that exude an uncomfortable fume. 

These markers have been well tested on numerous surfaces, including glass, plastic, and metals. Sold in packs of 3s, 8s, or 12s on Amazon, the Avery Marks-A-Lot Permanent Markers are a great Sharpie alternative at an affordable low price. The product also promises a non-drying ink formula, so you can leave it uncapped for up to half an hour or possibly more.

Why Should You Try A Sharpie Alternative?

While there may be so many Sharpie marker alternatives to try, some artists or long-time Sharpie users may wonder why they should consider an alternative. Of course, it is with no doubt that Sharpie markers make one of the best markers in the industry today. 

However, the uncomfortable fumes and hard-to-remove marker ink from Sharpie permanent markers may be a turn-off for some. With the availability of these alternatives, more people would be able to explore the use of permanent markers for their arts and crafts projects or to leave marks on their DIY works. 

Sharpie marker alternatives may also be more affordable when purchased in bulk, and some brands also offer extra features such as a variety of colors and special, non-drying technology in their marker tips. The comfort of the alternative markers should also be considered as to why you should try one yourself.

Why Is Sharpie So Popular In The Marker Industry?

Before we move on to introduce you to some of the top Sharpie alternatives, let’s discuss why Sharpie markers are so popular among artists and their casual users. If you pop into your local Starbucks coffee chain, you may see each of their barista partners holding up a Sharpie to mark your lattes. But why is it a top marker? 

Much of it has to do with how widely available Sharpie markers are. Whether it’s a departmental store or your local hardware shop, you’re bound to see Sharpie markers available on the shelves. They’re also not too expensive to own and can be used on almost every surface. 

For artists, Sharpie markers are a top choice as it provides them with a consistent and steady ink flow. Sharpie markers also don’t bleed on paper as often as other brands, so no material is wasted in the process of making art. 

When used on plastic coated surfaces, art and writing done with Sharpie markers are less likely to smear, making it a favorite for many people of varying industries. Finally, Sharpie may also be popular thanks to its various marketing efforts, social media influence, and the market’s perception of the brand from its grassroots beginnings.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Sharpie Markers?

Unfortunately, there may also be some downsides to Sharpie markers. The main complaint from most users is the fumes from the marker ink. Because the smell is so strong upon uncapping, users may feel uncomfortable picking up their Sharpie markers. Long-term effects of being exposed to these fumes may include headaches, nausea, or temporary vision loss. 

Subsequently, it could also be hard to get rid of stains from Sharpie markers on clothes or your skin. This is as Sharpie ink is known to be permanent, so removal may take some effort. Users may often place their skin under running water and scrub with soap to remove the marker stains, but constant rubbing can cause your skin to dry out and peel. 

With these disadvantages in mind, it’s always best to ensure you use a Sharpie marker with care. While they can be useful for various needs at home or a business, these small setbacks can affect you in the long run.


As you can see, there are numerous Sharpie marker alternatives that you could easily find in the market today. While Sharpie markers have made their mark in the industry as one of the top permanent markers, it doesn’t mean you can’t test out the other available choices. Who knows, you may even be able to find your favorite that isn’t a Sharpie for your next DIY project.