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The Best Highlighter

Last updated on August 18, 2020

We looked at the top 10 Highlighters and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Art Ltd. Magazine, The Work Buzz, Big Guide and more. The result is a ranking of the best Highlighters.

Best Highlighter

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Our Picks For The Top Highlighters

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

ZEBRA Mildliner Flourescent Double Ended Highlighter, 5-Count

ZEBRA

Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter, 5-Count

Overall Take

Chisel Tip and Fine Marker CombinedThis pen includes a highlighter chisel tip and a fine-tip marker in one.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Michael’s.
  The Best Value

BIC BICBL11YW Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

BIC

Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

Overall Take

Broad Highlighting or Fine UnderliningThese bright yellow highlighters have a versatile chisel tip.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart, WebstaurantStore and Target.

Sharpie 27145 Chisel-Tip Pocket Highlighter, 12-Count

Sharpie

Chisel-Tip Pocket Highlighter, 12-Count

Overall Take

Uses Smear Guard InkThese highlighters will not smear pen or marker ink.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus Art Ltd. Magazine and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Beautiful colors, writes smoothly and the ink is very pigmented. Lasts for a long time and it doesn't bleed through thicker paper."

Avery 98034 Hi-Liter Chisel Tip Desk-Style Highlighters, 12-Count

Avery

Hi-Liter Chisel Tip Desk-Style Highlighter, 12-Ct

Overall Take

Won’t Dry OutThese durable markers won’t dry out even if you leave them uncapped for a week.

Experts Included
DWYM Office Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the highlighters available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

8

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Art Ltd. Magazine, The Work Buzz and Big Guide.

103,259

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, WebstaurantStore, Target, Michael’s and 4 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Highlighters and also dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Art Ltd. Magazine, The Work Buzz, Big Guide and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Highlighters.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

ZEBRA Mildliner Flourescent Double Ended Highlighter, 5-Count

User Summarized Score
9.4
738 user reviews
Our Take

You can highlight text and make more consistent lines with this pen. It’s filled with a mild water-based translucent ink which doesn’t bleed through pages. This set comes with five markers in assorted colors.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

BIC BICBL11YW Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

User Summarized Score
9.4
6,319 user reviews
Our Take

You can use these fluorescent yellow markers for highlighting or underlining. They won’t dry out, even if the cap is left off for eight hours. This set includes 12 yellow highlighters.

Overall Product Rankings

BIC BICBL11YW Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

2. BIC BICBL11YW Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 4

Sharpie 27145 Chisel-Tip Pocket Highlighter, 12-Count

3. Sharpie 27145 Chisel-Tip Pocket Highlighter, 12-Count

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

AmazonBasics Chisel Tip Fluorescent Highlighters, 12-Pack

5. AmazonBasics Chisel Tip Fluorescent Highlighters, 12-Pack

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 3

Stabilo BOSS Original Pastel Highlighter, 6-Count

6. Stabilo BOSS Original Pastel Highlighter, 6-Count

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 4

Mr. Pen No Bleed Gel Highlighter, 20-Count

7. Mr. Pen No Bleed Gel Highlighter, 20-Count

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 3

BIC Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 24-Count

8. BIC Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 24-Count

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 2

JAVAPEN Rainbow Pastel Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

10. JAVAPEN Rainbow Pastel Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 2

Our Highlighter Findings

ZEBRA Mildliner Flourescent Double Ended Highlighter, 5-Count

What We Liked: You can highlight text and make more consistent lines with this pen. It’s filled with a mild water-based translucent ink which doesn’t bleed through pages. This set comes with five markers in assorted colors.

BIC BICBL11YW Brite Liner Chisel Tip Highlighter, 12-Count

What We Liked: You can use these fluorescent yellow markers for highlighting or underlining. They won’t dry out, even if the cap is left off for eight hours. This set includes 12 yellow highlighters.

Sharpie 27145 Chisel-Tip Pocket Highlighter, 12-Count

We Also Like

What We Liked: You don’t have to worry about your pen ink smearing when you use these highlighters over top. They come in a slim shape which is easy to hold and use. This set includes several colors including yellow, pink and orange.

Avery 98034 Hi-Liter Chisel Tip Desk-Style Highlighters, 12-Count

What We Liked: These highly durable highlighters will not dry out even if the cap is left off for long periods of time. They have vibrant ink that won’t smudge or smear. This set includes 12 highlighters in a variety of colors.

AmazonBasics Chisel Tip Fluorescent Highlighters, 12-Pack

What We Liked: These highlighters are shaped like pens to reduce hand fatigue. The chisel tip is perfect for highlighting or underlining. This set comes with 12 highlighters in six different colors.

Our Highlighter Buying Guide

Whether you’re studying for an exam and need to remember important information or just casually reading and like highlighting your favorite passages, a good highlighter pen is handy to have. Highlighters come in several different colors and intensities and have different styles of tips. Are all highlighters the same or should you be looking for something specific?

One aspect you should pay attention to is bleeding. This is when the highlighter ink goes through the page onto the other side. This can make it difficult to figure out which side you actually highlighted and which text you want to stand out. Some highlighters bleed through the paper even if it’s thick. Another element to note is whether the highlighters smear. This is when you highlight something and accidentally touch the ink. The ink can then spread across the page wherever you hand goes. A fast-drying highlighter will not smudge or smear on your work.

The style of tip on the highlighter pen also affects its quality and usability. There are a few different types of tips you’ll encounter: A chisel tip is one of the most common. This kind of tip is flat so it’s ideal for highlighting straight lines of text. Similar to the chisel tip is the window tip, which has a clear section, or window, inside the tip. This way, you can see what you’re highlighting. A bullet tip is rounded, which makes it perfect for circling information. Some highlighters come with two colors. A dual tip has a color on each side so you can pick the color you want to use without them mixing or bleeding into each other.

DWYM Fun Fact

The humble highlighter is a type of felt-tip pen that is filled with water-based ink. The predecessor to the highlighter was invented at the Tokyo Stationery Company in 1962 by Japanese inventor Yukio Horie. He made a pen that was similar to today’s highlighter in that it had a felt tip; however, it was not filled with fluorescent ink. This pen inspired the Carter’s Ink Company to begin developing their own pen with a similar tip. This pen was filled with a translucent ink and was called the Hi-Liter. This type of ink enabled you to see the text underneath, but it was not very bright. In 1978, the Avery Dennison Corporation bought the Carter’s Ink Company. They begin manufacturing Hi-Liters filled with fluorescent colors, very similar to the highlighter pens we have today. Highlighters didn’t become popular till they invented a dual pen-highlighter combo.

The Highlighter Tips and Advice

  • Consider what kind of colors you need in your highlighter pens. Yellow is the most common color, and it’s also the easiest to read text through. Some darker colors make it difficult to read what you’ve highlighted. For example, blue and purple are fairly dark so you may not be able to see the text underneath so clearly. Some people find the yellow highlighter color too bright and difficult to look at. You can find highlighters in softer shades of yellow, pink and green as well.
  • When you’re highlighting something, try to only go over it once with the highlighter. Otherwise, you may over-saturate the paper and the highlighter ink may bleed through the page. If you do multiple layers of highlighter, the ink may take longer to dry and smudge. Plus, it may be too dark for you to easily read what’s underneath.
  • Highlighters come in different sized packaging. Consider how many you’re going to need, and in what color. You can buy highlighters in single-color packaging or a set with multiple colors in it. Packages typically include between five and twelve highlighters.
  • Consider what kind of tip is best for you based on what you plan on doing with the highlighters. If you’re mostly looking to highlight straight lines of text, then a chisel or window tip is your best option. if you prefer using two colors at a time and don’t want to constantly change pens, then opt for a dual tip highlighter. For circling or making diagrams, a bullet tip is best.

About The Author

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Anam Ahmed 

Anam Ahmed is a copywriter and essayist based in Toronto. She has been writing on technology, travel, parenting, and business for over 10 years, and works with a number of high-profile organizations. She values finding the best products to make people's lives easier. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.