Crayons are a fun, easy medium to work whether they’re being used by preschoolers or professional artists. With their broad appeal, there’s a wide range of quality crayons to choose from. Most people will pick up any brand of crayon or look for the cheapest box on the shelf. Lower end crayons are too waxy and won't leave a lasting mark on the page, and can also be too brittle or soft, frustrating younger artists because of frequent breakage.
Each of these best crayon brands offers something a little different in style, material, or price, but they were all selected based on their status as top-quality crayons. These picks all have at least 24 colors to choose from, come in vibrant pigments suitable for professional artists, they’re of higher artistic quality than most brands and are also non-toxic, making them safe for children to use.
Faber-Castell Beeswax Crayons
Stockmar Beeswax Stick Crayons
Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artists Crayons
While many crayons use paraffin as their base, adding a small amount of beeswax creates a harder crayon with a nice, subtle scent and more vibrant color. Faber-Castell Jumbo Beeswax Crayons combines a high-quality beeswax base with a large, extra-strong shape to make a very sturdy art crayon. These crayons have a triangular shape keeping them from rolling off the table (Making them a great choice for younger children) and come in sets of up to 24 colors. These crayons are also available as a 240-count school pack with 20 sets of 12 colors each. Even better, they come at a bargain price, compared with other brands of beeswax crayons.
Stockmar Crayons are a favorite choice for many parents because of their beautiful pigments thanks to a beeswax-based formula carefully blended and measured to ensure the best color. The crayons come in the traditional crayon shape though they’re also available as large, sturdy coloring blocks. Stockmar Crayons have a slightly wider palette than most specialty crayons with up 32 colors available in either sets of assorted colors or single-color packs. The crayons main drawback is their price, significantly more expensive than similar brands. However, this offset by the fact they’re long-lasting and don’t need to be replaced as often as standard crayon brands.
While other crayons utilize paraffin or beeswax for their base, Prang use a soybean base making these crayons a 100% renewable, eco-friendly product. The soy-based formula makes the crayons relatively soft with a smooth feel which some people find comparable to major brands. These crayons are a little more fragile due to their softness but for older children they should work fine. Prang crayons come in a good variety of colors in packs of up to 64 colors and are priced affordably.
Crayola is the name which defines crayons for many people. These are the go-to crayons for parents, teachers, and a number of professional artists given their low price and ready availability. This brand offers a wide selection of styles and pigments with over a hundred colors including glitter, metallic, neon colors as well as specialty crayons for fabrics or glass. There are even washable crayons for parents worried about children drawing on walls or tables. Crayola crayons break fairly easily but are still a good option for kids to use without concern for newness or being careful but their newer styles hold up better under heavy use.
More of a soft pastel than a crayon, Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Artists Crayons are expensive with individual crayons costing about the same as a 12-pack of children’s crayons. This makes them a bit of splurge purchase but they’re highly popular with artists for their color and quality. The crayons are also water-soluble meaning they can either be used dry like traditional crayons or treated with a wet brush like paints or watercolor; even when blended with water these colors retain their smooth, vivid feel.
As a top-quality crayon, Caran d’Ache offers lightfast pigments with concentrated colors great for professional artists and students. The crayons come in 126 colors, offering individuals a broad color palette to work with.