Crayola colored pencils vs. Prismacolor colored pencils

Writing Supplies

There’s no point buying expensive soft core colored pencils for young kids who will only use them for coloring or scribbling.

Which colored pencils are best?

You might think of colored pencils being used for kids’ drawings or coloring books, but they can also play a part in more serious artistic endeavors. However, the type and quality of colored pencils you buy will make a huge difference in the results. 

For the most part, Prismacolor colored pencils are high-end and suitable for creating art, while Crayola colored pencils are basic, affordable and best for simple coloring and children’s drawings. 

Crayola colored pencils

Crayola colored pencils aren’t designed with artists in mind. Rather, they’re cheap and cheerful and great for kids who want to do simple drawings or coloring books. Although the pencils themselves are basic, they still come in a decent range of colors, with packs of up to 120 unique colors available. Buyers on a budget will love the price point — smaller packs cost less than $5 while large packs or soft core options cost more than $30. 

What you’ll love about Crayola colored pencils

  • Due to the affordable price of Crayola coloring pencils, it doesn’t matter too much if some get lost or broken because they’re cheap to replace. 
  • Crayola coloring pencils are only made from reforested wood and never from endangered tree species or wood from tropical rainforests.
  • You can find some erasable Crayola coloring pencils so users can get rid of mistakes and have another try. 
  • You can find packs of Crayola coloring pencils focusing on a wide range of skin tones, which are great for drawing portraits. 
  • Alongside the basic hard core colored pencils, you can find soft core Crayola pencils that are better for blending and give greater coverage, though they cost more.

What you should consider about Crayola colored pencils

  • Unless you specifically opt for soft core Crayola colored pencils, standard Crayola offerings have fairly hard cores, which aren’t ideal for blending or laying down large areas of color. 
  • There’s less pigment in Crayola colored pencils than Prismacolor colored pencils, so the coverage isn’t as good. 

Top Crayola colored pencils

Crayola 120 Colored Pencils

Crayola 120 Colored Pencils

This pack of 120 basic Crayola colored pencils has no repeated colors. These are ideal for young artists but lack the blendability required for more nuanced artworks. 

Available at Amazon

Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils

Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils

These erasable colored pencils erase cleanly and completely, so it’s easy to amend mistakes. They arrive pre-sharpened and you get a decent range of 36 colors in a pack. 

Available at Amazon

Crayola Signature Blend & Shade Soft Core Colored Pencils

Crayola Signature Blend & Shade Soft Core Colored Pencils

These are a step up from basic Crayola colored pencils for anyone who wants to experiment with blending and shading. They’re still relatively affordable compared with top-end soft core pencils, but can’t quite compete. They’re great for improving artists. 

Available at Amazon

Prismacolor colored pencils

Although it has a small range of basic options, the vast majority of Prismacolor colored pencils are of premium quality. They’re great for anyone who wants to go beyond coloring books and basic line drawings. In fact, the Premier line is good enough for professional artists and serious hobbyists. The high quality of these colored pencils means that they are pricey. Basic offerings start at around $15, while large sets of 150 colored pencils cost more than $200 at their full retail price. 

What you’ll love about Prismacolor colored pencils

  • Prismacolor colored pencils are packed with plenty of intense pigment for vibrant colors without the need for excessive layering.
  • Most standard Prismacolor colored pencils have soft cores for blending, shading and covering large areas with color, but you can also buy hard core pencils from Prismacolor for fine detail and edges — many artists find they need both. 
  • You can also buy watercolor pencils from Prismacolor, which act like standard colored pencils when dry but produce a watercolor effect when you add water into the mix. 
  • The available range of colors is incredible, with 150 unique shades available, so it shouldn’t be hard to find the right hue for whatever you want to draw. 
  • Many Prismacolor colored pencils use lightfast pigments, so they won’t significantly fade over time if exposed to daylight, helping to keep works of art in good condition for longer. 

What you should consider about Prismacolor colored pencils

  • Prismacolor colored pencils can be expensive, so you might find them too pricey for some uses. 
  • The cores of most Prismacolor pencils are extremely soft and buttery, which is great for blending and laying down color but can make them hard to work with if you aren’t used to soft colored pencils. 

Top Prismacolor colored pencils

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 

These premium soft core colored pencils are a joy to work with and have rich, vibrant pigments. You can choose from a range of pack sizes, from 36 to 150 pencils, with each pencil in the pack a different color. 

Available at Amazon

Prismacolor Premier Verithin Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Verithin Colored Pencils

With their hard cores, these colored pencils are great for achieving fine detail that you can’t get with softer options. Their quality pigments mean that you can still expect vibrant colors with excellent saturation. 

Available at Amazon

Prismacolor Premier Watercolor Pencils

Prismacolor Premier Watercolor Pencils

For artists looking to experiment, watercolor pencils can be a great way of branching out from using standard colored pencils. These pencils have excellent solubility for a gorgeously smooth watercolor effect. 

Available at Amazon

Should you get Crayola colored pencils or Prismacolor colored pencils?

If you’re looking for high-quality colored pencils, Prismacolor is the obvious choice, while Crayola colored pencils are best for kids and anyone on a budget. Not everyone needs the highest quality of colored pencils, so Prismacolor coloring pencils will be wasted on youngsters. Its soft core options can be tricky to get the hang of and prone to smudging if users don’t know what they’re doing. On the other hand, anyone who wants to blend, shade and work on more detailed art pieces should choose Prismacolor and avoid Crayola.

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

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Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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