You’re Never Going to Buy Crayola Crayons Again After Reading This!

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More School Supplies

This “which crayons are best” test is just what we needed in time for back to school!

hand holding bunch of colorful crayons over table of row of crayons

The best crayons are just a box away! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

We can all agree there’s nothing quite like opening a fresh, new box of crayons! However, after testing some of the most highly rated crayons on the market (from just 25¢ a box to over $7), I’m confident enough to say not all crayons are the same.

In fact, I’ve found the only box you should consider the next time you’re in need of some new pigmented wax. So whether you’re shopping for your kiddos, an upcoming craft, or love to color pictures in your free time, you’re not going to want to buy anything else after reading these results!

hand holding two pink crayons over table of crayons

The market for school & craft supplies is saturated and overwhelming so knowing exactly what to buy can make your whole experience more productive.

Plus, the next time you’re in need of some new crayons, you’ll easily and quickly know what to reach for in the store that is sure to last the longest and save you the most money!

variety boxes of crayons on wood table

How I conducted my crayons test:

To determine the best crayons out of all the brands I tested, I considered their smoothness on paper, their pigment, overall design (i.e. do they roll away easily?), how smelly they are, if they’re messy, unique, affordable, and took note on convenience factors such as paper coatings. 😏

It’s also worth mentioning, my final verdict was my own opinion and not swayed by any type of payment or sponsorship. In fact, we purchased each and every box of the best crayons ourselves because we truly wanted to know which one would win!

The crayon brands I tested:

  1. Crayola
  2. Cra-Z-Art
  3. Mondo Llama
  4. Melissa & Doug
  5. BIC

Here’s how they performed:


1. Crayola crayons were my traditional must-have pick but ended up being super disappointing & broke way too easily.

hand holding an open box of crayons

Buy them at Target50¢ for 24-pack (regularly $1.39)

It wouldn’t be a crayon test without testing the most well-known crayons around – Crayola! Considering these crayons have been around since 1885 😱 there was absolutely no question whether or not I’d be testing them!

rainbow row of crayola crayons on white paper

They make everything from glitter crayons to egg-shaped crayons and everything in between so this company sure doesn’t lack in uniqueness and has been a classroom go-to time and time again.

However, after testing and comparing their traditional variety pack (something many of us have purchased before), I have to say, they ended up being one of my least favorites of all. While they do have good pigment, they were one of the messiest crayons and broke the easiest out of all the boxes I tested. Not to mention, they were the smelliest too.

hand holding a bunch of colorful crayons

PROS:

  • Smooth on paper.
  • Excellent pigment.
  • Very inexpensive.

CONS:

  • Strongest smell out of all the crayons (with Cra-Z-Art).
  • Messy while coloring & sharpening.
  • Break easily.
  • Paper-coated.
  • Lacking in variety (in regards to the pack I tested).
  • Roll away easily.

2. Cra-Z-Art crayons are literally Crayola crayons in a different box & I was just as disappointed with their performance.

box of cra-z-art crayons on table

Buy them at Walmart25¢ for 24 pack (regularly 64¢)

By far the most affordable pack of crayons was Walmart’s Cra-Z-Art crayons ringing in at just a quarter for a variety pack! While their paper-coated crayons look slightly different than Crayola on the outside, it didn’t take me long to realize the colors on paper are actually EXACTLY the same as the Crayola box! 🤯

In fact, even almost all of the names were the exact same too! This leads me to ask, why on Earth we’ve all been paying twice as much (if not more) for Crayola for all these years?! 🤔

crayons in rainbow with coloring on paper

As you can see, every color tested is identical to the Crayola box – shocked is an understatement, friends! I even found their performance in pigment to be exactly the same and the messiest of all the best crayons tested.

The only thing setting Cra-Z-Art crayons apart from Crayola is that theirs proved to be more durable. While testing, four of my Crayola crayons broke way too easily, while all of my Cra-Z-Art crayons remained in one piece!

All of that said, if my testing stopped here, I’d never buy Crayola again! Besides, for just 25¢ the price may just trump all the cons I found anyways.

close up of crayons on white paper in rainbow with empty boxes

PROS:

  • Smooth on paper.
  • Very inexpensive.
  • Durable.

CONS:

  • Strongest smell out of all the crayons (with Crayola).
  • Messy while coloring.
  • Messy while sharpening.
  • Paper-coated.
  • Lacking in uniqueness.
  • Roll away easily.

3. Target’s Mondo Llama crayons are unique, but lack in performance overall.  

hand holding a box of mondo llama crayons

Buy them at Target – $1.25 for 24 pack

While out shopping for my boxes of the best crayons, I stumbled upon Target’s fun line of Mondo Llama crayons. I mean, with a name like that, how could I not include them?! Plus, their price point is very Hip2Save too! 😏

Since my area was sold out of their traditional variety pack of crayons (currently on sale for just 25¢), I decided to give their Hues of You collection a try! Most notable, I found this line of crayons to be unique & fun! I also love the thoughtful & educational message it sends – the beautiful & different skin tones that make up all the amazing people in our world are definitely something to celebrate!

However, the performance of these fun crayons didn’t blow me away and for the price point, I wouldn’t buy them again.

brown mondo llama crayons on white paper with green box

PROS:

  • Good pigment.
  • True to color.
  • Fun & unique collections.
  • Durable
  • Minimal mess with excessive coloring.
  • Thoughtful variety packs like Hues of You.
  • Very subtle smell.
  • Very inexpensive.

CONS:

  • Paper-coated.
  • Slightly rough on paper.
  • Messy while coloring.
  • Uneven shading.
  • Messy to sharpen due to paper.
  • Roll away easily.

4. Melissa & Doug crayons were the most expensive pack of crayons & the worst-performing too. 

red tray full of melissa and doug stamped crayons on wood table

Buy them on Amazon – $7.49 for 24 pack

Initially, I was drawn to the Melissa & Doug variety pack of crayons because they are an extremely reputable brand and their innovative triangle design to keep them from rolling away was unlike all the other crayons I picked.

Their smaller size also makes them ideal for younger kiddos and as I’m sure you already noticed, they come with the best case for traveling – perfect for vacations, playdates, and restaurants.

hand holding red triangle shaped crayons over color testing paper

However, their unique shape, durability, and awesome travel case didn’t come close to trumping the fact they performed the worst out of all the crayons I tested.

I found their pigment to be dull and many of the colors to be inaccurate – which is super frustrating when you’re coloring a masterpiece! As you can see above, the reddest of the colors appeared to be pink and the vibrancy of many of the other colors wasn’t even a close representation on paper. This also means I thought the variety pack lacked staple colors like a true red, orange, or green.

Not to mention, they were the priciest pick by far. 

close up of melissa and doug wax crayons

PROS:

  • Best reusable case.
  • No paper covers.
  • Innovative triangle design.
  • Great size for younger kids.
  • Minimal smell.
  • Very durable.

CONS:

  • Worst pigment of all the crayons tested.
  • A little rough on paper.
  • Messy with excess coloring.
  • Do not sharpen due to the triangle shape.
  • Lacking traditional colors.
  • Size isn’t ideal for adults.
  • Most expensive option.
  • Travel case takes up the most room.

5. BIC crayons made a shocking statement all around & had the best variety of colors. 

hand holding red crayons from rainbow line of crayons on table

Buy them at Walmart – $1.67 for 24 pack

The BIC crayons brand which claims to also be unbreakable is my top pick for the best crayons! 🏆

I couldn’t be any more shocked by this outcome, and until I started researching the best crayons – I never even knew BIC made crayons! These were the longest & skinniest of all the best crayon packs, so I fully anticipated lots of breaking and lousy performance.

row of rainbow best crayons on table with crayola box

However, just as they claim, they really are unbreakable! 👏🏻

Even when coloring full-force or trying to break them while applying the most pressure, they still didn’t break! If that’s not impressive enough, I also immediately noticed how beautiful all of the colors are – each one on paper has great pigment and is an accurate representation of what you see on the outside. The mess when coloring was super minimal too!

Compared to the Crayola & Cra-Z-Art variety packs, I also found BIC crayons to have the nicest variety of colors – many with earthy, organic tones to them too. So while they have all the true colors of the rainbow, they also added unexpected & unique colors like nude pink, mustard yellow, periwinkle, and the perfect ’90s shade of teal blue.

hand holding a pile of colorful best crayons with bic box

PROS:

  • The best pigment of all the crayons.
  • Very minimal mess with excess coloring.
  • No paper covers.
  • Break-resistant design.
  • The best variety of colors.
  • Very smooth on paper.
  • True to color.
  • Longest & skinniest crayons (great for all ages).
  • Easy to sharpen.
  • Inexpensive.

CONS:

  • Flimsy storage box.
  • Smell waxy.
  • Roll away easily.

box of bic crayons on wood table

Even though these best crayons are the second most expensive box I tested, they’re still under $2 a box making them a frugal & great performing option!

Plus, they’re the longest of the bunch and claim to be the longest-lasting so my guess is you’ll be stretching your dollar the farthest with this pick!

BIC crayons for the win! 🎉


These are the only #2 pencils you should be buying!


Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 5 years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.


Join The Discussion

Comments 79

  1. tiffanydavis

    Love reading these reviews!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this, tiffanydavis! It was really fun to test them and write this!

  2. Kat

    I will not stand for this crayola slander 😂😂

    • suzieq-0

      😂😂😂

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Haha! I felt the same way, Kat, but the facts don’t lie! LOL! BIC for the win!

  3. Iowagirl63

    Very interesting comparison. I never knew BIC had crayons either. But now I know what I’ll be staying away from the next time I buy crayons for my grands! Thank you H2S!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you found this post so helpful. 🙂

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome, Em! You and your kiddos are going to love them!

  4. Chelsea

    Love it, never seen them, will keep my eye out and give them a whirl.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Love it, Chelsea! I know you’ll love them!

    • *Angela-Miles*

      If you have an aldi nearby they have them. At least for the past few weeks I’ve seen them. 🖍

  5. CJ

    Awesome review! I tried to buy the box on Walmart.com and they were marked down to $0.25 BUT they were sold out 😟

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh darn! We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for that deal to come back, CJ! Thanks for sharing. If you find them somewhere else, I have no doubt you’ll love them!

  6. Cathy

    Has anyone tried the Bic triangular crayons? Wondering if they would be easier to hold for toddlers.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I haven’t tried them, but the Melissa & Doug crayons I tested are triangular and I definitely think the shape is easier to hold for kiddos with little hands. I hope this helps!

  7. Hardik Patel

    Thank you so much for this reviews….

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Hardik! I’m so glad you enjoyed this review. Have a great day! 🙂

  8. desireehall

    Crayola and most other crayons are made out of cow fat. However, Melissa and Doug use plastic id consider that a huge pro for Melissa and doug!

    • Emily

      Kinda seems like natural ingredients might be better than chemicals 🤔

      • Julie

        Literally everything is made out of chemicals.

    • Amy

      Actually, I’d prefer that to plastic!

      • Emily

        Exactly! I was just saying i prefer natural over artificial.

  9. Janet

    How many of these are made in China?

    • sandra-12

      The Bics are made in Tunisia which is in Africa

    • Rama

      What is so terrible if they were made in China? How do you expect $25 per pack of crayons (or a low price for anything) if they are made in the USA? Would you be acceptable for those kind of low wages if you worked here? Let’s be practical! How can you want “made in USA” and cheap prices?!!

      On the other hand, if your outrage for anything made abroad/China is due to exploitation of people/children for “cheap” labor and/or unethical practices, it’s understandable.

  10. Nicole

    I never knew Bic made crayons! I will have to look for them the next time I go to the store, we break ALOT of crayons.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, Nicole!

  11. Ericka

    I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for the reviews and comparisons!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Ericka! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post so much. 🙂

  12. Lora

    I love this review. Most teachers specify Crayola. I bet a lot of them never even heard of Bic crayons. I hope I can find some of these.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so glad you love this review, Lora! They’re wonderful crayons and I would imagine teachers would appreciate them so much especially since they don’t have paper and won’t get all over their classrooms. 🙂

  13. Joni

    Unfortunately until my kids get out of elementary school, I will have to buy crayola. The school supply list specifically says crayola. I understand they are preventing som lousy crayons (I’ve had some from $1 store that were awful) but there are other decent brands. I may have to get a pack of these for home though!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I never knew so many school specified brands, that’s so interesting! Thanks for sharing, Joni!

  14. Erin

    As an elementary art teacher with 16 year experience I ❤ Crayola. They hold up to my 900 students using them very well. I especially love the construction paper crayons! Crayola is very affordable with back-to-school sales. Crayola’s website is very transparent about product ingredients,which I love because I can be sure I am not giving students hidden allergens.
    With that being said, I haven’t tried BIC crayons and will buy a small amount to give them a test run. Thanks for the tip.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Erin! Thanks for sharing your feedback with us! Hope your school year is great!

    • Jane

      Oh wow! I had no idea allergens in crayons were a thing. I just thought they Crayola had more pigment. Now I will appreciate the brand preferences of teachers even more!

  15. rocooper65

    I recently bought a box of the Bix crayons for my grandson. We haven’t used them yet but glad to read it was a good purchase. I bought them because of the price.

    • rocooper65

      Bic crayons. Ugh. I can’t stand typos. lol

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s awesome! I hope you love them!

  16. Momma Krookzi

    How can anyone take this seriously when it says CraZArt is the same as crayola 🤯 Target’s old Up& Up brand were super comparable to Crayola, but CraZArt are the crayons teachers are trying to avoid by putting crayola on their supply lists.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! This review was my personal experience and the Crayola were actually worse than Cra-Z-Art due to Crayola breaking on me. If you’ve never tried BIC I definitely recommend them!

    • GTgrad

      I agree! I didn’t think it was a serious review! 😂

      • Sparrowfly

        There’s no way the clumpy and sticky Crazy Art crayons are comparable to Crayola. I still remember the sound they made when they stuck to the page as a kid. Gross.

  17. Laura

    Ok Ok honestly when I read the headline I was a little…. angry? … because I love CRAYOLA… but after reading the review, I am definitely going to give BIC a try. I color with my kiddos and yes, yes, yes to all the cons listed. LOL. Thanks for the review… I would have never known BIC made crayons!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Laura! I hope you love the BIC crayons as much as I did! (I was just as shocked at the outcome!)

  18. Amy

    Comparison posts are my favorite on this site! I recently found the bic crayons on Amazon pretty cheap and grabbed some. Hadn’t opened them yet but now I’m excited 😂

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh, that is so awesome, Amy! Enjoy your BIC crayons!

  19. Amy P

    As a kindergarten teacher, I’ve noticed the quality of crayola crayons has gone down in the past few years. There are lots of breakage (even for me) when in the past there used to just be the occasional break. I’ll be on the look out to try BIC brand!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome, Amy! I hope you love BIC when you do grab them!

  20. Francis Lavenz

    Thank you for all your hard work. I wouldn’t use Bic or Melissa & Doug because they don’t have paper covers. My kids love reading the colors and ask for them by name so they wouldn’t like them. They ask for pink and then read it to make sure it is pink. LOL

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Francis!

  21. JODI P

    BIC needs different package design……..I would never think that was a box of CRAYONS just by looking at it. I’d see “BIC” and assume they are pencils or pens.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      That’s a great point, Jodi! Maybe they’ll see this and fix it. HAH!

  22. Lily

    Love Bic Kids Crayons and Markers ❤️Staples carries them with Free Shipping for their Rewards Members

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh cool! Thanks for the tip, Lily!

  23. tdrew138

    I’ve never heard of the Bic crayons but I’ll try them next time we need them. Thanks!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for reading my review, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  24. Amy

    I clicked on this because I thought you were crazy! Haha! I’ve always thought Crayola was the only brand worth having. I had no idea Bic made them. They need to advertise this!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Yes, I agree! I had never heard of them either, Amy!

  25. juliejlady

    Our poor children have been dealing with deficient low standard tools? Shame on you Crayola!

  26. Materof6

    Awesome post! Thank you! To their credit, M&D crayons really are awesome for preschoolers when you (or they!) don’t really care for anything but marks on the paper and learning to hold a writing utensil. I’ll look forward to trying the Bic ones for older kids! Thanks!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I totally agree! Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts with us and I hope you love the BIC crayons for your older kiddos! 🙂

  27. Maurice

    AWESOME POST!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you so much, Maurice! So glad you love it!

  28. Vicky

    Honestly, one of my favorite things about Crayola is the smell! I’d be disappointed with crayons that DIDN’T have that smell. 😀 I’m surprised to hear that the smell is a con. Just like Play-doh. I loooove the smell.

    • Kelley

      I buy Crayola crayons simply for the smell – it makes me happy!

  29. shop4mybabies

    i’ve never had a crayola crayon break on me an adult using it, the kids break them, i think intentionally for fun. but i LOVE crayola

  30. Kristi s.

    I found a single box of BIC crayons at walmart and bought it because of the length and that they were naked! Lol I’m looking forward to trying them!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome to hear, Kristi! I hope you love them!

  31. Coupon Ninja

    Yeah, as an art teacher I’m going to stick to Crayola.
    They have served me well, especially when BIC isn’t even in my budget.
    And you CANNOT tell me Roseart is the same quality. Not.At.All.
    Years of empirical research has taught me otherwise.

    • Sparrowfly

      I agree with the art teacher! 🙂 Thank you for what you do. <3

  32. KB

    Loved this post! Just added a box of Bic crayons to my Walmart grocery order.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome, KB! Enjoy them!

  33. hopchick

    We have a pack of the Bic crayons and they’re great, but the bottoms are concave and chip easily. The points have been strong though, and my kid presses hard. Crayola will still be number one due to their huge color assortment, but Bic is definitely a brand I’ll buy again.

    • Samantha

      Yes, I agree with the chipping. I also love that they don’t have paper to peel off and put everywhere! BIC also makes colored pencils and the colors are gorgeous

      • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

        I’ll have to try their colored pencils sometime. Thanks for sharing, Samantha!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! I haven’t experienced the chipping but will be sure to watch for that!

  34. Jennifer

    I’d love to see a post like this for colored pencils! Thanks for the review!

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