10 Best Notebooks for College Students

Today, although everything has come digital, only some enjoy using the iPad. For taking notes, some people choose plain paper and pencils.

Choosing the finest college notebooks is essential for students who don’t want to take notes on their tablets. To take notes and remember all that valuable information, you need a sturdy notebook that best suits your style.

We’ll look at the ten best options below to assist you in selecting the ideal one. Let’s get the best notebooks!

Our Top Picks:

Here are the notebooks with the highest average ratings. You will be happy looking them over or recommending them to other students.

1. Oxford Spiral Notebook – Best for Writing With Pencil

Oxford Spiral Notebook

Important Specifications

  • Color: Assorted
  • Sheet Count: 70
  • Sheet Size: 8″x 10-1/2

Product’s highlights

This beautiful wire-bound ruled notebook fits my needs exactly. These are excellent notebooks with many pages, generous margins, sturdy binding, and adequate spacing.

These are what I use for my schoolwork and note-taking. I choose to use a separate notebook for each topic, and they work perfectly to distinguish between classes.

They are the ideal size to take home and are simple to write on. It is the perfect notebook for writing essays and taking notes.

Neither the pages nor the binding readily rip out or become trapped. That suits me because I don’t like having notes or pieces of paper protruding from my notebooks.

The paper is not soft when writing with a pen, but I have found that it is excellent for pencil writing. Though I like the softer paper, at least I am confident that this won’t easily tear.

Overall, they are of good quality and are sturdy. They are worth what I spend as they are ideal for school or simply journaling.

Today’s best deals:

Oxford Spiral Notebook 6 Pack, 1 Subject, College Ruled Paper, 8 x 10-1/2 Inch, Color Assortment Design May Vary (65007)
  • A CLASSROOM CLASSIC: this 6-pack of 1-subject notebooks...
  • THE RIGHT RULING: these 8" x 10-1/2", college-ruled...
  • PERFECT PERFORATION: Dependable micro perforated sheets...
  • GLIDE FROM PAGE TO PAGE: Your favorite gel or ballpoint pens...
  • 3-HOLE PUNCHED: Every notebook comes 3-hole punched to fit a...

What we like

  • Many pages
  • Generous margins
  • Sturdy binding
  • Adequate spacing

Thing to consider

  • Rough paper

2. Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook – Best for Eco-Friendly Use

Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook

Important Specifications

  • Color: Deep Space Gray
  • Sheet Size: 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Binding: Office Product

Product’s highlights

Without a doubt, the Rocketbook turns pages precisely like a spiral-bound notebook. It is simpler to continue by turning the pages after the current one.

Rocketbook provides various ways to submit your notes right away by just drawing on the page. Each page has a unique location to upload to the cloud.

All you need to do is mark the symbol, take the scan, and you’re done. One of its most significant advantages is scanning a page and transferring it to practically any location.

The pages are covered with a synthetic polyester mix that does writing on their fluid. The black marker fades quickly, but generally, the colors will reveal because of how effectively the pens remain in place.

The size of Rocketbook is a disadvantage since it limits how much information can fit on every page.

Today’s best deals:

Rocketbook Core Reusable Smart Notebook | Innovative, Eco-Friendly, Digitally Connected Notebook with Cloud Sharing Capabilities | Dotted, 6' x 8.8', 36 Pg, Deep Space Gray, with Pen, Cloth, and App Included
50,821 Reviews
Rocketbook Core Reusable Smart Notebook | Innovative, Eco-Friendly, Digitally Connected Notebook with Cloud Sharing Capabilities | Dotted, 6" x 8.8", 36 Pg, Deep Space Gray, with Pen, Cloth, and App Included
  • [Seamlessly Connect PEN→PAPER→DIGITAL] Experience the...
  • [Remarkable Productivity] Unlock the magic of converting...
  • [Reusable-Just Add Water] Ditch piles of wasteful single-use...
  • [Gifts for Everyone] - The versatility of the Rocketbook...
  • [Everything You Need] Includes a Rocketbook Core Patented...

What we like

  • Simple to turn pages
  • Smooth paper
  • Cloud storage
See also:  Where to Meet New People on College Campus

Thing to consider

  • Thin paper
  • Small size

3. Amazon Basics Spiral Notebook – Best for Stunning Color

Amazon Basics Spiral Notebook

Important Specifications

  • Color: Assorted Solid
  • Sheet Size: 10.5 x 8 inches
  • Binding: Office Product

Product’s highlights

I enjoy the paper since it is smooth and not too starchy for taking notes. The notebooks are colorful, the material is soft, and the style is uncomplicated and discreet.

Gel pens will bleed through to the opposite side, but more is needed to prevent writing on the front and back. When writing with a Pilot G2.38 pen, you may see some shadowing on the page.

However, after you start writing, you hardly notice any shadowing. Additionally, taking out the pages is quite simple, never leaving bits of paper-edged paper between your wire binder.

They have some nice colors and patterns. I enjoyed the pattern I picked, and I also appreciate that I had a choice of other designs.

However, pulling the paper away from the spiral is tough, and much more challenging to separate the ordinary paper from the perforation itself. It falsely claims to have “clear rip-off perforation.”

Anyhow, I made a wise investment. Five 100-sheet notebooks for less than $10 is an attractive price.

Today’s best deals:

Amazon Basics College Ruled Wirebound Spiral Notebook, 100-Sheet, 5-Pack, Assorted Solid Colors
  • Wirebound notebook with 100 sheets of paper (56 gsm weight...
  • College-ruled format (9/32-inch) promotes neat, even lines...
  • Sturdy front and back covers (20 pt. white cardstock)...
  • Wire binding keeps pages securely attached; Coil-Lock...
  • Clean tear perforation reduces mess and provides a straight...

What we like

  • Smooth paper
  • Colorful covers
  • Decent style
  • No shadowing
  • Attractive price

Thing to consider

  • It’s hard to pull the paper away from the spiral

4. Five Star Spiral Notebook – Best for Study App

Five Star Spiral Notebook

Important Specifications

  • Color: Red, Blue, Black, etc.
  • Binding: Office Product

Product’s highlights

My all-time favorite notebook manufacturer is Five Star. Since the paper in these notebooks is thinner, I usually use ball pens.

It would help if you didn’t use gel pens and rolling ballpoint pens with them since they will soon leave a shadow for you on the next page. Nevertheless, I use these stunning notebooks with my favorite brand-name ball pens.

This high-quality notebook is ideal for the use I put it to. Despite the various options, it is a robust device that has held up well.

The notebooks are durable and last the entire semester. I enjoy the thick folders because they have excellent subject separation and allow you to place any printouts you receive just where that subject is.

The waterproofness of the cover is usually an advantage. No other brand can protect your pages and the sturdy plastic front. I strongly advise keeping a notepad with several courses if you are in college or even high school.

However, it is a tad hefty for me to bring to class every day. People who utilize lockers or have four to five daily lessons might use them.

Today’s best deals:

Five Star Spiral Notebook + Study App, 5 Subject, College Ruled Paper, Fights Ink Bleed, Water Resistant Cover, 8-1/2" x 11", 200 Sheets, Red (72077)
  • Scan, study and organize your notes with the Five Star App....
  • 5 subject notebook has 200 double-sided, college ruled...
  • Tough pockets help prevent tears and hold 8-1/2" x 11" loose...
  • Made with SFI certified paper. Notebook is recyclable –...

What we like

  • Durable paper
  • Useful folders
  • Waterproof cover

Thing to consider

  • Leaving a shadow on the next page
  • Heavy

5. Mead Spiral Notebooks – Best for No Bleeding

Mead Spiral Notebooks

Important Specifications

  • Color: Multicolor
  • Sheet Size: 10.5 inches x 8 inches
  • Pages: 70

Product’s highlights

I love these notepads so much. They have excellent, sturdy paper that isn’t too thick so that pens and markers won’t bleed through.

I primarily use pencils, but you should be suitable with conventional ballpoint, felt-tip, and pen inks. There is some shadow, but it’s only very noticeable once you move continuously in one place.

The pages are a standard, ideal size and are comfortable to write on. They rotate beautifully, gracefully, and crisply, making it simple to review your earlier work.

Nothing will change as you go through every page. You can not stop writing since you will enjoy it so much.

These are excellent if you are searching for a practical spiral notebook with ruled pages. It is smaller than a typical notebook size.

Today’s best deals:

Mead Spiral Notebooks, 6 Pack, 1 Subject, College Ruled Paper, 7-1/2" x 10-1/2", 70 Sheets per Notebook, Color Will Vary (73065)
  • Stay on top of your homework, in-class assignments, projects...
  • 1 subject notebook comes with 70 college ruled, double-sided...
  • Sheets measure 10 1/2" x 7 1/2" when torn out with an...
  • College ruling is ideal for the older student who prefers...
  • Notebook is 3-hole punched to store in your favorite binder....

What we like

  • Sturdy paper
  • No bleeding
  • Go with various pens
  • Easy to turn the pages
  • Comfortable to write on
See also:  10 Steps to Writing an Academic Essay

Thing to consider

  • Smaller than a typical notebook size

6. Mead Composition Notebooks – Best for Perfect Space Between Lines

Mead Composition Notebooks

Important Specifications

  • Color: Black
  • Pages: 100

Product’s highlights

This 100-sheet, double-sided notebook, provides a space on the front cover for writing your name or subject. It has a typical black marble cover made of thin, rigid cardboard.

The interior surfaces include a blank class schedule, conversion, and multiplication tables, and concise grammatical rules. It comes with silky stitched binding that allows the pages to lie flat for all your educational needs.

The paper is uncoated, which gives it a pleasant fibrous texture and optimum ink absorption with little bleedthrough. I use gel pens, and they don’t spill when I write.

There are around 9/32 of an inch between each line because it is college-ruled. There is perfect space between lines for taking notes.

The 100 sheets are firmly stitched together, but you can also easily take them apart. There are three distinct notebook sets available.

Overall, these notebooks accomplish their intended function. The front and rear covers, however, are pretty fragile. I thus suggest these to anyone looking for inexpensive notebooks.

Today’s best deals:

Mead Composition Notebooks, 3 Pack, College Ruled Paper, 9-3/4' x 7-1/2', 100 Sheets per Comp Book, Black Marble (38111)
10,623 Reviews
Mead Composition Notebooks, 3 Pack, College Ruled Paper, 9-3/4" x 7-1/2", 100 Sheets per Comp Book, Black Marble (38111)
  • The Mead Black Marble Composition Book is a classic favorite...
  • Sheets measure 9 3/4" x 7 1/2". Contains 100 double-sided,...
  • College ruling is ideal for the older student who prefers...
  • Black marble cover includes a class schedule, multiplication...
  • Sewn binding is smooth and keeps pages securely in place....

What we like

  • A typical black marble cover
  • Perfect space between lines
  • A space on the front cover for writing names
  • Stitched binding that allows the pages to lie flat
  • Optimum ink absorption with little bleedthrough

Thing to consider

  • Fragile covers

7. Oxford Spiral Notebooks – Best for Strong Wire Spiral

Oxford Spiral Notebooks

Important Specifications

  • Color: Red, Black, and Blue
  • Sheet Size: 8.5″ X 11″
  • Ruling Type: College

Product’s highlights

The paper is pleasant to write on and has a somewhat slippery feel. The color is a lovely, brilliant white.

The notebook is adequately supported by the solid front cover made of plastic and the thick piece of cardboard at the back. The wire binding on these notebooks is strong, and the ends are securely looped in.

The wire spiral is a strong gauge and ideal for this kind of notebook. A closer look reveals that the wire binding is positioned to adhere to the front and rear cover.

The thickness of the spiral wires is the one point he made that truly sticks out. Since I write with my left hand, the spiral wires in other notebooks can be uncomfortable. When I use my left hand to write, they don’t pierce my wrist.

Pages are perforated for clean removal when necessary and are 3-hole punched. Anyone utilizing a college-ruled notebook regularly comes highly recommended.

The front cover has a two-sided poly pocket that I adore. You can place any handouts on one side and your assignments on the other.

However, it bleeds through the ink. If using ink, only write on one side of a single piece of paper.

Today’s best deals:

Oxford Spiral Notebooks, 1 Subject, College Ruled Paper, Durable Plastic Cover, 100 Sheets, Divider Pocket, 3 per Pack (10390), Red, Black and Blue
  • Get a 1-subject spiral notebook 3-Pack with durable plastic...
  • Each notebook contains smooth paper that resists ink...
  • College ruled notebooks fit more lines per page; with...
  • 3 Hole punch spiral notebook will snap into your 3-ring...
  • Paper size: 8.5" X 11"

What we like

  • Strong wire spiral
  • Solid front cover made of plastic
  • Thick piece of cardboard at the back

Thing to consider

  • Bleeding

8. Five Star Advance Spiral Notebook – Best for Durable Covers

Five Star Advance Spiral Notebook

Important Specifications

  • Color: Multicolor
  • Binding: Office Product

Product’s highlights

They are now the top Five Star items. Although it’s a bit pricey, this one has been a massive help with my new work.

What I appreciate best about these new, enhanced, and far more costly versions is that the partitions are detachable. The ideal page count for taking notes in a college class that lasts a semester is provided by each part.

I like that there are folders on the dividers so I can organize my notes and other things. I print my labels because there aren’t any provided for the tabs.

You may put materials, such as notes, into each subject’s folder. This notebook functions effectively as a combination of a notepad and topic binders.

Bringing one notepad for each lesson makes things simpler. Every day for months, I stuffed it in my backpack and threw it around, yet it never broke.

I love how easily I may move the tabs to suit the requirements of various classes. The only thing I would modify is that the tabs cannot be labeled, but that is not a huge problem.

Today’s best deals:

Five Star Spiral Notebook + Study App, 5 Subject, College Ruled Paper, Advance Notebook with Spiral Guard, Movable Tabbed Dividers and Expanding Pockets, 8-1/2" x 11", 200 Sheets, Blue (73150)
  • Scan, study and organize your notes with the Five Star App....
  • Rearrange the movable plastic dividers anywhere in your...
  • 5 subject notebook has 200 double-sided, college ruled...
  • Spiral Guard covers the wire to help prevent snags on...

What we like

  • Movable tabs
  • Durable covers
  • Folders on the dividers for organization
  • A combination of a notepad and topic binders
See also:  Balancing Work and College

Thing to consider

  • Pricey

9. Mead Spiral Notebook – Best for High-Quality Paper

Mead Spiral Notebook

Important Specifications

  • Color: Green
  • Sheet Size: 9-1/2″ x 5-1/2″
  • Sheet count: 150

Product’s highlights

I’ve been purchasing Mead notebooks for a long time because of the high-quality paper that makes writing easier. I use it to jot down miscellaneous notes, such as shopping and to-do lists.

I constantly take notes, and this was the most incredible offer for many pads. You will be satisfied because there are several pages on each pad.

They are smooth and velvety, making writing on them comfortable. While I’m writing, the edges don’t hurt my arm or wrist.

It includes 150 double-sided, college-ruled pages and useful dividers. Two pockets are included with each divider to hold unbound notebook sheets.

They come in various hues, including Red, Green, Blue, and Black. Your color choice may differ.

I also enjoy the light lines better since they don’t obstruct me when I write and doodle anywhere I want on my spiral notebooks. My gel pen does cause some bleeding, but it’s a little price to pay for my comfort.

Therefore, if you’re searching for a smaller, more affordable spiral-bound notebook, you may quickly toss it in your pocket or handbag. It doesn’t cost you a lot of money.

Today’s best deals:

Mead Small Spiral Notebook, 3-Subject, College Ruled Paper, 9-1/2" x 5-1/2", 150 Sheets per Notebook, Color Will Vary, 1 Count (06900)
  • Stay on top of your homework, in-class assignments, projects...
  • 3 subject notebook comes with handy dividers and 150 college...
  • Sheets measure 9 1/2" x 5 1/2" when torn out with an overall...
  • College ruling is ideal for the older student who prefers...
  • Notebook is 3-hole punched to store in your favorite binder

What we like

  • High-quality paper
  • Numerous sheet count
  • Various colors
  • Affordable price

Thing to consider

  • Bleeding

10. Oxford Spiral Notebook – Best for Convenient Perforated Edge

Oxford Spiral Notebook

Important Specifications

  • Color: Multicolor
  • Ruling Type: College

Product’s highlights

I like how soon they arrived and how they were packaged. We received the exact colors we wanted. I love these colors; they are far superior to the harsh versions in most places. Although not the stiffest, the front and rear covers are solid.

Seventy sheets of regular paper are included in each notebook. Each page has a micro-perforation that makes it simple and tidy to separate the specific sheets you need to organize in a project folder.

If you decide to write brief reference things, the covers have a light hue inside, and the pages turn exceptionally quickly. Each sheet has a convenient perforated edge, and they are spiral bound.

Ballpoint pens barely exhibit ghosting on the smooth, thick paper. Therefore, you can utilize the sheet’s reverse side if you like.

However, I want a more minor diameter spiral coil binding for these notebooks to fit better in my thinner padfolios. Although I won’t claim that they are the finest notebooks I’ve ever used, they are excellent value.

Today’s best deals:

Oxford Spiral Notebook, 1 Subject, College Ruled Paper, 8 x 10-1/2 Inch, Pastel Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple, 70 Sheets (63756), Set of 6
  • Our spiral notebooks come in an exclusive new palette of...
  • Gel pens & highlighters welcome; each notebook contains 70...
  • The right ruling; these 8" x 10-1/2" college ruled notebooks...
  • Perfed just right; Oxford micro perforated sheets are...
  • Quality at the right price; bulk 6 packs are an economical...

What we like

  • Solid covers
  • No ghosting
  • Various stunning colors
  • Convenient perforated edge with spiral bind

Thing to consider

  • Large-diameter spiral coil binding

Buying Guide: Things To Consider

The types of notebooks also vary. They are available in various forms, sizes, and materials, as well as bindings, paperweights, and line widths.

Learning about the many sorts of notebooks is a better course of action. You, therefore, utilize the following data to reach your conclusion.


Let’s start by discussing size. European sizes typically fall under the C0 to C10, B0 to B10, and A0 to A10 series.

They are all in the same form but in various sizes since they all have the same ratio—the size of the paper increases as the number decreases.

The most popular sizes in the United States are Junior Legal, Half-Letter, Legal, and Letter. There is also an unofficial size called pocket-sized. Letter paper measures the standard 8.5 by 11 inches or nearly an A4.


Next, you must consider binding or the process by which pieces of paper are joined to form a notebook. There are various forms of binding, some of which are more frequently seen with particular notebook sizes.

Your best option is probably not glue binding. Glue-bound notebooks are often less reliable and have a more challenging time lying flat.

Due to their propensity to become twisted out of shape and prevent the notebook from lying flat, most people generally dislike spirals. Stitched bindings, on the other hand, are thin, allow the notebook to lie flat, and securely hold the pages in place.


For writing on your lap or while on the run, a hardback can be sturdy and give a more firm surface. The formality and professionalism of a hardcover vary depending on the workplace setting.

Some individuals like soft-cover notebooks since they frequently permit folding the book in half.

Rules, Blank, and Gridded

Although they exist in various widths, lines and grids are generally the exact sizes. The industry norm for graph paper is 5 mm thick, whereas the college-ruled is 7 mm thick.

The three most popular styles are ruled, gridded, and blank. Most notebook manufacturers provide a variety of sheet types, but ultimately, the decision depends on personal preference.

While some notebook devotees exclusively utilize blank sheets, others insist on using classic ruled lines. Graph paper is helpful for persons with tiny handwriting. However, it is less frequently used these days for graphing.


Which type of notebook is best for college students?

Your notes will be shielded from water and regular wear and tear by a hardback, plastic notebook. A cardboard cover has more interesting design choices and is more resilient.

What paper is best for taking notes?

Writing notes on blank paper is preferable to doing it on lined paper.

Are notebooks used in college?

It is particularly true for disciplines that need you to perform several computations. As a result, most institutions still require notebooks.

A man discusses the science and supporting data for digital notes vs. handwritten notes in this video.

Final Thoughts

Taking notes by hand is much more effective at helping you remember information than using technology because it engages all of your senses. So pick one of the attractive notebooks instead of a digital choice.

We considered all the variables discussed in this post to provide you with the best notebooks for college students. The notebooks above are all fashionable and reasonably practical.

Some notebooks, such as the Mead Composition Notebooks, contain pages with room for a title, date, or to-do list, more prominent lines, and narrower margins. The greatest notepads will accommodate your chosen method of taking notes.