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How Long Do Markers Last?

how long do markers last

Whether you are a professional artist, a colorist, or a hobbyist, you understand that it is crucial to invest in premium quality and long-lasting markers. Reliable writing and coloring tools allow you to deliver promising results, creating a beautiful spectrum of colors and precise details.

And, besides, who would want to spend on markers that will run out in just a short matter of time? Perhaps, they have already worn out earlier than they should.

But, how long do markers last? Take note of this: the lifespan of markers varies depending on the type of marker, usage, temperatures, and storage. The brand reputation can also be considered.

In this article, we are going to break down different popular marker brands and their average lifespan. We will also discuss the significant factors that can prolong or shorten their shelf life.


How Long Markers Really Last

The average lifespan of markers usually goes for 1 to 2 years. However, it still varies from one marker type or brand to another. Keep in mind that the shelf life all depends on several significant factors: type of marker, frequency, and manner of usage, and storage practices.

The marker’s brand can also be a factor that determines a marker’s lifespan. If a particular brand has been in the industry for markers or art supplies for years or decades, chances are they have utilized proven and effective technologies that can produce high-quality and durable markers. Hence, you can expect these markers to last really long.

Why Do Markers Dry Out Too Quickly?

Some markers dry out too quickly primarily because of two correlated reasons: they either use alcohol-based ink or are often left uncapped.

Contrary to water-based markers, alcohol-based ink evaporates relatively faster than water. Therefore, if you leave your alcohol-based marker without its cap for a long time, it will dry out just before you know it.

Breaking Down the Marker Brands and their Lifespan

Copic Markers


Copic markers are popularly known for their exceptional durability and ink quality. Despite that, many artists and hobbyists still wonder, “how long do Copic markers last?”

The average lifespan of Copic markers can last between 12 to 18 months. However, this estimate can go longer or shorter, depending on the frequency of usage, how you use them, storage practice, choosing the paper type, and the type of Copic marker.

Apparently, if you use Copics a lot more than usual or daily, the ink will probably run out in just a couple of weeks. Moreover, the way you use Copic markers on your art projects will also affect their longevity.

For example, a monochromatic art style requires one color only, which means having to use a certain shade to fill in spaces or areas in your artwork. Therefore, you will notice that some colors will wear out more quickly than the other markers in your set in the long run.

You should also know that Copic markers come in different types: Classic or Copic Original, Ciao, Sketch, and Wide. Each type is designed with a certain ink capacity and hence, some can hold more ink than the other types.

The best thing about Copic markers is their refillable ink design. Besides their durable barrels, need not worry about running out of ink, making them one of the longest-lasting markers on the market. Such innovation enables these markers to last for years or even decades!

Prismacolor Markers


In terms of price value, Prismacolor is more affordable than Copic markers. Regarding that, many wonder about its quality whether it can compete with Copic markers or will just wear out quickly over time. Thus, how long do Prismacolor markers last when used or unused?

Fortunately, Prismacolor does not compromise the quality of its markers, particularly their ink. Generally, Prismacolors can last for a year with regular use and about 5 months when used more frequently.

Meanwhile, if you use them occasionally, you may expect longer shelf life that can go on for years. It is also because, having used and tested Prismacolor markers, their ink does not run out too quickly.

Crayola Markers


Considering the brand reputation, it is safe to say that Crayola is among the reliable sources for writing implements, including markers. Their official website did not indicate any estimated shelf life although firmly ensures that their markers are long-lasting.

However, how long is a Crayola marker going to last once opened? In my experience, Crayola markers can last for a year with regular use. Aside from that, the ink does not dry out very quickly unlike other marker brands.

As needed on many other marker brands, proper storage is a crucial factor that ensures the long-lasting ink quality of Crayola markers. The manufacturer recommends storing their traditional markers vertically with the capped tip positioned upward.

Ohuhu Markers


Ohuhu markers fall under an affordable price range, which is why many beginner artists treat themselves with a set of these markers. Not to mention the extensive array of colors.

However, in terms of ink longevity, Ohuhu markers have an average shelf life of 6 months to a year. However, many artists still consider these markers long-lasting, probably because frequency and manner of usage still vary.

Sharpie Markers


Sharpies are well-known and excellent markers that have been widely used for decades. Through the years, it has developed technologies that produce different types of markers that can last long.

Fortunately, Sharpie seemed to have proven that over time since these markers can last for 2 to 3 years with casual use or left unopened. When stored properly and at normal temperatures, used Sharpie markers can last for a year or two.

How Long Do Unopened Markers Last?

Another primary concern about markers is: how long do markers last if unopened? In general, most markers typically have a shelf life of 1 to 2 years. Some markers like Sharpies can last up to 3 years when stored at normal temperatures.

But similar to opened markers, several factors may also affect the longevity of markers even when they are unopened.

Heat is the main culprit. When unopened markers are exposed to heat, the plastic barrels may deform and the ink will potentially evaporate or leak. Therefore, it is imperative to store your markers properly to prevent any of these issues.

Other Useful Tips to Make Your Markers Long-lasting

  • Storage Practice: Proper storage and choice of paper can prolong the life of markers regardless of the brand. Make sure to keep the caps tightly closed after each use to prevent them from drying out.
  • Paper Type: Choosing the correct type of paper will also deter any bleed-throughs or smears, saving the ink from being absorbed by soft or thin papers. It is important to determine the compatible paper type before using your markers.


In this article, we have discussed in-depth details that answer the question, “how long do markers last?”. We have learned that the shelf life of markers varies from one marker to another based on several significant factors – frequency and manner of usage, type of marker, exposure to wavering temperatures, and storage practice. For unopened markers, proper storage is a must to ensure long-lasting ink quality.

Moreover, no matter what brand of marker you choose, their estimated shelf life can still possibly differ depending on how you deal with these markers, considering the factors mentioned. Hopefully, this article has helped you with your concerns and how you can take good care of your markers.