stack of fountain pen friendly notebooks

The Massive List Of Fountain Pen Friendly Paper Ratings

John Bosley Paper 22 Comments

I have been acquiring and testing out fountain pen friendly paper for years now and have quite a bit of data. Instead of keeping it all to myself and slowing releasing it one paper review at a time, I figured I might as well put it out there for anyone to reference. With that being said, I give you The Massive List of Fountain Pen Friendly Paper Ratings.

A Few Things To Note

Before you dive in and start looking through the table, I want to say a few things.

  • If you’re wondering where they came from, all of these numbers are a result of my paper testing system.
  • Some paper quality can vary from batch to batch. A few manufacturers I’ve had issues with are Leuchtturm and Baron Fig. The numbers in this table are for the best paper sample I tested from any given brand.
  • Many paper brands have different names to denote different sizes or layouts. For example, you can find Apica CD 11 and CD 15 notebooks or Mnemosyne 181 and 195 notebooks. Both will have the same paper, but may be a different size or ruling.
  • Each column is sortable, so if you want to find papers with the highest shading or least ghosting, you can!
  • Keep in mind, the overall rating is a combination of all factors and speaks to the performance of a paper, but does not necessarily speak to how enjoyable any given paper actually is to use.
  • Many of these papers and notebooks have been reviewed on this site, but almost as many have not been reviewed yet, so if you’re looking for a review of a particular paper and can’t find it, that’s why.
Paper NameSheen (0-5)
Higher Is Better
Shading (0-5)
Higher Is Better
Bleed-Through (0-5)
Higher Is Better
Ghosting (0-5)
Higher Is Better
Feathering (0-5)
Higher Is Better
Dry Time (0-5)
Higher Is Better
Overall Rating (1-5)
Higher Is Better
Apica CD113454534.00
Apica Premium C.D.1234342.83
Awagami Takumi0344433.0
Baron Fig Vanguard II1344543.50
Berlin Notebook1235343.00
Black n' Red4355524.00
Kokuyo Campus2343533.33
Century Edition 3354533.83
Clairefontaine Basic2344543.67
Clairefontaine Triomphe3453533.83
CVS Caliber4353513.50
Fabriano EcoQua1343543.33
Exceed Bullet Journal2255533.67
Field Notes Clandestine0024152.00
Figurare2343533.33
G. Lalo Velin pur Coton3244543.67
G Lalo Vergé de France3243543.50
Graphilo5553413.83
Hahnemuhle Diary Flex0024141.83
Hanaduri Hanji1142442.67
HP Premium321245543.50
Itoya Romeo4445524.00
Jour and Etoffe Couleur Fil0123352.33
Kobe Liscio-12343533.33
Kokuyo ME3333433.17
Kunisawa1335232.83
Kyokuto Expedient1023152.00
Laconic Cliff1224442.83
Lamy Notebook2235533.33
Leuchtturm1343433.00
Life Bank Paper4353533.83
Life L Writing Paper5554524.33
Life Noble4353423.50
Logical Prime4553434.00
Maruai Basic Notebook0002151.33
Midori Color Notebook1233342.67
Midori MD4353533.83
Midori MD Cotton2242533.00
Minimalism Art Classic1334242.83
Mnemosyne3444544.00
North of Rosemont1234443.00
Pilot Fountain Pen Paper4353533.83
Profolio Oasis1334443.17
R by Rhodia0324532.83
Rhodia Dot Pad2344543.67
Ro Biki Note - New Chiffon Cream1024352.50
Soho Spark Journal1224132.17
Soumkine Notebook2242432.83
Stalogy2344443.50
Story Supply Co0024352.33
Strathmore Writing Pad0134452.83
Tsubame Note3354523.67
Tomoe River 52gsm5342513.33
Tomoe River 68gsm5353523.83
Wild Pages0243342.67
Yamamoto Cosmo Air Light4553513.83
Yoseka Notebook3533523.50

Did you know I have paper sample packs that include most of these papers? This allows you to try them out before buying an entire notebook! If you’re interested, head over to my shop and pick up a paper sample pack.

Comments 22

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  1. This is great, John. You are quickly going to become the go-to expert on paper.
    Do you know if Baron Fig uses the same paper in their Vanguard and Confidant notebooks?

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      Thanks, Bruce! I’m not sure if I want that title, but suppose it wouldn’t be that bad. 🙂
      As for Baron Fig, I have a Confidant and it has the same paper as the Vanguard II (the good paper) notebooks.

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      You’re welcome! I do have cost per A5 sheet in my individual review of each paper, but hesitate to include it here since I really wanted it to be about the performance of the paper itself and not so much about the value/performance ratio. Still, I suppose it would be useful so will add it to my list of things to do, either adding it here or maybe making a new post about it.

  2. Wow! I’ve been searching for this kind of resource for months. Thanks for sharing your research. Invaluable!!

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  3. Thank you so much for doing these paper reviews! Many people with fountain pens have a hard time figuring out what works for them, so this is really invaluable. 📄 ✨ And the fact you made the table sortable by feature is just awesome!✨

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      You’re welcome! I was in the same boat as most people and never knew which paper would work best, which is why I started doing all these tests. Glad you find the table and info helpful!

  4. I tend to stick to Rhodia and Claire Fontaine…but lately I have been enjoying my Levenger system….have you tested their paper and have any thoughts on it?

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      I haven’t tested Levenger paper before. I knew they had the paper system and their own inks (or used to at least), but didn’t know they had their own paper. I’ll have to get some and give it a try!

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  5. Hi John, Thanks for the great work! I wanted to point out that your page “How Different Papers Affect Fountain Pen Ink Sheen” claims Life Noble sheens more than Life “L” Writing Paper. Which is right?

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      You’re welcome! I’ll have to go back and look at my test papers for the other article and see how they look. It may be that the particular inks that I used showed a bit more sheen on the Life Noble versus Life L, while the inks in my standardized test show the opposite. Regardless, both are high-sheening papers that most people would probably have a hard time seeing any difference between.

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      Keen eye! I wrote the How Paper Affects Sheen article before I came up with a standardized test for papers, which means that some of the language may not be consistent with the “official” ratings on this page. While “a lot of sheen” may not seem to be consistent with the 3 rating it has here, I still stand by my assessment that it is a good-sheening paper.

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