Rhodia Dot Pad Review namiki vanishing point

Rhodia Dot Pad Review

John BosleyReviews 13 Comments

Rhodia has the distinction of being one of the most highly recommended papers when people are looking to upgrade from cheap paper to fountain pen friendly paper. Indeed, it is very fountain pen friendly and fairly easy to obtain! What makes it so popular? Is there something special about it or is it just a good choice for fountain pen users? In this review I’ll take a look at the Rhodia Dot Pad and try to figure out why Rhodia paper comes so highly recommended.

Rhodia Dot Pad Review cover trees

Rhodia is a name that most people will recognize.

“After using Rhodia paper, it should become obvious why it comes so highly recommended.”

First Impressions

Rhodia notepads are pretty straightforward. They have a cover and backing piece of cardboard and are filed with paper. That’s it. They are made for writing. The cover design on the Dot Pad is simple and attractive. The paper feels nice and smooth and the dots are fairly light and non-invasive. I don’t think the design of the notepad is meant to impress you. The paper is.

Rhodia Dot Pad Review cover

This is what the cover of the Dot Pad looks like.

The Details

Here are some details for the Rhodia Dot Pad:

  • Pages: 80
  • Paper Weight: 80gsm
  • Binding: Staple (top), Spiral
  • Page Style: Dot (5mm)
  • Size: A4, A5

Ink-handling characteristics (A table with the following properties can be found at the bottom of this post)

  • Sheen: Medium
  • Shading: Medium
  • Bleeding: Very Low
  • Ghosting: Low
  • Feathering: Very Low
  • Dry Time: Fast

Other features

  • Micro-perforated sheets
  • Semi-rigid cardboard backer
  • Available Colors: White, Black, Orange
Rhodia Dot Pad Review cover detail

While the paper is no different from other Rhodia notepads, the Dot Pad gets special branding.

Actual Use

Let me start out by saying I have both a regular lined Rhodia Notepad and the Dot Pad. After writing on both, I can’t tell any difference and all of the ink behavior seems to be the same on both. With that being said, the following info can be applied to both Rhodia Notepads and Dot Pads.

As I mentioned earlier, the notepads aren’t very fancy. The glossy cover material wraps around both the front and back of the notepad. Because of the way the notepad is constructed, the staples don’t appear on the back, so you don’t have to worry about them scratching your writing surface. On the back, there’s a semi-stiff piece of cardboard that should allow you to write without a surface underneath. The cover is creased so that it should cleanly and easily bend at the points where it wraps around the notepad.

Rhodia Dot Pad Review cover bends

Here you can see the creases in the cover to help it cleanly bend when opened.

The paper is a bright white, making it stand out from so many other papers that are not as bright or not as white. The light grey dots that make up the dot grid serve as great guides but don’t get in the way. I didn’t experience any ink resist when writing on them. Fun fact: Rhodia claims that the dots do not show up if you photocopy the paper. I didn’t get to try it out, but I thought that feature might be useful to some people.

Rhodia Dot Pad Review dots

Here you can see how light the dots are on the paper.

After using Rhodia paper, it should become obvious why it comes so highly recommended. It handles fountain pens extremely well! Across a variety of different pens and inks, I didn’t observe any feathering. Bleeding was low and only occurred when very heavy applications of ink (like a drop or very wet scribble) were applied to the paper. Ghosting is also low, so almost everyone should be comfortable using both sides of a sheet.

Rhodia paper has fast drying times. If waiting for ink to dry is an annoyance you can do without, you should seriously consider this paper. That’s not to say it’s instant, but it’s faster than many popular papers. Due to the lower dry times, not much sheen shows up. While some sheen is visible with high-sheening inks, don’t expect it to blow you away. Surprisingly, even though it has fast dry times, this paper shows some nice shading. Again, it’s not as much as many other papers I’ve used, but it’s more than I would expect from such fast dry times.

Rhodia Dot Pad paper test front

Rhodia Dot Pad paper test: Front

Rhodia Dot Pad paper test back

Rhodia Dot Pad paper test: Back

This paper is extremely smooth and nice to write on. Although Rhodia is owned by Clairefontaine, it is not nearly as slick as Clairefontaine paper. It has almost no feedback, but does offer a bit of resistance when you use it. Still, I have heard people say it is too smooth for them. Personally, I think it’s nice to write on, but the feeling is nothing special.


Rhodia has a reputation as being a reliable, easy to obtain fountain pen friendly paper, and for good reason. It handles pretty much anything you can throw at it with ease. It has great dry times and still shows some of the fun properties of ink like shading and sheen. In addition to being available from almost every pen retailer, it can be found in most office supply stores, as well as some art and hobby shops. If you’re ever in need of some good paper, it should comfort you to know that a pad of Rhodia is probably available nearby. If dot grid is your thing, you can’t go wrong with a Rhodia Dot Pad.

If you have a few extra minutes, give this fun history of Rhodia a read. I found it to be quite enjoyable.

Rhodia Dot Pad Review spine

Here is the spine of the Dot Pad.

If you’d like a bit more information about how I test papers and notebooks, I wrote an article about my paper rating system.

Interested in trying this paper before buying a notebook? Head over to my shop and pick up a paper sample pack.

Rhodia Dot Pad Review
  • Sheen (higher is better)
  • Shading (higher is better)
  • Bleeding (higher is better)
  • Ghosting (higher is better)
  • Feathering (higher is better)
  • Dry Time (higher is better)

Fountain Pen Love Overall Rating

Pros: Fast dry times, widely available, works great with fountain pens,
Cons: Kind of boring
Value Rating: 4.00 Stars, Cost per A5 sheet: $0.09
Who this notebook is for: Anyone who wants reliable paper and fast dry times
Upgrade to this notebook from: Fabriano EcoQua Notebook
Upgrade from this notebook to: Apica CD15 Notebook

Comments 13

  1. Agree 100% on everything you said. The shading is not the best, but comparable to Tomoe for sure! I just wish they made the amazing Webnotebook or Rhodiarama formats with this paper, and not the yellow thick one prone to feathering :S

  2. I forgot to add that i wish you had a 3´5 stars rating. Just checked your review on the Clairefontaine basic notebook and you also gave it 4 stars on ghosting. There is quite a bit of difference between the 2. I am super picky with ghosting and the Clairefontaine 90 grams shows less than the Rhodia 80 grams for sure. I found my favorite blog! Thanks so much for your posts 🙂

    1. Post

      That’s interesting that you see a lot more ghosting on the Rhodia than the Clairefontaine. I feel like they’re pretty close, but of course it’s going to depend on which pens and inks you use. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog. Thanks so much for reading!

  3. I’m delighted to hear that Rhodia DotPads are made in Alsace, one of my favorite places in the world. Many superb wines are made there as well, and one of the finest surviving antique harpsichords lives in the museum at Colmar (yes, I’ve played it). I write on the DotPads constantly, and can’t recommend them highly enough.

    1. Post
  4. Agreed and i love rhodia notebooks but have an issue w their tablets. They consistently tear imperfectly despite the perforations. Its a pet peeve that paper should remove perfectly every time. Clairefontsine glue binding wins for tablets

    1. Post

      I agree that the micro-perforations aren’t always perfect, which is definitely the expectation. Glue binding is nice, as long as it doesn’t leave little pieces of glue at the top of the sheet.

  5. It is said that the paper in Rhodia pads is made by Clairefontaine. I have always thought of Rhodia as a way of saying 80gsm – not the full Clairefontaine 90gsm.
    I can buy the Rhodia pads easily enough, but only if they are square gridded – I don’t like them. I want the plain paper ones. It’s easy enough to write straight on a small pad. For some reason the plain ones are more expensive, if I can find them.

    1. Post

      As far as I know they are made by Clairefontaine, but they’re not the same paper. I much prefer Clairefontaine to Rhodia. I agree that the blank Rhodia are much harder to find. I actually can’t recall seeing them in my local shops.

  6. I love the feel of the Rhodia but have had a hard time getting enjoyment out of my dot pad since switching to Tomoe River and Midori, which both show lots of sheen. I find the Rhodia sucks up the ink too quickly for much faster dry times, but it eliminates all the sheen; I have a really hard time getting sheen to show on rhodia, it makes my Krishna Moonview 2 look like it’s just plain old dark blue and not the sheen monster that it is!

    1. Post

      It’s true, Dan. I really think that Rhodia is good for how it handles fountain pens, but it’s just no fun to use. Each type of paper has its own strengths and weaknesses and what works for some may not work for others. Good thing we have a lot of variety!

  7. Based on my positive experience with the Rhodia Dot Pad, I purchased a lined Rhodiarama journal not realizing that it would use a different type of paper. The Rhodiarama paper is thicker and has a kind of coating on it, which I really don’t like. Can you help me understand the differences in these papers? Is there a journal with paper more akin to the Dot Pad paper?

    1. Post

      I’m not terribly familiar with the Rhodiarama notebooks, Sue. I’m not sure if Rhodia has any notebooks that use their regular paper. As far as I know, it’s only in the notepads, but I could be mistaken. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

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