If you’ve ever had to buy a $40 iPhone dongle for your headphones that probably costs all but $0.50 to make, you’re probably not surprised that the Apple Pencil costs $130. But don’t worry, you don’t have to dip into your savings account just to have a stylus that will work with your iPad or iPhone. The best Apple Pencil alternatives are just as great as the official Apple stylus, and these products will save you quite a bit of coin as well. That said, don’t jump on the first Apple Pencil alternative you find. There are plenty of awful imitations out there too, which is why we did some digging to find the best stylus for iPad and iPad Pro. All of the options below are worth your time and money.
Shopping for the Best Apple Pencil Alternatives
If you’re looking for the best stylus for iPad devices, then the Apple Pencil is always a safe chocie. However, there are similar products that cost as little as $30. The best stylus for iPad and iPad Pro should have the following features:
- Palm rejection (so you can rest your hand on the touchscreen while writing)
- Long battery life
- Comfort and accuracy
- Programmable shortcuts
Apple Pencil, Apple schmencil — who needs the name brand when you have great alternatives that are far more affordable. We’ve found some serious deals on Apple Pencil alternatives, so along with getting a smart stylus that’s comfortable with useful features, you’ll be saving some serious coin, too.
Below you’ll find our recommendations for the best stylus for iPads.
1. Adonit Note+
The Adonit Note+ has exceptional features, a great battery life and is half the price of the Apple Pencil. The stylus is compatible with both the sixth generation 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro as well as third-generation iPad Air and iPad Mini 5. The Note+ has a couple of nifty shortcuts you can use to speed up your writing. You can quickly erase, undo and redo with a push of a button. And the palm rejection lets you comfortably rest your hand on your iPad as you write without any issues. And you’ll be able to use the Adonit Note+ for a lengthy 10 hours before it needs a recharge. When it is time to refuel, a quick five minutes on the charger will give you an hour of usage time. It’s a great alternative to the Apple Pencil.
Also consider the lower-priced Adonit Note, which works with older iPads and costs just $40. No matter which version you choose, Adonit makes some of the best stylus pens in the world right now.
2. Logitech Crayon
The Logitech Crayon is the closest thing to the Apple Pencil there is. It’s also around $70 cheaper. It uses the same technology as the Apple Pencil, so there isn’t any need to pair it using Bluetooth. Simply turn it on and you can start writing on your iPad. The stylus has the same compatibility as our best overall pick, the Adonit Note+. There isn’t pressure sensitivity like there is with the Apple Pencil, but if you angle the Crayon as you draw you’ll be able to change the thickness of your lines. For the price, it’s hard to beat this iPad Pencil alternative.
3. Meko Universal Stylus
Compatible with a variety of different devices beyond iPad, the Meko Universal is great for taking notes on your device. The tiny disc on the point helps you with precision markups, and the rubber point glides softly across the device surface. It’s comfortable to hold and available in a handful of colors to fit your personal style.
4. Adonit Mark
For only a 10 spot, the Adonit Mark Stylus serves as a great alternative the Apple Pencil. It’s comfortable to hold thanks to even weight distribution throughout the pen, while the point makes for smooth writing on the screen. Don’t let the cheap price fool you, this is one of the best styluses for iPads, plain and simple.
5. Wacom Bamboo Sketch
If you’re up for spending a little more on an Apple pencil alternative (but still under $100) the Bamboo Sketch is a worthy investment. It has a realistic pen feel, with a pressure-sensitive tip for more accurate markings. You can control the output and change out pen nibs with a push of a button. It connects to your iPad via Bluetooth and comes with a carrying case. A little extra money goes a long way with the Wacom Bamboo Sketch.
6. The Friendly Swede Stylus
Any artist needs more than a single tool to create, and digital creators are no different. While artists of the past may have had paintbrushes, pencils and charcoal, the modern artist will also need a smart stylus, too. The best iPad stylus will make it easy to create digital works of art, and that’s where the Friendly Swede Stylus comes in. You can swap the head for a paintbrush — yes, an actual brush that works on your iPad. For more fine, detailed work, you can use the precision pinpoint. And when you need to quickly jot something down on an actual piece of paper, it has a ball-point pen head, too. It’s a jack of all trades, making it one of the best stylus for iPads, especially if you’re the creative type.
7. Mixoo Capacitive Stylus Pen
BEST FOR WRITING
With one silicon disc tip and a fiber tip, this Apple pencil alternative helps note takers feel comfortable while taking precision notes on their iPad, or other devices. The grip is rubber and lightly grooved to provide a comfortable feel as you write. And the Mixoo comes with two replacement tips just in case. It’s an affordable iPad stylus solution for digital note takers.
8. Milemont Stylus Pen
The Milemont Stylus provides a lengthy 10-hour battery life, and quick charging capabilities to go along with a professional look and comfortable design. And there’s no need for Bluetooth connection — simply click the top button and you’re ready to write on any iPad. The simple design not only makes it a favorite among Amazon users, but one of the best stylus for iPad options overall.
9. Xiron Stylus
Xiron might not have as many features as other stylus replacements for iPad, but it connects automatically to your iPad and is super affordable. The Xiron is great for taking quick notes as it doesn’t need to connect through Bluetooth, just turn it on and go. It does lack pressure sensitivity and palm rejection, but the Xiron comes with a glove so you can still rest your hand on the display as you write or draw. Beyond the inexpensive price tag, the other advantage of going the Xiron route is the long 12-hour battery life. It’s not the best by any stretch, but it is a viable, affordable option.
BEST WIDE GRIP
While it’s not as elegantly slim as other styluses, the wide body of the Cosmonaut is surprisingly comfortable to grip. This is a great Apple Pencil alternative, especially for children; it works on any iPad or iPhone surface and the wide grip is great for a kid to maneuver and manipulate. Without any pressure sensitivity or undo, redo features, it’s might not be as useful for more detailed oriented digital artists, but it’s a comfortable option, and certainly a smart one for those with kids.