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We Found the Best Notebooks for Students Going Back To School on a Budget — Starting at $1.76 Each

Being a student is often a full-time job, and you want to give yourself the best possible chance for success. That means making sure that you have top-tier supplies, including the best notebooks for students. You likely already know exactly what kind of notebooks you need or prefer, and there are a surprising number of options to choose from — spiral notebooks, composition books, 1 subject notebooks, 3-subject notebooks, college rule, etc.

Nearly every class in school requires taking notes, so every student has likely mastered some sort of system that works well for them. Some notebooks have wider lines, smaller margins and even pages with space for a title, date or to-dos. The best notebooks will suit your preferred note-taking style.

Most importantly, the best notebooks let you cross an item off your back-to-school shopping list without spending too much money, and we’ve found a collection of notebooks for students starting at just $1.76 each. Keep reading to get a headstart on your back-to-school shopping and hopefully save some money in the process.


How To Find the Best Notebook for Students

Although people are jotting notes down on laptops these days, there’s nothing quite like handwritten notes. Handwriting can also help you retain information better than typing. However, notebooks aren’t a one-size-fits-all purchase, so there are certain features to look out for in your search.

  • Subject: Notebooks usually come in single subject, three subject or five subject options. Sometimes these multi-subject notebooks have dividers and tabs included helping you stay organized.
  • Binding: Some have a classic sewn binding, which can be a hassle when it comes to ripping out pages or holding your notebook like a pad. Ring binding, on the other hand, can prove more durable and is less messy to rip pages out of. Some ring binder-style notebooks also have perforated pages.
  • Spacing: This will depend on your style of handwriting, but most people prefer notebooks with wider spacing. With college-ruled spacing, however, you’ll fit more on each page.
  • Paper size: A4 is the standard paper size and is best for note-taking. B5 is the next most popular size, while A6 notebooks are generally pocket-sized.

If you wait too long, all the good notebooks will already be sold out. These are some of the best notebooks for students to buy ahead of the 2022 school year.

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1. Five Star Spiral Notebooks with Pockets, 6 Pack


If you’re going back to school this fall, then you won’t be the only one using these classic spiral notebooks, which conveniently come in a pack of six. These notebooks have a near-perfect rating from Amazon shoppers, and affordable Five Star notebooks like these have been used by generations of students.

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Courtesy of Amazon

2. Oxford Spiral Notebook, 6-Pack


Oxford isn’t as well known as Five Star, which is why we’ve named them “Runner Up” instead of “Best Overall,” but there are a lot of good reasons to add these single-subject notebooks to your shopping cart. As the #1 best-selling notebooks on Amazon, they have thousands of perfect ratings from customers and cost just $1.76 per notebook. These particular Oxford notebooks are college rule, but wide rule notebooks are also available.

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Courtesy of Amazon


3. Amazon Basics College Ruled Bound Spiral Notebook, 5-Pack


This five-pack of college-bound spiral notebooks each contains 100 sheets. The covers are color-coded, and you can choose between solid colors or an attractive lattice pattern. A more comprehensive option than five-subject notebooks, this set lets you dedicate an entire book to each subject, keeping you better organized. The wire binding keeps pages securely attached, while a coil lock prevents snags. There’s also a three-hole punch option to add a binder.

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Courtesy of Amazon

4. Staples 3-Subject Notebook


If you have a ravenous note-taker who always runs out of space before the end of the year, this 3-subject notebook may be the solution. It has three separate sections for different classes or projects and college-ruled pages for the maximum amount of words per sheet. It also comes in several colors and has a durable cover to protect the sheets from damage.

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Courtesy of Staples

5. Five Star 5-Subject Wide Ruled Spiral Notebook


Five Star has become the most reliable name in school supplies, and they live up to that reputation with some of the best notebooks for students. This five-subject wide-ruled spiral notebook has 200 ink-bleed-resistant pages that easily and neatly tear out. It’s also guaranteed to last the full year with a durable, water-resistant cover and a Spiral Lock wire to prevent coil snags.

Read More: Essential Back-To-School Shopping List 

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Courtesy of Target

6. Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook


It’s 2022, so of course there are smart notebooks if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly note-taking option for your student. The Rocketbook Smart Reusable Notebook has 32 dotted grid pages that can be fully wiped clean with a damp cloth for endless use. It allows you to blast your notes into any of the popular cloud services, so your notes will be saved online without having to use a laptop or tablet in class.

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Courtesy of Amazon

7. Planting Tree Paper Bind Ruled Notebook 5-Piece Set


A more low-key alternative to the bright and glaring covers of many composition notebooks, these B5 ruled notebooks come in a set of five and each contains 30 pages. Color-coded by their binders, these budget-friendly notebooks covered in brown paper are loved by many. One buyer says, “They are the absolute best. Paper feels great, not too thick but doesn’t bleed.” If you want to avoid the before-school chaos at Staples, order this Muji set instead.

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Courtesy of Muji

8. Rifle Paper Co Pomegranate Ruled Notebook


A timeless and creative print for any age group, Rifle Paper Co.’s pomegranate ruled notebook is an illustrated twist on a classic. This 80-page classic is comprised of a canvas paper cover with a white paper interior and saddle-stitched binding. A welcome choice for artistic students, this versatile and genderless option is unique enough for adults to add to their writing arsenal as well.

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Courtesy of Rifle Paper Co

9. RETTACY College Ruled Composition Notebooks


These classy, faux leather-bound composition notebooks with a built-in elastic closure come in a two-pack. Even the pickiest students will appreciate the soft, sophisticated cover and glossy, high-grade numbered pages within. Each notebook contains a back pocket, table of contents and bookmarks as well as a sticky notes divider. When you consider all the freebies, premium materials and expensive aesthetics, it’s no wonder that this two-pack has so many rave reviews.

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Courtesy of Amazon

10. Yoment 5-Subject Notebook With Dividers & Tabs


Dealing with lost notebooks is the worst. For students who have trouble staying organized, this five-subject spiral notebook with built-in dividers is a necessity. Sold in both medium and large sizes, this notebook contains f120 pages total and a protective, waterproof hardcover. Color coding is visible from the cover, which also features a built-in ruler. And a punched hole that can be used as a pen insertion.

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Courtesy of Amazon

11. High-Quality Paper Double Ringed Ruled Notebook


A useful alternative to bound notebooks, spiral notebooks make it easier to flip pages thanks to their ring binding. They can also be stored in binders, and ripping out a single page won’t ruin the rest of the book. This black, double-ringed notebook is sold in B6, A5 and A6 formats. Buyers love how smooth the paper feels to write on, and the hard cover protects your pages from damage.

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Courtesy of Muij

12.  Yoobi Spiral College Ruled 1 Subject Notebook


If you’re looking for a one-subject notebook that looks good, holds up and gets the job done without too many frills, this is a great choice. It has 100 college-ruled, three-hole-punched perforated pages and an interior paper pocket for holding loose sheets. It’s also super affordable and comes in a few fun colors.

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Courtesy of Target

13. MiracleBind Notebook


This cool lizard-like hard cover notebook for students comes in purple, black or pink for a great-looking and highly functional option. The pages can be removed, repositioned and reinserted, which means that you can keep the shell and add more sheets as needed. It also includes self-adhesive tabs to customize index, cover and spine, a repositionable vinyl pocket and twin-wire binding, making it super flexible, durable and chic.

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Courtesy of Quill

14. National Kolor Kraft Cover Notebook


Some kids, especially younger ones, tend to write in a larger font. It’ll help them keep things neater and make better use of space if they have a notebook like this with wider lines. It’s also spiral bound with 80 college-ruled, Xtreme white sheets and a bright blue cover that your student will love.

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Courtesy of Amazon

15. Wide Ruled 1 Subject Spiral Notebook


For classes that don’t require a ton of notes, it’s nice to have something on hand that won’t take up too much room in a backpack but has enough room for whatever you need to write. This notebook for students has a flexible paperboard cover with 70 wide-ruled sheets, so it’s compact while making the best use of space. It’s also super cheap, easy to flip and comes in a variety of color options.

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Courtesy of Target

16. TOPS FocusNotes 1-Subject Notebook


For the students who struggle to stay organized, it could be helpful to have a notebook with a built-in system to make sure they stay focused and don’t miss any details. This notebook has an efficient format with designated spaces for date, purpose, notes, summary and a cue column to identify major themes or jot down homework for the next class. The no-snag coil is also a huge plus.

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Courtesy of Amazon

17. Unison College Ruled Solid Composition Notebook


There’s nothing more familiar than this OG of hardcover composition books with sewn binding. Plus, at 0.50 cents a pop, you really can’t go wrong stocking up with a few of them. This 80-page college-ruled notebook offers great value for the price, and the easy-to-read label on the front quickly lets people know your info in case you ever misplace it.

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Courtesy of Target

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