Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

The Best Paper For Fountain Pens

Searching for the best paper for one’s fountain pen is a very common quest in the pen world. Like fountain pen ink, paper is relatively affordable and sold in unlimited varieties so this is a hunt that can last for decades.

Let’s cut down on that search time with some suggestions on the best fountain pen paper.

What Is Fountain Pen Paper?

Fountain pen paper is not a specific, or defined thing, but rather any paper that people feel is well-suited for use with a fountain pen. Different people will feel differently about papers, but there are a number of papers that are generally accepted to be “fountain pen-friendly.”

There is no ISO standard for fountain pen paper the way there is for paper sizes or pen refills. Fountain pen paper is whatever you think it is!

What Makes For Good Fountain Pen Paper?

The qualities for good fountain pen paper are going to vary based on who you ask, but they will generally have the same resistance to potential fountain pen ink defects. Notable fountain pen ink-to-paper defects include bleeding, feathering, and show-through (ghosting). A good paper will minimize these to the extent possible.

Where debate comes up is for qualities like quick dry times. Many people, left-handed individuals in particular, will prefer paper with fast dry times. But fast drying often means more feathering and and less sheen.

Top Fountain Pen Paper Paper

There is a lot of opinion involved here, but the items listed will be combination of our top paper for fountain pens as well as papers that that community at wide likes to use. Keep in mind, these are our favorite papers! These papers appear in all sorts of different notebooks, notebook sizes, and bindings, some of which we’ve listed below each entry, but that list is by no means exhaustive.

Midori MD Paper

Midori MD paper is the company’s high-end diary paper that has been produced since the 1960s. It’s smooth, but not insanely smooth, and holds up very well to ink. This isn’t paper that generally seems too special or unique, but it’s really a great all round paper.

Found In

  • Midori MD Notebook A5
  • Midori MD Notebook B6
  • Midori MD Notebook Journal

Tomoe River

Tomoe River is at once a great paper and an overrated paper. It’s high level of ink resistance makes for very slow drying times, but when ink dry, they look fantastic. Seemingly pedestrian inks look great and high sheen inks look fantastic.

Found In

  • Tomoe River 68gsm Loose Paper


Silvine paper is rather rough, even more so than Midori’s cotton, and rather absorbent, but it’s super pleasant to us. The paper is heavy (90gsm) and tough enough to hold up to a full paper of writing, front and paper. Silvine paper is found in a number of sizes of handsome red notebooks.

The paper is for people who love feedback and control, not butter-on-ice smoothness, so know what you are getting before you track this notebook down. This is especially true because while the notebooks are easy enough to find in the UK, you don’t see them too often in the US.

Found In

  • Silvine Project Notebook

Midori Cotton

Midori Cotton paper is a high quality paper, made in Japan, out of 20% real cotton. Cotton makes for absorbent, fast-drying paper with a really nice texture to it. The MD Cotton paper is more textured than Midori’s standard paper so make sure you know what you are buying.

Found In

  • Midori Cotton Paper Pad A4
  • Midori Cotton Paper Pad A5

Runners Up


Rhodia paper, usually housed in an iconic orange pad, is relatively affordable and super popular, at least in part because it’s so easy to find. Rhodia paper is extremely smooth and coated so the paper is slow to dry. This is a bad choose for lefties and people who are prone to smearing paper, but it’s a good paper overall.

If you like to buy local then you can almost certainly find Rhodia notebooks nearby.

Maruman Mnemosyne

Mnemosyne is very similar to a Rhodia paper, just a bit smoother (maybe?) and and packages in cooler looking notebooks.¬†Mnemosyne notebooks are harder to find and a good deal more expensive though so while it’s quite nice, it generally isn’t something you need to track down unless you find that it comes in a notebook size that is just perfect for you.