(Pocket-lint) - Touchscreens rule the world, but they're not without their shortcomings. If you've got chunky fingers that are prone to misclicks or if you're finding that finger-print smudges ruin your viewing experience on a sunny day - then a stylus pen could be just the ticket for you.
Not all stylus pens are created equally, though. Some are two-in-one devices that offer a capacitive end on one side and a ballpoint pen on the other, while others allow you to switch out the size of the rubber stub.
Plus, while most of the picks below are entry-level devices, there are also a couple of alternatives to the top-tier stylus pens, which are ideal for those producing digital drawings.
To help you find the best pen for your touchscreen adventures, explore our top picks below.
What is the best stylus pen?
- Meko Universal Stylus
- Bargains Depot Stylus
- Ankace Stylus Pen
- Liberrway 2-in-1 Stylus Pen
- Werpower Stylus Pen
Our Top Pick: Best Stylus Pen
Meko Universal Stylus (Two-Pack)
- Swappable tips
- Great accuracy with ballpoint style tips
- Limited colour options
Meko's pair of stylus pens are ingeniously designed to give you two-in-one control over your touchscreen.
On one end, you have a ballpoint-like feel for more accurate control, with clear discs fitted onto the end to allow you to view where your notes are being made.
For sketches or rougher notes, simply flip the aluminium barrel and use the fibre tip, which can also be switched out with more fittings.
Stylus pens we also recommend
While the Meko Universal Stylus is at the top of our list, there are a bunch of fantastic alternatives for different use cases. Here are four other excellent options worth looking at.
Bargains Depot Stylus (Four-Pack)
- You get four pens
- Additional tips included
- Paint is prone to scratches
Bargains Depot offers users the same two-in-one style as other stylus pens, with one end giving close control and another designed for drawing.
Both tips are replaceable, thanks to the 20 additional tips, and the four-pack is available in a number of different colour combinations.
It's a really neat and affordable way to always have a dual-purpose stylus on hand.
Ankace Stylus Pen
- Long battery life
- Type-C charging
- Quite pricey
If you're in the market for a more high-performance stylus, Ankace's does a good job of adding in some nifty features to enhance the experience.
The price tag is naturally a bit higher, but, if you value quality over quantity, and have an iPad that released in 2018 or later, you'll be able to enjoy precise control, palm rejection (meaning you won't have to wear an anti-friction glove when drawing) and the tilt-to-thicken function.
You will need to charge it, though the battery life is very solid, allowing for 20 hours of continuous use or 90 days of standby time.
Liberrway 2-in-1 Stylus Pen (12-Pack)
- They work as regular pens too
- Incredibly cheap
- The construction is not very sturdy
If you're constantly flitting between real notepads and your touchscreen device, Liberrway has a different kind of two-in-one stylus to consider.
Instead of featuring two kinds of touchscreen-ready nibs on either side of the barrel, one is a regular ballpoint ink pen that can be twisted into action, while the other is a regular rubber tip for electronic devices.
This package also represents excellent value, giving you a dozen to lose in bags, in the office or hand to lucky strangers in need.
Werpower Stylus Pen
- Great price
- Palm rejection works
- Fragile charging connector
Werpower gives those considering the Apple Pencil a budget-friendly alternative - and, while you'll have to have an iPad from 2018 or later, the company's stylus pen does offer a couple of neat features.
Palm rejection ensures that you can easily rest your hand on the screen without it interfering, and the 1.5mm tip gives improved accuracy over entry-level pens, which are essentially just wider rubber-style nibs.
You will have to keep it charged, naturally, but battery life lasts around 8-10 hours and it'll only take around an hour to get back to 100%.
Other products we considered
When initially deciding what we believe to be the best stylus pens currently available, we spent hours testing and researching. No matter the subject area, we always consider a range of factors when it comes to recommending devices - and apply the same process before a new device enters our top five selections. We don't just take into account our own testing, either, but also consumer reviews, brand quality and value.
In all of our roundups, there are also many products we test that don't make the final cut. Since they may be the right fit for some people, however, we've listed them below.
How to choose a stylus pen
With such a variety of stylus pens available, it's hard to know which one to buy. So, to help you decide, here are a couple of things worth thinking about before making your purchase.
What will you be using the stylus for?
For some people, it's all about keeping their screen smudge-free. For others, accuracy will be highly important for drawing or hand-written notes.
If you know you will need the utmost accuracy, we'd recommend a ballpoint style stylus, or better yet an active stylus for devices like the iPad.
Regular rubber nib stylus pens work great as a finger alternative for day-to-day use but you might find them a little lacking when it comes to the finer details.
Do you need a real pen too?
Some of our top picks are two-in-one designs that allow you to take notes on paper as well as use it with your phone or tablet.
If you're that type of person that often needs both a pen and a stylus, these can make life easier as you'll only have to carry one thing with you, definitely worth your consideration.
More about this story
Every product in this list has been assessed thoroughly to ensure it will perform exactly as a recommended pick should.
We've thought about everything, factoring in how each model will perform when being used for drawing, note-taking and when used in conjunction with a variety of different devices. This meant diving into the key specs and features, like nib width, pressure sensitivity, charging compatibility and more. From there, we've then crossed our judgements with each individual price tag to ensure they represent good value for money, too.
As with any roundup, it's not possible to deliver a list that works for every type of user, but we lean on the experiences and opinions of the wider Pocket-lint team - as well as thoroughly assessing the areas above - in order to do our best in this regard.
What we always tend to avoid when compiling these picks are needless spec comparisons and marketing lines; we just want to provide an easy to understand summary that gives you an idea of what each stylus is like to use. Our verdicts are concise, but this is purely in the interest of brevity.