Copic Sketch vs Copic Ciao Compared- Which Is Better?

Copics are the top-notch markers in the creative market. We’re talking high-quality non-toxic ink that is streak-free, an immense color collection, and markers that last for a long time. It’s not a surprise that they are so popular.

But despite how amazing they are, Copic decided to make the buying process even more complicated by introducing different marker types. Good thing I’m here to help 🙂

I’m going to be comparing two of these Copic marker types, the Copic Sketch and the Copic Ciao. And to make your life easier, I’ll show you the pros and cons of each of them.

In the end, I will reveal which of them is the ultimate game-changer and my recommendation!

I also look into each product type’s:

  • Colour Range
  • Pricing
  • Durability
  • Nibs options
  • Look and feel
  • Ink quality and capacity
  • And finally, the preferred user
Features Copic Sketch Copic Ciao
Color Has 358 available colors Has 180 available colors
Price Expensive A bit cheaper
Nib options Has 3 available nibs
(Medium Broad Nib,
Super Brush Nib, and the
Medium Round Nib)
Has 2 available nibs
(Medium Broad Nib and
Super Brush Nib.)
Best for: Professional artists and creatives Beginners, hobbyists, and children
Ink Quality Up to par Up to par
Ink Refills 12 refills per refiller 15 refills per refilled


Check out the Copic Sketch and Copic Ciao on Amazon!

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Color Range

Copic has an enormous color range which outperforms all other marker brands in the market.

Why is that a big deal? Because a wider color range means effortless blending and more creativity in your coloring.

Speaking of colors, Copic Ciao has 180 available colors and that is amazing. However, this becomes a problem for anyone who does realism art with markers. There are so many gaps in the Ciao color palette, that it makes realism coloring kind of frustrating.

Copic Sketch, on the other hand, beats the Copic Ciao hands down with a color palette full of 358 different colors! That’s more than the total number of countries in the world!

This is one of the reasons why Sketch stands out, particularly for coloring professionals and creatives. Though not everyone would love the idea of having all 358 colors. Decent art can still be made with just a few basic colors.


If there’s anything I’ve learned in life is that good things cost money and Copics are no different. They are super expensive! Especially when compared to other cheaper alternatives like Ohuhu or Arrtz.

A single Copic Ciao is usually a few dollars cheaper than Copic Sketch. In other words, there is not a huge price difference when you buy them one at a time. However, if bought in sets there can be a huge price difference!

Even though Copics are pricey, (I mean it’s expected) you can still own some high-quality markers by purchasing Copic Ciao.

Copic Ciao is a much more affordable alternative to Copic Sketch, particularly when bought as in marker sets. It’s an answer to a Copic prayer if you are on a tight budget.

Nib Options

All Copics have two marker ends each with two different nibs;  the Medium Broad nib and the Super Brush nib.

The Medium Broad nib is hard and chiseled, making it a great fit for calligraphic strokes.

The Super Brush nib on the other end is softer and has a pointed tip. It’s almost like an actual brush, allowing you to create lush free-flowing thick or thin strokes.

Copic Ciao has only these two basic nibs mentioned. Copic Sketch has another nib option, the Medium Round Nib. It’s a bullet-shaped nib that gives a medium-sized stroke, making it perfect for detailing and sketching too.

Yet again, Copic Sketch wins supreme against Copic Ciao in this category by offering more nib options.

Ink Quality

I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again. Copics have excellent ink quality and none of their product types comes with inferior ink.

Copic prides itself on that notion. So even if you get the cheaper Copic Ciao, you aren’t getting anything less.


Did you know you could use a Copic marker for a whole year or even more? All you have to do is refill the marker when it’s dry and change the nib when it gets frayed or damaged.

The good news is that both Copic Sketch and Ciao can last long. However, Copic Sketch beats Copic Ciao in the long run. I know what you’re thinking, ‘How is that possible?’

Well, Ciao markers have a few design flaws with their caps. Their soft plastic caps over time become lax and tend to no longer seal properly. And these caps are easily prone to breaking if you are forcefully open and close them all the time.

Copic Sketch caps are built a little differently. With a stronger cap that’s less prone to breaking, cracking, or becoming lax, Copic Sketch is more likely to do your bidding in the long run.

Look and Feel

Copic Sketch and Ciao markers are shaped differently. Copic Sketch has an oval and slightly bigger barrel than Copic Ciao’s circular-shaped barrel.

Chunky pen lovers can’t go wrong with a Copic Sketch and people with small hands might feel more comfortable with a smaller Ciao Copic.

In the end, their design doesn’t have much effect on their performance, this is based primarily on personal preference.

Ink Capacity

I mentioned earlier that Copic markers are refillable and that’s why you can use them over and over again. You will need to buy the ink refillers for each marker but it is cheaper than getting a brand new one.

Sketch Copics have bigger ink tanks and can keep in more ink, so they don’t dry out as fast. Ciao Copics, on the other hand, dry out faster since they hold less ink. You’ll have to refill them more often.

Best For?

Copic Ciao is great for:

  • Kids. With their plastic caps full of air holes, it allows a child to breathe when mistakenly swallowed. Also, it’s a smaller marker for smaller hands!
  • Beginners. Ciao is much easier for a coloring novice to use.
  • Copic lovers on a budget. Anyone can still enjoy Copic benefits with the cheaper Copic Ciao.
  • Coloring hobbyists. Just want to pass time coloring away, the Copic Ciao is also for you.

Copic Sketch is great for:

  • Anyone that does a lot of detailed designs. The Medium Round Nib, which is available for Copic Sketch, is the right nib for the job.
  • Fashion designers. Its 358 colors are just what they need to make another epic style.
  • Professional artists and illustrators. Just look at Youtuber and artist, Jazza.
  • Beginners and anyone who can afford it.

Check out the Copic Sketch and Copic Ciao on Amazon!

The Ultimate Game Changer

Time to announce my preferred choice…

… which is SKETCH!

Ciao Copics are still a great choice but ultimately, Sketch Copic is the best in my opinion due to its durability and wider color options. I’d recommend Sketch for both professionals and beginners alike.

If the Copic Sketch is too costly for you, the Copic Ciao markers (especially when bought in sets) are budget-friendly.

If Copics are way out of your budget, there are cheaper alternatives like Ohuhu, Arteza, and Arrtz markers.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. At no cost to you, I may receive a commission if you buy through a link on this page. Read more here.

About the author: My name is Marcus, I am a lawyer (LL.M.) and the founder of this website. Besides sometimes doing lawyer stuff, I like to draw and improve my skills as a “digital artist”, and I write about what I learn on this website. If you want to know more about me or reach out, then you can click here.

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