11 Of The Best Moleskine Alternatives

Moleskine’s luxury notebooks stand out from the competition, thanks to sturdy covers and premium paper.

The Italian company is known for producing professional notebooks for journaling or sketching.

Moleskine notebooks come in a variety of styles, but you may not always find one that matches your specific needs.

Notebooks from Moleskine are also a little pricey compared to some of the alternatives.

If you want the same quality at a lower price, there are many notebooks like Moleskine for all your writing, drawing, and note-taking needs.

What to Look for in Moleskine-Alternative Notebooks

Moleskine notebooks are sleek, stylish, and durable. The classic Moleskine notebook comes with a thick, flat cover and sewn binding that allows it to lie flat.

When looking for alternatives to these high-quality notebooks, pay attention to the following features:

  • Paper weight
  • Page layout
  • Number of pages
  • Binding
  • Cover
  • Size

The average weight for notebook paper is between 70 GSM and 120 GSM. The weight of the paper and its finish determine how well it works with different writing instruments.

For example, a heavier paper is recommended when using a fountain pen. A lighter paper works well with ballpoint pens and pencils.

When examining the layout of the page, consider whether you want ruled or unruled sheets.

Some layouts also include calendars, checklists, and other features for specific uses.

Moleskine notebooks typically have sewn binding instead of spiral binding along with durable leather or PU leather covers and flaps for storing cards.

The sewn binding is a necessary feature if you want the notebook to lie flat when open as a true Moleskine does.

With these features in mind, let’s compare seven of the best alternatives to Moleskine notebooks.

11 Best Moleskine Notebook Alternatives

The Leuchtturm1917 notebook closely resembles a Moleskine notebook due to the PU leather cover and stitched binding.

It can lie completely flat when open, allowing you to write to the end of the margins without damaging the spine.

The notebook includes 249 numbered pages. The 80 GSM paper is ink-proof and suitable for most types of pens, markers, and pencils.

Instead of ruled or unruled pages, the notebook includes a dotted layout, offering a versatile design for everything from note-taking to scheduling.

Pros:

  • High-quality stitching
  • Gusseted pocket for storing loose papers
  • Ability to open completely flat
  • Premium paper that helps prevent ink bleeding
  • Eight perforated and detachable sheets

Cons:

  • Using fountain pens may cause ghosting on the paper
  • The dots are difficult to see in low light

Northbooks USA Eco Graph Paper Notebook

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For those wanting the most environmentally friendly option, the Northbooks USA Eco Notebook may be the right choice. The cover is made from 50% recycled paper while the pages are 30% recycled paper.

The weight of the paper is 90 GSM, which is heavy enough to prevent bleeding or ghosting. The notebook measures 7 x 10 inches and includes 96 pages.

The pages are available in different layouts including graph, dotted, ruled, and blank, covering every possible use for a notebook.

Pros:

  • It is partially comprised of recycled materials
  • All paper is sustainably sourced in the USA
  • 90 GSM paper prevents bleeding
  • It features a stylish rustic look

Cons:

  • It only includes 48 sheets (96 pages)
  • The cream-colored pages may not work well for drawing

Maggift Hardcover Notebook

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The Maggift Hardcover Notebook provides a great value, with 120 sheets of paper at a low price. The notebook measures 8.5 x 5.7 inches and easily slips into travel bags or laptop bags.

The cover is made from premium PU leather. It’s a hardcover notebook with a slightly textured pattern, an elastic ribbon enclosure, a pen loop, and an internal accordion pocket.

The paper weighs 80 GSM. The thickness of the paper may cause ghosting or bleeding when using a fountain pen but it works well with ballpoint pens and pencils.

Pros:

  • The high-quality cover protects pages
  • It includes 120 sheets (240 pages)
  • The ruled pages feature thick, easy-to-view lines
  • It is made with recyclable materials

Con:

  • Not the thickest paper available

URSUNSHINE Dotted Grid Notebook

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The URSUNSHINE Dotted Grid Notebook is another alternative that closely resembles a Moleskine notebook. It has a thick cover with a ribbon enclosure and pages that lie flat when open.

With a weight of 120 GSM, the paper is heavier compared to most options, ensuring that your ink doesn’t bleed through.

The notebook measures 5 x 8.25 inches. It’s a small notebook with 64 sheets (128 pages) featuring a dotted grid.

Pros:

  • It includes a hard cover with a textured surface
  • The pages lie flat when open
  • The paper is exceptionally thick
  • It includes an inner pocket for loose papers

Con:

  • The small size may not suit everyone’s needs

Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook

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The Rhodia Orange Meeting Notebook measures 6.5 x 8.25 inches and comes with 80 sheets of smooth, satiny white paper.

The paper weighs 80 GSM, which is thick enough to keep pens from bleeding through. Instead of sewn binding, the notebook is spiral bound. The binding includes double wires for increased durability.

The pages are intended for taking notes during meetings with separate columns for notes and actions. The top of each page also includes a spot for adding the date.

Pros:

  • The layout is designed for taking notes
  • The cover can withstand drops of water and light spills
  • The spiral binding makes it easier to turn pages
  • The notebook can lay completely flat

Cons:

  • May not suit uses other than note-taking for meetings
  • Does not include a table of contents or page marker

Clairefontaine Basic Large Clothbound Notebook

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The stylish clothbound notebook from Clairefontaine is an affordable alternative to Moleskine. It comes with 96 sheets of 90 GSM acid-free paper with an extra-smooth finish.

The smooth satin finish is great for writing notes using a ballpoint pen but it doesn’t work well with pencils, graphite, or fountain pens.

The solid cover has a textured surface and cloth binding sewn with linen thread. It measures 6 x 8.25 inches and comes in several colors including black, red, and brown.

Pros:

  • It comes at an affordable price for 192 pages
  • The smooth finish works well with ballpoint pens
  • The cloth binding is durable
  • The paper is heavy for this price range

Cons:

  • Fountain pens may smear easily
  • Pencils don’t blend well on the smooth paper

Paperage Dotted Journal Bullet Notebook

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With the Paperage Dotted Journal, you get 160 pages of thick paper and a durable cover. It comes in a variety of colors made from water-resistant vegan leather.

As with Moleskine notebooks, the thread binding allows the notebook to lie completely flat when open. The Paperage notebook may even be better than Moleskine for those who need thick, sturdy paper at an affordable price. The 100 GSM ivory paper can handle any writing instrument, including markers and fountain pens.

Pros:

  • Designed to lay flat when open
  • Includes 80 sheets of thick paper
  • Includes a gusseted pocket and card slot
  • Works well with most writing instruments

Con:

  • The dotted layout may not appeal to everyone

Samsill Large Size Notebook Hardcover (7.5” by 10”)

The water-resistant PU cover keeps this larger journal in good shape until you fill every one of its 240 pages (120 sheets) of 90 gsm acid-free cream paper. The lay-flat binding makes both writing and reviewing easier.

A large, expandable inner pocket lets you store important notes, business cards, and other loose treasures. The wide, black elastic band keeps your pages wrinkle-free, while the two ribbon markers help you keep your place in two different spots for added versatility.

If you’re looking for something larger than the standard 5 by 8-ish notebook, this moderately-priced notebook is worth a peek.

Pros:

  • High quality, acid free 90 gsm paper (works with almost any pen or pencil)
  • Lay-flat binding makes it easier to write and review what you’ve written
  • Larger size (7.5” by 10”) allows more space to write comfortably
  • Large expandable inner pocket for storage
  • Two soft ribbon bookmarks

Cons:

  • Not as portable as the smaller options
  • A small percentage of reviewers reported separation at the binding.

Jumping Fox Design Journal Hardcover Notebook (5.6” by 8.4”)

If you’re looking for quality and good looks, the Illuminate Collection by Jumping Fox Design features a beautiful, grain-textured leatherette hardcover in rich colors like mauve purple and twilight blue.

The dot-grid journal opens flat with 140 numbered pages in 120 gsm acid free, archival paper in bright ivory. It also starts with two pages of a blank “table of contents” and has 16 removable, perforated pages at the back.

The elastic band protects your pages, and two ribbon markers make it easier to keep your place and work efficiently.

Pros:

  • 120 gsm archival-quality, ivory paper
  • Two ribbons for easy access and organization
  • Two pages at the front for a table of contents and 16 detachable pages at back
  • Finished, professional look in attractive colors
  • Opens flat for easy writing and reviewing

Cons:

  • More expensive than some options (over $15)
  • Fairly thin with only 140 pages (70 sheets)

The Hustler’s Classic Notebook / Thick Dotted Bullet Journal

Available in blue and black, this classic, high-quality notebook uses the thickest paper available to resist bleeding and ghosting. Made for “the action takers, the dream makers, and the goal chasers,” it opens flat and has all the features a deluxe notebook should have.

Hustle Co. even backs this journal with a 12-month satisfaction guarantee, so you can try it with no risk. Return it for a full refund if it’s not everything you need it to be.

Pros:

  • Numbered pages with 5mm dotted grid
  • Deluxe 120 gsm paper to resist bleeding and ghosting
  • Lay-flat binding for easier writing and reference
  • Built-in pen holder, inside pocket, ribbon bookmark, and elastic closure
  • Slipcase (book sleeve) included for safe storage
  • 12-month satisfaction guarantee

Con:

  • More expensive than some options (around $15)

Dingbats Plus Wildlife Dotted Hardcover Notebook (6.3” by 8.5”)

These come in a variety of colors, all with durable PU leather covers with animal imprints, elastic bands, an expandable storage pocket, and a ribbon marker.

Each journal also comes with animal footprint end-sheets, a lay-flat design, and 96 micro-perforated sheets of 100 gsm acid-free, ink-friendly cream paper. Made from biodegradable and recyclable materials, this journal also comes with a pen holder .

If you want your purchase to support the protection of wildlife, Dingbats donates 2% of all sales to WWF-UK (a charity registered in England and Wales).

Pros:

  • Durable PU leather cover with rounded corners and a pen-holder
  • Micro-perforated 100 gsm cream pages reduce eye strain and bleed-through.
  • Comes with an elastic band, expandable inner pocket, and ribbon marker
  • Lay-flat binding makes writing and reviewing easier
  • FSC certified and the only vegan certified notebook

Cons:

  • More expensive than many other options (around $20)
  • Only 96 sheets (192 pages) per notebook

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Did you find the best Moleskine alternative for your needs?

Moleskine produces high-quality notebooks with sturdy covers and stitched binding. If you can’t find a Moleskine notebook in the right size, layout, or color, an alternative option may suit your needs.

The notebooks discussed offer comparable prices and quality. You can choose from various sizes, page counts, and layouts including dotted, graphed, or ruled pages.

To find the right option, think about how you intend to use the notebook. When using a fountain pen, look for the thickest paper. If you simply need to take notes, you may want to focus on the page count or layout.

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