Back to school 2020 isn't just the kickoff to an ordinary school year. With the first return to the classrooms since lockdown, parents are paying special attention to what they buy... and that includes pencil cases! Along with our edit of the best bulk stationery deals and kids' hand sanitiser, we’ve put together a handy list of the best pencil cases for boys and girls, whether youngsters or secondary school students, for the upcoming school year.
READ MORE: Back to School essentials checklist for a COVID-19 world - the ultimate guide
We're sharing our top picks for such categories such as best budget pencil case and best large capacity case for girls and boys, plus the top soft, clear, personalised and fun novelty cases for kids, too – along with the pros and cons for each. All to make your back to school shopping that much easier.
WATCH: Stacey Solomon's genius back to school essentials will have you inspired!
Best pencil case for kids overall
Eastpak’s pencil case, which comes in 11 different colours, has earned a five-star rating on Amazon with more than 2,600 reviews.
Eastpak Oval Single Pencil Case, 22 cm, Black, Was £16, Now £12.80, Amazon
Pros: One secondary school student who gave the Eastpak pencil case top marks on Amazon raved: "The pencil case is amazing. It’s strong and sturdy yet looks classic and clean... I wanted a pencil case that could help me be organised and have a lot of room (as well as being aesthetic)."
Cons: With a regular price of £16, this pencil case is on the pricier side.
Best clear pencil case for kids
Ryman's clear pencil cases have a five-star rating and are priced low enough to buy in bulk.
Clear Pencil Case, 8x5, £1.49 each, Ryman
Pros: Good price-quality ratio. Reviewers called this pencil case "cool" and "brilliant", and commented positively on strength and zipper quality.
Cons: While transparent cases are great for exams, some students might prefer a multi-compartment canvas case.
Best budget pencil cases for girls and boys
WHSmith's Bramblewood pencil case comes with a ballpoint pen, pencil, ruler, notepad, sharpener and eraser.
Roll-out pencil case, was £12.99 Now £4.99, WHSmith
Pros: At 60 percent off, and with supplies included, the price can't be beat.
Cons: The signature owl print and roll-up style aren't for everyone.
A quality pencil case at a reasonable price
Helix Athletic Pencil Case, £5.95, Amazon
Pros: This pencil case by the 133-year-old Helix brand has three different compartments for storage. "Fantastic value and great quality," said one reviewer.
Cons: This particular model has been discontinued (hurry and snap it up now...) so if you love it it will be hard to replace.
Best large capacity pencil case for girls and boys
Amazon's bestselling pencil case is simple and utilitarian, covering the main basics – a great pencil case for secondary school students.
Large-capacity pencil case, £9.99, Amazon
Pros: One parent enthused, “This pencil case is perfect for my daughter starting secondary school. Plenty of room in the middle pocket for calculator, maths set in a tin, scissors, glue sticks etc... And side sections with mesh pockets and pen holder loops for all her pens and coloured pencils. It is really nice quality.”
Cons: The colour choices are limited – and take note: one verified buyer thought the case came with the school supplies in the product photo. Extra items shown in the picture are not included!
This pencil case with 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon promises to 'easily fit' everything from a scientific calculator and 21cm ruler, to pencils, glue and highlighters.
Large-capacity pencil case, £6.69, Amazon
Pros: The pencil case is available in five different shades of camouflage and, as one five-star reviewer on Amazon noted: "Impressed with this pencil case especially as it is inexpensive. Plenty of room in the two pouches for cased maths set, calculator, pens, pencils, erasers. Would definitely recommend."
Cons: This pencil case is for teens and children aged seven and up, so if you're looking for something for younger children, this may not be the case for you. The good news is, keep reading! We also have some suggestions for the little ones.
Best cute pencil case for kids
Rachel Ellen’s pencil cases are well-made and have colourful fun designs for boys and girls, with the brand’s cheery signature characters will bring a smile to your little one’s face.
Rachel Ellen Dinosaur Pencil Case, £8, John Lewis
Rachel Ellen Girls Rule Pencil Case, £8, John Lewis
Pros: The colourful pencil cases are made from durable neoprene.
Cons: It's a single compartment pencil case which means you may need more than one to keep stationery organised.
Best novelty pencil case for kids
If your child or teen is looking to make a unique statement, you can’t go wrong with the selection of quirky novelty pencil cases at Paperchase.
3D pencil cases – Dinosaur, Caticorn and Shark, were £12 each, now £8.50 each, Paperchase
Pros: These pencil cases are sooooooo cheery and will definitely not get mixed up with anyone else's!
Cons: Not as easy to store in an organised manner as a standard rectangular canvas or clear pencil case.
Best soft pencil case for kids
ProCase’s popular pencil bag comes in two shades of sophisticated shades of grey felt in the large size, and four colours, including pink and blue, in the smaller size.
Small ProCase Pencil Bag in pink, more colours available, £9.99, Amazon
Pros: A parent who bought the case for their son gave the ProCase pencil bag a five-star review, explaining: "I was stunned as to the quality of these cases. THEY ARE EXCELLENT, especially for the price."
Cons: Some reviewers pointed out the felt fabric makes it "a magnet" attaching to any velcro in your bag.
Best personalised pencil case for kids
With this personalised case, not only is it easy to see what’s inside, but a clearly-printed name means it won’t be accidentally picked up by someone else in class.
Personalised clear pencil case, £6.50, Etsy
Pros: Easily identifiable and it comes in a range of colours to suit any taste.
Cons: There is only one model and, because of the personalised detail, it is more expensive than a standard clear pencil case.
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