Top 10 Best Legal Pads in 2019 Review – A Complete Guide

Conceptually, everything that you do on a legal pad can be done, at a greater degree of convenience, on a computer. As such, note taking using a legal pad pales in comparison to taking them using a laptop or an iPad.

But only if you are only trying to manage your workflow. If you want to take down notes, specifically, then you should opt for a couple of legal pads. So, which is the best pad for you? “Whatever is available”, “whatever is cheapest” and “any can do” are terrible answers as each legal pad differs from the next as discussed below.

10 Best Legal Pads to Buy 2019 For Your Office and Work:

10. Mead Canary Legal Pads, 8.5 X 11.75 Inches

Mead Canary Legal Pads, 8.5 X 11.75 Inches
Product Highlights:

  • 3 pack
  • Legal ruled
  • 50 sheet per pad
  • Perforated surface
  • 5” by 11.75”
  • Weighs 1.47lbs

  Check Price on Amazon

If you are looking for a way to conveniently keep your legal notes for a number of years, and be able to refer to the information from a legible and credible source, the Mead Canary Legal Pads may do it for you. There are a couple of things that make it such a good product.

For starters, it has a very smooth writing surface. When writing on cheap paper, it is impossible to use a medium nib fountain pen as the ink bleeds through to the next page, making the writing illegible. Other brands tend to offer a rough writing surface which has the same effect on the fountain pen as cheap paper. Even if you use a ballpoint or a rollerball, Mead Canary Legal Pads don’t bleed.

For users of mechanical pencils, it will serve you well to know that it is brighter yellow for better contrast, resulting in less eye-strain. The paper is also micro-perforated. With this, you can rip it off almost consistently, but it won’t tear unless you need it to. It comes in a pack of 3.


  • Doesn’t bleed
  • Bright yellow color simplifies reading
  • Tears well
  • The reverse side writes the same

9. TOPS The Legal Pad Writing Pads, Canary Paper

TOPS The Legal Pad Writing Pads, Canary Paper
Product Highlights:

  • 50 sheets per pad
  • 5-pack
  • 8 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Weighs 15.2 ounces
  • Perforated sheets
  • Junior legal ruled

  Check Price on Amazon

TOPS legal writing pad is reputable for offering the ultimate value in their everyday legal pads for offices and homes, and it is not any different with this TOPS legal writing pads.

While many may disregard this product on account of its size, it serves as one of its strongest suits. With a size of 8 x 5 x 0.9 inches and a lightweight of 15.2 ounces, it is perfect for a grocery list, reminders, and telephone messages among others.

As it comes in a convenient pack of 5, you can leave them scattered around your home or office just in case you need to immediately put something down before you forget. If not, you can keep one in your pocket, and leave the rest in the cabinet as your ready supply.

They have 25 lines per page, so busy “list makers” are well covered. What’s more, thanks to their perforated surface, they tear off cleanly and easily.


  • The pack of 5 is convenient
  • Tears easily and cleanly
  • Compact, so can be carried around
  • 25 lines per page

8. Roaring Spring Assorted Legal Pad 3 Packs

Roaring Spring Assorted Legal Pad 3 Packs
Product Highlights:

  • 3 pack
  • 8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • 28lbs
  • Recycled colored paper
  • Different colors

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Roaring Spring Legal Pads are amongst the most affordable legal pads for those who are looking to spend less on writing pads.

Check: Top 10 Best Travel Journal Notebooks In 2019 Reviews

They come in a pack of three, with each pad having a different color so you can assign each to its own function with ease. The colors are bright blue, green and purple, so working on them won’t be as boring as a plain black pad. Each sheet of paper is legal-ruled with blue lines and double red margin lines.

The best feature of the Roaring Spring Legal pads is they are made from recycled paper. This means that they are environmentally friendly, and pose no risk when disposed of. These sheets are taped and stapled together to minimize wear and are micro-perforated for EZ removal They have an easy and almost consistent tear.


  • Affordable
  • Eco-friendly
  • Each unit in the pack has a different color
  • Good value for your money

7. TOPS Docket Writing Pads 6 Packs

TOPS Docket Writing Pads 6 Packs
Product Highlights:

  • 100 sheets per pad
  • 6 pack
  • 6lbs
  • 7 x 8.4 x 2.5 inches
  • Perfect perforation
  • Narrow ruled

  Check Price on Amazon

Standard writing pads come with 50 sheets per pad. These TOPS Docket Writing Pads are built for high-volume use as they come with 100 sheets per unit in the 6 pack. For strength and durability, they have 60-point rigid chipboard to support its back.

They are widely preferred by attorneys and other professionals for their size, (8.5” by 11”) and their left wide margin design. The margin is 2.75 inches from the left edge instead of the conventional 1.25 inches. With this, you can make larger, more, and better notes as you go, instead of trying to squeeze things into a tiny gutter. The sheets are micro-perforated so they tear relatively easy when you want to file or discard a sheet.


  • Perfect for high-volume users
  • Pages detach easily
  • Large left margin
  • Doesn’t bleed

6. TOPS Prism+ Writing Pads 6 Packs

TOPS Prism+ Writing Pads 6 Packs
Product Highlights:

  • 6 pack
  • 50 sheets per pad
  • Perforated pages
  • Weighs 3.28lbs
  • 8 x 8.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Assortment of colors
  • Recycled materials

  Check Price on Amazon

If you love to arrange your notes by color, then Prism+ legal pads are the pads for you. They come in a convenient assortment of colors namely blue, purple, and grey to simplify division of notes. Although there have been some user complaints that the colors aren’t as bright as advertised in the pictures, they still differ from each other. The colors aren’t too pastel, but you can clearly see your writing with a black pen.

It has a good and sturdy back so even if you need to constantly take notes, this pad won’t wear nor tear with ease. They feature a spiral top to make flipping the pages a breeze. Prism+ is made from the recycled fiber so it poses no danger to the environment whatsoever. What’s more, the since the pages are perforated, taking them off for disposal or filling cannot get any easier.


  • Sturdy and strong construction
  • Come in an assortment of colors
  • Simple removing of the pages
  • Does not bleed

5. Tops Steno Books Gregg Rule, White Paper 4 Packs

Tops Steno Books Gregg Rule, White Paper 4 Packs
Product Highlights:

  • 4 pack
  • 80 sheets per unit
  • No-snag coil
  • Perforated sheets
  • Weighs 2.6lbs
  • 6 x 9 x 0.3 inches

  Check Price on Amazon

If you are looking for something that you can write on without having it sitting on a table, then the TOPS Steno Books may not do it for you. Though pretty decent, their back cover is not stiff enough to balance the pages when you have no surface to place them on.

They come in an array of four bold and bright colors (black, red, green and blue) for each unit so you can designate each with its task. Their compact size of 6” by 9” allows you to carry them wherever as they can fit in any standard bag size.

Each unit comes with 80 sheets of perforated paper that is easy to detach and file/dispose of. TOPS Steno Books allow you fast access to lists and notes thanks to the classic flip-top format and the no-snag coil that resist hooking on to clothing and papers.


  • The no-snag coil resist catching on clothing and paper
  • Compact size can fit into any bag or backpack
  • An assortment of colors is convenient
  • Wide ruled

4. TOPS Prism Plus 100% Recycled Legal Pad, 2 Sets

TOPS Prism Plus 100% Recycled Legal Pad, 2 Sets
Product Highlights:

  • 2 sets of 6 pads
  • An assortment of colors
  • Chipboard back
  • Recycled fiber
  • Weighs 2.36lbs
  • 9 x 5.2 x 3.1 inches

  Check Price on Amazon

Since its inception in 1952, TOPS has provided high-quality services and products to individuals and businesses all over the world. The TOPS Prism Plus writing pad continues that commitment, being one of the most versatile models available.

Of all the aforementioned items on this list, TOPS Prism Plus comes out as the largest set, consisting of two sets of 6 packs, equaling 12 pads. They have an assortment of colors for an organization with four of them being blue, four grey, and four orchids. They are made from 100% recycled fiber so they don’t pose a danger to the environment.

Each unit has 50 sheets of narrow ruled, 16lb paper and has rigid chipboard back giving it that clipboard feel for exceptional writing stability. What’s more, these sheets are perforated so removing them is fast, simple, and entirely consistent. Their small size allows you to carry them around with relative ease.


  • A variety of colors
  • Largest set in this guide – 12 pads
  • Exceptional quality for the price

3. TOPS The Legal Pad Writing Pads, 12 Packs

TOPS The Legal Pad Writing Pads
Product Highlights:

  • 12 pack
  • 50 sheets per unit
  • Perforated sheets
  • Weighs 0.96 ounces
  • 8 x 8.5 x 2.4 inches

  Check Price on Amazon

For their high-quality products, TOPS manages to make into our top three picks. When you decide to go for this product, you may have to choose from three namely; ultimate, premium, and every day. They have similar features with slight variations and different prices. If you are looking for a legal pad that can withstand wear and tear with constant everyday writing, TOPS the Legal Pad Writing Pads will do it for you.

With this, you get a stiff back that makes it feel like a clipboard for taking down notes without a surface. Each unit in the very convenient 12 pack has 50 sheets of perforated paper. The perforations allow them to easily detach from the binding when and how you want them to.

Though there are complains about the thickness of the sheets of paper, the “Everyday” model is the only one with thin pages. The rest have a thick paper that will withstand even heavy fountain pen use without bleeding. So thick are the pages that you will find yourself licking your thumb trying to separate what is basically one thick page.


  • Large set
  • Legal Ruled
  • Thick pages that allow you to write on both sides comfortably

2. TOPS The Legal Pad Writing Pads, Canary Paper

TOPS The Legal Pad Writing Pads, Canary Paper
Product Highlights:

  • Weigh 5.73lbs
  • 8 x 8.5 x 2.5 inches
  • 12 pack
  • Thin backing

  Check Price on Amazon

Designed with a thin backing and 16lb paper, these writing pads were not meant for regular rough use. However, if you plan on using them as a refill in a clipboard of a padfolio in situations where you need to share or capture information in a compact and convenient way, they will do it for you.

The 16lb paper and thin backing make it compact enough to fit inside a case with books, laptops, and another carry along. Unlike a spiral bound notebook, the pages of this pad flip back behind it as you go. The padfolio allows you to invest in a thin protective leather case and buy cheap refills as it protects the pages from getting wet or curling up.

One more thing that I really love about this pad is its soft writing surface that makes writing feel like you are treating yourself. It offers less drag to slow you down and ruin your handwriting. So, if in a protective cover, these pads are excellent for rigorous use.


  • The perforated sheets simplify detaching
  • Legal Ruled
  • Soft writing surface
  • The papers are smooth so it doesn’t bleed to any degree

1. AmazonBasics Legal/Wide Ruled Legal Pad – (50 sheets per pad, 12 pack)

AmazonBasics Legal/Wide Ruled
Product Highlights:

  • 12 pack
  • Weighs 5.69lbs
  • 8 x 8.5 x 2.7 inches
  • Canary yellow (50 sheets per pad, 12 pack)

  Check Price on Amazon

Although the level of satisfaction that you get from a writing pad is dependent on your intended use and a certain level of common sense, if customer reviews are anything to go by, then the AmazonBasics Legal/Wide Ruled Pads have the ultimacy satisfaction. And it is for this reason that they are our top pick.

Also, they come with the traditional yellow color and are very versatile. They can be used for taking down interview question, capturing inspirational-flashes, and taking boardroom notes among other uses. They also work for to-do lists and classroom notes.

Each unit in the 12 pack comes with 50 sheets of micro-perforated 16 lb. paper. The lines are widely ruled (8.7mm) for neat and orderly note taking. The left margin is 1.25” from the edge, giving you enough space to create extra notes.

With this pad, you won’t need to have a surface close by in order to take notes. The strong cardboard backing allows you to take a full page of notes without a surface. In addition, it also helps maintain the shape of the notebook.


  • Strong cardboard backing
  • Has a number of positive reviews to support its claim
  • Widely spaced lines for neat note-taking
  • Very versatile


The ideal legal pad should fit its intended purpose. If you are looking to take down different notes, then it is advisable that you go for one with color variations for easy identification. Its colors should also motivate you to write and read, as opposed to boring you. It shouldn’t have flimsy sheets of paper that can bleed and should have a sturdy construction to withstand regular use.

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