The best pens for people with arthritis

A woman sat at her desk, clutching her hand as it hurts due to arthritis

A woman in pain with arthritis at work

Life with arthritis presents numerous challenges, and arthritis of the hands often makes writing a painful and difficult task.

Fortunately, there is hope. With knowledge of suitable writing tools, those with arthritis can reclaim their ability to write comfortably by hand.

If arthritis of the hands limits you or prevents you from writing altogether, let’s explore the available pen options.

What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a common medical condition that triggers inflammation and discomfort in the body’s joints.

It’s a long-term condition without a cure, but arthritis can be managed with treatment to varying levels of success.

The impact of the disease exists on a spectrum, with some individuals experiencing minimal disruption to their daily lives while others face severe limitations.

The hands are particularly susceptible to the two primary forms of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Osteoarthritis occurs when joints suffer damage, leading to the deterioration of the protective cartilage that covers the ends of bones.

Approximately half of women and a quarter of men will encounter the discomfort and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis in their hands by the age of 85.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the outer lining of the joints, leading to the degradation of bone and cartilage. This destructive process can extend throughout the joint.

Around 90% of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience symptoms such as pain, stiffness, or swelling in the joints of their hands.

Arthritis-friendly pens

Don’t lose hope if arthritis in your hands makes writing uncomfortable — there are various options to help you pursue your writing passion.

A straightforward solution is to modify your existing pen by adding a rubber pen grip. This accessory expands the grip section of any pen, allowing you to write with less pressure.

If you’d rather explore the best writing pens for arthritic hands, here are some of the best writing tools for you to choose from.

What makes a pen good for arthritic hands?

For a pen to be suitable for people with arthritis, it should possess the following characteristics:

  • An ergonomic design: The pen should be designed to provide comfort and reduce strain on the hand.
  • A wide grip section: A pen with a broader grip section allows for a more secure and comfortable grasp.
  • Angle versatility: Ideally, the pen should be adaptable, enabling writing from different angles to accommodate varying hand positions.

Larger pens are generally more favourable for people with arthritic hands, so it’s advisable to exclude any narrow writing tools from the start.

Best rollerball pens for people with arthritis

The smooth and effortless writing that is experienced with rollerball pens has made them popular among people with arthritis. Doctors often recommend this pen type to patients.

While any rollerball pen might improve your writing experience, you should search for one with a broad and well-structured grip section for enhanced comfort and control.

Kaweco Perkeo rollerball pen

The Kaweco Perkeo rollerball pen

The Kaweco Perkeo rollerball pen

The Kaweco Perkeo rollerball pen stands out with its robust and ergonomic design. It boasts a 16-sided barrel and an octagonal cap for a superior grip while writing, capping, and uncapping the pen.

The size and weight of this writing utensil is often praised by customers who live with hand pain.

The Kaweco Perkeo is even more appealing thanks to its affordable price point and wide range of colours, including Breezy Teal, Cotton Candy, and classic All Black.

Schneider Breeze rollerball pen

The Schneider Breeze rollerball pen

The Schneider Breeze rollerball pen

Experience exceptional comfort while writing with the Schneider Breeze rollerball pen, thanks to a rubberised barrel extending almost the pen’s entire length.

This pen’s smooth design and versatile size make it a perfect fit for people with large or small hands and both left-handed and right-handed users.

The rollerball ink is quick-drying and smudge-proof, so you can write without worry — even if you make sudden hand movements.

In addition to its suitability for people with arthritis, the Schneider Breeze takes pride in its environmentally conscious manufacturing. It’s made from recycled plastic and is the first pen to receive the prestigious Blue Angel ecolabel, an award that prizes manufacturers for setting environmentally-friendly standards.

Best ballpoint pens for arthritic hands

Ballpoint pens are often considered the least favourable option for people with arthritic hands.

Ballpoints are typically narrow in design and demand substantial pressure to navigate across the page, which can quickly result in discomfort.

However, not all ballpoint pens are created equal, and some have been specifically crafted to address the needs of those living with hand pain.

PenAgain Ergo-Sof ballpoint pen

The PenAgain Ergo-Sof ballpoint pen

The PenAgain Ergo-Sof ballpoint pen

Experience a breakthrough in comfort with the PenAgain Ergo-Sof ballpoint pen, featuring a distinctive ‘no grip’ design that alleviates stress on your hand and fingers.

Its revolutionary wishbone shape offers an effective alternative to traditional ballpoint pens that rely on a firm grip. This innovative design redistributes pressure through the palm rather than the fingers.

The pen is coated with an extra-soft rubber, providing the perfect finish to what many have found to be an incredibly arthritis-friendly writing tool.

Faber-Castell Grip Plus ballpoint pen

The Faber-Castell Grip Plus ballpoint pen

The Faber-Castell Grip Plus ballpoint pen

The Faber-Castell Grip Plus ballpoint pen has been expertly crafted to prioritise hand comfort and provide a fatigue-free writing experience.

With its triangular, rubberised grip section, this pen is ideally suited for most writers, allowing it to sit comfortably in the hand and reduce strain on the fingers.

In addition, the Grip Plus features a convenient push-button mechanism for operation, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals with painful hand joints.

Best fountain pens for arthritis

While fountain pens may not immediately come to mind as the go-to choice for people with arthritis, they can provide a surprisingly excellent writing experience with minimal pressure exerted by the user. The nibs of most fountain pens glide effortlessly across the page.

We’d recommend a medium or broad nib, as these nib sizes offer increased ink flow and a more leisurely and comfortable writing experience.

Lamy Safari fountain pen

The Lamy Safari fountain pen

The Lamy Safari fountain pen

The Lamy Safari fountain pen has been designed with user comfort in mind. It boasts an ergonomic faceted grip section that enables a looser hold, reducing strain on the hand.

With its wide and lightweight barrel, the Safari offers effortless handling, ensuring pain-free writing for most users — even during longer sessions.

This pen features a practical clip that is notably less fiddly than others, making it even more convenient to carry and use.

Lamy Nexx fountain pen

The Lamy Nexx fountain pen

The Lamy Nexx fountain pen

Lamy has an excellent reputation for creating fountain pens that are accessible and user-friendly, so they designed more than one.

If you have arthritis in your hands, thumbs, or fingers, it’s worth exploring the Lamy Nexx fountain pen.

The user-friendly design of the Lamy Nexx includes a soft, wide grip area that should make writing a far more comfortable experience than typical fountain pens.

The brightly-coloured cap is also large, making it hard to drop or misplace.

Final thoughts

Living with arthritis doesn’t mean sacrificing the pleasure of writing. Tailored options are available to meet the unique needs of people with arthritis, whether it means sticking with your preferred pen type or exploring alternatives.

From specially-designed ergonomic grips to smooth ink flow, each of the pens we’ve suggested prioritises comfort and reduces strain on joints.

Don’t let arthritis dampen your love for writing by hand. Try a new pen, and rekindle your passion for writing today.


If you work in the medical field and are interested in discovering pens enabling your patients to write, you can learn about a weighted pen for Parkinson’s Disease patients on our blog.

Lucy is our lead editor and has been passionate about stationery since childhood. She has a particular fondness for rollerball and calligraphy pens and is a keen advocate of snail mail.

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