The best fonts for dyslexia and why they work

According to the International Dyslexia Association, 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population may have symptoms of dyslexia. These include slow or incorrect reading, poor spelling and poor writing. Although not all reading problems are caused by dyslexia, some similar accommodation arrangements can help many struggling students. Using the best fonts for dyslexia is one way you can help.

How does this font work?

First, it’s important to understand that switching to a different font will not magically “cure” dyslexia, but they can be helpful. Unless you ignore other proven techniques to help with dyslexia (and other learning disorders), these fonts are another tool in your toolkit.

According to research, the best fonts for dyslexia (and other learning disorders) share these features:

Except serif

Showing the difference between fonts without infographic serifs and fonts

Photo: Creative Spark

The word literally means “without serif.” Serifs are those small guesses at the end of letters that make some fonts look a little fancy. The Times New Roman Hall is a classic example of a serif font, Arial is a common Sun serif alternative.

Non-italic, non-bold

Graphic showing the difference between normal, italic and italic font styles

Image: Microsoft Docs

Diagonal fonts are a diagonal version of a font, while diagonal fonts have a diagonal and more stylized look. Either way, this style significantly reduces readability, so stick to the straight font, also known as Roman style.


Graphic showing the difference between monospaces and proportional fonts

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In a monospace font, each letter (and space) takes up the same amount of horizontal space in a line. The reverse is the proportional or variable-width font. Monospace fonts are hard to find nowadays, but there are some good options.

Specially designed fonts such as Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic add one more feature. They try to make the differences between mirrored letters like “d” and “b” more obvious, with subtle changes in their appearance. Some researchers think that special fonts like Dyslexi do not offer any real benefits. But they also say there is no harm in trying.

The best standard font for dyslexia

With these criteria in mind, these four standard peaks are generally recommended as the best fonts for dyslexia. These are available on almost every computer, so consider setting one of them as your default

Aerial (best font for dyslexia)

This Sun Serif, non-italic font is not monospaced, but Ariel is still a good choice unless you diagonalize it.

Courier (best font for dyslexia)

If you are looking for a serif font, try Courier. It is monospaced, which makes it easy to read from its cousin Times New Roman.

Helvetica (best font for dyslexia)

Here is another Sun Serif font to try. Note that like Arial, it is not monospace, but it is still clear and easy to read.

Verdana (best font for dyslexia)

Another font that is not monospace but San Serif, Verdana is rated as fairly easy to read overall.

Fonts specially designed for dyslexia

There are a few fonts on the market that may or may not make a real difference to people with dyslexia. Although the research is still out, it doesn’t hurt to try them.

Words "Dyslexia" Written in a special dyslexia font for people with dyslexia

In dyslexia, the characters have heavy bottoms, slightly consistent sizes, and long sticks. This is a licensed font, and you must pay to use it in all your programs Learn more about dyslexia here.

OpenDyslexic (best font for dyslexia)

OpenDyslexic is a free font and it uses heavy bottoms and irregular shapes just like Dyslexi. Learn more about OpenDyslexic here.

Other good fonts for dyslexia

Calibri, Trebuchet, Open Sons, Comic Sons, Tahoma, Century Gothic

Try not to tremble, but Comic Sun is often recommended for people with dyslexia. The irregular design of the letters makes it easy to read. (Only “b” and “d” are true mirrors.)

You can also try using Century Gothic, Trebuchet, Calibri, Open Sans and Tahoma. In general, remember to choose simple fonts without serifs that provide good spacing between characters. Avoid fonts that are “thick” and do not use diagonal versions.

Did we miss one of the best fonts for dyslexia? Want to talk to other educators about how to help students with dyslexia succeed? Join the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook to share your thoughts and seek advice.

Also, check out 10 things about dyslexia that every teacher needs to know.

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