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Moleskine vs Leuchtturm | What's the Difference?

Moleskine vs Leuchtturm | What's the Difference?

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We personalise many thousands of Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks every year. Each one gets unwrapped and checked for quality before it is personalised. Here's our analysis of Moleskine vs Leuchtturm based on the many thousands we've inspected.

Moleskine vs Leuchtturm ribbons Moleskine (left) and Leuchtturm (right) showing the differences in the grain of the covers, binding and ribbon bookmarks.

Moleskine vs Leuchtturm - Quality and Finish

The overall construction and build quality of the notebooks is very similar. The basic components are two hinged cardboard covers - front and back. Vinyl is applied to the exterior of the covers and folded over on the inside.
Moleskine v Leuchtturm paper quality Moleskine (left images) and Leuchtturm (right images) showing the differences in the paper quality. Top images show lines drawn using Sharpie fine point permanent markers and Parker 25 fountain pen with Quink blue/black ink. Bottom images show ghosting on reverse of the page and - on the Moleskine - some bleeding to the previous page.
The 'signatures' (the groups of pages which are folded in half and bundled together) are glued and threaded and attached to the covers using card paste-downs which allow the notebooks to be opened flat. Both notebooks feature card endpapers which help keep the notebooks structurally sound. Here are the headlines on quality and finish:
  • Given the similarity in construction and build, the differences are marginal and both notebooks are well finished and hard-wearing
  • Moleksine vinyl has a finer and more textured grain, Leuchtturm vinyl generally has a flatter and more even patina
  • Both notebooks have rounded corners which means the vinyl has to be pleated at the corners. The Moleskines usually have more pleats which tends to make the corners and paste-downs neater
  • Moleskines have more signatures - more groups of pages, each with fewer leaves - which should mean they open flatter and stay 'tight' longer
  • Leuchtturm paper is thicker and better quality, but the paper finish is very similar to Moleskine.
  • The elastic straps and bookmarks of both notebook brands are folded and glued, making them very secure
Moleskine vs Leuchtturm headings Moleskine (left) and Leuchtturm (right) showing the difference in the headings. Leuchturrms have contents pages and page headings.
Moleskine vs Leuchtturm page numbers Moleskine (left) and Leuchtturm (right) showing page numbers on Leuchtturms.

Moleskine vs Leuchtturm - Comparison of Features

Here's the table of similarities/differences between the Moleskine 'large' hardcover notebooks and the Leuchtturm 'medium' hardcover notebooks.




Notebook Dimensions

132 mm wide (5¼ inch approx)

210 mm tall (8¼ inch approx)

15 mm thick (½ inch approx)

145 mm wide (5¾ inch approx)

208 mm tall (8¼ inch approx)

17 mm thick (½ approx)

Page Dimensions

129 mm wide

207 mm tall

0.08 mm thick

143 mm wide

206 mm tall

0.09 mm thick

Paper weight

70 g/m²

80 g/m²

Number of Pages



Paper Types

Ruled (6 mm spacing) Squared Plain Dotted Sketch

Ruled (6 mm spacing) Squared Plain Dotted Sketch

Notebook Features

• glued and threaded spine • expandable rear pocket with colour matched gusset • one woven ribbon bookmark • zero page headings • no page numbers • no contents pages • zero perforated sheets • glued and threaded spine • expandable rear pocket with white gusset • two woven ribbon bookmarks • pages headed 'Datum/Date: • page numbers • four contents pages • eight perforated sheets
Moleskine vs Leuchtturm binding Moleskine (left) and Leuchtturm (right) showing the difference in signature size and the way the books are bound.

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