Sketch paper is typically lighter and less expensive than archival quality paper used for drawing. Differences between sketch papers may relate to the weight and feel of the paper, but when practicing techniques there is typically no single best paper. It is true, however, that certain papers are better suited to specific drawing substances, like graphite or crayon. In many cases, sketch paper is available bound in attractive books, and the style of binding can also affect the desirability of the paper.
Choosing the best sketch paper often takes a little bit of trial and error. Your drawing style can affect the type of paper best suited to your sketches. Some people, for example, are extremely bothered by paper that is off-white and must draw on clean paper, while others prefer to have slight variations on each page. As sketches are typically not meant to be presented, many people use plain paper for sketching that might not be suitable for fine art presentations.
Sketching on the paper is a good way to determine if the paper is a good fit for a person's art. It is important to think not only about how the drawing looks on the paper but also how it feels. This can end up being a major factor in determining how well the paper fits someone's work.
In many cases, sketch paper is sold in books of paper that are bound in attractive styles. The type of binding can, in some cases, be more important than the quality of the actual paper. Some people, for example, find spiral binding to be the most attractive because the papers inside can be completely flat. Other people find that sketch pads or bound books are more appropriate because they are sometimes more attractive and can bend in ways conducive to drawing while providing a hard surface.
One important feature to consider when choosing the best sketch paper is whether you need archival quality paper. In most cases, people do not need to sketch on high-quality paper because these pieces are not meant to last forever and are merely practice for more formal drawings. In certain special cases, higher quality paper may be better for sketches. If a person plans on painting or otherwise coloring the paper over the sketches, it may be a good idea to purchase thicker paper in either a bound or unbound form, as the thickness and wetness of the colors may bleed through.