Four kinds of mesoporous carbons, C1-h-w, C2-h-h, C3-s-w, and C4-s-h, with different pore geometries were prepared and characterised, and their adsorption behaviours with aqueous direct yellow 12 (DY-12) were investigated. The results of X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy show that C1-h-w and C3-s-w have wormlike pore characteristics, whereas C2-h-h and C4-s-h have 2-D hexagonally arranged pores. According to the N2 adsorption/desorption results, the specific surface area of C1-h-w (1,378 m2/g) is the largest among the four carbons. The adsorption isotherms could be effectively fitted using the Langmuir model. The maximum adsorption amounts of C1-h-w, C2-h-h, C3-s-w and C4-s-h are 0.968 mmol/g, 0.726 mmol/g, 0.161 mmol/g and 0.156 mmol/g, respectively. The pseudo-second-order rate constants of C1-h-w (39.8 g/(mmol·min)) and C2-h-h (7.28 g/(mmol·min)) are substantially larger than those of C3-s-w (0.0046 g/(mmol·min)) and C4-s-h (0.014 g/(mmol·min)), indicating that an open and interconnected pore geometry is favourable for DY-12 adsorption. Furthermore, DY-12 diffusion in 2-D hexagonally ordered cylindrical pores is superior to that in wormlike pores due to the smoothness of the channels in the former. External mass transfer and intraparticle diffusion both play roles in the adsorption process.