When you or someone in your family needs something printed, who has time to run out to the local copy shop or big box stores? If you don’t already have a printer at home — or you have one that needs upgrading — there are plenty of options on the market to cater to a variety of needs. Maybe you have some lengthy documents that need to be made into hard copies, or your kids have a lot of schoolwork that has to be handed in as a paper copy. Or maybe your printing needs are more geared towards printing colorful collages or photos to display around the home.
In any case, if you’re unsure where to get started, we’ve put together a guide of the best home printers for specific needs. From inkjet and laser printers to all-in-one or photo printers, here are our recommendations for the best home printers.
— Best Overall: Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer
— Best for Photos: Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
— Best Wireless: HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e Wireless Printer
— Most Sustainable: Brother HL-L2350DW Compact Monochrome Laser Printer
— Best All-In-One: HP Envy Inspire 7955E All-In-One Printer
How We Picked the Best Home Printers
In evaluating the best home printers, we honed in on features that made the most sense for a range of home needs. In coming up with these picks, we evaluated upwards of two dozen different types and models of printers, from photo printers and laser printers to many different types of wireless and all-in-one printers. We also took into account user reviews.
The considerations we most prioritized were ease-of-use and setup, eco-friendliness, wireless compatibility (when applicable), and customer service. Dealing with even the best home printers usually involves a bit of troubleshooting, since most printers must be compatible across many different operating systems and devices, so excellent customer service is vital.
The Best Home Printers: Reviews & Recommendations
Best Overall: Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer
Why It Made The Cut: Say goodbye to expensive and wasteful ink cartridges with this supertank printer and our pick for the best home printer overall. It easily refills with replacement bottles that can save up to 90 percent on ink.
— Printing technology: Inkjet
— Connectivity technology: WiFi, ethernet
— Printer output: Color
— Pages per minute (PPM): 15 black
— High-capacity, cartridge-free printing
— Outstanding print quality
— Fast auto document feeder
— Lacking print-from or scan-to USB feature
— Doesn’t have a touchscreen
Anyone who has ever dealt with expensive and wasteful inkjet cartridges will love the Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer. Instead of cartridges, this high-capacity printer uses exclusive EcoFit ink bottles that make filling ink tanks easy while saving up to 90 percent on the cost of ink. Each bottle holds enough ink to print up to 7,500 pages in black and 6,000 in color, or the equivalent of about 90 individual ink cartridges. The savings from not having to purchase 90 ink cartridges would more than make up the cost of the printer.
But that’s not the only benefit to the Epson EcoTank ET-3760. Unique PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology paired with Claria ET pigment black ink produces exceptionally sharp text, as well as outstanding color photos and graphics, on virtually any type of paper. The printer also features robust paper handling with an auto document feeder that feeds from a 250-sheet paper tray. Automatic, double-sided printing saves time and paper.
Though the benefits of this printer surely outweigh the drawbacks, some users have noted the lack of a touchscreen, which comes standard with most printers today. Another minor issue is that the printer operates primarily wirelessly. Some users lament that there’s no capability to print and scan to a USB or SIM card, a standard feature on previous models.
Best for Photos: Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
Why It Made The Cut: This wireless photo printer makes it fast and easy to create bright, long-lasting photos that you can display around your home or give as gifts.
— Printing technology: Dot matrix
— Connectivity technology: USB
— Printer output: Color
— PPM: 1 per minute
— Photos instantly dry
— Sleek and portable design
— Tilting 3.2-inch LCD screen
— Must be used with proprietary paper
— No touchscreen compatibility
Print your treasured family memories for framing, scrapbooks, and more with the best photo printer, the Canon SELPHY CP1300. Unlike many photo printers that produce wet pictures with ink that needs to dry, this Canon machine prints out dry. The photos are water-resistant and guaranteed to look great for up to 100 years.
The sleek design of this photo printer means it’s more portable than most. It also has an optional battery back and tilting, 3.2-inch LCD screen that makes it easy to choose, edit, and print your favorite photos from anywhere. You can even connect your smartphone and tablet using the Canon PRINT app as an added convenience. Or, simply print directly from a USB connection or your camera's memory card.
One important consideration before purchasing this printer is that it must be used with the SELPHY proprietary photo paper. So those looking to save money on aftermarket or off-brand photo paper will be out of luck. And while the LCD screen is a nice touch, some folks think it’s a shame that the printer isn’t touchscreen-compatible like many competitor brands.
Best Wireless: HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e Wireless Printer
Why It Made The Cut: As the best wireless printer, print professional-quality, color documents such as brochures, flyers, and presentations with this all-in-one inkjet printer.
— Printing technology: Inkjet
— Connectivity technology: WiFi, USB, ethernet
— Printer output: Color
— PPM: 22 black, 18 color
— Automatic double-sided printing and scanning
— Print up to 22 pages per minute
— Dual-band, self-healing WiFi
— USB cable not included
— Ink subscription is not a great deal
Print, scan, copy, fax, and more with the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e All-in-One Printer, which produces professional-quality documents right from the convenience of your home office. Presentations, brochures, flyers, homework assignments, and more will look like they just came hot off the press. And you don’t have to sacrifice convenience for quality, with print speeds up to 22 pages per minute in black and white and 18 pages per minute in color.
Other features include automatic two-sided printing and scanning, an auto document feeder with a 250-sheet input tray, mobile and wireless printing, and the ability to print from USB. Unfortunately, though, USB cables are not included in the box. Additionally, dual-band WiFi automatically detects and resolves connection issues to ensure a hassle-free experience every time.
The optional HP+ system, which requires an HP account, includes cloud connection and smart app features. Those who activate HP+ are also eligible for six free months of HP Instant Ink and an extra year of warranty.
Most Sustainable: Brother HL-L2350DW Compact Monochrome Laser Printer
Why It Made The Cut: Print more (and wait less) using a laser printer engineered for increased efficiency with class-leading print speeds of up to 32 pages per minute.
— Printing technology: Laser
— Connectivity technology: WiFi, USB, NFC
— Printer output: Gray and black
— PPM: Up to 32
— Refurbished model for sustainability
— Flexible paper handling
— Mobile printing from smartphones and tablets
— Difficult to wake from deep sleep mode
— WiFi is not intuitive to set up
Those who need fast, no-frills black and white documents need look no further than the Brother HL-L2350DW Compact Monochrome Laser Printer. This refurbished laser printer has a 250-sheet paper capacity to accommodate all your basic printing needs and improve efficiency with fewer paper tray refills. It also has a manual feed slot that offers flexible paper handling for a variety of papers and sizes, including card stock, envelopes, labels, and more.
With convenient one-touch keys, you can quickly access fonts, symbols, frames, and templates with the push of a button. The convenient mobile setup also makes it easy to print wirelessly from desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Some users have reported that the initial WiFi setup may take some troubleshooting, so it may be best to have a USB cable on hand as a backup, just in case.
The printer features a deep sleep mode for energy efficiency; however, some folks have found that wireless printing does not automatically wake the printer. Instead, you may have to manually turn the printer off and back on again to get it to recognize mobile printing, which is something to be aware of if you’ll be using the unit infrequently throughout the day.
Best All-In-One: HP Envy Inspire 7955E All-In-One Printer
Why It Made The Cut: Loaded with features to print high-quality photos, office documents, homework, and everything else, this printer is a smart choice for active families.
— Printing technology: Inkjet
— Connectivity technology: USB, WiFi, Bluetooth
— Printer output: Color
— PPM: 15 black, 10 color
— Print high-quality color photos
— Built-in photo tray for multiple size
— Automatic double-sided printing
— Touchscreen is small and not very responsive
— Tri-color cartridge needs to be replaced frequently
The HP Envy Inspire 7955E All-In-One Printer is a premium, multi-purpose home printer that comes loaded with features for learning, working, and creating. With this best all-in-one printer, you can print everything from high-quality photos to presentations, office documents, homework, and creative projects.
The built-in photo tray allows borderless photos to be printed in multiple sizes, including square and panoramic, perfect for framing or adding to scrapbooks. Photos will look as vibrant as they do on your screen with true-to-phone quality prints, and you can also access additional custom photo features that are available by downloading the HP Smart app. Standard printing features include copying, scanning, double-sided printing from the automatic document feeder, and mobile and wireless printing from your computer or device.
However, because this is an inkjet printer, it uses inkjet cartridges — one black cartridge and a tri-color cartridge for cyan, magenta, and yellow. While some people like the convenience of just two cartridges, some don’t like them since you have to replace the entire cartridge even if only one of the three colors runs out. And, as a few users have noted, the small touchscreen doesn’t lend itself as well to people with larger fingers, who may have a more difficult time getting the screen to respond.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Home Printer
If you’re interested in a home printer, there are some basic criteria to consider before making a decision. The most important consideration, of course, is to determine what the basic printing needs are. For example, families with kids who have copious reports and assignments to submit may want to consider a high-capacity inkjet or laser printer that can print double-sided pages to save time and money.
On the other hand, if your printing needs lean more towards printing photos, collages, and color documents, you could easily get away with a photo printer or all-in-one inkjet printer. These days, even some all-in-one printers can produce vibrant, borderless photos nearly as well as a dedicated photo printer.
However, if you’re leaning towards a standard home printer for black and white or full-color documents, you’ll need to decide between an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Both have pluses and minuses. For example, inkjet printers tend to be less expensive but require ink cartridges that are pricey and more likely to run out or dry up quicker. On the other hand, laser printers come with an initial higher sticker shock but boast better quality toner cartridges that are more affordable and have an extended usage and shelf life.
Q: What features should you look for in a printer?
Some of the basic features you should look for in a printer include overall quality and value, scanning and copying capabilities, photo and color printing, compactness of the design (and how it will fit into your space), ink replacement costs, print speed, and scanner resolution. But of course, these features are also highly subjective based on individual needs.
Q: Is laser or inkjet better quality?
Laser toner cartridges generally last longer than ink from inkjet cartridges, in addition to being less wasteful. And since toner produces more images than ink before running out, you won't need to replace the cartridges as frequently. Another bonus is that toner also has a longer shelf life than inkjet cartridges, which can dry out quickly in storage.
Q: How much should I spend on a printer?
Most home printers range in price from under $200 to over $500, though there are some budget and high-end options that can fall short or exceed that price range. Ink cost is another important factor to consider, however. To get a better idea of how much a printer will cost in the long term, you can always calculate its cost per page to get a better understanding of the overall cost of a printer over its lifespan.
If you’re looking for the best home printer to handle all of the unique printing needs of your family, our top pick would have to be the HP Envy Inspire 7955E All-In-One Printer. We love the Envy Inspire’s ability to print high-quality documents as well as vibrant, borderless photos, so it’s equipped for virtually everything your family could possibly need. However, we’d be remiss in not giving a shout out to the eco-friendly Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer. Though the Epson comes with a higher price tag than the Envy Inspire, you may see long-term savings on ink, depending on how often you use your printer.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.