Most homes that use computers and mobile devices also rely heavily on a printer to create hard copies of documents, files and photos. With the cost of printers now more affordable than ever, you’re able to choose between a full-color inkjet printer, monochrome laser printer, color laser printer, all-in-one printer or a dedicated photo printer to meet your printing needs. And there’s no need to be confused if you’re not tech savvy. If you consider the advice at the end of this article, finding the best home printer for you is easier than you might think.
While it would be great to live in a paperless world and not have to store important documents on your desk or in filing cabinets, the need to own some kind of printer is still probably unavoidable. No matter what functionality you need, check out this selection of the very best printers you can buy for your home in 2022. There’s bound to be something here to satisfy your printing needs, whatever they are.
Best Home Printer Overall
The Epson EcoTank ET-3830 Prints, Photocopies And Scans
Best Home Office Inkjet Printer
Check Out This Affordable All-In-One Inkjet Printer From HP
Best Home Office Color Laser Printer
This Printer Offers Better Print Quality Than Most Inkjet Printers
Best Family Printer
This Printer’s Tanks Will Save You Money On Ink
Best Supertank Printer
This SuperTank InkJet Printer Is Super Economical To Operate
Best Photo Printer
Create Beautiful Photo Prints From Your Digital Images
Best All-In-One Printer
This Canon Printer Is A Workhorse That’s Ideal For A Home Office
Best Large Format Printer
Create Larger Prints At A Not So Large Price
Best Hassle-Free Inkjet Printer
Get Ease Of Use And Versatility For A Low Price
Best Monochrome Laser Printer
This HP Laser Printer Is Great For Home Offices
Best Home Office Printer
Great Value And Versatility For A Home Office
Best Color Laser Printer for Families
It Does Exist: A Color Laser Printer That’s Ideal For Families
Best Small Printer
Create Standard Size Prints From Home
Best Pocket Photo Printer
Create Tiny Photo Prints From Anywhere
Best Portable Printer For Remote Workers
Create A Remote Office Virtually Anywhere
Best Low-Cost Monochrome Laser Printer
The Brother HL-L2300 Is A Fast And Inexpensive Laser Printer
What You Should Look for in a Printer
There’s more to selecting a printer than first meets the eye. Your choice of printer depends on how much you routinely print—a few pages a month or dozens each day—as well as whether you want to print photos or two-sided documents. You also need to consider if your printing needs are typically black and white, or if full-color printing of correspondence, documents and files, for example, is often required.
Your easiest decision is probably whether to get an inkjet or laser printer. Lasers are a good choice if you print a lot, such as in a small or home office. Monochrome laser printers are fast, reliable and inexpensive. They don’t do photos very well, though. You can get a color laser, but they’re a lot pricier and more complicated to maintain. If your printing needs sometimes include color—whether for home, home office or schoolwork-related tasks—an inkjet is your least expensive and most versatile option.
The print quality of a laser printer versus an inkjet printer tends to be superior, so for a home office from which you’re generating printed business correspondence or reports to be shared with others, a laser printer is likely more appropriate. To meet the average needs of a family, however, a full-color inkjet printer (or an all-in-one inkjet printer with ink tanks) will be more economical and versatile.
Here are some other printer-related features to consider:
- Multifunction (all-in-one) printers. Super popular both at home and in small offices, these printers are able to print, copy, scan and sometimes even fax—all from the same device.
- Duplex printing. Full duplex printers can automatically print to both sides of a page. Not everyone needs this; duplex printers are nice to have at home, but essential in the office. Using this feature, you’ll save a lot of paper, so the environment and your wallet will thank you. On the downside, when using full duplex printing with an inkjet printer, you may need to use thicker paper (28 pound instead of 20 pound) to eliminate ink bleed through.
- Print speed. Simply put, not all printers are speed demons. Many printers report two different speeds—the time it takes for the first print to slide out of the printer, and the PPM (pages per minute) once it has started printing. If you only print occasionally, print speed might not be that important, but it’s arguably the single most important feature if you print a lot. Keep in mind, when creating full-color and high-resolution prints using a home printer, this will take longer than generating a full-color printed page featuring mainly text.
- Connectivity. These days, most printers have wireless connectivity, so you can send files via Wi-Fi (or Bluetooth) rather than plugging directly into the printer’s USB port. But some printers support printing from memory cards (such as from your digital camera), USB flash drives, and wireless printing standards, like AirPrint, for printing from your iMac, MacBook, iPhone or iPad.
- Photo printing. Any printer can spit out an image, but it won’t necessarily be something you’d want to hang on the wall. Some printers are optimized for photos with higher resolution, wide format, or over-sized printing. These printers often produce extra colors that do a better job reproducing photo-quality prints. In terms of making prints from your digital photos, some photo printers are better than others in terms of their resolution, especially when you use specialty inks (that won’t smudge or fade), in conjunction with four- or five-star-rated premium photo paper.
Which Printer Brand Is The Best?
As you might imagine, there’s no single best printer brand; collectively, several companies offer the best printers of 2022. But depending upon what you’re looking for—affordability, high printing volume for a small office, photo and creative printing, or other criteria—you might prefer one brand over another.
Brother, Canon, Epson and HP—as well as a handful of other brands—all offer superb models. If you’re interested in office and productivity printing, HP and Brother are worthy of investigation. Meanwhile, if you want to make high-quality photo prints or get a multi-purpose printer than can do prints as well as other kinds of documents, Canon and Epson have a number of compelling choices.
Which Printers Have The Cheapest Ink?
For all their advantages, inkjet printers can be woefully expensive to maintain, because name-band replacement ink cartridges are pricey. That is, unless you invest in an inkjet printer that uses ink tanks. If low-cost ink is your overriding concern, consider a monochrome laser printer. Laser toner (for black-and-white laser printers) is substantially less expensive than ink cartridges and the text within documents printed will be crisper.
Among inkjet printers, consider printer models in which each color is stored in its own cartridge or tank. Printers which use combo cartridges (in which three or more colors are housed in a single cartridge) are usually a lot more expensive to operate. This is because when you run out of any one color you need, it’s necessary to discard the entire cartridge along with any of its remaining ink.
Again, the cheapest ink is found in printers that use refillable tanks, sometimes called supertanks. A typical ink tank will hold the same amount of ink as 20 or more individual ink cartridges. Not only will you need to refill the ink far less often, but you’ll wind up paying a lot less money over time for the ink you need. One perk is that most ink tank printers come with enough ink to last the average user between one and two years.
Should You Buy Third-Party Or Official Ink?
All of the printer manufacturers will “recommend” that you use genuine ink or toner from that manufacturer, which you’ll typically pay a premium for. However, if this is only a recommendation and not a requirement, you’ll often find much less expensive ink and toner options available online from third parties.
To find compatible ink cartridges, toner cartridges or ink bottles (to refill ink tanks), use any search engine and enter the exact make and model of your printer, followed by the words “replacement ink” or “replacement toner.” Shop around for the best deals while paying attention to the seller, ink manufacturer and individual ink product’s ratings and reviews.
You’ll find many independent companies, like LD Products, that manufacturer and sell inkjet and laser printer toner cartridges direct-to-consumers that are 100% compatible with name-brand ink cartridges or toner cartridges. However, they’re sold at a fraction of the price (compared to genuine ink or toner). You can also save money by subscribing to an ink cartridge replenishment service operated by your printer manufacturer.
How To Choose The Best Paper For Your Printer
Most home and home office printers work perfectly with generic, 20-pound multipurpose paper that you can pick up at any office supply store. This paper typically comes in reams containing 250 or 500 sheets. If you buy paper in bulk (five or 10 reams at a time), you’ll typically save significant money.
However, if you’ll be using the two-sided printing capabilities of an inkjet printer, you’ll probably want to use 28-pound multipurpose paper. The added thickness will prevent the ink from bleeding through the page, which some people find very annoying. It’s also looks unprofessional if you’re creating business documents or correspondence. The downside is that the thicker paper tends to be a bit more expensive and it takes up more space to store. Also, fewer sheets will fit within the printer’s paper tray.
When it comes to buying photo paper to create professional-quality prints from your digital images, not all photo paper is the same. Photo paper comes in different qualities and with different finishes (such as glossy, semi-gloss, luster or matte). You’ll also discover that photo paper comes in packages that contain anywhere from 10 to 100 sheets per pack. It’s available in common print sizes, such as 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches or 8.5 x 11 inches. If your printer can accommodate it, larger size photo paper is also available.
The terminology used by companies like Canon, Epson and HP to describe their branded photo paper varies greatly. Some use a star-based rating system or words like “premium” or “ultra premium” to describe their paper. Experiment with a few different photos papers and your printer to see which option works best for your specific needs.
To generate the highest quality photo prints that won’t fade or smudge over time and that’ll showcase the most vibrant colors and detail possible, invest in the highest quality photo paper you can afford. This is particularly important if you’re creating important prints that’ll hang on your wall or be placed in a wedding album, for example.