The 10 Best Home Printers

Updated May 08, 2018 by Chase Brush

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We spent 41 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Though most of our work, and even our social lives, takes place in the cloud these days, many households can still benefit from keeping a printer around, either for working from home, doing schoolwork or printing photos. From inkjet to laser models, our selection includes something for every application, whether that's image editing, scanning, copying or even faxing. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best home printer on Amazon.

10. HP DeskJet 2655

For roughly $50, it's hard to take issue with the HP DeskJet 2655, which boasts a fairly compact footprint and allows for printing and scanning on the go with the its compatible app. Still, it's not quite as fast as other models out there, and feels a bit cheaply built.
  • ideal for small homes and apartments
  • easy to configure and use
  • no touchscreen control
Brand HP
Model V1N04A#B1H
Weight 9.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Epson Expression XP-640

With a built-in memory card slot for printing without a computer, as well as WiFi capability for use with smartphones, the Epson Expression XP-640 is the perfect wireless solution to your photo-creating needs. Sharing the finished product on Facebook is also a breeze.
  • red eye removal tool for photos
  • allows for network-free printing
  • goes through ink fast
Brand Epson
Model C11CE59201
Weight 11.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Brother MFCL2720DW All-In-One

For the small office or the large, tech-savvy home, the Brother MFCL2720DW All-In-One is a decent option for most laser printing, faxing, scanning, and copying needs. It connects via USB or through WiFi, and can pair with computers, phones, and more.
  • 35-page auto feeder
  • digitizes and shares documents
  • does not print in color
Brand Brother
Model MFCL2720DW
Weight 30 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Canon PIXMA Pro100

Few models handle photo-printing as quickly or accurately as the Canon PIXMA Pro100, which can process a 4 x 6-inch image in just 34 seconds. It also connects to mobile devices using the Canon Print app, so you can send shots from your tablet or smartphone with ease.
  • can print paper sizes a3 and up
  • great color reproduction
  • fairly heavy build
Brand Canon
Model PRO-100
Weight 53.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Epson WorkForce WF-2860

The Epson WorkForce WF-2860 is a well-rounded unit that incorporates a hardwired, WiFi, or NFC connection, letting you print how and when you need. Use it in your home office to make photos from your camera, documents from your laptop, or as a scanner or fax machine.
  • bright color touchscreen
  • automatic 2-sided printing
  • not quite laser quality
Brand Epson
Model WF-2860
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Brother HL-L2350DW Compact Laser

If you and your family handle more book reports and recipes than photos, or if you work from home and deal with a plethora of documents, then consider the popular Brother HL-L2350DW Compact Laser. This monochrome model can print up to 32 black and white pages per minute.
  • large 250 sheet capacity
  • accepts high-yield cartridges
  • can be difficult to print via cloud
Brand Brother
Model HLL2350DW
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Canon MX492 Wireless

This Canon MX492 Wireless is a great value considering its range of features and its decent print quality. It's small enough to fit in most single-room offices, dorms, or apartments, yet can still scan and fax full-size pages and offers cloud service capabilities.
  • auto document feeder
  • affordable replacement cartridges
  • poor instruction manual
Brand Canon
Model MX492
Weight 16.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. HP OfficeJet Pro 8710

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 "all-in-one" is a serious piece of hardware that's still in the budget range of most homes. With the capability of creating double-sided, full-color prints as well as scanning, copying and faxing, it can handle all your needs -- and then some.
  • works with amazon alexa
  • 18 color pages per minute
  • helps protect confidential info
Brand HP
Model M9L66A#B1H
Weight 29.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

2. Epson EcoTank ET-7700 Premium

Though it might appear expensive at first, the Epson EcoTank ET-7700 Premium is actually a smart investment for families that need to print many documents on a regular basis. That's due to its unique cartridge-less ink system, which is bound to save money in the long run.
  • comes with 2 years' worth of ink
  • dedicated photo and paper trays
  • operates very efficiently
Brand Epson
Model ET-7700
Weight 25.5 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. HP Envy 5055 Wireless

The HP Envy 5055 Wireless is affordable and compact, both of which make it a good choice for the cost-conscious household. It features an easy-to-use LCD control screen that even those who aren't technically inclined will find usable, and creates crisp, bright photos.
  • accepts wide range of paper sizes
  • backed by 1-year warranty
  • compatible with hp smart app
Brand HP
Model M2U85A#B1H
Weight 13.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Choosing The Right Printer For Your Home

With the exception of the professional who works from the residence, most households don't actually use their printers all that much. In the average American home, you will indeed find a printer, but that statistic belies a recent trend: over the past few years, sales of printers -- both "all-in-one" printers that can copy, scan, fax, as well as single function printers -- have been on the decline.

With so much of life now relegated to the online world, many people simply see less need for a printer. We look at photos on social media or on our phones, we fill out forms online, and we deal with our banks via their website instead of the post office or the teller's face. However, there are still myriad reasons why keeping a printer at home is a good idea. First and foremost, a hard copy of a document can never be lost due to a technological glitch. (Nor can a printed picture be lost to a computer crash or lost or broken phone, either.) And ironically, on the flip side of that equation, many printers that feature scanners can also be used to upload analog documents or photos into the digital world, preserving them on a disk, computer, or the cloud, and making them available for sharing with friends or for publication on a website or other media platform.

One reason a household may be reticent to invest in a home printer is the perceived high cost of these units. In fact, you can find a perfectly decent printer suitable for almost every use for well under $100. And these are devices capable of printing, scanning, sending and receiving faxes, and, in many cases, working wirelessly. This wireless feature may seem a frivolity to some, but is quite helpful for a residence, especially for the home without a set office area and/or with limited room in general. When you can tuck a printer into a closet or under a desk and not worry about connecting to it with wires, you save yourself space and hassle.

Another feature to look for in a home printer is a full color LCD touchscreen interface. Many modern printers intended for home use offer step-by-step operation guides complete with illustrations right there on the screen, so even someone with little technical prowess can complete most of the functions the printer offers without prior operational knowledge. These screens also help a printer self diagnose various issues it experiences.

The Differences Between Inkjet And Laser Printers

As their name suggests, inkjet printers effectively spray layers of ink down onto a page, creating text or images by adhering thousands and thousands of minute dots of color to the paper passing through the unit. Laser printers, on the other hand, use a rapidly scanning beam of concentrated light that attracts toner onto paper via a static electric charge. The differences in the way these two systems operate come with many pros and cons, depending on your personal needs.

Inkjet printers operate more slowly than laser printers, advancing pages beneath their spraying ink with a steady, patient effort, so if you have lots of documents to print and you don't like waiting around for them, then a laser printer is your best choice. Many affordable laser printers can churn out more than two dozen pages per minute, perfect for printing out long documents like a complex tax return or a thesis paper. But affordability is a relative term here: laser printers are significantly more expensive than inkjet printers, as are their toner cartridges when compared to ink cartridges (though to be fair an average toner cartridge will cost less than the multiple ink cartridges that would be required to produce the same number of prints). Thus, we see a clear divide, with laser printers being more expensive than inkjet printers, but more efficient and, after the initial investment in the unit and its toner, more cost-effective in the long run.

Beyond price and speed, what is the primary dividing line between the two options? Inkjet printers create better looking photos, laser printers create crisper, better defined text. So if your primary need for a home printer is to print photographs or documents with lots of colorful graphics, an inkjet printer is likely your best bet. If you primarily need text-heavy, monochrome documents, a laser printer makes sense. And if you're still undecided, just consider all the other features you want and decide based on price.

Choosing The Right Paper For Your Printing

A good inkjet printer should be able to handle almost any sheet of paper that is rated for use in a printer. Some of the stiffest pages -- those approaching the level of a card stock -- may need to be fed into the printer one at a time, but these are likely only used on rare occasions anyway.

If you are going to be printing basic documents, then look for a printer paper with a brightness rating of at least 90 and a rated weight of about 20 lbs. That approximates the going average for more paper used in copy machines at busy offices and is suitable for a printout that you don't intend to keep forever, but that will last just fine under most circumstances. For text and/or images that are even more crisp and clear on the page, look for printer paper with a brightness rating above 95. And as for paper weight, any pound rating above 24 lbs. is where paper begins to look and feel noticeably high-quality.

If you use a laser printer, watch out for any paper that might be heat sensitive. A paper with a high gloss finish or with any embellishments like an applied seal may be damaged by the heat within a laser printer (and may damage the printer itself if its comes apart inside the unit). In general, laser printers should be used with standard paper free of gloss, texture, and other flourishes. These printers really are intended for rather straightforward black and white documents.

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Last updated on May 08, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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