If you only print occasionally, then it wouldn't make much sense to spend a fortune on a fully decked-out printer. Fortunately, there are pretty good options that you can get for under $100. They may not have advanced features like duplex scanning or a supertank ink system, but they get the job done, and you can save some money.
We've tested over 85 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best printers under $100 you can buy. You can also check out our recommendations for the best photo printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best home printers.
The best printer under $100 for family use that we've tested is the Canon PIXMA MG3620. This all-in-one inkjet model is equipped with a high-resolution flatbed scanner that has hinges that can raise to accommodate thicker items. It offers a few connectivity options, like USB-to-computer, Wi-Fi, and support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.
Thanks to the printer's relatively cheap ink cartridges, the cost-per-print remains low. There are also two higher-yield cartridge sizes that should last longer and cost even less per print, but we haven't tested them. Produced images have a good amount of detail, although there's some banding in gray areas. The color accuracy isn't bad, but colors are slightly oversaturated, so this model isn't recommended if you require exact color reproduction.
Unfortunately, while it has some connectivity options, it doesn't support Bluetooth printing or Wi-Fi Direct. Also, while its cost-per-print is great, its page yield is disappointingly low. Documents are slow to print, but at least photos are faster than on other inkjet printers. All in all, this is a decent family printer if you're looking for something under $100, and it's among the best cheap printers we've tested.
If you want more wireless connection options, consider the Canon PIXMA TS5320. While its page yield and cost-per-print aren't as good as on the Canon PIXMA MG3620, it supports printing via Bluetooth and has Wi-Fi Direct. Also, it's a better option if you like printing photos since it produces images with much more detail, and its color accuracy is slightly better. Unlike the MG3620, this model has a display screen. Otherwise, they have the same scanner features and use the same mobile app. Unfortunately, it's slower at printing black-only text documents and photos.
If you prefer a higher page yield and don't mind the connection options, go with the MG3620. If you prefer printing via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct, go with the TS5320.
The best printer under $100 for photos we've tested is the Canon PIXMA TR4520. It's a relatively compact model that shouldn't take up much space in a small office or dorm room. If you want something to print nice photos with, this is a good option thanks to its impressive photo quality and decent color accuracy. It's compatible with the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app, which lets you print, scan, copy, and perform maintenance tasks directly from your mobile device.
It has great scanner features. It has a flatbed with good scan resolution and color depth, along with a sheetfed to automatically scan multi-page documents. Although it can't perform duplex scanning, this may not be a deal-breaker if you don't need to scan large, double-sided documents often. Its input tray has a slider to adjust to the most common paper sizes. It has decent connectivity options, letting you print via Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPrint, and Mopria Print Service.
Unfortunately, it has a poor page yield, so you may need to replace the cartridges often for both color and black ink. This causes the cost-per-print to be quite high, as the costs quickly add up in the long term. It's also disappointingly slow at printing documents, so it isn't the most ideal option if you're trying to work fast. Nevertheless, this is a great printer if you only expect to print photos occasionally and you want to save money.
The HP DeskJet 3755 is the best compact printer under $100 we've tested. This inkjet printer is very small and portable, making it suitable for tight spaces, like a small desk or dorm room. It comes in three colorful variants if you want to add a pop of color to your workspace, and it provides easy access to ink cartridges and paper jams from the front of the printer.
Even though it is quite compact, it's equipped with a sheetfed scanner that can automatically process multi-page documents. It produces good-looking photos that are well-detailed, although there's some banding in gray areas. Colors are impressively accurate, with only some colors looking a bit oversaturated. While accuracy may not be good enough for professions requiring exact color reproduction, it should be fine for casual photo printing.
Unfortunately, it doesn't yield many pages for either black or color documents, so you may need to replace the cartridges often, leading to a disappointingly high cost-per-print. Also, it prints documents and photos very slowly, and it can't automatically print double-sided pages. All in all, this is a good choice if you're looking for a simple, compact printer that costs under $100 and can produce good-looking photos.
The best laser printer under $100 we've tested is the Brother HL-L2370DW. This monochrome laser printer is an amazing option if you only need to print in black and white. It has a straightforward, easy-to-use design with quick access to the toner cartridge, drum units, and paper jams. Its body and input tray feel durable and sturdy, and since it doesn't have a scanner, it's fairly compact and doesn't need much clearance above it. That said, it should fit well in most tight spaces.
It has an outstanding cartridge system that yields a high number of pages, so you shouldn't need to replace them too often. Thanks to this, it has a remarkably low cost-per-print. You can also buy higher yield toners that should last you even longer and keep your costs even lower, although we don't test these. While it takes a little long for its first page to come out, the subsequent pages are incredibly fast to print.
Unfortunately, this model doesn't have a flatbed or sheetfed scanner, so it isn't ideal if you need to do anything other than print documents. The drum unit is separate from the toner cartridge, and while this means you don't need to replace it every time you replace the toner, you do need to replace it eventually, which adds an extra cost down the line. Nevertheless, this is an excellent laser printer, and it's among the best black and white printers we've tested.
Mar 23, 2021: Replaced the Canon PIXMA TR7520 with the Canon PIXMA TS5320 as an alternative to the 'Best Family Printer Under $100' since the TR7520's recent price increase doesn't match the price limit of this recommendation anymore. Changed the category name to 'Alternative with Better Connectivity Options'.
Jan 22, 2021: Replaced the HP LaserJet Pro M15w with the Brother HL-L2370DW for 'Best Laser Printer Under $100' since it performs better. Added HP LaserJet Pro M15w and Brother HL-L2390DW to Notable Mentions.
Nov 24, 2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
Sep 25, 2020: : Moved Canon PIXMA TR7520 to 'Better Performing, Harder-to-Find Alternative' due to availability and price change, and made Canon PIXMA MG3620 the main pick.
Sep 04, 2020: Moved theCanon PIXMA MG3620 to Cheaper Alternative, made the Canon PIXMA TR4520 'Best Printer Under $100 For Photos', added the HP LaserJet Pro M15w as 'Best Laser Printer Under $100'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best printers under $100 for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our printer reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no printer is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.