If you only print occasionally, 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 a duplex automatic document feeder or a supertank ink system, but they get the job done, and you can save some money. Keep in mind that cheaper printers usually cost you a lot more in ink since their cartridges don't hold as much ink, so you may have to buy cartridges more frequently than if you spent more on a printer upfront.
We've tested over 120 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best printers under $100 you can buy. You can also check out our picks for the best cheap printers, the best home printers, and the best all-in-one printers.
The best printer under $100 we've tested is the Brother MFC-J1010DW, an all-in-one inkjet model designed for home use. It has a sturdy build, Wi-Fi and USB connectivity, and a front panel with tons of buttons to help you navigate the settings menu. The scanner produces high-quality scans and processes up to eight pages per minute through its automatic feeder. It doesn't support duplex scanning, so you'll have to flip the pages manually when scanning double-sided sheets. As for its print quality, black and color documents look amazing, and while it doesn't have the best color range or accuracy, photos still look incredibly detailed. Unfortunately, its ink cartridges only yield around 200 black and 130 color prints, meaning you'll have to replace them regularly.
Its overall cost-per-print is still relatively low because the ink cartridges are cheap, though color printing can get quite expensive if you print a lot. If you're willing to spend a little more upfront for a model with better yield, the Brother MFC-J1205W is worth checking out. Its ink cartridges last much longer, so you don't have to replace them as often, saving you money in the long run. However, it doesn't have an automatic feeder and prints slower.
If you don't print often and worry about clogged printheads, it might be better to go with a laser printer. We recommend the HP LaserJet Pro M15w, a print-only monochrome model. Its retail cost is slightly over the price limit of this article, and it’s a little hard to find in stock, but it’s well worth it because you won’t have to spend as much money on cartridges nearly as often as inkjet printers.
It can print thousands of pages before the toner is out, which will last you months if you print a few pages every week. It’s pretty slow at printing for a laser printer, but it doesn't take long to warm up and get a page out. You can connect to the printer via USB or Wi-Fi, and it supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.
If you’re looking for a cheap printer that doesn’t take up much space, the HP DeskJet 3755 might be just what you need. This compact all-in-one fits easily on an office desk or a cramped dorm room and comes in three colorful variants if you want to spruce up your workspace. Despite its small size, it has a sheetfed scanner, which you can use to scan plain sheets up to 8.5" x 14" in size. It doesn't print black text documents all that well, but color documents look decent.
Its page yield is very low at only 100 black and 40 color prints, and even though the cartridges are cheap, you’ll have to buy replacements often, which adds up quickly. That said, if you only print once in a blue moon and want a compact model that can get the job done, it's worth considering.
If you want to print casual photos on the go, the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer is the best one we've tested for under $100. It's a very compact printer designed for use with Android or Apple smartphones. You can connect to the printer via Bluetooth, and through its mobile app, you can print, create collages, or add stickers. It produces 2" x 3" photos on special ink-filled photo paper, which you can buy in packs of various sizes; just keep in mind that it can get expensive if you print a lot.
The print quality isn't that great, but that's to be expected, as it's a printer intended to produce polaroid-like photos that you can keep in a wallet or stick on a fridge's door. The battery lasts long enough for 20 prints, though you can use it while charging.
Sep 26, 2022: Minor structure change. Removed the Canon PIXMA TS6420a and the 'Best Photo Printer' category. Added the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer as the 'Best Portable Photo Printer'. Replaced the Canon PIXMA MG3620 with the Brother MFC-J1010DW because the Brother has better build quality, an ADF, faster printing speed, and prints higher-quality documents.
Jul 28, 2022: Minor structure change. Removed the Brother MFC-J1205W and the 'Best Student Printer' category. Replaced the Canon PIXMA TS3520 with the Canon PIXMA TS6420a because the TS6420a prints better quality photos and has better page yield.
May 17, 2022: Replaced the Canon PIXMA TR4720 with the Canon PIXMA TS3520 since the TR4720 is currently well over the price limit of the article. Added details about the price and availability of the other picks.
Mar 15, 2022: Made the HP LaserJet Pro M15w 'Best Laser', and moved the Brother HL-L2370DW to Notable Mentions since the Brother is difficult to find at a reasonable price. Added the Pantum P2502W to Notable Mentions. Verified availability of picks.
Jan 14, 2022: Made the Canon PIXMA MG3620 'Best Family' and the Brother MFC-J1205W 'Best Student'. Added the Canon IVY Mini Photo Printer to Notable Mentions. Verified availability of picks.
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 our cheap printer reviews, sorted from least to most expensive. 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.