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 100 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 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 most 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 the limited wireless connection options on the Canon PIXMA MG3620 bother you, consider the Canon PIXMA TS5320. Although it yields even fewer pages, and its cost-per-print isn't as great, it has Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth printing support. Also, it has a display screen, and its input tray holds an extra 100 pages. It prints better-looking photos, with less banding and no oversaturated colors. Unfortunately, it's slightly slower at printing black text documents and photos.
If page yield and cost-per-print matter more to you, go with the MG3620; however, if you want a model with Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth, get the TS5320.
The best printer under $100 for photos that we've tested is the Canon PIXMA TR4520. This relatively compact model shouldn't take up too much space on your desk, and its great photo printing quality and satisfactory color accuracy make it a good choice for printing photos. You can also use the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY mobile companion app to perform maintenance tasks, print, copy, and even scan photos directly to your mobile device.
The scanning system is great with an automatic document feeder that makes scanning multi-page documents easy. It also has a flatbed with great scan resolution and color depth. While the input tray doesn't have a cassette and needs to be left open if you want to leave paper in it, it has a slider that adjusts to accommodate the most popular paper sizes. While it has Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service support, it doesn't have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct capability.
Sadly, it has poor printing speed for both documents and photos, and due to its poor page yield, you might need to replace both the color and black ink cartridges often, leading to a disappointingly high cost-per-print that can easily add up in the long term. It also doesn't have duplex scanning, so double-sided documents might be more inconvenient to process. However, if you only need to print photos now and then and want to save money, this printer is a great choice.
The best compact printer under $100 we've tested is the HP DeskJet 3755. 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's quite compact, it's equipped with a sheetfed scanner that can automatically process multi-page documents. It produces good-looking, well-detailed photos, 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, which leads 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 that we've tested is the Brother HL-L2370DW. While its retail cost is over the price limit of this article, it's an excellent monochrome model that's fairly cheap for a laser printer, and it's an excellent option if you're looking for very high black text page yields at a low cost-per-print.
It feels very well-made, with a durable-feeling body and input tray. The drum unit and toner cartridge are easy to access from the front of the printer, and there's a panel at the back to take care of paper jams. It's incredibly fast at printing documents, although it takes a little longer to warm up. You can print via many ways, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, and you can also plug it directly to your computer via a USB-A to USB-B cable.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a scanner, so this isn't an ideal model if you need to scan items often and don't have a separate scanner. Also, since the drum unit isn't a part of the toner cartridge, you'll need to replace it separately, which adds an extra cost down the line. All in all, this is an amazing laser model if you need to print monochrome documents, and it's one of the best black and white printers we've tested.
Jul 19, 2021: Corrected some consistency errors; no change to product picks.
May 20, 2021: Verified that picks were still available and edited text for clarity.
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.
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.