Although color printers are relatively affordable, many people only print in black, especially in the commercial environment. Many offices only need to print invoices and receipts, so why pay more for a color printer? Monochrome printers often have room for a bigger cartridge, giving you a higher page yield, so you don't have to replace the cartridge as frequently.
Laser printers are usually the preferred choice for black-and-white printing, as they typically print faster. That said, inkjet printers are more versatile and often cheaper, and those with an ink tank system can often match or surpass the page yield of their laser counterpart. Whether looking for the best black-and-white laser printer for home use or office use, you'll find a good option that fits your printing needs.
We've tested over 120 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best monochrome printers you can buy. You can also check out our picks for the best laser printers, the best printers for small businesses, and the best all-in-one printers.
The best black and white printer we've tested is the Brother MFC-L2750DW, a feature-rich all-in-one laser printer. It has plenty of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet, and it supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. The scanner is equipped with an automatic feeder to process long, multi-page documents, and it can scan double-sided sheets in a single pass, meaning you don't need to reinsert the pages manually. As for its printing performance, it produces outstanding quality documents quickly, pushing out 36 pages per minute. The regular toner cartridge yields around 2000 prints, so you won't need to replace it often unless you print a lot, and you can increase the yield further with an XL cartridge. The drum is a separate unit you'll have to spend extra to replace, but you likely won't need to do it often, as it's usually good for about 12,000 prints.
If you want something a little cheaper than the Brother MFC-L2750DW and don't mind compromising, go with the Brother MFC-L2710DW. It's a variant with slightly fewer features than our top pick and performs almost identically in terms of print quality and page yield. However, it prints a little slower at 32 pages per minute and doesn't support duplex scanning, so you'll have to flip the sheets manually when scanning double-sided documents.
If you have simpler needs, you can save some money with the Brother HL-L2390DW. It's also an all-in-one monochrome model, but unlike our top pick, it lacks an automatic feeder and Ethernet connectivity. It produces sharp-looking documents, prints quickly at 32 pages per minute, and supports automatic duplex printing. The toner cartridge is good for about 1400 prints and is fairly cheap, so you don't need to worry about high maintenance costs. The lack of an automatic feeder is probably the most significant compromise with this printer, so you need to make sure you won't need to scan lots of long, multi-page documents.
For those on a tight budget, we have yet another Brother printer. This time it's the Brother HL-L2325DW. To be clear, Brother isn't the only company that makes monochrome laser printers; it's just very good at it. The HL-L2325DW is a print-only unit, so you're losing the scanner altogether for its lower price. It still feels very well-built, though, and it produces sharp-looking documents quickly at 33 pages per minute. Its toner cartridge yields about 1200 prints, and its cost-per-print is exceptionally low. It has the usual Wi-Fi and USB connectivity and is compatible with Brother's mobile companion app, which lets you print or perform maintenance tasks right from your smartphone.
If you regularly print in bulk and only care about a high page yield, we recommend the Epson WorkForce ST-M1000. It's a standalone model that comes with not two but three black ink bottles, so you'll be good for over 10,000 prints. The biggest advantage of this model over the others is its much cheaper ink cost, which helps keep its cost-per-print exceptionally low. It prints up to 18 pages per minute and only takes a few seconds to warm up. Unlike laser printers, you won't have to worry about replacing the drum unit; however, this model's inkjet technology means you need to print frequently, as letting the printer go unused for too long will clog up the printheads.
Oct 27, 2022: Minor structure change. Replaced the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw with the Brother MFC-L2750DW because the Brother has better print quality and is cheaper. Removed the Brother MFC-L2710DW as a main pick, as it's a variant of the MFC-L2750DW. Added the Brother HL-L2390DW as a mid-range pick. Replaced the Brother HL-L2370DW with the Brother HL-L2325DW because the HL-L2325DW performs almost identically but at a lower price. Removed the HP NeverStop Laser MFP 1202w as it's discontinued and hard to find.
Aug 29, 2022: Restructured article to better match user expectations. Added the Canon imageCLASS MF242dw as a Notable Mention.
Jun 17, 2022: Removed all color printers from the list and added the Brother MFC-L2710DW, Brother HL-L2370DW, HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202w, and Epson WorkForce ST-M1000 as picks.
Apr 19, 2022: Minor structure change. Moved HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn into 'Best Standalone Black and White Printer'.
Feb 18, 2022: Added the Canon imageCLASS MF242dw to Notable Mentions. Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best monochrome printers for home use 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 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.