When shopping for a printer, it's difficult not to notice the same names popping up. However, a shorter list of companies doesn't make shopping for a new printer any easier since they all make a wide range of options that cater to different needs, making it difficult to determine the overall best printer brands. That said, each company has its take on the same technology, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
We've tested over 95 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best printer brands to buy from. Their position on the list isn't indicative of any type of ranking; they're merely listed alphabetically. You can also check out our recommendations for the best photo printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best home printers for other options.
Brother is a Japanese company that started out making sewing machines under the name Yasui Sewing Machine in the early 1900s. The Brother name has been around since 1955, and the company has since expanded its portfolio to include products like typewriters, desktop computers, and of course, printers. Currently, their printers are in two categories: home and business. Most of their home printers are inkjets due to their versatility and lower cost, while their business-oriented printers are mostly laser, as they're usually better at handling big print jobs quickly. Brother printers have cartridges that generally last a long time, making them cost-effective options for those who print a lot.
The best Brother printer that we've tested is the Brother MFC-J995DW. This all-in-one inkjet model uses Brother's high-yield INKvestment tank system, which delivers exceptional page yields and a fantastic cost-per-print so you can save money in the long run. It prints photos at a very good speed, with impressive detail and only some fine banding in certain colors, with produced colors accurate enough for casual use. It has good connectivity options, but unfortunately, you can't print via Bluetooth, and we couldn't get our unit to print using Mopria Print Service. The flatbed scanner has a good scanning resolution and color depth, but its automatic document feeder can't duplex scan, so if you need to scan these often, check out the Brother MFC-L2750DW. All in all, the J995DW is excellent and is the best Brother printer for family use we've tested.
Canon is a Japanese company that's best known for their cameras and lenses, but they also sell projectors, printers, and even MRI machines worldwide. Their printers are aimed at both home and office use, and even though they offer mainly inkjet options, they have some laser printers, like the Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw. Their PIXMA inkjet printers are usually great for home use and print photos with impressive quality, although their color accuracy isn't the best. Their high-end options use supertank ink systems that have a high page yield, but as you go further down the lineup towards the more budget-friendly options with cartridges, the page yield tends to be lower.
The Canon PIXMA G7020 is the best Canon printer we've tested. This all-in-one printer uses a supertank, which has four refillable ink tanks that yield an incredibly high number of pages for both black and color documents. This helps to keep the cost-per-print remarkably low, whether you primarily print documents or photos. It's equipped with copy and fax capabilities, a high-resolution flatbed scanner, and a sheetfed scanner, but it can't automatically process double-sided scans. It offers a wide range of wireless and wired connections, including Ethernet, Apple AirPrint, and Mopria Print Service, but unfortunately, it doesn't support Bluetooth printing. Also, it prints disappointingly slow, and its color accuracy is mediocre at best. If color accuracy and photo quality are important to you, the Canon PIXMA TR4520 is a good choice to consider. All in all, the G7020 is a great family printer that's versatile enough for a range of uses.
Epson is another Japanese electronics company that's part of the Seiko group. The company started making printers in 1964 when Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics, and Seiko, the official timekeeper for the games, needed to make an electronic printer for timesheets. By 1975, Seiko came out with the name Epson, which is short for Son of Electronic Printers, and since then, they've been a leader in the world of printing. Their printer lineup features a wide range of models aimed at home or business use, and they even have dedicated photo printers. Their supertank lineup is popular since its refillable ink tanks yield significantly more pages than ink cartridges, which is also less wasteful.
The best Epson printer we've tested is the Epson EcoTank ET-4760. It uses a supertank system with four refillable high-capacity ink tanks that yield an incredible number of black-and-white and color documents, which results in an exceptionally low cost-per-print. Its scanning features are very good, including a flatbed scanner with a good scan resolution and color depth. However, while it has an automatic document feeder, it can't duplex scan. It has great connectivity options, including Wi-Fi Direct, Apple AirPrint, and Mopria Print Service, but it can't print via Bluetooth or directly off a USB flash drive. Unfortunately, it isn't a good choice for photos despite its good reproduction of details due to its mediocre color accuracy, banding, and flat tone. If you want a similar printer but want to save some money, the Epson EcoTank ET-3760 is a very good alternative, though it lacks a fax feature. That said, it's a great choice and has many different features that should be suitable for many uses.
Hewlett-Packard, better known by the initials HP, is an American company founded in 1939. They began by producing electronic test and measurement equipment, moved onto other technology like audio oscillators and atomic clocks, and finally expanded their portfolio to include laptops, monitors, and computers. They introduced the first desktop laser printer in 1984 with the HP LaserJet, and although they continue making laser models today, they've also expanded to make inkjet printers for office solutions. HP makes printers for home or office use, and they also make cheap options for students, like the HP DeskJet 3755.
The best HP inkjet printer we've tested is the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e, the successor to the discontinued HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 with six free months of HP's Instant Ink subscription. The scanning features are fantastic, with a high-resolution flatbed and an automatic document feeder with double-sided scanning. It has outstanding connectivity options, including printing directly off a USB flash drive and Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service support. The four-cartridge system has a great overall page yield and a remarkable cost-per-print, and printed photos have decent enough color accuracy and photo quality for casual use. However, if you want better overall photo prints, check out the HP ENVY Photo 7855. Unfortunately, like its predecessor, the 9025e's ADF scanner produces tilted scans. Also, there's no support for Bluetooth printing. Overall, the 9025e has good performance and versatile features that make it one of the best HP printers that we've tested.
Jun 10, 2021: Replaced the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 with the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e as the former has been discontinued. Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.
Apr 13, 2021: Verified that picks were still available and relevant.
Feb 12, 2021: Updated text for accuracy and clarity; no change in product picks.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best printer brands and the best printers 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 for these four brands. 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.