When shopping for a printer, it's difficult not to notice that the same names keep 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 printers that cater to different needs, making it difficult to determine what the overall best printer brands are. That said, each company has its take on the same technology, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
We've reviewed over 60 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 such as typewriters, desktop computers, and of course, printers. Currently, their printers are separated into two categories: home and business. Most of their home printers are inkjet due to their versatility and lower cost, and business-oriented printers are mostly laser, as they're usually better at handling big print jobs quickly. Brother printers are typically well-built, and their cartridges generally last a long time, making them cost-effective options for those who print a lot. They also have one of the largest selections of monochrome laser printers for those who print in black only.
The best Brother printer that we've reviewed so far is the Brother MFC-J995DW. This is a feature-rich inkjet printer that's mainly made for home use. It features Brother's INKvestment Tank Ink System, which is high yield cartridges, so you won't need to replace them as often. The cost-per-print is extremely low, and the photo printing quality is great, with detailed and vibrant images. Like all Brother printers, it's compatible with the iPrint&Scan mobile app, and you can also print directly from a USB thumb drive or SD card. If you mainly print black-only documents or want a small business printer, you may also want to consider the Brother MFC0L2750DW. This all-in-one laser printer is incredibly quick at printing pages and has a built-in fax, scanner, and automatic document feeder. It's also compatible with Brother's outstanding iPrint&Scan mobile app, and computers can connect to it wirelessly via Wi-Fi.
Canon is a Japanese company, and although they're best known for their cameras and lenses, 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 too, like the Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw. Their PIXMA inkjet printers are usually great printers for home use, and they print photos in impressive quality, although their color accuracy isn't the best. Their high-end printers 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. Additionally, the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY companion app is excellent and allows you to print different types of files.
The best Canon printer that we've tested so far is the Canon PIXMA G7020. It's a very well-built all-in-one inkjet printer that uses a supertank ink system. The page yield is the best we've seen for a Canon printer, but it isn't as good as some Epson printers. Still, you won't have to worry about refilling the ink tanks for a while, and when you do, the replacement ink bottles aren't expensive, so printing is cost-effective over time. This printer has good photo printing quality, but its color accuracy is mediocre, so it's not suggested if you need accurate color reproduction. If that's what you're looking for in a Canon printer, check out the Canon PIXMA TR4520, one of the best cheap printers we've tested, which has impressive photo printing quality and decent color accuracy. Lastly, the G7020 has both a flatbed scanner and a sheetfed scanner with an automatic document feeder, but it doesn't support duplex scanning. All in all, Canon has a big lineup with different types of printers, and this is the best one that we've tested so far.
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 printers lineup features a wide range of printers aimed at home or business use, and they even have dedicated photo printers. Their supertank lineup is very popular because instead of using more traditional cartridges, the printers use refillable ink tanks, which yield an incredibly high page yield and don't cost much to replace. It's also less wasteful because each ink bottle replaces a few cartridges.
The best Epson printer that we've tested so far is the Epson EcoTank ET-4760. It's one of their high-end printers in the EcoTank lineup, and as expected with its supertank system, it has one of the highest color and black page yields we've seen on any printer so far. The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 has an even higher page yield and costs less, but it doesn't have a sheetfed scanner like the ET-4760. Due to the ET-4760's high page yield, printing is cost-effective over time, and you won't have to worry about buying new cartridges for a while. Sadly, like most Epson printers, its color accuracy, and photo printing quality aren't anything special, and there are better options if you need to print documents with accurate colors. The Epson iPrint mobile app is outstanding, and you can print most file types from it, including HTML and Microsoft Office files. Epson EcoTank printers should please most people because of their high page yield, and this is the best that we've tested so far.
HP, or Hewlett-Packard, is an American company that has been making electronics since 1939. They started by making different types of products, including audio oscillators and atomic clocks. They've since expanded their portfolio to include laptops, monitors, and computers, just to name a few. They introduced the first desktop laser printer in 1984 with the HP LaserJet, and they continue making inkjet printers today, and they've since expanded into laserjet printers for office solutions. HP makes printers for home or office use, and they also make cheap printers for students, like the HP DeskJet 3755, but like most companies, the cheaper the printer, the lower page yield the printer has. The HP companion app, HP Smart, doesn't allow you to print Microsoft Office files like some other companies' apps, but it still allows you to manage your ink subscription and order new cartridges directly from the app.
The best HP printer we've tested so far is the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025. It's an extremely well-built all-in-one inkjet printer with a large display screen that tilts for better visibility. Its four-cartridge system delivers a high page yield, especially with black and white pages, and even though the cartridges are a bit costly, the cost-per-print is still low. It has outstanding scanning features as it has a flatbed and sheetfed scanner, which has an automatic document feeder that supports duplex scanning, great for scanning long, double-sided documents. It prints pages fast, and it has excellent connectivity options, including a USB port, so that you can print directly from a USB. Sadly, it has mediocre color accuracy, and its photo printing quality is just decent, and there are better HP options out there, such as the HP ENVY Photo 7155. Overall, if you're looking for an HP printer, the 9025 is a great choice for most uses.
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. 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.