When shopping for a printer, it's difficult not to notice the brand 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 company. That said, each company has its take on the same technologies, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
We've tested over 120 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 listed alphabetically. You can also check out our recommendations for the best printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best home printers for more options.
Brother is a Japanese company that started 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 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 models, which are better at quickly handling big print jobs. Brother printer cartridges generally last a long time, making them cost-effective options for those who print a lot.
For everyday home use, we recommend the Brother MFC-J4335DW, an all-in-one inkjet model. It produces outstanding quality documents and prints pretty quickly at 17 black or 15 color pages per minute. For photo printing, it doesn't have the widest color range or the best accuracy, but printed photos still look good and are extremely detailed. The ink cartridges yield a large number of prints and are relatively inexpensive, resulting in low maintenance costs. Its connectivity options include Wi-Fi and USB, and it supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service, making it easy to connect via various devices. The scanner produces amazing quality scans and processes multi-page documents quickly through its automatic feeder, but it doesn't support duplex scanning.
If you need something for a small office, check out the Brother MFC-L2750DW, a monochrome all-in-one laser unit that excels at printing black-and-white documents. This model also has many cheaper variants that perform almost identically but have fewer features, like the Brother MFC-L2710DW, so you can easily find something that fits your budget. If color printing is a must, you can go with the Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser, although it's an older model and might be hard to find.
Canon is a Japanese company that's been in the imaging business for a long time, producing numerous products like cameras, lenses, projectors, and printers. Given their expertise in photography, it isn't surprising that their printers are generally better at printing photos, with their PIXMA line being the most popular. Although a large portion of their printers are inkjet models designed for home use, they make laser printers for small offices, like the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw. They also make professional photo printers like the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300.
Although we consider the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw as the best Canon printer overall, it's only suitable if you don't plan on printing any photos, as like most laser printers, it produces photos that look flat, grainy, and lacking in detail. It's also probably a little too expensive for the average household. For home use, we recommend the Canon PIXMA TR8620a instead. It's a great all-in-one inkjet model that produces high-quality documents and vibrant photos. Its ink cartridges yield a little over 200 black or 300 color pages, which is on the lower side, but thankfully, they're relatively cheap, so your maintenance cost won't rise too quickly if you print a lot. It has a high-resolution scanner with an automatic feeder; however, the scan quality is only okay, so it isn't the best for digitizing photos.
If you have a large print load, you can go with the Canon PIXMA G7020, a supertank inkjet model. Its ink tank yields thousands of pages, and the ink bottles are cheap, making it very cost-effective over time. The downsides are that its print quality isn't quite as good, especially for color documents, and colors don't look as accurate. It also prints slower, and its smaller display makes it hard to navigate the settings menu.
Epson, another Japanese electronics company, is 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, 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 the most popular, as its refillable ink tanks yield significantly more pages than ink cartridges.
The best Epson printer for most people is the Epson EcoTank ET-3850. This supertank model yields thousands of pages from a single set of ink, making it a superb choice high-volume printing. It produces sharp documents and is decently fast, pushing out 15 black or seven color pages per minute. Printed photos look very detailed and colorful, although they aren't very color-accurate as the printer tends to oversaturate colors to make them look more vibrant and punchy. It has a scanner with an automatic feeder to process multi-page documents quickly, but it doesn't support duplex scanning.
If you need duplex scanning and don't mind paying more, go with the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850. Its page yield isn't as good as the ET-3850, but it produces higher-quality color documents and photos and prints faster at 25 pages per minute. If you want the best printer for printing photos and posters, then the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 would be the best option, as it has a wider color range and supports wide format paper up to 13" x 19".
Hewlett-Packard, better known by the initials HP, is an American company founded in 1939. They began by producing electronic test and measurement equipment, then moved on to other technologies like audio oscillators and atomic clocks before finally expanding their portfolio to include laptops, monitors, and computers. They introduced the first desktop laser printer in 1984 with the HP LaserJet. Although they continue making laser models like the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw, they've also expanded to make inkjet printers for office solutions. HP makes printers for home or office use and cheap options for students, like the HP DeskJet 3755.
If you're looking for a general-purpose all-in-one printer for home or office use, we recommend the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e. It produces incredibly sharp documents and prints quickly at 16 black or 14 color pages per minute. It yields a large number of prints, and you can further increase the yield with XL cartridges. It also comes with six months of free ink through HP+, HP's ink subscription service. Its ADF-equipped scanner processes up to 10 pages per minute through the feeder and double-sided sheets in a single pass. It has trouble capturing fine details, so it isn't the best for digitizing graphics and photos. Its connectivity options include USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet, and it can print directly off a USB flash drive.
If you only print documents and prefer a laser model, go with the Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw instead. It's just as good as the 9025e in document printing quality, and it prints faster at 21 black or 29 color pages per minute. Its toner cartridges are pretty expensive, but they last a long time, so the cost per print is still low. They also contain the drum, meaning you don't need to replace the drum separately, making maintenance easier. Plus, unlike inkjet printers, you won't have to worry about printheads clogging if you don't print for an extended period.
Feb 17, 2023: Small text changes to improve clarity and readability. No change in recommendations.
Dec 21, 2022: Minor text changes to improve clarity. No change in recommendations.
Oct 28, 2022: Replaced the Brother MFC-J4535DW with the Brother MFC-J4335DW because it's cheaper and performs almost identically. Verified accuracy and availability of all other picks.
Aug 30, 2022: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced the Canon PIXMA TR8620 with the Canon PIXMA TR8620a because it's easier to find and performs similarly.
Jun 02, 2022: Replaced Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw with Canon TR8620 because the MF743Cdw is discontinued and hard to find.
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'd 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 it might be impossible to say exactly which is the best printer company, it's equally important to keep in mind that 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.