If you're searching for the perfect printer to buy for your home or office, the right choice will depend mostly on your needs and habits. The type of printer that's best for you depends on how many pages you print, how often you print, and the type of media you print. For example, if you're shopping for your small office, features like a high page yield at a cheap cost and an automatic document feeder are good to have. On the other hand, if you want to print pictures, then a color printer that produces good-looking photos and is compatible with photo paper is ideal.
We've tested over 120 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best printers you can buy. You can also check our picks for the best home printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best small business printers.
The best printer we've tested is the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw, an all-in-one laser model designed for office use. It feels exceptionally well-built and has tons of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet. Its ADF-equipped scanner produces high-quality scans and processes double-sided sheets in a single pass, although it's a little slow as it can only scan up to five pages per minute. Its four toner cartridges yield around 3000 black and 2000 color prints, so it doesn't require a lot of maintenance. The cartridges are expensive, but since you won't have to replace them often, your cost per print will remain low over time. Also, the cartridges have the drum built-in, so you won't need to spend extra to replace the drum separately. It takes longer than most laser printers to warm up, but it's very fast once it gets going, pushing out 29 black or color pages per minute.
The main drawback with most laser printers is that they aren't very good for photo printing, and that's still true with the MF743Cdw. For photo printing, you're better off with an inkjet model, and our pick is the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550. It's an all-in-one supertank, meaning it has ink tanks you can refill with ink bottles. It prints incredibly detailed and colorful photos and supports borderless printing up to 13" x 19". Replacement ink is cheap, so you don't need to worry about maintenance costs. Unfortunately, there are some trade-offs: it lacks an automatic feeder on its scanner, doesn't print as quickly, and is more expensive.
If you only print black and white documents, a monochrome model might be a better option. Our recommendation is the Brother MFC-L2750DW, an all-in-one laser printer. It has Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet connectivity, and it even supports NFC, allowing you to connect by simply tapping your NFC-enabled device on the printer. It has an ADF-equipped scanner to quickly process multi-page documents, and it can scan double-sided sheets in a single pass. Its toner cartridge yields about 1200 prints and is cheap.
Plus, since it's monochrome, you only have one cartridge to replace, making the cost per print exceptionally low. You have to replace the drum separately; however, the drum is usually good for around 12,000 prints, so you likely won't need to do it too often. It doesn't take long to warm up and prints quickly at 36 pages per minute.
For a more mid-range option intended for home use, we recommend the Brother MFC-J4335DW, one of the best color printers we've tested. This well-built inkjet all-in-one has plenty of features and a high page yield to help keep your maintenance costs low. You can connect to the printer via USB, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet, and it's compatible with Brother's mobile companion app, which you can use to print, scan, copy, and perform maintenance tasks. Its ADF-equipped scanner scans up to 20 pages per minute but doesn't support duplex scanning, so you'll still have to flip the pages manually when scanning double-sided sheets.
Its printing speed is great at 17 black or 15 color pages per minute, and it doesn't take long to wake from sleep. The only downside is that it isn't the best for photo printing, as printed pictures look grainy with washed-out blacks.
The best budget printer we've tested is the Brother MFC-J1205W. It's a simple inkjet all-in-one designed for those who print just a little more than those once-in-a-blue-moon projects. It yields around 1100 black and 700 color pages, and the ink cartridges aren't overly expensive, resulting in a very low cost per print. Of course, there are a few compromises, like the lack of an automatic feeder and Ethernet connectivity. Also, its printing speed is on the slower side, so it isn't the best option for printing long reports or essays. The build is surprisingly sturdy, especially for a printer in this price range.
If you need a cheap printer for only occasional use, we recommend the Canon PIXMA MG3620. Although it doesn't feel particularly well-built and only has a basic flatbed scanner, it still prints good-quality documents and photos. The main drawback with cheap printers is usually the page yield, and the PIXMA MG3620 is no exception. Its two ink cartridges are only good for around 200 black or color prints, meaning you'll have to replace them often.
Replacement ink is relatively cheap, but it'll still add up quickly if you print often. Also, since it uses a tri-color cartridge, you have to replace the entire cartridge if only a single color runs out. Again, it's an okay choice for the occasional print job, but if you print more regularly, it's best to get a model with better page yields.
In need of something portable? The HP OfficeJet 250 might be what you need. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 225 prints and takes around an hour and a half to fully charge. Since it doesn't need an outlet, it's perfect if you travel for work and need to work from a hotel room or even if you're a small business that sells items at a fair and need to print receipts. Despite its compact size, it still manages to pack an ADF scanner. It has a maximum scanning resolution of 600 DPI, which is more than enough for text documents and photos, though you'll need something with a higher resolution if you want to scale up small scanned documents.
Unfortunately, it prints very slowly at one PPM for both black and color pages. It's a bit faster when plugged in, but not by much. Also, it can only print 100-150 pages before the ink runs out, meaning you'll need to carry a few extra cartridges with you if you print more than this during your trip or event. Higher-yield cartridges are available that'll last longer, and it also accepts third-party ink.
If you need a printer that supports tabloid-size paper, get the Epson EcoTank ET-15000. It's an inkjet supertank model that yields thousands of prints, making it a great choice for printing large posters in bulk. It prints fairly quickly, and its input tray holds 270 sheets of paper so that you can complete large print jobs with minimal interruptions. One thing to note is that while it has duplex printing capability, it doesn't work when printing tabloid size.
It has a high-resolution scanner with an ADF; however, it only processes up to five pages per minute through the feeder and lacks duplex scanning capability. You get the usual Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet connectivity and support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.
Sep 19, 2022: Replaced the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw with the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw because the Canon prints faster, yields more black prints, and is much cheaper. Replaced the Canon imageCLASS MF445dw with the Brother MFC-L2750DW because the Brother has better print quality.
Aug 11, 2022: Changed article structure to better match user expectations. Replaced the HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 with the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 as the 'Best Wide Format' pick. Removed the Brother MFC-J4535DW and added the Brother MFC-J1205W as the 'Best Budget' pick. Removed the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 as a main pick. Added the Canon PIXMA MG3620 as the 'Best Cheap' pick.
Jun 17, 2022: Minor structure change. Replaced the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw with the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw because the Canon is discontinued and hard to find.
May 19, 2022: Replaced the Canon MAXIFY GX7020 with the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 because the Epson prints faster, and the Canon is hard to find.
Apr 19, 2022: Minor structure change; replaced HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn with Canon imageCLASS MF445dw for consistency.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently 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.