If you're searching for the perfect printer 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, a color printer that produces good-looking photos and is compatible with photo paper is ideal if you want to print pictures.
We've tested over 125 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 Brother MFC-L8905CDW, an all-in-one laser model designed for small and home offices. It produces amazingly sharp documents, doesn't take long to warm up, and prints quickly at up to 32 pages per minute (black or color). It has many connectivity options that make it easy for everyone in the office to access, including Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet. The flatbed scanner is large enough to scan Legal-size sheets (8.5" x 14"), and there's also an automatic feeder with single-pass duplex scanning, letting you quickly process multi-page and double-sided documents.
Regarding maintenance costs, although the toner cartridges are on the expensive side, they last a long time and don't need regular replacement. The drum is a separate unit that you'll have to spend extra to replace, but again, you won't have to do it often as it's usually good for around 30,000 prints. If you want to save money and don't mind compromising on features, you can go with the Brother MFC-L8900CDW variant, which performs identically but has a smaller display. The Brother MFC-L8610CDW variant is also cheaper; it has an 8.5" x 11" flatbed scanner and doesn't support duplex scanning. You can see more details about the variants in the full review.
If you only print black and white documents, get a monochrome model. We recommend the Brother MFC-L2750DW. This all-in-one laser model has many connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet, and it supports NFC, allowing you to connect quickly by tapping your NFC-enabled device against the printer. The scanner produces outstanding scans and quickly processes multi-page and double-sided documents through its automatic feeder. The toner cartridge yields about 1200 prints and is cheap; plus, since it's a monochrome printer, you only have one cartridge to replace. As for its printing performance, documents look incredibly sharp and come out quickly at 36 pages per minute.
If you find this model too expensive, know that there are variants with slightly different features and performances. You can get a cheaper variant with fewer features, like the Brother MFC-L2710DW, which lacks duplex scanning and prints a little slower. Some models are also available in bundles with a longer-lasting XL toner cartridge, like the Brother MFC-L2750DWXL. You can see the differences between the variants in the full review.
If you want something more modest for home use, we have yet another Brother printer, 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 or Wi-Fi, and it's compatible with Brother's mobile companion app, which you can use to print, scan, copy, and perform maintenance tasks.
It produces high-quality documents, and while it doesn't have the best color accuracy or color range, printed photos still look very detailed. It prints quickly at 17 black or 15 color pages per minute and doesn't take long to wake from sleep. 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.
Our best budget printer pick is the Brother MFC-J1205W, also sold as the Brother MFC-J1215W at Walmart. This inkjet all-in-one produces very sharp black and color documents and detailed and reasonably color-accurate photos. It also costs little to maintain as the ink cartridges yield a large number of prints and are relatively cheap. Connectivity options include USB and Wi-Fi, and there's support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. Unfortunately, this model only has a flatbed scanner, so scanning multi-page documents can take a lot of time. Another downside is that it prints slowly at nine black or six color pages per minute and doesn't support automatic duplex printing.
If you want a monochrome laser model in the same price range, get the Brother HL-L2350DW. Like the Brother printer we recommend above, it produces incredibly sharp documents, prints quickly, and is cheap to maintain. It's also a great choice if you don't print often, as there's no risk of printhead clogging, which happens on inkjet printers that aren't used for a long time. The tradeoff is that it lacks a scanner, so you must be sure you won't need to scan anything.
Consider a cheap printer if you only need to print once in a blue moon. 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. It takes a little longer than most inkjet printers to initialize and prints only nine black or three color pages per minute, so patience is necessary. You still get USB and Wi-Fi connectivity and Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service support.
Like most printers in its price range, the main drawback is its page yield. It only has two ink cartridges—one black and one tri-color—and they're only good for around 200 black and color prints. Replacement ink is relatively cheap, so maintenance cost isn't the issue; it's just inconvenient because it requires a lot of maintenance, and you might end up with lots of faded or incomplete prints. Also, since it uses a tri-color cartridge, you have to replace the entire cartridge if a single color runs out. Again, it's a good option if you only need a printer occasionally, but if you print more regularly, it's best to get a model with better page yields.
The best photo printer we've tested is the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300. This professional-grade photo printer produces incredibly detailed, colorful, and color-accurate photos. It supports borderless printing and paper sizes up to 13" x 19". It uses nine cartridges, including specific photo cartridges that work only on glossy photo paper, so you won't have to worry about depleting the photo ink when printing documents. The downside is that the cartridges only yield around 400 color prints, and they're costly, so the printer can become expensive to maintain if you print a lot. Also, this is a print-only model, meaning it doesn't have a scanner.
If you only print photos casually and want something cheaper, get the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550, a supertank all-in-one. The print quality is very similar to the Canon; it just isn't as color-accurate as it tends to oversaturate the colors. However, it has a scanner and costs significantly less to maintain over time because the ink tanks yield thousands of prints. Like the Canon, it also supports wide format printing up to 13" x 19". If you don't need to print on wide format paper, you can save money with its cheaper variant, the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500. It has the same print quality but only supports paper sizes up to 8.5" x 11".
For on-the-go printing, get the HP OfficeJet 250. It's a great option if you travel a lot for work or run a kiosk and need to print out receipts. It has a rechargeable battery that lasts about 225 prints and takes around two hours to fully charge. Despite its compact size, it still manages to pack an ADF scanner with a maximum scanning resolution of 600 DPI, which is more than enough for text documents and photos. It also has an optical character recognition (OCR) feature, allowing you to scan documents into PDFs for quick keyword searches.
Unfortunately, it prints slowly at one page per minute for black and color documents. It's faster when plugged in, but not by much. Also, it can only print 100-150 pages before the ink runs out, meaning you might need to carry a few extra cartridges. The cost per print is okay, though color printing can get expensive if you print a lot. On the upside, you can get XL cartridges that'll last longer, and it also accepts third-party ink, which might be cheaper.
May 31, 2023: Verified that all picks are still valid and available. Added the Brother HL-L2325DW and the Epson EcoTank ET-2800/ET-2803 as Notable Mentions.
May 02, 2023: Minor structure change. Removed the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 and the 'Best Wide Format' category. No change in recommendations.
Apr 06, 2023: Minor text changes. Replaced the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw with the Brother MFC-L8905CDW because the Canon is discontinued and hard to find.
Mar 08, 2023: Minor structure change. Added the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-300 as the 'Best Photo Printer'.
Feb 10, 2023: Minor text changes to provide more information regarding the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw's variants. No change in recommendations.
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.