Update: We've checked and updated this guide to make sure it gives you the best possible advice. If you're looking for a new printer for the office, check out our best business printers guide.
Having a decent printer in your home or office can make life so much easier, but what's the best printer to buy? The market is full of decent multi-purpose printers at very competitive prices, which means you're spoilt for choice. We're here to make thins easier, so here's our pick of the best printers on the market right now.
In choosing the best printer your first decision is whether to go for a standard printer, or a multi-function device which includes a scanner and which can also work as a standalone copier.
These aren't much larger than regular printers, but they're a whole lot more versatile, especially when you need to keep a copy of a letter, a bill or any other important document, so our first list includes the best inkjet printers and best multi-function devices.
You should also think carefully about whether to invest in an inkjet or a laser. Lasers are usually associated with office environments, where they produce sharp, smudge-free printouts quickly, quietly and economically, but this can be just as useful at home or in a home office.
Best inkjet printers
The Deskjet 3630 is a decent printer for the price, offering reasonable print speeds and the ability to connect to mobile devices without breaking the bank. Just be wary as its ink cartridges can be priced when picked up from shops. It doesn’t quite have the build quality of HP’s more expensive Envy models, but if you’re looking for an initially cheap model that catches the eye when sat on a shelf, the Deskjet 3630 is a great option.
Read the full review: HP Deskjet 3630
The WorkForce Pro WF-4630 is a solid printer for small businesses and workgroups given its fast print speeds, solid print qualities and remote printing and scanning capabilities. Using the larger XL print cartridges, the WF-4630 delivers economical print costs that rival laser printers.
Read the full review: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630
A very quick colour all-in-one bristling with print, copy, scan and mobile printing options the Officejet Pro 6830 is also very affordable, especially if you opt for the pay-per-page Instant Ink service.
Read the full review: HP OfficeJet Pro 6830 e-All-in-One
Great for the traveling professional or someone who needs a small printer for occasional use, printing photos or using the scanner function. It's a bit pricey to buy – and to run – but the flexibility and quality of the printouts is excellent.
Consumables are usually expensive when it comes to printers. So it is quite surprising that one vendor, Epson, single-handedly decided to challenge that status quo by allowing users to refill their printer using ink bottles. What’s even more surprising is that Epson includes two years of ink with the package; no more expensive cartridges and instead, you have enough material to deliver 11,000 pages worth of black and colour inks (that’s 700ml worth of liquid). Oh and there’s even a three-year warranty making this a great choice for bean counters fixing the TCO of their printers. The ET-4550 lacks the features found on cheaper competitors – it is relatively slower (although it has a higher printing resolution) and has a small paper input tray.
If you’re looking for a great all-round printer which doesn’t skimp on print quality for your photographs, then I don’t think you will be disappointed by what the MG7150 has to offer.
While it’s certainly more expensive than some of the cheap two in one printers you can pick up, it’s not a bad price for something which produces high quality prints, especially if you only need to print at A4 or below.
Read the full review: Canon Pixma MG7150
This is a big and bulky printer, that would look more at home in an office than a house – but it's a fantastic performer that can handle both A4 and the larger A3 sizes. It's cheap to run, and most importantly, the print quality is very good, making this a worthwhile investment if you're looking for a fast and flexible printer.
We’ve come to expect simple setup and operation from Envy printers, and this one is no exception. It’s quiet, packs in a lot of features and delivers excellent print quality, especially on photo paper. We particularly like the ability to use smartphones as well as computers, and to connect wirelessly without a router.
Read the full review: HP Envy 5540 All-in-One printer
Once you’ve got the PM-400 up and running, you’ll have a ton of fun running off image after image. Although the print quality won’t win any awards for print quality, you’ll be proud to hang any of its prints on your wall or sit them on your desk.
The PM-400 is a delight to look at – not that this should heavily factor into which printer you should buy. It’s got a pretty bone white frame that tucks away neatly, and the 4-pound printer can be easily transported wherever you go.
Read the full review: Epson PictureMate PM-400
You won’t get fancy features like wireless printing, duplexing or scanning, but if you don’t need all the frills of an all-in-one printer, the HP DeskJet 1010 offers solid print performance and quality at an unbeatable price in a compact package.
Read the full review: HP DeskJet 1010 review
Best laser printers
This temptingly priced printer offers 28ppm printing at up to 4,800 x 600 dpi (effective, rather than optical, resolution). With wired (Ethernet/USB) and wireless (Wi-Fi/NFC) connectivity, duplex printing, decent eco settings and support for a wide range of media, the Samsung is an excellent all-rounder, although the multi-purpose tray can only handle one sheet of media at a time. The main cassette has a more useful capacity of 250 sheets.
The M2070W delivers a lot of bang for your business buck – there’s NFC printing from compatible smartphones, online document sharing, and a clever Eco system that supplements the usual toner saving mode with a feature to remove images from documents by replacing bitmaps with sketches.
Factor in claimed speeds of 20ppm, a clever scan to mobile feature and an effective print resolution of up to 1200dpi and you’ve got a multifunction printer that’s well worth considering.
The DCP-9020CDW is a baby Brother – it’s an entry-level all-in-one aimed at small offices, and with claimed speeds of 18ppm and a resolution of up to 2,400 dpi (effective) it has a decent spec for the price. It can upload to cloud services such as Dropbox and OneNote, it’s wireless with WPS authentication and wireless direct printing, and its running costs are competitive. It also offers automatic duplex printing and its colour screen makes it easy to install and operate. This device is a solid all-rounder for PCs and mobile devices alike.
Dell isn’t going to win any design awards for its mono laser printers – they’re uniformly hideous and the 2810 series is laughably large – but as office workhorses they’re good value for money if you go for the high-yield cartridges, which brings per-page costs down to 2.4p.
Print quality is 600dpi by default and you can up it to 1,200dpi, print speed is a claimed 35ppm, it holds up to 350 sheets and the drum lasts for 85,000 pages. It’s not remotely pretty but it’s a pretty good office printer.
At the time of writing (January 2016), this Brother was Amazon’s best-selling laser, and with good reason – for very little cash you’re getting a superb wireless colour laser. However, at this price don’t expect rock-bottom running costs – it’s a printer for livening up documents with the occasional flash of colour, not constant photo printing.
It doesn’t have automatic duplexing or an Ethernet port, but the HL-3140CW delivers superb print quality, reasonable mono running costs and good wireless features for a very low price.