The best printers in 2024 — March top picks

No matter how sophisticated technology gets, we’ve yet to evolve to the point we don’t need the best printers. Digital solutions may have become increasingly common over the years in terms of billing and receipts, but major companies like Amazon often still require you to print off QR codes or shipping labels before you can get your money back. 

Obviously the usage case scenarios for the best printers available right now extend a lot further than printing return documents. If you’re an avid photographer, a student or like to hang pictures on the wall, there’s a ton of value in owning a modern and reliable printer.

In the article below, we rate the best printers you can buy today, each of which we’ve put through thorough testing. We also have detailed information of compatible ink cartridges in all  of our in-depth printer reviews, meaning you won’t have to sweat as much about running low on ink levels. 

Edited by
Alex Wawro
Edited by
Alex Wawro

Alex Wawro is a lifelong journalist who's spent over a decade covering tech, games and entertainment. He oversees the computing department at Tom's Guide, which includes managing printer coverage.

The quick list

In a hurry? Here's a quick list of the best printers we recommend.

The best printers you can buy now

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

The best printer overall

Brother INKvestment MFC-J995DW inkjet printer

(Image credit: Brother)
Best printer overall

Specifications

Printer Type: Inkjet
Features: Print, copy, scan, fax
Display: 2.7-inch color touch screen
Ink/Toner: Four cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, yellow)
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
Very low cost per page
+
Fast at printing text and graphics
+
Quick scanning and copying speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Mediocre color-photo scans
-
Can't make 2-sided copies/scans via ADF

There's much more to the cost of a printer than just the purchase price: Ink costs can eat away the savings you expected from your affordable device. If you want one of the best home printers with the most affordable ink, we recommend the Brother INKvestment MFC-J995DW. The all-in-one inkjet printer features extra-large ink cartridges, and comes with an estimated years' supply of ink in the box, which adds up to the lowest per-page ink costs we've seen.

On top of that, the Brother INKvestment MFC-J995DW offers solid printing, scanning and copying. Print speeds beat the category average and two-sided printing is among the fastest we've seen. And it did all of this while delivering high print quality across the board. That same zippy speed and above-average quality was found in scans and copies, making it a great choice for anyone, even if you aren't buying it for the affordable ink.

Read our full Brother INKvestment MFC-J995DW review.

Best laser printer

Brother MFC-L2750DW XL laser printer

(Image credit: Brother)
Best laser printer

Specifications

Printer Type: Laser (Monochrome)
Features: Print, copy, scan, fax
Display: 2.7-inch color touch-screen
Ink/Toner: Black toner
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
Very fast printing and copying
+
Very fast black-and-white scanning to PDF
+
Fast document feeder
+
Low cost per page

Reasons to avoid

-
Average color-scanning speed

The Brother MFC-L2750DW XL multifunction laser printer is packed with features such as a fast automatic document feeder, fax capability, and a second paper tray. It’s also fast at both duplex printing and copying, but doesn’t sacrifice speed for quality; documents look sharp and clear every time. It's easily one of the best home printers overall, and our favorite laser printer – so long as you don't need to print in color.

The MFC-L2750DW XL turned in great document quality, and the fastest speeds to date for text and mixed text/graphics files. The printer even made two-sided prints faster than some models can handle one-sided documents. Using its high-capacity toner cartridge, the MFC-L2750DW XL offers a cost per page of just 2.7 cents, the lowest we've seen in this category. That's a tough deal to beat.

Read our full Brother MFC-L2750DW review.

Best home office printer

Canon Pixma TR8620 review

(Image credit: Canon)
Best home office printer

Specifications

Printer Type: Inkjet
Features: Print, copy, scan, fax
Display: 4.3-inch color touchscreen
Ink/Toner: Five cartridges (black, pigment-black, cyan, magenta, yellow)
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
Fast photo printing and copying
+
High image quality
+
ADF and duplexer

Reasons to avoid

-
Ink costs are above average
-
Does not make two-sided copies/scans via ADF

The Canon Pixma TR8620 offers plenty of office features, from scanning and faxing to a 20-page automatic document feeder (ADF), a duplexer for two-sided printing, and two paper trays for keeping two types of paper at the ready. A big 4.3-inch color touchscreen makes it easy to control, and the printer supports smart home integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

It's also a great home printer, with faster-than-average print speeds and high print quality overall. Text and color graphics all look great, but we noted that glossy photos printed impressively fast, and the use of a 5-ink cartridge system with two types of black ink resulted in photos with high-quality accuracy: Natural-looking colors, sharp details and smooth transitions. Really, our only big complaint with the Pixma TR8620 is the above average cost of ink, due partially to the expense of the extra ink cartridge.

Read our full Canon Pixma TR8620 review or view our Canon promo codes

Best for small businesses

Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 small business printer

(Image credit: Epson)
Best printer for small business

Specifications

Printer Type: Inkjet
Features: Print, copy, scan, fax
Display: 4.3-inch color touch-screen
Ink/Toner: Four ink tanks (black, cyan, magenta, yellow)
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
Very fast performance
+
Extremely low ink costs
+
Large, 4.3-inch color touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
Occasional paper feed issue
-
High initial price

The Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 combines impressively low ink costs with an abundance of business-friendly features to take its place as the best small business inkjet printer we've reviewed. The EcoTank design uses refillable ink tanks and comes with enough spare ink bottles to print thousands of pages. A small business printer rated to print more than 3,000 pages per month, it's more than capable of handling whatever your team might throw at it. The printer boasts scan, copy and fax capability, dual 250-page paper cassettes, a 50-sheet automatic document feeder and a large, easy-to-use 4.3-inch touchscreen for convenient operations.

In timed printer tests, the Epson ET-5850 delivered some of the fastest printing we've seen, and produced crisp, clear text that nearly rivals laser printer quality. That same quick, high-quality performance was also seen in copying and scanning, making it the printer of choice for offices that need a full featured multifunction printer. But the real draw is the ink savings, extremely low per-page costs of 0.4 cents for text pages, and 1.6 cents per color page. The upfront price may be high, but the combination of quality, features and super-low operating expenses make this one of the best investments you can make for your office.

Read our full Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 review or view our Epson coupon codes

Best budget laser

Brother HL-L2390DW laser printer

(Image credit: Brother)
Best budget laser printer

Specifications

Printer Type: Laser
Features: Print, copy, scan, fax
Display: 2-Line backlit LCD
Ink/Toner: Black cartridge
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Hi-Speed USB 2.0, Wi Fi Direct

Reasons to buy

+
Fast printing and black-and-white scanning
+
High image quality
+
Very low cost per page
+
Above-average color-scanning speed

Reasons to avoid

-
No document feeder
-
No fax capability

The Brother HL-L2390DW is a monochrome all-in-one printer that offers one thing rarely seen in a laser printer: a low price of entry. And while the cost may catch the eye of home and small-office users, its performance and feature set are nothing to scoff at, either. Prints are sharp and faster than average; this printer handles scans and copies quickly, as well. And while the printer is monochrome, the full-color scanner delivers true-to-life color capture and fast scanning.

But it's not just affordable at purchase; operating costs are low, too, with a cost per page of 3.7 cents using standard-capacity toner cartridges and just 2.7 cents with high-capacity toner. If you want the benefits of a laser printer without the usual expense, the Brother HL-L2390DW is our best budget pick for you.

Read our full Brother HL-L2390DW review.

Best portable photo printer

Canon Pixma TR150 portable printer

(Image credit: Canon)
Best mobile photo printer

Specifications

Printer Type: Mobile inkjet
Dimensions: 12.7 x 7.3 x 2.6 inches
Ink: Two cartridges (cyan, magenta and yellow dye black, pigment black)
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n/a, USB 2.0
PictBridge: Yes
SD Card Slot: No
Supported Photo Sizes: Up to 8 x 10
Print Resolution: Up to 4800 x 1200 dpi

Reasons to buy

+
Low ink costs
+
Attractive photo prints
+
Optional battery pack

Reasons to avoid

-
Small, monochrome OLED display

The Canon Pixma TR150 is a portable inkjet printer that's small enough to carry in a backpack, but big enough to print everything from 4x6 photos to 8.5 x 11 documents. With a two-cartridge system, its ink is affordable and lends itself well to a variety of printing uses. But where the Canon really stands out is photo printing. 

The Pixma TR150 made high-quality photos faster than other competing portable printers, and delivered excellent color and detail. It can also handle larger photo prints, but unlike some of our photo printing favorites, there is no copy or scan capability. You do get a solidly built portable printer with optional battery and even support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls, but we love it for the great photos and low ink costs it offers.

Read our full Canon Pixma TR150 review

How to choose the best printer for you

How to choose the best printer for you

Finding the right printer starts with defining what you need that printer to do. There's a drastic difference between a large multifunction printer that will copy, scan and fax and a pocket-sized photo printer that's perfect for printing snapshots on the go. The best place to start is to narrow down what functions you want, and what aspects of printing are most important to you.

Inkjet or Laser: Inkjet printers are generally better at producing the full range of colors, making them more suited for printing graphics and photos. Laser printers, on the other hand, can quickly produce professional looking text documents often at a lower cost per page.

All-in-One printers offer more than just printing, with built in scanners that can scan and copy everything from forms to photos. Some (but not all) will also have fax capability.

Photo printing is a separate concern, requiring support for printing on glossy paper, handling different photo paper sizes and sometimes requiring additional (and potentially expensive) inks to deliver better print quality.

Portable printing is all about mobility. Compact designs are paired with batteries and sometimes exotic print technologies to let you print from a hotel room, in your car, or even out at the beach.

In addition to the type of printer, you'll also want to pay attention to specific aspects of performance and operating expenses.

Print speed refers to how quickly the printer will complete a page in a document, measured in pages per minute. If you need to print frequently, or in high volumes, faster print speeds are a must have.

Print quality comes down to how well the printer lays ink on the page, and whether it produces sharp details and legible letterforms. Most inkjet printers deliver "good enough" levels of quality, but if you want crisp looking text every time, you'll probably want a laser printer. And photo printing varies widely between general use printers, so check out the recommended models on our best photo printers list.

Ink costs are an ongoing concern for any printer, since ink refills are part of the operating expenses for any printer. Ink can get very expensive, but some new models are designed to reduce both the expense and the hassle of finding the right ink cartridges. And this isn't purely an issue for inkjet printers, as laser printers use toner cartridges. Look for a lower cost-per-page and check out our reviews for a detailed discussion of how print costs might make one printer better than another.

Three ways to cut printing costs to a minimum include: Switching to a laser printer, opting for a tank-based inkjet printer, or signing up for a subscription ink service.  (See our articles Inkjet vs. Laser: Which printer is right for you? and HP Instant Ink vs. Canon vs. Epson: Are ink subscriptions worth it? to learn more.)

Once you find the best printer in your desired category, you're ready to buy.

How we tested these printers

How we test the best printers

Every printer we review is extensively tested to give us a clear idea of how well it performs, both in print capability, but also general ease of use and expense over time. Our testing procedures include timed print tests to determine print speeds, with a set of standardized documents that have a mix of text and graphics and color photos.

Every print is examined and compared, with errors and print problems noted in the review and overall quality measured against the other printers on the market.

We also test the scanning and copying functions (when they are offered), timing how quickly it captures a page and comparing the results to the original images to determine how well it captures color and detail.

To measure the cost of owning and operating a printer, we look at the current street price of ink refills and the estimated number of pages that each cartridge can produce, and calculate the cost for printing a single page.

These specific tests are adapted as needed to handle all sorts of printers, from monochrome laser printers and portable snapshot printers to full-featured all-in-one inkjets. Wherever possible, we make sure that the tests are done in such a way that they can not only be compared within a specific category, but also across all printer types generally.