Photo Printer Buying Guide For The Home

Buying a new photo printer is a big decision, you don't want to be left with an expensive-to-run poor-quality printer that ruins all of your photo attempts. 

This guide covers all of the important points to consider and recommends the top printers for different needs, which we keep updated to make sure you always make the best decision. 

Important points to note about this guide:

  • We provide links to buy the top rated printers. We only sell printers if we would use them ourselves
  • We do not recommend a printer if they are unreasonably expensive to run
  • This guide is updated as Best Buy printers change

Tips For Buying A New Home Photo Printer

Do's Don'ts
Find a good printer deal and check the price of cartridges Buy a printer because it is on sale
Consider what paper types/sizes you will print on to Assume cheap cartridge are better value
Read user reviews online Blindly follow in-store recommendations
Consider different brands Just buy Kodak because "they're cheap"
Check how they handle different colour needs e.g. mono, sepia, vivid

Key Questions:

How many photos will each cartridge do?

Dedicated photo printers will not give you estimated photo yields for each cartridge, as your usage heavily depends on what you're printing. You can compare the capacity of the cartridges instead and check that you won't be using a cartridge every couple of A4 printers though.

How many cartridges does the printer take?

If colour accuracy is crucial for your photo prints then the more colour cartridges a printer takes, the better. This gives you a far wider colour gamut and will make your printouts closer to the original image. Bear in mind, this will make your running costs higher.

Will I ever want to print onto special media?

Some photo printers can printer onto specialist media such as extra thick card or fabric. These printers will have manual feeds for specialist media, accommodating a whole range of extra materials you can print onto.

Do I need or want any of the following features?

Feature What it does
AirPrint Print directly to your printer from an Apple device.
Card Reader If you use digital cameras or other card-devices a lot, a built in card reader slot saves a lot of time.
Duplex Printing onto both sides of the page automatically, a great money-saver if your photo printer will double as an office machine.
PictBridge Essential for budding photographers, some printers now even support Wireless PictBridge to automatically connect your camera.
Paper Trays Extra paper trays and feeds are ideal if you find yourself printing on different paper frequently.
Wireless Can connect wirelessly to your network. (This DOES NOT mean it also has a physical network port.)

Make a list of what features and requirements you need then start your shopping. Good luck!

The Best Home Photo Printer

Canon Pixma MG7550

Canon have long been neck and neck with Epson for the best photo printer options and they get the #1 recommendation overall with an absolute beast of a machine, the Pixma MG7550. This photo printer can also do a solid job as a Home and Home Office printer but it really excels when it comes to photos, with stunning colours and fantastic quality, especially on glossy photo paper.

It also has a raft of functionality and features making it a solid all-round printer, a top buy. Read the full Canon Pixma MG7550 review.

Key Features:

Amazing photo prints; 2 black cartridges; Touchscreen; Duplex; Wireless. 

Perfect for you if...

You want one of the best printers out there which has amazing photo prints and can handle other needs.

Cartridges: Canon Pixma MG7550 Ink Cartridges

Order the Canon Pixma MG7550 Photo Printer

The Best Budget Home Photo Printer

Epson Expression Home XP-225

Epson's range of small-in-ones are great all-round machines and the XP-225 model they have a budget machine which gives great photo prints. Whilst only using four colour cartridges in a tiny machine you get results on a par with printers that cost far more, you can even get decent results if you use cheaper compatible cartridges.

The Epson XP-225 can handle any paper up to 255gsm, more than enough for all but the most expensive, heayweight paper. Read the full Epson XP-225 review.

Key Features:

Wireless; Small; Scan & Copy. 

Perfect for you if...

You print a few pages and photos every now and then and need a cheap printer.

Cartridges: Epson XP-225 ink cartridges

Order the Epson Expression Home XP-225 Printer 

The Best 'Just A Printer' Home Photo Printer

Canon Pixma iP7250 Photo Printer

It shouldn't be so hard to find standalone printers nowadays, but the market is inundated with multi-function machines. We often get enquiries for photo enthusiasts who just want to print and the iP7250 is a brilliant Canon machine that excels at that, and that only.

Though the iP7250 is a few years old now it is still a top-rated machine with few equals for the price. It can handle any media up to 300gsm, more than heavy enough for all but the most niche requirements. Read the full Canon Pixma iP7250 printer review.

Key Features:

Duplex (2-sided printing); Wireless; AirPrint; CD/DVD printing; Two paper trays

Perfect for you if...

You want a printer that... prints... very well, with excellent quality on photos especially.

Cartridges: Canon Pixma iP7250 Ink Cartridges

Buy the Canon Pixma iP7250 Photo Printer

Best A3 Home Photo Printer

Epson Expression Photo XP-950 Printer

The Epson XP-950 is a superb A3 photo printer that ticks all the boxes if you're after large printing. Epson have been very strong for photo printing in the last few years and they've put all their know-how into this A3 printer, with stunning print quality and colours on a par with far more expensive machines. Mono prints come out strong but this printer is all about the colour and both A4 and A3 prints are good enough to display.

Even better, it comes with strong all-round functionality that makes it suitable for home or work needs, with an automatic duplex, scanner and wireless functionality supporting the stunning print quality. Please make sure you can handle the single-sheet feed for your A3 photo printing, but as long as that is not a problem you're good to go. Read the full Epson Expression photo XP-950 printer review.

Key Features:

Wireless; Duplex; Apple AirPrint; Card reader

Perfect for you if...

You're after a superb A3 photo printer

Cartridges: Epson Expression Photo XP-950 Ink Cartridges

Buy the Epson Expression Photo XP-950 A3 printer


Our Other Printer Buying Guides

We have guides for pretty much any printing requirement, so whether it's a new home machine for your inner-artist, or a cheap printer to send away with a student, we have you covered.