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Best Home Printers

"What is the best printer to buy" is probably our most asked question outside of printer cartridges, and this guide is kept fully up to date to answer that question for you. Containing the best printers available to buy for your home in 2018, printer shopping is now stress free.

There are recommendations of what you should look out for and questions to ask, plus a list of Best-buy printers to aid you along in the process. Happy shopping, and if you have any questions let us know.

Last updated: February 2018. This guide recommends the best printers you can buy in 2018 for the home. 

Important points to note about this guide:

  • We provide links to buy the top rated printers. We only sell top recommended 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 Printer

Do's Don'ts
Find a good printer deal and check the price of cartridges Buy a printer because it is on sale
Check how many pages a cartridge is quoted as doing 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"
Think what you normally print at home Buy a top-pick printer thinking it suits you

Key Questions:

How many pages does the black cartridge do?

Most home printers need a lot of black prints, whether it's normal documents or homework for the kids, yet there are still home printers available that have tiny-yield black cartridges. Make sure to check how many pages they do before purchasing!

How many cartridges does the printer take?

Choosing between a printer which takes 2 or 4 cartridges is a fine balancing act. 

If you print more than a few pages every couple of days get one with more than 2 cartridges, you'll see cheaper running costs as you only replace each cartridge as-and-when it is empty. 

If you print incredibly infrequently get a 2 cartridge printer, they typically use less ink maintaining themselves when you turn the printer on and off. Also, if the ink ever dries up from lack of use it will only block the cartridge, not the printer (as most 2 cartridge printers have the printhead built into the cartridge).

Am I going to print photos?

Just because a printer has colour cartridges does not make it a good photo printer. You need decent capacity cartridges that will handle the amount of inks photos take, and ideally choose printers able to handle special media and different types of paper.

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 home printer does a lot of work documents.
ePrint You can email your printer documents and it will automatically print them, perfect for leaving things ready for you at home.
Networking Most homes will have wireless access now but if you need a wired connection make sure your printer has it.
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 wireless 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 Printer in 2019

Canon Pixma TS6050

Canon continue their hot streak of excellent home printers, with the Canon Pixma TS6050.  

While it's not the master of anything in particular, with some printers more suited for home-office work and some more suited for photos, as an all-round package it is hard to beat, especially for the price, and gets our overall Best Home printer recommendation. Read the full Canon Pixma TS6050 printer review.

Key Features:

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

Perfect for you if...

You want a printer that can do it all plus unbeatable colour printing results.

Cartridges: Canon Pixma TS6050 ink cartridges

The Cheapest Home Printer 2019

Epson Expression Home XP-245

If you want a cheap and cheerful printer that can still give excellent quality (especially photos) then look no further than the XP-245. It has the best photo results from all of the budget printers we've looked at and, with easy installation and good reliability, it's a solid all round printer that ticks the budget boxes.

Whilst its running costs aren't the lowest just yet in the budget printer realm, they're pretty low and are only getting cheaper as supply of the compatibles becomes more readily available. With excellent quality, it's worth it. Read the full Epson XP-245 printer review.

Tip: if you print very, very rarely then you're best staying away from Epson printers as they may experience print quality issues with blocked printheads from inactivity. In that case we recommend the HP Envy 5540, a machine designed precisely for low volume users. It's a reliable performer that should tick all of the boxes.

Key Features:

Wireless; Small; Scan & Copy. 

Perfect for you if...

You need decent quality prints in the home but don't want to spend much, and are happy to use compatibles.

Also worth considering

The Brother DCP-J774dw gives the Epson XP-245 a close run for its money. If you're not a fan of the Epson brand it is worth looking at.

Cartridges: Epson XP-245 ink cartridges

The Best, Cheap AirPrint Home Printer

HP Envy 5540

AirPrint is available on a much larger range of printers in 2018, making it easier and easier to shop for. Our top rated home printer, the Canon TS6050, supports AirPrint and is our go-to recommendation, but if you're after a budget printer with the same functionality then take a look at the HP Envy 5540.

It is easy to use with solid print quality, and is cheap to buy It's fairly expensive to run though, so we'd still advise spending a little extra and getting one of the 'better' AirPrint printers we recommend in our guide. If you definitely want to save money though, read our full HP Envy 5540 review.

Key Features:

Quality plain and photo prints; Wireless; Print from mobile devices;

Perfect for you if...

You want a solid, reliable printer that has AirPrint capability.

Also worth considering

The Brother DCP-J774dw is a great little addition from Brother that may be more suitable if you want budget, but still want the individual colour cartridges.

Cartridges: HP Envy 4527 ink cartridges

Best Single Function Home Printer

Canon Pixma iP7250

If you don't want any scanning or copying fuss, and simply want a printer that can print, you won't find better than the iP7250 for your money, even though we first reviewed it back in 2015.  So many printers now are released with multi-functionality and features thrown in that you just don't want, and the iP7250 is still the best of the rest.

Print quality is excellent for any kind of document, and easy wireless & mobile connectivity (even Apple AirPrint) gives you plenty of options. It's not even that expensive to run, and taking 5 individual cartridges means you only replace what you use.

Make sure to give some photo prints a go, the iP7250 also rated as one of our top home photo printers. Read the full Canon iP7250 review.

Key Features:

Wireless; Duplex; Apple AirPrint

Perfect for you if...

You just want to print and love colour photos.

Cartridges: Canon Pixma iP7250 ink cartridges

The Best Home Photo Printer

Canon Pixma TS8050

Utilising an extra grey cartridge, the TS8050 has an increased colour gamut, giving more accurate colours, better gradients and overall amazing pictures. You'll love it no matter the photos you want to print. It's also pretty good as an all round printer, in case you need more than just photos. Read the full Canon Pixma TS8050 printer review.

If you're looking at the Canon Pixma TS9050 review then that is also great and nearly an identical machine, so go nuts. If you don't want any multi-functionality, and just want a printer, our previous best buy is still available to purchase, the Canon iP7250.

Key Features:

Wireless; Duplex; AirPrint compatibility; 

Perfect for you if...

You want photo's, which we assume you do, as you're reading this section.

Cartridges: Canon Pixma TS8050 ink cartridges


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.

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