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The Best Home Printers To Buy 2016

"What is the best printer to buy" is probably our most asked question so this guide answers all of the questions for you.

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: July 2016. This guide recommends the best printers you can buy in 2016 for the home. Don't worry if some of the reviews for recommended printers are old, it just means they're still better than newer models.

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

Canon Pixma MG5750

Reviewed on: February 2016

Top slot in our Best Buy list was the Canon MG5650 for the past year, and with it now being discontinued Canon have taken #1 spot with its successor, the MG5750. It's essentially the same printer, with the same quality, performance and benefits from our previous winner. Given the choice of buying any printer on the market to use in our own homes we would buy this machine without hesitation.

The Canon MG5750 is slightly more expensive to run than other printers in this Home printer guide and uses a bit more ink for its cleaning cycles/printing preparation, but the performance and quality makes it worthwhile and we believe it's worth the few extra pennies. See the full Canon MG5750 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 MG5750 ink

Order the Canon Pixma MG5750 Printer

The Cheapest Home Printer

Epson Expression Home XP-235

Reviewed on: February 2016

If you're looking for a combination of cheapest printer to buy in 2016 that is also cheap to run (whilst still actually being a decent printer) you won't find a better combination than the Epson XP-235. It's one of the cheapest printers on the market yet still gives good print quality across the board, for both home documents and photos.

We're assuming you're happy to use compatible cartridges if you're looking for a budget printer, in which case this printer is also very cheap to run! If you're looking for genuine cartridges only then the XP-235 is still a solid budget printer but the running costs will feel a bit higher, but there won't be any cheaper for genuine-only buyers. Read the full Epson XP-235 review.

Tip: if you print very, very rarely then you're best staying away from Epson printers as they may experience print quality issues. Take a look at the Canon MG3650 instead, a cheap printer that is far more suited to infrequent printing without breaking.

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.

Cartridges: Epson XP-235 ink cartridges

Order the Epson Expression Home XP-235 Printer 

The Best Cheap AirPrint Home Printer

HP Deskjet 2540 or the Canon MG3650

HP reviewed on: March 2015

Canon reviewed on: February 2016

Epson had our previous best buy for this category until they discontinued it, the popular Epson XP-422. This has enabled HP and Canon to step up to the plate for the best Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud print supporting printers, and we're recommending two different printer models we can't separate.

If you're a fairly light user but are desperate for AirPrint the HP Deskjet 2540 is a fantastic budget machine. The 2 ink cartridges it takes are efficient, if not a little expensive compared to other printers but all round it is a solid machine that will cover everything you need. Read the HP Deskjet 2540 review.

If you're not a fan of HP (it happens) or want a newer machine, the Canon MG3650 is a new budget printer from Canon that gives performance as good as the HP's and is as simple to use. It takes 2 cartridges and is slightly more expensive to run than more expensive printers, but if you're after cheap and want AirPrint it's up there with the best of them. Read the full Canon MG3650 printer 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.

Cartridges: HP Deskjet 2540 ink cartridges or Canon MG3650 ink cartridges

Buy the HP Deskjet 2540 Printer    or    Buy the Canon MG3650 Printer

Best Single Function Home Printer

Canon Pixma iP7250

Reviewed on: March 2015

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.  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

Buy the Canon iP7250 printer

The Best Home Photo Printer

Canon Pixma iP7250

Reviewed on: March 2015

That's right, the same printer which won our best stand-alone printer recommendation is also the best home photo printer. With stunning print quality on pretty much any kind of photo, whether colour, mono etc, the iP7250 stands out as a superb photo printer for a very, very good price.

To be fair it is hard to go wrong with any of the Canon Pixma range when you're using photos Read the full Canon iP7250 printer review.

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 iP7250 inks

Buy the Canon Pixma iP7250 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.