Best printer brands

Printers

Best printer brands

By Katie Waller

Don’t end up with an unreliable printer that jams or wastes ink. We show you which printer brands deliver great prints, trouble-free.

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Whether you’re buying an all-in-one printer for home prints and schoolwork, or need great photo prints for an album, your printer should work without fuss when you need it to. 

Constant paper jams are frustrating, and some printers use so much ink cleaning themselves that there’s not much left when you need to print. So it’s important that you can find a printer brand you can trust.

Every year we put the latest printers from Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP and Samsung through rigorous tests to find our which brand makes the best printers for your home. We also survey thousands of Which? members to find out whether their printer is built to last and whether they’d recommend the brand to a friend.

For a great printer from a reliable brand head straight to our Best Buy printers.

74% - 41%The best and worst printer brand customer scores

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Brand Average test score Customer score Reliability rating
73% 74%

You'll get quick prints for this brands printers and models range from compact to real home office beasts. Printing costs are generally affordable, too.

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60% 71%

If you want to keep your in costs down, this is the printer brand for you. Print quality is model dependent, so be sure to opt for a Best Buy for the best balance of cost and quality.

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66% 70%

There are some great printers within this brands ranges, but also some real ink guzzlers that could cost you a small fortune on prints, so it's critical to check our ink running cost test results to avoid wasting money on prints.

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65% 68%

This well-known brand has some cheap printers available that will also produce low cost prints, but it also has some models in its ranges that cost more than the average to print from. Make sure you take home the former not the latter. 

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61% 67%

This brand produces some great all-round printers that turn out good quality prints across the board, although you can end up paying a little more than the average in ink running costs for the privilege. 

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n/a 61%

Although this brand only has a small slice of the printers market, that's probably a good thing considering the satisfaction levels of its customers.

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n/a 41%

Here's one printer brand you'll be likely to avoid given that those who own its printers are reluctant to recommend them.

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Key

Member Content
Table notes
Reliability sample size: 3,832. Customer score sample size: 3,964. Test lab data correct as of November, 2016.

Best and worst printer brands

With printers, the upfront price is only the tip of the iceberg – you’ll be spending on ink or toner for the printer’s lifespan. A poor choice now could hit you hard in the long term. In the table below we’ve collated test results from all of the different types of inkjet and laser printers we test and combined them with our unique reliability and customer scores, so you can see in an instant how the likes of Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP and Samsung measure up.

Common printer problems

Of all of the problems people experienced with their printer, these were the most common issues:

  • Problems with the paper feed (15%) - the biggest problem tends to be printers not taking the paper, taking two pages at a time or feeding paper through wonky or jamming.
  • Deterioration of print quality (14%) - plenty of members reported problems with decreased print quality over the life of the printer.
  • Fault with wi-fi connection (10%) - the latest printers can connect to your computer, tablet or phone using a wi-fi connection, though some are prone to failing.

Choosing the best brand of printer

Speed and reliability are a big deal with printers. Great print quality is important, but it doesn’t matter how good each page looks if it takes an age to print out the simplest document or can’t print a few pages without jamming. Some printers are more prone to problems than others, which is why, in addition to the average test score, we’ve listed each brand’s reliability rating and customer scores.

These ratings are based on feedback from more than 10,497 Which? members who have shared their experiences of their printers and informed us of any problems. The fewer issues they’ve had with their printers, the higher the brand’s reliability score. The most owned brand of printer in our survey was HP printers, but that doesn't necessarily make them the best. Our surveys tells us how happy members are with their printer, and whether they'd recommend the brand to someone else, making up our Customer Score.

The difference between the most and least reliable printer brand is the biggest of any of the computing products covered by our survey. The most reliable printer brand received a reliability score of 75% - that’s 44% higher than the worst brand. And those buying from the least reliable brand are unlikely to recommend it to friends and family. 

Make sure you don't get stuck with an unreliable and frustrating printer by picking up a Best Buy printer.

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