Best online photo printing services 2021
Online photo printing services turn your treasured snaps into prints, photo books, calendars, canvases and gifts.
Our expert lab tests and customer survey reveal which providers you should consider – and which you should avoid – when getting your photos printed.
Our testing really gets to grips with print quality, and our survey captures aspects of photo printing services that matter to you, such as delivery and customer service.
Which? photo printing tests
To find out which brands offer the best quality prints, we put prints from 13 leading services through our lab tests. We rated a range of prints across a number of factors, such as colour, contrast and paper quality, to uncover which brands produce the best prints.
We covered all the major providers that offer online photo printing services, so if you're interested in print quality, check out the table below and find out which produce the best prints.
Some of the brands have also been rated by customers for things such as ease of editing, delivery, customer service and value for money, so check the table below to see what people thought.
Online photo printing services rated
How customers rate online photo printing services
In addition to our lab testing, we also asked customers about the online printing services they use.
To calculate customer scores, we surveyed more than 700 customers who had bought printed photos online. We asked them about various aspects of their experiences, including how easy it was to upload photos, value for money, and more.
Online photo printing customer satisfaction survey
|Brand||Uploading||Ease of editing||Delivery||Photo quality||Customer service||Value for money||Customer score|
Table notes: WRP stands for Which? Recommended Provider. Customer score combines satisfaction and likelihood of recommending each service. This survey was done in 2018.
Which companies offer online photo printing services?
Below, you'll find information on some of the most popular photo printing services to help you compare pricing and key features.
- Cost per 5x7-inch photo: 10p
- Delivery cost: £1.99
The discount supermarket may be known for no-frills grocery shopping, but it’s been offering online photo printing services for a while. It sells square prints and wallet-sized prints as well as its 5x7-inch photos, but you won't find the standard 6x4 or 10x8-inch sizes offered by many other services in the UK.
Aldi Photos does offer photo gifts including aluminium wall art and snow globes for those looking for a less conventional way of sharing their treasured photos.
- Cost per 6x4-inch photo: 12p
- Cost per 10x8-inch photo: £1.50 for a 12x8 print; no 10x8 available
- Delivery cost: £2.99
Bonusprint has been around for more than 50 years and continues to offer a variety of products, from canvases to personalised mugs.
The company offers a 100% no-quibble satisfaction guarantee, so if you're not happy with any prints, for whatever reason, Bonusprint will give you a refund or reprint.
Bonusprint is currently based in The Hague, Netherlands, and all prints are sent from there. But don't worry, they should take between four and six working days to arrive.
- Cost per 6x4-inch photo: 18p to 39p
- Cost per 10x8-inch photo: 99p to £1.80
- Delivery cost: from £2.95
Digitalab is a family-run photography lab based in Newcastle, celebrating more than 70 years as a photo printing business. It’s highly favoured by professional photographers (from across the world) for its prints.
The company has won multiple awards for its printing services, and its newly upgraded online photo printing services allow customers to have prints sent to their home. In-store pick-up is also available for those based near Newcastle.
Print prices vary, dependent on the number of photos you order.
- Cost per 6x4-inch photo: 14p
- Cost per 10x8-inch photo: £1.40
- Delivery cost: £2.99
Jessops offers a Fujifilm-backed product, including its quality stamp, for peace of mind. You have the option to pick up your printed photos in store (if you live near one) free of charge, and there's an express option to get them in just two hours.
You can order your prints online or via the Jessops Photo App, if you'd rather submit photos straight from your phone.
- Cost per 6x4-inch photo: 10p to 15p
- Cost per 10x8-inch photo: £1
- Delivery cost: from £1.99
Photobox offers a wide range of photo gifts, from coasters to canvases, alongside traditional photo prints.
There's also an easy way to jump on the gallery wall trend – it sells 'photo tiles', which you stick on the wall, with no need for a frame.
There's the option to create your gifts online, or using the Photobox app. It's so sure of its quality prints, they'll pay you back if you're not happy. You'll get 100% back.
Print prices vary, dependent on the number of photos you order.
- Cost per 6x4-inch photo: 10p
- Cost per 10x8-inch photo: £1.25
- Delivery cost: £1.49
Snapfish is a world-wide photo printing service, delivering to 33 countries across the globe.
You can download its app or order your prints online. It also offers calendars, canvases and photobooks, plus gifts such as mugs, phone cases and even blankets.
Its website allows you to add photos from your computer, Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr, so you don't have to worry about downloading everything you want to print.
- Cost per 6x4-inch photo: 7p to 35p
- Cost per 10x8-inch photo: £2
- Delivery cost: from £2.25
The supermarket giant has branched into many different areas, one being photo printing in partnership with Max Spielmann.
Tesco Photo offers a couple of incentives, including one-hour pick-up and the opportunity to collect Clubcard points as part of Tesco’s long-running loyalty scheme.
Print prices vary, dependent on the number of photos you order. If you often place small orders throughout the year, you can buy 'print credits' to keep total costs down. You buy the credits in bulk (such as 500 6x4 prints for £25), and then save with each batch of photos you print. Credits can't be used for one-hour prints, though.
Free photo prints: what's the catch?
A lot of providers offer free printing services, where you can get a set number of printed photos (eg 50 free prints a year) and pay only delivery costs.
These services often raise questions about how the money is made and whether or not the operation is legitimate.
Usually, these firms use the offers as a way to stay relevant against new competition in the market. Upselling is also very common in this space, with companies recuperating costs by selling customers higher-ticket items such as calendars and photo books.
How to get cheap photo prints
Many online printing services offer lower prices on bulk orders, so if you’re ordering more than 99 prints, the cost per print may be reduced. Many also offer introductory deals and discount codes regularly. So before checking out on a site you use regularly, be sure to do a web search to see whether you can save any money on your order.
And, if you have a home printer, you may have your own dedicated photo printing service without even realising. Many printers print excellent photos from home, so you can save yourself some time, and potentially money too (if your printer is good with ink usage), without leaving the home.
Photobooks and photo gifts
Printing standard photographs for albums or frames isn't the only thing on offer. Many services offer plenty of ways to incorporate your photos into heartwarming gifts.
Photobooks do away with the need for a traditional album, but have a much more personal feel than scrolling through your phone's camera roll. You can sometimes add borders and backgrounds for more of a scrapbook vibe. Some allow you to add text, too, perhaps some messages or favourite memories. Photobooks can vary in quality, size (and price) and can be hardback or paperback.
Other photo gifts, some wackier than others, include:
- Snow globes
- Puzzles and games
- Phone cases
Smartphone photo printing apps
Most of us use our phones to take photos these days, rather than cameras. Photo printing apps are designed to make it quick and easy to upload photos for printing straight from your phone's camera roll – no computer required.
Some of the photo printing services above have their own apps; other services are purely app-based.
As the name hints at, with the Freeprints app you'll get 500 free 6x4-inch prints per year; no subscription required. This works out as 45 prints a month.
You can choose glossy or matt photo paper, and you only pay the cost of delivery (between £1.49 to £3.99).
The Freeprints app allows you to pick from your Android or Apple mobile or tablet's camera roll, or add photos from social media including Facebook and Instagram.
It has a range of additional print sizes on offer to buy.
With the LALALAB app you can print out a range of different-sized photos (starting at 22p a print). It also offers gifts including albums, boxes, magnets, posters, canvases, calendars and postcards.
It allows you to get creative and personal – you can customise photos with filters, backgrounds, captions and emojis.
Photos can be uploaded from your phone, instagram feed, Facebook or Dropbox and the app saves any unfinished creations, handy if you don't want to do it all at once. Your order will then be sent to you from Europe.
Like many of the other photo-printing apps, Photobox has a free print deal. With its app, you'll get 50 6x4-inch prints per month, totalling 500 per year. All you need to pay for is the shipping, which starts at £1.49 with a maximum fee of £3.99.
If you want to order more photos, they'll cost you 10p per print.
You can choose images from your phone and edit them in-app. The photos you upload will stay in your Photobox account, so you can use them another time to create gifts.
Snapfish's app allows you to create prints and gifts, including mugs, canvases and decor, straight from your phone or tablet. There's both an Android and iOS version.
Currently, its got an offer of 600 free prints if you download the app. This allows you to print 50 6x4-inch prints per month, just paying for delivery – which can range from £1.49 to a maximum of £5.99.
How we lab tested the photo samples
To test out the printing services we took seven different images, including portraits and outdoor shots, in a range of lighting conditions. The images were captured on a Best Buy smartphone and a variety of digital cameras, including DSLRs. We then sent off identical sets of photos for printing from each of the services on test, always requesting the same gloss finish on the paper.
To find out which ones offer the best quality and service, we tested the different print samples in lab conditions, looking at five different aspects of the photo.
- Colour: how vibrant and true-to-life the colours are. A good photo will also show the colours accurately, without washing them out or oversaturating them.
- Contrast: how easily the photo samples allowed people to differentiate the colours from each other. A photo with good contrast makes it easier for people to tell colours apart, even when there are minute differences.
- Cropping: no one wants to order prints and find out that a part of the photo has been cut off.
- Paper quality: how well the printed photos stand the test of time and hold up to external influences such as fingerprints and staining.
- Sharpness: we looked at the level of detail and clarity in each photo. A sharp image will show the subject in a clear way.
We also gave the samples an overall rating, then combined these six components to create a final product score, which you can find in the table above.