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22 December 2020

Best printers for 2021

We show you the five best printers to buy for high quality prints, ease of use, and cheap running costs, plus three printers you should avoid.
Using printer
Hollie Hennessy

When you buy a new printer, you want it to provide many years of top-quality printing, while also keeping your print costs affordable.

There are hundreds of printers available from various brands, including Canon, HP and Epson, and not all are worth your money. Don’t worry, however, as we've done the hard work for you.  

Whether you’re keen on a multi-functional inkjet printer, or a laser printer built for productivity, these five Best Buy printers will keep you and your wallet happy. 

We also show you three models to avoid, as they’ll do the exact opposite.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Top five printers for 2020

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78%
Best Buy
£170.00
Reviewed

This is a compact laser printer built primarily for printing black-text documents. It has wi-fi and AirPrint for wireless printing. Although it can’t scan or copy, this model is a fantastic and affordable printer for your home.

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75%
Best Buy
£319.16
Reviewed

We generally see just laser printers that can only print in black and white, but the Epson Ecotank ET-M1170 is a mono inkjet. Fitted with Epson's Ecotank ink technology, this large printer is built for saving you money in the long term. However, is its print quality good enough to justify the price you'll pay up front? Our Epson Ecotank ET-M1170 review reveals the answer, and more.

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74%
Best Buy
£299.99
Reviewed

If you want cheap and good quality prints, this big-brand inkjet printer will be right up your street. It has ink tanks that you refill with a bottle when they run out, meaning your printing costs will be extremely low.

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71%
Best Buy
£40.00
Reviewed

Although it can't do automatic double-sided printing, print quality is good across the board and ink running costs are low. Plus there are useful wireless options and colour copies and scans are brilliant. It's a great, budget choice.

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70%
Best Buy
£159.52
Reviewed

There aren't many Best Buy printers that can both print and scan up to A3 in size. It has great print quality, it's relatively cheap to buy for a big home office printer and its printing costs are affordable.

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Some of the models we've selected aren't recent launches, but they're still some of the highest performing printers out there. You can check our printer reviews page for new reviews monthly. The table above was updated in November 2020.

Not found the inkjet or laser printer for you? Browse all of our printer reviews.

And here are three printers to avoid

When it comes to buying a printer, don't be seduced by a budget price, as you could see your costs spiral as it rapidly drains your printer ink. 

Our expert testing frequently unearths low-scoring printer models that will leave you out of pocket and patience, including some that qualify as Don't Buys. 

Don't Buy printers produce text, graphics and photo prints that are only fit for the bin, and drive up your printing costs in the process. See below three Don't Buy printers that aren't worth your money.

Three printers to avoid

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45%
Don't buy
£109.97
Reviewed

There's not a lot to like about this HP laser printer, apart from that it prints OK looking black text documents. Considering that it isn't exactly cheap, either, there are much better options available for your money.

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43%
Don't buy
£109.00
Reviewed

It’s not the worst printer we’ve tested, but it's not far off. It’s from a fringe brand, it lacks even basic features and, realistically, there’s no reason why you should consider it over higher-scoring alternatives.

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39%
Don't buy
£39.99
Reviewed

This all-in-one inkjet printer initially looks as though it might be a good choice, but that all fell apart when we came to test it. Although it has useful wireless printing features, that doesn’t matter much when you see its dreary print quality.

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Will my printer work with my computer?

Before you take the plunge and buy a new printer, it's important to check whether it will work with the operating system that's running on your PC or Apple Mac

Printer compatibility has improved considerably over the years, but you can still encounter problems, particularly if you use a Mac. We list OS compatibility in our reviews, so check the tech specs tab of our reviews before you buy.

Some people with Windows 10 PCs have previously had issues attaching a printer, but that appears to be a less common issue, now. If you do hit trouble, see our expert guide on what to do


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