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Technology.

1 December 2021

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.
FW
Felix Wilson
Using printer

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 2021

  • 80%
    £602.22

    Solid printing performance and extremely low maintenance costs have made ink-tank printers a mainstay among Best Buy printers – and this is among the best we’ve tested. It’s expensive to buy, but could save you money over the lifetime of the printer.

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  • 76%
    £163.37

    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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  • 74%
    £190.00

    For printing reams and reams of office documents at a cheap cost, this tank printer takes some beating. In fact, it would even give a laser printer some competition.

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  • 72%
    £179.99

    This ink-tank printer is simple to use and prints reasonably good documents of all types. It’s not as cheap as many cartridge printers, but it’s so affordable to run that if you print often you’ll soon start saving money.

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  • 72%
    £99.99

    If you don't want your printer to take up too much space on your desk, this big-brand laser model will be right up your street. It can't copy or scan, but is superb at printing black-text documents.

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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of December 2021.

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

  • 45%
    £80.00

    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%
    £119.99

    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%
    £44.49

    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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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of December 2021.

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