It’s 2020: my voice-controlled robot assistant can answer any question I have about the world, my robot vacuum cleans my house, I can stream most movies instantly, my headphones cancel noise around me, and my portable router keeps me connected virtually anywhere I go — but the city still requires me to mail in a hard copy of some obscure form. And while I’ve been working remotely for years, you might find yourself pining for your office printer and its always-there convenience. Printers are an unfortunate necessity in today’s otherwise-futuristic world, and there’s more to buying one than picking whatever on the shelf is most affordable. If you’ve only ever had bad experiences with printers, you aren’t alone. Even good printers can be frustrating to no end, and ink is expensive as heck — especially if it clogs up when you go too long between printings. If you’re looking to upgrade yours or buy one for the first time, we compiled some of the best wireless printers out there at different price points.
In this article
- Best all-in-one printer
- Best affordable all-in-one printer
- Best home printer for high quality photos
- Best black-and-white laser printer
- Best compact portable wireless printer
How to shop for the best wireless printer
At the very least, you can buy the right printer for your needs. Of course, that means determining how you’ll use the printer, what you’ll be printing the most and where you plan to use it.
If you need a printer, copier and scanner that covers all your bases, consider an all-in-one printer. These tend to be larger and more expensive than single-function models, but if you find yourself scanning as often as you print, they’re a must-have.
Photo and document quality
Typical, inexpensive home printers should be just fine for the vast majority of what you’ll be printing — a shopping list, a form for your insurance company, taxes and so on. But if you want high (enough) quality photos to hang on your wall or crisp documents for a presentation, you may want to spring for something a bit more specialized like a photo printer.
All the printers on our list below are wireless, meaning you can print from across the room and, in some cases, even from your phone or tablet. Wireless can be finicky, though, so be prepared to connect over USB if the Wi-Fi won’t cooperate.
Inkjet printers versus laser printers
Typical inkjet printers are affordable, good enough for basic documents and photos and can print on multiple surfaces. Laser printers are particularly good for documents, especially if you’re printing a lot of pages — they’re fast and produce crisp text.
All printers need ink (or toner, in the case of laser printers). As you consider printer options, you’ll come across typical ink options and high-yield options, the latter covering more printouts per cartridge (and costing more, usually). Keep that in mind when you budget for printing.
Best wireless printers to shop 2020
There are dozens of printers for every scenario and budget, but these models should serve most people’s needs well.
Best all-in-one wireless printer: HP
An all-in-one inkjet can print, copy and scan documents, acting as a jack-of-all trades for any household. The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 all-in-one is wireless, relatively fast and produces solid quality prints. If you need replacement ink, grab HP’s 962 standard 4-pack or an option with a high-yield black cartridge for a higher price.
Best affordable all-in-one Printer: Canon
Maybe you don’t need anything special. You just want to grab as affordable a printer as possible to get some stuff on paper. In that case, grab the Canon Pixma MG3620. Not only will it print in decent enough quality for simple documents, but it also has a flatbed scanner and copier built-in — just remember you need to replace its ink occasionally for about $60.
Best home photo printer for high quality photos: Canon
If you don’t need scanning features but plan on printing lots of photos for framing around your home, consider the Canon Pixma Pro-100. It’s not the ultimate photo printer on the market, but it’s the best balance between quality and price that covers most needs. Their ink tends to be more expensive than ink for typical models.
Best black-and-white laser printer: Brother
If you’re mostly printing black-and-white documents, a monochrome laser printer may be a better choice for you than an inkjet. Not only are they faster, but they’re easier to maintain, requiring toner replacements far less often than inkjets require ink (which might save you money in the long run). Brother’s MFC-L2750DW is a great all-in-one laser option (the brand’s HL-L2350DW provides a more affordable alternative for those who don’t need a scanner). You can grab the standard toner replacements at $42 for 1,200 pages or step up to a high-yield cartridge at $76 for 3,000 pages.
Best compact, portable wireless printer: HP
Not everyone has space to dedicate to a large all-in-one wireless printer. HP’s OfficeJet 250 will ensure you can still print, scan and copy when you’re in a tight spot. Packing all that functionality into a small, portable package can cost a little bit more. For the added price, you gain the ability to more easily stow it away when you aren’t using it and still get solid-quality prints from anywhere you go. Just don’t forget to have some ink replacements on hand.