If you missed out on scoring a printer during the height of the pandemic, now is the time to make the investment for your home office, because plenty are back in stock—and many are on sale. But even if you have to pay full price, it's possible to find a model for $100 bucks or less that won't hog up a ton of space on your desk.
While portable printers are extremely compact and lightweight, they can easily hit $500 or more, and most don't offer functionality or features to match full-size printers that are a fraction of the cost. That's where small printers fit in as a smart, middle-of-the-road option: they're relatively compact, reasonably priced, and perform well for lighter printing jobs.
We've put together a lineup of recommendations for the best small printers on the market, plus share advice on everything you need to know before you shop.
The Best Small Printers
1Best OverallDeskJet 3755 Wireless All-In-One Color Printer HP Read More
2Best ValueMFC-J1010DW Wireless All-In-One Color Printer Brother Read More
3Best All-in-One LaserLaserJet M140w Wireless All-In-One Printer HP Read More
4Best All-in-One PortableOfficeJet 250 All-in-One Portable Color Printer HP Read More
5Best Single-Function LaserHL-L2325DW Wireless Laser Printer Brother Read More
What to Consider
Just because these printers are small doesn't mean they aren't mighty, as many offer the same features as much larger models. All of the printers we cover are wireless; beyond that, here's an overview of the most essential features to nail down before buying.
Take stock of the real estate you plan to dedicate to a printer and keep in mind that some printers are labeled as "compact" based on footprint alone, yet make up for it in height. You may be better off with a printer that's long, but not as deep or tall.
Single-Function Versus All-in-One
If you only need a printer to print—not scan and make copies—there are single-function printers that do a solid job of performing that one task. While you may find printers that do it all for a similar price, keep in mind that performance may not be consistent across the board.
Laser vs. Inkjet
Laser printers use toner to print, whereas inkjet printers use—you guessed it—ink. The biggest considerations when choosing between the two are the type of documents you typically print, your average printing volume, and how much you want to spend on cartridges. Generally speaking, inkjet printers cost less on average up front, but the price of replacement cartridges can make them more expensive to use over time. If you tend to print black-and-white documents only, you may do better with a monochrome laser printer for about the same price, plus toner is usually cheaper than inkjet cartridges. Those who also print color documents and photos will likely want to go with an inkjet.
Whether you're printing in black and white or color, laser printers are known for winning the speed contest. That said, if you're talking about one or two people printing at home, as opposed to an office with the entire staff sending documents to a single printer, the difference may not add up to much. Most of the printers we write about can manage up to 20 pages per minute (ppm) in black, and slightly less in color.
Some of the printers we cover come with nice-to-have features typically found in pricier models—things like auto document feeders, duplex (or two-sided) printing, and color touchscreen displays.
How We Selected
We dug into our own printer research and testing when putting together this selection and considered options from top brands such as HP, Brother, and Epson. We assessed each model for overall value and features mentioned above, plus we aimed to include choices across multiple price points. Also, every printer we write about has an average customer rating of 4 out of 5 stars or more.
|Dimensions||15.9 x 7 x 5.6 inches|
|Speed||Up to 19 PPM black; up to 15 PPM color|
|Dimensions||15.7 x 13.5 x 6.8 inches|
|Speed||Up to 17 PPM black; up to 9.5 PPM color|
|Dimensions||14.2 x 10.4 x 7.8 inches|
|Speed||Up to 21 PPM|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB|
|Dimensions||15 x 7.8 x 3.6 inches|
|Speed||Up to 20 PPM black; up to 19 PPM color|
|Dimensions||14 x 14.2 x 7.2 inches|
|Speed||Up to 26 PPM|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, USB, NFC|