Best printer 2021: Top 5 printers for every budget

Best printer overall - Epson EcoTank ET-2720

What’s the best printer in 2021?

It’s become almost compulsory to have a printer in your home in 2021, especially if you’re working from home while the offices are closed. But what’s the best printer for your money? We’ve reviewed some of the greatest printers currently available and ranked them in order of recommendation.

We’ve included picks from HP, Epson and Canon, and will be updating this list frequently as we continue our search for the best printer options, whether you need something to print out documents on a daily basis or fancy a machine that can bring your social media snaps to life.

So without further ado, here are our top recommended printers of 2021.

Best printer overall - Epson EcoTank ET-2720

1. Epson EcoTank ET-2720

The best overall all-in-one printer


  • Low running costs
  • Affordable price
  • Great print quality


  • Low paper capacity
  • No WPS
  • No auto duplexing

The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is the best printer we’ve reviewed in recent months, featuring a multitude of talents including scanning and copying. Print quality is excellent too, ensuring this printer aces all the office basics.

This printer plays well with the entire family, offering comparability for a range of devices including Windows and Mac computers via USB, as well as iOS and Android devices through their respective apps. But the biggest draw here is the long-term value thanks to the affordable ink bottles. And unlike HP, Canon isn’t pushing you into a subscription service.

The EcoTank ET-2720 isn’t perfect, with a low paper capacity and lack of automatic duplexing, but if you want to save as much money as possible in the long term, this is our current number one printer recommendation.

Best printer on a budget - Canon PIXMA TS305

2. Canon PIXMA TS305

The best budget printer for documents


  • Very cheap to buy
  • Very cheap to run


  • Flimsy build quality
  • Middling print quality

The Canon PIXMA TS305 is available for just £35, which is significantly cheaper than any other printer on this list. This makes it ideal for anyone on a strict budget who will only print off the odd document such as shipping labels and tickets.

The TS305 is a speedy printer, is cheap to run and offers decent print quality for text. Heavier fonts can admittedly see a little bleed, but sticking to the likes of Times New Roman should avoid that issue.

The biggest drawback with the TS305 is its picture quality. It’s absolutely reasonable at this price point, but colours can appear oversaturated and grainy. If you’re not bothered about printing out images or fancy looking documents, this Canon should still prove to be a worthwhile printing companion.

Best for students - HP Tango X

3. HP Tango X

Best student printer


  • Compact, wireless design
  • Low upfront price
  • Instant Ink plans offer value for money


  • No built-in scanner or copier
  • Scan and copy function of HP Smart app is variable

The HP Tango X is clearly attempting to be the tailor-made printer for students. Printing photos directly from social media allows you to decorate your walls with nightlife shenanigans, while the ultra-portable design makes it easy to stuff into your cramped flat. Alexa integration also makes it a cinch to control.

But while HP claims this printer is capable of scanning, it actually has no built-in scanner. Instead, it requires you to use your smartphone, which results in barely passable documents. This is a printer that’s only really good at printing, although it’s capable of spitting out both documents and photos.

It’s also worth pointing out that the HP cartridges aren’t very cheap unless you sign up to an an Instant Ink subscription. The good news is that you can cancel the subscription at any point, making it convenient for students who will only need it during university terms.

Best monochrome - Epson ET-M1120

4. Epson ET-M1120

Best for churning out black-and-white documents


  • Super-low cost per page
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Cheap and easy EcoTank refills


  • Hard to line up paper in the tray
  • No scanner
  • No colour ink

The Epson ET-M1120 is very much a one-trick pony. There’s no scanner and it doesn’t support coloured ink, but it excels at printing black-and-white documents by the truckload.

By using affordable ink bottles it offers fantastic long-term value, while print quality is consistently excellent. It’s a fast printer too, spitting out a five-page document in just 30 seconds. It supports Wi-Fi printing and can even print directly from cloud services such as Google Drive and OneDrive. There’s even a Epson iPrint app, although we’re not sure how useful that is given the printer’s limitations with colour.

The Epson ET-M1120 is a very simple printer, lacking big features such as scanning and coloured ink. But if you’re confident you only need a printer for churning out monochrome documents, then this printer offers superb value.

Best subscription printer - HP Deskjet Plus 4120

5. HP DeskJet Plus 4120

Low buying price, but subscription required for decent printing value


  • Low buying price
  • Prints quickly
  • Instant Ink subscription prices are low


  • So-so print quality
  • Cartridges are expensive
  • Not economical to run without an Instant Ink sub

The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 was only awarded a 2.5 rating in our review, so why has it made our list? Well, if you’re prepared to sign up to HP’s Instant Ink subscription service and print lots and lots of documents, then this could actually prove to be one of the best value printer options.

This HP is available to buy for less than £100, despite rocking features such as scanning and copying. On the surface, that sounds great, but the HP 305 cartridges are unfortunately expensive when purchased individually, consequently driving up the long-term cost. The HP Instant Ink subscription offers far better value, but it’s understandable that most people won’t be willing to commit to monthly payments.

If you’re happy to sign up to HP’s subscription, the DeskJet Plus 4120 potentially offers the best value of all the printers here. So if you know for sure you’re going to be printing large amounts over the course of multiple months, then it’s worth considering. Otherwise, you’re best off avoiding it.

Check out our other home office Best lists

If you’re buying a new printer for your home, there’s a good chance you’ll want to add a few extra items to make your home office as efficient as possible. We’ve added our most useful Best Lists for home offices below:

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