7 best home printers to upgrade your wireless office setup

·12-min read
Wireless printers are much easier to use and much more versatile – usually with the option to print directly from tablets or smartphones too (iStock/The Independent)
Wireless printers are much easier to use and much more versatile – usually with the option to print directly from tablets or smartphones too (iStock/The Independent)

While wireless home printers might be quite a normal concept now, it was only a few years ago that technology caused a huge shift in printer design.

We’re sure that everyone reading this has, at some point, frantically tried to connect it to the back of the computer. All the while being worried that the ink cartridges have leaked or the paper you shortsightedly already put in the tray is about to spill out.

No more. The wireless printer is now, understandably, wildly popular. Almost consigning its poor wired relative to the dustbin.

It’s easier to use and much more versatile, usually with the option to print directly from tablets or smartphones alongside your desktop. Printer apps have improved dramatically too, now linking up seamlessly with Google Cloud printing and Apple AirPrint.

Buying the printer is one thing, but be aware of ink costs. Most brands insist on using their own cartridges, and prices for these can vary substantially, so be sure to factor this into any purchase.

Read more:

How we tested

We tested a range of wireless printers from some of the biggest household names. We were looking for printers that were easy to set up, printed fast and were cost effective too. Here’s what we found...

The best home printers in 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Epson ecotank et 2710: £162.90, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best black and white printer – Brother HL-L2350DW mono laser printer: £169.99, Box.co.uk

  • Best Epson printer – Epson expression premium XP-7100: £127.59, A2boffice.co.uk

  • Best portable printer for smartphones – Canon selphy square QX10: £149.99, Very.co.uk

  • Best for professional printing at home – HP officejet pro 7720 A3: £189.99, Argos.co.uk

  • Best printer under £100 – Epson expression premium XP-6100: £91.49, Amazon.co.uk

  • Best for the home office – HP officeJet pro 9020: £189.99, Amazon.co.uk

Epson ecotank et 2710

Best: Overall

  • Print/scan/copy: All

  • Dimensions: 375mm x 347mm x 179mm

  • App printing: Epson Connect, Google Cloud Print

  • Print speed: 14 to 35ppm

  • Paper capacity: 100 sheets

  • Paper size: Up to A4

  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

For a more eco-friendly approach to printing, Epson has a great range of ecotank printers that use cartridge-free ink tanks, leading to a more efficient printing process that’s not only better for the planet, but also your wallet.

Like the other Epson printers on this list, the et 2710 is easy to setup, with the clean “Epson Connect” app doing most of the work for you. The print quality and speed is at least on a par with any other printer on the list, and colour prints are especially vibrant. With no quality sacrificed for a more efficient and eco-friendly ink usage, more printers should be moving in this direction.

Read the full Epson ecotank et 2710 review

Buy now £162.90, Amazon.co.uk

Brother HL-L2350DW mono laser printer

Best: Black and white printer

  • Print/scan/copy: Print

  • Dimensions: 438mm x 283mm x 519mm

  • App printing: AirPrint, Cortado Cloud Print, Google Cloud Print 2.0, iPrint&Scan, Brother Print Service Plugin, Mopria

  • Print speed: Up to 30ppm

  • Paper capacity: 250 sheets

  • Paper size: Up to A4

  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

The mono in the printer’s name refers to the fact that it’s a one-stop monochrome shop. If you need a printer that can rapidly whack out page after page of important black and white documents or your latest coming-of-age novel without breaking a sweat, this effort from Brother is one of the best out there.

Despite the large 250-sheet paper input, it’s a handy size for most tables, or to put under your desk. It’s also surprisingly quiet: Brother says that all the models within the HL range print at less than 50dB. We tested it late at night and felt more than comfortable doing so.

Read the full Brother HL-L2350DW mono laser printer review

Buy now £169.99, Box.co.uk

Epson expression premium XP-7100

Best: Epson printer

  • Print/scan/copy: All

  • Dimensions: 390mm x 339mm x 183mm

  • App printing: Epson Connect, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print

  • Print speed: 11-16ppm

  • Paper capacity: 100 sheets

  • Paper size: Up to A4

  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SD card

This is one of Epson’s best personal printers. It’s an all-in-one printer, meaning that documents and photographic prints are a doddle, including glossy photos, via the dual paper trays. There’s also a speciality slot at the back for printing on thicker paper.

Printing from the app is easy, but the XP-7100 also has a 10.9cm interactive touchscreen for PC-free printing from a memory card. The automatic document feeder means that you won’t need to stand over the printer feeding pages into it to be scanned. An added extra is the “ready print go” system, which alerts you when ink is running low, giving you enough time to order more before your pretty prints get stripy.

This is currently out of stock on Amazon. But, you can still place an order and be among the first to receive your printer when it’s back.

Read the full Epson expression premium XP-7100 review

Buy now £127.59, A2boffice.co.uk

Canon selphy square QX10

Best: Portable printer for smartphones

  • Print/scan/copy: Print photos

  • Dimensions: 102mm x 143mm x 31mm

  • App printing: Selphy photo layout

  • Paper speed: 43 seconds per photo

  • Paper capacity: 20

  • Paper size: Polaroid size

  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi

This is a very fun bit of kit. Almost a modern polaroid camera, simply pick a photo from your phone via the Canon app, frame how you like, and watch your square photo print in seconds. While it looks quite pricey on the surface, it’s a sophisticated machine: Canon claims that the high-quality prints will stay that way for 100 years (tested using an accelerated ageing method), so choose your photos wisely.

The portable mini-printer has a decent battery life, and feels sturdy enough to take with you on holiday. There are also options for filters and photo editing on the app for any last-minute airbrushing you need to do (don’t bother, you look great).

Read the full Canon selphy square QX10 review

Buy now £149.99, Very.co.uk

HP officejet pro 7720 A3

Best: For professional printing at home

  • Print/scan/copy: All

  • Dimensions: 584.9mm x 444.8mm x 306.4mm

  • App printing: HP Smart, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria

  • Print speed: 18-34ppm

  • Paper capacity: 250 sheets

  • Paper size: Up to A3

  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Don’t let the “office” in its name fool you: the 7720 is a strong choice for a home wireless printer. It looks good, the HP Smart app is straightforward – the best app on the list – and print quality is high. Thanks to its wide format, the 7720 can print up to A3, with scan and copy up to legal size (slightly larger than A4).

The cartridges are quite expensive, but you do get great quality from them, and the optional high-yield cartridges let you print up to three times as many black-text and two times as many colour pages. The 7720 is also the perfect choice for professional-quality brochures and flyers at a decent price and in the comfort of your own home, producing water, smear, and fade-resistant prints.

Read the full HP officejet pro 7720 A3 review

Buy now £189.99, Argos.co.uk

Epson expression premium XP-6100

Best: Printer under £100

  • Print/scan/copy: All

  • Dimensions: 349mm x 340mm x 142mm

  • App printing: Epson Connect, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print

  • Print speed: 11-15ppm

  • Paper capacity: 100 sheets

  • Paper size: A4

  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Epson’s XP-6100 proves that a good printer doesn’t need to cost the earth. Another all-in-one unit, it’s compact and stylish enough to fit in most settings, as a professional printer or something for the family. Once again, the app is easy to navigate, and printing, scanning and copying are straightforward.

The dual front-loading paper trays hold A4 and photo paper respectively, and there’s an option for double-sided printing. There’s no touchscreen, but that’s no issue when you have your phone or the computer, and the buttons work well enough. It also serves to keep the cost down. All in all, a well-performing printer at a good price.

Read the full Epson expression premium XP-6100 review

Buy now £91.49, Amazon.co.uk

HP officeJet pro 9020

Best: For the home office

  • Print/scan/copy: All

  • Dimensions: 437mm x 396.3mm x 318.3mm

  • App printing: HP Smart, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria

  • Print speed: 20-39ppm

  • Paper capacity: 250 sheets

  • Paper size: A4

  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

The 9020 is a bit of a beast and is much bigger than the other printers in this list. What that comes with is a 35-page automatic page loader for hands-free copying, two 250-sheet paper trays that fit a full ream of paper, and the ability to scan both sides of a page at once.

The HP Smart app is a winner again here, helping you quickly access the files you want from Google Drive, Dropbox, the cloud or email – scanned pages can go the other way. It’s a big printer for big tasks, and the closest on this list to a proper office printer.

Read the full HP officeJet pro 9020 review

Buy now £189.99, Amazon.co.uk

Home printer FAQs

Do you need a single-function printer or an all-in-one?

If you’re working from home, an all-in-one (or multifunction) printer can save on precious desk space, but there are reasons why you might prefer a single-function printer.

If you’re planning on printing a large number of documents at once or printing very regularly, it could be quicker and more cost-effective to invest in a dedicated laser printer with no scanning or faxing capability. Also bear in mind that your smartphone can scan to PDF, and that you probably can’t remember the last time you needed to send a fax.

That said, most of the best consumer-level inkjet printers are now multifunction by default. Even if you never plan on scanning, it’s more useful to choose a printer based on its other features: its size, capacity, whether it’s front-loading (and so requires less room), and whether it can print on both sides of the page.

Should you buy third-party ink or refill kits?

Printer ink is infamously more expensive than gold, caviar and vintage champagne, so it’s no surprise that many consumers turn to cheaper third-party ink and compatible cartridges to keep their printer running. These are usually the very same branded cartridges, simply refilled with fresh ink and sold under a different name.

Just because they’re cheaper doesn’t mean they’re of inferior quality. Printer manufacturers might clutch their pearls and insist otherwise, but third-party ink from a reputable brand won’t damage your printer, void your warranty or impact the quality of your prints. In most cases, a third-party cartridge will perform just as well as a more expensive one bought from the printer’s manufacturer.

Amazon is a major retailer that sells refill ink, offering a multitude of options for Canon, HP, Lexmark, and other leading brands. If you’re signed up to a Prime membership, which costs £7.99 a month or £79.99 annually, you’ll have access to unlimited next-day delivery, which will come in handy if you run out of ink unexpectedly and need to print important paperwork.

There’s also printer-specific retailers such as Cartridgepeople.com that are a one-stop shop for all your printer needs, so you can pick up new ink refills, paper and stationery in one shop. It also offers free delivery on everything.

Should you buy a refurbished printer?

You should avoid buying a refurbished printer if you can. Printers are complex machines with many moving parts, and every last one of them is looking for an excuse to jam. The insides become worn down or gummed up with toner or ink over time, even – or sometimes especially – if the printer isn’t being used.

Generally speaking, printers are sold at a low price to lock customers into a brand of ink, so the cost savings of buying a refurbished, consumer-level printer aren’t worth the potential problems further down the line. If you do decide to buy a refurbished printer, check for a guarantee, recertification or fresh warranty from the manufacturer.

Wireless printers at a glance

Wireless printer

Print / scan / copy

Size

Print speed

Paper capacity

Paper size

Connectivity

Epson ecotank ET-2710

All

375mm x 347mm x 179mm

14 to 35ppm

100 sheets

Up to A4

USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Brother HL-L2350DW mono laser printer

Print

438mm x 283mm x 519mm

Up to 30ppm

250 sheets

Up to A4

USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Epson expression premium XP-7100

All

390mm x 339mm x 183mm

11-16ppm

100 sheets

Up to A4

USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SD card

Canon selphy square QX10

Print

102mm x 143mm x 31mm

43 seconds per photo

20 sheets

Polaroid size

Wi-Fi

HP officejet pro 7720 A3

All

584mm x 444mm x 306mm

18-34ppm

250 sheets

Up to A3

USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Epson expression premium XP-6100

All

349mm x 340mm x 142mm

11-15ppm

100 sheets

Up to A4

USB, Wi-Fi

HP officeJet pro 9020

All

437mm x 396mm x 318mm

20-39ppm

250 sheets

Up to A4

USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

The verdict: Wireless printers

Your decision really depends on what you want from a printer. For a wireless printer that does everything you ask of it, produces high-quality mono and colour prints, saves on ink price and is better for the planet, the Epson ecotank ET-2710 is the best option. However, for a home office printer that prints black and white at an astounding pace, the Brother HL-L2350DW mono laser printer is perfect.

Voucher codes

For discounts on printers and more home tech, try the links below:

Whether you’re planning on heading back to the office or not, these are the best lightweight laptops on the market now

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting