- Our choice for the #1 Best Overall laser printer is the Brother MFC-L8900CDW.
- Laser printers are generally a more significant upfront investment than their inkjet counterparts but are cheaper to own and operate in the long run.
- You should consider a laser printer if you work from home, run a small business, or print lots of black-and-white documents.
- When buying a laser printer, remember that they are bigger and bulkier than inkjet models. In most cases, you’ll need to account for a machine that’s 16-20 inches wide.
Chances are pretty good you’ve used an inkjet printer at some point in your life. These devices are a fine option for those looking to save a few bucks up front, but you’ll quickly see your operation costs add up as you buy new ink cartridges. Moreover, they can be noisy, and you’ll have to deal with blurry print jobs. This is where laser printers come in. While the best laser printers are generally a hefty upfront investment, you’ll save money over time if you frequently print documents.
Many laser printers cost $300 or more, which can be costly for someone starting their own business. Because they’re more expensive than their inkjet counterparts, it’s essential to make the right choice when buying one. Budget models can be purchased for less than $200, but a high-end model will give you the best possible print quality and a few extra features that justify the cost.
This guide dives into the best home laser printers, covering each model’s pros and cons. We’ll also walk through the most important considerations when buying a laser printer, such as their cost of operation, noise level, and print quality.
After researching the 40 most popular options, we’ve determined the best home laser printers in 2023 are:
- Best Overall Laser Printer: Brother MFC-L8900CDW
- Best for Speedy Prints and Scans: HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw
- Best for Buyers on a Budget: Brother HL-L2370DW
- Best for Wireless Printing: Brother MFCL2750DW
- Best for Ease of Use: HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw
Best Overall Laser Printer: Brother MFC-L8900CDW
- Recommended print volume up to 4,000 pages a month
- 2400 x 600 dot-per-inch resolution
- Straightforward setup process
- Built-in wireless 802
- 250-page capacity paper tray
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is a workhorse printer that earns our #1 spot for its reliability and easy operation. The 5-inch color touchscreen display lets you easily switch between print settings and create up to 64 customized shortcuts. You can reliably print up to 3,000 pages a month, although it only has a 250-page capacity. Still, it’s worth noting you can add additional paper trays to expand its capacity to 1,300 pages.
The integrated NFC card feature adds an additional layer of security for those using this printer in a business setting. With it, you can ensure only those with permission badges use your printer. This feature can help cut down on operational costs since you’ll be able to keep up with who prints what.
Its 2400 x 600 dot-per-inch resolution makes it the perfect choice for those who regularly print documents with charts or images. Budget laser printers generally print in 600 x 600 dpi, which is acceptable for text-based documents, but often results in blurry, lackluster imagery.
We also love that this printer offers a no-fuss setup process. Those familiar with installing and troubleshooting printers will surely have experienced the frustration of dealing with a tricky software upgrade or challenging Bluetooth pairing process. With the Brother MFC-L8900CDW, you simply download their installation software, follow the onscreen instructions, and you’re off to the races. Still, it can be beneficial to have a second person help you set it up, as it weighs 63 pounds.
|The 2400 x 600 DPI resolution lets you print crisp, high-quality images and charts.||The included paper tray only holds 250 pages.|
|The setup process is straightforward, taking less than 30 minutes on average.||It’s a bulky printer, weighing just over 60 pounds.|
Check out Brother MFC-L8900CDW on Amazon.
Best for Speedy Prints and Scans: HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw
- Prints 28 ppm for faster prints
- Automate complicated workflows
- 250-sheet input tray
- 50-sheet auto document feeder
- Built-in Wi-Fi Direct
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw clocks in at an impressive 35 color pages per minute. You’ll avoid being late for meetings as you rush to finish your last-minute print job.
The M479fdw has a relatively small footprint at 16.6 x 15.1 x 17.1 inches. Size aside, it weighs around 45 pounds, so you’ll want to be careful when lugging it up a flight of stairs.
According to HP, this machine is perfect for those who print up to 4,000 documents monthly. However, you’ll need to refill it more often than upgradeable models, as it only holds 250 sheets. It has a maximum DPI of 600 x 600 for print jobs and 1200 x 1200 for scans. You can save time by using its auto-feed scanner, letting you feed up to 50 sheets of paper for speedy scans. However, there is a quality tradeoff when using this feature; it’s limited to a suboptimal 300 x 300 DPI for auto-fed scans.
It’s relatively quiet; you’ll hear light fan noise when it isn’t in operation and the typical printer buzzing and moving while in use. It gets noisier after years of use, but this is to be expected with any printer you buy.
|It’s capable of lightning-fast print jobs at roughly 35 pages per minute.||You’ll have to replace your paper often if you print more than 250 pages a day.|
|You can avoid scanning documents page by page using its 50-sheet auto-feeder.||Its 600 x 600 DPI may leave images and charts looking fuzzy.|
Check out HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw on Amazon.
Best for Buyers on a Budget: Brother HL-L2370DW
- Crisp black-and-white print quality
- Low up-front cost
- Desktop-friendly and fast
The Brother HL-L2370DW costs less than $200 and boasts a 36-page-per-minute print speed. You’ll only be able to fit 250 sheets in its paper tray, but the savings are well worth the extra trips to the printer for paper replacements.
The savings don’t end at the upfront cost either. Brother offers a Refresh EZ Print Subscription Service to keep you stocked with toner at a 50% discount. This monochromatic printer only prints in black and white, so it isn’t the one for you if you need colorful charts and graphics. It also lacks the bells and whistles you’ll find on high-end machines, such as a built-in scanner. Still, if you mainly print text-based documents, you’ll be impressed with its crisp black-and-white print quality.
Like other Brother printers, the setup process is a breeze. You can connect the HL-L2370DW to a PC and two smartphones in 30 minutes or less. It’s also one of the lightest laser printers we reviewed at roughly 16 pounds.
|It has a low up-front cost and a subscription service to save you money on toner replacements.||It doesn’t print in color, so it isn’t a great choice for printing images.|
|It’s lightweight and easy to set up.||It doesn’t have scanning capabilities.|
Check out Brother HL-L2370DW on Amazon.
Best for Wireless Printing: Brother MFCL2750DW
- Variety of cloud-based print options
- Print, fax, copy, and scan
- Great support
- Fast printing
With the Brother MFCL2750DW, you’ll enjoy an above-average range of printing options. This laser printer lets you print wirelessly via Google Cloud, Airplay, Dropbox, Evernote, or OneNote. The setup process is super easy, as is the operation. However, you’ll find yourself frustrated when using the scan function. Many reviewers note the scan capabilities are unnecessarily difficult, and the required software can be difficult to find on Brother’s website.
Despite the hurdles you’ll face when scanning documents, you’re sure to love the straightforward touchscreen display and ability to print wirelessly from your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Its modest 600 x 600 dpi is more than enough for the black-and-white print jobs it can print. The scan dpi is a more impressive 1200 x 1200 dpi, and you can set this printer up with Amazon Dash to order toner automatically when yours is low.
|You have a variety of cloud-based print options.||The scan function is challenging to use.|
|You can automatically order toner to ensure you never run out.||It only prints in black and white and only has a 600 x 600 dpi resolution.|
Check out Brother MFCL2750DW on Amazon.
Best for Ease of Use: HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw
- Easy-to-use smartphone application
- Prints up to 22 ppm
- Affordable option
- Features Alexa voice controls
- Wireless printing
The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw features Alexa voice controls, an intuitive smartphone app, and various other features to keep things easy. You get the benefit of a frustration-free setup process that takes less than 10 minutes. There are some tradeoffs for its ease of use. For one, the M255dw is one of the noisiest printers we reviewed. You’ll likely want to place it away from your main living area to avoid having to hear it for too long. Luckily, its range of print options lets you print from any room in your home. The M255dw is also one of the slower printers we recommend, at around 22 pages per minute.
Despite its quirks, this is a solid printer that won’t break the bank. You’ll spend around $400 and can set up customizable shortcuts to save time on repetitive tasks. It’s also one of the more affordable options with color printing, although the maximum resolution is a modest 600 x 600 dpi.
|It features Alexa voice controls and an easy-to-use smartphone application.||It’s noisier than the other models we recommend.|
|It’s an affordable option for color print jobs.||It’s slow compared to other printers in the same price range.|
Check out HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Laser Printer: Step by Step
Choosing the right laser printer can be stressful, but you can take a few straightforward steps to simplify your purchase.
- Consider your needs
- Figure out your short-term and long-term budget
- Factor in “nice-to-have” features
Consider Your Needs
You’ll need a high-end color laser printer if you regularly color-code documents or graphs to make important data stand out. Color printers are generally more expensive, but it’s worth the extra investment if it makes your life easier. Similarly, think about how often you scan or copy documents. Budget models are unlikely to have these features, and you can get more bang for your buck by investing in a model with a built-in scanner.
Short-Term and Long-Term Budget
Toner cartridges generally let you print around 2,000 pages before needing to be replaced, compared to just 200 pages with an ink cartridge. Even though toner is more expensive than ink, it’s more cost-effective in the long run. However, most laser printers work with specific toner cartridges, and costs can vary depending on the brand. After you’ve figured out how much you can spend on a laser printer, it’s important to look at each model’s required toner and see if the costs will add up over time.
Consider the features that are nice to have but not completely necessary. For example, a printer with a crisp 2400 x 600 DPI print quality will certainly make your graphics stand out, but is it something you truly need? It’s worth considering where you can cut costs by eliminating certain bells and whistles. On the other hand, if your budget can accommodate a top-of-the-line printer with a touchscreen display, high-resolution color printing, and a built-in scanner, you might as well spring for a model with the features you love.
What to Know Before Buying a Laser Printer
Before purchasing a laser printer, you must note its size and weight. These printers are meant to accommodate multiple users and hundreds of sheets of paper, so they typically take up more space than an inkjet printer. Depending on the features and paper tray size, you can expect your laser printer to weigh anywhere from 30-60 pounds.
You’ll also want to make a note of the printer’s resolution. DPI, or dots-per-inch, tells you how many ink droplets the printer can fit on a square inch of paper. The more ink droplets it can fit, the higher the resolution of your print jobs. The DPI will sometimes vary depending on how you use the printer. For example, a printer may have a high DPI when printing or scanning but a low DPI when using its auto-feeder or high-speed settings.
Using a Laser Printer: What it’s Like
Laser printers can speed through print jobs at over 30 pages per minute. Comparatively, inkjet printers average around five to 20 pages per minute. Laser printers are typically quieter than their inkjet counterparts as well, meaning they can save you time and a headache.
Many of these printers are built with businesses in mind, allowing you to print thousands of pages each month without errors or jams. They often have scanning and copying capabilities, and many have auto-feeders that let you scan 20-50 documents simultaneously.
The biggest tradeoff when using a laser printer is their size; many of these machines are bulkier and heavier than what you’re used to if you’ve used inkjet printers in the past. You’ll need to ensure you have ample space for your printer and a sturdy desk that can support its weight.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©kasarp studio/Shutterstock.com.