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A picture is worth a thousand words, but in today’s digital era, it’s rare that you think to go to a store to have your photos printed. That’s because photo paper has completely changed the game, allowing you to print professional-quality photographs in your home or office. Whatever finish you want, from soft gloss to glossy to matte, we can help you find the right product at a price that works for your budget. Browse our roundup of the best photo paper below.
1. Canon MP-101 Matte Photo Paper
Leave it to Canon, a company whose name is practically synonymous with photography, to produce high-quality photo paper at a fair price. This 45-pound photo paper is thick and slightly stiff yet feeds through printers smoothly. What makes it stand out is a microporous coating that quickly absorbs ink to prevent excess from being left on the paper’s surface, which helps keep images crisp and speeds the drying process. The finish is matte, and colors appear bright and true rather than dull. At about five cents per 4-by-6-inch sheet, this paper is also well priced for regular, routine use. You get 120 sheets per pack. Other sizes are also available: 13 by 19 inches (20 sheets) and 8.5 by 11 inches (50 sheets).
2. Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper
If you need photographs that have a more professional or sophisticated finish, look no farther than Epson’s premium sheets. This heavyweight (79-pound) paper has a high-gloss finish that shines without distracting from the image. Colors pop on this sturdy paper, which has an almost instant drying time and is formulated to avoid fading. It is a pricier option than Canon’s paper, with sheets costing about 30 cents each, but we highly recommend it for extra-special, frame-worthy photos. Compatible with all inkjet printers, this photo paper comes in 4-by-6-inch and 5-by-7-inch sheets.
3. Uinkit Presentation Paper
This supersmooth photo paper can be printed on both sides, making it a great choice for cards, pamphlets, and other printed matter that won’t live on a wall. Its color reproduction is excellent, and images appear sharp and well saturated on the bright white sheets. Importantly, the 200-gsm (74-pound) papers are thick enough to prevent ink from seeping through to the other side. Compatible with any inkjet printer, the paper is available with either a glossy or a matte finish and measures 8.5 by 11 inches.
4. Amazon Basics Photo Paper
For teachers and group leaders looking to stock up on glossy paper for the classroom at a great price, this 100-pack will fit the bill. The 4-by-6-inch sheets cost about eight cents each—inexpensive enough to use for casual projects that demand many pictures. The 53-pound paper feels slightly flimsy, but it’s also very easy to cut. Unlike other low-cost competitors, these papers present vibrant, rich colors with no bleed. Note, however, that recommended drying time is a full 30 minutes, and some users report curling over time.
5. HP Premium Plus Photo Paper
Like the idea of glossy images but don’t want them to actually shine? Consider this paper from HP. Available in a 50-sheet pack, it has a non-reflective, soft gloss finish that’s almost satiny. Like other papers in this price range (about 40 cents a sheet), this paper has a hefty, expensive-feeling 75-pound weight as well as fast-drying properties so your ink won’t smear once printed. Colors appear rich, vibrant, and true. As a bonus, this paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which means it’s made from wood taken from responsibly managed forests.