You may not realize how fun it is to have a printer for stickers until you slap a piece of your own art onto your fridge, waterbottle, or any other unadorned surface you may come across. Yes, there are many custom sticker printing companies, but when you outsource printing, you lose control of quality and rely on their timing. You may be limited on options when going with a commercial printer as well. When you print yourself, you can decide on every little detail, as long as you have the materials and machines necessary. The best printers for stickers will enable you to explore your creativity and put out some fun adhesive pieces.
- Best overall: Canon IP8720 Wireless Printer
- Best for image quality: Epson SureColor P700
- Best all-in-one: Epson EcoTank ET-3850
- Best for large volume printing: Epson ColorWorks C3500
- Best budget: HP Sprocket Portable 2×3″ Instant Photo Printer
Things to consider before buying a printer for stickers
Luckily, printing stickers isn’t as complicated as you may think. Most home printers can print on sticker materials. That means that you don’t have to buy an expensive, highly specialized device. It also allows you to use the printer for more than just printing stickers, which for most people will be ideal. And because you can use a standard printer, the things to look out for are the same as any other printer decision. Read on to learn about the main points to consider when buying a printer for printing stickers.
Laser versus inkjet
When choosing a printer, you have two main choices of printer type: inkjet or laser. Inkjet printers are the most common type of home printer. They are best for detailed graphics or photographs. An inkjet is the best choice for anything requiring accurate colors which is why many choose inkjet printers for stickers. The main downsides to inkjet printers are related to ink and maintenance. If you don’t use your inkjet printer regularly, the nozzles are prone to clogging, which results in wasted ink as you clear it out. And, the ink is extremely expensive, essentially liquid gold, so wasting ink is a painful proposition. Check out our other roundup if you’re looking for top inkjet printers specifically.
Laser printers, on the other hand, are not prone to clogging. They produce quality text but aren’t as suited for graphics or photos. They are, however, better for high-volume work, which is why you usually see laser printers in office settings.
Single-function or all-in-one
Deciding what all you may use the printer for will help you choose the right type of machine for your needs. It will also keep you from paying for features you don’t need. All-in-one printers offer printing, copying, scanning, and faxing on occasion as well. They are ideal for office settings or busy homes where one device has to perform multiple jobs.
Single-function printers, as you may guess, only print. They don’t offer a scanning bed or document feeder for scanning and copying, so they are strictly for printing. If you want a device dedicated to printing your stickers with the occasional document or photo, then a single-function printer will be enough. It may save you some money or allow you to get something higher in quality.
A label printer is one type of single-function printer you may want to consider if you are printing stickers with extremely high volumes. Think production-level printing with hundreds of stickers and labels printed daily. Label printers are very specific pieces of equipment and, as such, are expensive. They will easily cost over $3,000. But, they can print on sticker rolls instead of only sheets, which is what standard home or office printers are limited to. Being able to load a roll of stickers will save you time and allow you to print more at once as you won’t have to be.
Color accuracy is vital when printing designs and photos. You likely will spend lots of time ensuring the colors are the way you want them on your screen, so it will be endlessly frustrating if your printer cannot replicate the colors correctly. The primary way to judge the color accuracy of a printer is by looking at the number of ink colors it has. More ink colors will allow it to print more nuanced colors, leading to better accuracy. For example, if you want to print high-quality photo stickers, go with a printer with more than the standard four (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) colors.
The resolution of a printer will tell you how detailed it can print. It’s measured in dots per inch, or DPI. Generally speaking, a higher resolution is better. But there is a point where it becomes overkill and unnecessary, especially when printing stickers. So don’t feel like you need to spend a fortune for the highest dpi available. For sticker printing, you’ll at least want a DPI of 1000 x 1000 or higher.
Speed may not be an essential factor for the casual sticker printer, but if you are printing lots of stickers on a regular basis, you may want to prioritize this. Printer speeds are listed in pages per minute (ppm) or images per minute (ipm). If you don’t like to wait for things to print or need a lot of stickers printed quickly, focus on a high ppm number.
Not all printers will be able to print the full range of sticker material, so it’s important to decide what type of stickers you want to make before investing in a printer. Two options are the most common for consumers: paper stickers and vinyl stickers. While there are more options, they are generally more niche or specific to commercial use.
Standard paper stickers are cheap and easily accessible from most stores. They come in lots of different pre-cut shapes as well. But they aren’t very durable and aren’t waterproof. You won’t want to put them in any outdoor setting because of this. Instead, they are best for office or home uses such as planners or labeling.
Vinyl stickers are much more durable than paper stickers. They are waterproof, and many are also UV resistant. Their durability is why you see them on things like water bottles or coolers. They also have a higher-quality look and feel, making them come off as more professional than paper stickers. For most applications, vinyl will be your best bet if you can justify the cost.
Here are our picks for the best printers for stickers in 2022:
Best overall: Canon IP8720 Wireless Printer
Why it made the cut: Thanks to its six ink colors and high resolution, it produces very accurate, vibrant colors and highly detailed images. But it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
- Max resolution: 9600 x 2400 dpi
- Paper formats: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, letter, legal, 11″ x 17″, 13″ x 19″, U.S. #10 envelopes
- Printing speed: 14.5 images per minute (ipm) for black, 10.4 ipm for color
- Ink: Dye-based, six colors (cyan, yellow, magenta, black, gray, pigment Black)
- Printer size: 23.3 x 13.1 x 6.3 inches
- Excellent color accuracy
- Ink is long-lasting and durable
- High resolution for quality stickers, even photos
- Compatible with lots of paper sizes
- No display on the printer
The Canon IP8720 is an excellent printer for producing quality photos or graphics, whether on normal paper or stickers. It has the standard cyan, yellow, magenta, and black colors but has an additional gray and pigment black for better black and white images and text. So, if you are printing stickers with lots of text as well as images, this printer will be able to do it all.
The resolution of this Canon offering is a whopping 9600 x 2400 pixels. That will give you plenty of quality for even the most detailed designs. And it can print on a variety of paper sizes, from 4 x 6 inches up to 13 x 19. You’ll also be able to print on various media types, with paper weights ranging from 64 to 105 g /m2 for Canon paper and up to 200 g /m2 for non-Canon papers. As an inkjet printer, you’ll have no issues printing stickers. Just be sure to get sticker sheets designed for use in an inkjet instead of a laser printer.
There is no display on the printer, which may put some users off. But, it can connect to a computer via USB and has WiFi for wireless printing. It supports direct printing from Wireless PictBridge, Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, and PIXMA Printing Solutions apps. Printing is simple, even if you prefer to design and print from a mobile decide instead of a computer.
With its superb colors, excellent colors, and reasonable price, the IP9720 is one of the best Canon printers for stickers. But we also compiled the top canon printers should you want additional options.
Best for image quality: Epson SureColor P700
Why it made the cut: As a specialty photo printer with ten ink colors, the SureColor P700 will print out extremely high-quality photo stickers.
- Max resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
- Paper formats: Sheets: 3 x 5 inches to 13 x 19 inches | Roll feed maximum: 13 x 129 inches
- Printing speed: 8.5 x 11 inches: 1 minute 29 seconds, 13 x 19 inches: 2 minutes 23 seconds
- Ink: Pigment-based, ten colors (violet, photo black, cyan, vivid magenta, yellow, light cyan, vivid light magenta, gray, matte black, light gray)
- Printer size: 20.3 x 7.3 x 14.5 inches
- Ten ink colors provide excellent accuracy
- Great resolution for detailed prints
- Easy to use
- Archival inks for long-lasting stickers
- Large control panel
Epson is one of the premier options for photo-specific printers. The P700 is one of their more consumer-friendly options, with a lower price point than the higher-end professional ones. You still get a resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dpi, providing plenty of detail and quality. You can print on sheets or rolls up to 13 inches wide. Unfortunately, there aren’t many sticker options that come in rolls that size, but some are out there should you want to print massive stickers. And you’ll be able to use sheets of lots of different sizes, so you’ll still have options.
The P700 uses a ten-color ink system. That pigment system offers exceptional accuracy and smooth gradients between color transitions. It also features a new print driver mode called Carbon Black, which increases black density for richer blacks. The inks are archival, which is most relevant to photographs printed on traditional photo paper. But it will help the colors on your stickers hold up better over time.
As with most printers, you can connect via USB 3.0 or wirelessly with WiFi or ethernet. It supports mobile printing from AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Epson Print Layout for iOS, should you want to use your phone or tablet. And the large 4.3″ color touchscreen allows you to change settings and see the printing status right on the printer. It’s not a cheap printer, but it will produce excellent quality for photographers who want to print photographs on traditional photo paper and stickers.
Best all-in-one: Epson EcoTank ET-3850
Why it made the cut: This all-in-one option can scan, copy, and print, supports voice-activated or mobile app printing, and has an excellent print quality for stickers.
- Max resolution: Print: 4,800 x 1,200 dpi, Scan: 1,200 x 2,400 dpi
- Paper formats: 3.5″ x 5″, 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″,8.5″ x 11″, 8.5″ x 14″, A4, A6, half letter, executive, user definable
- Printing speed: 15 ppm for black, 8.5 ppm for color
- Colors: Dye-based, four colors (black, cyan, magenta, yellow)
- Printer size: 19.8 x 14.8 x 7.4 inches
- Large ink tanks will save you money on ink
- Voice activated and mobile app printing
- Great print quality
- Three-in-one device with printing, scanning, and copying
- No touchscreen
All-in-one printers offer ample versatility, which makes them a great fit for some users. You won’t need to have a few separate devices taking up space on your desk to perform the functions you need. This Epson option can print, scan, and copy. If you run a creative business selling stickers, having access to all those functions will be very helpful. You likely also need to print invoices and scan receipts from time to time. This machine will simplify your office life.
The EcoTank ET-3850 falls in the middle of Epson’s EcoTank line and is one of the best Epson printers for stickers. It is extremely easy to set up, in part thanks to the intuitive Epson Smart Panel App. There is a small display on the printer, but it isn’t a touch screen. But with Epson’s app and support for other wireless printing options like Apple AirPrint, you shouldn’t be bothered much.
Though there are only the standard four colors in this printer, the print quality is still excellent with great color accuracy. Blacks are rich, and even small text is clear and crisp. The large tanks that Epson uses in EcoTank printers mean that you will refill less, which is definitely a bonus if you are printing a lot. It not only saves headaches in terms of changing out pesky ink cartridges but will save you money as well.
Best for large volume printing: Epson ColorWorks C3500
Why it made the cut: If you run a high-volume operation, you’ll want a dedicated label printer. This option is more affordable than most others and uses inkjet technology instead of thermal printing, resulting in better colors.
- Max resolution: Up to 720 x 360 dpi
- Paper formats: Fanfold and large rolls of 1.2 to 4.4 inch widths
- Printing speed: 4 inches/second
- Ink: Cyan, magenta, yellow, black
- Printer size: 12.2 x 11.1 x 10.3 inches
- Ideal for high-volume printing
- Supports all major label and sticker types
- Can print stickers up to 4.4 inches wide
- Inkjet technology for more accurate colors
- Not compatible with Mac computers
If you sell large quantities of stickers or make lots of labels for products, you’ll want a dedicated printer for stickers and labels. The ColorWorks C3500 comes from the trusted Epson brand. Many label printers use thermal printing technology, limiting color accuracy, but this option uses the more familiar and higher-quality inkjet printing method. The maximum resolution is only 720 x 360 dpi, but given the max width of 4.4 inches, that is still a good resolution. Don’t expect to make exceptional photo stickers with this label printer, but it is plenty for casual photos or logo designs and text.
The inks that the C3500 uses are smudge, water, and fade resistant. So you’ll be able to print durable stickers and labels without worrying about ink quality. It supports both roll and fanfold formats up to 4.4 inches wide. And you can print on die-cut labels should you want something other than the standard square or rectangle.
The ColorWorks C3500 is the most expensive option on our list and, as a result, is best suited for commercial or business-type settings. It only supports Windows operating systems, so, unfortunately, Mac users will need to use another option. But, if you print hundreds or even thousands of labels and stickers a day, this Epson label printer is a great balance of price and quality.
Best budget: HP Sprocket Portable 2×3″ Instant Photo Printer
Why it made the cut: The HP Sprocket is an affordable, tiny printer for printing your photos onto sticker paper on the go.
- Max resolution: 321 x 600 dpi
- Paper formats: 2 x 3 inches
- Printing speed: 40 seconds per image
- Ink: N/A, ZINK Zero Ink Technology
- Printer size: 4.63 x 3.15 x 0.98 inches
- Printer is compact for easy portability
- App provides lots of fun editing tools
- Ink is embedded in the paper, so no buying ink or toner
- Paper is water, smudge, and tear resistant
- Limited to one size
You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a sticker printer. The HP Sprocket Portable is a cheap printer for stickers, specifically photo stickers. It comes in a tiny package, so you can easily put it in your pocket or throw it in your backpack. You’ll be able to create fun stickers no matter where you are.
The Sprocket Portable prints on 2×3 inch ZINK paper. This type of paper has dye embedded in it, which means you don’t have to worry about buying ink cartridges or toner. Of course, the paper isn’t super cheap, but it is much less of a hassle. And it is water, smudge, and tear-resistant, so your stickers will stand up well over time.
This portable printer uses the free HP App for printing. The app gives you considerable editing tools, including basic photo editing adjustments like contrast and brightness. It also has lots of built-in filters, stickers, emojis, and even frames. You’ll be able to turn your photos into unique designs right in the app. It charges via micro USB and can print up to 35 prints per charge. It’s a fun and unique device that allows you to be spontaneous and get printed photos on the spot.
Q: How much do printers for stickers cost?
How much printers for stickers cost depends on the printer and its features. You can find a printer capable of printing stickers anywhere from $60 for small personal printers to $6,000 for large commercial options.
Q: Is laser or inkjet better for stickers?
Depending on the type of sticker you are making, inkjet is better for stickers. Inkjet printers are the better choice for colorful graphics and photos, which is what most stickers will be. If your stickers are mainly black and white text, however, a laser printer will be a good choice.
Q: Can you print vinyl stickers with a normal printer?
You can print vinyl stickers with a normal printer. Both laser and inkjet printers can print on vinyl, but you need to get vinyl sticker sheets designed for the type of printer you have. Laser and inkjet printers use different methods of transferring images, and using the wrong paper can either leave you with a bad sticker or destroy your printer.
Q: Is there a difference between decals and stickers?
There are slight differences between decals and stickers, though the terms are also frequently used interchangeably. Generally speaking, decals are larger and last longer. Stickers, on the other hand, are typically smaller and less permanent.
Stickers are a fun way to express yourself and share your art or brand with others. Luckily, most printers can print on sticker materials, so you don’t necessarily need to spend money on something specific for your sticker printing.
Sticker printers, especially consumer models, typically are the same as standard printers. We used our experience using both inkjet and laser printers over the last few decades to guide which products would be best suited for printing stickers. Resolution and color accuracy were two of the primary considerations, as they influence quality most. We also factored in size options and media compatibility. Since the production needs of users are different, we looked at options that were capable of both occasional use and high-volume printing. Lastly, we chose products from various brands and price points to suit the needs of a wider variety of individuals.