best photo paper for inkjet

10 Best Photo Paper for Inkjet Printers and Buying Tips

The quality of your media is just as critical to the quality of printout as your printer and your skills are. That’s why you need only the best photo paper for inkjet for your printing projects. Don’t worry we got you.

Top Pick

HP Premium Plus

  • Quick-drying
  • Bright, soft gloss
  • FSC-certified sustainably-sourced

Best photo paper for inkjet for 2021 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons

These days, people are creating content like never before. The ever-growing sophistication of desktop printing has made it possible for anybody with a computer and printer to create beautiful images for a wide variety of purposes.

Getting the perfect output requires quality photo papers that bring stunning images to life. Here are our top picks:

IMAGENAME & DetailsDETAILS
HP Premium Plus Photo Paper
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Soft Gloss
  • Structure: 300 gsm
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Canon Pro Inkjet Photo Luster
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Semi-Gloss
  • Structure: 260 gsm
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Uinkit Photo Paper Glossy
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Glossy
  • Structure: 180 gsm
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Printworks Photo Paper Matte
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Matte
  • Structure: 140 gsm
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Epson Premium Inkjet Paper MATTE
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Matte
  • Structure: 179 gsm
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PPD Inkjet Photo Paper Glossy
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Glossy
  • Structure: 180gsm
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HP Photo Paper Advanced Glossy
  • Sheet Dimensions: 4×6 inches
  • Texture: Glossy
  • Structure: 250 gsm
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Printworks Double-Sided Photo Paper
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Matte
  • Structure: 140 gsm
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LD Inkjet Photo Sticker Paper
  • Sheet Dimensions: 8.5×11 inches
  • Texture: Glossy
  • Structure: 135 gsm
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HP CH097A Inkjet Photo Paper
  • Sheet Dimensions: 5×7 inches
  • Texture: Glossy
  • Structure: 200 gsm
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1. HP Premium Plus Photo Paper

Highlighted features

  • Quick-drying
  • Bright, soft gloss
  • FSC-certified sustainably-sourced

This paper earns the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for responsible sourcing. That means you can keep enjoying the fruits of your talent and hard work minus the guilt, knowing that you’re being kind to the environment too.

When working with prints, sometimes everything about the photo is perfect — the angle, the frame, even the exposure. Somehow the prints aren’t delivering. Before you suspect there might be something wrong with your printer, try this photo paper from HP. It’s not too shiny. It’s just right.

Pros

  • Soft gloss printouts do not distract the eyes from the shine.
  • Printouts remain bright without being shiny.
  • This photo paper is FSC-certified which matters if you care about the environment.
  • At 300 gsm, this paper works great for portraits you want to hang on walls.
  • Material is also ideal for keepsakes, including photobooks.

Cons

  • The cost per sheet is higher than most ordinary photo papers for inkjet with average thickness.

2. Canon Pro Inkjet Photo Luster

Highlighted features

  • Semi-gloss
  • 260 gsm

If you want full gloss, try the Photo Luster from Canon. Like the HP Premium Plus Photo Paper which finishes with a soft gloss, this product also gives you a semi-gloss printout.

At 260 gsm, this paper is just as good for personal albums and framing. It will also make great catalog or magazine covers. For whatever purpose you’re printing, this paper is definitely one you can rely on.

Pros

  • This paper is definitely at the upper limit of the ideal minimum of gsm for inkjet.
  • Delivers the perfect vibrance for colored photos.
  • Shows the most minute details in black and white images.
  • Balanced shine which I find makes it great for portraits or any project with people’s faces.

Cons

  • This photo paper is best compatible with Canon printers but it shouldn’t perform less with other brands of printers.
  • It may be too expensive for bulk printing.

3. Uinkit Photo Paper Glossy

Highlighted features

  • FSC-certified
  • Glossy finish
  • Multi-use paper

Been trying to catch up on your personal photo projects for a long time? Yeah, it can be costly. But you’ll find there’s no need to be worried about your project budget when you’re working with the best photo paper for inkjet that comes at half the price of the products mentioned above.

It’s only 180gsm though but hey, make that call based on the finished product you’re trying to achieve. Some projects are better executed with lighter paper anyway.

Pros

  • This paper meets the standards for most print-on-demand projects using photo paper as media.
  • It delivers great images even when used with different brands of printers.
  • The paper absorbs the ink which helps prevent smears and promotes making images last longer.
  • With an FSC-certified seal, you know you’re doing a good job protecting the environment.

Cons

  • This is made for single-sided photo printing only.
  • It may wrinkle easily if not bound, framed or laminated well.

4. Printworks Photo Paper Matte

Highlighted features

  • Smudge-free printing
  • 5 mil thick
  • 140 gsm
  • 2-sided printing

For high-volume printing that requires your brand or value proposition to stand out, perhaps this paper is what you need. It finishes with a mattified effect. Although at 140gsm thick, it’s not as thick as any other brand of photo paper already listed above.

However, the need to print on thick paper is relative. Some projects will just simply do better with this, which includes flyers, school presentations, and crafting.

Pros

  • This product is highly cost-effective relative to most other branded alternatives.
  • It keeps printing costs light on the budget most especially for high-volume printing projects.
  • Designed to instantly dry and absorb ink on contact, you won’t ever have to worry about smudges.
  • It delivers two-sided printing which is even more cost-effective if that suits your project.

Cons

  • Only 140 gsm which is thin and light, and may not be suitable for some print projects.
  • Outputs may wrinkle easily if not protected somehow.

5. Epson Premium Inkjet Paper MATTE

Highlighted features

  • Bright white paper
  • Mattified finish

For the brand-conscious cheapskates seeking best performance at the fraction of what high-quality paper normally costs, his Epson Premium paper will meet your standards.

Get exactly 179 gsm, bright white paper, at under $10 for 50 sheets if you decide to go with this option. In case you care to know, Epson claims printouts last for up to 72 years. Now, take that!

Pros

  • Above-average thickness at above-average weight in gsm.
  • Bright white paper in matte finish shows details in full, vibrant color.
  • Made by one of the most trusted brands in printers.
  • Buy it at just a fraction of what most other branded sheets cost.

Cons

  • Not suitable for double-sided printing projects.

6. PPD Inkjet Photo Paper Glossy

Highlighted features

  • 180 gsm
  • Water-resistant
  • Medium-weight paper

Need something midway between a thin paper and cardboard? This paper would make a great choice. It comes at just the right level of thickness and weight for creating your photobooks. It works just as great for hanging photos of your wedding, baby’s baptism, and any other milestones in your life that could go a long way to personalize your space.

Pros

  • This paper is compatible with all brands of inkjet printers.
  • It is also compatible for use with any dye, normal, or pigment-based ink.
  • This paper is water-resistant.
  • Prints do not fade easily when printed on this paper.

Cons

  • It isn’t suitable for large format printing projects.
  • Image prints that require smaller than the standard A4 size canvas will require manual cutting.

7. HP Photo Paper Advanced Glossy

Highlighted features

  • Measures exactly 4×6 inches
  • Glossy finish
  • Moderate thickness
  • FSC-certified

When putting multiple photos on display on your walls or even on your table, it’s never good to layout photos of the same sizes. While manually cutting standard-size paper is always a viable option, wouldn’t it be better if all you had to do is queue your image?

Swell with raw satisfaction at the sight of your printouts the moment they exit your printer. If it’s 4×6 inch prints you need, that’s exactly what you’ll get. No more and no less.

Pros

  • There’s no need to cut to size if it’s exactly a 4×6 inch photo frame you’re aiming for.
  • Get instant gratification as soon as you hold your photo project in your hand.
  • Designed to be thick and quick-drying which helps prevent accidental smearing and fading.
  • If you are a responsible buyer, buying this product helps you advocate for sustainable sourcing.

Cons

  • This product is not made for back-to-back printing.

8. Printworks Double-Sided Photo Paper

Highlighted features

  • Double-sided printing
  • Coated matte finish
  • Smudge-free printouts

Tons of photo printouts can easily result in bulging project expenses. But, if you’re any wiser, you’d think doubly hard at what you need your printouts for.

If volume is a factor for your printing project, you definitely require inexpensive paper to go with your inexpensive ink tank. If you plan your large volume projects this way, this option from Printworks definitely deserves consideration.

Pros

  • This photo paper is ideal for projects requiring back-to-back printing.
  • It is significantly less costly than most other brands of quality inkjet photo paper.
  • Shows printouts against a white background that is brighter than your average paper.
  • Lightweight and well-suited for projects such as flyers and presentations.

Cons

  • It wrinkles more easily than thicker photo papers.

9. LD Inkjet Photo Sticker Paper

Highlighted features

  • Up to 40% more printouts vs. other brands
  • Glossy finish
  • Ready to stick
  • Water-resistant

Save yourself from the trouble of taking a two-step process to get your sticker print projects done. With this photo sticker paper, there’s no need to print first then add the adhesive after. Feed this paper straight to the printer, queue, peel, stick. and you’re done.

Whether it’s plain black and white text or a full-color image you need printed, there’s no need to worry about ink scattered all over the page.

Pros

  • All products undergo quality checks prior to distribution.
  • The manufacturer claims it is responsibly sourced although it doesn’t say which certification body issued so.
  • Highly versatile photo paper suited for almost any kind of printing project.
  • This product is compatible with almost any brand of printer.

Cons

  • Printouts need to be manually cut in case you require smaller stickers.
  • It may be best to get a precut size if you require sticker labels for your projects.

10. HP CH097A Inkjet Photo Paper

Highlighted features

  • Made with easily recyclable fiber
  • Measures exactly 5×7 inches
  • Coated glossy finish

Environment-conscious buyers, rejoice! This paper is actually made with pulp fibers that are easily recycled.

Just like the HP Photo Paper Advanced Glossy product listed above, this photo paper is already cut to size. So, if you’re aiming for a 5×7 printout, save yourself from the hassle of having to manually cut each piece one-by-one. Get this photo paper from HP instead.

Pros

  • The paper coating prevents images from fading.
  • The coated paper also protects photos from water so they can last longer.
  • Manufactured sustainably to ensure it is easily recyclable.
  • HP papers are sustainably sourced.
  • Made to complement HP inkjet printers but it should work just as well with other brands of printers.

Cons

  • It may not be the best photo paper to work with HP laser printers.
best photo paper for inkjet

Inkjet Photo Paper:  Buying Guide

Just when you thought the Digital Age makes printing obsolete, think again. You may not use it as much as you used to for either your work or homework but high-quality desktop printing has paved the way for people’s creative minds to soar – yours included.

So, why stop now when you can create so much more? Do justice to your creations by choosing only the right photo paper for the job. Here’s what you’d want to know before you buy:

Size

You can practically print any short or large-format images right on your desktop these days. It depends on what printer size you have and your desired printout size.

Photo paper now comes in different sizes. Maybe if you have a paper cutter, customizing the paper to the size that you desire would be hassle-free. But most of us don’t have that. The good news is that photo paper is now available in different sizes – no more need to cut.

There’s the HP Advance Glossy Photo Paper if you need a 4×6 inch printout. And if you require a larger, non-standard paper cut, HP also offers a 5×7 inch glossy photo paper.

Some people are under the impression that they can save more if they just get standard-sized paper and cut it to their desired size. Well, that can’t be true. Just think about all the wasted cutouts you’ll be throwing away.

Structure

It’s important to take account of the paper thickness too, most especially when you’re ordering online and don’t have a way to see and feel the paper before you buy.

Look for the Grams per square meter or GSM value. It indicates the thickness and weight of a single sheet cut to 1 square meter. The lower the value, the thinner the paper.

Texture

Glossy or matte finish? That depends on your printing requirements and, mostly, your personal preference.

When your print project looks best with vibrant colors, glossy could be the better choice. Some projects, on the other hand, require a more toned-down, matte gloss. Take note that there are also levels of glossiness when it comes to inkjet photo papers. Some come with soft gloss or high gloss.

Cost Per Sheet

If you’re running a printing business, it’s a must that you know how much it costs per sheet. Do a simple Math once you’ve decided on the first three factors above so you can do a more rational price comparison across your choices.

In some cases, you may have to sacrifice structure or paper thickness to save a couple of cents per sheet if the job requirement doesn’t really require it to be that thick. After all, a few cents could go a long way, most especially if you’re printing at high volume.

Printing Requirements

Sometimes all you need is just ordinary photo paper printing for putting up images on your desk. Sometimes, you need photo prints for display around your home. Other times, you might need an inkjet photo paper to add a ‘wow factor’ to your business presentation.

Achieve the results you want by being clear about your need for a photo paper in the first place. If it’s an ordinary requirement, you really just need basic photo paper. If you require something thicker for your photo frames or a photo exhibit, you need inkjet photo paper with a higher gsm.

Your Printer Specs

Up to what size and thickness can your printer take anyway? Of course, there’s no need for us to reiterate that you should own an inkjet paper to want any of the products we presented in the previous section. If in case, you have a laser printer, we suggest you go shopping for laser photo paper instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does GSM mean?

GSM stands for grams per square meter. This is a universal standard of measurement that indicates the thickness and weight of paper per square meter.

The higher the value of the gsm, the thicker and the heavier the paper is. It is an important factor to consider when choosing the right inkjet paper for your printing needs. See the buying guide above for more details.

Q: Can I use an inkjet printer for sublimation printing?

Branded printer manufacturers such as Epson or HP do not encourage the conversion of their printers into sublimation printers. Such printers, after all, are designed to be used for papers and, in some cases, Kraft papers or cardboards.

However, if you’re into sublimation printing, you don’t really have much choice but to have an inkjet printer converted. If you do, get ready to lose your warranty. You should also expect that you may never use your inkjet printer for your ordinary printing requirements again. You should rather dedicate that printer to sublimation printing.

Q: Is it safe to use laser printer paper for my inkjet printer?

It isn’t advisable. Paper that is either made for laser or inkjet must be used with the appropriate printer accordingly. If copy paper is available, that can be safely used for either inkjet or laser printer.

Conclusion

Shopping for the best photo paper for inkjet might seem like a no-brainer. We bet you didn’t expect there’ll be factors to consider before you buy.

While you’ve probably shopped for inkjet paper since you can’t even remember when, using the buying guide we presented should help you determine the right choices for your printing job. Check out our Top 10 inkjet papers for photo printing and your chances of making the wrong decision dramatically falls to zero.

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