Best small printer: the best compact printers for your home or office

The best small printers to help with work, school (or play), from HP, Canon, KODAK and more

best small printer: HP Tango X Wireless Instant Ink Ready Inkjet Printer
(Image credit: HP)

As we settle into the new normal and realise that more of our work is going to be done from home in the long term, many households are looking for the best small printer to help with work and school but fit into our already busy homes.

Small printers, whether they are wireless, Bluetooth connected or otherwise, are designed to fit into the modern home by being slimline, lightweight, and often portable. Some compact printers are even small enough to fit into your pocket, but these printers tend to be most suitable for printing photos on the go. We've included examples of both in this guide.

And if the size isn't your issue, boost your working from home life with one of the best home printers, as ranked in our guide.

But size isn't the only issue, as many of us still struggle to find a printer that also has all of the features and specs that we need. To help with that choice, scroll down to see what we thought of some of the offerings from top brands.

 The best small printers in 2022

Best small printer for home

Canon PIXMA TR150 Wireless Inkjet Printer

(Image credit: Canon)

1. Canon PIXMA TR150 All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer

Best small printer overall

Specifications

Technology: Inkjet
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Print resolution: 4800x1200 DPI
Dimensions: 21 x 32.2 x 6.6cm
Weight: 3.8kg

Reasons to buy

+
Hi-res prints 
+
Cloud printing technology 
+
Very compact

Reasons to avoid

-
No scanner, only printing

The Canon PIXMA TR150 is perfect for those whose printing needs don't always arise at home, with its super-portable design and high-quality results earning the top spot for best small printer.

Thanks to its small size and decent 4800 DPI, you can print easily from a phone or tablet so long as it is hooked up to the Wi-Fi. Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print compatibility also make it super easy to print on the go.

At just 12 inches long by 2 inches tall, this small compact printer will easily fit into a backpack or carry-on for travel. In addition, there's the option to purchase a rechargeable battery, so you can print out your pictures even when you're travelling between destinations. Again, all you need is Wi-Fi.

Note: previous models of the PIXMA TR150 didn't come with a battery pack, which was a bit of a downside for a portable device! This has been rectified.

Epson WorkForce WF-110 Wireless Inkjet Printer

(Image credit: Epson)

2. Epson WorkForce WF-110W Wireless Inkjet Printer

Best small portable printer

Specifications

Technology: Inkjet
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Print resolution: 5760x1440 DPI
Dimensions: 23.1 x 30.9 x 21.5cm
Weight: 2kg

Reasons to buy

+
Small and lightweight 
+
Rechargeable battery
+
Compatible with Alexa and Google Home

Reasons to avoid

-
No photocopy/scanning capability

As long as you do not need to scan or copy documents, the Epson Workforce is the ideal printer for working from home or on the go. 

Whether it’s a last-minute boarding pass printout from the airport lounge or you find your client’s premises has no printer, the trusty Epson Workforce is small enough to be kept by your side for instant use.

You can print wirelessly so long as there’s a Wi-Fi connection, and you can even charge the battery up via the USB car adapter in time for your next meeting. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control.

The respectably high DPI promises excellent quality printouts, while the LCD screen allows for easy set-up and keeping an eye on ink levels.

HP Tango X Wireless Instant Ink Ready Inkjet Printer

(Image credit: HP)

3. HP Tango X All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer

Best small photo printer

Specifications

Type: Photo
Print resolution: 4800x1200 DPI
Technology: Inkjet
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Size: 38.9 x 24.6 x 9.1cm
Weight: 3.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Optional covers change the look to suit your décor
+
Print photos directly from social media
+
Works with Alexa, Google Home and Cortana

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be too complicated if you're looking for something simple

The HP Tango is similar to other models in terms of print speed and resolution, but it's lighter and offers a few more bells and whistles. Unfortunately, it's also more expensive, which is why it's not our top pick overall. You're essentially paying for extras that are "nice-to-have", not "need-to-haves." That said, if you want a cutting edge printer that works with the latest tech, this is it.

This printer works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Cortana and allows you to print photos directly from social media. It also works with the HP Instant Ink service, which is handy if you often find yourself running out of ink at the worst times.

If you fancy yourself an aesthete, the HP Tango is the small printer for you. It looks sleek on its own, but if you prefer to match your home tech with your décor (who doesn't?), you can order fabric covers for this printer in indigo or grey fabric or a cork with a wine-coloured interior. The printer could easily be mistaken for a large, selfie-enhancing reference book when the lid is on. 

Best mini portable printers

HP Sprocket 2x3" Instant Photo Printer

(Image credit: HP)

1. HP Sprocket 2x3" Instant Photo Printer

Best small Bluetooth printer

Specifications

Type: Photo
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Technology: Zink
Dimensions: 11.7 x 8 x 2.4cm
Weight: 0.17kg

Reasons to buy

+
Light and small enough to carry around
+
Connects to your social media accounts and Bluetooth
+
Photos can be customised

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't really print anything other that photos
-
DPI isn't amazing
-
Prints out small

The sweetest little printer we ever did see, the HP Sprocket is one of the best mini portable printers for your photos, allowing you to materialise those Insta and Facebook snaps that have existed online only until now.

While the DPI is nothing to shout about, the HP Sprocket isn’t marketed towards the professional photography market. For taking on day trips or family holidays, on the other hand, it’s perfect. It prints snapshots and stickers using photo paper rather than ink cartridges, which means printing is instant.

You can use the HP Sprocket app to customise your photos with emojis, borders and text, making each printout entirely personal and accurately representing the moment you took the picture. Connect the app to your Facebook account or connect the device to your phone via Bluetooth for easy, on the go printouts.

The Sprocket also comes in four gorgeous colours - black noir, blush pink (pictured), lilac and luna pearl (white).

Fujifilm instax Mini Link Photo Printer

(Image credit: Fujifilm)
Best small thermal printer

Specifications

Type: Photo
Technology: Thermal Sublimation
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Size: 12 x 3.5 x 9cm
Weight: 0.2kg

Reasons to buy

+
Prints from phone or tablet
+
Small and portable

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly more expensive than HP Sprocket
-
Only prints small

Simple but perfect for use as an instant photo printer, the Fujifilm Instax Link allows you to print anything from the camera roll using thermal printing technology. 

Like other mini photo printers, the Instax offering is small and light enough to be carried in a pocket or handbag and comes in a range of lovely colours. It works with Android and iOS operating systems, but those looking for something that will print from their PC will need to look elsewhere.

The printer offers about 100 prints per single charge, so you're extremely unlikely to run short on juice while you're out and about. Our only note would be that thermal printing tends to run a bit more expensive long-term. 

Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer

(Image credit: Canon)

3. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Photo Printer

Best mid-size photo printer

Specifications

Type: Photo
Technology: Zink
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Size: 18.1 x 13.6 x 6.3cm
Weight: 0.86kg

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to set up and use
+
Prints larger than other dedicated small photo printers

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't be carried around like other tiny models

Larger than some ultra-compact photo printers on this list but smaller than a typical small desktop printer, the Canon Selphy CP1300 is the perfect middle ground.

Portable by design, the CP1300 wouldn't look out of place in a home office, either. Printing size is 148x100 (postcard size) and smaller, so it's best for photos, but the results will be more of a standard picture size than the smaller printouts from the Sprocket, Instax and others.

There's a digital display on the top that flips up to make keeping track of your pictures more easily and, because the printer offers a choice of sizes, creating a collage couldn't be simpler.

Canon promises 'lab quality results' so, if you're someone who still takes semi-regular trips to get their photos developed, this could save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

KODAK Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

(Image credit: Kodak)

4. KODAK Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

Best small Bluetooth printer on a budget

Specifications

Type: Photo
Technology: Zink
Print resolution: 313x400 DPI
Size: 11.51 x 7.49 x 2.21cm
Weight: 0.19kg

Reasons to buy

+
Pocket sized 
+
Can also print stickers
+
Cheaper than HP Sprocket and Instax Link

Reasons to avoid

-
Can only be used for photos
-
Only prints 25 photos on single charge

Like with the Sprocket, the resolution of the photos printed with this option from KODAK aren't going to be anything to write home about but, for a bit of fun while you're out and about, you can't go wrong. Peel the back off the paper, and you can print out a batch of personalised stickers that you can plaster around your room or on your belongings.

You can edit pictures using the app and easily print them from your mobile devices via Bluetooth. However, the battery life is lacking compared to other small printers, so make sure you're fully charged before leaving the house!

As with all mini printers, the idea behind the KODAK Step is to encourage us to print our photos instead of hiding them away in our photo reels. For this reason, they can't be used with PCs or laptops and only work via Bluetooth from a mobile device.

How to choose the best small printer for your home

HP Sprocket Portable Instant Photo Printer

(Image credit: HP)

Inkjet vs Zink vs Thermal

Throughout this guide, you will have seen mention of various print technologies, including Inkjet, Zink and Thermal. Each has its pros and cons and will be suitable for some while not serving others.

Inkjet

Inkjet is the most popular kind of printing technology and is probably the one you're most familiar with. It works by putting tiny drops of ink onto the page at a rate indicated by the DPI.

Zink

Zink is short for 'Zero Ink' and refers to a type of printing that requires no ink cartridges whatsoever. Instead, all colour required is embedded in the paper, making it popular for instant mobile printers. This means it's potentially better for the environment.

Thermal

Thermal printing, like Zink, uses specialised paper rather than ink cartridges to deliver its results. A thermal printer will heat the paper according to the desired image, causing the picture to show up.

What DPI should I look for in a small printer?

The DPI refers to 'drops per inch' and indicates the quality of an image produced by an Inkjet printer. In short, the higher the DPI, the better your printout will look, especially if you want colour photos, but a lower DPI means you'll spend less on replacement ink cartridges (which can get pricey). The DPI you require will depend on what you plan to use your printer for.

How much is a small printer?

Depending on your needs, a good small printer will set you back anywhere between £40-£700. In general, you will pay more for a higher DPI, more size options or even a display built-into the printer.

What is the best small printer?

The best small printer (in our opinion) is the Canon Pixma TR150 (opens in new tab), which offers wireless printing and a truly compact design that can be easily transported from home to office while not compromising on print quality. If you're looking for something with a scanner, then we would opt for the HP Tango X (opens in new tab).

For photos, the Canon Selphy CP1300 (opens in new tab) is an excellent choice for postcard-sized prints, while the Instax Mini Link (opens in new tab) gets our vote for smaller pictures.

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Caroline has been part of the Real Homes ecommerce team since the start of 2021, after working for the last decade as a journalist across publications in technology, entertainment and various other areas. She took over smart homes content for the site shortly after, and can now be mostly found swooning after the latest gadget or smart speaker release. In her spare time, she's usually obsessing about space-saving and DIY hacks for small spaces, and how to affordably make a rental feel like a home.

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