Best small printer: work and school covered with these compact options

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

best small printer: Tango X on side table in living area
(Image credit: HP)

For those of us working from home (which is a lot of us these days) the best small printer could be the missing piece from your perfect home office setup. Whether the WFH life is a temporary thing, or set to be the long haul, you will almost certainly have to print off documents from time to time. And even if you aren't working from home a printer comes in handy for other things, so a small one that doesn't dominate the space is a best buy.

Luckily there are so many options that will suit your needs, with a tiny footprint to boot. Think: options that print on-the-go, are wireless, and even double up as scanners and photocopiers, despite being small in size. Some are designed for printing pictures from your phone, so could be the perfect gift for the photographer in your life.

It doesn't need to cost much (our favorite models start at around $100) and it certainly doesn't need to take up much room. So if your dining table is doubling as your home office, then these are perfect. 

Keep scrolling to find an option that suits both your budget and space requirements. Then shop the best desks for more top buys to prepare your home office.

The best small printers 2021

best small printer: HP ENVY 6055 Wireless All-In-One Printer

(Image credit: HP)

1. HP ENVY 6055 Wireless All-In-One Printer

Best small printer overall

Print technology: Inkjet
Print resolution: 4800x1200 DPI
Print speed ISO: 10 ppm black, 7 ppm color
Wireless: Yes
Size: 17"L x 5.2"H
Weight: 11.5 lbs
Reasons to buy
+Print, scan and copy +Quick and easy setup+Can print directly from your mobile
Reasons to avoid
-Not ideal for travel

There are lots of reasons to love the HP Envy 6055. For one, despite its compact size, this Wi-Fi-enabled printer prints in color and black-and-white, scans, copies, and faxes, too. Other pluses: the sleek look and value price point. 

As we mentioned, this printer can scan, copy, and fax, so its suitable for both home use or a small business. Besides its basic functions, the Wi-Fi-enabled HP - ENVY 6055 also connects to Apple AirPrint, Bluetooth, HP Smart and Mopria Print Service, can print from Dropbox or Google Drive, and has a USB 2.0 connection. 

At 17" long, this isn't the smallest printer on our list and wouldn't be ideal for traveling or printing on the go, but if you're looking for a compact printer for your home office or kitchen countertop, this is an excellent pick. 

Best small printer: Canon Pixma iP110

2. Canon Pixma TR150

Best small printer for travel

Print technology: Inkjet
Print resolution: 4800x1200 DPI
Print speed ISO: 9 ppm black, 5.5 ppm color
Wireless: Yes
Size: 12.7"L x 7.3"W x 2.6"H
Weight: 4.4lbs
Reasons to buy
+Cloud printing technology +Very compact+Portable printer with battery
Reasons to avoid
-Prints only

This printer from Canon is perfect for small businesses, especially if your business involves travel or visiting clients and you need to print on the go. 

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

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

Best small printer: Epson Workforce WF-100

3. Epson Workforce WF-100

Best small printer for home

Print technology: Inkjet
Print resolution: 5760x1440 DPI
Print speed ISO: 3.8 ppm black, 6.7 ppm color
Wireless: Yes
Size: 12.2"L x 8.5"W
Weight: 3.5 lbs
Reasons to buy
+ Small and lightweight + Rechargeable battery 
Reasons to avoid
-No photocopy/scanning capability

So long as you have no 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 print out 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 pretty high DPI promises great quality print outs, while the LCD screen allows for easy set up and keeping an eye on ink levels. 

best small printer: HP Tango

(Image credit: HP)

4. HP Tango

Best small printer for aesthetics

Print technology: Ikjet
Print resolution: 4800 x 1200
Print speed ISO: 11 ppm
Wireless: Yes
Size: 14.8"L x 8.1"W x 3.6"H
Weight : 6lb.
Reasons to buy
+Optional covers change the look to suit your decor+Print photos directly from social media+HP Instant Ink option means you never run out of ink
Reasons to avoid
-Might be too many options if you're looking for something simple

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 gray fabric, or a cork with a wine-colored interior. When the cover is on, the printer could easily be mistaken for a large, selfie-enhancing reference book. 

In terms of print speed and resolution, the HP Tango is similar to the Envy (our No.1 pick), but it's lighter and offers more bells and whistles. It's also more expensive, which is why it's not our top pick overall, since you're paying for extras that are "nice-to-haves" 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. Plus, if you subscribe to Instant Ink (which charges a low monthly fee based on the number of pages you print and sends you more ink when you're running low), you can print photos from social media for free. 

Best small printer: HP Sprocket

5. HP Sprocket

Best small printer for personal travel

Print technology: Photo paper, thermal
Print resolution: 313x400 DPI
Wireless: Yes
Size: 5.59"L x 3.50"W x 0.71"H
Weight: .45lb
Reasons to buy
+Small enough to fit in large pockets +Connects to your social media accounts and Bluetooth+Photos can be customized+Fun for all the family
Reasons to avoid
-Can't really print anything other that photos-Prints out small

While the HP Sprocket isn’t geared towards the professional photography market, for taking on day trips or family vacations, 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 customize your photos with emojis, borders and text, making each print out completely personal and a true representation of the moment the photo was taken.

Connect the app to your Facebook account or connect the device to your phone via Bluetooth for easy, on the go print outs.

Best small printer: Polaroid Zip Mobile Photo Printer

6. Polaroid Zip Mobile Photo Printer

Best small photo printer

Print technology: Photo paper/thermal
Print resolution: 313x400 dpi
Wireless: Yes (Bluetooth)
Size: 4.7"L x 2.9"W x .9"H
Weight: 6.6oz
Reasons to buy
+ Pocket sized + Photos can be printed as stickers, too 
Reasons to avoid
-Can only be used for photos

Printing your snaps on the go has been made easy thanks to this option from Polaroid.

Print photos onto photo paper while you're on the go with this hand-sized photo printer. While, like the Sprocket, the resolution of the photos printed isn't going to be anything to write home about, for a bit of fun while you’re out and about you can’t really go wrong.

Peel the back off the paper and you can print out a batch of personalized stickers that you can plaster around your room or on your belongings. You can edit pictures using the Polaroid Zip app and easily print from your mobile devices via Bluetooth.

best small printer: HP ENVY 6032 on desk beside accessories including ink

(Image credit: HP)

How to choose the best small printer

While size is, inevitably, the most important factor on the checklist of those seeking the best small printer, there are a couple more features worth considering if you're determined to get value for money. These include:

Wireless connectivity
While you may assume that all printers produced, nowadays, come with wireless connectivity, this is a feature that certainly shouldn't be taken for granted. If you don't want to deal with the hassle of plugging in your phone or laptop, every time you need to print, ensure you opt for a wireless solution.

Photocopying and scanning
Consider how you intend on using your printer and whether, on occasion, you may be required to scan and photocopy, too. 

What is the best small printer?

To recap... if you want the best small printer (in our opinion) we wouldn't hesitate to buy the HP ENVY 6055, which offers everything you need in a handy printer, suitable for day-to-day use. As well as printing, this compact model offers the option to scan and copy, meaning it'll be easier than ever to complete business admin. 

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Caroline Preece
Caroline Preece

Caroline has been part of the Real Homes ecommerce team in the UK since the start of 2021, after working for the last decade as a journalist across publications in technology, entertainment and more. 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.