How to Choose the Best Paper for Your Printer

Nowadays more than ever, a plethora of papers have been developed but also refined for a wide range of purposes. Whatever paper you will acquire using their workplace copier varies from sheets you have been using to print photos, which varies from the sheets you have been using to print invitations. Nevertheless, there is a bunch of significant terminology overlapping throughout all paper varieties, therefore understanding just that little bit further about paper would potentially save you money and generate quality print outcomes.

How to Choose the Best Paper for Your Printer

Listed below are the most crucial aspects to take into consideration that would affect the look, feel, and budget for the project of your print to provide you with a greater comprehension of just what paper works appropriate for each print job.

Dimension, brightness (as well as cleanliness, depending upon the brand), color, and weight seem to be the four essential characteristics applicable to almost many paper kinds, for both the office as well as the studio. Every identifies parts of the paper which make it appropriate for specific applications and that will have an influence on everything from the printability to the cost of each box.

Amazon Basics Multipurpose Paper Amazon Basics Multipurpose Paper Check on Amazon
Glossy Epson Photo Paper Glossy Epson Photo Paper Check on Amazon
HP Advanced Photo Paper – Glossy HP Advanced Photo Paper – Glossy Check on Amazon
HP Printer Paper | BrightWhite 24 lb HP Printer Paper | BrightWhite 24 lb Check on Amazon
Hammermill Printer Paper | Premium Laser Print Hammermill Printer Paper | Premium Laser Print Check on Amazon
PermaJet | Smooth Fine Art Inkjet Photo Paper PermaJet | Smooth Fine Art Inkjet Photo Paper Check on Amazon

Paper Weight

Broadly expressed, think about the purpose that would like the paper should accomplish whenever choosing the appropriate paper weight. As little more than a standard guide, official paperwork should have been printed on heavy paper, whilst common paperwork should indeed be printed onto lightweight paper. Conventional copy paper has been repeatedly alluded to that as “20 lb. bond” or “50 lb. text weight” in much more concrete terms. Another dominant stock, on the contrary hand, gets described as “Index” or “Cover” accompanied by either a specific weight. Cardboard, menus, index dividers, pamphlets, and some other printed materials have been generally manufactured utilizing “Index” or “Cover” paper.

Grading SystemWeight And UseProfit
Conventional20 pounds containing faxes, preliminary papers and printed emailsCheap, suitable with both the preponderance most printers and jam-resistant.
MediumConferences, credentials, presentations, consumer documentation, and contracts ranging from 22 to 24 poundsAll office printers seem to be comparable have quite a flawless texture, and have fewer “demonstrate.”
Heavily Loaded28-32 pounds of weight presentations, quintuple printing, menus, posters, signs, and flyersProviding the strongest colour, can withstand thick ink, seems to have the cleanest finish, and therefore is strong and durable.

Paper Brightness

A crucial component for providing compelling presentations seems to be colour variation. This same outcome would be brighter and lighter with clearer paper. This brightness scale is intended to indicate how much light is reflected off from a paper’s surface, even though the term’s accepted definition is quite technical. From one to one hundred, paper brightness is numerically categorized, with something like a greater proportion indicating a brighter paper. Conventional copy paper comes classified between 80 and 100 upon that brightness scale. Whenever photorealistic things, think about the fact mind they frequently display substantially darker towards the less light paper.



I would advise using 24 pounds of paper or stronger when printing something significant, like a resume. Any document will stand out because of the noticeable difference between 20 lb and 24 lb paper. There are currently many different hues of paper. A less expensive option to make a resume or flyer stand out is coloured paper.

Paper Shade

Your paper’s tone is indicated by its shade. There are numerous options for white at the hardware store, as anyone who has spent time purchasing paint, there will attest. Your white tones will appear warmer or colder depending on the proportion of red and blue light they reflect. The balance of your shade can significantly affect how your prints turn out, and paper is no exception.

True white, a bright balanced neutral white tone, is the hue that most people think of when they think of white paper. The more blue-spectrum light a paper reflects, the more warm light tones it absorbs, giving the paper a blue-white hue. The cream white colours at the other end of the spectrum reflect warmer light producing a softer shade. If you shoot monochromatic images, your personal preference will determine which paper works best for your composition. It becomes more challenging for colour photographers since variations in the paper’s white balance might vary how colours appear in prints. When photographing portraits, this becomes especially crucial because it can alter the tone and natural feel of your subject’s skin tone.

The Appropriate Paper Sizes

Here, Letters (8.5 x 11), Legal (8.4 x 14), Ledger (11 x 17), and Statements are the common paper sizes (5.5x 8.5). The latter two sizes are twice and half the letter size, which is something to keep in mind. The standard paper sizes in other parts of the world are A3, A4, and B4. The letter is closest to A4, Ledger is closer to A3, and Legal is closest to B4. There won’t be a test later, so relax. Just keep in mind that there are three main standard sizes, depending on your nation. Most copiers will work with Letter (or A4 respectively).

The Appropriate Paper Sizes

500 sheets make up an average ream of paper. Ream sizes for speciality paper might change. Reams of paper can contain 25, 50, 150, or 250 sheets. Typically, a case of paper contains 10 reams, each holding 5,000 sheets. Additional cases will include 8 reams of paper for 4,000 pages.

Paper Stock Types

It’s about using what you now know about finishes to assist you in selecting the ideal paper for your project.

Paper TypeCharacteristicsFinishType of Project
Bond paperLight-weight, available in several pastels and neutral tones, coordinating envelopes, and blending cover weightsSmooth, cockleForms, copies, and flyers
Writing PaperIt comes in a range of colors and flocking options that match envelopes, plus cover and text weightsSmooth, linen, vellum, cockle, etc.Stationery
Uncoated Book PaperIt comes in a range of colors and is thicker and more opaque than bond or writing papersSmoothDirect mail, newsletters, catalogs
Text PaperIt comes in a range of colors and flocking options that match envelopes, plus cover and text weightsSmooth, linen, vellum, cockle, etc.Letterhead, annual reports, brochures
Coated Book PaperMatching cover weights are limited to cream and white, although specialty lines exist in a range of colorsDull, gloss, matte, cast-coatedMagazines, catalogs, direct mail
Cover StockHeavy and durable, can be coordinated with text, books, and writing papers.Smooth, linen, vellum, gloss, matteBusiness cards, report/catalog covers, brochures, postcards, folders, invitations, door hangers
Index/Bristol PaperStiff and sturdy comes in a range of colors and finishesCoated, vellum, smoothPostcards, file folders, tickets
Translucent Vellum PaperThere are many different colors and weights of the semi-transparent material, as well as coordinating envelopes.Smooth, groovedSee-through envelopes and overlays
NewsprintInexpensive, light-weight, white/manila onlyVellumNewspapers, tabloids
Label PaperIt comes in gummed, pressure sensitive, and self-adhesive backing and a range of colorsSmooth (uncoated), matte, glossy, cast coatedLabels, stickers

White Privilege

The term “white privilege” describes the nature of the light, or in this case, the particular colour of the paper. In summary, the whiteness index is designed so that the whiter the paper material, the higher the whiteness. Think of the following to distinguish between brightness and whiteness: brightness is equivalent to wattage, while whiteness denotes shade. When choosing paper for color printing, whiteness is a crucial quality to keep in mind. Overall, the delicate balance between the color of the paper and the ink/toner will determine the outcome.

Amazon Basics Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper – Bright White

Amazon Basics Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper – Bright White
9.8/10 Our Score

Key Features:

  • Brand: Amazon Basics
  • Color: White
  • Item Weight: 15 Pounds
  • Paper Finish: Smooth
  • Sheet Size: 8.5×11-inch

Photo Paper for Inkjet

Choosing the appropriate paper for an inkjet printer will significantly improve quality. Compared to laser paper, general-purpose paper allows the ink to seep into the paper considerably more. Text becomes blurry and colours fade as a result of the ink wicking into the paper. It would be wasteful to print it on everyday paper because the ink is so expensive. For routine printing, multipurpose paper is acceptable, but photo paper will produce better results. The savings from switching to a simple black and white laser printer could pay for themselves rather than continuously printing with an inkjet in economy mode on common office paper.

For printing glossy, high-quality images that call for better paper, inkjet printers are used. A coated photo paper, like those listed below, will produce the greatest results by stopping the ink from seeping into the paper.

Epson Photo Paper Glossy – Borderless

Epson Photo Paper Glossy
9.7/10 Our Score

Key Features:

  • Brand: Epson
  • Color: White
  • Item Weight: 0.7 Pounds
  • Paper Finish: Glossy
  • Sheet Size: 4-x-6-inch

RECOMMENDED: Top 10 Best Epson Printer for Sublimation

Only inkjet printers should use this paper because a laser printer will cause the coating to melt. Additionally, the ink will take a few extra seconds to dry on coated paper. Set the quality or speed setting on your inkjet printer to high quality when using this paper. If it doesn’t, you might have to physically remove each sheet as it is finished to prevent the subsequent sheet from smearing the previous one. This paper is the best available for printing pictures.

HP Advanced Photo Paper – Glossy

Epson Photo Paper Glossy
9.8/10 Our Score

Key Features:

  • Create enhanced photo projects with a brilliant, glossy finish
  • Handle durable, quick-dry photos right from the printer
  • Works with HP inkjet printers

RECOMMENDED: Best HP Sublimation Printers

Each Type of Paper has a Different Effect on Ink Behavior

Gaining additional knowledge about the paper your printers accept gives you an advantage when it comes to producing outcomes of a professional caliber. This information also enables you to match your printer with the proper paper to avoid jams, smearing, and other printing problems that reduce your productivity. We now have a very decent concept of the many varieties of paper that are available; all you need to do is match it with the appropriate ink!

Paper Laser

Choose an uncoated premium paper for your inkjet to achieve a balance between quality and price. It will function in a laser printer as well because it is not coated. Although the contrast between premium colour paper and general purpose paper is not as stark as that between photo inkjet paper and an inkjet printer, it is nevertheless noticeable when printing in colour. It performs a great job of stopping the ink from leaking into the paper because of its flat surface. The best paper to use for routine inkjet printing is

HP Printer Paper | BrightWhite 24 lb

HP Printer Paper
9.8/10 Our Score

Key Features:

  • ColorLok technology provides more vivid colors, bolder blacks and faster drying.
  • Acid free paper
  • An extra bright, white paper when you need to print full-color documents

Hammermill Printer Paper | Premium Laser Print 24 lb

HP Printer Paper
9.7/10 Our Score

Key Features:


Photographer Paper Selection

When selecting a paper the following additional considerations will apply if you are a photographer:


The utmost amount of darkness that your preferred photo paper can reproduce in black tones is known as D-Max. The phrase is frequently used in the context of black and white photography when the intensity of the black tones is crucial. The word “D-max” comes from the era of film photography when certain types of paper could only hold a certain quantity of dye during the development process. Modern printing has a wide range of influences, so D-max now depends on everything from the paper’s finish to the brand and type of ink your printer uses.

These discussion conversations on D-max provide some fantastic insights into why it’s crucial as well as some paper brands with particularly high D-max ratings.

PermaJet | Smooth Fine Art Inkjet Photo Paper

10/10 Our Score

Key Features:

  • Brand: Permajet
  • Paper Finish: Smooth
  • Item Weight: 1.4 Kilograms
  • Sheet Count: 25
  • Material Feature: Biodegradable

Finish Paper

The coating on glossy finishes is quite reflecting. High gloss, soft gloss, and satin finishes are common types of glossy finishes that produce rich, brilliant colours and sharp contrast. Away from windows, where natural light will reflect off the front of your image and distort it, they are good for albums and displays. Glossy surfaces are frequently employed in official portraiture. Glossy coatings should be treated carefully since they might collect dust and display fingerprints.

Hot-pressed fibres are used to create Matte Paper, which lacks a glossy finish. It can be found without a smooth and shiny finish and in a range of textures, including the thick, dimpled paper that makes your print look like a watercolour artwork, velvety velvet, and woven high cotton paper. For producing rich, deep dark tones, matte paper is fantastic, making it perfect for black and white photographers. Matte paper can make colours appear “older” in colour photography than glossy or semi-gloss paper. Gallery-quality prints on matte paper may need particular handling, such as cotton gloves, to avoid fingerprinting, similar to glossy finishes.

There is some gloss in Semi-Gloss finishes, but not as much as in high gloss coatings. Satin, pearl, and lustre are common varieties; photographers particularly like the latter for its adaptability and strong D-max capabilities. Semi-gloss prints produce vibrant images with high contrast, and they frame beautifully when placed behind glass.

FAQ About Best Paper for Your Printer

What kind of paper size does the laser printer use?

The most popular sizes in the US are letter (8.5 x 11), legal (8.5 x 14), and ledger (11 x 17). In the UK and other countries, A4 (210x297mm), A3 (297x420mm), and B4 are the standard sizes (257x364mm).

What kind of paper is needed for a laser printer?

They don’t need special paper, no. They can use a variety of papers, including multipurpose, copy, laser, colour, construction, and cardstock. They are unable to use paper that has been coated specifically for inkjet printers.

Does a laser printer support glossy paper?

Glossy can describe a coating or finish. Colour laser printers are fine with a glossy finish. A laser printer cannot use the glossy coating designed specifically for inkjet printers.

Are laser printers ink-dependent?

No. Toner, a dry powder, is used in laser printers.

Can building paper be printed on with a laser printer?

Yes. Although construction paper is not of the highest quality, it may be printed on with any laser printer.

What is the purpose of the multipurpose paper?

For several kinds of printers, multipurpose paper is used. Both laser and inkjet printers can use it.

Does seem to be duplicate print equivalent to laser paper?

No. For B&W printing, copy paper is of poorer quality. High-quality laser paper is ideal for colour printing.


Choosing paper for your printer should be easier after reading this review of the various paper varieties and characteristics. Matching the correct paper to the individual needs of each printing project will ultimately result in cost savings. Remember to select the right paper for the job when picking out paper for your printer. For routine printing like directions, draughts, lists, etc., copy paper works nicely. For reports, invoices, forms, or some coloured documents, multipurpose paper works well. For photos, images, resumes, etc., premium colour paper is excellent.

Printing only the colour photographs on better paper and adding them in post-production to the remainder of the document is another technique to reduce printing expenses. Not every job requiring colour inkjet requires 50lb coated picture paper. However, a two-sided project in colour on 24lb paper might not be sufficient to prevent heavy pictures from flowing through.

Making selections regarding what paper to choose will be made easier if you have a firm understanding of the variations in the paper. I hope these suggestions for choosing the best paper were useful, and don’t forget to fan the paper before loading!

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