5 Best Photo Printer Paper Options (2024)

Submitted by Liz Adair on Fri, 04/19/2024 - 14:41
Camera being used to take a photograph.

Imagine you and your partner standing on a beautiful beach, gazing into each other’s eyes as the golden sun dips into the clear blue water behind you. The warmth of the sand beneath your feet, the salty breeze in your hair, and how your partner’s smile lights up the entire scene—a moment frozen in time, etched forever in that photograph.

That's why we take photos - to capture and cherish life's precious occasions.

Because photographs are more than just snapshots, they’re portals to memories. Whether holding your new puppy in your arms on your parents’ old front porch or clasping your high school diploma with friends dressed in cap and gowns, these images permanently capture temporary moments.

In today’s digital age, taking a picture with your phone is easy, but having physical photos is equally important. Photo boards, framed family portraits, baby books, and professional prints allow us to relive those cherished memories.

However, printing quality photographs can be challenging, especially if you’re doing it at home or using quick kiosk locations like CVS.

Here’s the secret: Quality photo prints require specific supplies. Your printer, ink, toner, and, most importantly, the paper you use—all play a role in the final image quality.

Choosing the right supplies ensures you don’t waste money on poor prints you can’t proudly display.

At STPT, our printing specialists understand the value of these moments. We’re here to help you choose which printer supplies to buy. After all, just like your beloved photographs, time and money are precious commodities—you don’t want to lose either.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the top four best photo printing paper options. We’ll provide a quick comparison of price and quality, helping you decide which photo paper suits your needs.

Color prints can be expensive. To learn how you can reduce your expenses when printing in color, read our blog on 5 best practices for color printing.

Top 5 Best Printer Paper Options for Photo Printing (2024)

1. Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper (Luster)

Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper (Luster)

With a brightness of 97 and a luster finish, the Epson Ultra Premium Photo Paper is considered by professionals to be one of the best for photo printing.

Photographers and printers alike prefer this Epson photo paper because it can mimic the aesthetic look of traditional silver halide photo printing. You can purchase this photo paper in a variety of sizes, from the standard printer paper size (8.5” x 11”) to 17” x 22” and 13” x 19”. 

Epson photo paper offers maximum ink coverage and works well with an inkjet machine. However, it is slightly expensive, especially if you purchase non-standard paper sizes for photo printing.

This instant-drying photo-quality paper is glossy and bright, which makes it ideal for printing vivid color photos.

  • $38 at Amazon (50 sheets, 8.5” x 11”)
  • $51 at Epson (50 sheets, 8.5” x 11”)


2. Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta

Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta

This one is very pricey, but the quality is unmatched. If you don’t mind spending a pretty penny for gorgeous, high-quality prints, then Hahnemühle’s Photo Rag Baryta paper can’t be beaten.

The Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta is a pure cotton paper with a high gloss finish and fine surface texture. Its brightness is 91, so while not as bright as other papers on this list, it has a natural white color with no optical brighteners.

Photo Rag Baryta is compatible only with inkjet printers. You can purchase it in 25-sheet boxes, rolls, and photo cards. Within the Photo Rag collection, you can also choose metallic, pearl, or satin finishes.

This instant-drying fine art paper is quite expensive, but its museum quality makes it ideal for color/black-and-white photography, albums, and fine art prints.   

  • $59 at Amazon (25-sheets, 8.5 x 11”)


3. Canson Infinity Rag Photographique

Canson Infinity Rag Photographique

If you’re looking for matte photo paper for printing, consider the Canson Infinity Rag Photographique. Like the Photo Rag Baryta, this pure cotton paper is designed for Fine Art printing. It has a natural ultra-white color and a smooth matte finish.

This photo paper currently offers the market's highest D-max or print reflectivity. The higher the D-max of your photo paper, the more detailed your photo prints will be. 

You can purchase the Infinity Rag Photographique paper in sheets or rolls in two weights: 210 and 310 gsm. Although it’s one of the priciest options on this list, its museum-grade quality and broad range of sizes (up to 44” x 50”) make it versatile.

This 100% cotton paper was created to produce long-lived photo and art prints for the Digital Fine Art Market. It’s a great option if you want to print fine art-quality photos.

  • $31 at Amazon (25-sheet box, 8.5” x 11”)


4. Xerox Bold Digital Printing Paper

Xerox Bold Digital Printing Paper

For a more versatile paper, the Xerox Bold Digital Printing Paper is a great option. It’s compatible with inkjet and laser printers and comes in two colors: whitest and brightest white. It also comes in two brightness levels: 98 and 100.

Certain weights and sizes feature ColorLok Technology, which creates more vivid colors with inkjet printing and better quality with laser printing.

This paper's finish is smooth and has no coating, so it has no texture. However, you will have several paper weight and size options.

You can purchase these printing papers in reams of 500 sheets or cartons of up to 5,000 sheets. With its versatility and bulk buying options, this paper is excellent for laser printer users who want to print many vivid images at an affordable price.

According to Xerox, the Bold Digital Printing Paper is ideal for printing marketing collateral, invitations, announcements, and brochures.

  • $25 at Amazon (500-sheet ream, 8.5” x 11”)


5. Canon Photo Paper Pro Platinum 

Canon Photo Paper Pro Platinum

This is another favorite of professional photographers and printers. The Canon Photo Paper Pro Platinumhas a high gloss finish and features instant-dry technology.  

With a brightness of 98, it’s on par with the Epson and Xerox photo paper options.

Canon’s Pro Platinum photo paper line is also available in three other sizes: 8.5 x 11”, 13 x 19”, and 4” x 6”.

According to Canon, when used with its ChromaLine100+ inks, this paper produces prints that can last more than 200 years in an archival-quality photo album.

This glossy photo printer paper option is a good, affordable, all-around option for businesses that need to buy in bulk. 

  • $15 at Canon (20 sheets, 8.5” by 11”)


Here’s a Quick Recap:

There are thousands of printer paper options for photo printing to consider, but these are some of the best on the market right now. Here are some quick tips to help you choose which printer paper option is right for you:

•    For Fine Art photographs, try Canson Infinity Rag Photographique paper or Hahnemuhle’s Glossy FineArt Photo Rag Baryta.
•    For photos or marketing materials with a glossy finish, the Epson Ultra Premium luster photo paper is a good choice.
•    If you need a good budget laser printer paper option, try the Xerox Bold Digital photo paper.
•    If you are printing with an inkjet printer, then the Epson Ultra Premium luster photo paper is ideal.
•    If you use a laser printer, then the Xerox Bold Digital paper is an ideal choice.
•    Try the Canon Pro Platinum photo paper for an excellent all-around option that can be purchased in bulk and can support a variety of print sizes.

This price-per-page comparison also offers insight into how much each photo paper costs per sheet:

Comparison graph of price per sheet of paper


Which Photo Paper Should You Choose?

The best photo paper will vary depending on the kind of photos or digital images you have. Whether you want professional-quality photography, fine art prints, or simple family photos, you have many paper options.

Keep in mind that not all printers can handle thick and heavy paper. Check your printer’s manual or specification sheet to find its paper size, weight, and media type handling ability to ensure your desired paper is compatible.

Most printer brands produce their own paper, so if you’re unsure and want a simple option, look for their premium glossy paper, as these are reliable.

Many brands also offer print sample packs for their various collections, so you can try out which paper quality best suits your needs.

Remember: beauty is subjective. Some people like glossy photos and others prefer matte. The color and vibrancy of your photos are up to you, so consider several options to ensure you get the best outcome.

Do You Want to Learn More About Printer Paper?

There are thousands of printer paper options on the market, and choosing the right paper to buy, especially in bulk, can be difficult.

If you want to learn more about the different kinds of printer paper options, check out some of our other comprehensive blogs:

•    Top 5 Best Eco Friendly Printer Paper Options
•    6 Different Types of Paper for Printing

If you need help deciding on printer paper or want more information about paper, printing supplies, maintenance plans, or service agreements for your printer, contact us.