Best Printer Ink

Updated: Dec 15, 2023 8:31 PM
best printer ink featured image that shows the top three best printer models

Choosing the best printer ink is no easy task. At least the best 3D printer doesn’t need ink to do its jobs. Since there are multiple types of inks and fluids, each one suited for a particular printing job, finding the best one that fits your budget and needs can be challenging. That’s why we spent 24 hours researching a dozen ink cartridges. We chose the most cost-effective solutions from a dozen options that could deliver high-quality, long-lasting results. Although you may purchase one of the best printers, it is possible to have poor print quality. The good news is that there are ways to get around it.

Of all the items we reviewed, our favorite was the HP 61 ink, which is engineered mainly for a wide array of HP printers. It is a multipack that yields over a hundred pages per cartridge, nearly two times more than refill cartridges. It was also consistent in its delivery of high-quality, long-lasting prints. Keep on reading to learn more about it and our six other favorites.

Top 7 Best Printer Ink Compared

 #1  HP 61 Ink Cartridges

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: The HP 61 pack comes with a single-color black ink and a tri-color ink cartridge that yields up to two times more prints than refill cartridges, allowing you to save money without sacrificing quality. As it’s designed primarily for HP printers, it’s the best printer ink to use for HP Deskjet, HP Envy, and HP Officejet printers.

  • 2x the ink
  • Fade-resistant and long-lasting
  • Best for HP printers
  • Some consumers have received older stock
  • Some consumers encountered problems with fast printing
  • Issues with customer support

HP 61 comes with a black ink cartridge and a tri-color cartridge. If you want reliable, high-quality printing for your HP device, this set is an excellent choice, as it’s mainly engineered for HP printers. The set is compatible with the HP Deskjet printer series from 1000 to 3512, HP Envy 4500 to 5535, and HP Officejet 2620 to 4632. Once you’ve upgraded your printer, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to the best printer paper too.

The set yields up to two times more prints compared to refill cartridges. To be specific, the black cartridge can print up to 190 pages. The tri-color cartridge, on the other hand, can yield roughly 165 pages. Whether you’re printing texts, graphics, or pictures, you get unrivaled quality every single time, making it the best printer ink on our list.  It can be used in many printers. If you are searching for the ideal printer for your office, check out our guide to the best printer for the office.

 #2  Canon PG-245 Black Ink

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: The PG-245 is a genuine Canon ink built with FINE technology and the ChromaLife 100+ system, making every print sharp, high-quality, and longer-lasting. Its dye-based formulation produces a rich, smudge-proof black hue, perfect for printing professional documents.

  • Quick-drying formula
  • Crisp, smudge-resistant prints
  • Ideal for select Canon Pixma printers
  • Not suited for heavy-duty printing
  • Some consumers have received half-filled cartridges
  • Installation can be challenging

Built with Full Photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering technology, the Canon PG-245 black ink cartridge produces crisp, dark prints that dry quickly, making it smudge-resistant. If you want professional-quality documents, the PG-245 is worth considering.

It’s compatible with select Canon printers, including the Pixma iP2820, MG2420, and TS202. Thanks to its ChromaLife 100+ system, it can deliver long-lasting color. As a genuine Canon product, it contains more ink than the average ink cartridge and offers you more opportunities to produce sharp, high-quality prints. However, it’s not meant for heavy-duty use. You can also check out the best inkjet printer.

 #3  HP 63 Ink Cartridges

Award: Best Value

WHY WE LIKE IT: As you can expect from an HP original ink cartridge, this multipack offers excellent resolution, premium color saturation, and no-smear printing, giving you crisp results for various printing needs. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, the HP 63 multipack is the one for you.

  • High page yield
  • Rich, smudge-resistant prints
  • High-resolution and color saturation
  • Some consumers have received older stock
  • Some customers have reported inconsistent ink quantities
  • Issues with setup

The HP 63 comes with two ink cartridges: one pigment-based black ink and one dye-based tri-color ink. Its black ink yields up to 190 pages’ worth of rich, smudge-resistant prints, while its tri-color cartridge can produce up to 165 pages’ worth of vivid, sharp-colored prints using the best printer for home.

Unlike the HP 61, it’s not compatible with a wide range of HP printers. That’s why it didn’t land on the top spot on our list. It only works with the DeskJet 2130 and 1112, Envy 4520, and OfficeJet 5255, 3830, and 4650. It delivers premium printing performance and unrivaled consistency as an HP original ink. If you want a printer that is specifically designed to print on tabloid or ledger papers, get the 11×17 printer.

 #4  E-Z Ink Cartridges

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: The E-Z ink multipack contains 15 cartridges, each one capable of producing crisp results for a variety of paper types, rivaling the quality of the Canon PGI-250XL without the hefty price tag. This multipack is an incredible budget-friendly alternative for penny pinchers.

  • Best for Canon printers
  • High yields: 300 for color, 500 for black
  • Ideal for heavy-duty printing
  • Difficult to install and set up
  • Some customers have reported compatibility issues
  • Some customers have reported leaks

The E-Z ink multipack comes with 15 ink cartridges: three large 250XL cartridges in black, three small 251XL cartridges in black, three 251XL cartridges in cyan, three 251XL cartridges in magenta, and 251XL cartridges in yellow.

Boasting a high page yield, you can print up to 500 pages per black cartridge with this multipack. The colored inks, on the other hand, can yield around 300 pages per cartridge. It’s a budget-friendly alternative to the Canon PGI-250XL. It can produce clear, accurate colors and crisp text without the hefty price tag. Not to mention, it’s compatible with a wide array of Pixma printers. Check out the best printer for your computer and compare models.

 #5  HP 61 CH561WN

Award: Best for Office

WHY WE LIKE IT: This HP 61 multipack has two black ink cartridges that work well with a diverse range of HP printers, which should enable you to meet all printing requirements of non-color projects. Each of the two black ink cartridges yields up to 190 pages, making it ideal for office use.

  • 190 pages per cartridge
  • Best for HP Printers
  • Fade-resistant and long-lasting
  • Some customers have received dried-up ink
  • Some customers have reported inconsistent ink quantities
  • Some customers have reported compatibility issues

Much like our top pick, you can expect this HP 61 multipack to offer professional-grade no-smear printing results. This, however, has two black ink cartridges instead of one black and tri-color cartridge. That means you can only do non-color printing applications with this multipack. Nevertheless, it does produce crisp results on a variety of paper types.

This HP 61 multipack can print up to 190 pages per cartridge, making it an excellent addition to your home office. You can fulfill all printing requirements of non-color applications. With its high yield, you won’t have to make frequent replacements. The best label printer is even better with good ink.

 #6  Canon PG-245 XL and CL-246 XL

Award: Best Canon Multipack

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Canon multipack contains a PG-245 XL black ink cartridge as well as a CL-246 XL color ink cartridge, both of which deliver smooth, consistent results that won’t smear or bleed through. Due to its large capacity, you can save money and produce a lot of color and non-color prints without having to replace the cartridges too often.

  • Best heavy printing
  • Accurate, crisp colors
  • Smooth printing performance
  • Some consumers have received older stock
  • Some customers have reported compatibility issues
  • Some customers have reported inconsistent ink quantities

The Canon multipack can fulfill a variety of printing needs at a small office as it consists of two high-capacity ink cartridges. Its black ink can deliver dark, crisp results, ideal for printing text-heavy documents on plain paper. Meanwhile, its color cartridge can deliver vivid, accurate hues, ideal for printing photographs and graphics.

Canon’s XL multipack lets you save a lot of money and energy as you won’t need to replace the ink cartridges ever so often. Optimizing ink usage and reducing waste, it’s also good for the environment. You may also like the best printer for Chromebook.

 #7  Greenbox 63XL Ink Cartridges – Best Eco-friendly

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Greenbox multipack is a remanufactured ink cartridge alternative for the HP 63XL, which allows you to fulfill every printing need, save money, and reduce your impact on the environment all at the same time. It’s an ideal choice for consumers who want to do their part for the environment and practice green printing.

  • Best for HP printers
  • Safe and eco-friendly
  • Cheaper alternative to HP 63XL
  • Can be difficult to install and set up
  • Some customers have received defective stock
  • Some customers have reported compatibility issues

Greenbox 63XL is an affordable alternative to the HP 63XL. That’s why it’s also compatible with a diverse range of HP printers—from their OfficeJet and DeskJet to Envy models.

The Greenbox multipack has an XL black cartridge that yields up to 480 pages and a tri-color cartridge that yields up to 330 pages. Aside from meeting heavy-duty printing needs, its patented ink formula should exceed your expectations in terms of quality. It will neither smear nor bleed through any type of paper. Its colors should be vivid and bright, while its black ink should be dark and crisp. Also, have a look at our all in one printer list. For 3D jobs, see the best 3D printers.

How We Decided

There’s a myriad of inks and fluids for printing on the market these days. To narrow our search for the best printer ink, we opted to focus on aqueous inks, known for having dyes or pigments as colorants and water as their primary liquid carrier.

Value and convenience were two important factors in our search for exceptional ink cartridges. Since we wanted ink cartridges that could help you save money and time, we selected high-yield ink cartridges as well as convenient multipacks.

FeatureHigh-Yield Ink CartridgesStandard Ink Cartridges
Ink CapacityContains more ink, providing more pages per cartridge

Ex: HP 60 XL black cartridges hold about 10ml of ink
Contains a standard volume of ink, and fewer pages can be printed

Ex: HP 60 Black cartridges black hold about 4ml of ink
Page YieldSignificantly higher page yield

Ex: HP 60 XL black is rated for approx. 600 pages
Typically have a lower page yield

Ex: HP 60 black is rated for approx. 200 pages
Initial CostMore expensive upfront compared to standard cartridgesA lower initial cost
Ideal Use CasesSuited for users that print a high volume, such as businesses that also want to prioritize cost efficiencySuitable for users who don’t print as often or who prefer lower upfront costs
Environmental ImpactFewer empty cartridges being disposed of, reducing environmental impactMore frequent disposal of empty cartridges, potentially more environmental waste

Of course, high-quality and long-lasting prints are ideal for any printing job. We, therefore, favored ink cartridges that produced exceptional quality prints. Last but not least, we gave bonus points to brands that are doing their part to save the environment. Additionally, if you are more concerned with saving money, check out our guide for the best printer with cheap ink.

Best Printer Ink Buying Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. Compatibility: Before buying ink cartridges, always make sure that they’re compatible with your printer.
  2. Printing needs: Do you print in black and white? Or do you print in color more often? Determining your printing needs can help you select the right type of ink in the right amount so you can save a lot of money in the long run.
  3. Warranty: A product with a warranty doesn’t make it any less effective than those without one.
    • It does, however, mean that the manufacturer cares about customer satisfaction.
    • If you encounter any issues with the inks, a warranty ensures you get replacements without spending more money.
    • In summary, always make sure you take the warranty, especially if you’ve bought an expensive 3D printer like the Monoprice MP Voxel.
    • On the other hand, if you have technical repair experience, then you’ll be able to repair your wireless printing all-in-one printer easily.

Best Printer Ink Questions (FAQ)

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