The best printer paper means sharper colors, bolder blacks, and an all-around better reproduction. Choosing the wrong one could result in frequent paper jams and smeared ink, resulting in lost productivity. Our evaluation focused on brightness, thickness, weight, and print quality. We also looked into auxiliary features such as production method and value.

After more than 6 hours of research and testing (and printing), our top pick goes to the HP Printer Paper BrightWhite. This dynamo delivers crisp print quality with a maximum 100 brightness rating. Ink dries very quickly and works very well as copy or printer paper for multi-purpose use. Keep reading to learn more about the HP Printer Paper BrightWhite and six others that made the cut.

Top 6 Best Printer Paper Reviews

 #1  HP BrightWhite Printer Paper

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best laser printer paper with a 100 brightness rating. It is a great choice for everyday printing of full-color documents.

  • Best for laser printer
  • Best brightness
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified (environmentally-friendly)
  • May jam on some printers due to thickness
  • Frustrating packaging

Thanks to this printer paper’s 100 brightness rating, full-color prints really pop. In our testing, we saw clearer contrasts between different shades of blue and green. Expect bolder blacks and better overall photo quality overall. It is also thick enough to absorb ink without smearing.

We like the fact it is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, a distinction granted to products that adhere to environmentally-friendly production standards. All paper is made using renewable forest resources, creating a lower carbon footprint. Speaking of which, the best all in one printer will help with that as well.

 #2  Hammermill Premium Multipurpose Printer Paper

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This thin printer paper is the best printer paper for documents, featuring a 97 brightness rating and a “99.99% jam-free guarantee.”

  • Best for documents
  • Great for office printing
  • Great value
  • Crumbles easily
  • Not too smooth

This printer paper carries a 97 brightness rating, making colors come to life. While testing, we were able to detect subtle changes in contrast between lighter shades of blue. We were really impressed with print quality using inkjet and laser printers.

Thanks to this printer paper’s acid-free finish, it prevents yellowing, which degrades picture quality. This is especially useful when storing and archiving important documents. Bonus points for its Colorlok technology, which improves inkjet print quality and drying time through the use of additives that help absorb ink. You won’t have to worry about that stuff with the best 3d printer, but it’s nice to have it when using paper.

 #3  AmazonBasics Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper

Award: Best for Copying

WHY WE LIKE IT: This smooth printer paper features a 96 GE brightness rating with an acid-free finish. It is a great for everyday copying.

  • Great for high volume
  • Acid-free finish
  • Vivid color contrasts
  • Frustrating packaging
  • Easy to tear

Aside from the AmazonBasics name, we really like this printer paper’s brightness, sharp with vivid colors, darker blacks, and high contrasts. Unlike lesser paper, its acid-free finish also prevents yellowing over time. A 20-pound weight makes it thinner and less susceptible to paper jams, great for high volume printing.

Unlike our #2 pick, the Hammermill Premium Multipurpose Paper, this printer paper is less thin, making it better for copying. Though it offers exceptional value, its paper gets wrinkly very quickly and does not stay upright when held. Consider this the perfect “scrap paper.” So it wouldn’t be your first choice to use with the best photo printer.

 #4  Office Depot White Copy Printer Paper

Award: Best for Volume Copying

WHY WE LIKE IT: This copy paper comes in a letter size and comes in a 10-ream case with 500 sheets per ream.

  • Great as scrap paper
  • Good brightness rating
  • Large box
  • Some users reported torn reams
  • Poor double-sided printing

This copy paper is thinner than multi-purpose and photo paper, best reserved for copying. It works equally well on laser and inkjet printers with an acid-free finish to prevent yellowing in storage. Note, we recommend not using it for double-sided printing, as pages may come out wrinkled.

We recommend this copy paper as scrap paper. Not only can it be used for copying, but it can be used for quick sketches or note taking to discard later on. Though it reproduces colors well, it is a bit flimsy, which makes it better suited for copying. I wouldn’t use it for the best printers.

 #5  Printworks 100 Percent Recycled Multipurpose Printer Paper

Award: Best Recycled

WHY WE LIKE IT: This multipurpose paper is made using 100% recycled materials with a 92 brightness rating.

  • Excellent print quality
  • 100% recycled
  • Very bright
  • High cost
  • Flimsy paper
  • Not suitable for double-sided printing

This printer paper works very well with high volume printing and copying. With a respectable 92 brightness rating, it produces sharp contrast and bold blacks. In our testing, inkjet prints replicated a magazine cover to a tee with no smudges or run-off. Ink drying was also quick with no smudges.

Thanks to its 100% recycled fiber, it is a lot more environmentally conscious than similar offerings made using 30% recycled fiber. Aside from the Printworks name, we really enjoy this company’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions across the globe. The best home printer should use the best paper and we like this one.

 #6  Canon 7981A004 Photo Paper Plus

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This printer paper comes in a budget pack of 50 sheets with a matte finish. It is an excellent choice for Canon Pixma photo printing.

  • Great for photo printing
  • Very bright images
  • Instant dry prints
  • Some users reported grainy photos
  • Lacks stiffness
  • Feels like card stock

Unlike traditional glossy photo paper, this matte photo paper is less polished , producing no smudges and glare. While testing, building and furniture shots were replicated very well. We enjoyed holding the finished product without worrying about collecting fingerprints.

This printer paper is compatible with Canon Lucia & ChromaLife100+ inks. Bonus points for its lightfastness rating of 15 years, which measures the photo paper’s resistance when exposed to light. Speaking of ink, read about the best printer ink.

How We Decided

In determining the best printer paper to buy, we explored weight, brightness, type of paper, and eco-friendliness. Weight (based on 500 sheet reams) is an important factor, with 20 pounds reserved for lower quality copier paper and 24 pounds working best with multi-purpose projects, such as photo and letterhead printing.

Brightness levels translate to crisp and clear images with sharp contrasts. The brightness rating is measured based on how well light reflects off the surface, assigned from 0 to 100. The higher the brightness rating, the sharper the image. We also factored in eco-friendliness, with our #5 pick Printworks 100% Recycled Multipurpose Paper winning top honors.

Printer Paper Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Weight
    Printer paper ranges from 20 pounds to 24 pounds. Weight refers to how much a 500-sheet rear of paper weighs. 20-pound paper is best for copying, and simple prints and 22-24 paper works best with photo and multi-purpose printing for presentations and official documentation.
  2. Brightness
    Brightness refers to the amount of light that reflects on the page. The higher the brightness number, the brighter the paper is. For photo and multi-purpose printing, look for a minimum 92 brightness rating.
  3. Type of Paper
    There are several different types of printer paper, including ones for copying, presentations, photos, and letterhead. Each has its own criteria in terms of weight and brightness based on how vital sharper colors and bolded blacks are to the overall presentation.

Printer Paper FAQs

Is there a difference between copy paper and printer paper?

In a nutshell, copy paper is thinner than printer paper and is generally cheaper. Printer paper is reserved for more intensive projects, such as work on official letterhead or presentations.

What is the difference between 92 and 96 brightness in paper?

The brightness scale for printer paper ranges from 0 to 100. The higher the number, the brighter the paper.

What weight is good quality paper?

We recommend a printer paper weight between 20 and 30 pounds. Our recommended multi-purpose printer paper picks generally average a 24-25 pound rating. Heavirinter paper or thicker sheets produce sharper contrasts and dry ink faster for better quality output.

Ray Prince

Diehard UFC/MMA fan and all-around techie who loves to write.

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