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Best Photo Paper for Inkjet Printer: Different Types | Guide


what is the best photo paper for inkjet printer

Photo paper has greatly impacted how we turn digital pictures into something we can touch and keep. With better technology, photo paper now gives us really nice prints that make our memories extra special. In this guide, we will tackle the best photo paper for inkjet printer that will turn your memories into something you can hold and cherish. Whether you’re someone who just likes having printed photos or you enjoy taking pictures for fun, choosing the right inkjet photo paper really matters. So, let’s transform your snapshots into timeless treasures!

In this guide, we will discuss:

  • Inkjet Photo Paper: What It Is?
  • Best Photo Paper for Inkjet Printer: Exploring Different Types You Can Use
  • Photo Paper: Other Types Available

Inkjet Photo Paper: What It Is?

Photo paper is a special paper made for printing pictures from your printer. It’s not like regular writing paper. Instead, it’s smooth, so the printer ink gets absorbed well, making your pictures look vivid and detailed. You can also pick different finishes, like glossy or matte, to get the look you want for your prints.

So, why use photo paper to print photos?

1. Vibrant Colors

Inkjet photo paper is great for making your colors look bright and real. It gives your prints a lively and lifelike appearance.

2. Sharp Details

This special paper is perfect for showing tiny details in your photos. It prints really precisely, so you get clear and sharp pictures.

3. Quick Drying

Inkjet photo paper dries fast because it sucks up the ink quickly. This means your prints won’t smudge, and you can enjoy them immediately.

4. Durability

Photo paper is often more durable than regular printing paper. It is designed to withstand the handling and potential exposure to elements, ensuring that your printed photos last longer and remain in good condition.

5. Professional Finish

Using photo paper makes your prints look really professional and polished. The paper’s texture and finish make your photos look super nice, almost like they were made by professionals.

But the tricky part is there are different kinds of photo paper. So, how can we pick what’s best for your needs? Let’s figure it out!

Best Photo Paper for Inkjet Printer: Exploring Different Types You Can Use

When it comes to printing your favorite photos, picking the best photo paper for inkjet printer can make a big difference. Various types of photo paper are designed to work with inkjet printers, each offering unique qualities to enhance your prints. So, let’s tackle each of them, helping you find the perfect match for your printing needs.

1. Glossy Photo Paper

With that sleek and glass-like texture, glossy inkjet photo paper is the most used type for digital photo printing. This type of photography paper offers you the best contrast of colors, shadows, and highlights.


  • Christmas Photos
  • Wedding Photos
  • Portraits
  • Landscapes
  • Still-Life Photos
  • Forensic Images


  • Enhances images with vibrant and lively colors.
  • Captures and highlights intricate elements with precision.
  • Adds an attractive shine to the printed photos.
  • Creates a realistic and lifelike appearance.
  • The glossy surface makes images stand out and catch attention.


  • Can be challenging to view from different angles due to light reflection.
  • It easily gets smudged from fingerprints, so you must handle it carefully.
  • The glossy surface can get scratched easily, messing up the print.
  • More glare may pose problems when framing the photo.
  • Unlike matte paper, glossy lacks a rough feel, which might not suit certain preferences or uses.


2. Matte Photo Paper

Matte photo paper gives your prints a soft, smooth look without extra shine. It’s perfect for light or less vibrant colors. Since it doesn’t have a glossy layer, it makes photos resistant to smudges and fingerprints. There’s no glare and less reflection, which professional photographers often prefer. Photos printed on matte paper are enjoyable to look at from any angle when displayed behind glass.


  • Monochrome Shots
  • Scrapbooks
  • Brochures
  • Flyers


  • Can be written on easily with a ballpoint pen or similar.
  • Doesn’t show fingerprints or smudges, keeping prints clean.
  • Has a textured surface, providing a unique and tactile feel.
  • Works well in well-lit areas, minimizing glare and reflections.


  • Colors may appear less vibrant compared to glossy paper.
  • Lacks the extra glossy finish, which some may prefer for certain prints.
  • Details might not be as sharp as on glossy paper.


To learn more about the difference between matte and glossy finishes, take a look at this article, “Matte vs Glossy Photo Paper.” It provides easy-to-understand information to help you decide between the two!

3. Lustre Photo Paper

Photo labs typically use lustre photo paper as their default option for prints. Lustre paper has a semi-gloss finish, falling between matte and glossy. Its satin-like surface visually resembles a pearl, providing printed photographs with a unique and appealing appearance.


  • Wedding Pictures
  • Photo Albums
  • Newborn or Baby Photos
  • Portraits
  • School Photos
  • Framing and Display in Living Room or Gallery


  • Makes colors look lively and vivid.
  • Doesn’t reflect too much light, good for framed pictures.
  • Resists fingerprints and stays clean.
  • Looks pro with a subtle shine.


  • Less textured compared to matte paper, which may be a drawback for some preferences.
  • Might cost more than basic glossy or matte options.
  • It’s not as shiny as glossy paper, so it might not suit those seeking a high-gloss finish.
  • Light might still cause issues from certain angles.


4. Canvas Photo Paper

If you want a photo print that looks like a painting with no glare, canvas paper is ideal. This paper is best if you plan to sell professional artwork, as it is mainly designed for art. Due to its texture, canvas paper shows no glare, which many would love.


  • Family photos
  • Abstract designs
  • Landscapes
  • Replicas of fine artworks
  • Home décor


  • The canvas texture adds an artistic and textured feel to your prints.
  • It is sturdy and can withstand handling without damage.
  • It doesn’t shine, so you can see it well from different sides.
  • Canvas prints can be displayed without frames for a modern and stylish look.


  • Colors may appear differently due to the absorbent nature of the canvas material.
  • Fine details might not show as sharply compared to other paper types.
  • Canvas paper can be more expensive than regular photo paper.


5. Woven Photo Paper

Woven photo paper is ideal if you want that white as snow and a smooth look on your photos. This photo print paper gives images a more heavy sense and that ‘flat’ feel to it.


  • Artistic Prints
  • Vintage Aesthetics
  • Craft Projects
  • Custom Gifts
  • Decorative Applications


  • Adds a special and cool texture to your prints.
  • Good for making pictures look old or vintage.
  • Perfect for making special gifts that have a unique woven look.
  • Works well for making things look nice and unique, like decorations.


  • The colors may not appear as vibrant as those on glossy finishes.
  • The texture might not work for all kinds of pictures or what you like.
  • Woven photo paper could be more expensive compared to standard photo paper.


6. Textured Photo Paper

Textured photographic paper is the perfect kind of paper to use if you want a more physical approach to your photos. It makes the light-colored parts of the photo visible while the dark parts are less obvious, adding depth and a 3D sense to the images.


  • Personal Stationery
  • Menus
  • Business Letterhead
  • Business Cards


  • Adds richness and character to your prints.
  • Suitable for various creative projects and applications.
  • Creates a unique and distinctive appearance for your photos.
  • Less prone to showing fingerprints and smudges.


  • Image colors printed on textured photo paper won’t be as eye-catching as the glossy ones.
  • Colors may appear differently due to the absorbent nature of the textured surface.
  • Textured paper might be more expensive than regular photo paper.


Photo Paper: Other Types Available

Haven’t picked the right paper for your photos yet? No worries! Check out these other options: sticker paper, transferable paper, magnet sheets, and printable fabric. Let’s look at each one to see how they’re different.

1. Sticker Paper

Sticker photo paper is like regular photo paper but has glue on the back. Unlike other sticker papers with set shapes, our paper lets you make any sticker you want! You can design without limits. We have two types: glossy for bright and eye-catching stickers and matte for a more subtle look. Check the description for glossy and matte photo paper above for more details.


  • School and DIY Craft Projects
  • Labels
  • Name Tags
  • Decorative Stickers


  • The adhesive backing makes it simple to stick your creations wherever you want.
  • Ideal for DIY craft projects, school activities, and creative endeavors.
  • You can confidently design your stickers without limitations on shapes and sizes.
  • You can choose based on your preferred finish in glossy and matte options.


  • Stickers may not be as durable as other materials, especially in outdoor or high-wear situations.
  • The adhesive may leave a residue when stickers are removed, affecting surfaces.
  • Stickers may lose their adhesive properties if exposed to water.
  • Some printers may not handle sticker paper well, affecting print quality.


2. Transferable Paper

Iron-on transferable paper transfers texts, images, etc., to cotton fabrics through a heat press or home iron. There are two types of iron-on transfer paper for Inkjet printers - light and dark transfer paper.

A. Light Transfer Paper

This type of transfer paper’s material is different from the dark one due to its translucent background, so it is highly recommended to use only on white or very light-colored cotton fabrics like cream, pale shades of pink, pale pastels, and the like, as long as it is not too dark.


  • White, Light, or Pale-Colored Cotton Fabrics


  • Helps you achieve the desired result, especially when trimming the edges.
  • Does a good job when you want a mirror image, making it look nice on the fabric.
  • Lets you be creative and make designs on light fabrics for different projects.


  • Light iron-on transfer papers are not advisable to be used on synthetic fabric as they tend to be more sensitive to heat and might cause issues on your prints.
  • The transferred design may not be as durable, especially in high-wear or frequent washing situations.

B. Dark Transfer Paper

Dark transferable paper is great for black or colored fabrics, even white. But it’s better to use light transfer paper for the best results for light fabrics. Dark paper is made so the fabric’s color won’t show in the background, and it won’t affect the images you transfer.


  • Black, Dark, or Colored Cotton Fabrics
  • Printing Pictures or Words on T-shirts, Pillows, Tote Bags, and Others


  • Allows for creating personalized designs on various items.
  • Produces clear and vibrant images on dark backgrounds.
  • Provides durability for designs, especially when properly applied and cared for.


  • Dark iron-on transfer papers are not recommended for synthetics as they are more heat-sensitive and may cause issues.
  • Requires precise application for optimal results, which may be challenging for some users.


3. Magnet Sheets

You can create your own fridge magnets at home using your printer, our printable magnet sheets, and some creativity! The whole sheet is magnetic, allowing you to make various designs. Unlike photo sticker papers, you can easily remove and change the printable magnet sheets. We offer two types: glossy for a shiny finish and matte for a more subtle look. Check the detailed description above to understand the difference between the two.


  • Printing Customized Fridge Magnets for Yourself
  • Creating Unique Gifts
  • Designing Promotional Business Swag


  • Perfect for adding color and life to a wide range of items.
  • Provides a quick and easy way to create customized items.
  • An economical choice for various applications.


  • The material may melt in LaserJet printers, making them unsuitable.
  • For Inkjet printers, ensure the printing tray doesn’t push out flat to prevent deformation of the printed photo.
  • Exposure to water or sunlight may make the sheet brittle and affect its magnetic properties.
  • Prolonged use may cause the printer to heat up, potentially leading to damage.


4. Printable Fabric

Printable fabric sheets are super easy to use! You can print directly on them, just like regular photo paper. They’re lightweight, so you can roll them up, fold them, store them, or ship them with no problem. We have three types of printable fabric for you to pick from. Let’s quickly review them to help you choose the perfect one for your project.


  • You can print on it just like regular paper, making it simple to use.
  • Gives you the freedom to print your creations directly onto the fabric.
  • Easy to store due to its lightweight and flexible nature.


  • Some printers may not handle printable fabric well, affecting print quality.
  • Care must be taken during Inkjet printing to avoid deformation of the printed photo.
  • Exposure to water may make the fabric brittle and affect its properties.
  • Careful handling is needed during printing and stretching, especially with textured surfaces like canvas.

A. Cotton Canvas Fabrics

The cotton canvas fabric would be the best pick if you want your printed photos to look ‘realistic.’ This type of printable fabric is exceptional for high-end portraits, photography, and print work. It also gives true color reproduction, making your photos look so real. Our cotton canvas fabric features a white coating and lightly textured matte finish, giving you that same look and feel of canvases used by artists for watercolor or painting with oils.


  • Unique Works of Art
  • Printing Fine Art Reproductions
  • Portraits
  • Still Life Photos
  • Landscapes
  • Special Events like Anniversaries, Engagements, Weddings, and More


B. Oil Canvas Fabrics

Our oil canvas fabrics, known as poly-cotton fabrics, feature a white coating and are made of cotton and polyester fiber. It’s light, and there will be no shrinkage or bubbles when printing.


  • Photo Albums
  • Display Behind a Glass Frame
  • Indoor Decorations
  • Commercial Area Decor


C. Sail Canvas Fabrics

Print high-quality photographs and art reproductions with our premium printable sail canvas fabric. Our sail canvas features a white coating and is made primarily of cotton and polyester, which helps make your photos more personalized and professional-looking. Our sail canvas weighs 150g each, which can be used in most inkjet printers on the market.


  • Printing High-Quality Fine Art Reproductions
  • Photographs


Parting Words

Now you know about different inkjet photo paper types to print your favorite pictures. Whether you want shiny and colorful prints or a more subtle look, there’s a paper for you. Just think about what your printer needs, the kind of images you have, and how you want your photos to look. Check out the choices for the best photo paper for inkjet printer, and make your memories look awesome. Happy printing!

Key takeaways:

  • Picking the best photo paper for your inkjet printer is important to make your prints look vibrant and professional.
  • From glossy to matte, lustre, canvas, woven, and textured, each finish adds a unique touch to your printed photos.
  • Sticker paper, transferable paper, magnet sheets, and printable fabric offer creative options beyond regular photo printing.

If you have any questions regarding ink orders or need assistance, our helpful customer service team is just a phone call away. Dial 1-833-465-6888, and we’re here to assist you. Our team is available Monday to Friday, from 6 am to 4 pm PT, ensuring prompt and reliable support for all your needs!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you use Inkjet photo paper in a laser printer?

No, you cannot use Inkjet photo paper in a laser printer. Laser printers require a specific type of photo paper designed to withstand heat. If you attempt to use Inkjet photo paper in a laser printer, it can potentially damage the printer and contaminate its coating. Choosing the right type of photo paper is essential if you’re aiming for a particular finish for your photos.

2. Can I use regular inkjet paper to print photos?

Yes, you can. But remember that inkjet paper or plain paper is mainly designed to print documents, plain texts, and the like. It is uncoated, so printing images on it will bleed on the other side. For better-looking photos, it’s a good idea to use special inkjet photo paper designed just for printing pictures. You can choose from any options above to achieve your perfect prints!

3. What is the difference between glossy and matte photo paper for an Inkjet printer?

Glossy and matte photo papers look different. Glossy is shiny and makes colors vivid, while matte is smooth without shine and has a softer look. Glossy adds brightness and sharpness to photos, while matte is more subtle. People choose between them based on how they want their photos to appear. So, it’s about personal preference and the style you like for your printed pictures.

4. How do I choose the right photo paper for my Inkjet printer?

Choosing the right photo paper for your Inkjet printer involves considering a few things. First, consider the type of finish you want – whether glossy, matte, or another option. Consider the intended use, like printing family photos, art, or documents. Check the compatibility with your printer and, finally, your budget. It’s about balancing the paper type, your printer, and what you want to print.

When using an Inkjet printer, there isn’t a strict weight or thickness requirement for photo paper, but generally, a weight between 200 to 300 grams per square meter (gsm) is common. Thicker paper tends to feel more substantial and might be preferable for certain projects. However, checking your printer’s specifications is crucial, as some printers prefer specific paperweights. Experimenting with different weights can help you find the thickness that works best for your printer and produces the desired print quality.

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