If you're on the hunt for a new photo paper, you might wonder which one among glossy vs matte photo paper is best for you. It's a question many people struggle with, and it can have a significant impact on how your photos look. Today, we will discuss the difference between the two to help you decide.

Glossy vs Matte Paper Infographics

Both types of paper offer superb photo reproduction but have different qualities that affect your final outcomes. If you want to learn more about what is matte and glossy finish, you're in the right place. This article will summarize the difference between glossy and matte photos and explain which is better for which use.

For our matte vs glossy prints guide, let's first discuss the advantages of using glossy photo paper.

Glossy Photo Paper

Glossy photo paper is perfect for capturing graphics with a high detail level and making the images pop. The main glossy vs matte photo paper difference is that glossy gives an extra boost of brightness to your photographs and adds details to the image.

It has a higher resolution than matte photo paper, meaning your photos will look sharper and more polished. Additionally, the glossy paper makes capturing any highlights or shadows in your photos easier.

Types of Glossy Photo Paper

There are two types of glossy print. Learn more about the differences below.

It has a very high gloss level with the most reflective and shiny finish. The high gloss level makes the images look polished and realistic while also providing the best contrast and resolution.
Semi-Gloss (Luster)
It has less reflection and shine and stands between a matte and full-glossy finish.
  • Vibrant Colors
    One of the benefits of using glossy photo paper is that it produces vibrant colors in your photos. The higher level of reflection causes the colors to appear more intense and lifelike.
  • Great for Graphics
    Because it has a higher resolution, the glossy photograph paper works great for graphic-heavy images.
  • Smooth, Shiny Texture
    The smooth, shiny texture of glossy photo paper makes it perfect for capturing high-resolution graphics. The sheen also helps to highlight details in the photos and make them pop.
  • Suitable for High-contrast Images
    The glossiness of the photo paper makes it ideal for photographs with a lot of highlight and shadow detail.
  • Easy to Capture Highlights and Shadows
    The glossy finish on the paper makes capturing highlights and shadows in your photographs easy. The sheen also helps to bring out details in the image that would otherwise be difficult to see.
  •   Affordable.
    Glossy paper is cheaper than matte mainly because they absorb less ink than its matte counterparts.
  •   Premium Look.
    Glossy pictures have a premium look that is perfect for capturing photos with high-resolution graphics. The sheen also helps to highlight details in the images, making them more realistic and vibrant.
  •   Visually Striking.
    The increased resolution and vibrancy of glossy pictures will leave a lasting impression.
  •   Ultra-smooth Feel.
    The ultra-smooth texture of glossy printer paper makes it comfortable to hold and increases the chances of people engaging with it.
  •   Showcases Dominant Colors.
    The glossiness of the photo paper amplifies the colors in your photos, making them more visible and striking.
  •   Captures Highlights and Shadows.
    Unlike matte photo papers, which tend to absorb light well, glossy printer paper allows highlights and shadows to be easily captured.
  •   Surface Scratches Easily.
    In addition to fingerprints, surface scratches appear more easily on glossy pictures than on matte ones.
  •   Doesn't Hide Fingerprints.
    While glossy photo paper does a good job of hiding fingerprints, it's not foolproof - especially if your hands are oily or you've got lots of sweat on them.
  •   Not Suitable for Large Sizes.
    The bigger the photo size, the more reflection it will have. This means the viewers will have to adjust their position and viewing angle to see the different parts of the photos without any glare.
  •   Won't Look Good Behind Glass Frame.
    Since your photo is already glossy, if you place it behind a glass surface, it will further increase the amount of reflection, so not a good idea. Plus, they have a natural sticky surface that sticks to the glass frame if left for long periods.
  •   Bright Lights Make Photos Overexposed.
    Because photos printed on glossy photo paper are more reflective, they can have a higher glare and be more susceptible to over-exposure under bright lighting.

If you love taking photos that are detailed and look amazing with a glossy finish, then glossy photo paper is the best choice for you! Its high-quality printing results in photos that distinctively show the dominant colors instead of dulling them like matte. And since it's shiny and smooth, glossy offers a luxurious feel in both look and feel. This makes glossy photo papers best for the following:

  • Landscapes
  • Portraitures
  • Architecture
  • Saturated Images
  • Wildlife Photography
  • Close-up images (macro photography)
  • Party/Wedding photos (unless black and white)
  • Marketing printouts (flyers, brochures, cards, etc.)
  • Dense photos with a lot of people appearing smaller

Where to Buy Glossy Photo Paper?

Glossy papers can easily be found online or in retail stores, but you never know the quality of paper or coating used. You may get the best deal on a bundle full of worthless paper. If you don't want to take that risk, check out the massive range of sizes and bundles of glossy paper here at CompAndSave.

Matte Photo Paper

Matte photo paper is great for creating images that have a vintage look. It has a matte finish that makes it resistant to scratches and smudges. Plus, it produces images that look great when printed on standard photo printers.

Matte for photo generates a muted look. It also works great for images that need to be printed in black and white or with color details preserved. Additionally, matte photo paper is great for designs with a light or pastel color scheme and images with a great deal of text.

Another great benefit of matte vs glossy photo is that it changes less under light, which gives images a more sleek appearance when printed. Plus, the matte finish provides a more professional appearance when printing photos.

  • No Glare
    Unlike glossy paper, matte paper doesn't produce a glare effect. This means you can put photos inside a frame and cover it with glass, and it still won't have a high glare. Since the matte surface absorbs the light, it minimizes the shine or reflection.
  • Minimal Shine
    Matte printing paper does not show a lot of shine when printed, which gives your photos a more professional appearance. This happens because the glossy layer is missing in matte papers.
  • No Fingerprints
    Since matte printing paper is fingerprint resistant, you can print without worrying about fingerprints ruining the photos.
  • Non-Sticky Surface
    The non-stick surface on matte printer paper doesn't stick to the glass frame if left for long periods, making it ideal for prints that will be displayed in public.
  • Resistant to Scratching
    The matte finish on matte photo paper resists scratches and smudges. This makes it great for printing photos that must be kept looking pristine.
  • Superb Color Accuracy
    Matte photo papers reproduce colors accurately because light doesn't have as much interference as with glossy papers, which gives your photos a more realistic look.
  •   Versatile.
    Matte paper is versatile because it doesn't have a thick glossy layer on top. This means both the inkjet and laser printers will produce excellent prints on matte paper.
  •   Easy to Read Texts.
    Since matte printer paper doesn't reflect light much, the text on your photos will be easier to read.
  •   Photos Look Slicker.
    Matte paper finish doesn't show fingerprints or glare, which makes your photos look more sleek and professional. This is crucial if you are printing for public display!
  •   Images Look Modern.
    Matte papers don't reflect light like glossy papers, which means your photos look sleeker and modern and give a satin-like feel when you hold them.
  •   Non-Sticky Surface Means No Stuck Frames.
    If you have pictures that need to be displayed in a frame, but they also need to be removable, matte photo paper is ideal because it doesn't stick to frames like glossy paper can do.
  •   Expensive.
    The best thing about matte photo paper is that it has more of a professional appearance than glossy paper. Still, it's also pricier than glossy paper mainly because it is better textured and made to absorb more light.
  •   Less Protection.
    Since matte photos don't have a glossy layer, they are more prone to distortion or creases if not cared for properly.
  •   Low Range of Colors.
    Because matte papers are low in contrast and color saturation, they can only print a narrow range of colors. In other words, when printing a poster or an image with bright and vivid colors, matte paper should be your last resort.
  •   Visible Imperfections.
    Matte finish magnifies the imperfections in any image, so unless you're purposefully bringing attention to some flaws, glossy paper is best to conceal imperfections in images.
  •   Reduced Image Sharpness.
    Because the colors are dull, the images don't pop like the glossy paper. This means the sharpness is not as crisp, and the object edges are not as clear.
  •   Low Contrast and Less-Vibrant Colors.
    Matte papers are generally lower in contrast and color saturation, so you may mainly use them if you want to print many black-and-white or muted colors.

Matte photo paper is best for prints with a limited range of colors and muted image requirements. It's good for printing many text-heavy items (like cards, menus, invitations, and so on) because it's more durable than glossy paper when it comes to scratches. Plus, due to its ability to absorb light, it makes it easier to read text.

Furthermore, the matte printing paper doesn't stick to the surface and doesn't reflect light, so it's best to display photos in public as you can frame matte photo prints. Plus, it has a more sophisticated feel. This makes them best for the following:

  • Illustrations
  • Sketch images
  • Textured patterns
  • Dark toned images
  • HDR landscape photos
  • Artwork with muted colors
  • Designs that emphasize depth

Where to Buy Matte Photo Paper?

Although you can find matte papers online and at physical stores, they can be quite costly, and there's no guarantee of the quality. This is where CompAndSave helps its customers with top-tier matte papers at affordable prices (almost equal to the price of less costly glossy papers). Check out the complete range of sizes and bundles of our matte photo paper.

What is Better Glossy or Matte Photos?

What is better? Glossy or Matte.

It's a tough call, to be honest, because different people have different preferences and uses, so ultimately you're the one to decide. Matte photos are popular for a different look, as they can give your images a vintage feel. On the other hand, many people prefer glossy photos because they look more polished and professional.

So whether you choose glossy or matte photos, the real question is, what are you printing? We think the best approach would be to leverage a combo of glossy and matte, depending on your needs. For instance, when deciding between glossy vs matte photo print, check what you are printing first.

If you need to print something image-heavy with lots of distinctions and a range of colors, like magazine covers, go for a glossy finish. However, for text-heavy pages, matte is far better. Plus, if you are creating planners or premium diaries, matte pages will work flawlessly for writing pages (inside pages) as the ink dries quickly and doesn't spread much, which is a problem with glossy papers.

If you are on a tight budget but planning on printing photos often, a higher-quality glossy paper is a good idea as they are more affordable and make your photos look more vibrant and real than matte ones. However, if you don't care about those things, then it is okay to use whichever kind of photo paper suits your fancy!

We have already talked about glossy vs matte photo paper and the pros and cons of each type. In the end, it is up to you whether you want to go with glossy or matte photos.

Where to Buy Photo Paper?

Photo paper comes in different varieties. If you're looking for other types of printing paper, such as sticker paper, magnetic sheets, and the likes, CompAndSave has it all. Get different kinds of specialty paper in various sizes.

We hope it's now easier for you to decide between matte photo paper vs glossy. For more inquiries about your printing supplies, such as photo paper and cartridges, contact our toll-free number at 1-833-465-6888. Feel free to ask questions to our customer service representatives from 6am-4pm PT from Mondays to Fridays. We are glad to assist you with your printing needs!