Thermal printers have become an essential part of our work from home lives. They’re no longer restricted to just retail, restaurants, and supermarket chains. With thousands of businesses operating remotely, these mobile machines have found a place in our homes.
Business owners prefer them over their traditional counterparts as they are faster, accurate, and eco-friendly. With their advanced technology, thermal printers make the labeling, and billing process efficient.
If you’re a business owner, in search of the best product, look no further. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ve reviewed the best-in-class thermal printers to help you make an informed decision.
Here are the best thermal printers for your business or makeshift WFH office:
Rollo Label Printer is our pick for the best thermal printer. It’s not your usual run-of-the-mill printer. It produces pristine prints at an excellent speed of 150mm/s. Due to its commercial nature, it enables easy loading using an automatic label identification feature.
ROLLO Label Printer is compatible with popular marketplaces such as Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and eBay. If you need it for shipping purposes, it supports ShipStation, ShipEasy, ShipWorks, Shippo, Stamps.com, and Endicia Dazzle to name a few.
You’ll be able to churn out quality prints that meet UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL standards. It’s excellent for printing 4” x 6” labels, but isn’t restricted to that dimension.
ROLLO Label Printer works best for high-speed labeling with a width between 1.57” to 4.1”. However, it doesn’t have any height restrictions. Thus, you can use it for not only shipping labels, but for ID, warehouse, and bulk mailing labels as well.
Our pick for the best premium thermal printer is Zebra’s GK430d. With its unique design, connectivity, and compatibility, it’s in a league of its own. It’s super easy to use with a plethora of connection options. For instance, you can connect it via USB, Parallel, or Serial and print a label with a diameter of up to 5-inches. The maximum printing width GK420d offers is 4.25 inches.
What sets it apart is that you don’t need any thermal ribbon to print. Since it houses the Direct Thermal Technology, it makes use of the direct thermal media to provide excellent output in a timely manner.
Zebra GK420d is designed for durability and rugged usage. Therefore, it’s ideal for creating excellent quality labels and name tags for address, mailing, shipping, barcode, binder, and file folder. With 203 dpi, and Energy Star approved rating, you can print about 5 inches in a second.
At WFHAdviser, we feel DYMO Label Printer offers the best value. Though pricier, this thermal printer helps you with advanced customization. This makes it amongst the standout thermal printers in the market.
It allows you to print XL 4×6 inches labels ideal for shipping, warehouse, identification, mailing, and barcode labels. There are more than 60+ professional label templates from which you can choose. Apart from that, you can even customize the graphics, and text using the in-house DYMO software.
As for speed, DYMO allows you to print 53 standard 4 line addresses each minute. It’s compatible with major shipping platforms such as eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. Thus, if you’re an online seller working from home, this product offers great value.
This label printer has a sturdy build and a great design. It is compatible with Dymo Stamps and is flexible with small, and extra-large labels ranging between ½ inch to 6 inches.
MUNBYN shipping label printer offers great value for money. Using the Japanese ROHM printhead, you can continuously print about 700 sheets in one go. Due to its automatic capabilities, it pauses for five minutes after every session to increase the machine’s longevity.
Furthermore, it comes with a unique USB Disk for easy installation. The disk includes User Manual, Printer Driver, How-to-Videos, and FAQs which simplifies installation. Thanks to automatic label identification, it can detect the size and characteristics of your label. This makes loading labels extremely easy.
MUNBYN is compatible with major shipping platforms such as UPS, FedEx, Shipworks, Shippo, ShipGator, Shippingeasy. Besides, it also supports online marketplaces such as Etsy, eBay, Shopify, Ordoro, and OrderCup. This thermal printer is compatible with the latest Windows and Mac OS. On Windows, you can install the driver within 3 steps, whereas on Mac, you can do it within 5 steps.
Star Micronics TSP143III boasts a diverse range of thermal printers. Therefore, you can choose from among four different variations – Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, and Wi-Fi. Due to its high-speed printing of 250mm/s, you can print up to 43 receipts per minute.
You can set it up easily as it supports Wi-Fi (WPS push button technology as well Wireless Access Point). The TSP143III has its patented ‘’De-curl’’ function that provides a flat receipt. The Drop-in and print clamshell design improves the printing process and aids easy paper loading.
Star Micronics TSP143III houses futurePRNT software that helps customize receipts. With professional graphic templates – logos, and coupons, you can add personalization to your receipts.
TSP143III has a small footprint and embedded power supply which helps save counter space. Thus, if you prefer a minimalistic setup, you’ll definitely like this product better as compared to industrious clunky ones.
Epson’s thermal printers are some of the most economical ones in the market. The TM -T20II is no different in that regard. It’s a low maintenance receipt printer that helps save time and energy.
With the TM-T20II, you have a printer that is reliable and will offer quality output. Sure, it’s not the fastest at 150mm per second. However, it doesn’t break down easily. It’s sturdy, economical, and easy to use.
Its Energy Star Certification helps to print labels and receipts keeping the environment in mind. Setting up and maintaining the TM-T20II is fairly easy. It supports all the latest Windows and macOS. It comes with an in-built adaptor, interface cable, AC cable, and wall-hanging bracket.
Straight out of the box, it’s one of the affordable yet the most complete thermal printers out there. There are not many printers that can outdo the TM-T20II in regard to durability and efficiency.
Brother QL-1100 is one of the most underrated thermal printers. Not only does it look spectacular, but backs it up with amazing features. When it comes to output, the QL-1100 can churn up to 69 labels each minute. It does so without compromising the quality. It follows the 300dpi clarity, allowing you the best of both worlds.
If you’re looking for an economical thermal printer with great output, Brother QL-1100 can be an ideal option. It works great with scanners thanks to excellent USB support. Unlike other thermal printers, you need not install any software. Simply, plug it in and get started.
Brother QL-1100 houses automatic cutter functions. A really helpful feature when working with different sheet sizes. You can print wide-format labels up to 4”. As for length, you can go up to 9.8 feet when using it via USB.
Lastly, the QL-1100 comes with a 3-year warranty. Thereby, making it even more enticing. The only problem with this model is that you need to use it within the Brother ecosystem to get the best performance.
Epson’s ReadyPrint T20 direct thermal printer is the latest cost-effective thermal printer from the Epson family. It uses advanced printing technology to meet demanding outputs.
Designed for SMEs and retailers with low volume. It is ideal for work-from-home printing operations. Thus, if you’re looking for an affordable thermal printer to print invoices, and labels, Epson Readyprint is a viable option.
With this thermal printer, you can print crisp logos, coupons, and barcodes at 150mm/s. Similar to other Epson products, the ReadyPrint T20 is more about durability than eye-catching features. Having said that, it’s not extremely basic either as ReadyPrint T20’s drop-in paper loading and auto cutting technology puts it on par with its competitors.
Epson’s ReadyPrint T20 has an MCBF of 60 million lines that can offer up to 360,000 hours of output. Moreover, the auto-cutter can provide up to 1.5 million cuts – a clear sign of longevity and efficient output.
Comer is one of the most highly marketed commercial-grade label printers. And I can clearly see why! Besides being affordable, it offers exceptional features. The manufacturers claim that they’ve designed this thermal printer keeping speed and clarity in mind. Thus, with Comer’s thermal printer, you can achieve a decent printing speed of 150mm/s.
It deploys direct thermal technology that eliminates the need for printer ink, toner, or ribbon. Similar to MUNBYN, Comer utilizes the Japanese ROHM Ceramic Printing Head. This makes the product high-temperature resistant allowing it to generate stable prints.
Comer’s Automatic Label Identification catches and feeds the details to the printer. Moreover, it allows you to print labels with a width between 1.57” to 4.1”.
As for system compatibility, it supports the latest Windows and Mac OS. It works well with popular sales and shipping platforms such as Shopify, Amazon, eBay, Poshmark, FedEx, ShippingEasy, Ordoro, and Shippo to name a few.
Arkscan 2054A is a multi-functional thermal printer that allows you to print products, shipping, and other labels without any ink or toner refill. You can easily set it up within a minute and start printing labels. Once done, you to print any image or text on the thermal paper using an application on Windows or Mac OS.
With Arkscan 2054A, you can achieve excellent prints in various sizes. Since the developers have worked hard to make the device Zebra compatible, it offers enhanced software support.
Under the hood, Arkscan 2054A houses the BarTender UltraLite Label Design Software (Windows Only), which allows you to unlock its true potential. Using the software, you can customize text, graphics, serials, barcodes, and other printing features.
As for compatibility, it supports major amazon shipping labels such as Amazon FBA, Amazon Seller Fulfilment, and Amazon FNSK. Furthermore, it’s also compatible with eBay, Easyship, EasyPost, FedEx, Endicia Dazzle, Poshmark, and Paypal.
Buyer’s Guide for Thermal Printers
When buying a thermal printer, you ought to know what you’re looking for. Check if your shortlisted printers have all the essential features. Not all thermal printers are designed the same. The three main aspects that you must consider include Usability, Speed, and Compatibility.
You don’t need an advanced thermal printer if you just need to print a thousand labels per day. Similarly, you can’t afford to use a basic printer that offers 50mm/s at a busy departmental store.
You have to narrow down the options based on your usage. For instance, if you’re interested in a basic yet affordable thermal printer, DYMO will be a better option than ZEBRA GK420d.
Print Speed is pivotal when operating in a quick-paced environment. The work-from-home setup is calmer as compared to a departmental store.
Every millisecond matters and your customers expect you to provide receipts instantly. Thus, the size of your business is directly related to the print speed and the overall quality. In this case, you just can’t afford to compromise.
Features & Compatibility
When choosing the ideal thermal printer, you can’t do without basic features such as auto load and auto cut. Learn more about the product, and see if the product has the features and compatibility you need.
For instance, a thermal printer with Windows-based software is not a great choice when your set-up relies on Mac OS.
Are thermal printers worth it?
Definitely. Unlike traditional printers that have recurring costs, a thermal printer offers a long-term solution. Once you purchase the thermal printer, it can easily help you see out 5-10 years depending upon your usage.
Do thermal printers run out of ink?
Thermal printers don’t rely on ink, cartridges, or supplies. They have a special paper that is designed to automate the entire process. All you’re required to do is refill the paper whenever you’re running out of it.
How long does a thermal printer last?
A thermal printer can last nearly 10 years. Even after that period, all you might need is a new print head. In a thermal printer, that’s the only part that wears out. You can even get them serviced and replace the parts to prevent them from breaking down.