If you need to make something last, laminate it. By pressing a paper item between two pieces of plastic or ‘pouches,’ laminators protect the paper from stains, fingerprints, moisture and more.
Laminators are a great tool for any office, with their ability to quickly and securely laminate important documents, ID cards, best practice steps and more. For home use, we love using laminators to add durability and a lasting effect to pictures and recipes, making them easy to wipe off in a messy kitchen or keep safe as a family heirloom. Laminators are also a great item to use when traveling, by making itineraries, maps, reservation information, and important medical information more resilient to wear and tear.
If you’ve got kids, laminators are a fun and quick way to turn single-use coloring sheets into reusable pictures that can be drawn on repeatedly with dry-erase markers. We also like laminating spelling and math worksheets to make them reusable, or letting kids design and laminate their own custom placemats.
If you use paper, then you need a laminator. Check out our three favorite laminators below!
1. Swingline Laminator
Start laminating right away with the Swingline Laminator, which comes with 20 letter size, standard thickness thermal lamination pouches that give items a clear and glossy finish. The 9” document width on the Swingline Laminator allows for a variety of sizes and projects, with the Swingline suitable for standard size laminating pouches between 3 and 5 mil.
Pros: Fast and easy to use, the Swingline heats up in as little as four minutes and includes an indicator light that lets users know it’s ready to laminate.
Cons: At 3.44 pounds, the Swingline Laminator is the heaviest option on our list, which may make it difficult for some users to move.
2. Scotch Pro Thermal Laminator
Featuring a premium design LED touch-screen that makes for straightforward set-up, the Scotch Pro Thermal Laminator is a great option for anyone who wants to use 3 and 5 mil laminating pouches. Like the Swingline, the Scotch Pro can fit up to 9” documents. It also features never-jam technology and warms up in 5 minutes.
Pros: The Scotch Pro has a one-hour automatic shutoff as an added energy-saving and safety measure. It also comes with a hidden built-in storage cord and foldable input tray.
Cons: At 17.4” long, the Scotch Pro has the largest footprint of all three laminators on our list. The Scotch Pro takes 15 minutes to laminates one 9” sheet, which is slower than the Swingline’s rate of 9 minutes per 9” sheet.
Scotch Pro Thermal Laminator
3. AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine
Laminate documents up to 9” using either 3 or 5 mil pouches with the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine. The AmazonBasics has a fast four-minute warm up time, which is slightly quicker than the Scotch Pro.
Pros: At 13.4″ x 4.8″ x 2.4” the AmazonBasics has the smallest footprint of all the laminators on our list and is best suited for users who have limited space.
Cons: Like the Scotch Pro, the AmazonBasics comes with two 8.9″ x 11.4” laminating pouches, which is significantly less than the 20 pouches that come with the Swingline Laminator. The AmazonBasics also does not come with an automatic shut off.