The Best Copier Paper for Everyday Print Jobs

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There are three major components that affect the quality of any documents you print. The ink, the printer and the paper. While there’s a wide range of differences in the quality of printers and ink, it isn’t always easy to tell what sets good printer paper apart. Paper quality is pretty important, though, and here’s why. A bad print job can typically be blamed on either the ink or the printer, but what sets a great print job apart from just a good one is typically the paper.

Everything from the weight of the sheet to the shade of color is considered when producing printer paper. You wouldn’t want to use ultra-heavy paper for basic notes, just as you don’t want thin paper for presentations.

The two main numbers to look at are weight and brightness. In the US, paper is weighed per 500 sheets of bond paper. 20 pounds is pretty standard, while heavier paper like 28 or 32 can be a good option for important jobs. The other number is brightness, which refers to how much light the paper reflects. 92 is pretty standard, while 100 is the most vibrant option. Heavier paper with a higher brightness rating will be good for professional presentations.

We’ve rounded up some of the best copier paper options, including paper that’s well suited for basic jobs as well as high-quality presentation paper.

1. HP Printer Paper, Multipurpose20

HP’s multipurpose paper is well suited to printing flyers and color images, as well as text documents. With a brightness measurement of 96, it’s one of the most vibrant whites of the paper featured on this list. If you’re printing images or flyers, the Colorlok technology is designed to produce vivid colors. This is the three ream option.

Pros: 96 brightness, good multipurpose paper. HP is part of the Forest Stewardship Council for sustainably harvested forests.

Cons: 20lb paper is thinner than some other options on this list.

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2. Hammermill Printer Paper, Premium Color 28 lb Copy Paper

This premium option from Hammermill is suited for color printing. It’s 100 bright, which is the brightest white. The paper is 28 pounds, adding a substantial heft for more professional print jobs. Plus, Hammermill works with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), so the paper comes from sustainably managed forests. The acid-free paper is also American-made.

Pros: 100 bright and 28 pounds, making this more vibrant and heavier than standard paper for more professional results. FSC-certified.

Cons: Some options may be less expensive.

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3. STAPLES Inkjet Paper Multipurpose Paper

This bright paper from Staples is available in either a single 500-sheet ream or in a bulk order. The 24-pound paper is 98 bright, so it’s a good option for professional presentations. The paper is acid-free for longevity, and it’s produced according to FSC standards for a more eco-friendly product. This is a five ream option.

Pros: 98 bright and 24 lbs making it vibrant and substantial. FSC-certified.

Cons: Some options may be less expensive.

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4. HP Printer Paper Premium32

Got a project where you need to impress? HP’s Premium32 is 32 pounds and 100 brightness, making for a vibrant, hefty sheet that you can use for heavier printing jobs. Six-packs are included, totaling 1,500 sheets. The made-in-the-US paper is acid-free, and HP is committed to 0% deforestation for their paper products. It’s also meant to keep color images vibrant on the page.

Pros: Hefty 32 pound paper with 100 brightness. Bulk size includes 1,500 sheets, or you can order a single 250 sheet order.

Cons: Some options may be less expensive.

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5. Hammermill Copy Paper

This affordable, made-in-the-US paper is advertised as being virtually jam-free. It is 92 Bright and has Colorlok technology for color printing, and Hammermill is also part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Pros: Part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Colorlok for color printing.

Cons: Some options are brighter.

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6. Printworks 100 Percent Recycled Multipurpose Paper

Printworks paper is made from waste from cups and food containers, and the paper is made from 100% post-consumer materials. The 20-pound paper is 92 bright, so it’s well suited for everyday print jobs where you might not need the brightest and heaviest paper. Each ream includes 400 sheets.

Pros: Eco-friendly option made from recycled food and beverage containers. Well suited for everyday jobs.

Cons: Paper comes wrapped in plastic, reducing how eco-friendly the product is.

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7. AmazonBasics Multipurpose Copy Printer Paper

This affordable multipurpose paper from Amazon is 20lbs and has a vibrant 92 brightness. It’s available in boxes between 1 and 10 reams, so it’s easy to quickly stock up. This paper will work in either inkjet or laser printers.

Pros: Affordable, and conveniently packaged.

Cons: Paper can be thin and prone to curling.

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