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. All of the options below are 20 lbs, which is reasonably dense but not too heavy (copier paper is measured in weight per 500 sheets). The paper is acid-free, the standard 8.5×11 size, and has a brightness of at least 92. These options are designed to hold up to basic print jobs and everyday tasks.
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 the most vibrant white of the paper featured on this list. If you’re printing images or flyers, the Colorlok technology is designed to produce vivid colors (though you may want to choose a denser 22 or 24, which you can do from the same Amazon listing).
Pros: 96 brightness, good multipurpose paper. HP is part of the Forest Stewardship Council for sustainably harvested forests.
Cons: Some found that the 20lb paper was thin.
2. 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: Some found that the paper is thin and prone to curling.
3. 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 reviewers found that the paper was occasionally shipped with partially unsealed packaging.