Photo Paper for Inkjet Printers (2023)

Photo Quality Inkjet Papers

We are selective, particular, and exact in the curation of our photo printing paper products. There are no bad photo papers here - we have made sure of it by listening to exactly what you need AND want. Our proprietary collection coupled with other best-of-the-best print products makes up a collective blank canvas for you to use - from glossy papers for printing your own photos and artwork, to cards and specialty stocks. As creators, be it through the lens, a brush, a story, or a plan, you hold a mirror to the world and defy time to make sure a moment or memory is saved forever.

How to Choose the Best Photo Paper

For optimal results printing photos and images, the first step is to decide whether you prefer a matte photo paper, semigloss, metallic or glossy paper finish for a more vibrant image. If you are new to printing and want to try a variety, we recommend that you first order our sample kits. Once you have an idea of what type of surface you like photos printed with, select the weight that you want that will work well with your printer. Smaller front-feed printers should only use paper that is lighter than 60lb/230gsm while top or back feed inkjet printers are designed to handle heavier papers. If you want further recommendations, check out our Shop by Printer and Shop by Project pages.

Red River Inkjet Paper vs Retail Brands

With Red River Paper, you get inks, products and supplies that are as good as or better than the major retail brands like Epson, Canon, and HP at a great price. We buy our papers from some of the same sources as the big names. The difference is that our brand brings the paper direct to you with only one stop on the way from the paper mill - our manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas. You’ll find a range of paper products available such as glossy photo paper, metallic finish, archival grade satin, double sided and many more.

Photo paper from Red River Paper is carefully chosen to meet not only our standards and level of detail, but yours as well. We print test with many, if not all, of the inkjet printer models available from Epson, Canon, and HP. Not sure which paper you need?

(Video) Best Photo Paper for Inkjet Printers - 2022

Compare our quality, service, support, and shipping speed and you will love buying from our Red River store. Don’t believe us? Check out a few of our customer reviews below.

Guide to Photo Paper Finishes

Not all types of inkjet paper are the same. This sounds obvious, but you might be surprised by how many questions we receive about the difference between satin and matte, or matte finish and art paper, paper brightness, etc. Because it is so important to consider which surface will make your projects look their best, we're going to look at each type of inkjet paper, and what types of images are suited to each.

You can think of this as the 40,000 foot view of the different paper types, and what you should know about each choosing one for different types of projects.

Editor's Note: There are thousands of subjects, genres, and topics of interest in the world of photography. Our take on the different types of inkjetpaper finishes and best images takes years of customer feedback and printing into account. However, we will never say you should not use one finish or another for printing photos. The choice is ultimately yours to make and enjoy.

Satin / Luster

Satin and luster are the most popular kinds of inkjet paper and represent the "universal" photo, the vast majority of lab prints worldwide are printed on these surfaces.

(Video) How to Choose the Best Photo Paper for Inkjet Printer

Most other subjects benefit from the satin finish because the slightly textured surfaces lower reflectivity while maintaining good saturation and detail. Portraits are a popular genre for this surface. Digital cameras tend to capture every detail, some in high.

While images are still sharp, they have reduced hyper-detail and help mask some imperfections in skin and body features.

Try These with Satin / Luster

  • Most image subjects
  • Portraits
  • Landscapes
  • Scenics
  • Various B&W subjects


Because glossy paper is highly reflective, colors can appear more saturated and bold. The smooth finish also helps print look slightly sharper. However, reflections from polished surfaces can be distracting and actually reduce the viewer's ability to see all of the details in an image. Competition prints for the Professional Photographers of America are often with a highly glossy finish under special lighting conditions.

Pictures to Try with Glossy


  • fashion,
  • car photography
  • aircraft,
  • high contrast images
  • head shots
  • high contrast black & white

Photo Metallic

Metallic paper is a close equivalent to the look of photo lab metallic such as the Kodak Endura™ and Fuji Pearl™ processes. The surface features a high glossy finish, pearlescent look that yields an elegant iridescence in your images.

Metallic paper is much more versatile than many customers think at first. Images from flowers to waterfalls to custom motorcycles look great. We recommend you give it a try!

Pictures to Try with Metallic

  • Planes, trains, and automobiles
  • Images with reflections
  • Bold colors
  • High contrast black & white
  • Flowers
  • Black &white portraits


    Matte paper is the go-to media for graphic design, artwork reproduction, architecture, landscapes, black and white, and lower contrast images. No reflection or gloss means that details are the primary focus of the print. This type of paper is available in many weights and double-sided versions. That makes it attractive for book and portfolio production.

    Special Notes

    (Video) 5 MINUTES INKJET TRANSFER technique for BEGINNERS // Any surface! // no rubbing paper

    Pigments do not fully sink into the coating and are therefore subject to abrasion, scratching, and offsetting to a much larger degree than gloss, satin or semigloss media. Sprays, laminate, and interleaving sheets solve the problems presented by matte with pigment inks.

    Pictures to Try Printing with Matte

    • Art prints
    • Graphic design
    • Landscapes
    • Nature and wildlife
    • Flowers
    • Lower contrast images
    • Artistic black & white

    Digital Fine Art

    This inkjet paper (made with 100% cotton rag) can have a smooth or textured finish. You can print any subject on this type because art is a bit subjective. The point of this media is to add one of the following to your work: depth (surface texture), warmth (most art paper is a warm white), or cache from the feel or the brand name of the paper. Nature, fine art portraits, artwork, and black & white are often printed on cotton art.

    This class of inkjet paper can have a matte or reflective coating. The earlier has no gloss or sheen. Reflective finishes are typically semi gloss or satin and not overly glossy. Matte uses black pigment inks while the reflective stock uses Photo Black pigment inks. Papers with reflective surfaces have more dynamic range - deeper color saturation and black density. Your choice depends on the look, feel, and mood you desire for your image.

    Try Printing These With Art Paper

    (Video) #1 Basic Photo Printing Series The Ink Jet Printer!

    • Fine art - paintings, drawings, etc.
    • Nature & wildlife
    • Portraits
    • Black & white
    • Abstract subjects


    Any of a wide variety of other papers made from substrates other than tree or cotton fiber. Images with softer contrast, delicate feel, or more subtle content might work well with these. Inkjet papers made from recycled content, bamboo, mulberry, and rice papers are all in this category. Because this type of printer paper is specialized, the photographer is likely to first seek a "special media" for a specific print project or piece, therefore,recommendations of type are difficult.

    Pictures to Try Printing with Specialty

    • Your choice

    In addition to our leading paper combination, customers can also find a wealth of print and ink resources including reviews of the best photo printers from Canon, Epson and HP as well as guides covering inkjet and laser printers.


    Can all inkjet printers print on photo paper? ›

    Specialist photo printers (opens in new tab) often use more inks than a general-purpose inkjet, to get the soft graduations of color you expect from a photographic image, but with clever mixing of their limited inks, any inkjet printer can produce a decent photographic print, at least up to A4 size (opens in new tab).

    What is the best paper to use for printing photos? ›

    The Best Photo Papers Of 2021
    1. Canon Photo Paper Pro Platinum. Surface finish: Smooth gloss. ...
    2. Canon Luster Photo Paper Letter. ...
    3. CanonInk Photo Paper Plus Glossy II. ...
    4. HP Premium Plus Photo Paper Glossy. ...
    5. HP Photo Paper Advanced Glossy. ...
    6. HP Inkjet Photo Paper Everyday Glossy. ...
    7. Epson Premium Photo Paper Glossy. ...
    8. HP Sprocket Photo Paper.

    Can I use any photo paper in my printer? ›

    Laser photo paper needs to withstand heat and inkjet photo paper needs to absorb relatively large quantities of liquid ink. As an exception to the rule, so called “normal” printing paper, such as 80, 90 or 100gsm bond papers (or similar), can be printed on both laser and inkjet printers.

    Does a printer use more ink on photo paper? ›

    It takes much more ink to give proper photo settings on photo paper as compared to plain paper. Using plain paper draft settings is likely to result in an unusable photo paper page, ruining a $1 sheet of photo paper to save a $0.20 worth of ink - not a good tradeoff.

    Is inkjet paper the same as photo paper? ›

    Inkjet photo papers, also known as photography paper or picture paper, are coated making them absorb ink neatly unlike the regular printer paper that is uncoated and bleeds to the other side.

    Are inkjet printers good for photos? ›

    Inkjet printers also tend to be better suited for printing photos, and some inkjets even include special photo cartridges to give you an even better color reproduction. We've tested over 125 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best photo printers you can buy.

    Does it matter what photo paper you use? ›

    Print quality depends on many things like the printer and its capacity, resolution, and compatibility. But, the most crucial factor that influences the final outcome is the paper. If you don't choose the right paper, your photos won't look good. High-quality paper absorbs the right amount of ink.

    How do I print photos on an inkjet printer? ›

    How to Print Professional Photos at Home (Inkjet Printer) - YouTube

    What type of paper is used for photos? ›

    There are four common types of photo paper: glossy paper, matte paper, satin/semi-gloss paper, and luster/pearl paper. Glossy paper creates a vivid, shiny look, plus it's cheap, which is why you'll often find casual photo albums filled with glossy prints.

    Can you print photos on normal printer? ›

    You can, in theory, use almost any home printer to create black-and-white or color prints. Most printer software products include custom settings that will change the resolution of your print job to make them near perfect for photos.

    How do you use glossy photo paper in a printer? ›

    How to Print on Glossy Paper : Photographer Tips - YouTube

    Why do my photos look different when printed? ›

    This is because screens and printed images are fundamentally different things: a screen displays images by directly emitting light while a print reflects the ambient light.

    How can I print a picture without wasting ink? ›

    10 Tips to Save on Ink When Printing (Without Sacrificing Quality)
    1. Know your printer. Do you know how many pages a single cartridge will last in your printer? ...
    2. Buy in bulk. ...
    3. Go “Instant” ...
    4. Optimize output. ...
    5. Choose grayscale. ...
    6. Pick the right font. ...
    7. Opt for single color cartridges. ...
    8. Print with care.
    Jul 13, 2018

    Does glossy photo paper use more ink? ›

    In general glossy paper will require more ink than plain inkjet paper.

    Is it better to print photos matte or glossy? ›

    If you are planning on displaying your photo prints behind glass, a matte finish is definitely the best choice. Not only will matte photos not stick to the glass of photo frame, but they will also reflect less light, making them much more enjoyable to look at.

    How long does inkjet photo paper last? ›

    Pigment inkjet prints on archival quality paper could last with no visible fading for 75 - 400+ years, depending on quality of framing and display conditions. Silver gelatin fiber prints properly processed, framed, and displayed could last several hundred years or more.

    What is inkjet photo paper? ›

    Inkjet photo paper. Photo paper is inkjet paper specifically for printing photographs. It is a bright white due to bleaching or pigments such as titanium dioxide, and has been coated with a highly absorbent material that limits diffusion of the ink. Highly refined clay is a common coating to prevent ink spread.

    Do you need special ink for photo paper? ›

    The ink must have the right viscosity for the type of printer you use, and the paper must have exactly the right level of absorbency to accept the ink and be able to prevent it from spreading. The paper must also be the right thickness for the printer's feed-in system.

    Which inkjet printer is best for photos? ›

    In our testing and review of dozens of printers, we found that the best photo printer overall is the Canon Pixma TR8620, one of our favorite all-in-one inkjet printers. It boasts an expanded color palette, with a five-cartridge design that adds pigment black ink for better color and subtle hues.

    What is the difference between photo printer and inkjet printer? ›

    In the end we can say that both home and professional photo printers use the same inkjet-based quality, but the professional ones differ in that they have more ink cartridges and can print at higher resolutions. But if you are not a professional, then go for inkjet printers.

    Does photo paper make a difference? ›

    Naturally, photo paper is too expensive to use for the everyday sort of printing, even if the quality is decidedly higher. There are different grades of ordinary printing paper that can give some of the benefits of photo paper (cleaner, clearer images; brighter color; cleaner text) but at cheaper rates.

    What is the best paper for inkjet printer? ›

    This type of paper is compatible with most inkjet printers, and it's thick enough for smudge-free inkjet printing.
    • Best Overall: HP Printer Paper, Premium24. ...
    • Best Multi-purpose Paper: Hammermill Premium Multipurpose Paper. ...
    • Best for Inkjet Photos: Kodak Ultra Premium Photo Paper.
    Jun 1, 2022

    Can any printer print on glossy paper? ›

    In short, yes, laser printers can print on glossy coated paper. As long as the right type of paper is used to allow the toner to fuse with it, great printing effects on glossy paper can be achieved with any laser printer.

    How do I print a 4x6 photo paper? ›

    When the photo looks right, choose "Print" from the File menu. Click on "Print Size" in the Printer window to choose a size for your photo. You can choose both 3x5 and 4x6 in addition to other sizes. Choose your layout on the left side of the Print menu.

    How do I print a 4x6 photo paper on my HP printer? ›

    Open the print settings, and then select 4x6" 2-Sided (iOS) or 4x6" Two-Sided (Android). Change any other print settings, such as color and print quality, and then click Print.

    Can all printers print on glossy paper? ›

    As long as the right type of paper is used to allow the toner to fuse with it, great printing effects on glossy paper can be achieved with any laser printer.

    Can I use photo paper on my HP printer? ›

    Use HP photo paper: HP photo papers are optimized for use with inkjet printers and provide quality prints for craft projects or framing. Take high resolution photos: Higher resolution photographs result in clearer, more vibrant prints.

    What is the difference between a photo printer and a regular printer? ›

    Conclusion. In the end we can say that both home and professional photo printers use the same inkjet-based quality, but the professional ones differ in that they have more ink cartridges and can print at higher resolutions. But if you are not a professional, then go for inkjet printers.

    Do you need special ink for photo paper? ›

    The ink must have the right viscosity for the type of printer you use, and the paper must have exactly the right level of absorbency to accept the ink and be able to prevent it from spreading. The paper must also be the right thickness for the printer's feed-in system.


    1. How to use a INKJET printer with Mod Podge EASY TUTORIAL
    (Our Upcycled Life)
    2. Choosing the best paper for printing your own photos
    (Keith Cooper)
    3. 3 Awesome Inkjet Papers for Photographers - 2021- Best Inkjet Papers (In my opinion)
    (Gary Hughes)
    4. Which Paper is Best for Photo Prints?
    (Brendan van Son)
    5. Question of the Day - Can you decoupage an inkjet photo print?
    (Quicksilver Photo Lab)
    6. Best printing paper | Best photo paper for inkjet printers
    (Jaysan Chhatrala)
    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

    Last Updated: 02/12/2023

    Views: 6220

    Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

    Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

    Birthday: 2001-01-17

    Address: Suite 769 2454 Marsha Coves, Debbieton, MS 95002

    Phone: +813077629322

    Job: Real-Estate Executive

    Hobby: Archery, Metal detecting, Kitesurfing, Genealogy, Kitesurfing, Calligraphy, Roller skating

    Introduction: My name is Gov. Deandrea McKenzie, I am a spotless, clean, glamorous, sparkling, adventurous, nice, brainy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.