In 1972, the Polaroid SX-70 was so popular over 5000 cameras were produced each day to meet the market demands. The clear connection people have with physical photographs has continued on to this day, as evidenced by the rising popularity of the Fujifilm Instax. But there’s no denying the convenience of snapping a quick picture on your cell phone. With more and more of our memories being captured on our smartphones instead of traditional cameras, having one of the best portable photo printers can be useful.
Whether it’s for a school trip, work, or vacation, having the ability to print your digital memories on the go and create a physical keepsake that will last a lifetime is a great way to preserve a cherished moment.
We’ve taken the time to compile this list of the top portable photo printers so you can find the perfect device to save all your favorite memories for years to come.
Our Top Picks: Best Portable Photo Printers
Short on time? Here’s a quick overview:
|Best Overall: Canon IVY Mini. |
What is the best portable photo printer? Canon IVY mini delivers high-quality images directly from your favorite social media platform, all in the palm of your hand.
|Runner Up: Kodak Dock Plus. |
A little larger than other portable photo printers, but with a USB-C docking back-up for printing without Bluetooth connectivity.
|Best Budget: Kodak Mini 2. |
Reasonably priced with all the great features a portable photo printer should have.
|Best Quality: Fujifilm Instax SP-3. |
Sleekly designed printer with high-resolution, HD images for the professional photographer (or super picky crafter).
|Best for Classic Polaroid Pictures: Zink Polaroid Mint. |
Perfect for printing photos in that vintage, classic Polaroid style.
1. Canon IVY Mini
The best portable photo printer overall
Brand: Canon | Connectivity: Bluetooth/Mobile App | Dimensions: 4.7″ x 3.2″ x 0.7″ | Weight: 5.6 Ounces | Price: 💰
The Canon IVY’s sleek size, color variety, and features make it one of the best portable mobile photo printers on the market right now. As with most portable photo printers, the Canon IVY uses Zink printing and features 2×3 prints that double as stickers. The Canon IVY also has its own app for photo editing and customization. When your phone connects to the IVY, you’ll be able to print directly from social media. You can turn your Instagram masterpiece into a real-life photo!
The device itself is only slightly larger than the pictures it prints and is less than an inch thick. Meaning it can slip as easily into your back pocket as it can a bag or purse. And at just 5.6 ounces, you’ll barely know you’re carrying it!
- USB charging cable saves space by eliminating battery compartment
- Mobile app on your phone interacts with social media for direct printouts
- Photo paper is smudge-proof, tear-proof, water-resistant, and peel-and-stick on the back
- Darker photos may come out with not enough contrast, and reviewers recommend upping the brightness on photos before printing them
- Some reviewers noted connectivity issues when the printer was in range of multiple previously connected devices, but were able to resolve the issue by disabling Bluetooth on one device, so the printer only has one in range to connect to
2. Kodak Dock Plus
The best runner up portable photo printer
Brand: Kodak | Connectivity: USB-C Docking, Bluetooth/Mobile App | Dimensions: 7.87″ x 6.77″ x 5.67″ | Weight: N/A | Price: 💰💰💰
The Kodak Dock Plus is an incredibly powerful photo printer that takes second place on our list only due to size and price – and even those are still well within reason! In addition to wirelessly connecting your smartphone to the printer, the Kodak Dock Plus has a docking station with USB-C port to connect to your phone (iPhone users will need the included Lightning connector). This connection allows you a Bluetooth-free way of printing your photos; should you encounter any connectivity issues on either end. The printer itself is easy to refill and boasts a print time of fewer than 50 seconds per image!
- Dye-sub printing for unparalleled image quality
- Choose from multiple photo sizes to suit different applications
- Water, solar, and finger-print resistant photos will last a lifetime and never fade
- With larger photos, this printer doesn’t have the classic Polaroid feel
- As with most portable printers, you can only queue one photo at a time
3. Kodak Mini 2
The best budget portable photo printer
Brand: Kodak | Connectivity: Bluetooth/Mobile App, NFC | Dimensions: 1″ x 3″ x 5.2″ | Weight: 11.2 Ounces | Price: 💰💰
The Kodak Mini 2 is one of the least expensive portable photo printers available that still offers high-quality images and a user-friendly interface, making it the clear budget choice. Photos from this printer are marginally larger than prints from other similar Polaroid-sized printers (though not as big as the Kodak Dock Plus). The app for this particular printer has all the same editing features as other portable printer apps, with the bonus of being able to freeze still images from a video. D2T2 dye transfer method combines paper and color ink that dries instantly and lasts for up to a decade.
- Charges easily via included micro-USB cable
- Multiple fun color options to suit any preference
- Wallet-sized prints are slightly larger than standard Polaroid pictures
- Refill cartridges are not consistently available, and reviewers recommend stocking up whenever they are
- Some reviewers had trouble connecting the free app to Facebook and other social media platforms
4. Fujifilm Instax SP-3
The best quality portable photo printer
Brand: Fujifilm | Connectivity: Bluetooth/Mobile App | Dimensions: 6.1″ x 6.1″ x 3.7″ | Weight: 11 Ounces | Price: 💰💰
If near-perfect image quality and color matching are at the top of your list, then the Fujifilm Instax SP-3 stands out against its competition. Using the same Fujifilm you would use in their regular Instax cameras, you get instant sharp images in that classic Polaroid look (think thick white border and room for handwritten captions). As with most of the other portable photo printers on our list, the SP-3 connects via Wi-Fi with its free app. You can print directly from your phone, as well as through social media platforms. The printer itself is as attractive as the photos it produces, with sleek, geometric angles and both a black and white color option.
- Incredibly high-definition image resolution
- The square image ratio makes it perfect for printing Instagram pics
- Photos finish in a mere 13 seconds, much faster than most printers
- The free app interface isn’t as user-friendly as other printer apps
- Some reviewers wished that connections to the printer wouldn’t time out quite so fast
5. Zink Polaroid Mint
The best classic polaroid portable photo printer
Brand: Zink | Connectivity: Bluetooth/Mobile App | Dimensions: 4.5″ x 3.0″ x 0.7″ | Weight: 5.7 Ounces | Price: 💰💰💰💰
While a mini photo printer is a functional tool, there’s definitely a coolness factor that comes with instant pictures. There’s no denying that the classic Polaroid-style evokes a fun nostalgic feeling for a lot of people – including the lower image quality and generally “aged” look. The pictures are perfect for scrapbooking, hanging on the wall, or giving as gifts. The Zink Polaroid Mint takes this principle to heart. It’s reliable and super easy to use thanks to the free companion app (which also lets you edit, filter, and crop images before you print!). It’s important to note that images printed from this printer are designed to mimic the original Polaroid style. They aren’t meant to be crystal-clear or high-definition. But if old-fashioned is your cup of tea, then the Polaroid Mint is definitely for you!
Check out the Zink Polaroid Mint Instant Digital Camera, which allows you to take pictures and print them on the stop, just a real old-fashioned Polaroid camera!
- Classic Polaroid imaging for that fun, old-fashioned feel
- Rechargeable battery prints up to 50 pictures on one charge
- Sticky-backed photo paper is perfect for crafting, scrapbooking, and memory-keeping
- Some reviewers had issues connecting their printer to the app the first time but were able to use it seamlessly once they did
- Many reviewers noted the lower image quality, so if you aren’t interested in the vintage look, this printer probably isn’t for you
6. HP Sprocket
The best portable photo printer for events
Brand: HP | Connectivity: Bluetooth/Mobile App | Dimensions: 2.95″ x 4.57″ x 0.91″ | Weight: 6.2 Ounces | Price: 💰💰💰💰
The HP Sprocket has a lot of the same features that are pretty standard in portable photo printers:
- Zink-based printing (no need to worry about ink cartridges)
- Sticky-backed paper (to turn your memories into stickers for easy crafting and scrapbooking)
- And a free companion app (for easy photo editing and printing directly from your favorite social media platforms).
However, what makes this particular printer stand out from the rest is its ability to connect to more than one device at a time. This makes it the absolute best portable photo printer for events. All your guests can connect to one printer via the free app and print out their pictures of the day.
- Sleek design is as attractive as the pictures it prints
- Connects with multiple devices at once, perfect for printing event photos
- Simple micro-USB cable recharges battery faster than most other instant printers
- The printer doesn’t seem to be compatible with newer iPhone models
- Most reviewers noted that unaltered images would likely print darker than the original and recommend upping the brightness for best results
7. KiiPix Portable Photo Printer
The best non-digital portable photo printer
Brand: KiiPix | Connectivity: None | Dimensions: 5.50″ x 2.25″ x 6.25″ | Weight: 13 Ounces | Price: 💰
If you’d like to print photos the old-fashioned way – by exposing film – then the KiiPix Smartphone Picture Printer is the portable printer for you. This printer does not feature any connection whatsoever. Instead, you choose the picture you want, place the instant film in your printer, place your phone on top, and wait for your picture to finish exposing. While this means there aren’t as many features or capabilities as some of the fancier portable photo printers, it does have its advantages. For example, you don’t need any electricity, battery, or otherwise (other than powering your phone, of course). It’s also a fraction of the cost of digital printers, which makes it a great solution for those looking to print photos on a budget.
- Use your favorite photo editing app to print pictures your way
- Super compact, folding design is perfect for taking with you on the go
- Non-digital printing exposes film to your phone’s screen, so you can turn pretty much anything and everything into a physical photo
- Lots of reviewers agreed that this is fun as a novelty gift but not great for high-volume photo printing
- Some reviewers had trouble getting the film to expose properly, and recommended waiting a few minutes after opening the shutter to ensure the image has finished developing before winding out the film
What to Look For
When buying a portable photo printer, there are a few things you should know before you take the (picture perfect) plunge. The portable printer business is a competitive market, with many devices that are very similar to one another. The best portable photo printer depends a lot on your personal preferences.
Most portable photo printers will only print small, Polaroid-style pictures – roughly credit card sized. If you’re looking for large prints, you’re better off getting them from your local pharmacy or photo lab.
Most of the portable photo printers on this list use an app, so if you plan printing from your laptop, options are a bit more limited.
There is a range of ways to print photos. Traditionally, normal printers use ink, but when it comes to portable ones, that’s usually a terrible idea (think spilled ink all over your suitcase or soaking your purse). The best mini photo printer will use an alternative printing method, like Zink (Zero-ink) or dye-sublimation.
While the mini photo printer is designed to be small, they still come in different sizes and require different accessories to work. Be sure to consider how big and heavy the device is if you’re planning on taking it with you lots of places.