The 4 Best Shipping Label Printers – The Seller Journal (2022)

Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes trying to ship something to their customers knows that an exemplary shipping label printer makes or breaks the process. With the number of 4x6 label printers on the market, it can be daunting to figure out which suits your business’ needs the most. In this article, we’ll look at a handful of shipping label printers, identify which you should look at, and skip over.

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Skip to the end: my favorite all-around thermal shipping label printer is the Rollo X1040. Read my review or get one.

Why Use a Dedicated Thermal Shipping Label Printer

There’s an easy and understandable argument for using the printer you already have to print your 4x6 shipping labels. For most, that’s their existing inkjet or laser printer, printing onto 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets of paper and folding them in half.

The downside with this is mostly waste. Typically, this includes half of the paper sheet going to waste, and ink or toner is consumed more frequently. With a thermal shipping label printer, no ink is used, and in some cases, you can acquire entirely free shipping labels on which to print.

Pair that with any actual volume, and I’ll bet dollars to barcodes that the math would make a thermal printer real attractive quickly.

The 4 Best Shipping Label Printers – The Seller Journal (1)

The Best Shipping Label Printers

There are dozens of options on the market, depending on the budget and the volume of shipping labels you’ll need to print. I've broken down the list into the best printer for most folks, a WiFi alternative, the best roll-friendly printer, and the best non-WiFi and high-volume printers.

All of these printers are platform-agnostic, so any one of these could also be the best label printer for Mac or the best label printer for Windows.

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(Video) TOP 5: Best Thermal Printers For Shipping Labels | For Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, Etsy, etc

Having an excellent shipping label printer is nice, but to make your shipping processes sing, pair it with the best service for printing shipping labels. Check out our favorites.

Best Shipping Label Printer for Most People

The 4 Best Shipping Label Printers – The Seller Journal (2)

Rollo X1040 Wireless Thermal Label Printer

Buy from Rollo ($279)

I've long argued that the Rollo X1038 is the best bang for your buck. The Rollo X1040 belongs in this top spot because it's not just a superb printer–it's the successor to the X1038 featured below and does a great job carving out a spot in the WiFi-enabled thermal printer market, too. This is likely the best label printer for eBay sellers, Amazon sellers, or any small-to-medium business that ships product.

Adding Wi-Fi to an already excellent shipping label printer means putting it where it should be, even if there's no computer nearby. Skip the USB cables, the workstations, and everything else that was getting in the way. We think this is likely the best printer for small businesses and individuals. The Rollo X1040 nails wireless thermal printing, and for the price, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better.

Read the Full Review

Honorable Wi-Fi Mention: FreeX Wireless Shipping Label Printer

The 4 Best Shipping Label Printers – The Seller Journal (3)

FreeX Wireless Thermal Label Printer

Buy from FreeX ($299)

(Video) Budget Barcode Printer For Shipping Labels Amazon Flipkart - Xprinter XP470B

Before the Rollo X1040 was released, the FreeX was in a class of its own (check out my review here). After raising the price by a substantial amount (before any promotions or discounts), the FreeX started to look less attractive unless you're really into or need wireless printing. It's still a good unit, albeit not as quick over WiFi as the Rollo. Its defining capability is holding shipping labels inside itself, rather than out the back, creating a smaller footprint on your desk or work surface.

Read the Full Review

Best Shipping Label Printer for Low-Medium Volume Shippers with Limited Desk Space

One of the stalwarts in the industry, Dymo is known as the go-to for many users. Unlike the rest of the shipping label printers on this list, it’s easy to find Dymo printers, with the Dymo 4XL existing in most retail office supply stores across the United States and Canada. I’m a Dymo user (I have the 450 Turbo for addresses and SKU labels) and greatly enjoy the quality. The quality carries over into the larger 4″ x 6″ label size, too.

(Video) The Best Wireless Thermal Label Printer for at Home Businesses? Brother QL-1110NWB Review

Under the category of address label printers, the 4XL prints just as well as the smaller units. Its larger size means it can hold larger address label rolls, too. If you're looking for dual-purpose, the 4XL could be the best address-label printer on this list.

The Dymo software is decent. It’s nothing I would write home about, so to speak, but I also believe that for most of us, we wouldn’t be using the Dymo software most of the time, if at all, anyway.

👏🏻

Related: Once you have a Dymo, here's how to set it up quickly on a Mac.

My biggest qualm with the Dymo 4XL is the price. If you can find one new in the box from an authorized reseller, it's hard to beat the value you get from this internal-roll-fed thermal printer.

A potential downside for some: the Dymo 4XL shipping label printer doesn’t support feeding shipping labels from outside the printer like more commercial-oriented units like the Zebra ZP-450. Only label rolls that can fit inside the printer are supported, which takes larger, bulk-quantity label rolls off the supplies list, adding to the cost. If you often rock 1000-sheet rolls, grab yourself a holder and either of the Rollos on this list instead.

Best Shipping Label Printer For Low-Medium Volume Shippers

The 4 Best Shipping Label Printers – The Seller Journal (5)

(Video) Munbyn Shipping Label Printer Review

Rollo X1038 Thermal Label Printer

Buy from Rollo ($179)

I put the Rollo X1038 on the list not because it’s an underdog that’ll blow all these other printers away–it is, frankly–but because it’s just straight good, and a just straight good printer is often enough for a lot of folks. Its price is also hyper-competitive compared to the Dymo, so it’s hard not to look at it as a viable alternative.

At roughly 75% of the price of the Dymo 4XL and even less compared to some others, it’s an attractive entry point into the thermal-printing space. It’s also an exciting format in its rectangular shape and convenient feed mechanism (in the back, out the front). However, this also means that you’ll find yourself getting a holder of some kind for those with rolls, which adds about 30$ to the cost. The Rollo is designed for fan-fold shipping labels since they can sit nicely behind the printer without additional support or hardware.

The Rollo X1038 shipping label printer is compatible with every shipping solution that would work with anything else on this list, making it an excellent option for those that see the higher-priced printers on this list and have a hard time finding extra value in the higher-price tags.

Best Shipping Label Printer for High-Volume Shippers

The ZT series is a big boy, a chunk of a printer, but its heft and bulk translate into a real thermal printing machine. While it’s twice the price (most of the time) of the GC/GK-series Zebra printers, it’s also by far the most capable.

Side-loading of shipping label rolls is standard, as well as a blistering 6″/second print speed. For those doing the math at home, that’s one label per second. This shipping label printer also boasts a higher DPI print quality at 300dpi, meaning labels come with better detail, and those barcodes will be even more crisp, giving beaten-up barcode scanners less of an excuse to work right.

If you order your shipping labels by the 1000s, you’ll be pleased to see that 8″ rolls are supported. Specifically, for those that get their labels from UPS, the massive label roll they send you will fit snugly inside without issue. The ZT230 supports all the label feed formats: continuous, die-cut, hole, and black-mark.

(Video) Review of MUNBYN thermal printer - how to print thermal stickers and shipping labels for small biz

I wasn’t joking when I said it’s a big one. At 20 lbs, it’ll need a nice, sturdy place to sit.

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FAQs

What is the best label printer for shipping labels? ›

11 Best Shipping Label Printers [2022 Best Sellers]
  • Comparison of Popular Label Printers.
  • #1) DYMO Label Printer.
  • #2) Rollo Label Printer.
  • #3) MUNBYN Thermal Label Printer.
  • #4) Arkscan 2054A Label Printer.
  • #5) Brother QL-800.
  • #6) K Comer Label Printer.
  • #7) MFLABEL Label Printer.
4 days ago

What is the best label printer for Royal Mail Click and drop? ›

The most commonly used printer for Royal Mail Click & Drop is the Zebra GK420d thermal label printer.

Which company Thermal printer is best? ›

Best thermal printers in 2022
  1. Dymo LabelWriter 4XL Label Maker. ...
  2. Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo Label Maker. ...
  3. Brother PT-P710BT Label Maker. ...
  4. Brother VC-500W Label Maker. ...
  5. Munbyn Desktop Thermal Label Printer. ...
  6. Epson TM-T20II Direct Thermal Printer. ...
  7. Brother QL-1100 Wide Format. ...
  8. Zebra GK420d Direct Thermal Desktop Printer.
5 days ago

What's the difference between a label maker and a label printer? ›

A label printer is a computer printer that prints on self-adhesive label material and/or card-stock (tags). A label printer with built-in keyboard and display for stand-alone use (not connected to a separate computer) is often called a label maker.

What is the best thermal printer for shipping? ›

The Dymo LabelWriter 4XL is one of the highest-rated thermal label printers for e-commerce sellers – that's everyone from Etsy sellers to those with small shops and websites. It's simple to set up and compact in size, producing crisp and clear labels every time with its high resolution of 300dpi.

Do label makers run out of ink? ›

None of the Dymo LabelMakers use ink, they just use the self contained tape cartridges. If the print starts to fade this is almost always an indication that the batteries need replacing.

Do label printers need ink? ›

It does not use any ribbon, ink or toner, but it requires a special type of heat-sensitive material that blackens when heat is applied. Because the label material is heat sensitive, it fades and the label can become hard to read and scan over time.

Is click and drop cheaper than Post Office? ›

Letters cost the same whether you're buying your postage online, over the counter at a Post Office or using postage stamps. If you're sending one or hundreds of small or medium parcels, you can find lower postage prices online with Click & Drop® at send.royalmail.com.

How long are click and drop labels valid for? ›

Click & Drop extension. You don't need to worry anymore as Royal Mail are giving you 7 calendar days to get your parcels sent off after labels have been printed.

Do you get proof of postage with Click and drop? ›

Posting Royal Mail Click and Drop Orders

Your item is small enough to fit through a letter box. You have selected a non-tracked service. You do not require proof of postage.

Which printers are best? ›

  • Epson M100 Printer. The Epson M100 printer is a high-quality printer that is durable and efficient. ...
  • Canon imageCLASS LBP2900B Laser Printer. ...
  • HP Laserjet Pro M126nw Laser Printer. ...
  • Brother HL-L2321D Laser Printer. ...
  • Epson Eco Tank L3250 All-in-One Ink Tank Printer. ...
  • HP Laserjet 108A. ...
  • Brother DCP-L2541DW. ...
  • Canon MF3010 Laser Printer.

How do I choose a thermal printer? ›

How to choose a good thermal label printer
  1. Print Method. The print method affects the quality of your print. ...
  2. Future-Proofing and Connectivity. A slow printer is irritating and wastes time. ...
  3. The Label Software. ...
  4. Print Resolution. ...
  5. Compatibility. ...
  6. Use of the Label. ...
  7. Print Volume. ...
  8. Label Size.
14 Aug 2020

Is thermal printing better than inkjet? ›

The Difference Between Thermal Transfer and Inkjet Printing

While inkjet printers generate very high-quality images, thermal printing images tend to be of a higher quality with better color saturation. Thermal transfer printers are more durable because they have fewer moving parts than inkjet printers.

Are Brother Label Printers good? ›

With its quality output, speedy printing, and solid feature set, the Brother P-touch Cube Plus is an excellent-value label printer for homes and small offices.

Can you print shipping labels on a regular printer? ›

You can print shipping labels with a regular printer, whether you have a laser or inkjet! It is important to note that these serve mainly as alternatives to the traditional printers only for printing shipping labels.

What is the best Brother label printer? ›

The Brother – P-touch PT-D600 was by far the best overall label maker. It can do the most out of any “standard” label maker (non-computer) with eight different font sizes and six different tape widths.

How do I print shipping labels? ›

Stamps.com - How to Print USPS Shipping Labels - YouTube

Do thermal labels fade? ›

Because it uses heat-sensitive materials, direct thermal labels do not have a long shelf-life, usually lasting around six to eight months. They have a tendency to scratch easily, and overexposure to direct sunlight or high temperatures will cause the print to fade faster.

What is the difference between thermal printer and laser printer? ›

A laser printer goes through a series of rollers and path changes wherein heat infuses the image onto paper. A thermal printer typically has a short, straight path where the special thermal paper is introduced to the thermal print head and the heat causes the image to appear.

Will USPS give me a label printer? ›

The U.S. Postal Service offers a free printing service for shipping labels, called Click-N-Ship. This service is available to anyone who needs to print a shipping label, regardless of whether they are a small business owner or an individual customer.

How long does a thermal printer last? ›

Since thermal printers have few moving parts, less things break and they are easy to maintain. Thermal printer printheads last about 10 years on average.

Why is my thermal printer faded? ›

Incorrect heat settings

If the heat settings are too low, the opposite will happen and you will have a faded image. Having the correct heat settings will make sure that your label is printed correctly, and remove potential problems in scanning and reading barcodes.

Do thermal printers need special paper? ›

Thermal printers need special papers because it is an inkless mechanism that uses heat to create imprints. In the case of direct thermal printers, the papers contain heat-sensitive pigments. The heat from the hot printheads of direct thermal printers activates these pigments to make imprints on the paper.

Is thermal transfer better than direct thermal? ›

Generally speaking, thermal transfer labels will last longer and be able to withstand moisture, abrasion, and exposure to UV better than direct thermal labels. Direct thermal labels are a great choice when the labels ae used in controlled environments for simpler applications that have a short life span.

What are the disadvantages of a thermal printer? ›

The biggest disadvantages of thermal printers are that they tend to be more expensive than regular printers, you need to purchase thermal paper, they have color limitations, thermal labels fade overtime, and print heads can get damaged by heat and they are expensive to replace.

Can you use normal paper for thermal printing? ›

However, the answer to this question is “ no”. Thermal paper is the only media that can be used in thermal printer. Because the working principle of thermal printer is that its printing head heats the thermal paper impregnated with a chemical to generate pictures or characters.

Is it cheaper to print your own postage? ›

If you need to print batches of address labels—or shipping labels, if you're running a business—it's almost certainly less expensive to print them yourself. We'll explore some common options and help you decide what's best for your needs.

How can I lower my postage costs? ›

Top 10 Tips for Reducing Shipping and Postage Costs
  1. Use a postage meter. ...
  2. Don't assume your business is too small for a postage system or shipping solution. ...
  3. Stop hand folding/stuffing envelopes. ...
  4. Verify address integrity on your mailing and shipping. ...
  5. Negotiate with carriers and check your bill.
28 Feb 2017

Is it cheaper to print postage online? ›

Cost savings: If you're using PitneyShip to print postage directly on shipping labels, you can find substantial savings—up to 40% off of USPS® commercial rates. If you're using it to print your own stamps, you'll still get a discount, paying just 50 cents for a first-class stamp (currently 55 cents through USPS®).

What size are shipping labels? ›

The USPS preferred label size is the shipping industry standard of 4x6 inches. Because a single standard size isn't practical for all packages, shipping labels also come in 6x3 inch and a 4x6 inch sizes.

Can you add postage to a prepaid label? ›

You can ADD stamps for extra postage. The only time you MUST physically hand over the package at a Post Office would be if it is over 13 oz and has ONLY postage stamps affixed! Mixed postage should be fine. Thank you both for the replies.

What size are mailing labels? ›

Couriers have different shipping label specifications but the standard size is 4” x 6”. It is best to check with your chosen delivery service to make sure that you create a shipping label of the right size.

What counts as proof of postage? ›

This could be your receipt or certificate of posting if you sent something at the Post Office. If you received the item, you can use the packaging with the postmark on. If the item was sent by post box and lost in the post, you won't usually have proof of posting - this means you can't get compensation.

Can proof of postage be tracked? ›

You can only track an item if you've bought a service that includes a tracking or reference number. If not, you can't use proof of postage to track your item.

Is certificate of posting free? ›

You can request a free 'proof of posting' at the Post Office when you hand over your letter or parcel for posting.

What is the easiest printer to set up and use? ›

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e is likely to be the easiest printer you've ever had to set up, and that alone is enough to recommend it.

What printer uses the least amount of ink? ›

Ink Efficient Printers at a Glance
  • HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 All-in-One Inkjet.
  • HP® OfficeJet Pro 9015 All-in-One Inkjet.
  • Epson® ET-2750 EcoTank Ink Tank.
  • Brother® MFC-J805DW Inkvestment Ink Tank.
  • Canon PIXMA G5020 MegaTank Ink Tank.
5 Jul 2022

How long does a printer last? ›

The average lifespan of a printer is around 3-5 years. With proper upkeep and maintenance, some printers can last longer, but eventually your machine will need an upgrade.

Do thermal label printers use ink? ›

Direct thermal printers work by creating images directly on the printed material without using a ribbon, toner or ink. Instead, this method uses chemically treated, heat-sensitive media that blackens when it passes under the thermal printhead.

Do thermal printers print color? ›

Thermal printers are a quick and efficient way to get documents, pictures, presentations, and more printed up. They can print in color, won't fade over time, and can print onto a variety of materials, not just paper.

How do you use a thermal printer for shipping labels? ›

How to Print Anything on a 4'x6' Thermal Label - ClickShip - YouTube

Can thermal printers print photos? ›

Photographs: Thermal printers cannot print high-quality photographs, making inkjet printers the ideal solution.

Does thermal ink smudge? ›

But even though the images are clear, any moisture or humidity could cause damage to the photo; the ink can easily smudge. Thermal printing offers a glossy, protective finish that is more durable, although in some cases the ink can be scraped off.

Are thermal labels water proof? ›

That said, there are weatherproof thermal labels that can withstand short-term use for shipping. These labels will fade after a few months, but they're fine for the days or weeks it takes to go from your factory to the end user. Industrial thermal transfer printing should be waterproof.

Can a regular printer print shipping labels? ›

You can print mailing labels on any printer.

Will USPS give me a label printer? ›

The U.S. Postal Service offers a free printing service for shipping labels, called Click-N-Ship. This service is available to anyone who needs to print a shipping label, regardless of whether they are a small business owner or an individual customer.

What is the best thermal printer for shipping? ›

The Dymo LabelWriter 4XL is one of the highest-rated thermal label printers for e-commerce sellers – that's everyone from Etsy sellers to those with small shops and websites. It's simple to set up and compact in size, producing crisp and clear labels every time with its high resolution of 300dpi.

How do I print out a shipping label? ›

Stamps.com - How to Print USPS Shipping Labels - YouTube

Is it cheaper to print your own shipping labels? ›

If you need to print batches of address labels—or shipping labels, if you're running a business—it's almost certainly less expensive to print them yourself.

Do I need special paper to print shipping labels? ›

The online shipping labels can easily be printed on regular 8 1/2" x 11" paper or, if they prefer, self-adhesive labels. So no special equipment or supplies are needed.

Is thermal printing better than inkjet? ›

The Difference Between Thermal Transfer and Inkjet Printing

While inkjet printers generate very high-quality images, thermal printing images tend to be of a higher quality with better color saturation. Thermal transfer printers are more durable because they have fewer moving parts than inkjet printers.

How can I get free shipping labels? ›

To order free labels, boxes, and envelopes online: Go to The Postal Store® at www.usps.com/shop and select “Supplies” – OR - move your cursor over “Shop” in the top navigation and select “Shipping Supplies.”

How do I get free thermal labels from UPS? ›

Once you have your UPS.com ID, you will need to call UPS to get your free UPS thermal printer. You can call the UPS customer service center on 1-800-742-5877 or use 1-800-833-0056 if you are hearing impaired and need TTY/TDD access.

Are UPS labels free? ›

All Your Shipping Supplies in One Place

Get free UPS shipping supplies including packaging, forms and labels. Log in or create a new username to start your order.

How do I choose a thermal printer? ›

How to choose a good thermal label printer
  1. Print Method. The print method affects the quality of your print. ...
  2. Future-Proofing and Connectivity. A slow printer is irritating and wastes time. ...
  3. The Label Software. ...
  4. Print Resolution. ...
  5. Compatibility. ...
  6. Use of the Label. ...
  7. Print Volume. ...
  8. Label Size.
14 Aug 2020

What is the difference between thermal printer and laser printer? ›

A laser printer goes through a series of rollers and path changes wherein heat infuses the image onto paper. A thermal printer typically has a short, straight path where the special thermal paper is introduced to the thermal print head and the heat causes the image to appear.

Are thermal printers worth it? ›

Is A Thermal Printer Worth It? Thermal printers are worth investing in if you run a small business. They may be quite expensive to purchase, but the running costs will make up for the extra expense on purchase. More so, they will make things easier for you because they are easy to operate.

Can I make my own shipping label? ›

All that you need to create and print USPS shipping labels is a computer, a printer and access to the USPS website or a service like PitneyShip. Not only can you create and print your own USPS shipping labels online, you can also request package pickups and save yourself a trip to the post office.

Can you make shipping labels at home? ›

With USPS.com, your Post Office is where you are. To start Click-N-Ship® service, sign in to or sign up for a free USPS.com account. Follow the steps to enter your package details, pay for postage, and print your shipping label. It's that easy to Pay, Print & Ship®!

Can I handwrite a shipping label? ›

Can I handwrite a shipping label? You can handwrite the shipping address (as long as it's eligible), but you will still need a carrier barcode, which needs to be generated by the carrier. Depending on the volume of orders you're fulfilling, handwriting shipping addresses can become time-consuming.

Videos

1. How to Make Stickers For Your Business With Rollo Thermal Printer! Small Business Stickers
(Angela Jasmina)
2. Best way to ship & Pack Orders at Home | Munbyn Thermal Label Printer Business Setup
(Katrina's Graceful Creations)
3. Quick Tips for Sellers by eBay: Printing a Label
(ebay)
4. Stickers VS Labels - Label printer and printing stickers.
(Print Shop Talk)
5. How to Fix Thermal Shipping Label Printing Sideways and Small, 4x6 on Poshmark Etsy eBay Mercari
(thecollegepicker)
6. Cheap Label Printing Options Without A Rollo Zebra Or Thermal Printer
(The Auction Professor)

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