4x6 photo printers

Best 4×6 Photo Printers for Printing Photos at Home

by Jane Melcher
Updated on

Photos do have a tangible connection with our memories. When we catch hold of and look at a photo connected to our past, we get to think of most small details about it. Be it good, better or the best, every memory has something to contribute to our lives. So, if you're fond of preserving memories and pondering them in the latter part of life, the best 4x6 photo printers should be the perfect gift for you. Besides, be it memory shots, competition entries, or professional images, you can print any photo instantly these days with these high-quality printers.

Why Would You Need a Photo Printer?

A photo printer is an inkjet printer, though it can be a thermal dye printer, which can print quality digital photos and other vibrant color projects. The appeal of printing pictures instantly, together with the drop in digital camera prices, has attracted most people to buy instant photo printers. Besides, when talking about photo printers, it's primarily about snapshot printers and near-dedicated printers that are built for and marketed to the photo set.

Besides, most office all-in-one and inkjet-based home printers print great photos. Though you can do photo printing on other types of printers, some of them are photo-focused; they're more general-use printers than the printers we are focusing on. Now that we understand why you need a photo printer, let's look at the best options.

Which is the best 4x6 photo printers?

1. Kodak Dock Plus 4x6" 2021 Portable Instant Photo Printer

Kodak Dock Plus 4x6” Portable Instant Photo Printer, Compatible with iOS, Android and Bluetooth...
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Kodak Dock Plus 4x6” Portable Instant Photo Printer, Compatible with iOS, Android and Bluetooth...
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The Kodak Dock Plus Portable 4x6 Instant Printer is the best option for those always on the go. Adventurers and travelers would love a printer where you can instantly print out your photos and share them with your friends; Kodak Dock Portable Photo Printer allows you to do exactly that. The 4x6 instant printer usually creates the standard 4×6 size of photos, preserves your memories forever, and keeps your albums updated with the latest clicks. Additionally, the printer features a top-mounted dock where you can connect your smartphone and print directly. Plus, the dock support iOS and Android devices.

The Kodak Dock 4x6 Instant Photo Printer features an external cable port for connecting large tablets if you have a table instead. Also, despite being compact and small, it has Wi-Fi Direct functionality; therefore, you can connect your devices and print directly through the network. Also, it offers flash disk support, so you can save up your photos on a memory stick and print them directly through the drive. Moreover, the Kodak Dock 4x6 Instant Photo Printer is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry along while you're on the go.

The 4x6 instant photo printer works effortlessly with a single touch. The photo print quality is also great; however, you can't compare the print quality to large dedicated printers. The main drawback is that it requires a power source despite being a portable photo printer. With that said, however, the Kodak Dock 4x6 Instant Printer is one of the best 4x6 photo printers for those looking for a high-quality portable solution.


  • Easy-to-use photo printer
  • Offer versatile connectivity options; Wi-Fi Direct, Docking, USB connectivity
  • Decent print quality
  • Portable for on-the-go use
  • Features decent build quality and design


  • The printing speed isn't great
  • Require a power source

2. Kodak Dock and Wi-Fi Portable Instant Printer

Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4x6” Instant Photo Printer, Premium Quality Full Color Prints -...
5,185 Reviews
Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4x6” Instant Photo Printer, Premium Quality Full Color Prints -...
  • ONE TOUCH PRINTING: Convenient printer dock...
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  • COMPANION APP: Download the Kodak Photo...

Another printer from Kodak that is easy to carry and doubles up as a charger for two smart devices is the Kodak Dock and Wi-Fi Portable Instant Printer. The instant photo printer offers vibrant colors prints, and the details in the images are amazingly clear. In addition, the portable photo printer utilizes D2T2 heat transfer printing technology, which ensures no fading or bleeding. Also, the laminating process will ensure your photos will last longer. Plus, the non-ink usage means no spills or inky messes.

The one-touch printing feature on this Kodak Dock printer makes the process easier and faster as there is no need to transfer the files to a memory stick or computer. Besides, thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi connection, you can print directly from your smartphones as an iOS adapter is included along with an Android dock pin. So, you can print from different devices such as memory sticks, iPods and cameras.

Apart from allowing you to print wirelessly from your smart devices, you can also print from your digital camera with the PictBridge Connect. Furthermore, you can download the Kodak Printer App to add fun to your pictures with elements such as frames, filters, collages, stickers, etc. Moreover, this Kodak Dock Instant Photo Printer doesn't require any installation as it is ready to use out of the box. Also, ink cartridges are easy to refill as you require to use your two fingers to pull out the current one then push another in its place.


  • Easy-to-use instant photo printer
  • Offers high-quality prints
  • Features simultaneous fast charging technology.
  • Its innovative dye sublimation technology doesn't allow the photos to bleed
  • The prints are durable, waterproof and fade-proof


  • You can load it heavily
  • Not versatile, meant for printing photos only

3. Canon® SELPHY™ Wireless Compact Photo Printer-CP1300

Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
4,064 Reviews
Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
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Canon Selphy Wireless Photo Printer is another excellent portable option for photo printing. The good part about this wireless printer is that it usually adds many features despite being affordable. For example, it features an optional battery pack; therefore, you can print your photos anytime. Additionally, it features a 3.2 LCD screen for previewing the photos before printing. This is great, especially when printing through its memory card slot or flash drive.

As such, you can connect this photo printer to your smartphone, or you can print via an SD card or even connect it to your Facebook account or other cloud services. Furthermore, the Canon Selphy Wireless Printer can combine the different photos into a beautiful collage and print. Besides, it's a smart option for having fun with your photos. All in all, as the name implies, if you want to preserve your selfies and other quick photos, then the Canon Selphy is one of the best 4x6 photo printers to count on.


  • Ideal photo printer for family events
  • Offer decent print quality
  • Features user-friendly interface
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Offer versatile connectivity options


  • Doesn't feature a compatible USB cable
  • Requires you to buy a separate battery

4. Canon Pixma Wireless Mobile Printer, iP110

If you are looking for one of the best 4x6 photo printers that you can use to print 4 x 6 inches photos and print other documents, count on the Canon Pixma Wireless Mobile Printer. This printer usually offers convenience combined with high-quality prints of photos. Besides, the printer comes with Google Cloud Print, AirPrint or Canon Print App for convenience. It also has Wi-Fi, Wireless PictBridge support and the option to have a battery pack installed.

Furthermore, it provides a 5 ink system rather than the conventional four. The more color ink cartridges you have in your printer, the better the gradient capture would result in better-looking photos. The printer can print borderless 4x 6 photos in about 53 seconds. It also offers PhotoPrint+ that lets you edit and print photos from everywhere with internet access. Though the printer is not as portable as some of the models on the list, it's a great option to count on for photo and document printing.


  • Offer photo and document printing convenience
  • Features five-ink system
  • The printing speed is at 53 seconds per photo
  • Allow you to buy a battery pack optionally


  • Large and not very portable

5. HP Tango (2RY54A) Smart Wireless Printer

HP Tango Smart Wireless Printer – Mobile Remote Print, Scan, Copy, HP Instant Ink, Works with...
2,515 Reviews
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If you're looking for one of the best 4x6 photo printers that offer excellent printing options, we recommend the HP Tango (2RY54A) Smart Wireless Printer. One of the main features of this photo printer is HP's Paid-For-ink replacement scheme, wherewith the scheme you can print all your 4 x 6 photos for free for eternity. HP will be sending replacement inks as you print photos. Nonetheless, the scheme is only limited to printing through your smartphone and not through your computer. Also, the scheme doesn't cover printing full-size A4 photos.

Furthermore, the printer doesn't have any USB connection, discouraging your computer from printing. It, however, has a copier that you don't use for copying your photo; you need to scan the photo through the app on your smartphone. The integrated cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive will then print your scanned photo. So, if you're an avid smartphone user, then this is one of the best photo printers to count on.


  • All snapshot printing from your smartphone is free
  • Offers high-quality photo printing
  • Versatile; offers photo and document printing
  • Ideal for avid smartphone users


  • Large and not very portable

6. HP Sprocket Studio (3MP72A) 4x6" Photo Printer

HP Sprocket Studio Photo Printer – Personalize & Print, Water- Resistant 4x6' Pictures (3MP72A)
3,193 Reviews
HP Sprocket Studio Photo Printer – Personalize & Print, Water- Resistant 4x6" Pictures (3MP72A)
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The HP Sprocket Studio Photo Printer lets you print high-quality and instant 4x6 photos with your phone using a Bluetooth connection. Alternatively, you can opt for the HP Sprocket App to take the prints. It also allows you to print straight from Google photos, social media and other sources. The glossy prints are usually waterproof, tear-resistant, smudge-free and guaranteed to last long. Furthermore, the compact photo printer comes with easy and fun features to use.

The perforated tab on the HP Sprocket Studio Printer makes it convenient to tear off the 4x6 prints. On the other hand, the personalized LED colors show the machine's operating status. Also, the Sprocket App allows you to adorn the photos with stickers, frames, filters and make collages and cards. Additionally, you can take photos of your artwork and turn them into stickers.

The HP Sprocket Studio printer comes with an augmented reality feature that allows you to share hidden videos and watch print queues. You can also make videos of your still images and go over the precious moments. There are an ink cartridge and 10 sheets of 4x6 glossy photo paper to get you started on printing adventures. Besides, if there is no power source around, don't worry, as the Sprocket Studio printer features a power bank to charge up the batteries so that your printer can be fun.


  • Allows personalization of prints with the HP Sprocket app
  • The prints are extremely durable
  • Comes with an augmented reality feature that allows you to share hidden videos and watch print queues
  • Features power bank for backup charging
  • The prints are vibrant, glossy, water-resistant and smudge-proof.


  • Ink cartridge use is usually high
  • Designed for tablet and smartphone printing only

7. Epson PictureMate Wireless Compact Color Photo Printer, PM-400

Epson PictureMate PM-400 Wireless Compact Color Photo Printer
1,028 Reviews
Epson PictureMate PM-400 Wireless Compact Color Photo Printer
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Epson PictureMate Compact Photo Printer is small and easy to use and carry around. In addition, it has strong support for Wi-Fi connection with your Android and iOS devices. Although the printer is one of the most expensive on this list, it produces great results, and the print quality is exceptional. Besides, this printer can print photos in as fast as 36 seconds. Plus, the prints are scratches, smudge and fade resistant.

The printer usually combines longevity and photo quality. Besides, you can print your photos directly from any cloud service or via its wireless system. Epson PictureMate is a series of printers that are designed for printing photos. So if you want high prints, this is one of the best 4x6 photo printers.

However, one problem with this photo printer is that it features a single cartridge; so if you run low on a single color, you will need to replace the whole cartridge. So, if you print several documents and it starts running low on black ink, know that you will need to buy an entirely new cartridge despite the tank being full of color.


  • Offers high-quality photo printing
  • Features a comfortable large LCD screen for navigation
  • Supports direct printing from digital camera
  • Easy to use and to carry around


  • Doesn't support a battery pack

8. Liene 4x6 Instant Photo Printer for Home Use

Liene 4x6'' Photo Printer, Wi-Fi Picture Printer, 20 Sheets, Full-Color Photo, Photo Printer for...
948 Reviews
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Liene Photo Printer usually prints photos instantly with thermal dye-sublimation by which dyes can deeply penetrate the paper making photos more vibrant. Moreover, the photo is protected from water, scratch and fading. Besides, the printer has a user-friendly design; the photo paper aligns with the photo printer and treads it when printing. And for your best convenience, the Liene printer has 20 complimentary photo papers and one ink cartridge.

Liene Photo Printer features a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot allowing you to connect directly to it without other networks. It can support up to five devices to connect simultaneously. Also, it's compatible with multiple devices, including laptops, Android, iOS and PC. So, it's not only a photo printer for smartphones, but it's also a good fit for a PC that requires a wire connection.

Furthermore, the printer features the Liene app that you can use to add more elements to your photos before they come out of the printer. Also, you can brainstorm your photos by applying different types of innovative filters and frames to your photos. Besides, when printing through the Liene app, you will be alerted if either paper or ink cartridge is run out.


  • Offers high-quality photo printing
  • Easy-to-use instant photo printer
  • Portable for on-the-go use
  • The prints are scratches and water-resistant, and smudge-proof.


  • Have connection issues

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best 4x6 Photo Printers

1. Printing quality

When shopping for the best 4x6 photo printers, pay attention to the printing quality since it's the most noticeable detail in a photo. In addition, you want your memories to look good and vivid. Most people will have no issue with 140 or so pixels per inch (PPI) for resolution, though if you are doing professional photography, you will want more than 300 PPI resolution. As for the material quality itself, we recommend laminated prints since they last longer and are resistant to scratching, water, fading and smudges.

2. Print speed

Another thing you need to consider is the print speed. The name "instant photo printers" is usually a misnomer since these printers can take more than a minute to print your photo out and not immediately. Therefore, we recommend choosing a photo printer with about 30-45 seconds for a print.

3. Color or black and white

Whether you take color or black & white photos will determine the photo printer you choose. Unfortunately, most printers cannot offer a good black and white output. Instead, there are usually tints of different gray shades that don't show the true beauty of monochrome photos. Nonetheless, before deciding on a 4x6 photo printer, we recommend you check the print quality of both color and monochrome output to help you make the final decision.

4. Portability

Portability is crucial to carry your photo printer around wherever you go photographing. A portable photo printer will help you save time, and so your photography career or hobby will be easy. We, therefore, recommend going for a portable instant photo printer that's pocket-size or laptop-size at most.

5. Affordability

Unlike most modern digital gadgets we use, printers don't require one upfront payment for unlimited use. Rather, photo printers have ink cartridges and papers that require refills when their supply is low. Therefore, you need to consider the prices of refillers and the printer's initial cost, which is affordable.

What Are the Common Types of Papers for Printers?

1. Glossy paper

The paper usually has a shine and appears brighter. Conversely, the print looks high-quality and vibrant with the shine of paper.

2. Canvas

The canvas paper is usually ideal for framing your photo prints. It is a top option photo paper with a professional look. The paper looks matte since it also doesn't have any inner shine or gloss, though it shows better color and contrast and has superior quality.

3. Matte paper

Matter paper, as mentioned, doesn't have a shine, though it represents the true color of the picture. Extra shine can cause some distraction to sight, and if you want more serious photos, then the matte paper is ideal. Besides, the good quality matte paper usually highlights the fine details.

4. Pearl or luster

These papers usually have a high-end finish. They're also called semi-gloss paper. It is a high-quality paper that combines the qualities of satin and matte photo papers.

5. Art

Art paper is usually for professionals who want to show photo results worldwide. It offers a classic textured look to photos.

6. Metallic

As the name implies, the metallic paper offers a metallic gloss to the photos. In addition, these papers often offer a chrome-like finish to your photos and offer high-quality sharpness and clarity to printed photos. Besides, these are the more pricey papers for photo printing. Nonetheless, you can use it in scenarios when you want to gift the printed photos or use them as a decoration.

Connectivity Options: Wired or Wireless?

Do you intend to print your photos mainly out of your laptop, smartphone, desktop or another device altogether? This is definitely something you need to consider. For instance, some printers usually force you to install their mobile app to pair both devices. We think that is too restrictive, though if you only intend to print photos from your phone, then you will be fine. Instead, we recommend a printer with wireless (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) and wired (USB) connection options.

Broadly, what do you want to print from? Some dedicated snapshot printers usually print from a computer over a USB connection, though most are standalone devices. Older models come with Wi-Fi connectivity, and many can print directly from PictBridge-supporting memory cards and cameras or a USB flash disk. (Ensure the photo printer is compatible with the memory card format you want to use). A few prints from internal memory though you need to transfer the files to the memory first, so find out what connection you need to use to transfer your photos.

The connection options for near-dedicated printers are similar to those for standard office printers. Some models provide a USB connector, while others add an Ethernet port for easy sharing on a network. However, most nowadays offer Wi-Fi connectivity too, and a few offer all three options: Wi-Fi, Ethernet and USB. Additionally, few models offer PictBridge connectors or similar direct-from-device printing options since the assumption is that active photographers will want to print from photo-editing programs on their laptops after tweaking their images.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best 4x6 photo printers.

1. Can a 4X6 photo printer support other paper sizes?

Yes, some printer 4X6 photo printer models can print other small sizes such as 2X3 and 5X7. Nonetheless, if you're looking for larger sizes, you need to look for a photo printer that can facilitate the extended size.

2. What is the difference between a near-dedicated and dedicated photo printer?

A dedicated printer usually prints only photos and doesn't have the feature to accept paper sizes like letters or print other types of documents. These are small-format types of printers. Additionally, they're not dependent on computers and function independently. Plus, they offer additional features such as internal memory, editing, etc. Conversely, near-dedicated printers can take prints of other documents apart from photos. Nonetheless, they're larger and can offer outputs of size 13X19 inches or even larger. These printers don't offer additional features.

3. Is matte or glossy better for photos?

If you intend on displaying your photo behind glass, a matte finish is always the best option. The matte photos will not stick to the glass of the photo frame and will also reflect less light, making them more enjoyable to look at.

About the author

Jane Melcher

Jane is a stay-at-home small business mom. She makes more than her husband selling her creations on Etsy.


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