Best Photo Paper For Epson Printer

Finding the right paper for an Epson printer can be a confusing affair as an enormous amount of conflicting advice exists, especially online. When considering options, you should always start with two groups of questions

1.    What am I trying to achieve?
a.    Letters or presentations
b.    Fancy reports, two sided printing
c.    Give away / proofing photographs
‘Keep Sake” images of family or chargeable photographic printing
d.    Glossy Satin or Matt finish
e.    Single side printing or double sided

2.    What type of printer and ink do I have
a.    Is the printer older or new
b.    Do I use standard inks or UV stable inks
c.    Do I use originals or compatible ink systems

Once you have answered the questions in group one, you will find that for each result you want to achieve, there will be a number of possibilities.  For example, coated paper comes in a number of weights, ranging from 120gsm all the way to 210gsm (paper being normally weighed in Grammes Per Square Meter – gsm).  Choosing the one for you depends both on the effect you want to achieve – the heavier the paper, the more luxurious the document feels and the more bulky it is – and your printer’s capability of accepting this paper.

It’s important to check printer documentation before purchase; some printers only allow paper up to a certain thickness. Using paper that’s too thick can cause problems such as jamming, resulting in frustration and wasted time.

A further consideration is the type of ink and paper used; this will determine the quality of the resulting photograph and is especially important if the work is to be put on display (You are now delving into the world of the professional photographer trying to achieve perfection).

Perfection is the combination of the type of ink and the paper used, both being selected together to work in perfect harmony (interestingly, non professionals often use the same printing technology, not realising that they can potentially achieve professional quality work with a machine they bought for not a lot of money).

Ink should be chosen depending on where the picture is to be kept – for example, if you are going to hang the photo on a wall that gets a lot of direct sunlight then it’s likely that it will fade quite quickly. If this is the case, choose UV resistant pigment ink which tends to fade slower than dye ink. Dye inks however, provide superior quality and tend to be more compatible with inkjet papers, especially those with a microporous coating.

A micro-what?

Microporous papers are ideal for achieving professional results; these come in Gloss, Satin and Pearl which offer varying outcomes, depending on what you want to achieve. Cast coated paper tends to be cheaper and only come in a gloss finish; however, these produce excellent quality when used with dye inks.

Microporous coated papers are compatible with both dye and pigment inks.  They will work on your Epson printer regardless of which inks you have loaded.  If you have pigmented inks loaded (UV Stable ones), you should stir away from papers which are described as Instant dry or cat coated.  These will not handle pigmented inks very well.

Epson has a range of UV stable inks which are pigmented and are marketed under the names of DuraBrite, UltraChrome and Vivera.

Manufacturer vs unbranded papers

Remember that printer manufacturers DO NOT make paper.  They make printers and inks and source their own branded papers from various specialised inkjet coating factories.  It is conceivable that competing printer manufacturers often use identical papers from the same source but branded under their own different names.

Non branded papers therefore can potentially be as good if not better than the branded ones, especially if the vendor sources them from a similar geographic location.  The more serious photo paper vendors will also offer some sort of satisfaction guarantee for their high end papers as they would be confident that these are on par with the major brand products.

Further considerations

In general, the heavier the paper, the better the image.  Low weight papers are often designed for give away images, short term presentation or images which are enclosed in book or booklets.  The image quality is likely to be the same as on the heavier papers but the paper will be thinner and flimsier.

The heavier the paper, the more luxurious it feels in the hand and the more stable it will be under heavy ink saturations.  Therefore, if you are printing on matt paper and your image is dense and dark, the 170g matt will be better than the 120g.

When printing photographs, gloss or satin finishes are a matter of taste but satin works better behind glass and is less reflective.  You can use a lighter paper if the end result is mounted in an album or a heavier paper if you are handing it to someone and want to portray quality.

There is also technical support for you at the end of a telephone or email so if you are still confused.  We will always recommend the paper that is best suited to the result you are trying to achieve.

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19 Responses to Best Photo Paper For Epson Printer

  1. kathie crittenden says:

    My printer is an Epson Workforce. I use Epson ink. I put my photos in an album. My primary concern is fading because I keep my photos forever. If you can recommend a photo paper, I will be grateful.


  2. Kelly Forbes says:

    Hi there, we have just bought a new printer it’s a Epson XP-212 and we have just bought the Epson multipack 4-colours 18 Claria Home Ink. Can you please tell me what kind of photo paper I need to make long lasting quality photos of my newborn little boy and also do I need different coloured inks or are the 4 (black, cyan, magenta & yellow) all I need? Thank you for any help you can give I really appreciate it. Thank you
    Kind regards

  3. Kelly Forbes says:

    Hi following on from my previous message what would be better the glossy paper or matt? Thank you
    Kind regards

  4. Gail says:

    I print photos for the purpose of digital scrapbooking and I have always been told that matte paper is more appealing. Glossy photo paper has a tendency to give off a bit of glare under the page covers.

    Here’s my question: Does anyone know what weight of photo paper I should buy for my Epson 1430?

  5. Ken says:

    I use Epson L360 and I want to print photo using glossy paper but the paper brand is not from epson is it okay?

  6. Joh says:

    Hi i bought Epson L360, and I’m going to use to print invitations what paper is recommended to use I’m not familiar also if images also included to print. Thank you I hope I hear from you soon.

  7. Shubjam says:

    Sir,what glossy paper I will use to print passport size photo from Epson l380.

  8. Mehar says:

    Can i use 180gsm photo paper in Epson L3150 printer

    • Joseph Eitan says:

      Hi, most Inkjet printers can print onto 255gsm photo papers gsm weight limit. You need to check the spec of the printer, but 180gsm photo paper should be fine.

  9. Bidyut Dutta says:

    Hello, I have an Epson L3110 model printer with all in one inktank. Please provide me which photo paper glossy should I use for reliable, smooth and good quality photos.

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