Nov 11, 2023
The 9 Best Label Makers of 2023
Create an aesthetically-pleasing space with these handy label makers. Jump to a
Create an aesthetically-pleasing space with these handy label makers.
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Better Homes & Gardens / Reese Herrington
Whether it's a pesky pantry, overflowing linen closet, garage, playroom, or other storage space, having everything neatly labeled will help you and your family know exactly where all your items go. Personal label makers can also be helpful for fun projects, creating cards, bookmarks, food packaging, DIY crafts, or other home items.
"Labels can be so incredibly helpful for busy families and their communal areas. I find the communal areas (pantries, linen closets, bathroom cabinets, etc.) to be the first and quickest to fall into a state of chaos," says Andrea Smalley, founder and owner of Lighten Up, a home organization company. "Utilizing systems with labels helps make it so much easier for everyone to know where things go and to keep the space tidy."
Jesica Hauser, the owner of Violethause Interiors, shares how label makers can be a cost-saving tool, "Properly labeling your items, specifically food and personal care items, can save you money in the long run. You'll be less likely to accidentally purchase that second box of cookies or an extra package of crayons for your kids if you can clearly see where you are with your items inventory-wise."
To find the best label makers, we researched a variety of picks, keeping in mind ones that were easy and intuitive to use, relatively affordable, readily available, and lived up to expectations. We also consulted Smalley and Hauser for additional insight.
Why You Should Get It: Built-in templates like today's date, food prep, and storage closet labels save time and energy.
Keep in Mind: It only comes with clear tape, which is harder to use on dark surfaces.
The best label maker is this Brother pick, which is quick and easy to set up. Well made and with a sleek design, the portable label maker by Brother runs on either six AAA batteries (included) or an AC power adapter (not included). We appreciate the two options–power up if you’re making labels at a desk or use battery power if you plan to take the label maker around your home or on the go.
Once on, the label maker is intuitive to use. The well-sized keyboard has buttons that are big enough that you won't make frequent errors. You can choose from 14 fonts, ten font styles, 97 label frames, and over 600 symbols, so you can make personalized labels. If you prefer not to customize, this label maker has built-in home organization templates that include options for today's date, food prep, closet storage labels, and more.
Brandi Fuller, associate commerce editor at Better Homes & Gardens, received a complimentary sample to try at home and found that it was so user-friendly, she was able to print labels without referencing the instructions. Plus, she appreciated that there were different templates to use, like for dates and phone numbers, so you could use it for more than organizing storage containers.
"I used the phone number template to put a label on my notebook in case it gets lost," says Fuller.
Unlike other makers, it's hard to make an error with this maker. First, a built-in LCD screen previews your label before printing. This device also has a built-in memory feature that can store up to 30 labels, saving time recreating your most-used labels.
The set comes with one roll of the black font on clear laminated tape, but P-Touch label tapes are widely available in a wide range of colors and styles. This label maker can handle tape widths that are 3.5, 6, 9, or 12 millimeters as well, so you’ll have plenty of options.
Price at time of publish: $45
Product Details: Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.1 x 2.7 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Label Size: 3.5, 6, 9, or 12 millimeters
Why You Should Get It: The QWERTY-style keyboard has raised keys for more accurate typing.
Keep in Mind: It offers less font and symbol options than other label makers.
A perfect entry point into the world of label makers, this battery-powered handheld device is a budget-friendly option that won't break the bank. Powered by four AAA batteries (not included), the compact gadget is easy to take on the go as well.
Label-making novices will feel right at home with a familiar QWERTY-style keyboard. Each letter key is raised, which helps for more accurate typing and fewer typos.
When typing, the eight-character LCD screen helps you to see your work and also eliminates the risk of errors. There's only one font available with this label maker and 71 symbols, but unlike the embossed version that lacks any custom options, there are still ways to customize your labels.
Choose between six font sizes and nine styles (including bold, italic, shadowed, and more). Even with the limited options, it is possible to make your labels look distinct. An automatic time/date button enables you to add either the time and/or date to your label in a few different formats. Brother sells a wide range of colored tapes that will work with this machine, further enabling you to customize your labels via tape color.
Price at time of publish: $20
Product Details: Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.3 x 2.3 inches | Weight: 0.5 pounds | Label Size: 9mm, 12 millimeters
Why You Should Get It: An included USB cable means it easily connects to a computer.
Keep in Mind: The battery pack will have to be recharged, so you’ll have to be mindful.
This DYMO label maker is an investment, but the splurge-worthy tool does have increased functionality over other competitors. Lightweight and easy to hold, this is one of the best label makers if you’re looking for oversized labels to use for gifting or other projects.
In addition to standard labels, the main draw of this label maker is that it can print labels up to 19 millimeters wide. These oversized labels can include up to four lines of text, so they’re useful for a wide range of needs. Even better, the label maker can generate barcodes, logos, and graphics for your labels. All you have to do is connect the label maker to your computer using the included USB cord and download the brand's free software.
A lithium-ion battery powers the handheld device so while you’ll have to charge it at one point, no frequent battery changes are needed. Just keep in mind that the keyboard is in alphabetical order and not QWERTY-style, which may slow down some typists or be irksome if you’re used to a standard keyboard on your label maker.
Price at time of publish: $156
Product Details: Dimensions: 7.36 x 3.94 x 9.84 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Label Size: 6, 9, 12, and 19 millimeters
Why You Should Get It: Five one-touch keys make it easy to format commonly used labels.
Keep in Mind: The AC power adapter is useful but sold separately.
This handheld label maker by Brother weighs just under one pound and is shaped to efficiently and ergonomically fit in your hand. We love that the widely available label maker can create many label styles, making it one of the best label makers to consider.
This pick can accommodate tape rolls up to 12 millimeters wide. Exceptionally versatile, the portable device features three fonts, 14 frame styles, and more than 250 symbols. Typists will appreciate the easy-to-use QWERTY-style keyboard, which adds to the ease of using this gadget. There are even five one-touch buttons that make creating commonly used labels easy and seamless.
While the label maker runs on six AAA batteries (not included), there is an option for an AC adaptor, which is sold separately. Not only will you need to buy the adapter, but if you’re stuck plugging into a wall, that may limit the portability of this label maker or increase your reliance on batteries.
Price at time of publish: $30
Product Details: Dimensions: 4.3 x 8 x 2.2 inches | Weight: 0.9 pounds | Label Size: 3.5, 6, 9, and 12 millimeters
Why You Should Get It: No batteries or power source is needed.
Keep in Mind: No backspace button means you cannot erase typos.
If you’re seeking the best-embossed label maker, look no further than this classic pick from DYMO. We love that no batteries or power sources are needed, so taking this tool anywhere is easy.
Embossed labels differ from printed labels because they have texture and feature raised font. Some may love these labels' old-school classic look, while others may feel limited by the lack of design options.
The ergonomic, handheld design means it can stand upright, so it's easy to find on a crowded desk or work table. Simply move the click-and-turn system to one of the 49 characters you need and create your label.
There's no backspace or preview option, so choose wisely and avoid typos. If (or when) they happen, no worries–this set comes with three roles of label tape, so you can always try again. With only one font style, use the various tape colors to customize your embossed labels.
Price at time of publish: $22
Product Details: Dimensions: 6.25 x 8.38 x 3.75 inches | Weight: .03 pounds | Label Size: Not listed
Why You Should Get It: There's rubber edging around the entire printer, so holding it feels secure and comfortable.
Keep in Mind: Both the batteries and power cord are sold separately.
A compact, handheld printer with lots of functionality, keyboard enthusiasts will appreciate the QWERTY-style keyboard on this Epson pick. The well-sized keyboard buttons make it easy to use and less likely for fingers to touch the wrong button and create typos.
While this option can run on either six AAA batteries or an AC adaptor, unfortunately, both are sold separately, adding an additional cost.
Crafty types may lament this label maker's lack of font and decorative options. On the flip side, it can make both general labels and barcodes, so you can use the label maker for general use as well as for business if necessary. You can also print labels on magnetic tape, heat shrink tube, and adhesive tape, making it an even more versatile option.
Price at time of publish: $59
Product Details: Dimensions: 6.69 x 4.33 x 2.2 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Label Size: Up to 18 millimeters
Why You Should Get It: The app features over 300 templates for all types of labels.
Keep in Mind: It can only print in black and white.
Small but mighty, this Bluetooth-powered label maker is much different than many options on our list and one of the best label makers to consider. The gadget is offered in a few different colors and can print a variety of labels.
You’ll notice there's no keyboard on the printer, which is a departure from some of the best label makers on the market. With this option, you’ll need to download the app (Android and iOS compatible) onto a tablet or phone to use the device. With the app, you’ll have access to many functions, including over 300 free templates, as well as the ability to make your own templates.
Great for labels, tags, and much more, this device offers a broader range of label sizes than many standard label makers. While one roll of 40 x 30 millimeters label tape is included, you can purchase labels that are larger as well.
"I really love that it comes in such fun color options and that it prints slightly larger labels," says Hauser.
The device employs thermal inkless printing, which is quick, but the printer can only print in black and white. While you can add colors to your projects with labels, the ink color won't vary.
Price at time of publish: $90
Product Details: Dimensions: 3.86 x 1.69 x 3.23 inches | Weight: 0.68 pounds | Label Size: Up to 48 millimeters
Why You Should Get It: Lightweight and portable, it's about the size of a phone.
Keep in Mind: The thermal technology can only print in black.
Lightweight and measuring about the size of a standard cell phone, it's easy to take this NIIMBOT label maker wherever you need it. The smart device is fully rechargeable and a single charge can last for up to two months, depending on use.
You’ll need to use Bluetooth technology and the NIIMBOT app on your mobile device to use this label maker. The app contains loads of text styles, fonts, symbols, and more, so it's easy to create custom labels or use pre-made templates.
"I absolutely love my NIIMBOT portable label maker and can't recommend it enough. It's easy to use, offers several templates, operates via an app, and charges with a USB cable. Additionally, the app makes it easy to preview and edit the label prior to printing," says Smalley.
This printer uses thermal technology to print. The bonus is there's no ink replacement, but the downside is that it can only print in black. If you want to add colors to your labels, simply purchase label paper in any of the range of colors offered by NIIMBOT.
Price at time of publish: $24
Product Details: Dimensions: 5.12 x 3.07 x 1.14 inches | Weight: 0.4 pounds | Label Size: 15 millimeters
Why You Should Get It: This option can print on ribbons or labels.
Keep in Mind: The maximum print length is 39 inches and it's more expensive than other options.
Crafters, home DIYers, or other artistic types can take their label-making to the next level with this innovative Brother gadget that's meant to print on ribbons and washi tape. Powered by a built-in Lithium-ion battery, the small size means this tool is completely portable as well as easy to store.
Like some other label makers on our list, this pick wirelessly connects to a smartphone or tablet via a free app. The app features dozens of craft-focused design templates, fonts, emojis, and designs. Once you get started, there's no limit to the creative ribbons and decorations you can make for gifts, award ribbons, scrapbook projects, or anything else.
The device can handle ribbon or tape up to 24 millimeters (or one inch) wide, which is much wider than other options on our list. According to Fuller, who received a sample of this label maker for free, this pick won't make standard adhesive labels, so you'll have to use your own adhesive if necessary.
This device is expensive, and to use it, you’ll need to purchase P-Touch branded ribbon, label tape, or washi tape. Though it does some with some decorative ribbon to start, the costs of the tape are pretty expensive, and since you’ll want a wide range of styles, it can end up being a much more costly investment.
Price at time of publish: $130
Product Details: Dimensions: 5 x 2.6 x 5 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Label Size: 3.5, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 millimeters
The best label maker is the one you find easy to use, ensuring you use it to create labels and stay organized. The Brother P-Touch PT-D202 is our top overall pick because it's an easy entry point into label makers thanks to its intuitive keyboard and premade templates.
Many label makers on the market offer options for custom font styles, images, colors, and other personalization. Depending on your needs, these options could be a helpful tool in staying organized. For example, one family member's items can all be labeled in one color.
In addition to standard labels, however, some label makers allow you to make barcodes, logos, and other graphics that may be useful for small businesses and other uses as well.
Label makers are offered in a variety of sizes, though most tend to be lightweight and handheld. Whether you’re using it around the house or at a workplace, ensure that you have the proper storage for it, as well as if you’re able to easily hold it and use it.
Most label sizes are measured in millimeters (mm), and the size varies based on the label tape. You’ll want labels to be big enough to read but also want to be mindful of what you’re labeling, and ensure it's not too large and out of place.
Label makers and label printers are two different machines with different uses.
"Label printers are best for large-scale projects and usually require users to connect them to a computer. Label makers are portable and typically come with a keyboard or touchscreen, or you can use Bluetooth via your smartphone. Label makers are for everyday use and are smaller and ‘on the go’ whereas label printers are for projects that require a heavier lift," says Hauser.
The best label makers are easy to use, with some being manual options and others using more advanced technology. For label novices, a label maker with a QWERTY-style keyboard may feel most familiar. However, a Bluetooth label maker is also relatively easy if you’re comfortable with apps and your phone.
Maya Polton is a freelance writer with a busy family of five who could always use more organization (and labels?) in her home. For this story, Maya researched the best label makers by looking at sizes, prices, functions, and features. She consulted with Andrea Smalley, founder and owner of Lighten Up, a home organization company and Jesica Hauser, owner of Violethause Interiors, for their tips, picks, and opinions on label makers.Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $45 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $20 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $156 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $30 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $22 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $59 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $90 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $24 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: Why You Should Get It: Keep in Mind: Price at time of publish: $130 Product Details: Dimensions: Weight: Label Size: