The best laminator machines can help you preserve delicate documents and photos, create worksheets for classes or help your business grow. The machines include the best table top laminators, and can keep all your materials, including art and photos dust free and clean. Now is a good time to buy as there are Black Friday deals about.
By owning the best laminator you can easily keep your treasured documents, photos and files safe from any unruly accidents. Laminating your documents permanently seals it between two sheets of plastic. This laminating pouch means that if there are any accidents, you can easily just wipe the plastic clean without any damage to what's inside.
If you're looking for more heavy-duty use, certain laminators offer the option for producing commercial goods for businesses, just like the best Cricut machines. And, of course, a good laminator is perfect for keeping your art prints safe; read our guide to the best art printers to know more.
The Quick List
Here's a quick overview of my top three picks of the best laminators. Click 'Read more' or scroll down for more details and to see the full selection.
Laminate width: 12.5in
Size: 14.6 x 53.2 x 10.5cm
The Fellowes Saturn 3i Laminator is fast to warm up and laminates quickly. As a bonus, it can handle A3 documents, making it ideal for creatives looking to keep art prints safe and clean. It also has a quite unique 'jam free' system.
Read more below
Laminate width: 9in
Size: 13.94 x 4.41 x 2.64in
This basic laminator can handle three and five mil lamination, covering most items. It takes a while to warm up but offers great value, and if you're patient, the results are excellent. It has a paper jam lever for removing any stuck paper.
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Best for speed
Laminate width: 9in
Size: 39.7 x 15.49 x 12.7cm
This machine heats up under two minutes and can handle both hot and cold lamination for heat sensitive documents. It's quiet and at 340mm/min, it's a fast device for those who need to get through lots of documents.
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The best laminators in full
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The best laminator overall
The Fellowes Saturn 3i Laminator tops my list of the best laminators because it's one of the fastest to warm up (one minute) but laminates quickly (under a minute for A4). As a bonus, it can handle A3 documents, making it ideal for creatives looking to keep art prints safe and clean. It also has a quite unique 'jam free' system and its auto reverse mechanism to reversed and realign docs.
The downside is it works best with Fellowes' own lamination pouches, but you get a pack of 10 to get started. The machine has an auto shut-off to save energy and comes with a two-year guarantee.
The best basic laminator
This no thrills machine can handle both three and five mil lamination, covering most items from photos to standard documents, but it can't handle thicker 10 mil lamination. I found it takes three-to-five minutes to warm up, a little longer than some others on my list. If you don't let it warm up, documents can come out with stripe marks. However, it offers excellent value, and if you're patient, the results are excellent. It features a paper jam lever for removing any stuck paper. There's a wider Amazon Basics 12-Inch Thermal Laminator model if you need a larger machine.
The best laminator for speed
This is my pick as the best laminator for versatility and speed. It can laminate A4 and both 3 mil and 5 mil (though it lacks a manual switch to swap). It heats up under two minutes and can handle both hot and cold lamination for heat sensitive documents. I found it to be quiet, and with a speed of 340mm/min, it's a fast device for those who need to get through lots of documents. There's an ABS jam release button for quickly unsticking documents, which should extend life. It comes with a round-corner trimmer and paper cutter for tidying the finish
The best value laminator
This nice all-round affordable laminator comes with all of the tools to get you up and running, including a paper cutter, round corner trimmer and hole punch, as well as 15 laminating pouches (A4, A5 and A6). I found that it takes a little longer to heat up (five minutes) and it's slower than the Buyounger too, running at a 250mm/min laminating speed.
The Crenova works with pouches between 120 – 200 micrometres in weight, which is ideal for laminating bookmarks, photos and recipes. Like the Buyounger, this laminator has a useful ABS unjammer for removing stuck documents.
The best compact laminator
The Scotch Brand PRO Thermal Laminator is a neat little laminator that weighs less than most on this list. A real workhouse, it takes about three to five minutes to warm up and uses two heated rollers to laminate material up to 9in wide. The results are bubble and wrinkle free, and jams are pretty rare. I found it very easy to use, and it automatically shuts off after one hour of inactivity. This is the best laminator for arts and crafts projects, photos, recipe cards, and educational activities in the classroom or on the move.
The best laminator for teachers
If you need a laminator that's suitable for business use, then you're going to have to step up in price. In which case, we recommend the 7000L. It isn’t cheap, but it does deliver up to 45 documents in 10 minutes, the equivalent of 55 inches per minute, so is a great choice for heavy-duty use.
This laminator warms up in just one minute, and has six rollers for smooth, high-quality results. And there’s a clever feature called advanced auto pouch thickness detection, which identifies the thickness of your pouch and document and adjusts to the optimal settings for the perfect seal.
It comes with 50 letter size EZUse Premium Speed Pouches, which seal on the longer side to reduce processing time by 22%. In short, this is the Rolls Royce of laminators, both in terms of price and what it delivers.
The best laminator for home use
Want a laminator for your home, but don't want to spend too much money? The LMA4-V from Texet does a great job despite its low cost. It takes just three to five minutes to warm up, and it offers lamination speeds of 300mm per minute, which works out about 60 sheets an hour.
It comes with five free A4 pouches, and while it doesn’t have any particularly clever features, it does what it needs to, for a good value price. So we reckon that makes it the best laminator for homeschooling, and for home use in general.
The best laminator for commercial use
If you're running a business, and looking for the best laminator for commercial use, this professional-grade device from Swordfish will deliver. With an entry width of 335mm, you can laminate anything from business card size up to A2, and its four roller system delivers excellent results.
Speeds are impressive, at 32 seconds per A4 sheet. There’s a cold lamination option, allowing you to laminate heat sensitive content. Jams are auto-detected, sending the laminator in reverse to solve misfeeds. In short, if you use it a lot, the extra cost of this device will more than pay for itself in the long run.
How to choose the best laminator
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a laminator. First, think about the size of items you'll be laminating. Will they be standard A4 size, or will you need to laminate either larger items, or smaller ones such as business cards? Check the laminating width, as we've highlighted in our choices above, to make sure the laminator will accommodate your needs.
You also need to consider cost: not just the price of the laminator, but the ongoing cost of the sheets you need to feed it. That said, when it comes to valuable documents and precious memories, you should also think about the cost of not laminating them!
Finally, think about how often you'll need to use your laminator. If it's just going to be the occasional job, pretty much any basic laminator will do. But if you're going to be laminating lots of things in one session, or sharing the laminator in a busy workplace or classroom, you'll need something a bit more powerful and expensive, as some of the cheaper options may be less reliable.
What's the best laminator?
The best laminator for personal use is the Fellowes Laminator Saturn3i. It can laminate up to A3, it warms quickly (just 60 seconds) and its 9.5 entry width accommodates multiple document sizes. It accepts pouches up to 5mm in thickness and can handle both thermal laminating pouches and self-adhesive pouches.
Are there alternatives to using laminators?
Yes, these days you can use digital craft machines for some laminating tasks. For example the best Silhouette machines can laminate using the correct material as can newer digital craft machines, read our Cricut Maker 3 review.
How we tested the best laminators
I've been testing and reviewing laminators and a wide range of other craft machines for several years. I test each device in real-world situations with the type of materials that they were designed to handle. To choose the best laminators, I compared their capabilities in terms of the size and thickness of lamination they can be used for, their speed, build and design, value for money and smoothness of operation - which included testing for jams.