When it comes to choosing from the best label makers then you have plenty of choice, from pocket-sizes devices, wireless label makers and all-in-one machines. There are even small craft machines now that can create custom designed stickers and labels.
Label makers can be hugely handy for small businesses too; if you need to make a lot of shipping labels, for instance, having a handheld label maker can be an excellent way to streamline the process. For those who run Etsy shops or similar businesses, it can be a real time-saver. Whether you're looking for a label maker for home or business use, you may want to scroll down to our section on how to choose the best label maker, where we run through some basic features.
Label makers tend to be pretty simple in terms of how they work. Typically, a label maker will use heat to apply your chosen text to a removable label that comes on a roll or strip of tape. This does mean, naturally, that you'll need to keep it stocked up with tape, and resupply on a regular basis if you're printing lots of labels.
We've taken into account printing efficiency when making our picks for this guide, whether we've tested ourselves or judged on reputation and reviews, as well as how easy the label maker is to use (see how we test craft machines for more). Some have their own keyboards, Blackberry-style, while others can connect via Bluetooth or other wireless means to a smartphone, where you can punch in your designs.
There are plenty of good label maker brands out there – we've included products by Brother, Dymo and others, as well as one of the best Cricut machines for printing vinyl labels. If you're looking for something a little fancier, then check out our guide to the best embossing machines, which provide a great way to add a little flair to a homemade label.
The best label makers available now
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The best overall
Size: 12.8 x 12.8 x 6.7 cm
Fonts: Google libraries
- No on-board controls
One of the sleekest, most up-to-date label makers, the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus PT-P710BT is a fully connected device that's great for those who already do a lot of their home admin on their phones.
Paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth and you have all its printing tools at your fingertips, not to mention a huge bank of fonts via Google and Apple. Having the smartphone also gives you easy access to spellcheck, which is immensely handy for anyone who is prone to question their spelling.
Labels go up to an inch in width, which is wider than most other label makers. You also can order colourful or glittery printing tape directly from Brother to jazz up your labels a bit and make them more striking.
CB rating: 5/5 stars
Best for value
Size: 20.4 x 11 x 5.8 cm
+ Compact design
+ Built-in label cutter
- Only 3 fonts
Powered by six AAA batteries, the Brother PT-H110 has everything you need to make labels already built into it. You have three fonts to choose from, as well as 15 frames and various symbols for extra customisation potential.
The label cutter on the side of the Brother PT-H110 works nicely and makes cutting off your label very intuitive and efficient, minimising wasted tape. It can take 3.5mm, 6mm, 9mm, and 12mm tape widths, giving you a decent amount of flexibility in terms of your label size.
We found this to be a simple and effective to use, so if you're not fussed with fancy options and just want to get the job done, this is a great pick. See our Brother PT-H110 review for more information.
CB rating: 4/5 stars
Best for native controls
Size: 12.9 x 31.18 x 23 cm
+ Clear display
+ Clip art and symbols
- Old fashioned
Some may prefer a label-maker with a good old-fashioned built in keyboard, and that's where the DYMO Label Manager 500TS comes in. The DYMO Label Manager 500TS offers 10 on-board fonts, 25 font sizes, and 32 text styles. And it's not all old-fashioned: it also has a touchscreen that makes it very easy to navigate between these options.
Once you find the settings you like, it's easy to get back to them; the DYMO Label Manager 500TS can store up to 500 frequently used options. These are easy to navigate back to, so if you're a small business with several different types of label that you need to print frequently.
This has a rechargeable battery, and it can also be connected to your PC or Mac using a USB cable, which allows you to customise your labels with fonts or graphics.
CB rating: 4/5 stars
The NiiMbot D11 is a tiny label maker that packs a big punch when it comes to its features list. Despite being smaller than an iPhone you can print everything from stickers to traditional labels, and run off large batches for big projects.
This little label maker comes with a design app for Apple and Android and includes a number of pre-designed logos and graphics to combine with its six modern fonts for striking labels.
The NiiMbot D11's stickers are oil resistant, waterproof and free BPA free, so you can label children's toys. The NiiMbot D11 can even create QR and barcodes for all your needs. The only real downside is the size - we love its pocket-appeal but it does mean all your labels are restricted to 15mm wide.
Best for embossing
Size: 21.3 x 15.8 x 9.5 cm
+ Classic embossed look
+ No batteries needed
- Only one font
The best label makers have come a long way since the battery-free, embossing models were created. Recently though, we've been seeing that classic black embossed font all over spice cupboards, home offices, and other basic labelling tasks.
While it cannot rival thermal label printing for speedy use and font selection, the DYMO Embossing Label Maker is battery-free and simple to operate. It also brings a classic and nostalgic look that can't be replicated. Simply turn and click to choose your desired character, and you can pack your DYMO Embossing Label Maker away to take it on the go.
CB rating: 3/5 stars
Best for crafting
Size: 21.4 x 13.8 x 10.8cm
+ Design your own labels
+ Large dimensions
- Requires software
The Cricut Joy is a brilliant option for those who want to make vinyl labels. Because it's designed to cut vinyl, it is perfect for making all manner of stickers, including labels. We've tried out the Joy and know that you can use it for more than just vinyl, it's suitable for making labels and stickers out of vinyl, cardstock, and even iron-on materials.
You will need to use Cricut software to design and print your labels. This is a more than a label maker, but it is perfect for those who want to make creative and fun labels using downloadable art and a huge range of fonts.
For more information, see our full Cricut Joy review.
CB rating: 4/5 stars
Best compact design
Size: 13.13 x 7.5 x 3 cm
+ Two-line printing
+ Emojis, borders & more
- Narrow printing width
An Amazon-exclusive, the Phomemo D30 Mini Label Printer is a neat little label maker that's perfect for organising your fridge, your wires, and especially spices.
As the name suggests this is a tiny device; it's only the size of a smartphone, so needless to say, it won't fit larger printing tape, but it takes on smaller tasks with very little effort.
Pair it with the compatible app to print your labels over Bluetooth. While the range of fonts is limited, there is a large selection of emojis, borders, and icons. It can also print in colour, which is fun for making creative labels to use in your day-to-day life. This is small but fun label maker.
CB rating: 4/5 stars
Best for smaller labels
Size: 14.5 x 12.7 x 12 cm
+ Comes in many colours
+ App has free templates
- Only 12 hour battery
The Phomemo-M110 Label Maker is another more modern option, with Bluetooth to pair and print directly from a smartphone or tablet. The Phememo app includes 124 preset templates.
As opposed to printing directly on tape, the Phomemo-M110 Label Maker uses rolls of sticky labels exclusively. This means it's not the most versatile label maker, but is perfect for labelling your kitchen jars, tins and spices.
There are two sizes available, but the largest is 0.48mm. Pair with festive or circular labels too with the Phememo shop on Amazon. Because it's wireless, the Phomemo-M110 Label Maker will need regular recharging, as it only has a 12-hour battery life.
CB rating: 4/5 stars
Best for labelling clothes
Size: 20 x 19.3 x 8.64 cm
Connectivity: Standalone as well as PC
+ Create iron-on labels
+ Adjustable font width and size
- Maximum 1-inch width
One of Brother's smartest domestic label makers, the Brother P-touch PT-D600 uses thermal printing on easy top-loading tape.
You can buy iron-on clothing label tape to use in this label maker, which makes a selection of colours from navy blue on white to black on pastel pink. Simply insert into the Brother P-touch PT-D600 and you'll be sorted for all your clothes labelling needs.
The labels are fully adjustable, with 14 fonts and a variety of widths and font sizes. You can print a maximum of seven lines per label and it has a memory of up to 99 labels, which is brilliant for those who need to re-print more labels once they've run out of their original run of prints.
CB rating: 4/5 stars
Best for craft stamps
Size: 8.3 x 12.1 x 5.7 cm
+ Make artistic labels
+ 50 exclusive designs
- Expensive inks
The Silhouette Mint is more of a craft label maker in a similar fashion to Cricut Joy, but if you're a craft seller and need to create suitable labels, this could be a good choice.
The idea behind the Silhouette Mint is it digitises the old stamp block label making technique; a thermal printing mechanism creates 3D reliefs that you can then use with special inks to stamp into labels. Each ink load lasts 50 stamps and gives that bespoke finish.
If you want to create simple labels some of the Brother devices on this list are best, and the Cricut Joy has more functions and can create stickers and print multiple labels. But for that handmade craft feel, the Silhouette Mint is excellent, though the inks are expensive.
CB rating: 4/5 stars
The best label makers: frequent questions
How to choose the best label maker
When choosing the best label maker, you need to consider what you'll use it for. For some, a label maker will facilitate a small business or store that's run from home, but others will simply want a label maker to organise their home with small sticky labels for spices and jars.
We included a range of sizes in this guide, and the size of the label maker is another important factor. It goes without saying that a small label maker can only print small labels, so if you need a generous width, you will have to go up in size when choosing the best label maker for you.
Connection is a big factor. Many more modern label makers can be used wirelessly, which means you can customise your labels from your phone and then send them over to your label maker to print. This is great for added fonts and styles, but it will mean that you need a Bluetooth connection at all times when printing labels. Some will prefer a simple manual embossing label maker, which does not even require batteries, but most people opt for a digital label maker with a Blackberry-style keyboard to make it easy to type out your labels and adjust the font and size on one device.
Do label makers run out of ink?
Generally no. Label makers are thermal printers, meaning they transfer heat from a thermal print head onto specially treated labels made from heat-sensitive paper. This means no refilling ink cartridges and no messy spills. The only thing you need to be mindful of is ensuring you buy the correct labels that are made out of the right stuff; generally you can order refills directly from manufacturers like Brother or DYMO.
Are labels from label makers waterproof?
The specially treated thermal paper that most label makers use will generally stand up to a bit of water, as long as you wipe it off in quick fashion. They're not made to be submerged or drenched, but a splash with water shouldn't cause much of an issue.
What's the most versatile label maker?
The most versatile label maker is the Cricut Joy, because it doesn't just act as a label maker, it can cut out designs, too. That said, the Cricut Joy may be overkill for people who want to just print out a few simple labels for use in the home. For that purpose, we recommend the Brother PT-H110, which is simple and easy to use, and doesn't cost as much as the Cricut Joy.