The best label makers in December 2023

Best label makers; three small label makers on a pink background
(Image credit: Bother, Niimbot, Epson)

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. Our expert guide includes label makers for the home as well as the best label printers for small business.

My list includes the best label printers for the home as well as the best label printers for small business; 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. 

There are plenty of good label maker brands out there – I've included products by Brother, Dymo, Epson, Niimbot 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. Or if you're just after barcode and packing labels, read our guide the best thermal printers.

The best label makers available now

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The reviews list

How to choose the best label makers

What makes a good 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.

Should I consider connectivity in label makers?

Yes, 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.

How do label makers work?

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. 

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.

How we test label makers

Our expert reviewers have put these label makers through their paces, whether that's by creating tags for craft products to sell, organising their homes or labelling the CreativeBloq office for fun. Each reviewer has spent at least two weeks with the label maker they review to ensure easy of use, print quality and consistency. 

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.

With contributions from