The 10 Best Label Makers of 2021

Make sure your workspace is well-ordered

Image shows a personal sitting on a floor in front of an organization unit filled with bins; he is making labels for each bin. The top left corner reads: "DYMO labelmanager 160; Brady BMP21-PLUS; Brother PT-D600"

Image by Jo Zixuan Zhou © The Balance 2019

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They may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to office essentials, but label makers are great for helping organize your workspace, making it easier to classify important documents or supplies, store them away and then quickly locate them when you need to. When you’re choosing the best label maker for your needs or office, consider the keyboard layout, the fonts and other features, and whether the label maker is battery-operated. To help you pick out the right one, we've rounded up the best label makers to buy right now.

Best Overall: Brother P-Touch PT-D210 Label Maker

The Brother PT-D210 Label Maker includes a lot of great functionality without the high price tag. You can create your own custom label or choose from a pre-designed template. Access more than 14 fonts, 97 frames, 600 symbols, and 27 templates from the one-touch keys. You can store up to 30 of your personalized labels for easier access in the future. You can even print pattern designs such as flowers and polka dots to create decorative labels. The preview window shows what your label will look like, so you print the label exactly as you want it.

Powered by six AAA batteries, this Brother label maker is lightweight and portable. You can also use an optional AC adapter if you don’t mind keeping your label maker stationery. A protective case is included to safely store and carry it. You can even include batteries and additional tapes inside the case for easier portability of your supplies. Use Brother’s Laminated Tape to create durable labels that are water- and fade-resistant.

Best for Portability: DYMO LT-100H Plus Label Maker

This hand-held, battery-powered DYMO label maker is lightweight and can be carried with you to create labels whenever needed. The label maker uses a thermal printing system for faster printing. You can choose from five font sizes, seven print styles, eight box styles, and even print on up to two lines for more efficient labeling. The 13-character LCD screen allows you to preview your label content before printing. The label maker has an ABC keyboard and the machine requires four AA batteries. It comes with a one-year warranty that protects your purchase if anything goes wrong with the label maker.

Related: The Best Portable Scanners

Best Budget: DYMO LabelManager 160 Label Maker

The low-price tag on the DYMO LabelManager 160 Portable Label Maker makes it a great option for those who want a label maker but don't consider it worth splurging on. The label maker prints water-resistant labels in a variety of sizes for quickly accessing files and other tools. Labels can be printed in ¼-, 3/8-, and ½-inch widths. The QWERTY-style keyboard allows you to quickly enter text. The label maker includes fast-formatting keys you can use to customize labels based on your preference. Choose from six font sizes, eight text styles, four boxes, and over 200 symbols and clip-art images. Change the text and background colors for color coding and enhancing your organizational system. You can even format text with bold, italics, underlining, and more. These options allow you to create custom labels.

You can preview the label content on the large LCD screen. The DYMO label maker requires six AAA batteries or can be powered with an optional AC adapter. Automatic shut-off functionality prevents battery drain when your label maker isn’t being used.

Most Versatile: Brother P-Touch PTH110 Label Maker

You can carry the lightweight, portable Brother PT-H110 label maker with you to create labels on the go. It keeps things simple with three fonts, five patterns, 14 frames, and 250 symbols. The small number of customization options allows you to create the perfect label design within seconds without having to scroll through dozens and dozens of features. You can also choose from 10 pre-designed decorative labels.

Choose from a variety of colors and even specialty tapes for extraordinary jobs (think flexible cable tape, extra-strength adhesive tape, and fabric iron-on tape). The laminated tape is durable enough to be used indoors and outdoors. Since it’s smudge- and fade-resistant, you can trust that your labels will last. This Brother label maker requires six AAA batteries.

Best for Customization: Brother P-Touch PTD600 Label Maker

The Brother P-Touch PTD600 features a large QWERTY-style keyboard and has an angled design that makes it easy and comfortable to create text for your labels. Labels print at fast speeds and are cut automatically, giving you professional, durable labels for business and office use. The label maker can be connected to a Mac or PC using the USB cord. With the P-touch Editor Label Design software, you can design labels on your computer and then print them out with your label maker. You can even print high-resolution barcodes and logos on labels up to 24mm or .94 inches side.

Use any combination of 14 fonts, 11 font styles, 99 frames, and over 700 symbols to create a custom-designed label with up to seven lines of text. The color, backlit graphic display allows you to get the best preview of your labels before you print them out. The Brother label maker can also detect the color tape you’re using to print your labels, giving you a more accurate design experience.

Related: The Best Portable Printers

Best for Shipping Labels: DYMO LabelWriter 450 Label Printer

The DYMO LabelWriter 450 Turbo Label Printer is a high-tech label maker that’s perfect for printing shipping labels. You can use the label to print USPS-approved postage right from your desktop, without having to pay additional fees or create monthly commitments. This fast-speed label maker can print up to 71 labels per minute, which means it’s perfect for high volume printing.

The DYMO label maker can be connected to your computer to print customized graphics, barcodes, address labels, and more. Once you’re connected to your PC or Mac, you can print directly from Microsoft Word and the Mac Address Book. And since the label maker uses thermal printing technology, you’ll save on the cost of ink and toner. Along with this printer, you’ll receive an address label starter roll, adapter, power cable, USB cable, as well as a quick start guide to help you get started using your new label maker.

Best with Bluetooth: Brother P-Touch Cube Plus PT-P710BT

Unlike most traditional label makers, the Brother P-Touch Cube Plus forgoes a keyboard and screen by using Bluetooth technology to print labels from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. You can make labels up to 24mm (1 inch) from your devices using the free, Brother P-Touch Design & Print or Brother iPrint & Label Apps, or by using the Brother P-Touch Editor Software from your computer. Design your labels using the featured fonts, frames, and symbols, though there are pre-designed templates available, too. The labels can also be printed on the included white or glitter gold tape. Plus, the portable label maker comes with a built-in Li-ion battery, so you can easily use it at the office, home, or wherever you go.

Best for Teachers: DYMO COLORPOP! Color Label Maker

This vibrant DYMO option makes for a fun addition to any classroom. It can create custom labels in just three steps with more than 20 font styles and over 150 emojis and symbols available. Use it to decorate notebooks, calendars, scrapbooks, cards, and even phones. The handheld purple label maker comes with one COLORPOP! label tape (white print on blue glitter), which measures up to 0.5 inches wide, though the brand has other colorful tapes (including gold, silver, pink, and green glitter tape) available through separate purchases. The DYMO label maker is powered by six AAA batteries (not included) or an optional AC adapter.

Runner-Up, Best with Bluetooth: DYMO MobileLabeler Label Maker

Print labels directly from your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth with this DYMO label maker, which forgoes a traditional keyboard and screen. You can make labels up to 1 inch thick using the DYMO Connect mobile app (available on iOS or Android), and you can also download the DYMO Label software or connect the label maker to your Windows or Mac desktop with its USB cable. The app even features built-in spell-check and voice-to-text software to help catch errors. Plus, the label maker comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery and AC adapter, so you can easily use it wherever you go.

This label maker also comes with a library of fonts, frames, and symbols as well as pre-designed templates. Still, you can import other fonts and styles from Google and Apple for even more customization.

Related: The Best Office Gadgets

Runner-Up, Best for Teachers: Epson LabelWorks LW-300 Label Maker

Great for classrooms, this Epson label maker lets you create custom labels with more than 14 different fonts, 10 styles, 75 frames, and over 300 symbols to choose from. Use it to decorate notebooks, calendars, scrapbooks, and cards, or to color-coordinate your filing system. This handheld label maker comes with one tape to get you started (black print on white), which measures 0.5 inches wide. The brand also offers more colored tapes (sold separately), including red, silver, and pearl blue, as well as glow-in-the-dark, clear, and other decorative tapes.

The label maker can print up to two lines of text at a time, and each label is automatically printed with a perforated back so you can easily peel off and stick them. It also comes with a large built-in memory, which can store up to 30 files, and even supports seven languages. Power this Epson label maker with six AAA batteries (not included) or an optional AC adapter.

Final Verdict

Brother and Dymo are the leading label maker brands, and you'll get ample functionality from almost any of their products. That said, the Brother P-Touch PT-D210 (view at Amazon) is one of the best label makers because it's affordable and offers lots of customizable options and pre-designed templates. If you’re looking for a faster powerhouse, the DYMO Label Writer 450 (view at Amazon) is perfect for printing shipping labels, barcodes, and other small business-oriented stickers.

What to Look for in a Label Maker

Usability and Comfort

Because it’s a handheld device, you'll want to choose a label maker that’s comfortable for you. Do you need one or two hands to operate it? Do you like the keyboard layout? Are the buttons spaced out enough and easy to use? What is the screen size, and can you see it clearly to preview your labels before you print? Some are intuitive and simple to operate right out of the box, while others might not be as user-friendly or have advanced features that require some time with an instruction manual.

Battery Type

Some label makers use disposable batteries, while others can be recharged or plugged in while using. You might decide, for instance, that carrying around extra batteries will be a pain if you use a label maker a lot.

Customization Options

Think about the bells and whistles that may be nice to have. Do you want a label maker with lots of tape sizes and colors, font options, symbols, and frame choices? Other features include how many label designs it will store for future printing, and whether or not it can be connected to a computer or smart device for more designing capabilities.

FAQs

How do I know which label maker is best for me?

Think about what you’ll be using it for: If it’s just for labeling file folders or baskets in your storage closet, you might not need the fancy features used for crafting or scrapbooking. Once you have an idea of how much customization you want—from colorful tapes to numerous fonts and sizes, to the ability to print emojis—you can start narrowing down your options.

What type of printing technology do label makers use?

Most label makers use thermal printing technology, which means you don’t need to worry about ink and toner like you would with an inkjet or laser printer. Thermal printing is fast and reliable for printing labels.

Do some label makers require compatibility with other devices?

Some label makers connect with a PC or Mac if you want to create custom designs that are easier on a desktop or laptop. There are also label makers that must be powered by a smartphone or tablet app via Bluetooth. Those do not have a built-in keyboard or screen, so you’ll need an app to create and send labels to a printer.

Meet the Expert

This roundup was updated by Dawn Papandrea, a freelance writer and mom who loves labeling things in her pursuit to conquer clutter in her home. She has nearly two decades of writing experience in the personal finance sector.