With the help of a label maker, you can print out tags for storage containers, refrigerator drawers, pantry shelves, cords, tools, and electronics—you name it. As professional organizer, Laura Bostrom of Everyday Order explains, "Label makers help define where items live." In fact, she almost always uses a label maker when organizing clients' homes and recommends them to anyone looking to create a streamlined system.
To help you find the right option, our tester tried out 13 label makers in their home. After setting them up, inspecting the design, printing tags, and exploring the various functions, they evaluated them on instructions, assembly, functionality, portability, and overall value.
After hours of testing, the Dymo LabelManager 280 Label Maker is our top pick. It has a rechargeable battery, is easy to set up, and features a built-in library with upwards of 220 clip art images and symbols.
Here are the best label makers for every task and budget, backed by our testing.
Best Overall: Dymo LabelManager 280 Rechargeable Label Maker
Easy to setup
Can import your own fonts and graphics
Who else recommends it? Insider also picked the Dymo LabelManager 280.
What do buyers say? 92% of 4,600+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
Our top pick for a label maker is the Dymo LabelManager 280 Label Maker. It received a perfect, 5-star rating for every attribute we tested for, including setup and instructions, portability, functionality, and overall value. Our tester was impressed by the easy setup. The instructions were easy to follow, but you may not even have to read them. To prepare the label maker for use, you just have to insert the battery and tape cartridge, power it up, and then you're ready to roll.
Notably, this handheld and portable label maker boasts a large screen with two rows of text, six font sizes, six pre-loaded styles, and a built-in library with upwards of 220 clip art images and symbols, too. The cartridges are pricey, but we appreciate the crisp lettering of the thermal-printed tags. You can also connect it to a Mac or PC via Bluetooth to import your own fonts and graphics. Your experience is very customizable, as a result, and you have the flexibility to be creative with the labels you create for your space.
Measuring 8 x 4 x 2 inches and weighing only 1.4 pounds, the LabelManager 280 is conveniently compact and portable as well, but also an excellent choice for at-home use. It runs on a rechargeable battery and can print labels that are 0.25, 0.375, or 0.5 inches wide. If you are looking for a label maker that is both easy to use and store and a high-quality purchase, this customizable option has all of the features you need to tackle any organization project in your home.
Price at time of publish: $59
Best Budget: Dymo Organizer Xpress Pro Embossing Label Maker
No batteries required
Not great for larger projects
On a budget? Go with the Dymo Organizer Xpress Pro Embossing Label Maker. Our tester found it exceptionally compact, lightweight, and easy to use. To start, it comes pre-loaded with tape, so no setup is required on your part. This plug-and-play functionality is particularly helpful since it doesn't come with written instructions. (You can access the instructions on the company's website if you need them, though.) The Xpress Pro also doesn't require any power source since it's a rotary-style label maker.
Keep in mind that you can't backspace or delete, so you'll need to be very careful that you don't make spelling errors when you're working. However, this style of label maker is also extremely portable and good for anyone who's taking their product to different project sites. Our tester gave it a 4-star rating for functionality, noting that it's likely not a great pick for larger projects since the rotary keyboard isn't very efficient. For smaller projects, it's quite the companion, though, as it can stand upright on a desk and is generally compact.
Price at time of publish: $22
Best Desktop: Brother P-Touch PT-D600VP PC-Connectable Label Maker with Color Display
Full color screen
Connects to a PC or Mac
Comes with a hard-shell case
Bulky when paired with hard-shell case
If you are specifically looking for a desktop labeler, the Brother PC-Connectable Label Maker is our top choice. Along with simple instructions and an easy setup process, it is loaded with features including a color screen, full QWERTY keyboard, an impressive selection of fonts, and customizable lettering options. You can write up to seven lines of text for each label and store up to 99 labels on the maker. Not to mention, you can connect it to your PC or Mac computer for the convenience of using a bigger keyboard (as well as more design options). We also love that it can be plugged in or powered wirelessly with batteries.
Our tester noted that "this feature-rich label maker does way more than the basics," giving it a perfect, 5-star rating for functionality. While our tester was impressed with all of the features, they noted that it was not as portable or lightweight as others. The hard-shell carrying case it comes with is relatively heavy and bulky. This labeler is also very pricey compared to other options, but our tester still gave it a 4.5-star rating for overall value since it has a wealth of features.
Price at time of publish: $134
Best Handheld: Brother P-Touch PT-H110 Easy Handheld Label Maker
Affordable price tag
Storage capacity is limited
If you are looking for a handheld label maker that you can use every day or bring with you to complete projects on the go, this is the one you need. The Brother P-Touch Handheld Label Maker weighs 1 pound, even with the batteries installed, and is straightforward to set up. Our tester had it up and running in just a few minutes and didn't need to read the instructions to prepare it for use. Although it doesn't have as many features as pricier picks, the label maker offers three fonts, 14 frames, and more than 250 pre-loaded symbols. Our tester also appreciated the soft, comfy buttons on the full QWERTY keyboard.
They almost gave it 5-star ratings across the board and only docked it because it's not as feature-packed as it could be. For example, you'll want to make sure you have extra batteries since it takes six AA batteries that you can't recharge. For a portable model that you may take with you, that's not necessarily convenient. While the storage capacity, at 15 labels, is also more than some products, it's a bit limited. Our tester also noted that it was a bit big to hold in their hands, despite being portable. However, generally, this pick is hard to beat and worth the money you will spend on it.
Price at time of publish: $40
Best for Home Organization: Epson LabelWorks PX 300 Label Maker
Several pre-loaded fonts
Can store up to 50 labels
Labels don't stick well on some materials
If you are specifically hoping to organize your living space, the Epson LabelWorks PX 300 Label Maker is a superb choice. It has several pre-loaded fonts and even allows you to add customizable text styles, icons, and banners. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Notably, the label maker can also store up to 50 labels, which can save you time as you organize your space since you won't have to re-design the label for your spice containers or office supplies every time. Our tester especially appreciated the lightweight, user-friendly design and full QWERTY keyboard that landed the label maker with a 5-star rating for functionality. Now, they did note that the tape works best on smooth surfaces, so keep that in mind when figuring out where to stick all your labels. However, you could try Bostrom's advice for working around tricky surfaces like a basket or cloth. "Grab a label clip, slip it over the side of the basket and add your label to the clip!" You'll also need to have six AA batteries on-hand. Overall, this pick would ultimately be great for personal projects or even a small business.
Price at time of publish: $59
Best for Small Businesses: Dymo LabelManager 500TS Touch Screen Label Maker
Large color touch screen
Requires a bigger buy in
Compact, but not handheld
The Dymo LabelManager 500TS Touch Screen Label Maker is the perfect selection for small businesses. Our tester appreciated that this high-quality gadget flaunts a tech-forward, feature-rich design without veering from the inherent purpose of a standard label maker. It offers plenty of options to customize your labels with fonts and graphics and hundreds of built-in clip art images and symbols.
Though it's the most expensive option of those tested, this top-of-the-line label maker is still a great value, as well. Commenting on the all-around, high-end look and feel, our tester gave this label maker 5-star ratings for its setup, instructions, and functionality, noting that it props up on a built-in stand as opposed to laying flat. This feature makes this model very different than other label makers, but it can make it easier to prep labels. While they wished the price tag wasn't so high, the label maker is worth the investment given all the features. It has a rechargeable battery, boasts PC and Mac connectivity, and can store up to 500 labels at once.
Price at time of publish: $231
Best for Construction Work: Brother P-Touch Edge Industrial Handheld Labeling Tool
Comes with a hard-shell case
Flexible power source
Premium features come with a higher price tag
Hard to hold with one hand
The Brother P-Touch Edge Industrial Handheld Labeling Tool is ideal for construction job sites, workbenches, or garage organization projects. During testing, this heavy-duty gadget earned perfect scores—thanks to its compact design, rechargeable battery, backup battery power source, and the fact that it comes with a hard-shell carrying case. Even the polyester labels themselves are very durable.
Though it's on the pricier side, the extra investment isn't surprising since it's an industrial-grade label maker. According to our tester, it may also be a bit too large to be held with one hand. However, they noted that the included strap made it a little easier to carry around while keeping one or two hands-free. The label maker features a QWERTY-style keyboard that also makes creating labels a breeze and a "Preview" button so you can check your work. It can also be connected to a desktop computer when needed.
Price at time of publish: $210
Best Portable: NiiMbot D11 Cloud Print Portable Thermal Label Maker
About the size of a smartphone
Only works with app
Need something extremely compact that you can take with you anywhere? Check out the NiiMbot D11 Cloud Print. Not much bigger than a smartphone and only about an inch thick, this label maker is the most portable option we tested. It'll fit in virtually any purse and even has a wrist strap for hands-free convenience. Though no assembly is required, you do need to download the NiiMbot mobile app and enable Bluetooth on your phone or tablet for setup and use. Since it only works with the app, you can't pass the Cloud Print label maker between users like standard labelers—but it's a great option for personal use.
The labels are a preset sticker size (which is the only feature our tester would change). However, you can explore tons of templates and customization options on the app. Our tester said it's quite handy, noting that it's super slim, has a rechargeable battery, and comes in multiple colors "ranging from sophisticated to cute." Plus, the label maker comes with an affordable price tag.
Price at time of publish: $52
Our best overall pick is the Dymo LabelManager 280 Label Maker: a high-quality, handheld label maker with a full QWERTY-style keyboard, rechargeable battery, and customization options. For those on a budget, we recommend the Dymo Organizer Xpress Pro. It's a user-friendly embossing labeler with rotary-style lettering, this product offers a lot and at a very agreeable price tag.
How We Tested the Label Makers
We purchased and sent 13 label makers to our at-home tester, who set them up and dug into all of their features for several hours. First, they completed the assembly of the label maker. They timed how long it took to take the product out of the box and prepare it for use and recorded how useful and detailed the instructions were. After setting the product up, they then inspected the design. They printed out five labels, trying out the different features of the label maker as they went along. Before assigning a rating for functionality, they tested the available storage, power options, and keyboard, noting how reliable, practical, and versatile these features are.
Throughout using it, they also took note of its portability: how heavy the label maker is and how much space it takes up in actuality. Finally, they evaluated its overall value while thinking about their experience with it and the price tag. We boiled down all of these insights and ratings to this list of—what we believe are—the best label makers on the market.
What to Look For in a Label Maker
Most modern options, including both handheld and desktop models, have a full, QWERTY-style keyboard. This keyboard—the standard typewriter keyboard layout—is generally ideal for adults. However, you can also find a label maker with an alphabetic-style keyboard, which is sometimes easier for kids.
Beyond where the letters are, larger buttons can lend to a more user-friendly experience. There are also some rotary-style options on the market, which aren't as time-efficient but typically cost much less and condense the label maker's keyboard into a rotating wheel.
Label makers traditionally run on alkaline batteries (usually AA or AAA batteries). However, many modern options, like our Best Overall pick, the Dymo LabelManager 280 Label Maker, are powered by rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries. Battery-powered models are an ideal option if you want your label maker to operate similarly to your phone or tablet, and be more portable. Notably, higher-end label makers often give you the option to use alkaline batteries as backup, as well—if you're unable to charge the battery because you're on the go or in the middle of a project.
There are also label makers that can be plugged in with a USB cable. This power source option is significantly less portable but may be more convenient if your label maker is a desktop pick and won't be leaving your desk much.
If you plan on printing the same thing over and over again, such as address labels, you should be sure to pick a label maker with plenty of storage. You'll save a lot of time not having to type in the same letters, and won't have to check for typos after the first print.
The feature might be listed as storage or memory in the product description and may indicate the capacity in MB (megabytes) or a certain number of labels—like the Dymo LabelManager 500TS Touch Screen Label Maker, our pick for small businesses, which can store 500 labels. Just know this: Storage capacity isn't as critical for app-enabled labelers and those with desktop connectivity, as your presets will be stored off the device.
Is it worth getting a label maker?
According to Laura Bostrom, professional organizer and the owner of Everyday Order, a label maker is definitely a worthwhile investment. Whether you're a contractor, small business owner, office manager, student, or just want to get your home in order, you'll be glad to have one on hand.
"We always add [labels] to bins and baskets as the last step to an organizing project," says Bostrom. "I always say, 'If you're the only one who knows the system, it's not a system.'"
Do label makers have different fonts?
Many label makers have several fonts pre-loaded into the device, including different text sizes and styles. With a high-end pick that syncs to an app or connects to a desktop, you can often add more of your own fonts, as well as symbols, icons, banners, and clip art. Basic embossing labelers will typically only have one font, like a typewriter.
What's the difference between a label maker and a label printer?
Since they both technically make and print labels, some use these terms interchangeably. However, a label maker is traditionally a relatively small and portable standalone gadget that allows you to type and print lettering all on the same device.
A label printer, on the other hand, is a type of printer that prints full sheets of labels sent from a computer. (Most modern printers can print on regular paper and label sheets, so this category isn't really a specialty type.)
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer specializing in lifestyle and home improvement. For this story, she tested 13 label makers at home for several hours—rating them on their assembly and instructions, functionality, portability, and overall value. She also researched the different types of label makers, and interviewed Laura Bostrom, a professional organizer and the owner of Everyday Order. Theresa has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019, where she writes product reviews and shopping guides on vacuums, sofas, storage solutions, and more.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.