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Photography adds an unmistakable warmth and life to a space, but the choices for frames can be overwhelming (and it can be easy to fall into a Pinterest rabbit hole of ideas). We've winnowed it down to some excellent options in a mix of prices, whether you're looking to create a gallery wall, a tabletop collection, or an ever-changing digital display that you can update in real-time.
Here, our favorite frames that have as much personality as the photos they hold.
Best Overall: Pottery Barn Wood Gallery Single Opening Frames
These elegant frames have a clean, classic profile that will match many types of decor. They're available in seven different wood finishes, including basic black and white, charcoal, and espresso. Each one comes with an archival-quality mat that has a bevel (or angled) cut, giving the finished product a professional look—minus the visit to a framing shop.
They're available in a range of both frame and photo opening sizes, as well as sets of three that include space for 4 x 6-inch, 5 x 7-inch, and 8 x 10-inch photos. They can be displayed vertically or horizontally on a surface, or mounted on the wall. Hanging hardware is included.
Best Budget: Ikea Ribba Frame
It's hard to believe that such an attractive, solid frame could be had for such a rock bottom price, but that's what Ikea has always excelled at.
The Ribba line includes both black and white frame options and a variety of sizes all the way up to 24 by 36 inches (which costs just $20 and is perfect for posters). The front of the frame is a lightweight protective plastic, which can be a plus if you have small children running around and you're worried about shattered glass. If you have an overwhelming amount of artwork that you're looking to hang (those early preschool treasures, perhaps?), these frames will help you stick to a budget while still giving you a modern vibe.
Note that if you choose to use the included acid-free mat, your photo will have a slightly cropped look, due to the opening size (so for a 4 x 6-inch frame, that would be 2 ¾ x 4 ¼ inches).
Best Digital: Aura Mason Frame
Need a gift for grandparents who aren't so tech-savvy? This attractive digital frame is a great option, allowing you to add photos remotely using the Aura app, and invite family members to collaborate as well.
This frame has a textured, stone-like appearance and comes in either graphite (gray) or white. The touch screen makes it easy to use, and the sensor adjusts the screen brightness based on the room's available light. The screen size is just under 9 inches, and the frame itself measures 10 x 7 x 2 inches.
Just like a phone or tablet, you can easily flip the frame to display a photo horizontally or vertically. It has built-in Wi-Fi, which is required for it to work, comes with unlimited photo storage, and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Those who use Google Photos can set it to auto-update from a specific album, making the process even more seamless. If you're sending it as a gift, you can pre-load it with photos and have a custom message appear on the screen for the ultimate "aw" factor.
Best Metallic: Anthropologie Mercury Glass Frame
Anthropologie is known for its distinctive housewares, and their picture frames are no exception. This one is made with mercury glass, which has an eye-catching, vintage appeal that would be a lovely option for displaying older family photos. The glass gets its signature metallic look because it's been treated with a silvering solution and sealed inside two separate panes. It's available in three popular sizes: 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches, and 8 x 10 inches.
Note that this frame doesn't contain any actual mercury—that just refers to the silver color.
Best Wooden: PictureFrames.com Neutral Three-Piece Wide Tabletop Picture Frame Set
Upcycled Kentucky barnwood gives these frames a look that's more unusual than most basic wood options. Each one holds a 5 x 7-inch photo, and thanks to markings such as knotholes and grain distressing, no two look the same. The tones vary and include lighter ash, rich espresso, and charcoal gray. They're sold three to a set, and bulk discounts are also available. Because of the rustic vibe, these frames would work well for showing off vacation photos that feature destinations with dramatic landscapes like mountains or beaches.
Best for Gifts: Nambé Portal 8x10 Frame
As a wedding gift, this gorgeous silver-plated frame is a fun twist on the more staid and classic-looking 8 x 10-inch styles. Created by noted jewelry and flatware designer Michael Altomari, it has gentle curves and a triple-tiered edge that helps to accentuate the picture on display. It holds an 8 x 10-inch print, and the frame itself measures 9 x 12 inches.
Nambé collaborates with artists from all over the world to create its unique-looking housewares, and many have been displayed at iconic spots such as The British Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Best Personalized: Caddy Bay Collection Personalized Wood Frame
Although it's shown as a wedding frame, you can choose to have any type of text inscribed on this custom wood piece. Caddy Bay is based in California, and they offer several styles and templates, including weddings, couples, and pets. Because the frame features text, you must choose either a horizontal or vertical orientation. Available sizes include 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches, and 8 x 10 inches.
Each frame can be customized with artwork such as graceful-looking branches, pawprints, hearts, or monograms. One of the especially pithy pet frames includes text that says "My Favorite Child," with an arrow pointing downwards.
Best Leather: Lawrence Frames Leather Picture Frame
Sometimes you're just seeking a classic leather frame, and this popular, glass-fronted option, which would look equally at home on either a nightstand or a desk, is both affordable and handsome. It's available in both black and brown and comes in 4 x 6-inch, 5 x 7-inch, and 8 x 10-inch sizes. It can be displayed either vertically or horizontally on a tabletop, although no hanging hardware is included. The frame is made from bonded leather that has a slightly distressed finish and is trimmed with white saddle stitching.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Lexi Dwyer has written about office decorations, budget furniture, and nightstands for The Spruce. She is a big fan of the Ikea Ribba frames, which she recommends for those times when you're on a budget but need to fill a giant space.