Can You Use Inkjet Paper In A Laser Printer To Print Photos

Many new crafters always ask the common question: can you use inkjet paper in a laser printer? The simple answer to this question is no! Here are the reasons: Laser and inkjet, both are distinct technologies and require different types of printing ink types and papers. Laser printers use heat rollers to melt the toner powder ink whereas inkjet paper uses nozzles to spray the ink droplets.

Since photo inkjet papers are heat-sensitive and they require a compatible inkjet printer in order to get printed and absorbed ink permanently. Technically, cheap office papers can be used with both technologies and don’t require different printers. But when it comes to their specialized printing, they must be used with specialized paper.

Can You Use Inkjet Paper In A Laser Printer To Print Photos

Can You Use Inkjet Paper In A Laser Printer (Detailed Guide)

Inkjet and laser papers are designed for their compatible printers. Inkjet paper typically has a coated surface that is designed to absorb the ink quickly that is sprayed from the printhead nozzles. This ink-absorbing coat ensures ink dries out quickly without creating any mess of smudging resulting the clear and vibrant colors.

Inkjet papers are the best choice for photos because of their high-quality coating that ensures the best quality of photos and graphics.

On the other hand, laser papers are designed to withstand excessive heat because laser printers utilize heated drums to melt the toner powder. The laser paper has a special coating similar to inkjet paper but is distinct in the absorption of the toner powder. The coating is designed to fuse the toner particles resulting in the formation of the image.

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Laser papers are superior and the best choice when it comes to monochrome printing documents for office workflow and other professional-looking documents.

Due to these significant differences, it is not recommended to utilize inkjet paper in a laser printer since they both are composed of different chemical compositions to withstand specific technology printers.

What Is The Difference Between Inkjet Paper And Laser Paper?

What Is The Difference Between Inkjet Paper And Laser Paper

There are many significant differences between inkjet and laser papers. The difference is their formulation from different compounds for a specific technology. Due to utilizing different technologies, their absorption properties are distinct from each other.

Inkjet paper is made of porous materials like pulp fibers and coated with a resin or emulsion polymer that can quickly absorb the ink from the printer. Inkjet paper is available in various sizes and finishes and types including glossy, matte, thick and semi-glossy. The finish of the paper affects the way the ink is absorbed, and the final appearance of the print.

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Laser paper, on the other hand, is designed specifically for laser printers. It is made of a smoother heat-treated material and is slightly smoother than inkjet which can withstand the high heat generated by the printer during the printing process. Laser paper is also available in various sizes and finishes, including glossy, matte, and coated.

Laser paper tends to be more durable than inkjet paper because it is designed to handle heat also laser printing is more durable because the toner particles are infused into the paper pores preventing smearing and smudging.

What Happens When You Use Inkjet Paper In A Laser Printer?

What Happens When You Use Inkjet Paper In A Laser Printer

Firstly, because inkjet paper is designed to absorb liquid ink, it may not be able to withstand the heat and pressure of a laser printer produced by the fuser to melt the toner.

This can cause the inkjet paper to warp, curl or even melt, resulting in poor print quality damage to the laser printer’s components like roller and fusers. Secondly, because inkjet paper is more porous than laser paper, it may not be able to hold the toner as well as the laser paper. This can result in smudging, bleeding or a lack of sharpness in the print.

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So, it’s not recommended to utilize the inkjet-coated paper in the laser printer because it is harmful to your printer as well as you won’t get the desired results. It’s always best practice to use the compatible type of paper that is specifically designed, as this will ensure the best print quality and avoid mishap with your printing equipment.

How To Identify & Choose The Right Paper For Your Printer?

Choosing the right type and compatible paper with your printer will ensure the best printing experience and vibrancy of your printouts. Here are some of the points you should look when choosing and identifying the right type of paper for your printer.

1. Checking The Printer Settings

To identify which paper type your printer supports it is essential to check the printer settings that will ensure the compatibility of your printer with various types of paper. Your printer setting will also indicate the paper coating types that your printer can handle regardless of the printer type. This will prevent the wrong paper feeding that leads to the paper jam.

Other than that, the printer settings will also confirm all the essential settings of the printer drawers that it can accomodate.

 2. Checking The Packaging

If you’re a newbie and do not ensure whether you’ve bought the right type of paper for your printer nor not then make sure to check the paper packages typically mentioning the compatibility with the printers as well as weight. This includes information such as paper type, and whether it is intended for use in inkjet or laser printers.

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Some papers may be suitable for both types of printers, but it is essential to check the packaging for any specific instructions or restrictions.

3. Examine The Paper Texture

Photo inkjet papers will have a glossy finish because photo papers reflect light and are suitable for inkjet printers. While laser printers typically utilize non-coated papers for document printing. Other than that, inkjet papers also come in various types including matte finish, semi-gloss, glossy, and vellum paper.

But it is always a good practice to check the compatibility on the packaging label that is always mentioned “Laser Compatible” Or “Laser Printer Paper”.

4. Compatibility With Thickness & Paper Weight

The compatible thickness and paper weight paper will prevent paper jamming issues. You can check the maximum thickness of the paper from the printer manual before feeding and buying the right paper type.

The weight and thickness of paper can also affect print quality and your printer performance. Thicker paper may seem more durable and feel more substantial, but it may not feed correctly through your printer if it is not compatible. Lightweight paper is more prone to wrinkling but it has excessive moisture.

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In general, inkjet printers can handle a wider range of paper weights and thicknesses than laser printers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use cardstock in a laser printer?

Yes, cardstock can be used in a laser printer. However, it is important to make sure that the cardstock you are using is compatible with your printer’s specifications or not. You need to use a compatible laser cardstock that is able to withstand the heat without melting, warping, or jamming your laser printer.

Check What is an MFP printer?

Can you use photo paper in a laser printer?

Yes, laser printers can also print photo papers. But the main consideration is to make ensure that your using the right photo paper that is designed for laser printers. Otherwise, the paper inside the printer will scorch or burn due to excessive heat. This will also ensure the best photo quality your printer will be providing.


To conclude, you cannot use an inkjet printer in a laser printer. Because both printing technologies are far different from each other. Both utilize different printers and mechanism so paper are also designed separately for their usage. The best practice is to check the printer paper compatibility before printing specialized papers like cardstock, greeting cards, or photo papers regardless of the printer mechanism you’re using.


  • Ryan

    Hi, this is Ryan 27 years old. An experienced enthusiast in printing and crafting. My crafting journey started in my childhood when I and my sister Jessica used to go to school and learned crafting there. Since then, we were passionate about printing and crafting therefore, we are now here to serve our experience. We test each and everything on our own and provide authentic information. If you're concerned about any of the information on our site, you can contact us or research on your own. Warner Ryan

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