Whether you work at a school or office, or want to preserve your kids’ artwork forever and display it proudly on the refrigerator, the best laminator is a fantastic way to increase the lifespan of important documents or precious memories. It’s never as easy as picking the first one you come across, though, and depending on your needs you need to do more research than you’ve likely ever done in your life, especially when researching laminators.
For offices, you need something that’s suitable for documents of varying size, for the classroom, you want something capable of laminating hundreds of pieces of work a week, and for the home, it’s something that works so easily, even your kids could manage it, only with your supervision, though.
The Best Laminator
Featuring a stylish, sleek design, the Saturn 3i joins a family of high quality, trusted office equipment by Fellowes, a household name for technology and innovation. The Saturn 3i features a thermal and cold seal functionality, adding to its versatility. Using InstaHeat Technology, it warms up quickly, saving you time and effort. With a quick, 1-minute lamination cycle, the Saturn 3i is ideal for all business needs, as it produces clean work at every use. It is able to accommodate all documents measuring 12.5 inches maximum width.
Its high-performance build allows it to handle multiple laminations and stay on for long without overheating, with an inbuilt Auto Shut feature designed to preserve energy as well as prevent overheating. Unlike other laminators, the Saturn 3i gives the user absolute control, with an ergonomic release lever that helps to adjust the document being laminated to fit properly according to its required dimensions. It comes with 10 laminator pouches for easy use and to get you off to a great start. For more cool products like this, check out our guide to the best stapling pliers.
Quick warm-up system for enhanced and quality work using InstaHeat technology (Heats in 1 minute)
Can accommodate various document sizes with its 12.5 inches entry
Has settings for hot (3 mils) and cold (5 mils) laminations
Auto Power shutting feature helps to save energy when not in use
- Weight5.1 pounds
Heats up instantly
Multiple safety features
Some issues with durability
The Scotch PRO Thermal Laminator is currently a total steal, so get it while it’s hot. Along with a great price, it’s also superb for professional looking results with Never Jam technology to ensure hassle-free operation every time.
It can laminate 15 inches per minute, and the dual roller design feeds everything through smoothly. Unlike other machines, it can cope with unlimited length, making it ideal for banners and signs, while the automatic shutoff feature keeps your kids safe from burning their fingers. For more great products for your office, check out our top picks of the best ergonomic office chairs.
High-performance laminator that supports documents up to 9 inches
Quick 5 minute heating system for efficiency
Features LED touch system for easy controls
Shuts down automatically after 1 hour of inactivity
- BrandScotch Brands
- Weight3.2 pounds
Professional looking lamination
Laminates unlimited lengths
Basic set of functions
A device that laminates, cuts paper, and rounds corners is one you definitely need for your home or office. It features a paper cutter that can but up to 50 millimeters of documents at a go with a lock seal to prevent injuries to kids. It also features dual lamination system (hot and cold), operating at an incredible 250 millimeters per minute speed. A great feature you would love about this machine is its quiet operation. Unlike other peers, the Abox Laminator is relatively noiseless and can work without distracting others.
And that’s not all. If you after a fast operation, this laminator offers a quick, 3-minute superior heating system to get your work started without delay. It comes with free 16 pouches in four sizes, supporting documents with width up to 13 millimeters. Its auto shut down system ensures it remains off after 30-minutes of inactivity and is backed by its in-built heating mechanism for enhanced performance and better results. If you use paper shredders, you will surely be interested in some of the best paper shredder bags from our list; check them out.
Versatile laminator – comes with a cutter and Corner Rounder
Innovative heating system that warms up in 3 minutes and shuts down after 30 minutes of inactivity
Comes with 16 free pouches for lamination and in 4 different sizes
Quiet operation ensures you can work in a peaceful environment.
- Weight6.4 pounds
Comes with 16 laminating pouches
Kind of slow
The Apache AL9 9” Thermal Laminator is a lightweight and compact option that comes at a fantastic price, making it an indisputable pick for our best value selection. It boasts a quality motor and heating element, while the 2 silicone rollers apply feed the document through with ease.
To ensure top quality, there’s an ABS release button should something go wrong, and it’s compatible with both 3 and 5 mil pouches. It might not be as consistent as more expensive options, but for straightforward home use, you can’t go wrong. So be sure to keep it always on your home office desk.
2 silicone rollers
Quality grade motor and heating element
Power and Ready LED
ABS release button
20 pack of laminator pouches
- Weight2.94 pounds
Sleek, compact design
Compatible with 3 and 5 mil pouches
6 month manufacturer warranty
Lamination is not as consistent as more expensive models
Even better than the 3000L is the Swingline GBC Fusion 7000L Thermal Laminator, which is our choice for the best laminator ever created (trust us). Our premium choice can laminate 55” per minute and like the 3000L it boasts a fast warm up time and can also accommodate cold laminating for vinyl and other materials.
It’s compatible with a variety of pouch sizes ranging from 3 mils to 10, and the automatic shut off saves energy. As for usability, it will automatically detect the pouch size to make it essentially a hands-free option, and with 50 pouches included, it’s decent value, too. If you work with paper bills, make sure to check out our top picks of the best money counting machines.
Laminates 55” per minute
Fast warmup time
Compatible with 3, 5, 7, and 10 mil pouches
50 pouches included
Automatic shut off
Cold lamination capabilities
- Weight22 pounds
Ideal for offices and schools
Auto pouch thickness detection
3 year warranty
Sometimes causes folded corners
A great value option, the BluSmart 5 in 1 Laminator Set comes with an impressive 20 laminating pouches among a variety of other accessories for your home or classroom needs. It takes up to 5 minutes to warm up, and laminates 250 mm (9 inches) per minute. This isn’t super fast, but not super slow, either.
There are hot and cold modes for safe use at school or with your children, and the anti blockage system ensures every document comes out looking perfect. However, you may sometimes need to deal with crooked results, although this isn’t too often to be a problem. Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best laser printers.
20 laminating pouches included
3 to 5 minute warm up
Hot and cold modes
12 month warranty
250 mm per minute laminating speed
- Weight1.98 pounds
LED indicator light
Dual roller heating system
Picture frames and paper trimmer included
Sometimes laminates crookedly
Shifting in the upper echelons of laminator quality, the Swingline GBC Fusion 3000L Thermal Laminator is a still-affordable option for more demanding laminating needs. It’s great for the office or more official documents and delivers high productivity with a fast warm up time and accelerated laminating process.
You can use it to protect an incredible 17 documents in a single minute, and despite the price, it comes with 30 letter-sized pouches, which is ideal for ID cards or name tags for the next big event. There’s also a 3 year warranty, which should come in useful should the pages get stuck. Be sure to also check out our reviews of the best filing cabinets that are amazing for storing your documents.
1 minute warm up
17 documents in 1 minute
30 letter-size pouches
Compatible with 3 and 5 mil pouches
- Weight5.3 pounds
3 year warranty
Auto jam detection
Auto shut off
Difficult to fix if pages get stuck
With a sleek, futuristic design and versatile operation, the Fellowes Jupiter 2 125 Laminator is a spectacular choice to show off to important clients at the office or reluctant, bemused neighbors at your house. It heats up in just a minute, while the AutoSense detection feature adjusts to the thickness for hassle-free use.
The 6 roller system ensures a creaseless result, and it can laminate up to 47 inches of film and document per minute. If you’re a busy man, which we’re sure you are, it’s trustworthy enough to set and forget, allowing you to make your lunch, take important calls from your office phone, or just take a break with no problems.
1 minute warm up
Laminates 47” inches per minute
Automatically reverses pouch
6 roller system
Hot and cold lamination
- Weight15 pounds
Compatible with pouches up to 10 mil thick
Set and forget usability
We’d expect it to laminate a little faster considering the price
Anyone drawn to a funny name will love the Purple Cows Hot and Cold 9” Laminator which accepts a variety of pouch thicknesses and heats up in a maximum of 5 minutes for easy use. It can laminate using both hot and cold processes, and the ABS feature ensures quality.
What we love most, though is how energy efficient it is, using 50% less energy than other options. All this combined with a simple functionality and a reasonable price makes it a decent option to pick if you’re still not sure. For more great options for your workplace, check out our guide to the best 3D printers.
Versatile pouch acceptance
Heats up in 3 to 5 minutes
Hot and cold laminating compatibility
50 pouches included
- BrandPurple Cows
- Weight1 pounds
Uses 3 and 5 mil pouches
Easy to use
Difficult to open
Our first pick for the best laminator is the AmazonBasics Thermal Laminator Machine. It boasts 2 heat settings for versatility and safety if you’re working with kids, while the 3 or 5 mil laminating compatibility is useful for different demands.
At just less than £22, it’s the perfect option to have in the home or for personal use, and it’s easy to set up and easy to use, with user-friendly features including a jam release button and Ready light for simple operation. It takes around 4 minutes to heat up, which is standard for this price range, but takes a little too long to laminate the documents. If you’re not in a hurry, though, this won’t be a problem. For more great products for your office, check out our guide to the best label makers.
Can laminate various document types (width up to 9 inches)
Features 2 heat settings for thick or thin document types and has a lever for releasing the jam
Rapid warm-up system (4 minutes), has a laminator ready indicator light for easy operation
Compact and lightweight, easy to carry along for office or home use
- Weight2.64 pounds
Easy set up
Holds plastic together well
Not the fastest operation around
Laminator Buying Guide & FAQ
So you are looking to buy a laminator for home or personal use – what should you look out for in order to make an informed choice? Here are a few aspects below;
Laminating Thickness - One of the key things you may want to consider is the laminating thickness of the device. Depending on the intended use, you want to select a product based on the mils it can handle. For domestic use, you may want to select one that can handle documents with lower thickness, usually about 5 mils. For business use, its ideal to select one with the capability of 10 mils and above.
Warm-Up Time - Another key factor you should not ignore when making a laminator purchase is its warm up time. Whilst some devices take up to 5 minutes to warm up, other high-performance ones take less, some even 60 seconds. The time it takes to warm up determines the speed with which your work is done. It is therefore important to check the warm-up time for your laminator choice to be sure you are okay with its operation.
Q: How Do I Clean a Laminator?
A: Cleaning a laminator is quite easy. Ideally, you will need cleaning pads, microfiber cloth, and some Laminator cleaning solution. To clean, be sure to keep the laminator off during the process. Next, carefully remove the film rolls from their respective chambers. You can do this by opening the laminator and sliding the films gently off their respective spindles. Be sure the laminator is has cooled down during this process, especially if it had been used earlier.
Next, use the cleaning pads to clean the rolls. Be sure the pad is squeezed so as not to produce extra liquid. Clean the rolls gently, turning the rolls as you scrub to ensure all sides are evenly cleaned. Next, look out for and take out residue using the laminator cleaner, using the cleaning pads on the surfaces of the rolls whilst you clean. Once that is done, use the microfiber cloth to clean and dry the rolls evenly. Now you can fix the films back on their respective spindles and you are good to go.
Q: Which is better hot or cold laminator?
A: Depending on the intended use, both hot and cold laminators can deliver great results. However, hot laminations are widely preferred to cold ones. Hot laminations use heated adhesive to firmly laminate documents. It can, however, cause damage to certain sensitive documents that are not heat resistant, like photographs.
Cold lamination on the hand uses pressured adhesive to get the job done, without heating. Both methods deliver results, so depending on your needs, you may want to get one that can fit your home or office well.