Best photo album books - Which? (2023)

Photo album books are precious and personalised gifts, which are ideal for cherishing a wedding, a holiday, or the first year of a new baby's life.

Between late March and early April 2021, we examined seven online services offering photobooks, from popular brands such as Google Photos, Photobox and Vistaprint. We also had photography experts examine the final products.

Find out which photobook services are the easiest to use and offer the best-finished photo album.

Pricing and availability last checked: 7 October 2022.

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The best photo album books

Only logged-in Which? members can view the photobook test results below. If you're not yet a member, or not yet logged in, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the picture books we've tested.

Join Which? to get instant access to our test results and recommendations below.

Asda Photo

Best photo album books - Which? (1)

Price from: £6available from Asda Photo.

What we ordered: Hardcover landscape 27 x 20cm (A4) photobook (matte paper) for £25.

What else is available:

Sizes: 6 x 4" (15 x 10cm), 11 x 8" (27 x 20cm), 12 x 12" (30 x 30cm), 14 x 10" (35 x 25cm), 8 x 11" (20 x 27cm, A4), 8 x 6" (20 x 15cm, A5), 8 x 8" (20 x 20cm)

Book type: Ringbound, softcover, hardcover, hardcover layflat

Shape:Landscape, square, portrait

Paper finish: Gloss, matte

Asda Photo offers an online service with all the information you need to make a picture book on its website. Simply choose the option you want, and start editing to make your own personalised photobook.

This service has the lowest starting price for photo album books out of those we tested.

But what did we think of the creation process and the final product? To find out, log in or join Which?.

Bonusprint

Best photo album books - Which? (2)

Price from: £4.19 available from Bonusprint.

What we ordered:Hardcover landscape in L for £35.09

(Video) Best Photo Book 2021 - Shutterfly, Walgreens, Mixbook, Walmart, Costco, Snapfish, SAAL Digital, ...

What else is available:

Sizes: S, M, L, XL

Book type: Hardcover, softcover, layflat premium

Shape: Landscape, portrait, square

Paper finish:Glossy, matte

Bonusprint offers a decent range of customisation options for photo album book on its website.

Just as with the others we tested, you can complete the whole ordering process online, allowing you to design and buy a photobook from the comfort of your own home.

To see our full review, log in or join Which?.

Google Photos

Best photo album books - Which? (3)

Price from £15.99 available from Google Photos.

What we ordered: Hardcover book for £22.99

What else is available:

Sizes:9 x 9" (22 x 22cm), 7 x 7" (17 x 17cm)

Book type:Hardcover, softcover

Shape:Square

Paper finish:Standard

It's worth mentioning that you need a Google account in order to access this service. You also need to have the photos uploaded into your Google Photos folders before you start.

Google is a big name in the tech world. But how did it compare with the others we tested?

To find out, read our full review. Log in or join Which?.

Papier

Best photo album books - Which? (4)

Price from: £22 available from Papier.

(Video) BEST Favourite Photo Books of 2021 | Photo Book Guru

What we ordered:Medium hardback photobook for £35

What else is available:

Sizes:Mini, medium and large

Book type:Hardback, softback

Shape:Portrait, square, landscape

Paper finish:3mm thick with a 200gsm silk-paper finish

The design and ordering process with Papier is all online. With a limited amount of stylish options to choose from, you simply click and start working on your photobook.

Papier has a higher starting price than the others. Did we think its photo album book was worth it?

To find out, log in or join Which? now.

Photobox

Best photo album books - Which? (5)

Price from: £13.99available from PhotoBox.

What we ordered:A4 personalised photobook for £24.94

What else is available:

Sizes: Little, A4 (8 x 11", 20 x 27cm), A3 (15.5 x 11", 39 x 27cm)

Book type:Softcover,hardcover, padded cover, premium hardcover, cut-out cover

Shape: Landscape, portrait, square

Paper finish:Standard (170gsm), premium (250gsm), pro (380gsm)

Once you've chosen the size, shape and style of the picture book you want, you can go straight into the creator and begin designing your photobook.

To read our full review on the service and final product from Photobox and the others we tested, log in or join Which? now.

Snapfish

Best photo album books - Which? (6)

Price from: £9.99 available from Snapfish.

(Video) CHEAT SHEET - All You Need to Know About Photo Books!

What we ordered: 11 x 8" (A4) landscape hardcover glossy page photobook for £32.99

What else is available:

Sizes:15.5 x 11" (39 x 27cm, A3), 14 x 11" (35 x 27cm), 12 x 12" (30 x 30cm), 8 x 11" (20 x 27cm, A4), 8 x 8" (20 x 20cm), 8 x 6" (20 x 15cm, A5), 6 x 4" (15 x 10cm)

Book type:Hardcover, hardcover matte, layflat, leather, linen, softcover

Shape:Landscape, portrait, square

Paper finish:Glossy, layflat extra-thick premium paper, metallic, satin

Snapfish has a lot of options for making a photobook. Once you've picked the style and size you want, you can hop straight into the creation tool.

Log in or join Which?, to read our review of Snapfish.

Vistaprint

Best photo album books - Which? (7)

Price from: £7.49 available from Vistaprint.

What we ordered: 27 x 20cm landscape photobook with glossy paper and red linen cover for £30.72

What else is available:

Sizes: 5 x 4" (13 x 10cm), 8 x 6" (20 x 15cm), 8 x 11" (20 x 27cm, A4), 15.5 x 15.5" (39 x 29cm), 5.5 x 5.5" (14 x 14cm), 8 x 8" (21 x 21cm), 11 x 11" (30 x 30cm)

Book type: Photo cover, regular cover

Shape:Landscape, portrait, square

Paper finish: Standard, high gloss

Vistaprint offers both an online and a downloadable photobook editor with its service. While it's quicker to go straight to the online editor, you do get more options with the downloadable version, which works both on iOS and Windows.

What did we think of the creation process and the final product? To read our full review, log in or join Which?.

How we tested photobook albums

To ensure we covered every aspect of the service, we had two groups looking at these services and products.

The first went through at the online process for ordering the photobooks, and the second examined the final products.

Best photo album books - Which? (8)
(Video) The ONE thing that EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER should DO

The online service

We selected a set of seven volunteers who had never ordered photo album books before, and asked them to rate how easy it was to create and order them on each website from the comfort of their own homes.

For this test, each volunteer was asked to complete seven tasks. Photobook services that had simple yet comprehensive instructions, lots of customisation and flexible options, as well as user-friendly interfaces, were ranked more highly.

Best photo album books - Which? (9)

The finished product

For the second phase of our test, our researcher teamed up with three photography experts from our in-house design and picture team to examine the picture quality and physical condition of each of the finished products.

The photobooks with the punchiest colours, and the best handling of saturated images, contrast and tonal range, were rated more highly. Our experts also kept their eyes peeled for any printing mistakes, smudges, signs of damage or poor construction.

Ring test

After one of our photography experts noted how one of the photobooks had been easily scratched by their wedding ring, we went back and tested a page from every book by lightly dragging a finger with a ring on across the paper. The three that were easily scratched are highlighted in our reviews.

Best photo album books - Which? (10)

What photos we put in our test samples

We used a set of photos chosen by our photography experts to really challenge each manufacturer's printer.

Using photos taken on everything from smartphones to DSLR cameras, we gathered images that displayed a range of skin tones, people of different ages, highly saturated images, pictures with a huge colour range, black and white photos, low-light images, extreme close-ups and wide landscape pics.

How we chose the photobook album services

For this review, we opted to test website-based services from companies offering similar photo printing options. When it came to ordering the books we went with A4, or the closest size the company offered, with the standard hardcover and the service's standard paper option.

Best photo album books - Which? (11)

Paper finish: what does it all mean?

With most photo album book services, you'll have a choice of the type of paper you want your pictures printed on.

For the uninitiated, navigating these terms can be a bit of a minefield.

Here's a quick guide to help you with the most common terms.

  • Glossy paper has an extended white point and a smooth surface. This ensures colours appear vibrant and photos are filled with depth and clarity.
  • Matte paper isn't as sharp as glossy, with softer colours. It's considered more forgiving for portraits, and is a more popular choice.
  • Satin paper is somewhere between matte and glossy.

Most companies will have some space dedicated to describing the types of paper they offer.

GSM

The weight of paper is measured in gsm (grams per square metre). Effectively this is the thickness of the paper. The higher the gsm, the thicker the paper.

Matte vs gloss, which photo finish is best?

Our photography experts explained that matte is never as sharp as glossy paper because it's more absorbent. However, matte has softer colours, darker blacks, and is more forgiving for portraits.

It's a matter of taste on which you prefer, but matte is currently more popular.

(Video) Photo Book Pickups | BEST Way to Learn

We bought all the products we tested.

FAQs

What is the best photo album Brand? ›

Best photo albums in 2022
  1. Pioneer Photo Albums 300-pocket European Bonded Leather Photo Album. ...
  2. Leatherkind Capri Leather Photo Album. ...
  3. Hama Photo Album. ...
  4. Vienrose Photo Album. ...
  5. ZeeYuan Photo Albums Leather Scrapbook. ...
  6. Pioneer X-Pando Magnetic Album. ...
  7. Kiera Grace Photo Album. ...
  8. Pearhead Baby Photo Album.
6 Sept 2022

Which photo album sheet is best? ›

Luster Paper

It's the recommended selection for traditional photo books to showcase every memory. It has a soft reflective sheen and subtle texture.

What is the Best Photobook website? ›

One of the most popular photo album websites out there is Shutterfly—and for good reason! This website offers a variety of options that let you create high-quality photo books, and you can also use it to make other photo-based memorabilia, such as cards, calendars, wall art, blankets, and much more.

Is Snapfish or Shutterfly better? ›

Both Shutterfly and Snapfish have their perks and quirks when it comes to image quality. Snapfish is known to offer better clarity which is often the highest priority for users. In contrast, Shutterfly can help in retaining the original color scheme of your photos better by keeping them at a minimum saturation.

Is Mixbook better than Shutterfly? ›

Mixbook also offers better value for money. The print quality is just as good as Shutterfly. But you can have a high-quality book of pictures at a lower price. Mixbook makes fantastic photo books for a reasonable price.

What is the easiest photo book company? ›

Best photo book sites in 2022
  1. Mixbook. High quality photo books with lots of options and easy to use. ...
  2. Artifact Uprising. Push the boat out for a top quality photo book. ...
  3. Snapfish. A super simple to use guided service. ...
  4. Shutterfly. Lots of add-ons to offer plenty of options for the perfect finish. ...
  5. Picaboo. ...
  6. Amazon Prints.
14 Apr 2022

Are Snapfish photo books good quality? ›

Snapfish has a consumer rating of 1.38 stars from 343 reviews indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. Consumers complaining about Snapfish most frequently mention customer service, live chat and photo book problems. Snapfish ranks 95th among Photo Printing sites.

Are Costco photo books good quality? ›

Costco's photo book is bargain priced, and the book's photo quality is generally quite pleasant and appealing However, Costco's book software doesn't cover all the basics. For example, the straight photo borders and photo editing tools are limited, and you can't span a photo across two pages.

Are photo books better matte or glossy? ›

While matte photos are better for professional use, for showing subtle colors and for under glass, glossy photos are better for snapshots and for vibrant colors. But both give excellent results in most cases, and you are unlikely to be unhappy with prints made with either paper.

Is matte or glossy better for photo album? ›

If your photos will be handled often, a matte finish would be a better option since they will not absorb the fingerprints of users. Because matte finishes are designed to refract as much light as possible, this comes at the cost of colors not appearing as vibrant as they do in glossy photos.

Is matte or glossy better? ›

A glossy finish will come with an ultra-smooth, shiny appearance. It's also very colour rich and vibrant. Whereas matte paper gives off a duller, more subtle finish. Therefore, the content and images on a glossy finish will strike the audience more effectively.

Are photo albums still popular? ›

Photo albums may have taken a back seat since the arrival of the smartphone and digital picture frames, but they are still a popular item for storing printed photos.

What is the best free online photo album? ›

Here are some of the most popular ones for you to choose from.
  • Google Photos. Google Photos. Formerly called Picasa Web Albums, Google Photos is a very attractive option that allows photos of 16 megapixels or less and easy online photo sharing. ...
  • iCloud Photos. iCloud. ...
  • Amazon Photos. Amazon Photos. ...
  • Flickr. Flickr. ...
  • SmugMug. SmugMug.
11 Mar 2022

Why are my Snapfish pictures blurry? ›

If we think the photo isn't large enough to meet the Snapfish standard, you'll see a warning telling you that the image resolution is too low for the size of the photo space you are adding the image to, and the printed image may appear blurry or pixelated.

Is Shutterfly good quality? ›

Shutterfly's print quality is generally quite good, in particular the book's and the card's photo reproduction. But it's just not good enough to measure up to Mixbook or Printique.

Is Snapfish really free? ›

Unfortunately, Snapfish does not offer any of its products for free when you upload a picture from your computer. You have to pay a minimum of 9 Cents for their smallest photo (4×5.3) and more if you plan to order bigger-sized prints.

Are Mixbook photo books good quality? ›

Mixbook offers the best photo-book-building experience, modern design options, and vibrant, color-accurate photo quality. The service also offers great customer service and an impressively powerful app.

Are Mixbook photo books good? ›

Mixbook photo books

Mixbook produced a lovely book with a velvety matte cover that has a pleasant feel. The good quality semi-gloss paper has a nice weight (though not as thick as Shutterfly). The attractive end papers have a good weight and the feel of velum. The binding is solid and well-done.

Is Mixbook cheaper than Shutterfly? ›

That being said, Mixbook's prices aren't far off Shutterfly's. In fact, their base prices are almost identical (although Mixbook's larger photo books are slightly less expensive). However, we're giving Mixbook the edge in this round because they're a little bit more straightforward with pricing than their competitor.

What size photo book should I get? ›

Most photo books are available in the 8.5 x 11-inch size, ideal for landscape photos. This is great for you if you have tons of average-sized horizontal photos. You can also get bigger, 14 x 11-inch photo books for larger-than-average snaps.

What is the cheapest way to make a photo book? ›

THE 5 BEST CHEAP PHOTO BOOKS
  1. SNAPFISH. Select your size, pick a template, and then upload your photos online or via the free Snapfish app. ...
  2. ARTIFACTS UPRISING. These GORGEOUS books make the perfect gift! ...
  3. CHATBOOKS. Just download the free Chatbooks app on your phone, and it connects to your Instagram account. ...
  4. MIXBOOKS.

How many photos do you need for a photo book? ›

There's no set number; extreme lengths for books vary between as few as 12 to more than 300 images. There are number of things to keep in mind when making a photo book. Most photo books contain between 50 and 100 images.

Are Shutterfly and Snapfish the same? ›

Snapfish is a web-based photo sharing and photo printing service owned by Shutterfly based in San Francisco, California.

How many photos can you put in a Snapfish photo book? ›

Step 2: Select Your Photos

Select one photo for the front cover, one photo for the back cover, and 20 more for the pages of the book. Choose photos from your Snapfish account, social channels, and/or camera roll.

How many pages can a Snapfish photo book have? ›

Keep in mind that our photo books require a minimum of 20 pages, so you cannot delete pages if the book has only 20 pages. The maximum number of pages is usually 150, however can vary depending on which photo book you choose. Check each book's product description for more details.

Who are Shutterfly competitors? ›

Here is an in-depth analysis of top Shutterfly's competitors and alternatives:
  • Zazzle. Year founded: 2005. ...
  • Vistaprint. Year founded: 1995. ...
  • Mixbook. Year founded: 2006. ...
  • Picaboo. Year founded: 2002. ...
  • PhotoBox. Year founded: 2000. ...
  • Moo. Year founded: 2006. ...
  • PS Print. Year founded: 1990. ...
  • Walmart Photo. Year founded: 1969.

How many photos can you put in a Costco photo book? ›

All books start at 30 pages and can include up to 60 pages* (for an additional charge). *Premium Photo Books can include up to 100 pages.

Is Shutterfly expensive? ›

Shutterfly shipping is expensive because of the weight and size of some of their products. Fuel costs also play a major role in determining how expensive shipping is going to be. Luckily, you can cut costs by picking up your products in the store or by using various coupons and promo codes.

Do photo books fade? ›

Direct sunlight will fade the colors of your photo book. This also means, not storing it in a basement where mold and mildew may accumulate or worse flooding. Also, the same goes for your attic. Heat rises, it gets very hot in the attic and fluctuating humidity can permanently destroy your photo books.

What photo finish is best for scrapbooking? ›

A matte finish on your photo can make it feel flat or muted. For that reason, a matte photo is an ideal choice for scrapbooking. Plus, a matte finish photo is less affected by fingerprints and smudges—another benefit when placing pictures in a scrapbook.

Which paper is good for photo printing? ›

The most common types of paper for printing photos are glossy, lustre and baryta paper. An inkjet printer uses a printer cartridge that creates an image that is 300 x 300 dpi (dots per inch).

What is matte photo paper good for? ›

Matte paper is particularly suited to photo books which are viewed, passed around and handled by hand. If you want to exhibit your photos, matte paper is ideal since it doesn't create any reflection. It looks like real paper and light will not be reflected on its surface.

Why is matte more expensive than glossy? ›

Which One is More Costly? Printing images with a matte finish are more expensive than printing photos with a glossy finish. Matte has a better-textured surface to absorb more light and the materials used are way more expensive.

Can you frame glossy photos? ›

If you want to frame your photographs, this should be considered. Glossy photos can also stick to glass frames. But they are an excellent choice if you're framing high-definition shots without glass.

What type of photo paper is best for portraits? ›

The de facto standard for wedding and portrait prints over the past four decades has been luster paper. Photo labs refer to this lightly textured media as the "photo e-surface." The terms satin, luster, and sometimes pearl can be used interchangeably.

What is the best company for photo books UK? ›

Best photo book sites 2022
  1. Mixbook. High quality photo books with lots of options and easy to use. ...
  2. Snapfish. Detailed editing and a simple system. ...
  3. Cewe. Simple to use with lots of customisation options. ...
  4. Bonusprint. Simple, quality service with excellent customer support. ...
  5. Bob Books. Super high quality finished product.
11 Jul 2022

Which Photobook is best in Australia? ›

Best Photobooks (Australia) Review
  • #1 'Photobook Australia' (Company) Try Now. If you're looking for the best photobook creator in Australia, look no further than 'Photobook Australia'. ...
  • #2 Snapfish. Try Now. ...
  • #3 Momento. Try Now. ...
  • #4 Papier. Try Now. ...
  • #5 Milk. Try Now. ...
  • #6 BIG W. Try Now.

Is there a better service than Shutterfly? ›

Top 3 ShutterFly Alternatives:

Our choice: MyCanvas. Quickly create photobooks: Mixbook. Extensive collection of templates: Picaboo.

What is the easiest photo book company? ›

Best photo book sites in 2022
  1. Mixbook. High quality photo books with lots of options and easy to use. ...
  2. Artifact Uprising. Push the boat out for a top quality photo book. ...
  3. Snapfish. A super simple to use guided service. ...
  4. Shutterfly. Lots of add-ons to offer plenty of options for the perfect finish. ...
  5. Picaboo. ...
  6. Amazon Prints.
14 Apr 2022

Are Snapfish photo books good quality? ›

Snapfish has a consumer rating of 1.38 stars from 343 reviews indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. Consumers complaining about Snapfish most frequently mention customer service, live chat and photo book problems. Snapfish ranks 95th among Photo Printing sites.

What size photo book should I get? ›

Most photo books are available in the 8.5 x 11-inch size, ideal for landscape photos. This is great for you if you have tons of average-sized horizontal photos. You can also get bigger, 14 x 11-inch photo books for larger-than-average snaps.

Are Costco photo books good quality? ›

Costco's photo book is bargain priced, and the book's photo quality is generally quite pleasant and appealing However, Costco's book software doesn't cover all the basics. For example, the straight photo borders and photo editing tools are limited, and you can't span a photo across two pages.

Is Mixbook Australian? ›

Some of their products, especially books, are printed locally in Australia and they have very reasonable shipping charges. Some are printed in and shipped from the United States.

Is Snapfish in Australia? ›

Almost 2 million Aussies choose Snapfish for their photo memories.

Is Shutterfly in Australia? ›

Shutterfly orders shipped to Canada, Australia, and the UK will be delivered duties paid (DDP). These fees will be included with the shipping charges in the Cart.

Who is the competitor of Shutterfly? ›

Shutterfly's top competitors include Snapfish, Minted, and CafePress. Snapfish is an online photo service. Snapfish enables film camera, digital camera and camera phone users to share, print and store their most important photo memories a…

Is glossy or matte better for photos? ›

If your photos will be handled often, a matte finish would be a better option since they will not absorb the fingerprints of users. Because matte finishes are designed to refract as much light as possible, this comes at the cost of colors not appearing as vibrant as they do in glossy photos.

Is Shutterfly good quality? ›

Shutterfly's print quality is generally quite good, in particular the book's and the card's photo reproduction. But it's just not good enough to measure up to Mixbook or Printique.

What is the cheapest way to make a photo book? ›

THE 5 BEST CHEAP PHOTO BOOKS
  1. SNAPFISH. Select your size, pick a template, and then upload your photos online or via the free Snapfish app. ...
  2. ARTIFACTS UPRISING. These GORGEOUS books make the perfect gift! ...
  3. CHATBOOKS. Just download the free Chatbooks app on your phone, and it connects to your Instagram account. ...
  4. MIXBOOKS.

How many photos do you need for a photo book? ›

There's no set number; extreme lengths for books vary between as few as 12 to more than 300 images. There are number of things to keep in mind when making a photo book. Most photo books contain between 50 and 100 images.

Is Shutterfly expensive? ›

Shutterfly shipping is expensive because of the weight and size of some of their products. Fuel costs also play a major role in determining how expensive shipping is going to be. Luckily, you can cut costs by picking up your products in the store or by using various coupons and promo codes.

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