Thermal Printer vs Laser Printer Comparison & Differences

Thermal Printer vs Laser Printer Comparison & Differences

Thermal Printer vs Laser Printer

In this article, we will compare thermal printers vs laser printers to help you decide which type of printer is best for your needs. There are many factors to consider when choosing between a thermal printer and a laser printer, including cost, speed, quality, and durability.

Thermal printers create images using heat, while laser printers use lasers to create images.

What are thermal printers?

The thermal printer is a low-cost and easy-to-use device that can produce barcodes, texts, or images. These printers use thermal paper to print.

Thermal printers are a type of printer that creates prints using heat. The thermal printer head heats up, and the heat is used to melt wax or ink onto paper. This creates a print that is readable by humans. Thermal printers are often used for receipts because the thermal printhead can create clear text and graphics on receipt paper quickly and easily.

What are laser printers?

Laser printers are a type of printer that uses lasers to create prints. Lasers printers are a bit more complex but offer many benefits. For example, they can print on paper without any chemicals or emissions from traditional printers.

The lasers beam is used to fuse toner powder onto paper, creating an image that can be read by humans. Laser printers are often used for documents because they produce high-quality text and graphics.

When to use a thermal printer?

thermal printer is best for printing barcodes, text, or images onto thermal paper. Thermal printers are often used in retail and hospitality settings because they are low-cost and easy to use. They also produce clear prints quickly and easily.

When to use a laser printer?

Laser printers are best for printing documents with high-quality text and graphics. Laser printers can also print on a variety of materials, including recycled paper and cardboard. They are often used in any business like it can be the best print for school, for office for large printing jobs and can be a most suitable printer for home.

Thermal Printer vs Laser Printer Comparision

When it comes time to purchase a printer for your business, you may be wondering if you should buy a thermal printer or a laser printer. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is the right fit for you? In this blog post, we’ll compare thermal printers and laser printers to help you make the best decision for your business. So, the following are the differences between thermal printers and laser printers.

Thermal Printer vs Laser Printer


Laser printers are more expensive than thermal printers, but they provide higher quality printing. The toner cartridges for laser models need to be replaced much less frequently because it’s formulated with special ink. The thermal printer needs special paper to work, these are called “thermal” papers. And must be obtained from a supplier who stocks this type of product.


Thermal printers print faster than laser printers. thermal printers are better for printing barcodes, text, or images onto thermal paper. while laser printers are best for printing documents with high-quality text and graphics.

Laser printers are slower than thermal ones, and they require a long warm-up time before printing. Their simplicity in design for laser printer models that have this feature provides insight into why it takes so much longer to print something with them when compared to more modern technologies such as those using inkjet processes instead.

Purpose of Use

Both types of printers are used for different purposes. Thermal printers are used to print stickers, receipts, and small prints, and mostly these are used on shops and receptions. whereas the laser printer can be used in any business environment like an office, shop, school, and home. these are the general-purpose printer for multiple jobs. There are some laser printer models that can be used for printing the best labels and stickers.

Quality of print:

Laser and thermal printers produce higher quality prints than their counterparts. Both types can print in black ink, but if you want color versions they tend to be more expensive.

Thermal Printer and Laser Printer Comparison

Thermal Printers
✅ More Durable- Made for harsh environments
✅ Faster Prints Speed
✅ Prints on what is needed
✅ Lower Power Consumption
✅ Available in small size.
❌Limited Color Options
❌ Media Size Restrictions
Laser Printer
✅ High-Quality Image and Print
✅ Detailed quality image with more color options
✅ Different Print options and applications for printing
✅ Duplex Printing
❌ Toner Required to refill
❌Take more time to warm up and Consumes high power



Is a thermal printer the same as a laser printer?

The main difference between a thermal and a laser printer is the way they work. A laser printer uses a toner cartridge to print the documents. This cartridge contains a dry powder that is mixed with the heat of the laser and applied to the paper for printing. A thermal printer is different in that it uses special paper that is coated with particles of wax. As the paper passes through the printer, it is heated by an electrically-heated print head. When the paper is heated, the wax particles melt, forming a pattern on the paper that represents the data. The printer then cools the paper and the wax re-hardens. When the paper cools, the wax re-hardens, creating a permanent image.

Is a thermal printer worth it?

Thermal printers are used to print receipts and tickets for places like a grocery store. They sometimes also have a feature to print out a label to stick on a box. If you don’t use a lot of thermal printers, then I wouldn’t recommend a thermal printer. If you buy a thermal printer, you will need to buy thermal paper for it. Thermal paper is more expensive than regular paper and it’s not recyclable. If you buy thermal paper, remember to always buy the paper which is made to work with your specific printer. Don’t buy paper that’s made for a different printer or it will jam in your printer. Also, be sure to turn off your printer if you’re not using it. Your printer will continue to print new copies of the last thing you printed until you turn it off.

What are the disadvantages of a thermal printer?

  • The thermal printer uses a small heating element to transfer the image from the ribbon onto the paper. This means that you can only print on paper with a thermal coating.
  • You also need to wait for the printing to cool down before you can handle the paper.
  • In a regular printer, you can print a lot faster, and you can print on plain paper.
  • Low-quality control:  Thermal printers are not very accurate. Therefore, it is recommended to use thermal printers for applications that do not require high print quality.
  • Low printing speed: Thermal printers print a little slow. This is because thermal paper does not pass through the printer very quickly.
  • They are not very reliable: The electric circuits of the thermal printers are usually very sensitive; this means that they can easily break down.
  • Therefore, it is recommended to use thermal printers in low-traffic or industrial environments.
  • Thermal printers are not very accurate. Therefore, it is recommended to use thermal printers for applications that do not require high print quality.

Can you print on thermal paper with a laser printer?

The answer is ” no “. To print on thermal paper you have required a thermal print head, which every thermal printer has. Whereas the laser printer uses toner and light combination to print on paper. Printing of paper with a laser printer involves several steps of magnetizing the drum and then transferring that on the page. Even if the paper can go in, the paper will be black after the fixing and heating. So thermal printers are needed to print thermal label paper.

Do thermal printers run out of ink?

They do not run out of ink. For instance, if you were to print out something from your computer and the resulting received paper was blank, then you can be pretty sure your printer has run out of ink. However, thermal printers print out a receipt at the moment of the transaction, so if your customer is paying cash and there is no receipt, then that means your thermal printer hasn’t run out of ink.

Does a thermal printer require toner?

No, a thermal printer does not require toner. It uses heat-sensitive paper, which has a wax-like layer on one of the printing surfaces. A heating element then “melts” the wax, turning it into a liquid, which changes the colour of the paper to black. It then cools down and hardens, producing a permanent mark. A thermal printer is usually slower than a laser printer, but its output is useful for people who require a hard copy.


Thermal printers are less expensive than laser printers. Their printing process is also more efficient and the ink they use will last for a longer time before it needs to be replaced. Laser printers cost more upfront, but the quality of the print is better. Meaning you may not need to purchase as many replacement cartridges over time. So which type of printer should you invest in? The answer depends on your business needs. If speed and efficiency are important factors, then thermal would be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if image clarity or longevity are key metrics by which you measure success with your digital marketing strategy, the laser might make sense for your company’s goals.

Waqas Azam
Me Waqas Azam and I am a professional blogger & freelance writer. I also working in the IT industry for over 7 years. I am graduated in Computer Science and information technology.