best thermal printers for shipping labels

Best Printer for UPS Labels | Top 10 Picks

The world we know today is a lot smaller than it was thirty or forty years ago. As networking continues to grow, the world is becoming smaller. This, in turn, gave rise to many different small businesses that sell their products online by making use of different shipping platforms.

United Parcel Service, or UPS for short, is a multinational shipping service that businesses often use to deliver products to their customers. And if you are planning to start a small business and want to get your goods to your customers effectively, you can make use of their services.

However, to get the full benefit of using UPS to deliver your products, you need to invest in a shipping label printer. The best printer for UPS labels will let you produce shipping labels that contain address validations of your shipments and their recipients to make sure that they reach their proper destination.

But which one would you choose? That is what we are here to discuss. In this article, we will give you a thorough rundown of some of the finest UPS label printers to help you figure out which one will serve you the best.

Editor’s Recommendation: Top 3 Best Printer for UPS Labels

Things To Consider When Buying The Best Printer For UPS Labels

Before we head into our recommended list of products, let us look at the elements that you should consider when buying a new printer. Since you are investing in this device for your business, maximizing its value is always important.

To that end, here are a couple of key factors that you might want to consider.

  • Thermal Printers

Though you can technically use any printer for printing shipping labels, for the best results, we recommend going with a thermal printer. These printers use a special type of paper and do not use any ink or toner cartridges when transferring text to that paper.

Because of this design, you will not have to worry about any ink or toner replacement costs. It also prevents any ink smudges as it uses heat to directly transfer the text. Resulting text is also clearer. Usually, all shipping platforms recommend using a thermal printer for printing labels.

  • Printing Speed

The rate at which your printer can deliver shipping labels directly translates to how many shipments you can create at a stretch. So, print speed is almost always a critical factor to consider.

Typically, thermal printers measure speed in terms of inches or millimeters per second. If the printer can print at a rate of around 120 millimeters per second, it is a pretty good option. However, a lot of the printers on the market these days can reliably deliver a speed of around 150 millimeters per second without any issues.

Printing Speed for Perfect Print

  • Print Resolution

Print resolution is also an important factor to consider, as is print speed. You want the quality of the text to be crisp and clear so that there is no confusion in the address or name of the recipient. And it all depends on the output resolution of the printer.

With thermal printers, you should never settle for anything less than 200 DPI resolution. In fact, many shipping platforms, including UPS, require a minimum of 200 DPI resolution from the shipping labels. So, going with a lower resolution printer is not generally a good idea.

  • Barcode Compatibility

UPS smart labels are computer-generated, and you can make them pretty easily from your computer. To use this function, you must have a printer that can print barcodes, as this is one of the smart label’s key features.

Barcode Capability

Thankfully, most thermal printers these days can print and generate barcodes without issues. Still, it is always worth checking for it beforehand in the product specifications.

  • Ease of Use

A thermal label printer is typically a pretty simple unit. But there are some units that try to make things easier for the user. Unless you are a tech-savvy person, you will almost always have a better experience with a user-friendly unit that lets you print labels quickly without jumping through a lot of hoops.

If the printer’s drivers are too complicated to install, or you need to deal with paper jams all the time with a unit, then it will add an unnecessary hassle to your life. So, for the best experience, go with a printer that does not have these issues and is simple and straightforward in its functions.

Top 10 Best Printer For UPS Labels Reviews

When you want to buy the best thermal printer for UPS labels, you can never be too careful. You can easily fall victim to false advertising and end up with a mediocre unit despite spending premium bucks. That is why having some idea of the top options on the market can help you out a lot.

In the following section of the article, we will give you a quick rundown of some of the finest printers for UPS labels to help you find the perfect one for your requirements.

1. Arkscan 2054A Shipping Label Printer for Windows Mac Chromebook Linux

Arkscan 2054A Shipping Label Printer for Windows Mac Chromebook Linux, Supports Amazon Ebay Paypal Etsy Shopify ShipStation Stamps.com UPS USPS FedEx DHL, Roll & Fanfold 4x6 Direct Thermal Label

We will be starting our list of reviews with one of the best options for printing shipping labels for UPS by the brand Arkscan. The 2054A is a compact option that takes minimal space on your table but delivers excellent speed and performance for the price.

With a print speed of 130 millimeters per second, the unit might not be the fastest on the market. However, it is extremely consistent and can use both roll papers and fanfold papers loaded at the back. The maximum print resolution of the unit is 203 DPI, which is enough to deliver crisp and clear texts.

The unit is capable of printing shipping labels, product labels, barcodes, or any other labels for all platforms. Not only is it a great choice for printing UPS labels, but also for other shipping platforms online, such as Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and many more.

With your purchase, you will also get access to the BarTender UltraLite label editor software for free. This will help you customize your labels according to your requirements and the platform that you are using. It might seem like a non-factor, but it does add a nice touch to your investment.

Pros:

  • Compact and portable design
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, and Linux
  • Can print labels for all shipping platforms
  • Can use both roll and fanfold paper types

Cons:

  • Mediocre print speed

Verdict: If you want consistency in your prints and do not want to deal with paper jams, then this can be a great investment. Despite its subpar print speed, the quality that you get in your text makes it worth the price. And the fact that it works with all operating systems is a good thing too.

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2. K Comer Thermal Shipping Label Printer

K Comer Shipping Label Printer 150mm/s High-Speed 4x6 Direct Thermal Label Printing for Shipment Package 1-Click Setup on Windows/Mac,Label Maker Compatible with Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, FedEx,USPS,Etsy

For our next option, we will be going with the Thermal Shipping Label Printer by the brand K Comer. Thermal printers are always preferable to inkjet and laser printers for label printing. And when it comes to thermal printers, the performance that you get out of this unit is unbeatable.

The first thing you will notice is its high-speed printing capabilities. It can print 150 millimeters per second, which translates to around 82 labels per minute. That, combined with its 203 DPI print resolution, makes for a fantastic combo for tackling all your label printing needs.

This printer can print any label size under 4 x 6 inches, which means you will not have any issues regardless of the shipping platform you are using. To further enhance printing stability, the unit comes with a counterweight inside it that ensures you get more than 50,000 prints from it before it shows signs of age.

The printer comes in a bundle containing the printer itself and a U disk for quick and easy installation of the driver. You also get 20 sheets of test paper to use and check the quality of the print the moment you get your hands on it. The unit works on both Windows and Mac operating systems like a charm.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent printing speed
  • Comes with 20 sheets of test paper
  • Compatible with all shipping platforms

Cons:

  • Does not support Linux or Chrome OS

Verdict: As long as you are on the right operating system, the unit will work flawlessly. It takes only a few minutes to set up properly since you get the driver disk included with your purchase. Furthermore, the compact design of the printer makes it a great choice if you are working on a tight desktop.

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3. BESTEASY Label Printer, USPS Label Printer

BESTEASY Label Printer,USPS Label Printer,4x6 Direct Thermal Printer,Commercial Grade Label Printer,High Speed,Clear Printing,Compatible with USPS,FedEx,Amazon, Ebay,UPS,Etsy,Shopify,etc

The BESTEASY Label Printer is what you want to get if you have a tight office space and can spare only minimal room for your printer. It is quite lightweight and gives you two color options to choose from: white and grey. For the sake of our review, we went with the Grey unit, but the white is the same in every aspect.

Rated speed of the unit is around 102 millimeters per second, which makes it one of the slowest options on this list. However, that does not mean you should overlook it, as its print quality is one of the finest out there. Besides, the issue of paper jams is practically non-existent thanks to its excellent design.

This unit can handle both stack and roll types thermal paper, so you can use whichever you want. It has a print resolution of 203 DPI, which is enough for all major shipping platforms. And as for print media size, it can handle just about any label size under 4 x 6 inches.

Instead of giving you a U Disk, the unit comes with a free flash drive that contains the driver software inside. Installation and setting it up takes only a couple of minutes, and it works with both Windows and Mac OS. You also get 100 sheets of label paper to get your business off the ground right away.

Pros:

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Easy to install
  • Works with both Windows and Mac OS
  • Good print quality

Cons:

  • Subpar print speed

Verdict: Because of the affordable price tag of this thermal printer, it can be a great choice for people who are just starting their business. If you, however, require a large volume of labels printed daily, we recommend going with a faster unit that can handle a bigger workload.

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4. Phomemo 4×6 Shipping Label Printer

Phomemo Label Printer- 4''×6'' Label Thermal Printer- High Speed Printing at 150mm/s PM-246 Thermal Printer, Compatible with UPS WorldShip, Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Shopify,etc

Next is the 4×6 Shipping Label Printer by the brand Phomemo. It comes in two color options, so you can pick whichever one suits your work environment best. Regardless of your color preference, the performance you will get out of them will be superb.

The best part about this unit is its superior print speed. With a rate of 152 millimeters per second, you will be able to print around 85 to 90 labels per minute. In addition, the premium print head in the unit, along with its high-resolution output, ensures that the print quality of your labels will be excellent each time.

Compatibility is another key feature of the unit, and you will not be limited to only one or two shipping platforms with it. Whether you are printing labels for UPS or printing Amazon FBA labels, you should have no trouble with this unit. It also serves well for small businesses making use of platforms like Etsy or eBay.

You can use this unit both on Windows and Mac operating systems. With your purchase, you get access to two software programs. The labelife is a label editor for your PC that lets you quickly set up your preferences when printing labels

And lastly, the free diagnostic tool will let you quickly monitor the condition and diagnose any issues that may come up with your printer.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Comes with two free software
  • Excellent print speed
  • High-Quality print head

Cons:

  • Setup can be a bit confusing on a Mac.

Verdict: If you are running a Windows PC, this could be one of the best choices for you. Though it takes a while to get it set up on a Mac computer, once you get it installed, it works flawlessly. Still, unless you are experienced with operating your computer and diagnosing problems, you might have some trouble setting it up on your Mac.

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5. Phomemo Thermal Label Printer

Phomemo M02 Pocket Printer- Mini Bluetooth Wireless Portable Mobile Printer Thermal Printer Compatible with iOS + Android for Learning Assistance, Study Notes, Journal, Fun, Work, Ice Cream Green

While the last product that we reviewed by Phomemo was excellent, it had a few problems. Firstly, the installation on a Mac system was a bit hectic. And secondly, despite being compact enough for most workspaces, it was still a tad larger than other thermal printers that we are used to seeing on the market.

It seems that the manufacturers took all of these issues into consideration and came up with a new unit aimed at people who have gripes with these very issues. This unit from the brand features a much more compact design and comes with a USB flash drive included, making the setup as effortless as possible.

But there also seemed to have been no compromises in terms of quality. You will still get high-speed printing thanks to its 152 millimeters per second print speed. In addition, the quality of the print also remains the same since they did not change the print head nor the output resolution.

Another important addition to the printer is the inclusion of Automatic Label Detection that can detect and adjust the positioning of the label precisely to make the printing process go faster. As expected, the unit works with both Windows and Mac and takes minimal time to set up.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Looks very stylish
  • High-speed printing
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • A bit pricier than their previous option

Verdict: With the small design improvements that the brand applied to this product, it could be a valid choice if you need to print labels frequently for UPS or other shipping platforms. It does cost a bit more, but the bump in performance is quite noticeable. So, if that appeals to you, it might be worth a look.

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6. Phomemo PM-246 Pro Thermal Shipping Label Printer

Bekhuz Phomemo PM-246 Pro Thermal Shipping Label Printer, High-Speed Desktop Label Printer for Shipping Packages and Barcodes, Inkless 4x6 Label Printer Compatible with USPS and UPS

If you were following along with our reviews of different UPS thermal printers, then you already know that Phomemo is a formidable brand in the field. While the previous two units were modeled for small businesses, the PM-246 Pro is designed for people who want to use this device professionally.

As you have seen, the print speed in the unit is 152 millimeters per second, which is the standard with most of their printers. But the print output, thanks to its 203 DPI resolution, is sublime. In combination with the high-quality print head in the device, the quality of your labels will be impeccable.

Concerning paper compatibility, it can use both roll and stack types of paper. It features the Automatic Label Detection attribute that quickly recognizes your shipping labels the moment you feed them, to make your life easier. And the best part is, it is compatible with all major shipping platforms.

When it comes to OS compatibility, you will most likely be using it on both Windows and Mac. And this unit comes with drivers for both platforms. You will get a USB stick with the driver files included with your purchase to make installation as simple as possible, along with a free label holder and 20 sheets of 4 x 6-inch labels.

Pros:

  • Designed for professional use
  • Excellent print speed and output
  • Compatible with both roll and stack type papers
  • Includes a lot of accessories

Cons:

  • A bit on the pricy side

Verdict: Though we think it costs a bit more than typical thermal printers with this level of speed and quality, the manufacturers do make up for it by giving you a few handy goodies. Both the free stacks of thermal papers and the label holder will come in handy for a long while even if you switch to another printer down the line.

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7. MUNBYN Label Printer, 150mm/s 4×6 Desktop USB Thermal Shipping Label Printer

MUNBYN Label Printer, 150mm/s 4x6 Desktop USB Thermal Shipping Label Printer for Shipping Packages Postage Home Small Business, Compatible with Etsy, Shopify,Ebay, Amazon, FedEx, UPS

MUNBYN is another brand that has a couple of fantastic options when you are buying a UPS label thermal printer. This particular model comes in four different color varieties, including a cute pink and a classy green one. So, you can pick out the one that best suits your personality.

It comes with a standard print speed of 150 millimeters per second, which is enough to help you get through large stacks of shipping labels within a short time. In practice, the unit lets you print around 72 labels per minute, with each label having clear text and no smudging.

The Automatic Label Detection system in the unit analyzes your label and makes it effortless to adjust and position it perfectly. With it, you will be able to print labels for all major platforms up to a size of 4 x 6 inches. Furthermore, it can handle both stack and roll types thermal paper.

Whether you are on a Windows PC or a Mac, you should have no trouble setting it up. It boasts a one minutes setup process that makes the entire installation hiccups with a new printer almost non-existent. Under the hood, it also comes with a neat overheat protection feature.

Pros:

  • Compact and stylish design
  • Multiple color options
  • Excellent print speed
  • Built-in overheat protection

Cons:

  • No apparent cons

Verdict: As far as thermal printers go; this is one of the better options out there. It can continuously print up to 700 labels without any inconsistencies. So, if you are planning to use it for some heavy-duty label printing, it should not disappoint you in the slightest.

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8. Thermal Label Printer, Rongta High Speed 4×6 Label Printer

Rongta Label Printer, 4x6 Thermal Shipping Label Printer, Desktop Label Printer,Commercial Barcode Printer for Small Business, Compatible with Amazon,UPS, FedEx,USPS, Etsy,Shopify Etc (RP420 Printer)

The Rongta label printer is one that we hold in high regard because of its exceptional performance for the price. It is also an easy printer to use and comes with all the features you would need to print out shipping labels for UPS. And if it matters to you, it also looks quite stylish.

Boasting a print speed of around 150 millimeters per second, this unit will let you get through your shipments quickly any time you fire it up. With continuous use, you should be able to print out around 72 labels per minute without any lack of quality for each label that you print.

It works with all types of UPS labels for printers, including stack and roll types. So, paper compatibility should never be an issue. Besides, with its Automatic Label identification feature, you will be able to automatically position and adjust your labels depending on the shipping platform of your choice.

This label printer is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. You get a handy flash drive included with your purchase containing your driver software for an easy and effortless installation. So, you will be able to get started with your label printing the moment you get your hands on the printer.

Pros:

  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Excellent print speed
  • Features automatic label identification
  • Works on all platforms

Cons:

  • Nothing worth nitpicking

Verdict: This is one of the best choices out there if you are on a budget. It works perfectly out of the box the moment you install the drivers. For a hassle-free experience, this printer could be a great option for you.

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9. Micmi Commercial Direct Thermal Desktop Label Printer

Shipping Label Printer, Micmi Thermal Printer Support Amazon Ebay PayPal Etsy Shopify Shipstation Stamps.com Ups USPS FedEx DHL Support Windows Mac, Roll & Fanfold Thermal Direct Label 4x6 inch

Do you like the thought of owning a cool and stylish thermal printer that you can use to print shipping labels any time you want? Are you on a surface PC? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then there is only one choice out there that is worth considering: the Commercial Direct Thermal Printer by Micmi.

Featuring a print speed of around 127 millimeters per second, it can get you through a decent chunk of labels within a short time. It might not be the best in terms of raw speed, but when it comes to quality and print reliability, it does not disappoint in the slightest thanks to its excellent output resolution.

With the unit, you get access to free software that lets you edit your labels easily. The Bartender Ultralight label editor is a windows-based utility software that will let you quickly adjust and customize your labels depending on the platform you are using. So, you can print shipping labels for any platform like UPS, FedEx, Amazon, etc.

Keep in mind, though, that this unit is not for you if you are on a Mac system. It supports both Windows and Surface tablet PCs, and setting it up takes only a few minutes at best. It is also incompatible with Chrome OS-based systems. If that is not a problem, then your experience should be pretty great with this printer.

Pros:

  • Stylish looks and compact design
  • Decent print speed
  • Excellent print resolution
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Does not work on Mac

Verdict: Unless you are a Mac enthusiast, you will have no reason to not like this printer. It works flawlessly as long as you are on the right platform. And considering its ability to print labels for all major shipping platforms, there is really no reason not to pick one up.

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10. Polono Label Printer-150mm/s 4×6 Thermal Label Printer

Polono Label Printer - 150mm/s 4x6 Thermal Label Printer, Commercial Direct Thermal Label Maker, Compatible with Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, Shopify and FedEx, One Click Setup on Windows and Mac

The Polono Label Printer PL60 might be the coolest and most eye-catching label printer that we have on our list. And that is why we felt that it was the best choice to wrap up this list. However, looks aside, the performance that this unit delivers are also quite admirable for the price.

This unit supports high-speed printing, with the ability to print about 72 shipping labels per minute. Thanks to its rated speed of 150 millimeters per second, you will be able to use this machine to keep printing shipping labels for your online business or other ventures without any issues.

It also features an Automatic Label Detection feature along with high-resolution print output. So, you will not have to worry about positioning or setting up the labels or about the consistency of quality. Any time you fire it up, you can expect the label to come out flawlessly.

This unit comes in three color variants grey, green, and black, and each of them looks quite fabulous. It works on both Mac and Windows computers and boasts a quick one-minute setup. The driver for the printer is included in the U-disk along with a handy user manual with all the information that you will need for it.

Pros:

  • Comes in three different color variations
  • Excellent build quality
  • Good print speed and consistency
  • Works on both Windows and Mac

Cons:

  • No apparent cons

Verdict: Though quality is the most important element, style should never take a backseat if that appeals to you. With this unit, you will get the looks and the performance included in one fell swoop. It is definitely a worthy contender if you are on the market for a new thermal label printer.

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How To Print UPS Labels?

Printing the perfect UPS label requires you to get the right printer. That is the first step, and you should already have a pretty good set of products to choose from after going through our list of reviews. For the sake of this guide, we will be using the Arkscan 2054A Shipping Label Printer that we reviewed above.

Best UPS Labels Printer

However, that does not mean you have to use the same printer like us. Just get any thermal shipping label printer and set it up properly. Make sure your printer is configured correctly or it might cause issues while printing out the final label. With everything covered, here are the steps to printing UPS labels:

  • On the UPS website, go to the “Create a Shipment” option listed in the Shipping tab
  • Fill in all relevant details, such as shipping service or payment details, in the following window, and proceed to the final page, where you will find the option Pay and Get Label(s)
  • If you have a popup blocker enabled, now is the time to disable it as you will not be able to progress further. With the popup blocker turned off, you should be redirected to a new window
  • On the next page, untick both the options “Print to UPS Thermal Printer” and “Print Label Instructions” and click “Print Labels.”
  • A new window should open in your browser with a preview of the shipping label and some settings for you to review
  • You want to set the print destination to your thermal printer and change the “Layout” to “Landscape”
  • Click on “More Settings” and set the Paper Size to “4 x 6”, Margins to “None”, and Scale to “146”
  • Set the “Pages” to 2 and press “Print”
  • That is all there is to it. Your thermal printer should print out your shipping label at the perfect size

What Printer Should I Buy For Shipping Labels?

If you are planning to print shipping labels for Etsy or UPS, then you should go with a specific type of printer. Going with an inkjet or a laser printer is not a good idea, as those printers face some issues when trying to print labels.

The main issue with laser printers is that they cannot be set up to print one label after another. So, any time you want to print out a shipping label, you need to repeat the whole process. It can make it extremely tedious when you are trying to print out a large volume of shipping labels.

Print Etsy Labels

On the other hand, inkjet printers have the issue of smearing. Since this type of printer uses ink cartridges to deliver the image or text to the paper, it can often lead to smudging when printing shipping labels. If any text on your label is smudged, it will not be accepted by UPS.

That is why UPS, or any other major shipping platform for that matter, recommends only using a thermal direct printer for printing labels. These printers are ink-free and use heat to transfer text. We have already given you plenty of great thermal printers to choose from in our list of reviews.

How Do I Print A UPS Label With A Tracking Number?

If you want to reprint a past shipment label from your tracking number, these are the steps you want to follow:

  • Login to your account on the UPS website and navigate to the Shipment History window
  • Select the specific package that you want to print with the tracking number
  • Then go to the Printing Activities tab and select the type of label that you want to print
  • After that, set it up to print the labels with your thermal printer

How Long Are  Good For?

After creating a shipping label using UPS, Internet Shipping, UPS WorldShip, or UPS Online Tools, you have to wait around 24 days before you can void a shipment. However, to use this service, the label needs to be within 90 days of its creation.

How Long Are UPS Labels Good For

You can void a package by simply selecting it using the tracking number and choosing the “Void” option. You will be redirected to a confirmation page.

If 90 days have passed since the creation of the label, you need to contact UPS support for this request. However, after 180 days, you can no longer request to void a shipment.

Final Words

If you are delivering goods via UPS service, then getting a printer with the capacity to print labels efficiently is a good idea. It will save you the expense of having to use any third-party printing services. And since printing labels using a shipping label printer is easy, there is absolutely no reason to get one for yourself.

We hope our article on the best printer for UPS labels leaves you with a couple of good choices. Regardless of the unit you choose from our list, you should have a pretty great experience with it. Good Luck!

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