Home Printing Statistics 2021

What is the UK printing, how much are they printing and what is the most popular printer manufacturer?

A new study by Cartridge People reveals the home printing habits of UK residents as the printer continues to support families and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. The study also revealed what we’re now using our printers for, which is the post popular printer manufacturer and the lack of understanding around which consumables to use.

Key Findings

Cartridge People conducted a study asking 1,531 people about their printing habits. This research has found that:

  • More than one in five people are printing more now than they were prior to the pandemic.
  • Over a quarter of people are using their printer daily and half are printing on weekly basis.
  • 28% of people are now using their printer for working from home, 14% now need to print either for their child’s or their own education.
  • 19% of people are using their printer to keep in touch with others by sending letters.
  • HP is currently the most popular printer manufacturer in the UK (47% of respondents).
  • A third of UK printer owners are not using compatible printer cartridges.
  • 22% of people believe that third party cartridges will damage their printer and 17% believe they will invalidate their printer warranty.
  • More than three quarters of UK printer owners are using an inkjet printer.
  • Alarmingly, more than one in ten printer owners don’t know whether their printer accepts ink or toner cartridges.

The impact of the pandemic

Since the initial UK lockdown back in March 2020, there’s been a shift in how people go about their day-to-day lives. Working from home has become a new norm that may even become a mainstay once the pandemic is over. Schools have been closed at various times and parents have needed to home school whilst others have needed to print more than ever to keep in touch with relatives, relieve the boredom of lockdown through arts and crafts and all this has combined to produce a period when the demand for printers has never been higher.

It is perhaps then unsurprising to learn that the study found that more than one in five (22%) of us are printing more now than before the pandemic started. According to the results, 27% of people are printing on a daily basis and 50% are using their printer every week.

What are we printing?

Just over half of the people in the survey said they used their home printer for general use such as document printing, tickets, bills and receipts.

The impact of the pandemic can be seen in the 28% of people who now rely on their printer to support their business and/or for working from home. With 14% answering that they use their printer for educational needs, this supports what many are saying around the need to print when home schooling.

Parents have taken to social media to talk about the need to print as a result of their child’s school being closed during lockdown and one caller to ITV’s This Morning received a free printer from presenter Holly Willoughby.

The home printer has often been used as parts of arts and crafts activities and whilst the country has gone through various lockdowns, it’s clear the 10% people who use their printer for this reason would have done so to alleviate the boredom.

What is surprising is that nearly one in five are printing in order to stay in touch with others. At a time when social media and video calls seem to be championed as the ways to communicate, many are still sending letters to loved ones in a more traditional way.

Despite the lack of travel, we’re still using the home printer for photographs and perhaps as a way to try and capture the events of the past year. It’s also heartening to see that despite the difficulty the nation’s faced, 11% of people are printing to support charity or church organisations.

Best Printer Manufacturer 2021

Receiving 47% of the votes, HP is the most popular printer manufacturer in the UK according to the findings. Canon came in second place with 20% of the vote, Epson a close third with 17% and then making up the “printer champions league places” is Brother with 7%.

When asked what type of printer people owned. 76% of people said that they owned an inkjet printer, which has always been viewed as a machine better suited to a home where mono and colour printing is required. When it comes to laser printers, 18% said they owned one. Label printers, whilst their popularity may have grown with the switch to home working are still only owned by under 2% of respondents.

A worry though is that there are many who still aren’t sure what type of printer they actually own. More than one in ten (11%) said that they weren’t sure whether their printer was an inkjet or laser printer.

Own Brand Compatible Cartridges

For a long time, Cartridge People has been helping businesses and home printer users to save money when it comes to buying replacement cartridges. Their research has found though that a third of printer owners still aren’t using compatible alternatives and taking advantage of the significant savings on offer.

Of those who said they don’t use compatible, 22% said the reason was that they thought they would damage the printer. And it was found that 17% felt using Own Brand products would invalidate their warranty – this is not true!

John Flanagan, Cartridge People Managing Director, said: “Our ‘Home Printing Statistics’ study highlights what we at Cartridge People have known for some time, that the pandemic has seen an unprecedented demand for home printers and office supplies. We’re aware of the various reasons people in the UK choose to print but there are still findings here that took us by surprise such as the 19% of people who still print letters.

What we’re continuing to do is try and do our best to ensure that the extra printing parents and workers are having to do as a result of lockdowns doesn’t become a burden financially. That’s why we’re constantly trying to educate customers about the use of Own Brand products. There has been misinformation for some time now about how they invalidate printer warranties and it’s simply not the case. You can buy in confidence and for our Own Brand cartridges there is a Lifetime Printer Guarantee for added peace of mind. There’s no reason to not take advantage of the savings on offer, particularly at a time where families, businesses and individuals may already be finding times tough.

What I would say to all those looking to buy a printer is to make sure they know what they’re getting and choose the right printer for their needs. The one in ten from our study is a concern not just because people don’t know what machine they have, but because they’ll not know what consumables to buy and there are cost differences between ink and toner products. If ever you’re unsure, get in touch with us and we’ll only be happy to help.”

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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