The Best Shipping Label Printers for Small Business in 2024

We're here to explore the best shipping label printers for small businesses in 2024, helping you find the perfect tool to streamline your order fulfilment and enhance your logistics process.

When managing logistics in-house for your small business, having the right tools can make a world of difference. It’s all about making your process smoother and more accurate while saving you some serious time and cash.

There are few better examples of this than a reliable shipping label printer that can become your new secret weapon for e-commerce order fulfilment.

In this piece, we take a closer look at the best shipping label printers for small businesses in 2024, rounding up all the options ready to fit your needs and budget.

Why Use a Shipping Label Printer?

Using a dedicated shipping label printer has its perks:

  1. Efficiency: Get those labels out fast and speed up your whole fulfilment process.
  2. Cost savings: Thermal printers are the real MVPs here, ditching the need for ink or toners while saving you some serious dough.
  3. Accuracy: No more squinting at smudged labels. These printers give you that crisp, clear look every time.
  4. Professionalism: A well-printed label? It’s like dressing your package in a suit for an instant professional impression.

Common Types of Shipping Label Printers

Shipping label printers generally fall into two categories – direct thermal and thermal transfer. Here’s a quick overview of both:

  1. Direct thermal printers: These types of shipping label printers use heat to work their magic on thermal paper. The best thermal printers are simple and cost-effective. But watch out – labels can fade over time, especially if they’re soaking up too much sun.
  2. Thermal transfer printers: These types of shipping label printers use a heated ribbon to create labels that can handle whatever life throws at them. Although pricier upfront, they’ll last through just about anything.

How to Choose the Right Printer?

Treat choosing a label printer for your small business like picking a sidekick. The key to getting your all-important decision right is a piece of cake when you know what you’re looking for.

For starters, here are all the attributes the best label makers possess:

  1. Print quality and speed: You want your labels to look sharp and fly out fast.
  2. Running costs: Keep an eye on those ongoing expenses. Ink and toner can add up.
  3. Connectivity options: USB, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth? Make sure it can integrate with your current setup.
  4. Label size compatibility: Ensure your printer handles whatever sizes you’re throwing at it.
  5. Durability and maintenance: You want something that’ll go the distance without needing too much TLC.
  6. Software integration and ease of use: No tech headaches here. Make sure it plays well with your other systems.

The Best Shipping Label Printers for Small Businesses

Without further ado, here are our top label printing machines for small businesses in 2024, set to elevate your shipping processes:

1. Zebra ZD421

A sturdy build and user-friendly interface make this label printer for small businesses a dependable option. Plus, you can upgrade to wireless for added convenience.


  • Built tough to withstand your busiest days.
  • Produces professional-quality labels every time.
  • Easy-to-use interface for hassle-free printing.  
  • Upgradeable for wireless printing flexibility.


  • The initial cost is on the higher side but worth the investment.
  • It requires a bit of setup time, but once completed, you’re good to go.

Recommended use case:

Ideal for small to medium-sized businesses seeking reliability and quality in their label printing.

Cost analysis:

While the upfront cost may be steep, the Zebra ZD421’s durability and performance make it a wise long-term investment as a label printer for small businesses.

2. Brother QL-820NWBc

The all-in-one solution for your label printing needs. With its fast printing and various connectivity options, this shipping label printer will keep your operations running smoothly.


  • Offers wireless freedom with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet connectivity.
  • High print speed.
  • Handles labels of all shapes and sizes with ease.


  • Print speed may be slower than some competitors, but the quality makes up for it.
  • Software updates can sometimes be a bit finicky, so you’ll need to be patient.

Recommended use case:

Perfect for businesses that value speed and versatility in their label printing process.

Cost analysis:

While it may cost a bit more initially, the Brother QL-820NWBc’s features and connectivity make it a worthwhile investment as a label printer for small businesses. 

3. Dymo LabelWriter 4XL

A go-to small business label printing solution with impressive print resolution and support for large labels, it’s perfect for businesses that demand nothing but the best label printer.


  • Boasts high-quality print resolution for professional-looking labels.
  • Supports large shipping labels, making it versatile for various packaging needs.
  • Easy setup and user-friendly interface ensure a hassle-free printing experience.


  • Limited to direct thermal printing, but still gets the job done efficiently.
  • Software updates can sometimes be a bit finicky, requiring patience during the process.

Recommended use case:

Ideal for businesses that prioritise high-resolution labels and frequently use larger label formats.

Cost analysis:

The Dymo LabelWriter 4XL offers a good balance as a small business label printer between quality and expense, with reasonable upfront and moderate running costs.

4. Brother QL-1100C

The speedy solution for all your label printing needs. Whether you’re printing small labels or large ones, this printer has you covered. And with no need for ink or toner, it’s easy on your budget too.


  • Fast printing speed to keep up with your workflow.
  • Handles labels of all sizes with ease.
  • No ink or toner is required, saving you money in the long run.


  • Limited to direct thermal printing, but it gets the job done efficiently.
  • May encounter occasional connectivity issues.

Recommended use case:

Ideal for small to medium-sized businesses seeking an efficient and cost-effective label printing solution.

Cost analysis:

With its low running costs and high-speed printing capabilities, the Brother QL-1100C is a smart choice for budget-conscious businesses.

5. MUNBYN RealWriter 941

An affordable yet reliable printing companion with an easy setup, user-friendly interface, and support for various label sizes, it’s a perfect label printing machine for small businesses on a budget.


  • Affordable price tag makes it accessible for small businesses.
  • Simple setup and easy-to-use interface ensure a smooth printing experience.
  • Supports a range of label sizes to accommodate diverse packaging needs.


  • Limited advanced features compared to some competitors, but it gets the job done efficiently.
  • Customer support may be slower, so patience is key when seeking assistance.

Recommended use case:

Suitable for small businesses with budget constraints seeking a reliable, no-frills printer for their shipping labels.

Cost analysis:

The MUNBYN RealWriter 941 is cost-effective upfront and over time, making it a perfect choice for start-ups or small businesses with low to moderate shipping volumes.

Our Best Label Printer for Small Business Pick

After carefully weighing our options, we’ve selected the Brother QL-1100C as the standout shipping label printer for small businesses in the UK for 2024.

What sets it apart?

It’s not just about its impressive speed and versatile connectivity options (although those are certainly noteworthy), rather, it’s the QL-1100C’s ability to effortlessly handle the diverse needs of your business.

While it may require a slightly larger investment upfront, we believe its comprehensive feature set and dependable performance make it the best label printer for small businesses today.

Best Label Printer FAQs

Is it cheaper to use a shipping label printer?

Yes, especially if you opt for a thermal printer. The best thermal printers ditch the need for ink or toner, saving you a bundle in the long run.

What type of printer do you need for shipping labels?

Due to efficiency and cost-effectiveness, the best thermal printers are usually a superior choice. Whether choosing a direct thermal or thermal transfer printer depends on your preferences.

Is a thermal label printer worth it?

Absolutely! The best thermal label printers not only offer lower running costs but also provide faster printing speeds. Plus, they’re built to last longer than your average inkjet or laser printer.

Can’t I just use a regular printer for shipping labels?

While you technically can, it’s not the best idea. Regular printers tend to be slower, pricier to maintain and simply don’t pack the same punch as thermal label printers when it comes to durability and efficiency.

Tired of Printing Labels? Let Us Take Care of Order Fulfilment for You

At Tap’in, we get the challenges of managing in-house order fulfilment, and we’re here to make it easier. By specialising in personalised e-commerce fulfilment and logistics, our team is dedicated to meeting your unique needs. 

From tailored fulfilment services to transparent pricing, we’ve got your back from order placement to doorstep delivery.

Curious about how third-party logistics (3PL) can supercharge your operations? Check out the benefits of 3PL services and learn how they can help your small business.

Once you’re ready to leave the label printer behind and elevate your order fulfilment, let us handle the heavy lifting so you can focus on growing your business!