Top 9 Best Laminator for Home Use 2021: Reviews & Comparison Chart
Updated: January 19, 2021
“My dog ate the homework” days are now gone! If you say that, your teacher will just tell you to get a laminator at home. And if that’s why you’re here, then you’re exactly where you should be.
Laminators are great for making papers damage-resistant and incredibly durable.
You’ll be surprised to know that you can get really good laminators at affordable prices.
Nowadays, you don’t have to break the bank anymore if you know where to buy the perfect laminator. And if you don’t know where to look, well, in this article we’ll tell you about it.
One must get the best home laminator without spending a fortune. And now, with the technology of cold lamination, you can sustain your papers without harming the environment.
Let’s get into the details to talk more about it.
AmazonBasics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine
5 out of 5
Scotch Thermal Laminator
5 out of 5
Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator
5 out of 5
Crenova A4 Laminator, 4 in 1 Thermal Laminator
4.5 out of 5
Blusmart Multiple Function A3 Laminator
5 out of 5
Top 9 Best Home Laminator Machines Reviews
1. AmazonBasics 9-Inch Thermal Laminator Machine
The sleek design of the AmazonBasics Laminator is such that you’ll want one even if you don’t need one. With the matte white coat of paint over the laminator's body and the black sides of the device, this device looks premium quality already. But use it, and you’ll fall in love with it, surely.
There are several neat markings on this device's body, and they label the function of the buttons. This makes it really easy to use - even if you haven’t handled a laminating device by yourself before.
Moreover, there are settings for two different levels of heat. You’ll see them marked as “3 mil” and 5 mil” on the right side of the back of the device. These markings are on a switch, and this switch is the enabler of the settings. Easy, right?
These different heat levels are suitable for different types of paper. If you don’t know what “mil” means, well, it actually refers to the thickness of the paper that you are putting into the machine for lamination.
The higher the mil number, the thinner is the paper. So, with regards to this, keep in mind that 3 mil should be used for regular paper, and 5 mil should be used for a special paper that’s ultra-thin.
But before beginning to use the home lamination machine, you have to warm it up, just like an oven.
Some laminators take a really long time to warm up, but not this one. You will have to give it only about four minutes until the ready light comes on to indicate that the laminator is all set for work.
The appropriate size for laminating pouches that are to be used on this machine should measure 8.9 by 11.4 inches.
This means that you can laminate a whole range of different sized documents that are regularly used - the device is thus suitable for regular letter-size, business cards, photo sized papers, and even business cards.
And in case your laminating pouch gets stuck in the machine, you can press the quick-release button to unjam the pouch before continuing the lamination.
2. Scotch Thermal Laminator, 2 Roller System
Be careful when you’re buying a laminator - take note of the extent of its abilities first. Some laminators will be limited to papers, but you can do better than that with this one from Scotch Systems Professional. This machine can laminate, not just your documents but your photos as well!
Laminating photos is an incredibly delicate task, and that’s why not all laminators can be trusted with the job.
But due to the double heat settings of this one, you will have the option to use the setting that won’t be too harsh on the emulsion layer of photographs. Thus, your photo will get laminated without being damaged.
The two heat settings are 3 mil, and 5 mil - each of them is designed to exert a specific set of conditions so that it can laminate paper without melting them into the plastic laminating pouch.
This is a 9-inch compact laminator that measures about 9 inches by length and can be placed anywhere without making things too congested.
On top of that, the machine's standard grey color looks appropriate and makes this a proper tool for your home office or your corporate one.
The machine only takes about 5 to 8 minutes of time to warm up and get ready for action. It supports laminating pouches of 8.9 by 11.4 inches in dimension.
Before you start inserting your documents for lamination, check if there’s any jamming inside.
If there is a jammed pouch inside the machine, look for the quick-release button to unjam it.
You won’t have to look too hard as this button is a big white toggle switch that sits right on top of the machine, stares you right in the face.
There is no auto shut off button, so make sure you press the power switch when you’re done.
3. Scotch Brand Pro Thermal Laminator
There is a nice big blue button with the quick release mechanism in place, but you may never need to use it when working with this machine.
Jammed pouches are a waste, and so Scotch Brand Systems has come up with the technology to prevent the jamming altogether. It has an “anti-jam” technology built into it, which will prevent the pouches from being caught up in the roles of the machine entirely.
This is a two-roller machine, and it works at a speed of 15 inches per minute. It’s suitable for papers that are 9 inches wide, so you’ll have to wait less than 1 minute for each lamination process to complete.
Warm-up will happen in 5 minutes - this is much quicker than many other laminators of quality in the market.
When the machine is ready to take papers in, a light signal will turn on to give the indication clearly. If you need a device that will do its job super-fast, this one will do it right.
The tray on which you will keep the laminating pouch is retractable - to ensure that you can keep it properly in place before you feed it into the system.
You can use papers that are within the range of 3 mil to 5 mil in thickness. These mil settings can be found right on the front face of the machine along with the power button and the button for the anti-jamming mechanism.
4. Crenova A4 Laminator, 4 in 1 Thermal Laminator
Don’t just buy a mere home lamination machine when you can get the whole set all together! This versatile machine from Crenova comes with everything you need in order to start laminating your documents on the very day you buy it.
Surprisingly, this is not just the machine you’re looking at, but the full-on kit that’s inclusive of 20 laminating pouches in different sizes, a corner rounder, a paper trimmer, and of course, the laminating machine itself.
We call this a versatile laminator because it's straightforward to use and, therefore, can be handled by anyone - whether it’s at home or in your office.
It takes an incredibly short amount of time for this machine to get warmed up - only about a surprising total of 3 to 5 minutes but no more! The speed, at 250 mm/min., is remarkable as well.
Moreover, it can do its job quickly with perfectly satisfactory results. In one hour, this beast of a machine can laminate 50 sheets altogether. Once you work with this machine, you will fall in love with its efficiency and quality delivery every single time.
Another fantastic thing about this machine is that unlike most laminators that start with 3 mil as the lowest setting, this one begins with the setting for the paper thickness of 2.5 mil.
So, the range of paper thickness that it can handle is 2.5 mil to 4 mil, which means you can get a more varied use out of this one.
5. Blusmart Multiple Function A3 Laminator
This laminator is probably more equipped than any of the other laminators we discussed so far.
First of all, this is a full set, with more items inside it than other laminator kits.
Along with the laminator itself, a paper trimmer, a corner rounder, you will also find a hole punch, 25 pouches, 3 book rings, and 10 frames! That’s a lot, right? Well, you don’t have to worry - it all comes at an affordable price.
With so many items in your kit, you really won’t need anything else to get your own laminating gear ready for action in no time! Moreover, the lamination process is super-fast, and this is accompanied by a short warm-up time of 3-5 mins and a speed of 250 mm per minute.
The feature that we love the most about this machine is that it has two temperature modes - cold and hot. This means that you can use many different qualities of laminating pouches that you couldn’t use with laminators that have only one temperature mode.
If your pouch gets stuck in any of the modes, you can use the quick-release lever to unjam the pouch and continue lamination immediately.
This laminator is the best home laminator for DIYs because it is 13 inches wide and can take wider papers pertaining to its greater width.
6. Toyuugo Laminator Machine, Portable A4 Laminating
This one is not a full-on kit, but even so, it’s incredibly desirable. You’ll believe us when you take a glance at this device - the laminator is milky white with a satin finish that makes it look super elegant and chic even though it’s not a high-end product.
Wherever you keep this laminator, it will add to the character of space.
But its appearance is not the only part about it that we’re excited about. This machine is very capable of meeting huge laminating demands at home or in your office. It is a two-roller system with a speed of 280 mm per minute, which means it can laminate your documents faster than the other laminators that we’ve discussed above.
Another aspect that we appreciate this laminator for is its dual temperature modes - hot and cold.
You can safely laminate photographs with the cold mode without fear of damaging the upper emulsion layer of the photos. With the hot one, you can quickly get regular documents sealed tight within the pouches in no time.
You will need to warm up the device before using it in the hot mode, but that won’t be a problem because this warm-up will happen within 3 minutes - which, you know by now, is unusually fast.
This machine also behaves well by not producing a ruckus while you’re working with it. It produces very little sound, and so you can use it freely without disturbing others around you.
If your pouch gets stuck, you can use the anti-jam button and quickly work out the jamming.
7. Crenova 13 Inches Laminator
If you’re a person who doesn’t like to wait around for things to start happening, then you will like this machine very much. It won’t keep you waiting - it’ll warm up within a mere 2 minutes so that you can start laminating your documents quickly. There is no other laminator that can warm up faster than this one!
This laminator is 13 inches wide and can take pouches and paper of a wide range of sizes. You use it for laminating anything, starting from office documents to postcards, DIYs, and photos. This is the best laminating machine for varied use.
And everyone can use this machine even with no experience. All the buttons are very clearly labeled and very easy to reach. It’s a simple machine that won’t require you to do any guesswork to get it to start working for you.
The machine doesn’t come alone. It comes with a kit with a corner rounder, a paper trimmer, and several laminating pouches of different sizes. If any of the pouches get stuck inside the machine, you can press the easily accessible quick-release button to unjam the device and move on with your work quickly.
This machine is so compact in size that you can keep it at home without running the room's decor. In fact, this is a very beautiful laminator in white with an elegant shape that looks incredible and very expensive even though it's not. To us, that seems like a major win-win.
8. Fellowes 5736606 Laminator Saturn 3i 125
The machine looks like it's from the future. Well, this is perhaps the future, and if you’re into futuristic architecture, then you will fall in love with this machine.
It has a very sober quality to it - with its black front face and its shiny metallic domed top, it looks like a heavy-duty machine that can never go wrong. And this, in fact, has some truth to it.
This one is an advanced laminator with Insta Heat Technology that will warm up within a minute. There is practically no waiting time for you when you’re working with this machine.
Its size is 12.5 inches, and so it can support a multitude of papers of different sizes. There are two heat settings: 3 mil and 5 mil. But that’s not the end of it.
This machine also has the technology for cold lamination, and for using this cold mode, you will need self-adhesive pouches that come in the kit itself. So, you won’t have to waste time looking for pouches to get started.
It has a speed of 12 inches per minute, which means that you can laminate a lot of documents within a very short time.
If your machine starts to heat up, there’s no need to panic. There is an automatic shut-off mechanism that will detect the temperature and turn the machine off when necessary. This will help to save energy and also protect the machine from overheating damage.
It’s natural for heavy-duty machines like this to get jammed when pouches have been fed to the system. However, you will be able to quickly disengage the jammed pouch by pressing the quick release lever that’s conveniently located at the very front face of the machine.
9. TOPELEK 5-in-1 Thermal Laminator Machine
This is a fast machine - it has a 40 mm speed per minute so that it can give you great output within a very short time. To give you a better measure of its speed, let’s say that it will take only 45 seconds to laminate an A4 paper fully. With fast lamination, this machine doesn’t only save your time, but it also helps to save electricity.
The warm-up time required is only 1.5 minutes - this may not be the fastest warm-up time for a laminator on this list, but it is the second-fastest.
This machine doesn’t come alone. It comes with a kit that includes 30 laminating pouches, corner trimmers, rounder, paper cutters, and photo frames. The kit is an all-inclusive set of 5 different types of items, and it's all you need to get your lamination gear all set up.
Also, this laminator has an anti-jam technology that will save your pouches from getting crumpled up and damaged. But in case a paper does get stuck, you will have to immediately turn off the device and press the quick-release button so that the paper can be smoothly pulled out.
Another thing that makes this machine more desirable is its cold lamination setting. But you will need some special laminating pouches that are not included in this kit for using this setting.
We recommend that you buy them and use this setting because the cold setting is less harmful to the environment, and also for the machine.
Hot and Cold Lamination
Kit or Not
Scotch Thermal Laminator
Scotch Brand Pro
9 inches - A4
Crenova A4 Laminator
9 inches - A4
3 - 5 minutes
Comes with Kit
Blusmart A3 Laminator
13 inches - A3
3 - 5 minutes
Comes with Kit
Toyuugo Laminator Machine
9 inches - A4
3 - 5 minutes
Comes with kit
13 inches - A3
Comes with kit
12.5 inches - A3
13 inches - A4
Comes with kit
Buying Guide for Home Laminators
You can’t just go into the store and get any laminator that looks good to you. And neither can you ask the store for help because they’ll be thinking of making a profit out of your decision.
Therefore, you will need to learn about these machines yourself so that you alone are equipped to make the most profitable decision.
Types of Laminators
There are three types of laminators - automatic, manual, and industrial. What you need will depend on the frequency and type of lamination that your work demands.
Automatic Laminators: These laminators will keep laminating papers for you as you tend to the other duties you have.
All you need to do with these is keep a bunch of paper on the feeding tray in perfect alignment with the machine's rollers. When you switch the device on, it will keep taking the papers in and get them laminated for you one by one.
However, you will need to keep an eye on it because sometimes the paper might get stuck. In that case, there is a quick-release button that you can employ to unjam the machine and continue lamination.
All the home laminators that we have discussed in this article are automatic. They are the best laminator for home use, where you only have a low-to-moderate need for laminating papers of various sizes.
Manual Laminators: You cannot leave this machine when laminating. It doesn’t have a feeding tray that keeps taking the papers in. As suggested by the name, you will have to keep feeding the papers to this machine one by one.
This is a time-consuming process, and so these manual laminators are going quite impractical for today’s modern world. You better avoid these unless you want it as a collection piece.
Industrial Laminators: These laminators are used for wide-scale lamination in factories, and they are costly as well. But they’re not fit for homes or offices.
Types of Lamination Processes
Three is the magic number - there are, again, three distinct lamination processes.
They are discussed below.
Heated Pouch Lamination: Pouches are plastic bags with one side cut straight out. You will insert the paper through this side and feed the pouch through the feeding tray of your automatic home laminator.
The rollers of the machine will then seal this pouch with the document in the middle. This is a clean and hassle-free method, and it's best suited for laminators that we use in our homes and offices.
Cold-Pressed Pouch Lamination: This method is used for laminating papers that are a bit delicate. So, if you want to laminate photographs, then cold-pressed lamination is the way to go. Cold lamination doesn’t require heat, of course.
It makes use of the pressure between the rollers to create a seal with the documents. This method is also less damaging to the environment.
However, the problem is that the pouches required for cold pressured lamination are much more expensive than those needed for hot lamination.
So, you will only be able to use it for specific cases.
Automatic home laminators nowadays come with options for both hot and cold lamination. So, as long as you have the appropriate laminating pouch for each method, you can use one machine to try out both methods.
Lamination with Thermal Films: The paper document is sandwiched between two plastic films that glue to their inner side. This sandwich of films and paper is fed between rollers. As the film enters the heated side of the rollers, the glue from the films melt and form a seal with the document.
Thermal films provide a firm adhesive grip with the paper and are very reliable. However, this type of lamination is only used with industrial laminators when a large bulk of lamination has to be done within a short time.
Size of Laminators
There are basically two sizes that you need to be aware of.
A4 Paper Size: This size is most common for home laminators. They can handle any document or DIY that might regularly need to get laminated. These are affordable and compact enough to be stored in the house or office without creating congestion of materials around it.
A3 Paper Size: These can take in bigger papers and are mostly kept in offices and schools where there is a need for laminating papers of many varying sizes, starting with chart papers to posters and big media pages.
These machines are a bit on the bigger and heavier side - they use the method of thermal lamination, and they can laminate a lot of papers at once.
Time for Warming Up
This might not seem to be that important, but it will make a significant difference in the speed at which you can get laminations completed. Before you use the heated pouch lamination method, you will need to warm up the machine so that the pouch can roll smoothly over the rollers without getting stuck in between.
Some machines have a very slow warm-up time - about 8 to 9 minutes - this is not ideal, and this also indicates that the device will need a lot of time for running the pouch through the rollers.
Go for machines that have a warm-up time of 3 minutes - these are not too expensive, and they won’t keep you waiting a long, long time to get a document laminated at once.
FAQs On Home Laminator Machines
Can I Laminate a Document Twice?
You can, but we wouldn't recommend it. Laminating a paper that has already been laminated will put extra pressure on the rollers. If you want a thicker coat of lamination, we recommend using a thicker laminating pouch the first time.
Are Laminating Pouches Waterproof?
Yes, they are. Otherwise, we wouldn’t use them for laminating purposes. They are waterproof as long as they are sealed tightly from all sides. So, make sure to keep them away from sharp objects like scissors and sharp pencils - but water is fine.
Does Lamination Affect the Quality of the Document?
No, if you’re laminating regular paper, then the laminating pouch or film will have no adverse effects on the paper or the print on the paper. It will only seal the paper between plastic sheets so that they don’t fade away with time.
Can I Laminate Photos Using the Hot Setting Mode?
No, photographs have a soft layer of emulsion liquids on their surface. The heat will cause this to melt away and thus damage the photo. For laminating pictures, you have to use the cold setting instead.
If you’re someone who values the importance of keeping important documents safe, then you need the finest laminator for yourself.
You won't even have an identity if it’s not stated on a piece of paper somewhere.
So, for all papers like this and more, get yourself the best laminator for home use and learn to do it yourself. Trust us; you’ll be saving a lot of time, money, and effort this way.
We hope you liked the ones we have on the list. They are some of the best in the market. Good luck!