Best Photo Book Sites of 2018

Rebecca Spear ·
Writer/Reviewer
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We've made 23 photo books within the last 12 months in order to test 12 photo book companies to see which ones are easiest to use, give the most options and create the best printed product. We also noted which books arrived quickly. We eventually narrowed down our picks to the top 10 services, and of those 10, Mixbook was the best photo book company overall due to its ease of use, creative freedom and wonderful print quality. These books are reasonably priced and come with decently thick pages. You also have access to hundreds of templates, backgrounds, stickers and predesigned books to create perfect look to showcase your photos.      

Best Overall

Mixbook

Mixbook offers a wide range of book sizes and creative options like cover materials, backgrounds and stickers. And it’s incredibly user-friendly. The end products have beautiful print and great paper quality.
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@Mixbook - Save 40%
Best Overall Mixbook
Best Budget

Amazon Prints

Amazon Prints offers the lowest prices of any photo book company on the market. Additionally, any product over $15 gets free shipping and the print quality is some of the best we've seen.
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Best Photo Book for Formal Occasions

AdoramaPix

AdoramaPix gives the best value for fancy photo books that you might use for weddings or other formal events. The base product is a lay-flat photo book with luster paper, and we judged it to have the best photo clarity and color accuracy of the services we tested.
View on AdoramaPix

Product
Price
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Overall Rating
9.7
9.4
8.5
8.4
8.3
8
7.7
7.5
7.4
6.9
Quality & Services
10
9.8
9.3
8.8
9.5
7.3
7.5
9
8.3
6
Book Options
9.3
8.8
8.3
8.8
7.8
10
8.8
7.3
6
8.5
Album Creation
10
9
6.3
6.5
6
5
5.5
5
7
5
Shipping & Support
9.5
10
9
8.5
8.5
10
9
4.8
8.5
9
Price for 8 x 8 Hardcover
$29.99
$29.99
$29.99
$29.99
$34.99
$19.99
$27.99
$46.99
$17.99
$23.96
Standard Shipping
$10.99
$11.99
$7.95
$7.99
$9.99
$5.37
$6.99
$9.99
$0 for orders over $15
$0.97
Total Cost
$40.98
$41.98
$37.94
$37.98
$44.98
$25.36
$34.98
$63.98
$17.99
$24.00
Cost per Additional Page
$1.29
$1.39
$2.00 for two pages
$1.99 for two pages
Up to $1.75
$0.30
$1.99
$1.50 for two pages
$1.50
$1.76
Print Quality
93%
93%
100%
81%
87%
79%
78%
93%
90%
70%
Template Quality
100%
100%
100%
100%
100%
30%
100%
100%
100%
50%
Number of Backgrounds
5,000+
4,000+
1,000+
6,000+
10,000+
4,000+
2,000+
102+
147+
900+
Processing Time (days)
1 to 2
3
3
3
3
4 to 5
3 to 5
1
3 to 5
0 to 5
Pre-designed Books
357
246
205
88
35
200
32
210
13
46
Custom Layout
Flyleaf
-
-
-
-
-
Large Quantity Discount
-
-
-
Available Sizes
7
6
15
5
5
15
6
10
4
7
Cover Options
5
6
5
6
6
9
6
14
3
6
5 x 7
-
-
8 x 8
8.5 x 11
10 x 10
-
-
-
-
-
-
12 x 12
-
11 x 14
-
-
Leather Cover
-
-
Hardbound Cover
Softbound Cover
-
Lay-Flat Cover
Fabric Cover
-
-
Window Cover
-
-
Dust Cover
-
-
-
-
-
-
Ease of Use
100%
95%
85%
90%
90%
40%
90%
60%
90%
40%
Autofill
Online Storage
Online Album Sharing
-
-
Import from Social Media
-
Collaboration Access
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Express Delivery
International Shipping
-
-
-
-
In-store Pick-up
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Gift Services
-
-
-
Money-Back Guarantee
-
Live Chat
-
-
Email
FAQS
User Forums
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Best Overall
The books we ordered from Mixbook had really good print quality with sharp images and accurate colors. The books themselves were nice and sturdy with decently thick pages. We ordered a matte cover, and in addition to displaying our photos beautifully, it was soft and nice to touch.
Mixbook's design process offers some of the most creative freedom. You can choose between thousands of backgrounds and stickers as well as hundreds of predesigned books to find the perfect style for your occasion. If you can't find a template that fits your needs, you can easily custom-add photos to a page. If you don't have time to meticulously craft your book, you can use the autofill feature on a predesigned photo book to automatically place photos and quickly create a complete project. There are seven different book sizes and five different cover materials to choose from. Mixbook's designer warns you if the photos you choose will be pixelated so that you won’t be disappointed by the print quality out of your projects. Mixbook offers a "100% Happiness Guarantee" on your purchases. If you plan on ordering a large number of books, the quantity discount will be especially helpful. This service can also get your photo books to you in a hurry by offering express shipping options.
Pros
  • This service offers good print quality and decently thick pages.
  • There are plenty of backgrounds, stickers, book sizes, paper options and templates.
  • Mixbook covers your orders with a money-back guarantee.
Cons
  • There is no in-store pickup option.
  • You cannot choose to have a window cover.
  • There aren't any user forums.
Mixbook - Save 40%
Read the full review
Best Budget
The photo book we received from Amazon Prints was surprisingly nice. It had some of the best print quality of the photo books we received, and the book itslef was well built. We also found the Amazon Prints interface easy to navigate and design with.
Amazon Prints doesn't offer as many book sizes, backgrounds or cover options as Mixbook, but what it does offer is stylish and inexpensive. Any purchases over $15 automatically receive free standard shipping; for most photo book services, standard shipping typically costs between $5 and $13. You can manually choose your backgrounds, stickers and photo placement. The interface gives you the freedom to create your own photo layouts, as well as crop and zoom into photos as you please. It also warns you if your photos will print blurry. If you need to make a book in a hurry, you can choose from among the 13 predesigned photo books and use the autofill feature. This service allows you to share photos with other Amazon users to create collaborative photo projects. Amazon Prints also offers a strong money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, this service doesn't offer large-quantity discounts.
Pros
  • This service is much less expensive than the others.
  • It has good print quality.
  • Any orders over $15 get free standard shipping.
Cons
  • There are no large-quantity discounts.
  • This service doesn't offer as many design options as others.
  • There are only four book sizes and three cover options.
Amazon
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Best Photo Book for Formal Occasions
AdoramaPix blew us away with its beautiful print quality and luxuriously thick, textured paper. The base product is a fancy lay-flat photo book with luster paper, which is not only gorgeous but also the best price on an upscale photo book we've ever seen. Typically, 8.5 x 11 lay-flat books cost upward of $50, but when you take shipping into account, AdoramaPix sells them for slightly less than the hardbound photo books we’ve seen elsewhere. That is a seriously good deal. It’s worth noting that AdoramaPix’s book sizes are slightly unusual. For example, it sells an 8 x 12 and an 8 x 10 instead of the typical 8.5 x 11.
AdoramaPix offers 15 photo book sizes to choose from, whether landscape, portrait, square or horizontal-spine. Some of the book size are a little unusual. For instance, they offer a 12 x 15 photo book but don't offer an 11 x 14 option. There are more than 1,000 backgrounds and stickers to decorate your photo books. While we liked the predesigned photo layouts and design features, the interface for creating a book wasn't as easy to navigate as some other companies. You can create your books from scratch or you can use the autofill feature to quickly create your projects. This service lets you import images from Facebook, Google Photos, Flickr, Instagram, Dropbox and Amazon. You can interact with other AdoramaPix users on the user forum, which can help you answer questions or get ideas for your own books. AdoramaPix doesn't offer softbound books or in-store pickup. However, it does offer a money-back guarantee.
Pros
  • The base product is an inexpensive lay-flat book with luster paper.
  • This company has the best print quality of any other service.
  • There are 15 different book sizes to choose from.
Cons
  • The user interface isn't as easy to use as other services.
  • This service doesn't offer softbound books.
  • There is no 11 x 14 book size.
AdoramaPix
Read the full review

Why Trust Us

We've made 23 photo books within the last 12 months. We ordered books from 12 services before determining which were the top 10 companies. A group of testers with backgrounds in photography and graphic design evaluated the photo books. They looked for color accuracy, print clarity, page thickness and book integrity. We wanted to make sure the evaluations would be fair, so we covered company logos so that testers wouldn't feel partial to a specific brand.

We also wanted to make sure that the best photo book companies had easy-to-use interfaces. While designing our books, we looked for features that allowed us more creative freedom or made the designing process more convenient. All in all, we spent more than 160 hours testing and evaluating photo books this year.

How We Tested

Our print quality score was determined by how accurately the colors printed and how clearly the images appeared on the pages. Template designs scored higher if there were plenty of options and if these options were modern and appealing. Templates that covered photos too much or displayed them in unflattering ways scored lower.

We evaluated each service’s ease of use by determining how much freedom each interface gave us. If services were clean and easy to navigate, and we could place photos wherever we wanted – including zooming and cropping images – then we scored them higher. We also looked for the ability to store photos online, import photos from social media, rearrange previously placed images and autofill. Services that limited user options or made the designing process less intuitive scored lower.

We didn't score services based on pricing, but we did note whether a company was on the expensive side. This included the cost of additional pages and standard shipping costs. We noted the shipping services offered by each company and awarded more points to companies that shipped internationally and offered express shipping.

What to Look For

Pricing
Photobooks can quickly become expensive when you add in a book's base cost, extra pages, taxes and shipping. The best companies are reasonably priced and give discounts when you order large quantities. Reasonably priced, 20-page, 8.5 x 11 photo books typically range from around $30 - $46. Higher than that and you know it's getting pricey. On average, photo book companies charge around $1.50 for additional pages. The price of standard shipping varies from company to company, but it isn't uncommon for it to cost $10 or more.

Quality & Services
The best photo books provide beautiful color accuracy and sharp print clarity, and make the designing process easy. They offer thousands of backgrounds, stickers and templates to help you personalize your books to fit any and every occasion. These styles should beboth plentiful and modern, and should show off your photos to their best advantage.

Book Options
The 8.5 x 11 landscape-oriented photo book is by far the most popular size ordered. If you are looking for something different, make sure that the service you choose offers it. Books should be sturdy and should have paper that isn't flimsy or easily creased.

The cover of a photo book can greatly change the feel of the book. If you are looking to purchase a book for a formal occasion – like a wedding – leather, fabric or lay-flat covers can help fit the scene. You also want to keep your audience in mind when choosing a cover. If you plan to make a book for a child, a softbound cover might not be a good option since it can get bent and damaged.

Album Creation
Aside from having good print and paper quality, the best photo book services simplify the designing process. Websites that make it difficult to find what you're looking for or that don't offer a wide selection of options can get frustrating very fast. When you're in a hurry, being able to autofill photos to your pages can be a lifesaver. Additionally, being able to store photos on the service's website as well as import photos from social media sites can make the designing process run more smoothly.

Shipping & Support
Services that offer express delivery can really benefit you in a pinch. Similarly, being able to pick up your books from a local store can be really convenient. When looking into a company, make sure you understand what is covered by the refund policy. Some companies offer money-back guarantees and you can feel more confident when making purchases from them. The best companies also offer several assistance features such as live chat, email and FAQs pages to help you find answers quickly.

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