Mixbook is our top pick of all the photo book (opens in new tab) sites in 2021. Most companies will tell you that they’re perfect for any occasion but with Mixbook there really is an option for (almost) every event. With 24 categories for all your photo booking needs there’s bound to be a template that suits your needs – ranging from simple designs, to Martha Stewart's own exclusive range. The process couldn’t be easier with the ability to import photos from a range of devices, as well as a chat function on hand should you need help. If you're looking for a personalized photo gift, Mixbook likely has what you're looking for.
And while it doesn't come with the convenience of overnight photo printing like providers with physical stores, it has great delivery options, and a good range of print sizes.
A 25-page 8.5 x 8.5 hardcover books sell for $36.95 on Mixbook’s website. This service also charges for standard shipping and tax so you can expect an added $12.99, or thereabouts. We found this price plus tax and shipping is pretty average for photo books. You’ll find cheaper options elsewhere, but you’ll also find more expensive ones as well. If you want your book to be longer than 25 pages, it costs $1.39 for every additional page. This is a good price for adding pages, although it isn’t the cheapest we found. If you're looking to save money, try a service like Shutterfly (opens in new tab).
Mixbook: Quality & Services
The project we made with Mixbook arrived faster than many of the others we ordered. Our testers found the cover thick and sturdy, poised to protect the photos inside for years to come. The cover image displayed accurate coloring and printed nice and clear. Our experts also found the inner photo reproduction nearly perfect, though they did spot some graininess. Mixbook’s books feature a flyleaf that further protects the pages and gives the project an elegant feel. The only site with better printing is Artifact Uprising (opens in new tab).
What makes Mixbook one of the top photo gift sites is its wide selection of features. The online photo book editor offers attractive, fully assembled layouts from which you can choose. The templates are easy to navigate from desktop or from your phone, with a fully adaptive display for swipe and touch commands.
You can choose from hundreds of templates too. Many of them are themed, so you can create a book to commemorate a birth, adoption, vacation, pet, or even old family recipes. There are also generic templates you can use as backgrounds if you don’t want your photo book to have a specific theme. The site lets you quickly look for backgrounds and get underway with customizing as soon as you choose.
Mixbook gives an added cross device option, where you can search and upload pictures directly from your computer, connect to your social media accounts, and upload from your mobile device via a QR code, all without switching gadgets. With the added photo manipulation tools, you can add effects to the pictures using the dropdown menu. For example, you can change the shadow, hue, blur, distance, angle or opacity of an image cutting out the need for specialized photo editing software (opens in new tab).
This is one of the only online photo services to allow collaboration on projects. If you want several people to contribute to one project, you can simply add them as contributors. All contributors have access to add photos, decorate pages and edit the project without needing your password. You also can share your projects on Facebook or publish them on a blog or website.
Mixbook guarantees high quality in all of its products, and offers a money-back guarantee on its custom books. Mixbook uploads your photos in their original resolution and warns you if the quality is not good enough for print. You can either replace the photos or shrink them so that every page is filled with vivid images. The processing time before shipping averages around one to three days, so it's important to plan if you need your book by a certain date.
Mixbook: Book options and creation
Mixbook has one of the biggest selections of sizes, offering eight different sizing options for custom photo books, ranging from a small 8 x 6-inch pocket book to the most common 11 x 8.5, to a large coffee table book measuring 11 x 14 inches. There are four different square book sizes – 6 x 6, 8.5 x 8.5, 10 x 10 and 12 x 12.
The publisher provides ten different cover options, including genuine leather, matte and glossy hardcover, and softcover. You can also use a photo to make a dust jacket. The cover options are varied and specific, just another aspect of the customization that Mixbook is proud of.
There are four paper options to choose from. The default semi-gloss paper is good quality, thick enough to resist creasing and tearing. If you'd like something nicer and more formal, you can also choose between pearl finish and premium matte and lustre lay-flat pages.
Mixbook has one of the most user-friendly interfaces of all the sites. It is easy to navigate whether you are computer savvy or not. When you start the service, a guided tour shows you how to use Mixbook by highlighting the important features and tools you need to know about. While you use the editor tools, you are shown where to drag photos and insert text on each of the pages. There is also a help button embedded on each page so that you can seek help at any time during the creation process or get more information about a specific feature. The buttons are labeled clearly so even the most inexperienced designer can make a polished product.
Mixbook: Support and user reviews
The company’s website also offers technical support. There is a live chat feature and an email address to contact support representatives, as well as a FAQs section. Mixbook does not provide a telephone number for support over the phone. We highly recommend using the live chat feature as Mixbook is quick to respond and the customer reps are very helpful. Unlike other retail chains, you cannot pick up your Mixbook projects from a physical store. If you’re needing your project in a hurry, we recommend Walmart Photo (opens in new tab) for same day pickup. You’ll be sacrificing quality for speed, so if you can plan ahead, we definitely recommend going with Mixbook.
Your book will likely get to you pretty quickly but submit your order in early and allow for extra time during holiday seasons when book services are busiest. Our book was delivered less than a week after making the order, a standard delivery time can take between 4 and 7 business days, so plan ahead. However, we were extremely happy with how fast our book was produced and shipped with Mixbook matching the shipping time of its online competitors.
84% of Mixbook reviewers on TrustPilot have given the site five stars. The compliments are constant and range from “the ability to personalize/edit is user friendly”, to the fast and friendly customer service “Reps are always polite, helpful, responsive”. Mixbook has been summed up by one user “I cannot say enough good things about this company!” With glowing recommendations like that Mixbook is certainly worth trying.
Should you use Mixbook?
Mixbook's on-site book editor is simple enough that anyone can use it, but has enough features to appeal to advanced photo book designers as well. Likewise, the books are well built and will protect the images inside for years to come. The range of templates, and customization options, is impressive too. While the shipping time can be a thorn in your side, the quality is worth the wait. Overall, Mixbook does most things better than its competitors, and while it isn't the cheapest or the highest quality in terms of printing, it's the best all-round experience.