We all have hundreds of snapshots stored in our phones and digital cameras yet rarely print them. Yet there's something about looking at physical prints that can really conjure up feelings of nostalgia and excitement that you just don't get with digital. Even smartphones can take print-worthy photos, and with some minor editing of your smartphone pics, a good photo printer, and a nice photo book to arrange all of the prints, you can make your memories something to truly hold on to. And the Pioneer Photo Albums Magnetic Self-Stick 3-Ring Photo Album is a great option that will keep your photos protected, can accommodate photographs of different sizes, and can even be expanded with more pages.
- Best Overall: Pioneer Photo Albums Magnetic Self-Stick 3-Ring Photo Album
- Best for DIY: BBwill Photo Album Scrapbook
- Best for Gifting: Better Office Products 30 Photo Mini Photo Album
- Best for Baby Pics: Pioneer 200-Pocket Embossed Baby Leatherette Frame Cover Album
- Best for Formal Occasions: RECUTMS Photo Album
- Best for Pro Photographers: Galison Vintage Camera Photo Album
Best Overall: Pioneer Photo Albums Magnetic Self-Stick 3-Ring Photo Album
What we love about this photo album is that you can arrange photos of varying sizes, as small as wallet size up to 5 x 7 inches, any which way you like to personalize the look. There's no limit to how many photos you can fit on a page, nor whether you want to include portrait or landscape prints.
It's secured by three rings, which isn't quite as nice as a fully bound book but also makes it easy to expand with more pages and photos. It has 50 8.25 x 10.5-inch sheets that equate to 100 pages, but it can fit up to 20 additional pages. However, keep in mind that you'll need special refill sheets that are a bit more expensive than standard ones.
The pages are fast stick magnetic style, so you can easily insert the photos you want, arrange and re-arrange, using the clear plastic overlay to secure them. Photos self-adhere to the page, so it's super easy to move things around if you want. But while inside, the photos are safe and secure.
It looks great, finished in a leatherette cover with gold stamping, and comes in 13 color/pattern options. Measuring 11.5 x 10 x 2.5 inches in size, the photo book is acid and PVC emission-free and has a look of elegance that makes it equally fitting to be kept on a bookshelf as it would be placed on a coffee table.
- High-quality design, different colors
- Easy to add more photos, move things around
- Can accommodate different-sized photos
- Needs special refill paper
- Can't fit 8.5 x 11-inch photos
- Not nicely bound
Customize your memories
Organize every photo, from wallet-sized pics to 4×6 and 5x7s, in this elegant-looking, expandable book.
Best for DIY: BBwill Photo Album Scrapbook
When it comes to do-it-yourself (DIY), you can't go wrong with a photo book like this one that also doubles as a scrapbook. It has a hard cardboard cover printed with the word "Adventure" on the front and a wrap-tie closure. It's fitting for photos and other items that highlight any type of adventure of your choosing, whether it's a vacation or trip to an exotic locale, the birth of a child, a wedding, birthday, anniversary, graduation – you name it.
The book measures 10.3 x 7 inches in size and includes 20 sheets, able to hold 40 pages worth of images, double-sided. That equals about 100 4×6-inch photos in total. The thick and sturdy non-fading craft paper pages are all blank, so you can do with them what you like, including writing comments, like the location or a special memory about the photo and including other items like an airplane or show ticket, restaurant receipt, or other sentimental item.
The only downside is that you need to figure out how you want to adhere the photos and other items to the book. And then you have to provide the supplies yourself, whether it's glue, tape, or some other material. This also means that, depending on how you secure the photos and other items, you won't be able to move things around after. If you're a crafty person and looking to create a book for posterity; however, this gives you the freedom to do what you want with it and really get creative.
- You can get creative with layouts
- Thick paper is good quality
- Great for keepsake that will last
- Need your own materials to adhere photos to pages
- Can't fit large photos
- "Adventure" title might not fit your occasion
Best for DIY
Crafty folks will love this DIY photo book and scrapbook that lets your creative juices fly as you add photos, keepsakes, and more.
Best for Gifting: Better Office Products 36 Photo Mini Photo Album
Mini photo albums are a great, very personal gift and giveaway item that's often overlooked for things like colleagues, wedding guests, baby shower attendees, and more. This set includes six books, each of which has 18 pages to hold up to 36 4×6-inch or 3.5×5-inch photos against a white cloth background. It's perfect for gifting personal photos to a wedding party, your team at the office, school friends, and others.
Each book has a flexible, clear view cover and removable decorative inserts. Made of polypropylene, the pages are durable, protective card stock, and the reinforced front and back helps protect against creases. Pop it into your purse, backpack, or briefcase and whip it out when you want bragging rights about the awesome team photos you took, your child's science fair win, or the baby shower you just attended.
At the affordable price, it's super cheap to grab a bunch of these for wedding or party giveaways, for example, print a ton of 4x6s of the event and hand them out to guests as a thank you. Or grab them to start your own photo library, each with photos of a different theme that are worth printing.
- Compact, easy to bring with you
- Very durable design
- You get six in a pack
- Only fits small photos
- You'd need to turn the book for portrait/landscape photos
- Only fits 36 pictures
Best for Gifting
Perfect for giveaways
Grab a few of these packs, print some nostalgic or event photos, pop them inside, and voila! Personalized gifts or giveaways.
Best for Baby Pics: Pioneer 200-Pocket Embossed Baby Leatherette Frame Cover Album
One of the most common reasons people buy a physical photo album is to keep baby photos. It's just not the same when you pull out your smartphone to show friends and family adorable photos of your little one. Social media sites are great for viewing from afar, but when you're with others, it's nice to break out the photo album and flip through the wonderful memories together. The parents might even enjoy flipping through the book every now and then to enjoy reliving the memories.
This one can accommodate up to 200 photos, though it only accepts photos that are 4×6 inches in size and in landscape orientation. (You could theoretically insert smaller pics, but they might slide out, and it wouldn't look as nice.) Each page has two clear photo pockets with shaded paper backgrounds along with a memo writing area on the side so you can include information like the data and some comments on the photo (e.g., Little Billy's first smile! Or Baby Emma's first haircut.) Unfortunately, they aren't pre-labeled for some of the most common milestones.
Measuring 2.13 x 9 x 8.88 inches, the blue-colored book has a sewn leatherette cover with space for holding two signature pics that perfectly represent what's inside. It's made using material that is acid, lignin, and PVC-free. You can't add additional pages.
- Neat spot for memos beside each pic
- Immaculate layout
- Clearly-marked cover for baby photos
- Can only fit 4×6 horizontal photos
- Pages not refillable
Best for Baby Pics
Track every milestone
Keep track of every milestone in pictorial form, with descriptive memos, in this adorable baby photo book for your best 200 photos.
Best for Formal Occasions: RECUTMS Photo Album
If you're looking for a photo book to keep pictures from a formal occasion, like a wedding, anniversary, or milestone birthday, this is a good option. It has 60 sheets and 120 pages with slots for a whopping 600 photos in total. Fit five 4×6-inch photos per page, including both portrait and landscape shots.
The large-sized book (14.5 x 13.4 x 2.5 inches) is made from PU leather with a crocodile leather texture and a sewn leather collage frame cover with black pages inside. Made of acid, lignin, and PVC-free material, you can open the flexible 20×20 cm cover window in which you can store up to four small photos to highlight what's inside.
It employs a waterproof, rivet-reinforced design that adds to the look of elegance and the idea that this is the book you want to keep the essential photos in. It comes in eight finish options if you want something brighter than basic black. If you find this one too big, there's also a smaller 400-page version.
- Elegant leather finish
- Can hold a ton of photos
- Accommodates both portrait and landscape pics
- Might be more than you need
- Really big
- Not expandable if you want to add more
Best for Formal Occasions
Built to last
For photos you want to hand down from generation to generation, this high-quality leather book is built to protect your pics.
It's as much a conversation piece as it is a photo book to protect your precious memories. This small-sized photo book can be used to store your most precious 36 4×6-inch prints in its 18 pages. The photos go into plastic inserts, making it easy to swap out with new ones as desired, though you have to physically rotate the book to view a mix of portrait/landscape pics. However, it isn't easy to include smaller photos, or they can fall out. The book itself is secured with a button closure with elastic.
The spiral-bound 6.75 x 4.25 x 5-inch book has an image of a vintage-styled camera on the front, harkening back to the old days of glossy black and white square-shaped photos. Though there's no reason you couldn't use it for other precious items as well, like artwork or poetry, it makes a great gift for a budding or professional photographer who can keep it in his gear bag to show off some of his best work. It's the perfect little brag book.
For those who love the style, Galison also offers matching classic vintage gear like notebooks and journals.
- Small enough to pop into a bag
- Matching notebooks available
- Funky, vintage design
- Small, only holds limited number of photos
- Can only hold 4×6 pics
- Not the greatest quality
Best for Pro Photographers
My little brag book
Pro photographers will love the vintage imagery on this little photo book that's a perfect brag book to show off their work.
Choosing the best photo book
When it comes to the best photo books, it really depends on several factors. What type and size of photos do you want to display? How many photos do you have? Do you want to bring the book with you, or is it going to reside on your coffee table?
Overall, the Pioneer Magnetic Self-Stick 3-Ring Photo Album is a good option because it's affordable, can accommodate a good number of photos, comes in a variety of color and pattern options to suit your style or décor (if you plan to keep it on the coffee table, for example), and can accommodate photos of all different sizes, in both portrait and landscape mode.
While some might find a bound book much nicer and higher quality, the 3-ring design means you can add extra pages to expand your photo book as you print new photographs.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
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