best in class

The 7 Very Best Document Scanners

Photo-Illustration: Courtesy Retailer

Whether you’re working from home, helping your in-laws archive their family photos, or just trying to turn your stack of receipts and bills into zero-footprint digital files, a document scanner is a great way to save and share files quickly. But not every scanner is right for every task. Some are huge machines made to scan up to 4,000 pages a day. Others are foot-long devices you can store on your desk for quick scans when the need arises. Some are flatbed scanners, others have automatic feeds.

To help you find the best document scanners for your needs and budget, we looked at the document scanners our readers have purchased the most since 2019. The one that was purchased the most by readers was named the best overall. The rest of the scanners below were among our ten most-sold since 2019.

Best overall | Best least-expensive | Best wireless | Best portable | Best for large documents | Best duplex | Best with touchscreen

What We’re Looking For

Size: The size of the scanner you should get mostly depends on how much room you have to store your scanner. If you don’t have a large desk or a shelf to hold the scanner, you probably won’t want a big one. However, the size you choose also depends on your project. If you’re scanning hundreds of documents a day, you’ll likely want a scanner that has a high-capacity auto-feed, and those are usually on the bigger side. If you’re just scanning a couple documents a day, a smaller, single-page scanner will do the trick. We listed the dimensions (LxWxH) for each scanner below.

Scan speed: Obviously, faster is better. We listed each scanner’s max scanning speed in pages per minute (ppm) below, where provided, or in seconds per page.

Price: There are three different price points that we decided on, denoted as $, $$, or $$, respectively: under $150, under $400, over $400.

Best overall document scanner

11.9” x 2” x 1.4” | 16 ppm | $

This scanner is small, but it doesn’t sacrifice quality. With nearly 2,700 five-star reviews on Amazon, this scanner is equally well-liked by Strategist shoppers, who have purchased this scanner nearly 1,700 times since 2019, making it our most-sold scanner. Even though it’s less than a foot in length and weighs about 1.5 pounds, it works quickly and accurately — it can scan at speeds up to 16 ppm. Its size makes it especially convenient, as you can bring and use it pretty much anywhere, and the included USB 3.0 cable lets you charge it from your laptop if there’s no outlet nearby. Many reviewers say it’s easy to set up (less than 15 minutes, according to one reviewer) and connect with both PCs and Macs. If you need to scan to multiple destinations, you can use Brother’s free desktop app to select multiple. And because it’s so small, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to buy, making it a high-quality starter scanner for almost anyone.

Best (less expensive) document scanner

14.5” x 9.9” x 1.7” | 8 seconds per page | $

The price difference isn’t significant between this and our best-rated pick, but this scanner does offer a different experience. It’s a flatbed scanner, which means you can open the lid, place documents or photos right on the glass, and scan multiple pieces at once. Readers bought the older version of this scanner, the CanoScan Lide 300, 395 times since 2019, making it our eighth-most-sold scanner. This updated version is almost the same as the old one, but it has a higher max resolution (4,800 dpi, or dots per inch, compared to 2,400) and an even faster scan rate (eight seconds for a document, four seconds for a photo, compared to the Lide 300’s ten and five seconds, respectively). Its five “EZ” buttons make it even faster and more user-friendly — Auto Scan, for example, automatically detects what you’re scanning and adjusts the settings accordingly, and the PDF buttons let you scan and save multipage PDFs. And if you’re short on desk space, you can stand the scanner upright and scan that way.

Best wireless document scanner

10.2” x 12.1” x 9.8” | 40 ppm | $$$

You never have to hook this scanner up to a computer if you don’t want to, because you can scan directly to cloud applications like Google Drive or Dropbox at speeds up to 40 ppm. That, combined with the ability to create multiple user profiles that store each person’s scanning preferences, makes it a popular option for offices. But it’s just as great for individuals who want an at-home scanner — and by our count, at least 515 Strategist readers bought it for themselves or their office, making it our third-most-sold scanner. It can quickly scan single- or double-sided documents of all sizes, and it has features like hole-punch removal, edge cleanup, background removal, and more to make scanning projects more efficient and accurate. And if you ever want to hook it up to a computer, don’t worry: It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

Best portable document scanner

10.7” x 1.8” x 1.3” | 10 ppm | $

This scanner is even smaller than our best overall pick. It’s 10.7 inches long, 1.8 inches wide, and 1.3 inches tall (compared to the Brother DS-604’s 11.9 x 2 x 1.4 dimensions), and it weighs just over half a pound. That (very) small size makes it extremely portable. Many of the 3,500 Amazon shoppers who have given it a five-star rating note how unobtrusive it is. One says you could leave the scanner on your desk all day and forget it’s there — until, of course, you need to scan something, which is incredibly easy to do with this scanner. Hook it up to your computer with the USB cord, scan your document in 5.5 seconds, and send it to your computer or directly to the cloud with the included software. Should you need to bring it on the go, its small size and light weight make it easy to carry in your purse or work bag. Its versatility earned it 507 purchases since 2019, making it our fourth-most-sold document scanner.

Best document scanner for large documents

11.6” x 6.6” x 6.9” | 35 ppm | $$

If you regularly scan documents of all sizes and types — like letters, photos, receipts, bills, and both single- and double-sided pages, to name a few — you’ll want to invest in a larger scanner that can handle variety, and preferably one that can auto-feed stacks of documents. This duplex scanner can do both things — and quickly. It scans at up to 35 ppm, and it has a 50-page auto-document feeder so you can set it and let it while it scans and stores your stack of papers to any location, including online services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and SharePoint. Its advanced feeder technologies, like blank-page removal, auto rotation, auto cropping, and dirt detection, are what make it especially great for scanning a wide assortment of documents accurately and efficiently. Indeed, reviewers note this scanner can handle even the smallest of receipts, and it’s not stopped up by wrinkled paper. One reviewer said they had three misfeeds out of 500 documents, and those were due to torn edges. And for those who scan a lot, this one can handle up to 4,000 sheets daily. Given all this, it’s no surprise this is our second-most-sold scanner, with 943 sold since 2019.

Best duplex document scanner

11.2” x 3.9” x 3 | 12 ppm | $$

Duplex scanners can catalogue both sides of a document at once, cutting the scanning time in half. While the Epson scanner above is also a duplex scanner, this one is a smaller, more specific option for people whose main concern is scanning duplex documents. It scans up to 12 double-sided pages per minute, and it can hold ten pages in its automatic feeder. That’s not as high of a capacity as the Epson’s 50 pages, but for people who are scanning a couple of double-sided documents a day and don’t need a super-high capacity, this is a more compact option. Since 2019, readers have purchased it 475 times, making it our fifth-most-sold scanner. It’s well-reviewed on Amazon, too, with over 2,000 five-star ratings.

Best document scanner with touchscreen

If you prefer having a touchscreen to program scanning settings, this one from Houston-based start-up Raven has a large, easily navigable LCD touchscreen that makes it quicker and easier to get your scanning job done. It’s our seventh-most-sold scanner, with readers purchasing it 405 times since 2019. The eight-inch touchscreen lets you do things like set the scan resolution and destination, but it also lets you directly edit your scanned document — no computer required. You can change the document’s name, remove pages, change the page order, adjust the crop and rotations, and save documents as combined or separate files. And because this scanner is wireless, you can send documents directly to the cloud. The scanning speed and resolution are comparable with others on this list, with speeds up to 40 ppm and a resolution up to 600.

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The 7 Very Best Document Scanners