The best photo albums are a must-have for those special images that you want to treasure forever. Yes, it's great that we can store pictures digitally and share them online. But have you ever tried finding a particular shot on Facebook or your external hard drive when you need to? It's never that easy, whereas a photo album is simple to find on your bookshelf, and a much nicer way to look at pictures anyway.
Whether you want to celebrate an anniversary, special trip, or wedding, a photo album allows you to house these memories in a beautiful way. They also make excellent gifts for friends and family.
Photo albums also provide a useful backup should you lose your digital files, because your computer or hard drive gets corrupted, or the cloud service you're using has a technical meltdown.
See also: Best wedding albums (opens in new tab)
In short, don't leave things to chance. Turn your images into prints using either the best photo printers or best photo printing online services, then store them in a photo album, and you'll be able to sleep better at night, knowing your precious images can be passed down in your family for decades to come.
To help you out, we've picked out the best photo albums in a variety of styles, and at a range of prices. If you're not sure which will be best for you, though, first read our section on What to look for.
Also check out our guides to the best photo books (opens in new tab) for an all-in-one printed option, the best digital photo frames, or if you're feeling crafty, the best scrapbooks (opens in new tab).
Best photo albums in 2023
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Want an air of sophistication and quality? This stylish Pioneer photo album, with a stylish leather cover, provides just that. There’s room for up to 300 photos in this album, with an easy-to-use, slip-in format with space next to the photos for captions. This album is acid, lignin, and PVC-free, too, so you can rest assured your photos will stand the test of time.
Choose from three cover colors; a black is a classic option, while the red and brown versions also look great. You could pick up a few in different colors for different years or occasions.(opens in new tab)
This gorgeous Leatherkind photo book has a real sense of luxury, thanks to its high-quality, handcrafted Italian leather cover. The interior is a scrapbook in style, giving you maximum flexibility when it comes to layouts – but you will need to think about photo corners or photo mounts, which can be quite fiddly compared to self-adhesive or slip-in albums. You can fit up to 300 6x4-inch photos in this album, though of course, you’ll fit fewer in if you want to include larger prints. What’s great about a book like this is that you can mix and match print sizes to suit your own personal taste.(opens in new tab)
If you like to get creative, a scrapbook-style photo album like this Hama book is the best idea. You can stick in photos in a variety of different sizes, as well as include ephemera such as tickets, postcards, and other mementos if you wish. You can also use embellishments for a further touch of creativity.
Since there are no adhesion or slip-in pockets, you’ll need to remember to also purchase mounting squares or photo corners, which although completely flexible can be a little fiddly to use. This is the best photo album choice for those who get a lot of enjoyment out of the creation of a photobook and have lots of patience.(opens in new tab)
The Vienrose album is designed to take lots of pictures, making a great way of capturing a big celebration from every angle in one book. There are 600 4x6in photo pockets in the standard version, or there's an alternative with 620 pockets that allow you to mix 3x5in, 4x6in, and 5x7in prints. There is a good range of colors for the hard-wearing leather cover. The gold version looks particularly impressive, and there are blue, black, and brown options too.(opens in new tab)
The stylish leather travelogue design of this ZeeYuan photo album makes it an ideal choice for gathering together all your best holiday and travel shots. With a scrapbook-style design, you’ll find space for up to 120 photos, but you can experiment with the layout to create a book that matches your own preference with ease. You’ll also have space for all your travel memorabilia, such as tickets and postcards. One nice touch is that it comes with a set of photo corners to get you started. Finally, the ring binder design means you can add extra pages should you fill it up quickly.(opens in new tab)
A self-adhesive album like this one from Pioneer is great for both flexibility and ease of use. You can create your own layouts and templates, without the bother and hassle of photo corners or photo mounts. However, note that captions can’t be written directly onto the pages, so you’ll need to create caption cards or inserts for those.
With no restrictions on layout, you can also include tickets, postcards, menus, and other keepsakes. The traditional (faux) leather cover looks great on your bookshelf, and with several different colors to choose from, you should be able to find one to match your taste or the occasion.(opens in new tab)
This Kiera Grace photo album is a great choice if you have lots of photos to store and want to get them sorted as quickly and as easily as possible. With space for 400 6x4-inch prints, you can cram lots of memories into this book, and for a very reasonable price too. There’s even a slot for a CD, where you can store your digital images for re-printing in the future. The downside of a book like this is the inflexibility of layout – you don’t get to choose how many images you include per page, plus there’s no space for nostalgic ephemera either.(opens in new tab)
A great choice for new parents, this sweet Pearhead Baby Photo Album has space for up to 200 photos – which should be enough to get you through at least the first few months. The album is super easy to use, which is great for busy mums and dads, and there's space next to each slot for a caption, note or memory. You can also choose a favorite photo to slot into the front of the album to really set off the overall look.(opens in new tab)
When it comes to displaying your photos in multiple albums, you'll want a design that allows you to see one album from the others. This neat and affordable design has a window cover, allowing you to customize each volume with a different picture that can help you tell which album is which.
It's scrapbook in style, so remember to pick up something to attach your photos to each page – such as photo corners, or photo mounts. These can be a little bit fiddly, but a scrapbook does give you scope to include lots of different photo sizes, as well as other items, such as wedding menus, tickets, and so on.(opens in new tab)
Take a lot of instant photos, and want to keep them for posterity? This cheap and cheerful photo album is suitable for photo prints that measure 1.8 inches x 2.4 inches (Instax Mini size) and can hold 108 of them. As you'd expect from the price, it feels a bit cheap and plasticky, but it's solidly made nonetheless, with a padded polyurethane construction, a secure loop closure with durable perimeter stitching, and a cover made from imitation leather. For further options, see our guide to the best Instax photo albums.
The best photo albums: What to look for
When we put together our guide to the best photo albums we considered the type of album, the quality and material, and the size.
1. Type: There are many formats for photo albums, including slot-in pockets and self-stick pages. Slot-in pockets are simple to put together, but they offer little layout flexibility. The best scrapbooks (opens in new tab) give you the most freedom for your layout, but you'll need additional materials to secure your images to the page, such as photo dots, photo corners or the best scrapbooking glue (opens in new tab).
2. Quality and material: No matter price point you're looking at, make sure you buy an album that uses acid-free paper. This will ensure your photos have the best possible chance of surviving over time. If you're celebrating a special milestone or occasion, you also might want to splash out on a higher-end photo album with a quality cover.
3. Size: There are a few questions you need to consider when selecting the right sized photo album. For example, how many photos do you want to include in the finished album? And how many are you hoping to display per page? For slot-in albums, the choice is straightforward, but it’s a little trickier to calculate about when using self-stick pages or scrapbooks.
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