Is HP instant ink worth it?

We all know that printer ink isn’t particularly cheap, especially if you have a printer made by a big brand like HP. Another common annoyance for those who print on a regular basis is running out of ink, right when you need to print something important.

HP introduced their instant ink plans all the way back in 2013 to try and ensure that you’ve always got enough ink for your printer. Essentially, it is a subscription deal to keep you stocked up with enough ink for all of your printing needs.

But just how viable is their instant ink plan? Is it only worth it for those that have massive printing demands, or can more casual users benefit from the instant ink plan too? Let’s break it down to find out whether it’s worth you signing up or not.

Is HP instant ink worth it?

The truth of the matter is that for some people, HP Instant Ink will definitely be worth it. If you print regularly each month in full colour, then you should look at signing up to the HP Instant Ink subscription service.

However if you only print occasionally or irregularly, then you should probably just refill your ink as and when you need to. This is likely to be more cost effective if you’re only going to print a few pages per month.

Whilst it is a subscription service, there is a little bit more to Instant Ink than meets they eye. A lot of knowing whether it would be a good option for you will really depend on how often you print, and when you do, how many pages you actually need printed.

So, we know that the number of pages that you are printing should be a huge factor in your decision. Let’s look more into what you can actually get for your money.

What exactly is HP Instant Ink?

HP Instant Ink is essentially just a subscription service for printer ink. So, you never need to worry about your HP printer starting to run out of ink, because each month you receive a fresh supply of prink ink to use.

Subscription services have become one of the more popular methods of sales in recent years. Many people preferring that regular supply of reusable products as opposed to having to manually order it each month.

Another one of the main selling points of this service is that it works on a per page basis. This means that whether you print one word on a piece of paper, or a full photo print, it’s going to cost you the same amount in this subscription service.

This is probably music to the ears of those that are regularly printing in colour, and it definitely suits these people more than anything else.

How does it work?

When you sign up to the Instant Ink service, you’re volunteering to give HP access to your printer. This means that they can monitor its performance, and they can see how high or low the ink levels are.

When the ink levels get low, HP will send you your new ink cartridges to put into your printer. You’re also then required to send the used cartridge back to HP for recycling purposes. It’s quite an easy and simple process to get used to.

You have the choice between 4 different subscription packages depending on how much you need to print. This ranges from just £0.99 a month if you only print 15 pages, all the way up to £9.99 a month if you need to print up to 300 pages. You can get a custom plan if you print more than this.

It’s a really good way for you to get a constant supply of ink and make sure that you never run out. You can cancel the plan at any time too, so you don’t need to worry about signing up to a long subscription deal.

HP Instant Ink – Pros and Cons

There are undoubtedly both benefits and drawbacks to signing up to a service like this. To break things down a little more, let’s look at the pros and cons of Instant Ink. This should help you work out whether it’s right for you.


Lowers costs for regular printers – If you’re printing on a regular basis every month, then HP Instant Ink can help to lower your overall costs at the end of the year.
Never run out – If you use Instant Ink properly, then you should never have to run out of printer ink. When you started to run low on ink, HP will know and automatically send you a new cartridge.
No discrimination! – Instant ink doesn’t discriminate against any one kind of page. This means that an almost blank page is treated the same as a page full to the brim of colour.


Internet needed – You have to be connected to the internet any time that you want to print. Whilst most people will have the internet at home anyway, this might not be ideal for some of us.
Pages count the same – Whilst all pages count the same is a good thing for those that print in colour, it’s not beneficial for those that print in black ink only, or need to print things with less information on them (like mailing labels). These people won’t benefit from the service much.
Fees – If you end up printing more pages than your subscription allows you, then you can get hit with some fees. They’re quite expensive at up to 10p per page, so you should ensure that you don’t go over this if you do sign up to the plan.

Are ink tanks a better choice?


However, for those that are printing as and when they need, then HP Instant Ink isn’t going to be for you. Just refilling your cartridges as and when you need to, and purchase a budget printer to fulfil all your printing needs.

And for those printing more than 100 pages, if they’re not in colour, then you could be better off upgrading to an ink tank printer instead of a regular ink cartridge one. This is likely going to be result in a lower overall ink cost at the end of the year.


Overall, HP Instant Ink is going to be a fantastic service.. for a certain demographic. The thing with HP Instant Ink is that it tries to fit a very select group of people, and yes, these people will definitely benefit from the service.

If you’re printing up to 100 pages a month regularly, then HP Instant Ink is a good idea. This is especially true if you’re printing pages in full colour, and if they’re detailed photo images, then even better. They can still be good value for black and white printers too, but volume is a necessity to make it worth your while.

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About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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