The best photo album

Adam Reeder

A photo album is the perfect way to collect and keep your favorite pictures for years to come. Why let your precious memories sit idle on your smartphone when you can capture them in a book for all to enjoy? It's much easier to open a book and take a trip down memory lane than it is to fire up a device to look at photos ... and there's something about the feel of a photo album in your hands that is irreplaceable.

If you want to get a great photo album, this helpful buying guide will provide you with seasoned advice. We feature a few of our favorites in this article, including the classic Pioneer Live, Laugh, Love Photo Album. Read on to learn more.

Considerations when choosing photo albums

Album type

There are three common types of photo albums: slip-in albums, self-adhesive albums, and photo corner albums. Slip-in albums have pre-sized plastic sleeves that your photos slip into. Self-adhesive albums have clear adhesive pages that hold your photos to the page using a sticky texture. Photo corner albums have small mounted corner pieces for each photo. You place each corner of the photo into the corresponding tab to hold it in place.

Each type of photo album has aesthetic and practical benefits and limitations. Consider all three before deciding which you prefer.


Photo albums come with a case binding or a wire/spiral binding. Case-bound albums are either glue-bonded or stitched. These are durable options in the short term, but after years or decades of use, the binding can deteriorate.

Wire/spiral-bound albums tend to fare better over a long period of time. Some people also find that spiral-bound albums are easier to turn than the other styles because the pages slide easily over the wires.


The most common albums have fabric-bound or leather-bound covers. When choosing a cover material, consider both the durability and the look of the cover. It will be the first thing anyone sees before browsing through your precious photos.

Album size

This is one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing a photo album. There are an almost infinite number of album sizes from which to choose. Compact albums are nice for taking with you, while larger albums serve as showpieces that often stay put. The type you choose has more to do with your intended use of the album than anything else.

Number of pages

The number of pages in your photo album determines how many pictures you can fit as well as how easy it is to view. Most photo albums contain at least 20 double-sided pages for photos. Think about how many pictures you want to fit in each album when choosing. Bear in mind that albums with more pages will be bulkier, heavier, and more difficult to wield. If you want something that holds a moderate number of photos but isn't too difficult to manage, opt for something with 30 to 40 pages.


A photo album can cost as little as $5 and as much as $80. However, the majority of photo albums can be found for less than $30. If you want something that is leather-bound, in some instances, you may pay a little more than that.


Q. Does every photo album come with white pages?

A. No. Although white is the most common background color for photo albums, some come with black or even brown craft paper-style pages. The choice is yours.

Q. Are photo albums intended for long-term use and storing of photos?

A. Yes. The beauty of a good photo album is that it will protect your photos for years to come. A photo album can keep your photos safe for your children, grandchildren, and beyond so they don't simply fade away into the digital ether when you change to a new smartphone.

Photo albums we recommend

Best of the best: Pioneer Live, Laugh, Love Photo Album

Our take: The sentimental cover expresses the importance of the photos within.

What we like: Holds a whopping 200 4x6 photos. Also includes space for writing messages around photos.

What we dislike: Album has an unpleasant initial odor.

Best bang for your buck: Fabric Frame Sky Blue Photo Album

Our take: Simple design and lots of color choices.

What we like: Reasonable price. No chemicals on the pages to damage your photos.

What we dislike: Sticky pages (instead of slots) are awkward for some users.

Choice 3: Pioneer Bonded Leather Photo Album

Our take: A handsome photo album with a leather cover.

What we like: It can hold up to 300 photos, which is 100 more than some of our other favorites.

What we dislike: Pages are stitched to the album, making them impossible to remove.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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