Written By
Published Sep. 27, 2021

Photographs hold a storied past, and preserving them well can keep those memories intact for years to come. Nowadays, people take and store photos on their phones. Your digital photo library may be a chaotic combination of cherished memories with loved ones, selfies, random screenshots, and more. Meanwhile, you might use Instagram and Facebook as a way to curate and share photographs and photo albums. But if you’re looking to organize, store, and preserve photographs privately, then you should consider purchasing a physical photo album.

Choosing the right one can make all the difference in how your photos hold up over the years. While there are plenty of great options on the market, it may be difficult for you to determine which ones are actually worth purchasing. That’s why we broke down what to look for when shopping for a photo album and collected key features that you should consider before purchasing one. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks for the best photo album.

How We Picked the Best Photo Albums

Methodology 

In selecting the best photo albums, we read reviews and reports from photo archivists. We utilized that information to determine some of the criteria for the best photo albums. Additionally, we based the selections on extensive research and multiple years of experience testing and reviewing products. Our evaluation involved considering over 20 products, analyzing customer reviews, and parsing through product descriptions. We weighed several considerations when making our suggestions.

  • Material: We prioritized photo albums constructed from durable materials, including leather, faux leather, and fabric-bound covers. Almost every product on this list features acid-, lignin-, and PVC-free materials to prevent photos from degrading. 
  • Style: A photo album should be shared. Showcase it with pride, whether by your bed or on a bookshelf. We looked for aesthetically pleasing options that would look great in most homes.
  • Purpose: Many people curate photo albums for a certain purpose, for instance to commemorate an event or celebrate a family’s history. We chose options that could serve a variety of intents, from the best scrapbook album to the best archival photo album. 
  • Brand: We considered products from trusted brands while keeping recommended products in mind too. 
  • Value: You don’t need to empty your wallet to buy a long-lasting photo album. There are many high-value products available for affordable prices and we selected only those products.

The Best Photo Albums: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Pioneer Photo Albums Fabric Frame Cover Photo Album

Has It All

This photo album can store and protect up to 200 4×6-inch photos for decades to come. Pioneer Photo Albums

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Why It Made The Cut: The Fabric Frame Cover Photo Album hits all the marks with its durable materials, memo pad feature, and high-value storage.

Specs:

  • 2 x 9.25 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Capacity: 100 pages display up to 200 4×6 inch photos

Pros: 

  • Memo writing area
  • Simple but stylish
  • Photo-safe materials
  • Comes in 21 colors

Cons:

  • Fits only 4×6-inch photos

The best photo albums include high-quality materials, an attractive exterior, and a convenient interior. Most users want to slip their photos in a pouch and call it a day. Customers and experts love Pioneer’s photo albums because they’re affordable, archival, and appealing to the eye. This particular photo album from Pioneer combines everything we love about photo albums: a classic look, high-quality construction, easy storage, and personalized flair. 

A photo album shouldn’t only hold your photos, it should capture your style and personality too. The durable fabric cover comes in more than 20 colors, so you can choose the right hue to display in your home. For storage, the interior features patented bidirectional pockets that can hold both horizontal and vertical images. You can store up to 200 4-by-6-inch photos safely because—like all of Pioneer’s albums—the Fabric Frame Cover Photo Album is acid-, lignin-, and PVC-free.

The best part about this album is that it includes a memo area next to each photo so you can jot down names, dates, places, and more. You can slip a photo into the fabric cover to highlight your favorite image and set the tone for the curated album—perfect for displaying on your coffee table.

Best Value: GPIRAL Small Photo Album 4×6 2 Pack

Small and Sufficient

Take your favorite photos on the go with GPIRAL’s small and durable photo albums. GPIRAL

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Why It Made The Cut: This two-pack set checks every quality we looked for in a photo album, all at a low price, making it our pick for best value.

Specs:

  • Weight: ‎10.5 ounces
  • Capacity: 52 pages in each album hold 52 4×6-inch photos

Pros: 

  • Simple but stylish
  • Photo safe
  • Comes in six colors
  • Pack of two 

Cons:

  • Fits only 4×6-inch photos

GPIRAL’s Small Photo Album is a fun-size version of Pioneer Photo Albums’ Fabric Cover Album, without the personalized frills. Simply slip your 4-by-6-inch photo into a page’s top-slit clear acid- and PVC-free pocket. The archival-quality pocket sheets won’t stick to your photos either, preventing unnecessary photo damage. This album is perfect for storing a smaller collection of images, postcards, flashcards, and more. Title your collection by using the album’s front window.

You can even take this album on the go! Similar to a compact journal, this photo album closes with an elastic strap and can easily fit into a backpack or tote. The best part about this set is that you get two high-quality albums for the price of one. 

Best Scrapbook: Vienrose Photo Album/Scrapbook

Bookshelf Appropriate

Arrange your photo collection however you see fit with Vienrose’s modern-looking and easy-to-use self-adhesive album. Vienrose

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Why It Made The Cut: Vienrose is the only company that offers an archival-safe scrapbook photo album at this price point. 

Specs:

  • ‎Dimensions: 11 x 10.8 inches
  • Capacity: 40 pages hold up to 120 photos

Pros: 

  • Accommodates most standard photo sizes
  • Acid-free pages
  • Linen cover
  • Comes in 12 colors and four sizes

Cons:

  • The adhesive can damage photos

Not all scrapbook covers look kitschy. Vienrose’s sophisticated scrapbook can blend in effortlessly on your bookshelf. The photo album comes in 12 colors and four sizes, so you can choose the best option to fit your photo collection and decor. Even better, each page can accommodate standard photo sizes up to 8 by 10 inches. 

To start scrapbooking, all you need to do is peel off the film and arrange your pictures on the semi-adhesive page, and then place the protective film on top. Some users mentioned that it was challenging to put on the protective layer without air bubbles. We suggest taking your time when covering your pages and using your thumb or a squeegee to smooth out any air bubbles. 

Vienrose’s product is the only self-adhesive photo album on this list. We generally advise against purchasing this type of album for cherished photographs, such as older images you’re hoping to preserve, because the adhesive yellows over time. If you want to create a scrapbook featuring older images, we suggest scanning, printing, and using copies of those images. You can best protect your cherished photographs in an archival photo album or box. 

Best Archival: Pioneer Photo Albums 3-Ring Photo Album

For Safekeeping

Preserve memorabilia in this classic-looking, high-quality album. Pioneer Photo Albums

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Why It Made The Cut: This classic photo album allows users to safely store hundreds of precious photos that can easily be rearranged.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 2.75 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.85 pounds
  • Capacity: 168 pages hold 504 4×6-inch photos

Pros: 

  • High capacity
  • High-quality construction
  • Classic appearance
  • Three-ring binder style

Cons:

  • Fits only 4×6-inch landscape photos

Pioneer Photo Albums makes the list once again with this antique-style photo album. The elegant and simple design includes a leatherette cover with gold stamping and clear interior pockets with a white paper background. Unlike other photo albums on the list, this album is a three-ring binder, so you can add and rearrange pages as you please. Additionally, this archival photo album holds the most photos—upward of 504 images if you purchase refill pages separately. Each page stores three 4-by-6-inch landscape photos.

This product offers the best possible value for an archival photo album because it’s affordable, constructed with high-quality materials, and appealing to the eye. Like other products from Pioneer Photo Albums, you can safely store hundreds of photos for centuries to come because this photo album is acid-, lignin-, and PVC-free. In particular, archivists like this album because it safely holds precious photos for a low price.

Best for Instant Camera Photos: Ablus 128 Pockets Mini Photo Album

Affordable and Stylish

Organize your growing instant photo collection with this compact and stylish photo album. Ablus

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Why It Made The Cut: Compared to other instant photo albums, Ablus offers a high-capacity, contemporary product at a low price.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 6.1 x 8 x 1.18 inches
  • Weight: 3.53 ounces
  • Capacity: 32 pages  hold 120 instant photos

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Stylish
  • Practical design

Cons:

  • PVC inner pockets
  • Lower quality cover

If you’re looking to purchase an easy-to-use and stylish photo album for your instant photos, the Ablus 128 Pockets Mini Photo Album is an affordable entry-level product. The album can accommodate film taken by most Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras, Polaroid PIC-300P and Polaroid Z2300 cameras, and LG PD 233 and 239 cameras. Each page includes 4 PVC inner pockets for holding photographs. Note that we prioritized choosing PVC-free albums because PVC is an unstable plastic that may corrode your photos over time, although archivists say they don’t yet know how plastic interacts with photographs over a long period. 

Most users like this album because it sufficiently holds instant photos and appeals to the eye, especially for young customers. Gift the album to your loved ones so they can easily store their bevy of snapshots. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Photo Album

Number of Pages

When it comes to choosing a photo album, you want to choose one that will accommodate all of your desired photos. Make sure to pay attention to the provided product description because it will detail how many photos the album can store. For example, an album with 40 pages probably consists of 20 double-sided sheets. 

Photo and Album Size

A lot of photo albums will hold the standard photo sizes, especially 4-by-6-inch photos. If you’re hoping to store several photo sizes, we suggest choosing a scrapbook photo album. Additionally, you should consider the size of the actual photo album. Do you want to store the photo album on your bookshelf? Are you hoping to showcase it on your nightstand or coffee table? These are questions to ask yourself before buying a photo album.

Style

You should choose a photo album that reflects your personal style. Photo albums come in a variety of colors, designs, and materials, so you can find the best product for you and your photo collection.

Material

As stressed throughout this guide, a photo album’s construction can directly impact the longevity of your photos. We recommend choosing photo albums that are acid-free, lignin-free, and PVC-free to prevent unnecessary damage to your physical images. Fabric-bound and leather-bound photo album covers are the most common and durable.

FAQs 

Q: Which photo album is best?

It depends on your priorities! Are you looking for a photo album with high capacity? Do you want a photo album that will blend in with the rest of the books on your shelf? Outside of those considerations, a photo album that is archival quality is best. 

Q: How much does a photo album cost?

A photo album can cost from $5 to $100. We recommend choosing mid-level photo albums because they can offer high value if constructed from high-quality materials.

Q: Are photo albums still popular?

Photo albums aren’t as popular as they used to be, but the rise in popularity of instant photos has contributed to a greater need and desire for the product again. 

Final Thoughts

The best photo albums can preserve your cherished photographs for years to come. An album keeps your collection well-organized too. Overall, Pioneer Photo Albums Fabric Frame Cover Photo Album was our choice for best photo album for its simple, modern design and high-quality construction

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