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Published Oct. 1, 2021

Photographs capture memories and picture frames commemorate them. Displaying your favorite pieces, whether they’re family photos or memorabilia, can enrich the beauty of your home. Choosing the right picture frame mat and moulding can transform any work into a piece of art. A quality frame will elevate and enhance any photograph or painting’s beauty while protecting it, too. 

The almost endless options on the market may be overwhelming. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t have to settle for the first decent frame you find. We researched the best picture frames, from wooden frames that will commemorate memories with loved ones for years to come, to high-quality metallic frames that will best showcase a stunning work of art. Here are our top picks for the best picture frames: 

How We Chose These Products

Methodology

Before researching the best picture frames, I read guides and reviews from interior designers, framing and hanging experts, and art curators. I evaluated more than fifty products based on experts’ insights, reviewers’ feedback, and the provided description. As a commerce writer for home goods, I regularly vet and review products. I utilized my expertise and research to determine the following criteria for finding the best picture frames:

Style: A picture frame’s style can affect how you view the subject significantly. I searched for picture frames that would suit either a painting or photograph and various home aesthetics, too. 

Material: I prioritized frame mouldings constructed from long-lasting and protective materials. 

Value: Typically, you get what you pay for with products, but you can find quality picture frames at a low price (if you know what to look for in a frame). I determined the value of each product based on its construction and style. 
Purpose: People buy picture frames for a variety of reasons, whether they want to showcase family photos or an art print from their favorite artist. I determined multiple categories based on the frame’s intended purpose.

The Best Picture Frames: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: MCS Archival Matted Frame

Lasts a Lifetime

The sizable frame will preserve your images at a fraction of the price for decades to come. MCS

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Why It Made The Cut: MCS’s archival picture frame will protect, preserve, and enhance any image and room with its high-quality construction and simple but elegant design.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 17 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Material: UV-protective glass layer

Pros: 

  • Includes an acid-free and lignin-free mat
  • Wooden frame
  • UV protective glass layer
  • Classic style

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey for a single frame

Product Description

Nothing screams classic like a black wooden frame. MCS’s Archival Matted Frame  can tastefully display a host of images. The Pennsylvania-made frame consists of a black 11×14 inch moulding and a white 8×10 inch mat. Framing experts and art collectors maintain that most pieces look better with a mat. They prefer a contrasting-colored mat and moulding because it draws the eyes toward the subject and casts out the frame, allowing viewers to connect easily with the image.

MCS prides itself on offering high-quality construction at a low price compared to other retailers. The archival picture frame proves them right. This wooden moulding is

well-crafted and heavy-duty. Both the acid-free and lignin-free mat and UV protective glass prevent discoloration and damage, too. 

Almost any image would look beautiful in this modern-looking frame. The design suits most design styles but would look best in a modern office or living room wall.

Capture Every Memory

Mimosa’s gallery set is an affordable option for people who want to display a mix of their favorite photos and artwork. Mimosa Moments

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Why It Made The Cut: The Mimosa Moments Gallery Wall Frame Set has impressed their customers with its sturdy construction and appealing aesthetic, especially considering its low price.

Specs:

  • Includes 7 matted frames of various sizes
  • Recycled polystyrene frame with white finish
  • Glass layer 

Pros: 

  • Affordable
  • Comes in 4 colors
  • Can hang the frames horizontally or vertically
  • Will look good in almost any home

Cons:

  • Lower-quality moulding

Build the gallery wall of your dreams with Mimosa’s affordable and versatile frame set. The seven-piece set comes in four colors and includes one matted 8×10 picture frame, two matted 5×7 picture frames, and four matted 4×6 picture frames. According to experts, you can’t go wrong with a white gallery frame or set. They will make your photos and favorite artwork look beautiful, stylish, and clean. 

Interior decorators advise using picture frames of various sizes to create a gallery wall. You can mount any of these picture frames vertically or horizontally, perfect for arranging an eye-catching and eclectic gallery wall. 


The frames are surprisingly sturdy and stylish, especially given the price. However, the picture frame’s moulding consists of a lower-quality, recycled polystyrene, which isn’t as durable as wood or metal. The glass layer will offer your images some protection, though. If you’re looking for an affordable, appealing, and simple gallery set, Mimosa Moments Gallery Wall Frame Set is an excellent option for you.

Best Tabletop Frame: Mixoo Picture Frame 2 Pack–Rustic Wooden Photo Frames

Make Space for Memories

This picture frame set marries traditional and modern styles, perfect for displaying in any home. Mixoo

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Why It Made The Cut: Mixoo offers a sleek and elegant design compared to other wooden tabletop picture frames, making it our top choice for best tabletop frame.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.5 x 2.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.6 pounds
  • Material: Wooden base and acrylic covers

Pros: 

  • Appealing design
  • Natural wood moulding
  • Easy to assemble
  • Looks great with either traditional and modern decor

Cons:

  • Some may dislike the acrylic plate

For anyone who wants to display a cherished photo on their desk, bookshelf, or nightstand, Mixoo Rustic Wooden Picture Frame is a great option to consider. Depending on which set you decide to purchase, the two-pack frames can fit a 4×6 or 5×7 inch photograph. One picture frame holds a horizontal photo, while the other holds a vertical one. 

No assembly is required for installation. All you need to do is remove the protective film on the acrylic plate, insert your photo into the two acrylic covers, and place the covers into the wooden base.

Some reviewers have found the two acrylic covers don’t snap shut to flatten and protect the photograph. However, most reviewers noted that the two frames were well designed and surprisingly durable, especially considering the set’s price tag. According to hanging and framing experts, acrylic has the advantage of being shatterproof and lightweight compared to a glass layer. 

Interior decorators prefer wooden frames for their durability and versatility. Typically, wooden mouldings suit traditional or rustic decor styles. Mixoo’s wooden picture frame stands out from the rest because it successfully blends traditional and modern decor styles. 

Best Art Frame: Frametory, 12×16 inch Gold Metal Picture Frame

Why It Made The Cut: We chose Frametory’s Gold Metal Picture Frame because it offers a sleek, sophisticated moulding and mat that will preserve and showcase a gorgeous piece of art.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 16.4 x 12.4 x 1 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Material: Gold finish

Pros: 

  • Comes in 6 sizes
  • Metal moulding 
  • Vertical and horizontal hanging options
  • Acid-free mat

Cons:

  • Glass partially glued to the frame

Art curators, framing experts, and interior decorators will all tell you that a well-designed combination of frame, mount, and mat adds value and visual weight to an image. It’s important to exercise restraint when selecting a frame’s moulding and mat. You want to choose a frame that doesn’t detract or compete with the art itself. 

Frametory’s Gold Metal Picture Frame encapsulates everything an entry art collector would like in a frame. The aluminum moulding, glass layer, and acid-free mat will protect the object from any damage and discoloration. Meanwhile, the sleek gold finish and ivory mat can add dimension and heightened sophistication to a piece of art. According to a few customers, the glass display is glued to parts of the moulding, making it difficult to clean.

At this price, you won’t find a better quality frame for displaying and preserving your favorite artwork.

Best Digital Frame: Aura Carver Smart Digital Picture Frame

Display Every Memory

Aura’s digital frame can store thousands of pictures and easily match almost any decor. Aura Carver

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Why It Made The Cut: Out of all the digital frames we looked out, Aura’s Carver Smart Digital Frame is the easiest to install, upload photos, and display on the tabletop of your choosing. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 10.63 x 2.6 x 7.45 inches
  • Weight: 3.69 pounds
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1200

Pros: 

  • High-quality image
  • Sleek minimalist design
  • Easy photo sharing
  • Unlimited cloud storage

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Landscape only

Aura’s Carver Smart Digital Picture Frame is what dreams are made of. Almost anyone can set up this digital frame. Simply plug the cord into an electrical outlet and connect the device to WiFi to get started. From there, you can add upwards of 10,000 photos using their easy-to-use mobile app. You’ll need to use an Android or iPhone device to transfer the pictures. Friends and family can send photos remotely to Aura’s Carver frame by using the mobile app, too! 

The high-quality design features a stunning display with its 1900 x 1200 resolution. Your photos will look crisp and clear! Guests won’t even notice it’s a digital frame because it doesn’t give off a computer-like glare. 

The only downside to this frame is that it only offers a landscape orientation, but the device will automatically pair two portrait photos side-by-side. 

A Steal

An affordable and versatile frame for displaying for your favorite poster.
MCS Industries

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Why It Made The Cut: MCS’s poster frame has garnered favorable reviews from customers and offers a quality large frame at a low price.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 19.75 x 0.7 x 25.75 inches
  • Weight: 4.99 pounds
  • Material: Engineered wood moulding and plexiglass layer

Pros: 

  • Comes in 4 colors and 18 sizes
  • Affordable
  • Can hang vertically or horizontally  

Cons:

  • Plexiglass layer
  • Engineered wood moulding

MCS makes our list again with their Industries Studio Gallery Frame. The product is available in four colors and eighteen sizes, including the standard poster sizes: 11×17, 18×24, 24×36, and 27×40 inches. It’s difficult to find a quality poster frame at a low price, especially for larger sizes. 

Compared to other affordable posters, MCS’s frame garnered the most favorable reviews. Customers noted the frame’s high-quality appearance and durability. A few reviewers complained about the plexiglass layer, which doesn’t offer the same protection as a glass or acrylic one. The frame’s moulding consists of engineered wood, which looks similar to real wood but doesn’t offer the same durability. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Picture Frames

A picture frame may seem like a small purchase, but the right frame will preserve your memories and add to the appeal of your home. Before you buy, think about the following:

Style

First and foremost, consider where you are going to hang your piece. You don’t want the frame to look out of place in your room. Is your room more traditional, modern, or a mix of the two? Keep that in mind when searching for a picture frame. For example, a wooden frame would look beautiful in a room full of earthy tones. On the other hand, it’s important to choose a frame that will enhance the beauty of your piece, whether that’s a photograph or an art print. Art curators advise people to choose a frame that will complement the overall tone of a piece rather than a dominant color.

Size

Always look for a picture frame that will fit your image, full stop! If you’re looking for a matted frame, make sure the mat’s size matches your image’s size.

Material

A high-quality moulding and layer can protect your image for decades. Wood and metal are popular choices for mouldings due to their durability. Glass layers are common for picture frames because they don’t scratch easily. However, a glass layer can break, while an acrylic one is shatterproof.

Still, you don’t need to spend a fortune on framing photographs and posters. A plaster moulding and layer is fine for displaying a piece, though it won’t offer the same protection.

FAQs

Q: Which photo frame material is best?

Framing and hanging experts, interior decorators, and art curators prefer wood and metal mouldings. Choose a glass or acrylic layer to best protect your piece.

Q: What is the best picture frame size?

There’s no such thing as the best picture frame size, though the standard picture size is 4×6 inches

Q: Is a picture frame a good wedding gift?

It depends. The newlyweds are likely to regift an empty frame. If you have a thoughtful photo to place in the frame, then it could be a cherished gift!

Final Thoughts

With so many picture frame options on the market, it can be challenging to determine what’s worth buying. Your best bet is to choose a frame made out of wood with a UV protective layer. That’s why we recommend the MCS Archival Matted Frame as our best overall pick.

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