Home Document Scanners: How to Make the Right Choice For Your Household

Versatility and ease of use are the two key factors for choosing which home scanning device to invest in

A home document scanner can be a valuable addition to any modern household.

In fact, a 2021 study by Technavio found that the transition to hybrid work models has seen more households invest in home scanning devices than ever before, with the total document scanner market size expected to grow by $1.28 billion from 2020 to 2024.

Whether it’s for a home office or a family common area, having immediate access to high quality document scanning from the comfort of your home can save families considerable time and expense. It can help keep finances in order, capture valuable memories, and minimize the time spent on clerical work that could otherwise be spent enjoying the comforts of home.

But with the wealth of options available, it can be tough to know where to start. Do you really need a scanner/printer combo? How big does a home scanner need to be? And how can you be sure it can handle everything you’ll need it to? Read on for the answers to these and other questions that will help you feel confident in your decision to invest in the right device for your household.


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Check out our guide, Document Scanners: Everything You Need to Go Digital, for even more expert advice and information.


Table of contents:

What is a home document scanner?

What are the benefits of a home document scanner?

Know your home document scanner needs

Measure twice, buy once

Invest in quietude

Our recommendation: ScanSnap iX1600


What is a home document scanner?

A home document scanner is any digital document imaging device that has been expressly designed for use in the home rather than in an office. Unlike scanners intended for use in working environments, home scanning devices tend to be smaller and prioritize smoother designs and more straightforward functionality in contrast to the sophistication and utility of an office document scanner. They’re intended to harmonize with the spaces we inhabit on a regular basis, offering a pleasing interaction at a fraction of the footprint.


What are the benefits of having a home document scanner?

A home scanning device allows knowledge workers to make meaningful contributions to the businesses they work for from the comfort of their household. Their versatility also allows them to serve as shared family devices that can be used to digitize photos, illustrations, or handwritten notes as a way of preserving them for the future or opening them up to a world of digital manipulation. Done right, they offer one more way for us to interact with the information that underpins both our work and home lives in an intuitive and enjoyable way.


How to choose a home document scanner

Know your home document scanner needs

Any potential technology purchase should be examined through the lens of the value it will bring. Understanding exactly what that means depends largely on what it will be used for.

Will you be scanning financial documents or homework assignments? Handwritten notes or school art projects? Architectural blueprints or precious family photographs? If you’re confident that you’ll only ever need it for a single use case, it’s likely in your best interest to shop for a specialized scanner that meets your unique needs.

What’s more likely, however, is that you’ll need your new home document scanner to accommodate a variety of jobs from multiple members of your household. It’s not unlikely that you could be scanning an important health form to send to your MD the same day that your child wants to scan their drawing of a green dinosaur so they can edit it on a computer. To ensure that you get the most out of your investment, any home scanning device you choose should be easy to use, reliable, and capable of handling a wide range of scanning projects. The more versatile, the better.


Did You Know? The ScanSnap family of scanners specializes in versatility and ease-of-use at an affordable price. Click here to learn more.


Measure twice, buy once

A big part of choosing the right device for your household is considering how it will fit into your living space. Unlike office environments that have been designed to accommodate the needs of full time knowledge workers, our homes typically prioritize comfort, and rightfully so. To ensure that you’re not making unwanted interior decoration compromises for the sake of your new scanner, it’s best to come to an agreement with the other members of your household as to where it will live in the house before making your purchase.

If it’s intended as a shared family device, placing your scanner in a kitchen or living room ensures that anyone in the family can have access to it at most times of day. Keep in mind that the average kitchen countertop is only 25 ½ inches deep and likely wouldn’t be able to accommodate larger flatbed scanners with lids that could collide with cabinetry above. Your best bet would be to go with a more compact yet versatile option like the award-winning ScanSnap iX1600, with a total depth of only 6.3 inches, allowing plenty of room for additional storage and maneuverability when scanning documents.

home document scanner

The same goes for any home document scanner you might be considering for your home office. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses into a hybrid work structure, many employees found themselves having to build home offices on a budget. Even those fortunate enough to receive financial support from their employers had to keep purchasing decisions within reason. At the time of writing, the best selling home office desk on Amazon measured in at just 23.6 inches in depth, making it all the more important to keep device sizes to a minimum.

No matter where you choose to place your new scanner, be sure to take your measurements in advance, check the specific product dimensions, and ensure that you’re leaving yourself enough room that your surfaces won’t feel crowded by the new addition.

Invest in quietude

Not much can ruin a peaceful afternoon at home faster than waking a napping baby thanks to a noisy, poorly made scanner. Whether you’re trying not to wake a sleeping child or a family member working shifts, a home scanning device capable of operating quietly can be worth its weight in gold. When considering your options, be sure to look for a product that’s constructed from quality materials and a minimum of moving parts.

The mechanisms that feed documents through the scanning aperture should follow a straight paper path to avoid any jams that could result in a document needing to be removed from the device by hand. Hinges and locking mechanisms should use mechanical fixtures and minimize reliance on pressure fits. Finally, any feedback from button presses or networked jobs should be toggleable to minimize unwanted or unexpected noise pollution.


Did You Know? PCMagazine described the ScanSnap iX1600 as “a snappy, accurate portable document scanner that's excellent for digitizing documents.” Click here to read the full review and learn why it earned a 4.0 out of 5 and a place among their best tech products of 2021.


Our recommendation: ScanSnap iX1600

We know that you have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a home document scanner. We pride ourselves on having spent the last 50+ years designing and developing some of the most beloved electronics in the world, including our line of award-winning, easy to use, one touch

The ScanSnap iX1600 is a versatile, cloud enabled scanner that can fit on nearly any household surface and boasts exceptional reliability. Designed for everyday use, the ScanSnap iX1600 gets documents digitized, organized and sent to wherever – whenever - with minimal effort. We believe it’s the ideal choice for anyone looking to add a home scanning device to their household, and we hope you’ll agree. Click here to learn more and shop the full line of ScanSnap scanners.