The best 3D printer filaments of 2023

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Published Jul 5, 2023 at 4:00 PM

If you’re interested in 3D printing, you’ll need 3D printer filament. 3D printing allows you to create colorful and creative items such as cosplay, fidget spinners and glasses holders, or even adapters for vacuum cleaners. If you can dream it up, it’s most likely able to be 3D printed. However, not all 3D printer filament is made alike, and picking the wrong one for your project can lead to frustration, disappointment, and a wonky half-realized object you’ll need to scrap. The best 3D Printer filaments are easy to use and tough. They also produce excellent results.

How to choose the best 3D filaments

In judging the top 3D printer filaments, we considered material, diameter options, color options, as well as recommended printing temperatures. Since 3D printer filament isn’t crazy cheap, we made sure to pick options that yield consistent results, meaning fewer projects to scrap. Additionally, we looked at reviews and recommendations and tested them ourselves—shout out to Corey Foster, resident craft man, Cricut king, and director of commerce account management at Recurrent Ventures, for his help with testing and recommendations.

The best 3D printer filaments: Reviews & Recommendations

3D filament can be a great way to express your creativity and give you a sense of accomplishment by turning your imagination into real objects. Our picks will elevate your home decor or costume.

Best overall: HATCHBOX 1.75mm Black PLA 3D Printer Filament

A black spool of Hatchbox 3D printer filament on a blue and white background


  • Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Material: PLA
  • Color Options 30
  • Recommended Printing Temperature: 356-410°F


  • Beginner and expert friendly
  • Good adhesion
  • Warp less likely

The Cons of Using

  • Tangles easily on the spool

If you’re looking for fewer temperature, consistency, and adhesion issues, look no further than this PLA filament from Hatchbox. This filament comes in 1.75-millimeters diameter with a variety of colors. Its temperature, speed options, almost odorless print, and recycling are also great. There’s also minimal warping and no heating bed required. Hatchbox impressed us with its quality, materials, colors, and reliability, and we’re sure you’ll be impressed too. However, some reviews note that it tends to tangle on the spool—although you might not need to completely re-spool it, you should try some preventative measures.

Strength is best: PRILINE 3D Printer Filament – TPU

A spool of metallic blue PRILINE TPU 3D printer filament


  • Diameter: 1.75 millimeter
  • Material: TPU
  • Color options 14
  • Temperature recommended for printing 374-410°F


  • Flexible and strong
  • Printing is easy
  • Great print quality

The Cons of Using

  • It must be printed at a slower speed
  • Hot base plate is required

Look to TPU filament if you need a strong material that is not stiff. It prints well, even though it requires a hot plate and slower speeds. Don’t take our word for it: One reviewer notes, “The print quality is almost indistinguishable from similar prints in PETG, and I’m starting to use it in place of materials like PC, PETG, and ABS in places where I need mechanical strength with a little bit of give instead of potential cracking or [delamination].”

Best Flexible: OVERTURE TPU Filament 1.75mm Flexible TPU Roll

A spool of yellow OVERTURE TPU High Speed Filament on a blue and white background


  • Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Material: TPU
  • Color options 21
  • Recommended Printing Temperature: 410-446°F


  • Comes in a foil vacuum-sealed bag
  • Prints faster than other TPU filament
  • Get great results

The Cons of Using

  • Prints on the bed are difficult to remove
  • Soft and prone for clogging

Moisture is 3D printer filament’s worst enemy. This spool comes in a vacuum-sealed foil bag, meaning it’s almost guaranteed to come to your house as fresh as can be. The spool is a good balance between flexibility and durability, and it consistently produces high-quality projects. Some reviews note that the prints get stuck to the bed—use a glue layer or heat the bed to 104°F as a preventative measure. You can print it faster than other TPU filaments; it’s also soft, meaning it might clog your machine if the printer speed is too high.

Beginners: AMOLEN PLA 3D printer Filament

A spool of AMOLEN Silk PLA 3D Printer Filament on a blue and white background


  • Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Material: PLA
  • Color options 21
  • Recommended Printing Temperature: 392-428°F


  • Comes in a resealable plastic bag
  • It is less prone to clogging and tangling.
  • Interesting colors

The Cons of Using

  • It takes a long time for a bag to be sealed

If you’re getting into 3D printing to create pieces for a cosplay or just for fun, this filament mixes quality and ease of use. We also love the color-shifting filament, which adds a fun touch to any project. And, you don’t have to purchase additional measures to keep moisture at bay with an included resealable bag. The filament is also less likely to bubble, clog, or tangle. It is a little expensive, but considering the reliability and lifespan, we think it’s worth paying. It’s shiny and silky, and you wouldn’t even know you 3D printed a project unless you pointed it out. Combining it with the top 3D printers is a great way to begin your 3D printed journey.

The best miniatureseSUN PLA+ 3D printer filament

A roll of blue eSun 3D printer filament on a blue and white background


  • Diameter: 1.75 millimeters
  • Material: PLA+
  • Color options 22
  • Recommended Printing Temperature: 401-437°F


  • Rigid
  • Vacuum-packed
  • Good adhesion

The Cons of Using

  • Dry the product before use

Precision is essential for small projects. The eSUN PLA PRO (PLA+) 3D Printer Filament is stronger than PLA and is strong—no brittleness issues here. It extrudes smoothly and adheres itself. The spools come vacuum-packaged, so you’re guaranteed a fresh roll. The filament is also thin and glossy and the miniatures are smooth and detailed. It is necessary to let the filament dry out before using, but once that happens it produces a high-quality print. Also, reviews note that the filament performs best with a hotter plate (around 176°F) and a higher temperature.

Best budget: ELEGOO Filament PLA+

A spool of yellow Elegoo PLA+ Filament on a blue and white background


  • Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Material: PLA+
  • Color options 13
  • Temperature recommended for printing 401-446°F


  • The diameter of the spool is always the same.
  • Odorless printing
  • Smooth extrusion

The Cons of Using

Clocking in at $15, this filament won’t run your wallet dry if you’re looking to expand your color library. Don’t be fooled by its price. Not only is its diameter consistent down the entire roll, it’s eco-friendly, is less likely to warp and shrink, and is odorless when printing. It’s tough, relatively bubble-free, and extrudes smoothly. The wooden spool that it comes in can be recycled. However, the colors aren’t as vibrant and opaque compared to their more expensive counterparts.

Considerations to make when choosing the best 3D Printer Filaments

You may find that using the same color pencil for a long time becomes boring. A different color might be needed to really make your project stand out. The same goes for 3D printer filament—sure, you could stick with one spool in one color, but just imagine what you can do with different spools of varying strength, materials, and diameters. Keep your 3D Printer in an area that is well ventilated. It can produce fumes which are harmful to your health if you expose it too often. What else should you know before purchasing 3D printer filament?

Filament strength

If you’re doing a project that requires strength—like hooks and anything that will be used to bear weight—look for a filament with high tensile strength. Generally, polycarbonate, nylon, TPU, and composite filament are great choices if you’re looking for something strong. In order to get the best strength out of your product, you should also set up your 3D Printer with the correct infill percentage.

Filament material

There are many different types of filament. There’s resin filament, stainless steel-filled PLA, wood filament, glitter, carbon fiber, and conducive filament. You’re most likely going to use plastic to 3D print. Plastic filament comes in five different types:

  • Polylactic acid (PLA) Natural thermoplastic polyester that is recyclable and derived from renewable sources, such as sugar cane or corn starch.
  • PLA+: A version of PLA that has been augmented with additives. It is stronger and more durable than PLA. It is more adherent between layers than PLA.
  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS): This is the most common filament used in 3D printers. It is strong and resilient. It’s made from three monomers – acrylonitrile butadiene and styrene. It is highly heat-tolerant.
  • Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU): It is valued for its flexibility, resilience and durability.
  • Polyethylene terephthalate glycerol (PETG): a co-polyester that’s durable and easy to use. Thanks to its glass-like qualities, it is ideal for projects requiring clarity. It is rigid like ABS, but easy to print.


Most people use 1.75-millimeters, but 3-millimeters is more durable and is less likely to jam. The 1.75mm filament is more precise and controlled, prints faster, has less ooze, and gives better control. The 3mm is best for printers which have large nozzles. This filament is rigider and easier to print flexible plastics.

You should only use the size of filament that is recommended by your 3D Printer manufacturer. Otherwise, your print could have small holes, missing sections, too much filament in places, and just won’t look as good as it should.


Q: How much does 3D printer filament cost?

3D printer filament can cost between $15-$30 depending on what it’s made of and its size.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of PLA?

PLA has a low heat resistance of can’t be used for high-temperature projects. It has lower tensile strengths than other materials, such as ABS or PETG. PLA is great if you need to test print or your project doesn’t need to be strong.

Q: Is expensive filament worth it?

The quality and consistency of your filament can affect your prints. Filament with a low tolerance (aka, it’s not consistent along the length of the spool) will affect delivery, yielding a wonky final product. The bottom line is, it’s worth investing in the good stuff.

Q: For how long is filament good?

It depends! Moisture can reduce the shelf life of each type of filament. The filament will last many years if stored properly. But if it is left out in your damp basement, that can be reduced to just a few weeks.

Final thoughts on 3D Printer Filaments

The 3D printer is a great tool to help you get your hands dirty and have some nerdy, fun. It doesn’t matter if your printer costs less than $500 or is closer to the $1,000 mark; a good 3D printer filament can make or break your design. Filament comes with different materials that have specific properties for creating certain objects. Find some online free printer projects and start printing.

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