Looking for the best PLA filament brands?
There are thousands of companies selling PLA. But not all of them are worth buying from.
The problem is that many of these companies sell PLA of atrocious quality.
If you are shopping for filament, you must find the highest quality ones. If you don’t, you can end up with low-quality adulterated PLAs – that at best create shoddy prints, and at worst will destroy your nozzle.
Getting the best PLA filament quality-wise can be the difference between buying an Apple iPhone vs buying an Apple iPone.
It can be the difference between your business thriving (due to quality prints) vs your business failing (because people hate your prints).
And it can be the difference between strong long-lasting prints vs prints that fall apart with ease.
Table of Contents
- Best PLA Filaments At A Glance
- 1. Hatchbox PLA Filament (best Overall)
- 2. Sunlu PLA Filament (Best Value)
- 3. Polymaker Polymax PLA Filament (Strongest)
- 4. Makerbot PLA Filament (Highest Quality)
- 5. Proto Pasta PLA Filament (Best for Tight Toleranes)
- 6. Ultimaker PLA Filament (Most Aesthetically Pleasing)
- 7. MatterHacker’s Build PLA
- 8. Colorfabb PHA/PLA Filament (Easiest to Print)
- So Which PLA Filament Is The Best?
Best PLA Filaments At A Glance
So we hope by now you get how important this is.
To help you out, we have reviewed the best PLA filaments in the market. We tested them for quality, strength, aesthetics, and many other parameters. Scroll below to know which PLA filament brands are the best.
1. Hatchbox PLA Filament (Best Overall)
2. Sunlu PLA Filament (Best Value)
3. Polymaker Polymax PLA Filament (Strongest)
4. Makerbot PLA Filament (Highest-Quality)
5. Proto Pasta PLA Filament (Best Reliable for Tolerances)
6. Ultimaker PLA Filament (Most Aesthetically Pleasing)
7. MatterHacker’s Build PLA
8. Colorfabb PHA/PLA Filament (Easiest to Print)
The Hatchbox PLA, which is a vibrant-looking PLA filament, is such a thief. It has stolen the heart of 1000s of satisfied Amazon customers. And ours as well.
This is easily the 3D printing filament we recommend the most, for various reasons. It is the best overall PLA filament on this list.
Firstly, prints made from this filament are flexible and strong. We didn’t observe stringing in our test models. And the finishes turned out glossy.
We found the layer adhesion to be really good, and we observed no warping during the printing process. Prints stick to the bed with ease.
Now coming to the smell. Boy, these PLA filaments smell amazing. Reminded us of pancakes. Make sure you aren’t hungry when using this filament.
The PLA filament works great at nozzle temperatures of 180°C-220°C.
The Hatchbox PLA family is a colorful bunch. The filaments come in 28 different colors including yellow, blue, white, and black. While we love the brand, we hate Hatchbox’s support. It is poor and is hard to get in contact with the support staff.
With that said, we wholeheartedly recommend the Hatchbox brand. It is a great PLA filament for such an affordable price.
Which company packs their filament in the best possible way? The non-existent PLA filament award for Best Packing goes toooo… Sunlu PLA!
We just loved how the filament was packaged. It is so neatly wound and is 100% tangle-free. This means that you can do something else – watch TV, cook food, go bungee jumping. You don’t have to worry about prints failing midway because of tangles.
The prints we printed with this 3D printing filament are great to touch and have a smooth, shiny surface. The layers are compact and they disappear into each other in a seamless manner and are nearly undetectable to the naked eye. Print quality is exceptionally accurate and is perfect for printing mechanical parts like gears.
The PLA filament also flows smoothly from the extruder- there is little chance that the nozzle can be clogged up.
If you want optimum print quality, remember to keep the nozzle temperature above 220°C during 3D printing. Be careful though, the high-temperature gives off a lot of fumes. Luckily you don’t have to stay in the room while the printer prints, eh?
Sunlu is a highly sought-after PLA filament brand used by pros and beginners alike. This is a no-nonsense 3D printing filament that just gets the job done and is the most affordable PLA filament.
The toughest kid on the PLA block is the Polymaker’s Polymax PLA 3D printer filament. Smack it, hit it, do whatever. But be careful, this meanie isn’t scared of you.
The Polymax PLA is tough. The prints turn out very sturdy. We ran multiple impact tests on the final prints. They survived like champs. It has high impact resistance, almost 7-9 times that of standard PLA in the market. The Polymax is also 20% tougher than ABS.
The PLA filament sticks to the bed platform with ease. We also didn’t find warping on all our test pieces.
Prints made by the Polymax PLA look fantastic. They look pleasing to the eye. The individual layers aren’t visible and the models look like they are made through injection molding. The prints look whole and completely fused. On top of all that, the surface looks and feels smooth to touch.
The final prints come without strings attached, literally. Because of this, the prints look very clean.
Polymaker’s Polymax PLA filament is a must-have, especially if strength is something you’re looking for in your prints.
Have you been using poor quality PLA all your life? Want just the best PLA filament that money can buy in terms of quality? Then stop your search now. And check out Makerbot PLA.
The MakerBot PLA filament has really good mechanical properties. Compared to standard PLAs, it has high tensile strength and elasticity. This means that the prints don’t break easily. This can be great if you want to print jigs and fixtures that can stand the test of time.
Even though MakerBot is expensive, it’s for a good reason. The spool quantity is worth 30 hours of printing. This means that you don’t need to keep buying a bunch of less expensive filament spools.
The Makerbot PLA filament doesn’t warp during 3D printing. So you’re definitely going to get quality prints out of this 3D printer filament.
The only downside is that the PLA filament has a slight odor, but nothing too heavy. Get the Makerbot PLA if you are tired of low quality filaments, and are looking for something better.
Do you want your prints to have more of a matte finish than a glossy one? Then the Proto Pasta PLA filament is perfect for you.
The PLA filament is very resistant to heat. It can withstand high temperatures with ease (normal PLA usually deforms at high temperatures).
The adhesion on the Proto Pasta is strong. It sticks to a non-heated build platform as well. The 3D printing filament is rigid due to the carbon fibers. Of course with the increase rigidity comes a decrease in flexibility. But overall the Proto-Pasta is perfect for making any kind of frame, tool, or support.
Proto Pasta prints have clean and visually sharp surfaces. The minute details are precise with no blemishes.
A word of warning about inserting the PLA filament into the filament guide. The material is brittle and you need to manipulate it with caution.
Unfortunately, because of the abrasive nature of the Proto Pasta PLA, the filament can damage the nozzle with frequent use. So make sure you have the highest quality nozzle (preferably made of stainless steel, and not regular brass nozzles) to work with these parts.
The Proto Pasta is an extremely high-quality PLA 3D printer filament. However, with high quality comes a high price to pay. Yeah I know, shucks. But we still highly recommend it.
Does your personality test say that you’re a show-off? Or are you a print-hibitionist, and you just want to flaunt your printed wares to friends and family? Then get the Ultimaker PLA.
The prints popped out by the Ultimaker filament have a great finish. The surface of these models is consistent, smooth, and sports great detail.
The Ultimaker filament spool has a uniform diameter throughout- they have amazing tolerances. Care is made by the manufacturers to make sure that this is possible. This helps reduce the risk of possible jams in the 3D printing machine due to uneven diameters.
The 3D printer filament is odorless. So if you dislike the musky odor that PLAs tend to usually give off, then you’re in luck.
Ultimaker PLA filaments are strong, just like the Colorfabb and Polymaker PLA. Be careful though, it can be hard to remove supports from these prints. You may have to use a knife to do so.
Unfortunately, while Ultimaker PLA filament is good, it isn’t as good as Colorfabb’s PLA (though they cost the same). In fact, Colorfabb’s PLA has slightly better quality and also a larger range of colors to choose from. But ultimately what makes the Ultimaker filament stand out among the competition is their visually appealing prints, that are just so damn pleasing to the eye.
Looking for a PLA filament that is cheap, but still has it all? Then you should check out MatterHacker’s Build PLA.
Our testing with the 3D printer filament produced great overall results. The prints turned out smooth with sharp details. The finish was glossy. The PLA supports came off easily, just like that. We weren’t too happy with the rather excessive stringing, however.
The layer adhesion is solid and the prints were strong and sturdy overall.
We found printing with the MatterHacker PLA filament a smooth and enjoyable process, with no issues whatsoever (except for the stringing). Highly recommend this affordable PLA.
If you want another recommendation in the tough PLA filament department, then Colorfabb PHA/PLA is our next recommendation. This is another high-quality filament, just like the Polymax PLA.
The secret to this particular filament’s strength comes from the addition of PHA (Polyhydroxyalkanoates). PHA is a polyester, which when added to Colorfabb PLA makes it tougher and less brittle than usual PLA filement grades in the market.
In addition to its strength, the Colorfabb ranks high in the easy-to-print PLA list. It doesn’t clog or jam the nozzle.
The print finishes turn out smooth, without any stringing. With a matte finish, they are also very pleasant to touch.
Just like the Polymaker PLA, the layers are bonded tightly together with excellent adhesion. And this filament doesn’t warp at all during printing. In many ways the Colorfabb and Polymax are twins.
With all these wonderful qualities, it’s no surprise that Colorfabb PLA 3D printer filament is expensive. But just as with the Polymaker PLA, it is completely worth it.
What is the best brand of PLA filament?
The best brand of PLA filament is Hatchbox PLA.
There are tons of PLA filament brands out there in the market and low-quality products are aplenty. Sometimes these poor quality PLA are sold for absurdly high prices, scamming you in the process.
The PLA filaments reviewed in this article have been carefully screened by us for quality. Some of them might be expensive, but that’s because they are the best of the best.
Among all the PLA we selected, Hatchbox was the best PLA filament brand. It has been tested not only by us but by many happy customers all over the world. Just check the page on Amazon. It’s got mad reviews, with 85% of customers giving it 5-stars.
Hatchbox PLA offers tons of benefits. They are super easy to work with and don’t cause problems during the printing process. Their quality is good. The spools are affordable. The prints don’t have issues with stringing, and they also are very colorful and vibrant to look at. For the price range, you won’t find any better prints anywhere else.
Why choose a PLA filament?
PLA filaments are the best both for beginners (especially) and experts alike. If you own a 3D printer, PLA filaments are better suited for most home printers compared to ABS. They print much more easily.
So why choose a PLA filament?
- They are strong and the prints last long (damn, I feel like a poet).
- The odors they emit aren’t overpowering In fact, they are usually pleasant smelling. Hence they are perfect for a house setting. Your guests will thank you.
- You don’t need to have a printer with a heated bed for PLA to print. They work on cold surfaces as well
- They are extremely safe filaments. If you touch them or inhale them there is no safety issue.
- If caring about the environment is one of your values, you’ll be happy to hear that they are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. This is because they are made from cornstarch.
- PLA prints are aesthetically beautiful to look at. They are shiny and have smooth surfaces. Perfect for toys, figurines, and anything artistic.
How do I choose a PLA filament?
There are a couple of things to look for if you are buying a PLA filament.
- Check for any impurities: As we mentioned before, there are tons of PLA brands popping up in the marketplace. Many of these are shady companies that create low-quality PLA filaments, but insidiously market them as pure grade ones. These PLAs are mostly diluted with low-quality materials to make the product cheaper.
Having these impurities can block your expensive 3D printer’s nozzle, jamming them during operation. This is because these impurities don’t melt as easily as PLA does.
- Filament Diameter: The wrong PLA spools come with varying diameters, and this is problematic when printing prints. If the diameter is wider on one part of the spool and less wide on another, this will cause problems during the printing process. You will have to keep adjusting feed settings to counteract the issue. The varying diameters can also lead to inconsistency in the prints.
- Proper packing: Make sure that the filaments are wrapped in the spools in a neat manner. If this isn’t the case, the filaments may get tangled, causing problems while feeding them into the printer. Also make sure that the filaments aren’t wound up too tightly as well as this may lead to breakage.
- Consistent Color: If you buy from shady filament manufacturers, you’ll often notice the variation in the color tone of the filament from one spool to another. So while printing, when changing the spool, you may notice the print resumes with a different shade of color.
As a hobbyist, this can seem unsightly. You wouldn’t want your works of art to look chromatically uneven, do you? And if you are a business owner, wouldn’t you to want to keep your prints consistent in their coloring if you want to maintain the standard of your business.
So Which PLA Filament Is The Best?
All of the PLA brands that we reviewed in the article are of the highest quality. So if you want the best PLA filament, you can be sure that all the products we have reviewed are top notch.
However, If we had to give one recommendation, we would no doubt suggest the Hatchbox PLA. The filament is affordable, with the prints being vibrant-looking and strong. You just cannot go wrong with this brand.
Now if you just want the toughest PLA 3D printer filament in the market, you will love Polymaker’s Polymax PLA filament.
And finally, get the Ultimaker PLA if you want the most aesthetically pleasing prints from your 3D printer.