Metal Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: Comparison and Which is Better?

At times, being a photographer or an artist can be pretty challenging; we get hung up on the small details that others might not even notice. But to us, these details are what separate good art from great art. Moreover, obsessing over the particulars can help settle the age-old debate of which photo print is superior, metal prints or acrylic prints.

Whether you want to upgrade your home’s interior design or are a photographer, you have had to choose between metal prints or acrylic prints. Fortunately, we will showcase both the advantages and disadvantages of each print below. This article will help you find the answers you need to appreciate wonderful art fully.

Although both prints are excellent photo art products in their own right, we want to find the one that best fits you: metal vs acrylic prints, which will ensure your home decor is at its best and that your photos stand out in the best way possible. To get started, see what these prints offer as we break down their key distinctions.

Metal Prints Definition and Comparison to Acrylic Prints

A metal print is a contemporary, high-definition artwork made of an elegant, three-part composite panel, which is what your image will be layered on for the stunning appearance you desire. These photo prints may look sturdy at first glance, but they are lightweight.

Metal prints can be created by placing a foam core between two sheets of brushed aluminum. This metal is the best for wall art because it is inexpensive, lightweight, and durable. The printing company will print the image onto the aluminum metal in the resolution you select or already captured.

Both metal and acrylic prints are incredibly durable and easy to clean. This durability can be tested both outside and in front of destructive toddlers. In addition, you can easily clean up any spills with a quick swipe of a cloth.

For more information see our full guide: What are Metal Prints?

Advantages of Metal Prints to Acrylic Prints

Having an HD metal print offers a lot of advantages. The primary strength of this photo print is its durability. In fact, it is so durable that, unlike other works of art, it doesn’t start to fade until 100 years after being exposed to sunlight. A metal surface is also a great print for outdoors and can withstand UV rays and humidity. Not to mention, this photo print is scratch-resistant.

Given that it is made of aluminum and is also fire resistant, this print is surprisingly light. As a result, transporting what appears to be a clunky print will be easy for you, whether you’re setting it up or moving it elsewhere. Additionally, you’ll discover that using a metal print is simple to clean. No need to scrub the dirt away; just wipe it away, and you’re done.

If metal prints seem like an option for you, we’ve recommended the best metal photo print companies.

Disadvantages of Metal Prints to Acrylic Prints

Many benefits come along with having a metal print. However, there are a few disadvantages that you should be aware of. We mentioned how metal prints don’t fade when exposed to sunlight, but when it comes to direct sunlight, this isn’t the case.

Some pictures work best with other prints, whether it is an acrylic print or even a canvas print. For example, with a metal print, you must select an image with the highest resolution so you can embrace the vibrant colors and deep contrast. If it’s not the highest quality, the glaring flaws of the print will be apparent.

Additionally, some metal prints don’t fit in specific environments. So perhaps it would be best to look for a different print, depending on the style and decor of your home. Later, we’ll talk more in-depth about this.

Acrylic Prints Definition

Acrylic prints are popular because of their bright and glossy appearance, which is due to the light reflecting through the acrylic sheet onto the image itself, ensuring all of its features stand out. When the light reflects, it gives the colors in the picture a stunning clarity and vibrance that standard paper cannot.

To create an acrylic print, you must use a top-quality photo print to mount onto the back of an acrylic sheet. The image is shielded by this acrylic sheet from scratches or fading over time. In addition to the image being safe from damage, acrylic has a longer lifespan than other mediums like paper as it is less affected by weather or environmental factors.

There are two options when it comes to acrylic prints, and these are direct-print or face-mounted. Direct-print is how it sounds; the image is printed directly onto the acrylic. Face-mounted prints are created by printing the image on high-quality photo paper and then mounting it onto the back of the acrylic sheet.

Whether you choose face-mounted acrylic prints, direct-print acrylic prints, or HD metal prints, they will all be made of premium materials to ensure the highest quality prints possible. The materials they are made of are why these two always go head-to-head in these discussions.

Advantages of Acrylic Prints Compared to Metal Prints

When choosing, consider the advantages that an acrylic print offers as well.


Much like metal prints, acrylic prints tend to be long-lasting because of the quality material from which they are made. Unlike paper prints, acrylic prints won’t get damaged by humidity or other changes in their environment.


Because they are essentially like glass, water will not damage the acrylic blocks. However, if you have a face-mounted acrylic print, be careful that the paper doesn’t get wet, as that can damage the image.

Easy To clean and Toddler-friendly

You don’t have to worry about your child getting fingerprints all over the acrylic because you can easily clean the entire print the same way you would clean a window.

Vibrant Quality

And we can’t forget the stunning details and eye-popping, vibrant hues that command attention when passing by. This photo print ensures that every detail in your photo print is treated with respect, which is made possible by the 3D effect that it offers.

If acrylic prints seem like an option for you, we’ve recommended the Best Acrylic Photo Prints for you to choose from.

Disadvantages of Acrylic Prints Compared to Metal Prints

Like any material, acrylic prints aren’t exceptionally flawless. It has a few drawbacks that can seriously detract from the overall enjoyment of such a fantastic print.

Light Glare

The glare of this print stands out the most. This glare won’t overstay its welcome, but it will occasionally be a nuisance. However, it is possible to find anti-glare acrylic prints if you don’t want to be bothered. You will have to choose the best place in your home to display the image, away from windows that let in a lot of sun or lights that give off too much light.

Not Scratch-Resistant

Although acrylic is sturdy, it is not scratch-resistant. Therefore, you shouldn’t transport this print frequently. However, if you have to move it, you should be as careful as possible when packing and transporting it.


Furthermore, the price point can also leave your pockets feeling a little light. It will depend on the size, but they can start at around $80 for an 8×10 print, and you could pay upwards of $620 for a large 40×60 acrylic print.

Metal Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: Durability

Regarding durability, the metal prints and acrylic prints are nearly identical. Both are resilient enough to endure the outdoors’ natural deterioration without losing their artistic beauty. Both are also humidity-resistant, UV-resistant, waterproof, and even tear-proof.

But where things start to differ is when it comes to transportation. You have to be very careful with an acrylic print so it doesn’t sustain any scratches. As opposed to the acrylic print, the metal print is scratch-resistant, making transportation simple. So, for this reason, the slight edge goes to metal prints.

Metal Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: Quality

Acrylic vs metal prints will easily meet your needs if you are looking for quality. But which is the best? Which has the sharp and vibrant colors you want to accentuate your piece’s every detail?

Acrylic prints are the way to go if you’re looking for a contemporary print that will catch the eye of any onlooker. Your picture will stand out thanks to the 3D effect, which also enhances the beauty of the image. However, unlike the metal print, it has an apparent glare that can sometimes be distracting.

Most decor can benefit from acrylic print, whether in a store or at home. In contrast to the acrylic print’s contemporary appearance, the metal print has a more elegant and traditional feel. Ultimately, this choice comes down to personal preference and which one complements your decor the best.

Metal Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: Price

Compared to other prints, the cost of acrylic and metal prints can seem a little steep. However, both are of the highest caliber, so their prices are reasonable, but if you’re curious about which of the two has a slight advantage, we’ve got you covered.

Depending on the size, both prints can range from $50 to $500 when it comes to the typical sizes. Most of the time, acrylic prints cost a little bit more than metal prints. Therefore, the metal print is the best option if you want to save some extra coins. However, if neither of the two’s price points sits well with you, you can settle for a paper print or canvas print.

Metal Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: What Types of Photos or Art are Best?

The best photos for your acrylic or metal prints are those of the highest quality with the right image dimensions. The resolution of the chosen image should be at its highest so that the details of the photo can pop out vibrantly.

The ink or electronic pixels that make up an image is the resolution. For printing on metal and acrylic, we advise using a DPI of 150 at the very least. In contrast, the best quality is achieved at a DPI of 300, which can be difficult unless shooting raw. So, try to aim for 100-150 DPI.

Alternatives to Metal Prints and Acrylic Prints

Even though this article focuses on metal vs acrylic prints, these aren’t your only options when printing a photo or setting up your home decor. There are less expensive options on the market for you to consider, albeit they won’t be as stunning as the acrylic and metal prints.

A canvas print or paper print will be an adequate choice if you want to print an image without the hefty expense. When it comes to paper prints, you can expect a commonly accepted print with various frames to choose from. Canvas prints, however, offer an art gallery feel to your photo, ensuring it stands out.

What to Consider Before Making Your Decision

It’s best to know which of the two prints suits your setup the best before making a choice. So whether you are placing your stunning picture in a bathroom or outdoors, we have a piece of advice you should hear out.

Both photo prints are excellent for outdoor use, but the metal prints win out thanks to their 100-year protection. In addition, you can keep both prints in high-humidity areas like the kitchen or bathroom because they thrive there.

It is best to choose a metal print if you plan to hang your photo in a room with bright lights. Because it doesn’t have the distracting glare that an acrylic print does, a metal print will look best in this environment.

Since the metal print is the more versatile option, you can use it in more places. However, sticking with the modern look of the acrylic print would also work well if you don’t particularly like the other print’s appearance.


In the metal vs acrylic prints debate, they are both an excellent choice of art print regardless of your needs.

You can expect the best print quality that money can buy with each, and they will ensure your photo is presented at its best. So make your decision and purchase one today from your local printing company!