Canvas Prints or Framed Prints (Which Option is Better)

Bland walls can kill your interior décor's buzz. On the other hand, tastefully decorated walls add so much to the appearance of your home. Plus, you have a lot of choices to fill the empty wall spaces.

The possibilities of wall decoration are endless - from family photos and personal artworks to panoramic views of the city skylines and your favorite motivational quotes.

However, when planning the decoration process of the walls, many get confused between Canvas Prints and Framed Prints. Since both offer a customized solution for cherishing special moments of life, most people question the pros and cons of each to better decide their decor option.

In this guide, let's dig in further to learn about the strong and weak points of both - canvas prints and framed prints to find the one that best addresses your particular design needs.

A Look Into Canvas Prints

Canvases have been around forever. Traditionally, they have been used for painting artworks. Now with the advancement in technology, you can also print pictures on them.

To create canvas prints, professionals use inkjet printers. This ensures that prints are delivered in high-resolution quality. You can have some excellent wall art printed on the canvases.

  • The canvas prints offer plenty of flexibility, including splitting a single picture on multiple canvases for your wall space.
  • They are also perfect for creating collages and customizing decors.
  • You can also benefit from lots of available canvas sizes.
  • They are light on the pocket and do not damage the wall structure either.
  • They are frameless and take very little space if you need to store them

You can give these prints a matte or gloss finish depending on your preference. These two options are used based on the specific needs of a given picture.

Matte Finish

A matte finish gives a low glare and has a clean and velvety surface. Photos with plenty of high-quality contrasting colors look amazing with a matte finish. It is also an excellent option for pictures with dark color tones.

Glossy Finish

As the name suggests, these prints cause glare when exposed to ambient light. The glossy finish is considered perfect for images with intricate details and depth. The reproductions are pretty close to the real-life appearances and are ideal for portraits and other close-up photos.

What is Framed Prints?

Framed prints are ideal for a traditional look to the decor. Typically, the images are printed on photo paper and encapsulated in a frame to add to their aesthetic appeal.

  • These frames are meant to match or contrast with the interior design to make a valuable addition to the décor.
  • The frames are durable and last for a very long time.
  • Frames are incredibly impressive for formal settings.

The typical frame options are wood and metal, each having its own features.

Wooden vs. Metal Frames

Wooden frames are commonly used, and these can be made from different types of wood. They are pretty aesthetically pleasing. In some cases, they can be considerably heavy due to the density of the wood they're made of.

Typically, these woods are distinguished as hardwood and softwood. Balsa, Bass, and Mahogany have commonly used wood types for framing purposes. They have their unique nature and add so much to the décor.

When it comes to metal frames, numerous materials are used. These include stainless steel, titanium, different types of aluminum, and cosmetic bronze, to name a few. They are somewhat heavier compared to their wooden counterpart.

The main difference between the wooden and metal frames is the material used. It also affects its appearance in the décor though finishing the product can remove many of these differences.

The weight of the frames can vary, with wooden frames usually on the lighter side, though it is not always the case. Both types of frames are also pretty dependable and last for a very long time. The wooden frames generally come with a higher price tag.

So Canvas Prints vs. Framed Prints! Which Option is the Best?

We need a comparison between the two options to better understand their pros and cons. This will help us understand their benefits from an individual perspective and decide which option is best to display art on your walls.

From what we already know, both are pretty useful and make an excellent addition to the décor. Let's dig in further to make a call.

Creative Freedom

You get a lot of creative freedom with canvas prints. These prints are available in various shapes and size options. You can even get large prints on canvas. You can bring out your creative side and make them a beautiful part of your interior.

Opt for a family photo collage or choose one giant family picture, possibly on a split canvas or a panoramic canvas; it's up to you. Apart from family pictures, you can also put up your favorite movie quotes, jokes, or some valuable piece of advice.

The level of creative freedom is slightly less with frames. The main reason is that frames usually come in limited sizes and shapes. You can have a split frames picture, but it wouldn't look as good as canvases due to the heavy borders.

You can set up a collage with smaller frames that look pretty good. Adding quotes or jokes on framed prints is relatively less common and may not get the best results.


You can get different types of designs and options for your photo collage. Choose the one which suits your taste the most and add images. Play around to find the perfect mix.

Customization Options

You can customize the prints on a canvas in numerous ways. These options include the images you print on them, the sizes of the canvas, their shapes, and much more. You can do a bit of mix and match and add text to photos.

The customization options are fewer in the framed prints due to the materials used. The contents can vary, but you may need customized frames for different shapes and sizes. Otherwise, you may need to dig into photography supply stores to try your luck.


If you want to make your canvas prints appear more formal, add frames to them. These frames are light and relatively inexpensive, allowing you to keep the classic look without breaking the bank.

Part of Décor

Unless especially added, canvas prints do not have any frames to fit into any décor. Instead of the canvas, the printed picture takes center stage. As long as the image on the canvas makes sense with your interior, there is no problem.

On the flipside, framed prints must be carefully added to a décor. The frame itself and the printed contents should complement the room's overall feel. Both mixing and matching can work as long as it does not make the place look too busy and overcrowded.


You can use varnishes to create a different wood shade to match the interior décor. These are readily available in hardware stores, and you can also make them at home. Ideally, varnish the cheaper frames since the more expensive ones are made from high-quality wood.

Nature of the Print

Prints on canvas are permanent. Once something is printed on the canvas, it cannot be changed. While it is a downside, these prints are not expensive, but it is a fair deal.

You can change the photos placed in frames easily. You just need to open the back of the frame and replace the image. It is essential to align the photo well, and it's done as quickly as that.

Which One Occupies Lesser Space

Since canvas prints are frameless, several of them can be easily placed on the same wall without occupying a lot of space. The different available sizes also make them very space-efficient.

Framed prints take more space than their canvas counterparts. The reason is the frames themselves occupy a lot of room. If you plan on adding photo frames to your decor, you will need to be selective in the pictures you want to put up.

It can be very tempting to put lots of photos in your family or living room, but they can look odd and out of place with heavy frames.


You can opt for custom-made frames that take lesser space. The key is to find a balance between the printed pictures and the overall appearance of the structure itself.

Which is Easier to Maintain

Cleaning a canvas print is relatively easy as a lint-free wipe cloth can dust them frequently. Five minutes of your time a couple of times a week should do. You can also use water-based solutions to keep the canvases clean.

Dusting a framed print can work, but usually, it is a little more complicated to keep it clean. Keeping the surface clean depends on whether you have a wooden or metal-based frame. Whether the frame is plain or textured also plays a part. You can deep clean them as well though it takes more effort.

It would be best to keep the frame's glass clean with different solutions. A chemical-based cleaner can easily remove any dirt and fingerprints if used once a week. There are also some home-based solution ideas that you can use to clean the glass.


If there is a grime buildup or other stains such as coffee or smoke, you can easily clean them using different home remedies.

Which Option is More Affordable

Canvas Prints are affordable, and you can get some fantastic deals. If you order larger quantities, you may get even more discounts.

The cost of frames is generally pretty high. If you're getting high-quality wood or metal frames, they will be significantly more expensive than canvases. The price tag increases if you get the texture once with intricate designs.


One way of saving on the frames is to buy used ones and refurbish them. It can be a fun DIY project for you and your family. Just make sure that you get the correct sizes.

Glare from the Sun

Canvas prints do not reflect the sunlight, and therefore they do not cause any glare. This feature makes them a handy decor option. Rest assured, your guests will not complain about light reflections. However, if these prints are placed in direct sunlight, the colors may fade faster than usual.

Framed prints have a protective glass, and it can cause a glare if it is in line with the direct line of the sunlight. You can opt for non-reflective glasses, but it is pretty expensive. You have a limited choice regarding where you can and can't place these frames with non-reflective glass.


Framed prints look excellent in a formal setting, such as a drawing-room where heavy curtains usually cover windows without glare. Whether they're wooden or metal-based, Frames carry significant weight. If you have a darker theme, you can varnish the frames accordingly.

Which Option Weighs Less

Since they're frameless, canvas prints are lightweight, making them ideal for hanging as wall decor. You can also have multiple canvases hanging on the same wall without damaging it. Canvases can be easily hung on whether it's a strong brick wall or relatively weak sheetrock.

If you have a large-sized frame, it needs considerable support from the wall due to the weight. If you have sheetrock walls in your home, ensure that the walls can support these frames.


If you have sheetrock walls at home, carefully plan your framed prints as a part of your décor. If you plan to put plenty of framed photos, it is better to use lighter frames. Their quality wouldn't be as good, but they will not damage the walls.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of any product is an essential consideration for consumers these days. Many people are trying to move towards a sustainable lifestyle and avoid damaging the environment any further.

Canvases are made from various materials, including synthetic materials and natural fibers. The latter is obtained from the crop leftover after harvesting. This means that some canvases are environmentally friendly as they reduce crop waste.

The wood frames are made from trees that are cut down. Even if the frames are made from leftover wood, it still leads to more trees being cut. The metal frames also have some carbon footprint in their manufacturing process. The frames aren't the most environmentally friendly product.


You can support the environment by choosing canvases made from natural fibers. You can also reduce your carbon footprint by refurbishing and reusing older frames.

Which Option is More Practical

Canvas prints are convenient as they can be placed in just about any setting. They quickly become a part of your home decor. They're also not very costly, which is an added advantage. They're very practical with all kinds of sizes and printing options available.

Framed photos can be a fantastic addition to your décor. They're slightly restrictive regarding the number of frames you can place within a room without overcrowding. They can also be a bit on the pricey side.

If you have larger spaces and money is not an object of concern, they are ideal for your home.

Which Option Takes Less Storage Space

Canvas prints are thin and somewhat flexible and can be stored in boxes easily in an upright position. As long as they are not exposed to moisture or chemicals, they should be fine in storage, even in the longer run. Also, keep them away from direct sunlight to keep them safe from premature fading.

Storing frames for an extended period can be somewhat tricky. They need more prominent space for storage, and wooden frames can break if they're forced into a tight space. They can also be damaged by moisture and termites, so some treatment may be needed before you put them away.

The Verdict - Canvas Prints vs Framed Prints

Both solutions are pretty unique and whether you should opt for the canvas prints or framed prints is entirely dependent on a host of factors we discussed above. Typically, these factors include the space available, your existing décor, and your budget.

Your creativity also plays a part in people benefitting better from canvas prints. Traditional framed prints made from high-quality wood are ideal if you like the classical styles. Another interior decor style to consider is the number of photos you want to showcase on the wall.

So, you can weigh the pros and cons of both options and make up your mind. Usually, canvas prints can fit well in both formal and casual settings. In contrast, framed prints are better suited for just formal decors. The choice is yours!