standard vs high yield ink cartridge: what's the difference

Article updated February 1, 2023


Contrary to what many believe, buying a printer ink cartridge is not a simple task. Not only do you have to get the exact type of ink cartridge to fit into your very specific home or office printer, but it is also made even more complicated because you need to decide whether to get standard yield, high yield, or even extra high yield printer ink cartridges.

And it is so easy to get all confused about the terminology, but no worries - because we have listed down the most important things that you need to know about for you to know about printer ink cartridges.

Let us begin with the basic terms

Starter Capacity Printer Cartridges - are the smallest capacity among all ink cartridges. They are often bundled, or come with a new printer - just to show you what the printer is capable of doing. These types of printer ink cartridges contain only about 25% of Standard Yield Ink Cartridges and you cannot buy them commercially as ink cartridge replacements.


Standard Yield Printer Cartridges - are the entry-level, or default types of ink cartridge. These are the most common types of printer ink cartridges and can produce a "standard" number of pages, but need replacement cartridges often. Depending on the cartridge, standard yields can print anywhere between 120 to 300 pages.


High Yield Printer Cartridges - these printer cartridges have the capacity to produce more printouts than their standard yield counterparts, although both types use the same exact cartridge.

Print output can range from 50% more pages, or even up to double the number of printouts from standard yield cartridges, depending on the printer model you are using. So what is the reason a high yield cartridge prints more pages? It is because it has more ink inside the cartridge. Some manufacturers like Canon and HP even use the term XL, to refer to High Yield - but they are essentially the same.


Extra High Yield Printer Cartridges - are cartridges with the most number of page yield that are available commercially. extra high yield printer ink cartridges can usually do up to four times more printouts than one standard yield printer ink cartridge.


Needless to say, these are usually your best option when you want to save money on your printer ink. Depending on the type of printer your have, these cartridges are also called "XXL Yield" by Canon and "Super High Yield" by Brother. Keep in mind though,, that not all types of printers are able to support extra high yield pink cartridges. These are usually limited to specific printer models - so it might be a good idea to check the type of printer you are using.


Do high yield printer ink cartridges come in a bigger size?

This is a common question, considering the amount of ink in these cartridges. But the answer is no. There is no physical difference between high yield and standard yield printer ink cartridges.

The one difference between the two is high yield printer ink cartridges have more ink inside them. In most cases, the standard yield printer ink cartridges only contain half as much ink as their high yield counterparts.


With all of that in mind, which ink cartridge yield type is is right for your needs?

In order to answer this, you need to take a close look at a number of things so you can decide what ink cartridge yield type is best for you. And page yield is perhaps the best-kept secret because it gives you the most solid numbers that help you make a decision.


Page yield - what exactly is it?

Page yield is the number of pages that each printer ink cartridge will produce before needing a replacement.

If you are asking how much more ink is in an XL printer ink cartridge as opposed to a standard yield cartridge, there is really no easy way that will allow you to measure the exact amount of liquid that is in the cartridge. You can, however, get more information by taking a look at the cartridge's page yield.

Oh and a cartridge's page yield is often not printed on the box and usually needs some more research on the manufacturers’ websites. You can find the info (usually) under the product description.

Knowing the page yield of a printer ink cartridge helps you estimate how many printouts you can do before you have to buy another one.

Important note: not all ink manufacturers follow the same page yields and usually differ by a lot, depending on the model and brand.


What are the factors that affect page yield?

There are a number of factors that go into determining page yield. These include:

1. Content you print

2. Humidity and temperature in the room

3. The type of paper that you use

4. How frequently you print

5. Your printer model

Another important note: Understand that page yield are just estimates.

So, although it says that a printer ink cartridge's page yield is 8000 pages, that does not guarantee that you are going to end up printing 8000 pages. A page yield is calculated by the space that the ink occupies, or page density. For most manufactures, they calculate page yields using a 5% page density as basis.


Cost per page - what is it?

Cost per page, or also known as price per page is simply a type of measurement that enables you to calculate just how much money you are spending to print every page.

It is easy to calculate your cost per page by using this equation: Page Yield / Ink Cartridge Price = Cost Per Page

Using this simple equation can help you save a lot of money on ink costs.


But where can I get the most affordable printer ink?

With a wide range of sizes and market price available in the industry, it can be a challenge to determining the most affordable ink. As a rule of thumb, purchasing a high yield printer ink cartridge does save you a lot more money on ink costs.

We do advise that you use the above formula for calculating cost per page. As this can help you determine exactly how much you are spending on ink, rather than relying on manufacturers' vague information or guidelines.

But if you want to get the most out of your money, choosing remanufactured and compatible cartridges are the best option. At, we have a range of high yield ink cartridges as default for all of the biggest printer brands like Brother, Canon, and HP.

With our 100% Satisfaction guarantee, you would be confident buying one of our top rated products. With remanufactured toners and printer ink for a wide range of printers, we have the right printer ink for you.

Check out our website at and enjoy savings of up to 80% on branded ink competitors.