Best Wallpapers

Updated December 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
455 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best wallpaper

Last Updated December 2019

Shopping for wallpaper? A world of possibilities exist, and you may be excited at the prospect of all the choices you have. Or, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. Either way, we’ve reviewed the possibilities, and we’re here to help.

Wallpaper can be classified by the type of material it’s made of. It can be further subdivided by the type of coating, thickness, texture, and backing it has. Of course, don’t forget about color, pattern, and gloss. Do you want horizontal paper or vertical paper? There’s a difference between the two, and each type has an effect on the look of your room.

Indeed, there are a lot of questions you have to answer before choosing wallpaper. If you need some help plowing through these questions, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger out there by yourself. Keep on reading, and we’ll help you work through it to the right decision.

Wallpaper glue sticks much better to a clean wall than a dirty one. Prepare your walls by washing them with warm water and a small amount of vinegar.

Key considerations

Size

The size of the room will dictate how many rolls of wallpaper you need. Measure the length and height of each wall from floor to ceiling. Do this even if you plan on cutting the paper short of the baseboards and crown molding. Measure it as if there weren’t any windows or doors in the room.

Multiply the length by the height for each wall and add them. Divide the total square feet of wall space by the number of square feet in each roll. That will tell you the minimum number of rolls you need to buy. Round any fractions up to the next whole number. Then, add one more roll to the final number in case of mistakes.

Here’s an example. Let’s say your total square footage of wall space is 880, and the wallpaper you want comes in rolls of 57 square feet. You’d divide 880 by 57 to get an answer of 14.438596491. Round that up to 15 rolls, and then add one more for a total of 16 rolls of wallpaper.

Matching

Tiny differences at the factory can result in one batch of wallpaper being slightly different in shade or texture from a previous batch. That difference won’t be apparent until you hang strips from different rolls and discover that they don’t quite match. The best solution is to buy everything you need at once, including any extra rolls you want to have on hand in case of mistakes. That way, all rolls are more likely to match each other.

EXPERT TIP

A paint roller is a good tool for applying a thin, even layer of glue to the wall.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Material

Acrylic: Some people prefer acrylic wallpaper over other materials for its superior qualities. It is durable and easy to clean. It is difficult to find, though.

Vinyl: The vast majority of wallpaper is vinyl. It can be manufactured in a wide variety of thicknesses and textures. It’s not quite as durable as acrylic, but if you take care of it, it can last just as long.

Fabric: Wallpaper made from fabric is usually more expensive than vinyl and requires more maintenance and TLC over the years than vinyl.

Paste

Pre-pasted: Wallpaper that is pre-pasted needs to be dampened for the glue or paste to work. There are consistent reports that pre-pasted wallpaper doesn’t adhere as well as non-pasted wallpaper does. You might have to use extra glue around the edges to hold it firmly in place.

Self-adhesive: These wallpapers have a peel-off backing that exposes the adhesive on the back of the wallpaper. You can hang this paper without the need for any dampening. It is easy and convenient.

Non-pasted: Traditional wallpaper requires a separate bucket of glue in order to be hung. You are in complete control of the amount of glue on the paper. This is important in rooms where there could be a large temperature variation or changes in humidity.

Patterns

There are almost as many patterns in wallpaper as there are people who use wallpaper. The key is to pick something that will mesh with your furniture and other walls in the house that don’t have paper.

Large floral patterns and similar designs should be reserved for walls that are for display rather than walls that have furniture in front of them. Small, repeating designs are preferred as a backdrop for furniture; the paper enhances the furniture rather than drawing attention to itself.

Colors

Wallpaper is available in every color of the rainbow and then some. The usual rules for color apply. Use light colors in small rooms to make them seem larger. Use contrasting but complementary colors on different walls to create focal points of interest in each room.

Directionality

Vertical: Wallpaper with vertical stripes or repeating patterns can make a low ceiling appear higher than it really is, creating the illusion of space in the room. This relieves the feeling of being cramped or having to duck when you enter the room.

Horizontal: Wallpaper with horizontal stripes or patterns brings the ceiling “down” and makes the room seem wider than it is. If you’ve got a high ceiling in a small room, a horizontal pattern is your best bet.

EXPERT TIP

Lining paper is medium-weight blank wallpaper. It’s a good idea to put lining paper on a wall before you hang your final wallpaper. It prevents creasing and stretching and helps the glue dry faster.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Wallpaper tool kit: tiptopcarbon Wallpaper Tool Kit
You need some basic tools for stripping old wallpaper and hanging up new paper. This kit from tiptopcarbon has everything you need to get started, including squeegees, a knife with extra blades, measuring tape, and a seam roller.

Wallpaper glue: Roman Heavy Duty Wallpaper Adhesive
Many wallpapers are pre-pasted, but those that aren’t, need paste. This one-gallon bucket of paste from Roman contains commercial-grade paste that will support medium or heavyweight wallpaper. Users say it’s easy to use and doesn’t drip.

Paste brush: Rust-Oleum Zinsser Paste Brush
You have to apply wide strokes of paste to the wall to hang your new wallpaper. This paste brush from Rust-Oleum is just the thing you need. It costs very little, and the bucket hook makes it easy to keep track of.

Smoothing brush: Rust-Oleum Zinsser 12-Inch Smoothing Brush
A smooth brush helps get the wrinkles and lines out of your paper. This 12-inch brush from Rust-Oleum makes it easy to smooth over your work.

Wallpaper prices

The low price range for wallpaper is anything under $20 per roll. These will mostly be small, self-adhesive rolls of cheaper paper. The rolls tend to be less than 20 or 30 square feet, although there are exceptions.

The medium price range for wallpaper is between $20 and $45 per roll. These rolls average between 50 and 57 square feet per roll. They come with a variety of backings and adhesive types. Be careful at the low end of this price range, as some rolls may be smaller than they appear.

Above $45 per roll is the high price range for wallpaper. It can reach over $100 per roll in some cases. For the most part, these papers are much the same as the middle price range but come from name-brand manufacturers.

EXPERT TIP

Don’t use newspaper as a drop cloth when you’re working with glue, as the glue could seep through the paper. Use a plastic drop cloth instead.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • When you’re hanging wallpaper over dark paint or old wallpaper, paint a one-inch wide strip of white paint along the top of the wall. If your new paper doesn’t exactly align with the ceiling, it will be much less noticeable.
  • House walls are rarely perfectly straight at the corners. Use a plumb or level to correctly align your wallpaper on the vertical axis. Otherwise, you’ll get an Alice in Wonderland vibe in the room where everything feels just slightly off-kilter.
  • Cut your strips longer than the wall is high. That way, you can adjust adjacent strips up or down to match adjoining patterns.

Other products we considered

We like the QIHANG European Vintage Luxury Damask wallpaper. It's a creamy white color on embossed and textured vinyl PVC. The repeating pattern on it is 20.8 inches by 25.8 inches. Each roll covers 57 square feet. It can be cleaned with a damp cotton cloth and a slight amount of pressure. It is a non-pasted wallpaper, so you'd need to buy an adhesive to hang it.

We also like the York Wallcoverings Waverly Cottage wallpaper. It's technically known as Waverly Cottage Sweet Grass, with vertical lines in it and a minimal crosshatch pattern. It comes in an ink blue. Once hung, it almost looks like fabric on the wall. Each roll covers 56 square feet, and the paper is pre-pasted, so you don't need to purchase glue. It is washable.

When you have finished installing new wallpaper, don’t throw the extra paper away. Keep it on hand in case you have a tear in the future. You can repair the tear by patching it with matching wallpaper.

FAQ

Q. Can I hang wallpaper over brick and other rough surfaces?
A.
Yes, but it requires what is called “bridging material” to cover the grooves and indentations in the wall surface. You need to install the bridging material, such as blank wallpaper or joint compound, before hanging the final paper.

Q. Can I hang tile-patterned wallpaper on a sloped ceiling?
A.
Yes, but you’ll need at least two or three people working together. The paste has to be applied to the ceiling and allowed to dry slightly before the wallpaper goes on it. It should be tacky to the touch so it will hold the wallpaper and keep it from falling back down when you let go of it.

Q. What is the best wallpaper for bathrooms?
A.
Solid vinyl or vinyl coated are best because they withstand the humidity that commonly occurs in bathrooms.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Michael
    Michael
    Writer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey