Every product covered here is independently selected by opinionated humans. But so you know, buying stuff through our links may earn us a small share of the sale or other compensation.

JJ Reddington / BuzzFeed

We Ordered 6 Picture Frames to Find the Best Online Framing Service

With photos of our favorite office doggos!

So many amazing photos hidden on our phones, not nearly enough hanging in our homes. Sure, a professionally framed and matted image can class up any wall space, but classy always comes at a cost.

And really, when you break it down, frames are just some wood, glass, wire, and cardboard with an unjustifiable price tag, right? Looks like walls will continue to remain bare while pics stay in the cloud.

But what about all of those dog photos?!?! Your pooch (or other favorite pet) deserves a special place on your wall even if your family, wedding, or child hasn’t made it up there (yet). This served as the inspiration for testing out today’s leading online framing services: to find one that delivers quality, choice, speed, and a fair price point, but is also worthy of honoring our four-legged life companions.

Methodology: Six BuzzFeeders volunteered their favorite digital dog photos (all good boys and girls, by the way). For consistency’s sake, all pictures were ordered within the same time period, and we aimed for the following testing parameters and default settings at all six sites:

  1. An 8” x 10” photo
  2. The most simple black frame
  3. 1.5” of white matting or default
  4. Default options for glass and mat paper
  5. Standard shipping

And a note on packaging: What was meant to be one of the final testing parameters didn’t merit an actual comparison. All six frames were expertly packed and delivered safe and sound. Some included more Bubble Wrap or packing materials than others, but when shipping something fragile like glass, better to be safe than sorry. Here’s what we found.

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Frame by Artifact Uprising
JJ Reddington / BuzzFeed

Artifact Uprising

Dog: Rocket
Glass: No info given
Shipping: $17.99
Total Cost: $116.99
Turnaround Time: 9 days
Final Frame Size: 12” x 15”, an inch larger than the 11” x 14” listed size
Follow-Up: Checking-in email looking for a review followed by a ton of spam. Make sure to unsubscribe.

Reaction: “My dog looks super cute in her frame but something wasn’t quite right about it. Turns out the matting wasn’t evenly cut. That was clear to the naked eye and proven with the measuring tape.” —John Mihaly

Overall: This was the most expensive frame of the group thanks to the nearly $18 shipping cost. Similarly priced competitor Level Frames took only four days to arrive (with free shipping!) while Artifact Uprising took nine. Sizing can only be made based on the frame and not on the photo, and there are only four finishes available. When there are options that are $30–$60 cheaper, of similar quality and that also offer faster shipping, this service is a hard pass.

Starting at $69 at Artifact Uprising

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Frame by Framebridge
JJ Reddington / BuzzFeed

Framebridge

Dog: Bobby Fischer
Glass: Acrylic glazing with UV protection
Shipping: Free
Total Cost: $92.54
Turnaround Time: 7 days
Final Frame Size: 15” x 17” (within a quarter-inch of quoted size)
Follow-Up: Some follow-up spam emails.

Reaction: “For such a smol pupper, this is one big photo. We may have tripped up on the aspect ratio and resolution, because the print has some very slight noise pixelation that’s hardly noticeable from afar, but irritating because I know it’s there. Not exactly the fault of the service, but it’s probably something that should’ve been flagged in the upload process. That said, I’m actually pretty pleased with how it turned out (THAT FACE) and the frame build is exceptionally sturdy.” —Michael Nolledo

Overall: Framebridge offers a “100% happiness guarantee,” so if you don’t like it, the company promises to make it right. When you upload your digital image, you’ll be offered multiple sizes based on the quality of the photo, so if you’ve got, say, a lo-res image, the company offers an acceptable range of print sizes to choose from — which somehow didn’t happen here. You’ve then got your choice of five different frame and mat colors with a flat fee based on the size of your piece. Once you’ve made your choices, you can preview the framed image in a sample room. Easy enough, but the price is still real close to three digits.

Starting at $39 at Framebridge

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Frame by Framed and Matted
JJ Reddington / BuzzFeed

Framed and Matted

Dog: Bailey
Glass: Museum-grade acrylic (87% UV protection)
Shipping: Free, 5 days
Total Cost: $84
Turnaround Time: 10 days
Final Frame Size: 16” x 18” (within a quarter-inch of quoted size)
Follow-Up: No spam!

Reaction: “I loved the frame and thought the quality was high and detailing was great. The matting felt kind of large, though, especially compared to photo size and frame. I thought the actual photo would be bigger, but that also may be the largest size they could print because of the photo quality of my iPhone snap, which I completely understand. The coloring was spot-on and I was overall impressed with the final result. Would use this service again.” —Alexandra Napoli

Overall: Framed and Matted is in the process of adding photo printing to its site and included the photograph in the frame at no additional charge. Design your frame by selecting your desired art size, frame color and style, mat style, mat color, mat size, and acrylic. Once you’ve entered all of that info you’ll get every single measurement you could possibly need — like mat opening, mat widths, frame interior, and frame exterior — so you know exactly what you’ll get. The only bummer was the shipping took twice as long as promised.

Starting at $61 at Framed and Matted

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Frame by Keepsake Frames
JJ Reddington / BuzzFeed

Keepsake Frames

Dog: Luke
Glass: Scratch-resistant 2mm glass
Shipping: $4 standard in 9 days / $9 expedited in 5 days
Total Cost: $53
Turnaround Time: 7 days
Final Frame Size: 12” x 16” (nearly exact)
Follow-Up: Followed up to see if everything was OK with the order, then a decent amount of spam. Make sure to unsubscribe.

Reaction: “I definitely have no complaints! The frame is very lightweight and the photo quality is clear and bright. It’s everything a framed photo should be! I also feel the price was very reasonable for a well-printed, nicely framed piece of decor for my home.” —Heather Braga

Overall: Keepsake Frames offers six different options for photo shapes, and frame sizes come in small, medium, large, and metal (which is totally not a size). While that sounds like a lot, they don’t offer much in the way of customizing; it’s just upload a photo, preview a frame, and order. So if you’re not looking for anything too specific, you want a frame within a week (or so), and you want it cheap, this is the place for you.

Starting at $15 at Keepsake Frames

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JJ Reddington / BuzzFeed; Tico photo by Steven Zeswitz

Level Frames

Dog: Tico
Glass: Standard is free but avoid sunlight; acrylic UV +$5; non-glare +$5; Optium Museum +$37
Shipping: Free
Total Cost: $78.30
Turnaround Time: 4 days
Final Frame Size: 12.5” x 14.5” (within less than a quarter-inch of quoted size)|
Follow-Up: Level frames reached out to ask, “How did your frame turn out?” Solid customer service.

Reaction: “Amazing! I loved my framed portrait of Tico. It certainly has a high-quality feel and I think the mat-to-frame-to-photo proportions are great. I also appreciate how relatively lightweight it is. Taking into consideration the quality, all the customization options, and the speed of shipping, the price is certainly fair. Would definitely choose this service to gift a framed photo!” —Emmy Favilla

Overall: The turnaround time on this order was amazing and didn’t feel rushed at all. If you’re framing a digital image, you’re given the option of a single photo, collage, or tabletop frame. Based on image resolution, you’re offered multiple options for the size of the actual print. Then you’ve got 17 frame styles to choose from with seven matting selections and upsales for the glass — all priced out to the exact specs you choose. Level Frames really felt like it offered the most in terms of getting exactly what you want and getting it as quickly as possible.

Starting at $54 at Level Frames

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Frame by Simply Framed
JJ Reddington / BuzzFeed

Simply Framed 

Dog: CoCo
Glass: Standard acrylic, protects 82%–85% of UV rays, shatter-proof.
Shipping: Free, 3–5 business days
Total Cost: $96.90 (with tax)
Turnaround Time: 12 days (Note: Promised 5-day shipping turnaround. After 9 days passed, contacted customer service. Order expedited and shipped next day after completion.)
Final Frame Size: 12” x 14.75” (within a quarter-inch of quoted size)
Follow-Up: Lots of emails for more business. Make sure to unsubscribe.

Reaction: “I was so impressed! My sister and I took this picture in the spur of the moment, so I was concerned the print quality would be lacking. But Simply Framed somehow nailed it. The matting proportions fit the print well, and the frame is very sleek. I was a bit surprised by the sawtooth hanger (as opposed to wire), but the frame is light enough that it shouldn’t pose any issues. Overall, I’m excited to give CoCo the shrine she deserves.” —Victoria Vouloumanos

Overall: We’re willing to overlook the shipping snafu (these things happen), and the customer service was great at expediting the order. As much as we’d like to put that shatterproof glass to the test, the CoCo’s portrait does look great. However, once again, that price tag is really close to three-figure territory. And to take a cue from our canine companions, that’s a bitter pill that needs cheese or some other treat wrapped around it for us to swallow.

Starting at $62 at Simply Framed

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The Winner

Level Frames ticked just about every box, starting (most importantly) with price point. Coming in at just under $80, this was the second-most affordable option of the bunch. But think about it: Paying nearly $20 more for essentially the exact same level of quality is ridiculous. Why would anyone do that? Level Frames offered more options to choose from for image size, frame style, and matting. It felt like you could really fine-tune the frame to some very specific preferences. We’ll chalk up the super-quick turnaround time to the geographic proximity of the company, but even if it took a full week it would still have been worth it. Now get framing!

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Every product covered here is independently selected by opinionated humans. But so you know, buying stuff through our links may earn us a small share of the sale or other compensation.

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