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Best wallpaper 2022: The top styles to buy from just £10 a roll

Tired of your unadorned walls? Add a touch of style and colour with our pick of the best wallpaper for any budget

Wallpaper is back in fashion, and for good reason. Papering your surroundings with bold prints and vibrant colours is a great way to express your individuality, plus it’s quick and easy to totally transform a space. The best wallpaper can last you fifteen years or more, which is three times as long as a coat of paint, so it’ll save you money in the long run too.

However, it can still be tricky to know exactly what style of wallpaper to choose. Do you go for cheap lining paper or splurge on hand-drawn boutique designs? Should you plaster your medium-sized bedroom walls with complicated patterns? Is it ever sensible to use wallpaper in the bathroom? Then there’s the material itself. From silky vinyl to flocked fabric, the various types of wallpaper will fare differently depending which room you hang them in.

To take the stress out of redecorating, we’ve put together the following guide to explain the key wallpaper features to look out for, as well as a list of the best wallpapers for your home.

Best wallpapers: At a glance

  • Best wallpaper for a home office: Wayfair Glitter/Shimmer Blayze | Buy now
  • Best statement wallpaper: MINDTHEGAP Byobu Mural | Buy now
  • Best children’s wallpaper: Scion Animal Magic | Buy now
  • Best plain coloured wallpaper: Caselio Linen | Buy now
  • Best wallpaper for a calm bedroom: Wallpaper Direct Dawn | Buy now

How to choose the best wallpaper for you

What type of wallpaper should I buy?

Your first decision when choosing wallpaper is how you want to apply it to the wall. The two main methods are pasting the paper – the traditional way, which requires soaking the paper on a pasting table before hanging – or pasting the wall, which allows you to hang the paper directly from the dry roll. There’s also the option of peel and stick wallpaper, which comes with a self-adhesive backing and eliminates the need for paste altogether.

Depending on your hanging choices, the most common paper types include:

Lining paper: The most basic wallpaper without a design, lining paper is typically used on bare walls to cover imperfections and as a base before applying patterned wallpaper. It also helps with application and removals later on. For particularly chilly rooms, there are thermal lining papers which can regulate temperature and create a sound buffer for your neighbours too.

Printed wallpaper: Digitally printed wallpaper can be mass-produced or a one-off customised creation – but as digital designs only require a computer and printer instead of human labour it’s a cost-efficient option.

Vinyl wallpaper: By using a printed PVC surface on a paper backing, vinyl is scratch-resistant, durable, easy to clean and the most DIY-friendly to both install and remove, making it a very popular choice.

Embossed wallpaper: Sometimes called Anaglypta, embossed wallpaper has a textured effect which ranges from simple geometric patterns to complex floral designs. It can be painted over too, although doing so can make the paper hard to remove later on.

Flocked wallpaper: used for hundreds of years, flocked wallpaper features raised fibres which look and feel like soft velvet. Created to imitate the luxurious appearance of tapestries and wall hangings, you’ll often see it in pubs and theatres – but flocked wallpaper can make a dramatic statement at home too.

Non-woven wallpaper: Made with a blend of natural and synthetic fibres – the same material used in teabags and coffee filters – non-woven wallpaper is designed to be breathable and washable. As a result it’s perfect for preventing mould in steamy bathrooms and kitchens.

What features should I consider?

Your choice of wallpaper depends on the room you’re redecorating. Light colours work better in smaller rooms, and textured paper is good for walls with noticeable imperfections. In the kitchen and bathroom, it’s best to opt for washable vinyl paper to avoid problems with moisture and steam.

For rooms which get a lot of natural light, look out for colour fastness symbols which tell you how the paper will react to direct sunlight over time. In high-traffic areas – like hallways, corners, and anywhere that children and pets frequent – you’ll want durable wallpaper with a washability rating which can be scrubbed to remove dirt and fingermarks.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you choose more intricately designed paper, it might be harder to line up one sheet’s pattern with the next. Be realistic about your DIY skills and maybe hire a contractor to help.

How much should I spend?

Wallpaper prices range from around £10 a roll to £700. Cheaper paper will be thinner, the design mass-produced, and it may fade easily and peel quicker. Surprisingly, the most durable option of vinyl wallpaper isn’t actually the most expensive though – you’ll spend more on flocked and embossed paper. The highest price point is usually due to boutique or hand-printed designs and to the thickness of the paper – although conversely, some more expensive wallpapers are delicate enough to tear easily when hanging.

A standard wallpaper roll usually measures 10.05m (11yd) in length and 52cm (21in) in width, while wide rolls are 68cm (27in) in width. Before committing to a room’s worth of wallpaper, order a sample to check you’re happy with the way the colour looks in the room’s natural light at different times of day, as well as how it appears under artificial light. For the budget conscious, think about a feature wall, which requires much less paper to make an impact.

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The best wallpaper to buy in 2022

1. Wayfair Glitter/Shimmer Blayze wallpaper: Best budget wallpaper for your home office

Price: £21 per roll | Buy now from Wayfair

When looking up from your home office’s desk in search of inspiration, you want soothing wallpaper that’s easy on the eye. This simple geometric pattern from Wayfair’s 17 Stories features the repeating outline of a lotus flower picked out with thin metallic lines. It’s satisfying to look at but not too distracting, makes a great backdrop for bookshelves, and adds a touch of elegance to your workspace.

Key features — Dimensions: L10.05m x W53cm; Total roll coverage: 5.32m²; Material: paper; Care instructions: wipe clean with a dry cloth; Application: paste the paper

Buy now from Wayfair

2. John Lewis MINDTHEGAP Byobu Wallpaper Mural: Best wallpaper for a colourful statement

Price: £175 for three rolls | Buy now from John Lewis

Fancy travelling to far-off destinations from the comfort of your sofa? This stunning Japanese-inspired mural design whisks you into a new realm with cherry blossoms, elegant flying cranes and maple trees against a shimmering gold backdrop.

It may be pricier than other options, but MINDTHEGAP’s mural-style wallpapers are perfect for a feature wall in a communal space like the living room. The length of this wallpaper is shorter than standard, but don’t let that worry you: it’s three metres long by the typical 52cm wide, and the design repeats every metre. John Lewis also has plenty of other gorgeous designs available, the majority of which are applied by pasting the wall.

Key features — Dimensions: L3m x W52cm; Material: non-woven; Care instructions: spongeable; Application: paste the wall

Buy now from John Lewis

3. John Lewis Scion Animal Magic Wallpaper: Best children’s wallpaper

Price: £44 per roll | Buy now from John Lewis

This animal-themed wallpaper is a brilliant way for young children to engage with the world from the comfort of their bedroom. The Scion print features an assortment of quirky cartoon zoo animals with their names clearly labelled beneath, and comes in either a white or black background. John Lewis also has a multitude of other child-friendly wallpaper options.

Key features — Dimensions: L10.05m x W68.6cm; Material: paper; Care instructions: washable; Application: paste the paper

Buy now from John Lewis

4. Wallpaper Direct Caselio Linen: Best plain coloured wallpaper

Price: £26 per roll | Buy now from Wallpaper Direct

If you’re looking for some cheery wallpaper to brighten up your kitchen, French brand Caselio has a lot to offer. Its Linen Collection has over fifty wallpaper colours, including this beautifully simple shade of dark yellow. Although giving the impression of soft textured linen, the paper is actually made from vinyl, making it easy to install and, more crucially, easy to wipe clean.

Key features — Dimensions: L10.05m x W53cm; Material: vinyl; Care instructions: washable; Application: paste the wall

Buy now from Wallpaper Direct

5. Wallpaper Direct Dawn Wallpaper: Best calming decor for a good night’s sleep

Price: £39 | Buy now from Wallpaper Direct

Soft muted colours work best in the bedroom, and this delicate floral design in shades of blue and cream is a great choice. The shadowy effect of a watercolour print like this adds a little visual depth to bedrooms on the smaller side, and should give you sweet dreams the whole night through.

If flowers aren’t to your taste but this wallpaper’s neutral palette is, the Boråstapeter Graceful Stories Wallpaper Collection has a number of different designs from subtle leaf prints to marble and silk textures.

Key features — Dimensions: L10.05m x W53cm; Material: non-woven; Care instructions: spongeable; Application: paste the wall

Buy now from Wallpaper Direct

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