Digital vs Print Magazines: Pros & Cons
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 5 min read


  1. Pros of Digital Magazines
  2. Cons of Digital Magazines
  3. Pros of Print Magazines
  4. Cons of Print Magazines
  5. How to choose between digital and print

Magazines have always been a great source of entertainment and information. They've evolved from print to digital, and each format has its own unique benefits and challenges. In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of digital and print magazines, exploring the pros and cons of each type. Our discussion will help you understand the benefits and challenges of digital vs print magazines.

Pros of Digital Magazines

Let's start with digital magazines. These e-versions of our favorite publications have numerous advantages. Here are some reasons why you might choose to go digital:

Easy Accessibility

One of the greatest benefits of digital magazines is their accessibility. Whether you're on a bus, waiting at the dentist's office, or just lounging at home, your favorite digital magazine is just a few screen taps away. All you need is a device with internet access. Here are some ways accessibility can be a game-changer:

  • Instant access: No need to wait for the mailman or run to the store. The latest issue lands directly on your device.
  • Portability: Carry hundreds of issues in your pocket. It's like having a mini-library on the go.

Interactive Features

Another feature that makes digital magazines stand out is the interactive content. These extras can make reading more engaging and enjoyable. Here's why:

  1. Clickable links: If an article mentions a website or a product, you can click the link and check it out right away.
  2. Embedded videos and audios: These can offer a deeper dive into the content, enriching your reading experience.


One of the benefits of digital magazines that we often overlook is their green footprint. Since there's no paper used, there's no tree cut down. It's a small step, but it contributes to saving our planet. Here's how:

  • Zero paper waste: With digital magazines, you're saving trees and reducing landfill waste.
  • Lower carbon footprint: Unlike print magazines, digital ones don't need to be transported, reducing CO2 emissions.

Now that you've seen some of the benefits, it's easy to see why many people are leaning towards digital magazines. But it's not all roses. Our next section will explore the challenges of digital magazines. Stay tuned.

Cons of Digital Magazines

Despite the attractive benefits, digital magazines come with their share of challenges. Let's take a look at some of the drawbacks you might encounter:

Dependence on Technology

Reading digital magazines means relying on gadgets and internet connectivity. It's not always as simple and straightforward as it sounds. Here are a couple of challenges you may face:

  • Device Compatibility: Not all digital magazines are available on all devices. You may need specific devices or software to access some.
  • Internet Dependency: Internet access is key. You could face issues if your internet connection is slow or unreliable.

Health Concerns

Extended screen time can pose a few health risks. Here are some health challenges associated with digital magazines:

  1. Eye Strain: Reading on screens for a long time can cause eye strain and discomfort.
  2. Disturbed Sleep Patterns: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your sleep if you read before bedtime.

Less Personal Experience

For some, nothing beats the feel of a print magazine. Digital magazines can sometimes feel less personal. Here's how:

  • No Physical Copy: Some people enjoy collecting physical copies of their favorite magazines. This isn't possible with digital versions.
  • Lack of Tangibility: The tactile experience of flipping through pages is missing in digital magazines.

These challenges of digital magazines may encourage some to stick with print versions. But before you make a decision, let’s explore the pros and cons of print magazines as well.

Pros of Print Magazines

Despite the digital revolution, print magazines have managed to hold their ground. Here’s why:

Tangible Experience

One of the most significant benefits of print magazines is their physicality. Here's what it offers:

  • Real Feel: Holding a magazine, turning its pages, and the smell of fresh print, all contribute to a unique reading experience.
  • Collectability: It's rewarding to build a collection of your favorite publications. They can also make for great coffee table decorations!

No Tech Hassles

With print magazines, there are no worries about device compatibility or internet connectivity. Here are the benefits:

  1. No Internet Required: You can read a print magazine anywhere, at any time, without having to worry about Wi-Fi or data usage.
  2. Universal Access: Print magazines are universally accessible. No specific software or gadget is needed to start reading.

Health Benefits

Believe it or not, print magazines can be more beneficial to your health than their digital counterparts. Here's how:

  • Less Eye Strain: Reading print reduces exposure to screens, thus reducing the risk of digital eye strain.
  • Better Sleep: Reading a print magazine before bed is less likely to interfere with your sleep patterns compared to screen reading.

While print magazines have these advantages, they also come with their own set of challenges. But before we delve into them, it's important to understand that choosing between digital and print magazines is not a one-size-fits-all decision.

Cons of Print Magazines

Despite their charm, print magazines also present certain challenges. Let's discuss these in detail:

Environmental Impact

Print magazines, unfortunately, have a significant environmental footprint. Here's how:

  • Paper Production: The process of making paper for magazines involves cutting down trees, which contributes to deforestation.
  • Waste: Unless recycled, old magazines can contribute to landfill waste.

Accessibility and Storage

Print magazines can sometimes be less convenient than their digital counterparts. Here's why:

  1. Physical Space: Storing print magazines requires physical space, which can be a challenge if you live in a small apartment or are constantly on the move.
  2. Availability: Print magazines can sell out, and you might have to wait for a restock or hunt for a back issue.

Cost and Update Frequency

Finally, let's talk about the cost and update frequency of print magazines:

  • Price: Print magazines are generally more expensive than digital ones due to production and distribution costs.
  • Frequency: Print magazines are usually published monthly or quarterly, so the information might not be as up-to-date as in a digital magazine.

In sum, while print magazines do have their charm, the challenges they present might make digital magazines a more suitable option for some people. But remember, the decision largely depends on individual preferences and circumstances.

How to Choose Between Digital and Print

Choosing between digital and print magazines isn't a cut-and-dry decision—it depends on your unique lifestyle and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

Your Reading Habits

Think about how and when you typically read:

  • Convenience: If you often read on the go, digital magazines, which you can access on your phone or tablet, might be a better fit.
  • Focus: If you find that you concentrate better with physical materials, or if you enjoy the tactile experience of flipping through pages, print magazines may be for you.

Your Budget

Consider how much you're willing to spend on your reading material:

  1. Subscription Cost: Digital magazines are usually cheaper, and some are even free. If budget is a concern, going digital may be the better choice.
  2. Device Cost: However, remember that you'll need a device to read digital magazines, which can be an additional expense.

Environmental Considerations

Lastly, think about the environmental impact of your choice:

  • Waste: Digital magazines produce no physical waste, unlike print magazines which can contribute to landfill waste if not recycled.
  • Energy: But remember, digital reading also consumes energy and contributes to e-waste.

To sum it up, the choice between digital and print magazines is deeply personal, and there's no one-size-fits-all answer. Weigh the benefits and challenges of digital vs print magazines according to your own needs and preferences, and you're sure to make the right choice. Happy reading!

If you're intrigued by the world of magazines and considering starting your own, check out the workshop 'How To Start A Magazine' by Tofu. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and advice on both digital and print magazines, helping you make an informed decision on which format is the best fit for your vision.