Albums comes in a variety of sizes, page thickness and cover options. You get two kind of albums:
One is press printed albums. They are cheaper, the pages usually does not fold flat, and the print quality are not same as layflat albums. Also the pages are thinner, and they do not have a protective layer over the pages. These are the ones usually provided by groupon, or which you will buy for the latest holiday.
The second one is storybook albums. They are build to last. Printed with archival inks which are guaranteed not to fade for 75+ years. Also the colors are much more accurate. All the pages is full bleed, without a gutter in the middle. This means your images can flow seamlessly from one page to the other. The pages is protected with either a varnish, or a thin layer of clear plastic. They can be thin (two pages mounted back to back), or mounted on board. You get loads cover options. Herewith a few samples.