InAs or InGaAs quantum well laser structures have been grown on InP-based metamorphic In0.8Al0.2As buffers by gas source molecular beam epitaxy. The effects of barrier and waveguide layers on the material qualities and device performances were characterized. X-ray diffraction and photoluminescence measurements prove the benefits of the strain compensation in the active quantum well region on the material quality. The device characteristics of the lasers with different waveguide layers reveal that the separate confinement heterostructure plays a crucial role on the device performances of these metamorphic lasers. Type-I emissions in the 2–3 µm range have been achieved in these InP-based metamorphic antimony-free structures. By combining the strain-compensated quantum wells and separate confinement heterostructures, the laser performances have been improved and laser emission up to 2.7 µm has been achieved.