Nowadays, designing and producing T-shirts are an excellent approach to show off your talent and earn a decent amount of money as an entrepreneur. From printing creativity on paper to shifting dye on fabrics or ceramics, only the best sublimation printers will provide you with the results that you need.
Now it is necessary to know which one is the best sublimation printer? Just like so many searches for the best, the answer is it all depends on what is best for you. Which Dye Sublimation Printer fulfills your requirements in the best way?
It is a very critical decision when it comes to choosing a printer. To be honest, there is not only one which I would recommend. One may suitable for you and might not fulfill other requirements.
There are several factors to be considered; printing quality, dye-ink, size, resolution, etc. That’s why we have reviewed the 10 Best Sublimation Printers of 2022. We have also included a comprehensive buyer’s guide in order to help you make an informed decision.
So without further ado, let’s jump straight to our comparison table.
Best Sublimation Printers of 2022 – Comparision Table
|Epson WorkForce WF-7720||Three separate input trays.
4.3 inches touchscreen.
Versatile paper handling.
Wireless and ethernet connectivity.
|Sawgrass SG500||Ultra-High Sublijet inks.
Creative Online Designing Software.
Expert Color Management Software.
|Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000||Ultra high-definition printing.
Fast printing speed.
2.4-inch LCD color screen.
|Epson EcoTank ET-4760||Cartridge-free printing.
250-sheet paper tray.
2.3-inch touchscreen display.
|Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer||Automated paper handling.
Includes DURABrite Ultra Pigment ink cartridges.
Compatible with both windows and mac.
Fast printing speed.
|HP OfficeJet Pro 9025||Basalt color.
Touch Screen Display.
Inkjet Printing Technology.
High define design printing.
Fast printing speed.
|Brother MFC-J995DW Inkvestment Tank||Automated Paper Feeder.
Does not support duplexing.
Automatic Two-Sided Printing.
|Canon SELPHY CP1300||Portable.
3.2 LCD touch screen display
Top 8 Sublimation Printers 2022
Following is a list of the Top Sublimation Printers that we have reviewed in our guide.
- Epson WorkForce WF-7720 – Best Economical Sublimation Printer
- Sawgrass SG500 – Professional Sublimation Printer
- Epson Expression XP-15000 – Best for Sublimation Printing
- EcoTank ET-4760 – Editor’s Choice
- Epson Stylus C88+ – The Sublimation Photo Printer
- HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 – Best for T-shirts
- Brother MFC-J995DW – Best Affordable AIO Printer
- Canon SELPHY CP1300 – Best for Sticker Printing
1. Epson WorkForce WF-7720 – Best Economical Sublimation Printer
- Three separate input trays.
- Large 4.3 inches touchscreen display.
- Versatile paper handling
- Wireless and ethernet connectivity.
Our first sublimation printer comes from the famous Tech Industry known as Epson. The WF-7720 is an entry-level efficient printing machine that delivers outstanding performance at a very reasonable price tag presenting it as an excellent sublimation T-shirt printer. If you have a small printing business, go with this one.
This Epson comes with three separate input trays with a 500-sheet capacity and borderless printing of 13×19 inches. Furthermore, it can support you with printing a variety of fabrics. It also has wireless connectivity and even works with an ethernet connection, giving you the benefit of printing from any nearby phone or another smart device. It also scans documents within seconds and faxes up to tabloids (11×17 inches), making it a time-saver if you have numerous tasks.
But the most amazing part is its 4.3 inches LCD touchscreen display which presents a crisp and clear vision with excellent touch response. All the functions of the printer can be controlled from this panel. It makes it easy to do all sorts of printing. Besides, the device also saves up to 80% energy and ink to help you reduce high costs in printing.
You get four DuraBrite ultra ink cartridges with the purchase and, a complete user manual assists you set up everything. However, you can also use heat transfer ink easily.
The Epson WorkForce had always been a fan favorite because of the performance and quality work at this price. It serves you well whether you have an established business or planning to build it from scratch.
2. Sawgrass SG500 – Professional Sublimation Printer
- Ultra-High Sublijet inks.
- Creative Online Designing Software.
- Expert Color Management Software
- Low maintenance
The Sawgrass SG500 is a world-class desktop printer when it comes as a simple sublimation printer. Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 took the second position on our list, and is one of the top-rated, best sublimation printers for heat transfer in the markets. SG500 is an updated version of SG400.
This dye-sublimation printer is best for printing a variety of fabrics. You can print t-shirts, ceramics, coasters, smartphone cases, and other additional items. It can efficiently print on media up to 8.5 x 14 inches (22 x 36 cm). This device is designed and programmed with everything required for a perfect printer, and you need to do some simple operations, then press the button, and it has done. You will get your dreamlike output.
There are two high-tech features that you would love as a sublimation product designer. First is the Creative Studio online graphic designing tool, which gets with Sawgrass printers and lets you shape creative designs without using Photoshop or any other software.
Next is Print Manager which is a color management software. You can completely control print designs. It can also support you to print from graphics software like CreativeStudio, Adobe, and Corel. It has many other features like design color palettes, multiple color profiles, and custom paper sizes.
Let’s talk about ink, the Sawgrass SG500 produces the best results with quality inks. You can use a SubliJet UHD 4-color ink set for both hard and soft substrates but, ChromaBlast HD or EasySubli ink is recommended to make it the best printer.
It is a perfect choice for someone, who wants to make a source of income by Dye-sublimation printing work other than their regular 7-8 hour job.
3. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 – Best for Sublimation Printing
- Ultra high-definition printing.
- Fast printing speed.
- 2.4-inch LCD color screen.
- Low maintenance
For our next, we are moving back to the brand Epson. Meet the Epson photo expert XP-15000, which is one of the industry-leading tools. It has separate fans because of its top-notch design and efficient performance. There are different sublimation printers in the marketplaces but, the Epson photo expert XP-15000 is the best wide-format printer with high reproduction quality and sharpness.
It comes in a pretty moderate design with an entire body made of thick plastic. As far as looks are concerned, I am impressed with the design and material quality. Its physical dimensions are 18.7″ x 30.9″ x 16.2″ with an entirely black body.
You will get an ultra-high resolution of (5760×1440) dpi. All images you print with this printer will be full of brief and bright details. Its extremely color accuracy made it the best selection for printing photographs and t-shirts both. Furthermore, this device is capable of printing nine pages per minute at a lower resolution.
On the front, we have a 2.4-inch LCD color display joined with some physical buttons to make navigation through the menu. It doesn’t contain touch screen functionality. However, these controls make the user experience smoother.
This printer also provides high-quality borderless printing of 13×18 inches dimensions. When you are going with black and white prints, you can get smooth gradations, increasing the quality of the picture or text.
You will get all the necessary drivers, tools, warranty cards, and six-ink cartridges set when you buy it.
4. The Epson EcoTank ET-4760 – Editor’s Choice
- Cartridge-free printing.
- WIFI connectivity.
- 250-sheet paper tray.
- 2.3-inch touchscreen color display.
The Epson EcoTank ET 3760 is one of the top-rated when we talk about the best sublimation printer for heat-press, a printer you will ever need for all your Subliantion work. The ET-4760 is one of the most economical printers that we have tested. You can use it to create stunning designs without fading quality.
EcoTank is worth considering a series of printers. It is different from the WorkForce series because they do not need ink cartridges but rather have a direct ink filling option. The device is slightly heavier in weight -(15.9 lbs), seems to be entirely smaller with the dimensions – 9.1×14.8x 13.7, and the completely made up of hard black plastic.
To the front, we have 2.3 inches touch display and two physical buttons with the control panel. One is a home button and, the other is for opening menu help. The control panel is moveable to adjust the viewing angles
and make it easy to operate. It also has a borderless printing option, plus automated two-sided printing providing different options at your fingertips.
The advanced features of the printer are voice-activated control and, wireless printing which lets you enjoy a hands-free experience.
Epson ET-4760 photo printing quality is decent with pretty much details and flat color tones. On the other hand, the printing speed is excellent at 16 ppm for black and whiter text documents, while the color prints come out at 7 ppm. It took hardly 89 seconds to print high-quality graphics.
The best part is ET-4760 low printing costs which are remarkably compared to other competitors in the marketplaces. On the other hand, the ink used in this printer is not much costly. If you are a beginner and can afford this, you should go for it.
5. Epson Stylus C88+ – The Sublimation Photo Printer
- Automated paper handling.
- Includes DURABrite Ultra Pigment ink cartridges.
- Compatible with both windows and mac.
- Fast printing speed.
The Stylus C88+ most reliable option from the brand Epson. Over the last few years, it has earned a loyal fan following because of its compact design, and its reasonable price makes it an ideal choice for home use, office, and business. Very honestly, This is an old printer but has been used for, a long time. We still list it as the best printer for screen printing, heat transfers, and art prints.
Unlike other sublimation printers, the model operates with both the pigment and sublimation inks, it is a good fit for those who have multiple heat transfer systems, you can also use regular paper instead of dye sublimation paper, it depends on your needs. If you are working with a heat-press, it reduces your work. You’d love the sharpness of this ink-jet printer.
C88+ is pretty good for frame-ready prints, ceramics, t-shirts, and other sublimation materials. The device comes with automated paper handling with a rate of 19 pages per minute and has only one input tray with a 120 sheet capacity. In addition to features, it can also handle borderless printing and compatibility with wide banners (8.5 inches wide-44 inches in length). You can easily make will boost your productivity with its great performance.
Moreover, with quick-dry, accurate blur, and water-safe ink, there’s no reason to stress over taking care of the printers. If you know any professional photographers, they have worked with this printer in their careers. Its high accuracy makes it the best choice for t-shirt sublimation printing.
6. HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 – Best for T-shirts
- Basalt color.
- Inkjet Printing Technology
- Sustainable design
Next is the best all-in-one sublimation printer. You can consider the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 to save your printing cost, resources, and time. It can print highly featured color photos, but it is more suitable for printing regular documents. HP doesn’t require any introduction to prove its product build quality.
It comes with decent dimensions being 12.6×17.6×15.6, but it is a little bit heavier in weight being 26.4 lbs. You can access the ink cartridge from the front side without opening the top.
To the front, we get a 2.7-inch touch screen. The display is smaller, but the touch functionality is awesome and very responsive and you will don’t feel any problem when you operate it. The device owns a 1200 DPI flatbed scanner with a range of up to 8.5×11.
It can do all stuff like copying, scanning, printing, and faxing. Amazingly, the printer automatically blinks the option when the device runs low on ink to ensure you buy a new cartridge. This model is best for your busy office as it can hold 225 sheets in its tray.
Think to know about resolution, this printer comes with a resolution of 4800 ×1200 dpi. Additionally, it has a mind-blowing speed of printing 29 papers/minute in black/white and 25 papers/minute in color. It also does borderless printing of 8.5 ×11 inches documents.
The Best part is the device supports both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, you can control all activities of the printer through a 2.7-inch touchscreen display. Moreover, the Wi-Fi feature provides instant printing from any smartphone.
The main thing is performance, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 does extremely great. The printing quality is pretty clear with excellent details. Besides printing, on the other hand, the scanning quality also does properly with high color depth.
7. Brother MFC-J995DW – Best Affordable AIO Sublimation Printer
- Automated Paper Feeder
- Does not support duplexing
- Automatic Two-Sided Printing.
- Sustainable design
The MFC-J995DW is from another well-known company that manufactures quality sublimation printers. The Brother MFC-J995DW is the most beneficial investment you can do today if you are seeking an efficient yet affordable sublimation printer for a small workplace. It fulfills all the requirements that any other known dye-sub printer in the marketplaces does.
The device feels notably modern, comes with a grey and white variant, and comes with auto-two-sided printing, which we don’t see in many of its competitors. Though the device seemed a bit heavier, however, feels pretty smooth for what it does. To the front, you have the control panel with a 2.5 inches touchscreen display, plus we can see three buttons for home, back, and cancel. You also get an NFC marking with the control panel.
The device has a flatbed scanner, and support sheetfed functionality, the size of a scanner on the device is 8.5×11 inches. However, The scanner does not support duplexing. But, you have the functionality of an automatic document feeder. The highest resolution is 1200 DPI on the scanner, which is pretty good.
The Brother MFC-J995DW does especially commendable in terms of printing. It produces rich details, outstanding dynamic range, excellent color reproduction, and proper sharpness. For producing exact colors in your prints, it is recommended to set the default colors option on the device.
Coming toward the printing speeds, the MFC-J995DW can print 12 black and white pages per minute and 10 pages per min for color. This printer is not best for sublimation printing but people can use it for sublimation and you should not get any problems while working with sublimation paper.
Even its running expenses aren’t the cheapest out there, but still, they are highly competitive, making the MFC-J995DW an outstanding all-in-one printer for homes and small offices.
8. Canon SELPHY CP1300 – Best for Sticker Printing
- 3.2 LCD screen
- Wifi connectivity
The Canon Selphy CP1300 is a Compact Photo Printer, a new upgrade model of Cp1200. Now it has amazing features, CP1300 can allow you to print Whether that’s at home, at your workplace, or even in the park, the Selphy CP1300 has a Canon Print app that empowers you to print wirelessly through several ways, including AirPrint, from your memory card, from your Facebook or Instagram, this app is free on the Amazon Appstore.
Now it has a slightly wider screen and there is some improvement in the user interface. The CP1300 maintains its portability and gets a plus point among the other sublimation printer. it has a variety of connection options and the best print quality, and now it is Editors’ Choice.
This printer is not compatible with color inks, it uses special thermal paper with the ability to provide 256 separate shades per color (16.8M total colors), the difference between colors is pretty good from such a compact printer.
While color evaluation, this device didn’t get the top position in the list but it was quite effective for the size and expense of the printing. The CP1300 does borderless prints of the 4×6-inch postcard in around 46 seconds. If you want to go for a smaller size, it can print a 2.1×3.4 inches photo in approximately 39 seconds. Once the photo is printed there is no need to dry it like in the past.
The Canon SELPHY CP1300 is a very excellent device for portable printing. You can power it through a portable battery. I think it is the best feature of this printer.
What is Sublimation Printing?
To understand Sublimation printing, first, we have to understand what is a sublimation? Sublimation is a process in which the solid state directly converts into the gaseous state without its becoming a liquid state.
Now we can easily understand sublimation printing. It is a process of shifting a design/picture on any material or fabric using ink, paper, and heat press.
First, your created design is printed on a dye sublimation paper by using a sublimation printer. Then the design is transferred to the material with the help of a heat press. The dye-ink that is used in this process directly turns into a gaseous form by applying heat.
What is Heat Transfer and Photo Sublimation?
Welcome to the wonderful world of custom designing garments and T-shirts. So, You must have heard, there are many printing techniques used in the garment designing industry, mainly sublimation printing and heat transfer printing. Now, you are thinking about which method of designing garments and t-shirts is more reliable and effective?
To be honest both methods are perfect for designing garments. However, it depends upon your needs, what you want to do. Plus each method has its pros and cons.
I will guide you about both, So you can easily figure out which method is best for you and your business. let’s get started,
Heat Transfer Printing
The heat transfer is also known as thermal printing as well as heat printing. In this method, the design of sublimation papers is heated and pressed to a fabric or any other material by a heat press. By this process, designs can be transferred on any material with the help of a heat-applied machine.
Photo Sublimation Printing
Dye sublimation is also known as sublimation printing and the whole process is the same as heat transfer printing first, we print the design on paper then we press and heat it to a material. but the difference between heat transfer and sublimation is hidden in science so let’s understand it.
In this method, we use a special ink that directly turns from solid to gas as I mentioned above. What is the benefit? If both processes are the same, the difference in quality, sublimation ink is heated and is fully embedded with material, when we cool it. In last, it becomes solid-state and part of the material.
Best Sublimation Printers Brands
There are two famous brands that best offer sublimation printers. One is Epson and the Other is Sawgrass, both companies make outstanding printers for sublimation with the amazing build quality. Both of them have excellent printing with high speed, but they are different from each other in many aspects.
- Cheaper in cost.
- Scan and also do the copy.
- Has a high color printing quality.
- More Reliable.
- More Expensive
- can Scan and Copy Documents
- high defined color and prints.
- best for sublimation printing
- Excellent performance.
Equipments You Need to Start a Sublimation Printing Business
If you have big plans and the budget goes for Sawgrass, it can print huge projects without requiring any maintenance, on the other hand, Epson is suitable for beginners which have fewer projects, they work a few days a week. Furthermore, it is also cheaper than Sawgrass, an easily affordable printer with high-class printing.
Nowadays, customized t-shirts are the most excellent way to show off your talent and earn a huge amount of money. As you know, people love customizing apparel according to them, some like names, quotes, and designs on their t-shirts or any other thing.
You just need some tools and equipment to start your printing business and rock market. So, let’s start to know about everything you need in this field step by step.
These are the following step of dye sublimation printing.
- Graphic designing software.
- Sublimation printer.
- Sublimation ink.
- Heat transfer paper
- Heat press
Best Sublimation Printers 2022 – Buyer’s Guide
If you had read the review of our recommended products and you are planning to buy a sublimation printer then, you should do some critical thinking on the basis of some factors that will give you more in-depth knowledge regarding the sublimation printers.
After considering the factors that we studied you will be capable to figure out a printer that could serve you the best.
Following are some primary key features that you should keep in mind while selecting the printer.
Quality / Resolution
Dots per inch (dpi) is the unit to measure resolution and it is directly proportional to the detailing in the printed design. It means the higher resolution printer will output a firmer image. Hence, you will need a high DPI resolution printer to print complex designs. You can have blurry outputs from low-resolution printers.
The selection of resolution depends on your requirements, you can simply use a low-resolution printer to print small logos, trademarks, etc. However, a 48000X1200 DPI resolution printer will be best to print complex and large artworks.
Additionally, it is quite necessary to get knowledge of the quality of the ink and how colors are discharged by the printer on the material.
Budget / Price
Budget is the most important factor while purchasing any product, as you can find multiple different brands, varieties, and functional capabilities of the same product depending on the limitations of your budget. In the same way, you can get different models of sublimation printers in the market at separate budgets.
However, getting the most expensive model available might not be the best idea.
It’s not the most helpful idea to buy the most expensive printer from the market. However, you should be very particular while purchasing a printer in your budget that is effective and can give you desired outputs.
Sublimation printers are capable to serve a broad area of functionalities. However, it is very important to keep your usage in mind while buying any sublimation printer. Let’s consider an example to understand it more clearly if you are running a commercial business of designer shirts, you are required to purchase a printer that can execute heavy-duty output with high speed so that you can deliver large orders on time.
So, before purchasing the printer you should consider your usage to make the correct decision.
Following secondary factors can assist you to buy the best sublimation printer that can meet your needs.
Print Media Size
All sublimation printers are not equipped to print big designs. Additionally, the printer you choose to buy should meet size requirements. Additionally, it is more reliable to go with printers having large medium support as sometimes large-size materials are supposed to be printed.
Edges of the media are not printed by sublimation printers mostly. So, you should get a little bit larger size than that of the size of your perfect garment.
Print speed has an inverse relation with the resolution. The higher resolution images can make an extreme shift in speed.
Print speed is important if you are running some commercial business. If you are required to deliver large orders, then the printer should print at a fast speed for on-time delivery. The more production the more profit you will get. But if you are buying a printer for your personal needs then speed does not matter much.
Hence, you should work to get the best balance in the resolution and speed of the printer.
The print volume plays the same role as print speed. All printers are not able to produce an identical volume of printing. However, Some models can print multiple thousands while some can only print a maximum of thousand in one run. It depends on your need whether you want to print high volumes for commercial use or you want to use it only for personal use.
You should consider connectivity options to select the best sublimation printer for yourself. Additionally, some models in the market support wireless connectivity (Wifi, Bluetooth) that can support you in handling your tasks quickly. However, if you wish to operate it from your PC using a cable you should select a printer that does not cost extra for these options.
Brand plays a vital role in the performance of the sublimation printers. To get the best experience you should go to the reputed companies. Additionally, you can get good customer supports if you go with reputed companies also you can also find parts of these printers easily in the market for maintenance. Moreover, it’s not a good plan to work with off-brands.
Epson and Sawgrass are two famous brands with high-quality products that we evaluated in our review. You can buy products from these two companies to get the best experience.
The number of ink pigments
Various models in the market use a different number of ink colors to produce a large number of output colors. Most printers use a four-color ink kit but some models require an eight-color ink kit to produce a higher resolution.
Sublimation Printer – FAQs
What should I look for when buying a sublimation printer?
Sublimation printers should be chosen based on the size of the print field, the number of colors, the printing speed, the cost, and the printing quality. In terms of media size and printing sophistication, sublimation printers fall into the following categories.
Which is the best printer for sublimation?
The Epson Workforce WF-7710 is a good choice for beginners, while the Sawgrass SG500 and Ecotank is a good buy for professionals.
What setting should the printer be on for sublimation?
To have the best quality, matte paper, and mirror design, you need to set your preference. Make sure to print on sublimation paper to ensure the process works. Simply hit print and be amazed! You may need to adjust the tray settings to match your setting for matte paper.
Can you sublimate a 50/50 shirt with a sublimation printer?
The colors won’t be as vivid as they would be on 100% polyester, but sublimation will work on blended shirts. I would say, the more polyester, the color will be brighter, so you’ll typically get a “washed-out” or retro look with a 50/50.
Is it worth purchasing a sublimation printer?
Fine lines and details are excellent with sublimation printing, and it’s arguably one of the best methods for printing all over. This printer has low setup costs and is close to permanent printing, making it ideal for small runs.
Can you sublimate on cotton?
Yep, however, Use Forever Subli-Light to sublimate onto cotton.
Can you sublimate on dark fabric?
Although dark colors can’t be sublimated directly, you can achieve the look with a Sawgrass Sublimation Printer, Silhouette CAMEO, and a white glitter HTV!
Final Words – Wrapping It Up
A sublimation printer is a valuable piece of equipment if you want to start a business or learn how to print artwork on clothes and other products. Furthermore, you must understand the features of these printers before purchasing them.
After reading numerous online reviews and conducting research on various websites, we have compiled this list of top sublimation printers for you. Now that you know all about these printers, you are aware of the factors to take into consideration before purchasing one. Choose a printer based on your budget and needs.
However, sublimation printing can be remarkably easy, smooth, and affordable as long as you use the right printer. Have a good shopping!