Art can be very cathartic. But, being able to make lots of money from your creativity? There’s no match for that giddiness and satisfaction. That is like giving an artist an endless canvas to let his creativity go wild. Shifting your creative designs on t-shirts or other materials is one of those arts. It can be a great side hustle or start-up if you get the best heat press machine for small business.
A heat press machine can help you imprint your unique ideas and designs on a myriad of surfaces and materials, including fabrics, vinyl, ceramics, metals, jigsaw puzzles, etc. You just need a machine that contains the necessary attachment plates to work with these different materials.
The market is full of heat press machines of different structures and features. Now, it is understandable to get carried away with such vast choices. That is why I added the top 10 recommendations for heat presses that will aid in turning your hobby into a business. We will also provide you with a comprehensive buyer’s guide to show you how to select the right machine for your demands and budget.
Best Heat Press for Small Business
I have also answered some of the questions that frequently pop up in users’ heads. So, let’s scroll down to find you the best heat transfer machine for the money.
1. Cricut EasyPress 2 Heat Press Machine (9 x 9)
There’s a high chance you will come across one or two Cricut machines if you search for the best heat press machines for small businesses and hobby users. So, I thought starting with Cricut’s best one was better.
It’s a must-have tool to keep in your arsenal because of its compact size, easy use, and affordable pricing. You will find it in two sizes, 9×9 and 10×12. So, you can pick either of the two according to your needs. If you are doing serious business, I advise you to select the large one. It will let you transfer designs on several surfaces.
What makes the machine a “this-is-it” is its fully adjustable temperature with automation and swift results. You can raise the temperature to 205° C. The timer will start the countdown automatically and let you on the digital display when the time is up. Plus, there’s an auto-off feature and an insulation base. So yes, it’s a stress-free and hazard-free experience every time. Insert the temperature as per the requirement of your material and let it do the rest. Be confident that your heat transfers will be examples of perfection. The highlight is that the results are consistent and can withstand several washes.
I have used it for my initial projects. So trust me when I say that it is one of the best gifts you can buy for yourself. And since it is pleasantly lightweight and portable, there won’t be any fuss regarding its storage or placement when working.
Last but not least, its budgeted cost will not rob you of quality. The high-quality build ensures it stays with you till you decide to upgrade.
- High-precision heat control with automatic timer.
- Swift and safe results.
- Easy to use and store.
- Not suitable for large and bulky designs.
- Manual document isn’t of much help.
The Cricut EasyPress 2 is a perfect option for all those beginners and small business owners who want to craft professional-looking customised articles with confidence. If you want to get a quality heat transfer machine without breaking the bank, then Cricut EasyPress 2 is a worthy choice.
2. Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press (12×10 inch)
Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press is an epic example of “I-can-do-it-all.” The fact that it does all sorts of transfer tasks better than many rivals makes it stand out. This one will get you the most bang for your buck because it comes with an array of accessories. All you have to do is decide what are you in the mood for today. Do you want to decorate t-shirts, hats, mugs, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, ceramic plates or any other material? It is ready to give you the most flawless creation you will see.
The reason why a huge crowd is fawning over it is the addition of two Teflon sheets on its upgraded heating plate. This will keep your articles from sticking, thereby ensuring mess-free heat pressing.
Speaking of mess-free, this one features a 360-degree swing-away structure. It means you can move the heating element out of your way when loading or unloading items. Thus, there’s a negligible chance of accidental injuries.
Finally, let’s move to its controls. I would opt for ease over fancy functions any day. Its easy-to-use digital controller is another highlighting feature. You can set the desired temperature and time precisely to ensure picture-perfect transfers every time.
- Multi-purpose machine is compatible with a variety of heat transfer creations.
- Mess-free pressing and safe operation.
- Convenient and accurate controls with quick heating.
- Sturdy and well-constructed.
- Reasonable price with warranty.
- Requires extra space to operate due to the swing-away design.
- Not suitable for larger projects.
If you are looking for a heat press machine that you can use for a variety of customized projects, I highly recommend Splendor 5 in-1 Heat Press. Its durable build and multi-purpose design make it an asset for your small business and DIY assignments.
3. VEVOR 15×15 Power Heat Press Machine
VEVOR heat press machines should come with a warning: look at your discretion, you may not be able to resist buying it. I concluded that after firsthand experiences with the results of VEVOR 15×15 Power Heat Press.
Unlike our top two products, this one comes with a generous heating pad of 15×15 inches. You get plenty of space to weave your printing magic on a wide range of fabrics and projects. You will love how the company gives equal importance to the tiniest details. An additional heating liner is incorporated to fit in different materials and eliminate unpleasant odors during work.
They have added superior-quality Teflon coating to reduce the risk of scratching and adhesion, thereby allowing flawless transfer outcomes. Besides, its high-precision temperature and time controls coupled with automatic shut-off beeping reduce the possibility of overheating or injuries to almost 0.
I assure you that it will make your heat transfer projects an inspiration for fellow DIY users and small business owners. Imprint aesthetic pictures and characters on t-shirts, hoodies, tote bags, pillowcases, mobile covers, table mats, glasses and ceramic tiles. The quality of transferred patterns will be perfect, regardless of the material.
If you are still contemplating, then let me give you a final push to seal the deal. Putting together its parts and overall use is super-duper easy. You can have it all set for work in a jiffy.
- Hassle-free assemblage and operation even for novice users.
- Large heat press area works for versatile projects.
- Heat-resistant and flame-retardant heat plate and pads prevent scorching of materials and injuries.
- Perfect for versatile DIY projects and small businesses.
- Long-lasting build.
- Pressure adjustment requires some practice.
- Its plastic arm is a sore thumb.
If you look past the few flaws, the rest of the VEVOR 15×15 Power Heat Press is a charmer. The revolutionary plate and sponge pads paired with high-precision controls and efficient performance promise excellent value for the money. Thus, it is undoubtedly an excellent option for DIY jobs and entrepreneurs.
4. Cricut EasyPress Mini Heat Press
As I said earlier, a list of top heat press machines is incomplete without the name Cricut. Have you ever heard of a heat press machine that is mini and mighty at once? No? Well, have a look at the Cricut EasyPress Mini Heat Press.
I wouldn’t judge it by its compact size if I were you. Its unique shape with an 8.2×4.8 cm heat area makes it ideal for small projects like hats and badges. The comfortable handheld design helps you project maximum control for accurately transferring designs on hard-to-reach parts on baseball caps, shoes, stuffed toys or edges of a hem.
The unit offers three temperature settings, which some find less admirable. However, they offer high-precision results on a range of heat transfer tasks, including iron-on articles and sublimation designs. Thanks to its insulated base, ceramic-coated plate and auto-off function, say goodbye to scorched projects and workspace. And that’s a promise. I have tried it several times and got impressive results. Every. Single. Time.
I really love the hassle-free part that comes with its mini and lightweight structure. You will love it too. You can carry it wherever you want or store it even in the most narrow corner without any trouble.
- Attractive design and shape.
- High accuracy and effortless performance.
- Versatile use.
- Super-lightweight and portable.
- Safe and easy to use.
- Limited heat settings.
- Be vigilant when ironing vinyl for the first time.
Cricut EasyPress Mini is the best heat press machine for small projects. If you are looking for a small, and beginner-friendly heat press that gives professional-like flawless results, look no further than Cricut Mini Heat Press. Its versatility will cater to your creative needs.
5. Fancier Studio Sublimation Heat Press (15×15)
If there’s a talk about great sublimation heat press machines and one doesn’t mention Fancier Studio Heat Press 15×15? That’s a crime at least I wouldn’t commit. It’s not 100% flawless, but it is definitely among the best ones for enthusiasts and the sublimation printing business.
First and foremost, investing in it means you will get a sturdy and reliable piece of equipment at a reasonable price. Thus, neither will it crumble nor ruin the surfaces on which you want to transfer designs.
The next commendable aspect is its large work area and fuss-free use. 15 x 15 inches surface gives you a wide space for almost all projects, including t-shirts, tote bags, garments and ceramic tiles.
The biggest fear while printing designs is the ruining of the project either due to overheating or uneven pressure. Say goodbye to them because the temperature is evenly distributed on the surface. Not to mention, there’s a coating on heat platens.
Before you make up your mind, let me tell you that it’s a clamshell design. That means you will have to place the item between the two surfaces and the design will flawlessly transfer on the fabric. However, it will be a test of your strength when it’s time to lift it to remove the printed material.
That’s a small inconvenience compared to the perks you will get.
- Superior quality build.
- Beginner-friendly and safe program and operation.
- Even temperature results in flawless projects.
- Wide heat surface for versatile transfer designs.
- Its bulky structure may scratch surfaces while moving.
- Some users found it a bit hard to open at times.
Fancierstudio Power Heat Press functions like a dream even when a novice operates it, courtesy of its fuss-free mechanism. Its generous heating area is best for a wide range of projects. Overall, it’s a worthy option for anyone looking for the best value for the price heat press machine.
6. Seeutek Pro 5 in 1 Heat Press (12×15)
It isn’t uncommon for companies to claim that their products are the best out there. But, when the customers say the same, that’s seals the deal. Seeutek Pro 5-in-1 has a sizeable crowd that calls it a great piece of equipment for home and hobby uses.
It is very pocket-friendly, which makes you wary, considering there’s no compromise on quality and performance. And that’s the best thing about Seeutek; it doesn’t use anything less than the top-notch material.
Furthermore, the heat transfer patterns will be equally excellent due to the Teflon-layered heat plate. The heat-resistant sheet ensures the protection of the materials during pattern transfers.
It will boost your production rate because the machine takes hardly 60 seconds to reach 250℃. Speaking of temperature, the digital control panel allows you to punch in your required temperature (either in Fahrenheit or Celcius) and time. An audible alarm will go off to notify when the time is up.
What sets it further apart from the rest of the clan is the addition of a double-tube heating structure instead of a single tube. It ensures even heating across the surface, resulting in an immaculately printed pattern on any material.
The not-so-good part is that it’s a bulky machine. Although the swing-away design makes it effortless to lift the top, moving the entire unit won’t be as breezy.
- Simple mechanism.
- Sturdy build can resist wear and tear.
- Swift heating.
- Upgraded heating tube and Teflon coating ensure impeccable results.
- Bulky structure limits its mobility.
- 12×15 size isn’t suitable for some assignments.
- Quality of hat press attachment needs improvement.
Seeutek Pro 5-in-1 has a few drawbacks, but the perks overcome the flaws. The machine gives you the best value for the money with its superior build and efficient performance. Whether in the hands of a novice or a professional business owner, the transferred designs will be flawless.
7. F2C Pro 5 in 1 Combo Heat Press
Before we give you a deep insight into the good and bad aspects of F2C Pro 5-in-1, let me share the first reason why it has been in the good graces of crafters and professionals alike. Most beginner-friendly and low-cost heat presses lack quality, power and versatility. F2C Pro 5-in-1 Combo is an anomaly. It doesn’t burn a hole through your wallet, yet gives you a power-packed machine to tackle your projects with finesse.
It is beginner-friendly but contains all the accessories to meet your professional demands. The 12×15-inch surface is small but not that much to limit your printing options. The non-stick surface and even heating promise to deliver perfect creations, be it t-shirts, ceramics, glasses, mugs, bags or materials like nylon, cotton and fibreglass.
What I admire the most about it is its digital LED controller. Even if you aren’t among the most tech-savvy people, you will have no problem running it.
Some users complained about a slight odour during the heat transfer, but that goes away with proper ventilation. Plus, it doesn’t transfer to your project, so there’s nothing to worry about.
- Accurate and neat imprints on any surface.
- User-friendly controls and assemblage.
- Non-stick heat surface can handle a variety of transfer projects.
- Quality construction with admirable power.
- Awesome customer service.
- Unpleasant smell during first use.
- Manual document is of little help.
Unlike most beginner-friendly heat press machines, F2C Pro 5-in-1 Combo has the quality and strength to work even for professionals. From simple controls to even heating to necessary accessories, it has everything to deliver perfect imprinting designs on your choice of materials.
8. YITAHOME Auto Heat Press (15×12)
YITAHOME Auto Heat Press is designed to help you unleash your artistic soul on plenty of materials. If you are bored of designing t-shirts, then jump to mugs, bags, pillows, and many other articles to soothe your creative thirst. It has the required attachments to help you create wonderful DIY projects for family, friends, or your business.
The most impressive feature is its automatic operations. Your job is limited to 2 – 3 steps max. Punch in the required time and temperature settings. Next, load the item to be pressed and press “start.” The machine will press down and adjust the pressure per the thickness of the material on its own. You can go brew coffee or do any other chore in the meantime. It will release the article after it is done.
Furthermore, it houses advanced temperature sensors and a dual-tube heating element for quick and consistent heating. Hence, you have found the secret to enhance productivity and flawless transfer.
Moreover, you don’t have to panic anymore if you forget to turn it off. It will shut up automatically after remaining inactive for 30 minutes. Now, one would think such an intelligent and loaded machine would cost a fortune. You are in for another treat, fellas! It is really very easy to use and within the affordable range, unlike other auto presses.
- Quality and attractive build.
- Fully automated for efficient and enhanced productivity.
- Easy-to-use interface for novices and professionals alike.
- Suitable for different materials.
- A bit heavier.
- Some users found instructions unhelpful.
- Surface width isn’t suitable for larger items.
Whether you are looking to start a new business or want to express your creativity with different materials, YITAHOME Auto Heat Press is the best piece of equipment for you. It enhances your productivity without ruining the quality. The price is also affordable, making it the best cost-effective heat press for a small home-based business.
9. VEVOR 5 in 1 Clamshell Heat Press (12×15)
Like Cricut, VEVOR also has a sizeable collection of heat sublimation machines that can set your transfer business on the path to success. Vevor 5-in-1 Clamshell Heat Press is one of those. This money-saving model works remarkably on versatile materials and surfaces, thanks to its multi-purpose design and list of accessories.
It houses pattern-stick-proof Teflon coating to reduce the chances of accidental scorching and wastage of material. There’s no rocket science involved in its digital control board. Just tap the required heat and time settings, and you’re all set to start. Oh, and the screens are separate for temperature (Fahrenheit/Celsius) and time to keep you from juggling back and forth and going crazy. What a relief! Now, you can show off your creative ideas on t-shirts, versatile materials, ceramic plates, mugs, pillow covers and phone shells.
Do you know what else is a relief – that too a bigger one? A 360° aluminium rod in it. You can swing it out of the way when placing or removing an item to avoid burning yourself.
The presence of a sturdy and ergonomic handle ensures you spend little effort when adjusting the plates and pressure. Furthermore, it’s a clamshell design, so you don’t have to clear a huge space to fit it. A nice and comfy corner near a power plug will do just fine.
As for its body, Vevor doesn’t disappoint you here as well, regardless of its relatively lower cost. It is built to last.
- Perfect for versatile usage personally and professionally.
- Precise, efficient and easy digital controls.
- Stick-proof Teflon sheet for immaculate printing.
- Swing-away rod protects from accidental burns.
- Takes a little time to heat up.
- Absence of an anti-slip bottom pad.
Vevor 5-in-1 Clamshell Sublimation machine is an ideal choice for those passionate crafters who want to take their creativity or business to the next level. The machine contains accurate controls and multiple attachments to help you turn your artistic ideas into perfect creations.
10. HTVRONT Auto Heat Press (15×15)
I decided to end the show on a high note, and there’s no better product for it than HTVRONT Auto Heat Press. The structure screams quality and perfection. It is quite similar to Cricut Autopress, but this one has a larger area, different construction and function. And, of course, the biggest of all is the cheaper price.
The 15×15 heat surface offers extra width that is beneficial for versatile projects. It can take up large projects, including t-shirts, aprons, linen and other large materials, without any trouble.
As the name is “Auto Press”, it isn’t surprising that it automatically determines the pressure according to the thickness of the item you want to press. That’s “Auto Mode” for you. Wait, it doesn’t end here. It will release your article automatically after it is pressed. So, that gives you extra time to produce items in bulk for a small business.
There are four fast modes and an option of creating two customer preset modes to free you from the hassle of temperature and time controls. Just enter the parameters once and simply press go for preset mode for the next batch.
What many of my acquaintances love the most about it is its dedication to users’ safety. It has adopted unique cooling and insulation technologies to evaporate heat when powered off. Also, it will automatically shut off if left idle for 10 minutes. Lastly, you can pull out its plate like a drawer with a side handle to keep your hands away from heated portions.
- Large heat plate for bigger projects.
- Several automated functions for worry-free, efficient and safe performance.
- Four preset modes and two custom modes to save time.
- Slide-out drawer design and handle for users’ safety.
- Cheap price.
- Heavy and bulky structure.
- The absence of pressure adjustment doesn’t work well with some projects.
- Some customers didn’t like its re-designed pressing pad.
HTVRONT Auto Heat Press (15×15) is a game-changer for all those avid hobbyists and professionals who cannot afford expensive Cricut models. Its automated and safety functions allow users to create batch after batch without mess and accident.
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Heat Press for Small Business in 2023
Now, let’s discuss a little about the factors you need to consider to ensure you choose the best model for your needs. This buyer’s guide will work as a roadmap to lead you to the right product.
What Type of Heat Press Machine Do I Need?
Heat press machines come in three main types:
Clamshell heat press machines are the most common and popular among the audience. First, they are space-efficient and portable. So, you don’t have to worry about making a lot of room to install one. Secondly, they are extremely easy to operate. Besides, they are very pocket-friendly as well. Therefore, they are ideal for beginners and small businesses.
However, they are dangerous because you need to raise the heated plate to load the item. So, there’s no room for mistakes or you may burn yourself. Plus, they also require strength to lift the heat plate and press down.
They are also called swingers. They are the expensive counterparts of clamshell designs. However, they are also great for beginners due to their safety aspect. As the name suggests, swing away heat press slides to the side when you need to place/remove your article.
This design promises even pressure, which results in a perfect transfer of art on the surfaces.
Another significant advantage is that it can accommodate thicker materials. However, their large sizes and footprints make them unsuitable for limited spaces. In a nutshell, these are a match made in heaven for producing items in bulk.
Some refer to it as a “pull-out” heat press. Its high safety rating and ease of use make it extremely popular among beginners and youngsters. Its lower plate can be pulled out like a drawer – just what the name hints at. You can slide it back in after loading the item.
The precision of draw types in printing is unbeatable, which is why they are considered the best heat press for small businesses.
However, they are comparatively complicated to operate. In addition, they require a lot of room to install and are costly.
Manual or Automatic?
Heat press machines are distinguished based on their operation types.
A manual heat press is the most budgeted type. You will have to adjust all the required settings manually. If you have to prepare items in small batches, a manual heat press will work for you.
As is evident from the name, an automatic heat press is fully automated. It automatically closes and adjusts pressure after the article is loaded on the plate. Similarly, it opens and unloads the item after printing is completed. Their biggest drawback is a hefty upfront cost. However, their maximum protection and time-saving aspects compensate for that inconvenience. Invest in an automatic heat press when you have to produce hundreds of shirts or other articles in a single batch.
There’s a third type, semi-automatic, if neither of the above two appeal to you. It bridges the gap between cheaper manual and costly automatic machines. It performs some of the tasks to let you pay more attention to the design imprint part. Their cost-effectiveness makes them absolutely dream for those serious about their start-ups or small businesses.
Single or Multi-Purpose?
That’s another million-dollar question you need to ask yourself before purchasing a heat press. A single-purpose heat press is the best choice if your business is about one particular type of article, e.g. t-shirts or mugs.
On the other hand, buy a multi-purpose heat press machine – like Slendor 5 in 1 or F2C Pro 5 in 1 – if you plan to produce versatile products.
Your budget has a huge say in which model to purchase. If you have a limited budget, a clamshell heat press is your best choice. However, many swing-away and drawer types are also reasonably priced.
Time is another critical factor when choosing a heat press. Some machines take more time to transfer the print properly while others take less time. Opt for a heat press that does the job quickly, accurately and precisely, especially when you have to produce in large batches. Similarly, many heat presses heat up quickly while others take several minutes to reach the required heating level. Therefore, pick a model after assessing your time limits.
Q. Which heat press brand is the best for a small business?
Many brands produce quality heat press machines, but the following names are the best for small businesses.
- Cricut EasyPress 2
- Vevor Heat Press Machine
- Seeutek Heat Press Machine
- Slender Heat Press 5-in-1
- Fancierstudio Heat Press Machine
Q. How can I choose the best budget heat press?
Many brands produce quality heat press machines at a budgeted price. If you want to choose the best for your business, focus on the following factors before making the final call.
- Reliability of the build.
- Ability to heat transfer on multiple materials and surfaces.
- Precise temperature and time controls.
- Safety features.
- Additional accessories to meet your work needs.
For reference, you can have a look at Slendor 5 in 1 Heat Press, HTVRONT Auto Heat Press and Cricut EasyPress 2.
Q. What heat press size do I need for shirts?
For t-shirts, a heat press machine with a 12×10-inch heating area is ideal. 9×9 surface area or smaller like the Cricut Mini Heat Press also works, but it is more suitable for children’s shirts, logos or badges.
Q. How much money should I spend on a heat press machine?
It depends on your needs and budget range. Heat press machines can be as cheap as $100 or as costly as $2000. If you have just started a small business or are a DIYer, a price range of $100 – $300 will offer you reliable options. You can upgrade to fancier and more expensive models after a few years.
A heat press machine is a long-term and profitable investment, whether it’s for personal uses or business purposes. In the above article, I discussed the top 10 best heat press machine options available in the market. They can help you turn your start-ups into a lucrative venture in a short time. I also included a comprehensive buying guide to help you select the most suitable product. Some frequently asked questions are also answered at the bottom to ensure you have all the information you need before making the final decision.
I’m Henry Collins and living my happy life. I’m a professional businessman and I own and run 6 Heat Pressing Services stores where I provide my clients with custom Designs on hats, mugs, T-Shirts and a lot more using Heat Press Machine. Been using a heat press for the last 4 years and people love my work. As I’ve got enough information on Heat Press I decided to make a blog on it and share my knowledge with the world. I hope, the world will appreciate it.