Artists are eccentric. It is the same for crafters who love to shape their unique ideas on garments and other materials through heat pressing. So, what happens when you decide it is time to sublimate your creativity? Simple. Get the best heat press for sublimation and you’re good to go.
It is a popular method for creating custom articles and is comparatively easier to master. If your heat press has the accurate temperature range, pressure adjustment, heated surface size and accessories, no power can stop you from creating exquisite sublimated products, one after another.
Best Heat Press for Sublimation
In this article, I will go through the top 10 heat press machines that I have found the best in my years of experience. Whether you are a beginner stepping foot in the world of sublimation or a passionate crafter looking to upgrade your arsenal, you will find your dream equipment below.
Moreover, salient factors for choosing the appropriate equipment are also explained in the buying guide. Besides, you will get answers to those nagging questions frequently popping inside your head. So, let’s read and get ready to exhibit your creativity through sublimation!
1. PowerPress Industrial-Quality Sublimation Heat Press
If you ask me which is the best heat press for sublimation, I would place the PowerPress Industrial-Quality Machine at the top of my recommendations. Why? The answer is simple. It had my back for years; I produced several thousand sublimation products with it over the years.
The machine rightly claims industrial quality because it certainly is. It can be of great assistance for boosting your business, especially if vinyl is your forte. It will take your t-shirt line to the next level. You can also use it for other materials, such as pillow covers, tablecloths, and shoulder bags, because of its wide 15×15 heated area.
I loved its sleek and shiny digital control panel for temperature and time. Like a calculator, you only need to punch the required figures and pull the lifted top down on the loaded material. Thanks to the double-arm force handle, you won’t have sore arms due to exerting strength over and over for lifting and pressing down the top.
I can guarantee that your items will come out with permanent and perfect imprints. Always. The presence of a non-stick Teflon sheet coupled with heat insulation lends this confidence. They keep thighs from burning and ruining.
You will love its activity. It takes more or less 5 minutes to heat up to optimal level. Yeah, no long ass waits. This factor alone makes it a perfect fit for your business.
- Broad heated area is best for a variety of garments and materials.
- Fast and even heating boosts productivity.
- Top-grade construction lasts for years.
- Intuitive and user-friendly set-up and operation.
- Handle is well-designed and comfortable to prevent sore arms.
- Affordable and cost-effective.
- Clamshell design requires extra strength to lift the top surface.
- Heavy and bulky structure is hard to move.
PowerPress Heat Press is truly the best machine for sublimation because of its sturdy build and top-notch transfer results. It can boost your t-shirt and other garment business in a short time. Its affordable price makes it the best investment, may it be for business purposes or DIY projects.
2. Fancierstudio Power Heat Press Sublimation
It is always tough to decide which to put on number 1, PowerPress Sublimation Heat Press or Fancierstudio 15×15. They are both equally incredible. So, placing Fancierstudio Heat Press on 2 is just a number.
It’s a beastly piece of equipment and won’t crumble apart with pressure during transfer. What adds to its appeal is that the heavy-duty machine is very affordable.
As for the technical mumbo jumbo, here too it doesn’t disappoint. The clamshell design allows it to fit nicely in smaller places. In addition, you have a vast field of a 15×15 heated platform to transfer patterns on medium and large materials. So, if you feel like impressing peers with something different than t-shirts, be my guest! Tote bags, mugs, jigsaw puzzles, ID badges, ceramic plates, mouse pads, and garments. You have plenty of options to choose from.
Its temperature can rise to your desired degrees fast, (available range is 0 – 500.) So, you might notice that your workspace is becoming a little toasty. However, you can overcome this tiny hitch with good ventilation. Besides, controls of both temperature and time are electronic and within reach. Therefore, you will have no trouble inserting your desired figures.
So, if you are itching to produce your next flawlessly printed batch of articles soon, get your hands on this great sublimation heat press.
- Heavy-duty and long-lasting machine.
- Intuitive and straightforward controls are easy to manage, even for amateurs.
- Broad heated surface with a coated sheet for flawless transfers.
- Swift and even heating across the surface.
- Affordable to offer the best value for the money.
- May become overbearingly hot in poorly ventilated workspace.
- Requires careful handling because of bulky size to avoid scratches.
Fancierstudio has a few flaws like every other manmade machine, but its superior build, versatility, performance and value for the money outweigh them. Its generous heated platform lets you defeat the competition with your unique designs on different materials.
3. Mophorn Heat Press 5 in 1 12×15 inch
Mophorn is another name in the world of sublimation heat press that is synonymous with reliability. This sublimation heat press deserves a long-ass recognition essay on its quality and performance. But, since we want you to buy the best one for your needs sooner, we will give you a rundown of the perks it is housing in a few lines.
Whereas the top 2 were more tilted to impress enthusiasts and hardcore professionals, this one can be great for professionals and beginners alike. No, it doesn’t compromise on the quality of its build; it is sturdy enough to withstand rigorous use.
Its super-easy use and learning curve make it a treat for novices. So, if you gift it to a friend or relative who has zero idea what such machines do, he will still start making designs with little effort.
Unlike the clamshell designs of the above two models, this one features a complete swing-away style. That means you can fully rotate it away to place/remove the article. Therefore, it is safe and delivers high-precision imprints on the materials. But, swinging motion requires a roomy workspace, so make sure you have a significant place for installing it.
This mammoth of a machine is a man of many talents. It’s a 5-in-1 combo unit, which means you can use it for various applications. T-shirts, caps, ceramic tiles, puzzles, mugs, different fabrics and garments and mouse pads. Mophorn is a game!
- Build to last.
- Ideal for beginners and hardcore users alike.
- Swing-Away design is safe and more accurate.
- Easy learning curve.
- The multifunction machine offers various applications.
- Competitive price.
- Very heavy.
- Some users found it a bit noisy.
- Not suitable for ultra-large and bulky projects.
If you are looking for a heat press that can do it all without compromising accuracy and safety, my recommendation is Mophorn 5-in-1 12×10. The swing-away design and straightforward controls help produce impeccable vinyl transfers in no time. So, it deserves to be called the best multifunction heat press for home use and small business.
4. F2C Pro 12x15 Heat Press machine
Not every brand that adds “pro” in its product’s name holds up to its claim, but when F2C says it, believe in it. It is a decent-sized sublimation machine that can work like a champ for beginners’ projects and small business assignments alike.
The unit has a 12”x 10” printing area. While it may seem too small for bigger items, it is spacious enough to accommodate small and somewhat medium-sized articles. So, you see, there’s no need to think it will limit your options. You can use it to start your business of customized t-shirts and mugs or craft bags, mouse pads, puzzles, and a range of other flat-surfaced items. All your articles will have perfect prints because the heating area boasts uniform heat distribution and non-stickiness.
F2C likes to keep things uncomplicated and straightforward. You find the same in the digital controls of this machine. You can set the temperature either in Fahrenheit or Celsius, depending on your familiarity. It can reach a maximum of 200℃ or 400℉.
Similar is the case with time control. You have free rein to adjust it up to 999 seconds by simply tapping on the digital screen.
Its unique swing-away structure is another highlighting feature. You can slide the upper plate to 360° to work freely with your article. I love this thoughtful design because it eliminates the chances of accidental burns. Yeah, no more of those nasty and angry burn marks on your skin.
- Durable structure for long-term functioning.
- Ideal for beginners, hobbyists, and start-ups.
- Uniform heat distribution and heat-resistant platen transfer pristine prints.
- Uncomplicated use.
- Safe and reliable.
- Not suitable for large-scale commercial use.
- Instructions aren’t very helpful.
- Accurate temperature adjustment requires practice, especially for beginners.
F2C Pro 10”x12” is one of those rare units that do the job exactly as they claim. The unit is made of great quality to last longer. Its consistent temperature and pressure coupled with safety features produce pristine images on any material. Therefore, it is an excellent value for the price, particularly for beginners and hobbyists.
5. HTVRONT Auto Heat Press Machine 15×15
The word “cheap” makes all sorts of alarms go off in your head. HTVRONT Auto Heat Press is an exception. It does give loud sirens, but they are all beckoning you to buy it. It is a cheap alternative to the Cricut Autopress machine designed for those on-budget enthusiasts who want to experience a topnotch-like device without paying a hefty price.
From its construction to features, convenience and safety, you will not find it lacking in any department. Hence, it gives you remarkable value for the price.
It features a sizeable heated platform of 15×15 inches to permit you to try your creativity on vast numbers of garments, fabrics and materials – including vinyl, HTV and sublimation. The best and undoubtedly the most appealing part is its automation which takes a lot of workload off your shoulders. Auto mode alters pressure as per the bulkiness of the material and lets it out when it is imprinted. So, a lot of your energy and time is saved.
Aside from four swift modes, it has an option for presetting two customer modes. Again, it frees you of the trouble of punching temperature and time settings again and again. Your precious time is saved yet again. The fact that it heats up in hardly 5 minutes is cherry on the top. Thus, you can produce big batches in less time.
Its safety and energy-saving aspects are equally commendable. The advanced cooling and automatic shutdown mechanisms keep things smooth and safe during and after the task.
Its lower tray comes out like a drawer with a handle to avoid accidental contact with scorching parts. I am sure you will fall head over heels for this machine as much as I did.
- Large enough to fit most projects yet compact enough to be easily placed on a countertop.
- Fast heat-up and even distribution of heat.
- Intuitive and simple use.
- Efficient and time-saving performance.
- Not suitable for heavy-duty use.
- Lack of pressure adjustment troubles with certain materials.
- Pressing pad needs improvement.
If you are searching for a sublimation machine that is economical yet sturdy and capable of producing professional-looking results, I advise you to consider buying HTVRONT Auto Heat Press. Its swift and efficient performance will increase your productivity.
6. VEVOR 8 in 1 Multifunctional Sublimation Heat Press, 15×15 Inch
The name “VEVOR” alone speaks louder than a thousand words said in its compliments. But, we will try to offer a summary of what you have missed out on until now. It may cost a bit more than the affordable models discussed earlier, but the quality and long list of applications make it worth the extra bucks.
With its Teflon sheet, special insulation and thermostable sponge, scorched and uneven transfer will no longer be a part of your sublimation game. Besides, you have the additional benefit of a fully adjustable pressure knob to ensure days of compromised quality of the transfer are over. You can directly and uniformly apply pressure to produce supreme-quality results.
Accidental burns are a part of heat transfer. Correction, please. They were a part but not anymore. The swing-away structure fully gets out of your way to avoid unintentional contact with heated elements while tackling the material.
Another striking and most loved feature is its versatility. It’s an 8-in-1 multifunctioning heat press. Meaning, it can do almost any heat-pressing job you can think of. Plus, the wide 15×15 surface area further opens limitless choices for you. Whether you want to plaster vibrant images, sublimation or dissolved printing ink, it can do it – a lot better than some expensive counterparts, to be honest.
Its safety and stability aspect is another outstanding feature. There’s a red button that pops up when the voltage is fluctuating or higher than needed to protect the machine. Long story short, it is downright the best value for the price multifunction heat press.
- Teflon-coated and enhanced insulation improves quality of transfers.
- Easy and hassle-free use.
- Built-in overload protection ensures the machine’s safety and longevity.
- Wider application on plenty of materials.
- Solid and long-lasting build.
- Remarkable value for the money.
- Heavy with a larger footprint.
- Pressure adjustments need some practice, especially if you’re a new user.
- Some users complained about customer service.
Vevor Multifunction Heat Press 15×15 has a few drawbacks, but the amazing perks and benefits compensate for them. Its solid build, precise and versatile applications, and safety aspects assure you of improving your crafts. As a result, you receive satisfaction and great value for the price.
7. Zeny 5 in 1 Multifunctional Sublimation Heat Press
Zeny Heat Press 5-in-1 Combo has a one-track mind: to give a solid foundation to your start-up business of t-shirts and shoulder bags. Let’s peel its layers one highlighting feature at a time.
First, piecing it all together and starting heat pressing will not even take an hour. You will have it up and running in hardly 30 minutes. See, it is that much beginner-friendly. The same goes for its use. Even if you haven’t used a heat press before, you will still be able to figure out its LCD controls – having temperature ranges both in Fahrenheit and Celsius – without resorting to pulling your hair.
Secondly, it comes with a relatively narrower surface area of 12×15 inches. It is small compared to 15×15 and bigger machines but sufficient for your starter projects’ needs. Besides, its multi-spring pressure knob can adjust according to the thickness of the item to offer you broader applications. Thus, it can transfer vibrant sublimation and heat vinyl transfer (HTV) characters and images beautifully. Hence, the name: best starter sublimation heat press for the money.
Third, the spring-away design prevents you from exerting force, resulting in sore arms. You don’t need to be a heavy-weight lifter to do it. Simply rotate it around when needed. Safe and easy!
Last and the cherry on the top is its affordable price. It gifts you all these features without making you sell a kidney.
- Simple to assemble, install and use.
- Commendable customer support.
- Effortless lifting with swing-away design.
- Fully adjustable pressure makes it compatible with bulky materials.
- Ideal for HTV and sublimation.
- Not best for bigger commercial projects.
- Lacks comprehensive instruction documents.
Zeny Multifunction Heat Press is a wise choice for beginners and those planning to start a line of custom t-shirts. It has many nifty and convenient features and can tackle projects of different natures, yet the cost is economical.
8. Seeutek Heat Press 12” x 10” Sublimation Machine
If someone tells you that Seeutek 12”x10” Heat Press is one of the best for hobby and home use, believe him. That is how you can describe this gem in a few words.
Its most surprising aspect isn’t its affordable price. The shocking thing is its feature-packed sturdy construction and performance, regardless of the price cut. That’s not it. The machine is really quick. It reaches 320° (Fahrenheit) as swiftly as blinking eyes a couple of times. Yes, hardly a minute.
On top of that, it offers consistent temperature all over the heated plate. Thus, it makes sure the transfers are clear and flawless. Another factor that contributes to the perfect outcomes is its intelligence. It doesn’t overheat after reaching the inserted temperature and blows an alarm when the transfer is successful. In other words, it is your cue to say goodbye to ruined printed and sublimation pieces.
You don’t need to become a master to be able to run it smoothly. It is so uncomplicated that a beginner can operate it.
Its small size – 12”x 10” – is a drawback, especially if you want to transfer designs on large t-shirts or other garments. Besides, it isn’t lightweight; therefore, moving it around frequently will be a problem. Rest, it’s a gem for home use.
- Top-grade construction can sustain wear and tear.
- Budgeted price.
- Super-fast heating.
- Consistent temperature all across the platen.
- Simple, even novices can operate it effectively.
- Incredible customer support.
- Shrunk size is unsuitable for sizeable and bulky projects.
- Limited portability due to heavier size.
- Hat’s press isn’t as impressive as the rest of the accessories.
If you are planning to purchase a heat press machine that is solidly built and works like a dream for small-scale home-use projects, then you have hit the jackpot with Seeutek Heat Press 12 x 10 inches. Its economic cost further adds to its appeal.
9. SURPCOS Digital Sublimation Machine 5 in 1, 15”x12”
SURPCOS may not be a familiar name for many users, but we all know what exquisite is. Don’t we? That’s a one-word replacement for this sublimation machine for you. From its construction to features to transfer results, all aspects know how to grab the attention of beginners, passionate crafters and seasoned users.
Its 360° swing arm and Teflon coating work in tandem with an overheating protective mechanism to erase burning accidents, damaged articles and other such hazards from your life.
It is a perfect fit for those who aren’t very patient. It heats up rapidly to let you start producing impressive pressing items immediately. To be more precise, it reaches 320℉ /160℃ under 4 minutes. Another thing that hooks the customers is its versatility. Honestly speaking, my friend bought it because of this feature alone and couldn’t stop raving about how amazing it worked on several garments and materials.
It can do vinyl, HTV and sublimation as perfectly as any premium-grade machine. You get 5 attachments in the package. So, it’s up to you now whether you want to imprint beautiful patterns on t-shirts, mugs, hats or plates.
Long story short, the sky is the limit for your creativity with this gem.
- Durable frame can withstand aggressive use.
- Hassle-free set-up and use.
- Fit for transfer on versatile materials.
- Swift and consistent heating.
- Broad pressing platform.
- Compact and lightweight structure.
- Comparatively expensive.
- Lack of a beeping alarm for temperature makes its use a bit tricky.
If you can afford to spare a couple of extra bucks, then don’t miss adding SURPCOS Digital 5-in-1 Combo Sublimation Press to your arsenal. Its durability, versatility, stability, and perfect printing will help you expand your small business better than any other heat press at this price.
10. TUSY Heat Press for Heat Sublimation, 15×15
Not all inexpensive heat press machines for sublimation can impress. But it is a different game altogether when Tusy Heat Press 15×15 is in the picture. With this one at hand, professional-looking sublimation transfers become a routine thing.
Let’s start with starting it. It is uncomplicated to assemble and gets ready for running in no time. Similarly, you won’t have to wait for ages for its heating to reach the optimum level. It touches 380℉ in under 5 minutes. Chop chop!
The next commendable quality is its even heat distribution throughout the platen due to double-tube heating. It ensures that the transfer prints are always crisp, clear and vivid on almost any flat surface or material.
Its 15×15 inch expanded surface is another captivating feature. This premium-like spacious area is sufficient for a myriad of garments and materials. You are privileged here as many budgeted models have smaller heated surfaces, such as 12×10 or 12×15.
Now you can show off your unique designs on personalized t-shirts, mugs, other garments and plenty of home decor articles, such as pillowcases, blankets, and coasters.
Lastly, it has a sturdy steel frame to increase the product’s life, yet the design is compact and portable to avoid problems during storage or transportation.
- Sturdy frame improves the machine’s shelf life.
- Budgeted price.
- Straightforward use is beginner-friendly.
- Sizeable heated surface with accessories is compatible with many personalized garments and home decor items.
- Quickly heats up and distributes heat evenly for efficiency and crisp results.
- Power cord is short.
- The base isn’t very stable.
- The mug press needs improvement.
You will strike gold with Tusy Heat Press 15×15 despite its shortcomings. Unlike other cheap heat presses, this one has a rugged construction, quick and even heating and produces professional-looking personalized projects. No wonder it is named one of the best heat press machines for budget-conscious beginners and domestic users.
Buying Guide to Choose the Best Heat Press for Sublimation
There are uncountable heat presses available in the market for sublimation. Therefore, it can be extremely confusing to know right away which model is “the one” for you. This buyer’s guide is designed with the sole intent to help you isolate the best heat press machine for your sublimation projects.
There are some critical factors you should consider when purchasing a sublimation heat press.
Type of Heat Press
You must have understood from the above reviews that two types of heat press are popular among crafters. Clamshell and Swing-Away. Both of them are capable of transferring designs on substrates. However, each has its benefits and disadvantages.
Let’s look at each to know what you will be signing up for.
It is the most popular type of heat press. It is compact and simple to use with almost no flashiness to skyrocket the price. These reasons make it fit for novice users and small businesses. However, the risk factor is higher in a clamshell design because you have to uplift the platen to load/unload materials. So, you may accidentally burn your skin if you carelessly move around it.
It is not the first choice of fervent crafters and commercial users due to the absence of fancy features.
Swing-away heat presses are a more popular alternative because of their enhanced safety and convenience. As the top platen can rotate out of your way, loading/unloading materials becomes easy and safe. These perks make this alternative suitable for beginners and occasional users, but their higher costs and space-consuming designs don’t work for all.
It is astute, from a business point of view, to invest in a swing-away machine because its uniform pressure distribution guarantees quality transfers and saves time and your raw material.
This is the most critical factor when it comes to sublimation transfer. Transferring design through sublimation requires higher temperatures, at least 380℉. Anything less than that is a straightforward no. It is necessary to pick a heat press whose maximum temperature limit is above 400 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure crisp sublimation transfer on any substrate.
You can take a look at PowerPress Industrial Digital Heat Press, Seeutek Heat Press, and Tusy Heat Press for reference.
Another critical factor to consider is the pressure adjustment. The heat press you choose should permit you to adjust the pressure according to the material at hand. It is important to note that it distributes the pressure evenly across the entire surface to keep the transfer designs from ghosting or burning.
A piece of golden advice is to opt for a heat press with fully adjustable pressure to avoid such disasters.
The size of the heated platen determines how small or large projects are open game for you. For instance, a heat press with a heating element of 9×9 inches is fit for heat-pressing children’s t-shirts or other garments of smaller sizes. 12×10 inches platen is also suitable for small projects. If you don’t want to restrict your options, it is advisable to choose a heat press with a platen large enough to adjust most of the projects you plan to press. Heat presses with 15×12 or 15×15 are safe bets for a variety of applications.
This is the most overlooked factor, even though it can become a huge nuisance and ruin all the fun of your carefully planned transfer session. A heat press with a short power cord will require an extension cord, especially if the power plug is farther from your workspace. Make sure you install the heat press set-up near the power source and choose the machine with a longer power cable. These will keep your work from being disrupted and allow you to move the unit around when needed.
Oh, and don’t forget to check beforehand whether your electrical circuit can handle the additional load of heat press. You don’t want to deal with a blown fuse or an electrical short circuit and set your place on fire. Household circuits are usually 1800 – 2400 watts at 120V. Make sure your selected heat press is compatible with the electrical circuit capacity at your chosen place of work.
I cannot stress enough how important this factor is. It is time and energy-efficient. A heat press that has a low learning curve will be easy to figure out. The sooner you learn how to run it, the sooner you can start heat pressing. Simple! A heat press with a clear LCD and digital controls for time and temperature is easy to operate and monitor. So, don’t sacrifice convenient operation for fancy features.
Q. What type of heat press is ideal for sublimation?
The ideal type of heat press for sublimation is the one which can get to a higher temperature of 380°F at least, (380 – 400 Fahrenheit is a safe minimum range). It should apply uniform pressure across the surface of the material. Besides, swing-away and clamshell both work for sublimation. The former is best for bulkier materials like photo plaques and the latter for thinner articles, such as t-shirts and ornamental garments.
Q. Are all heat presses capable of sublimation?
Nope, most are suitable for sublimation and vinyl transfer. The sublimation process requires a higher temperature, at least 380 – 400 Fahrenheit, to transfer design to shirts or ceramics as compared to vinyl. It also requires consistent pressure throughout the surface of the material being pressed. Unfortunately, not all heat presses meet these requirements.
Q. What heat press brand is the best for sublimation or vinyl?
It is a matter of opinion. However, there are certain brands well-reputed for sublimation and vinyl transfers. They include:
- PowerPress – its Industrial Heat Press works splendidly both for sublimation and vinyl.
- Vevor – many of Vevor’s combo machines are ideal for passionate crafters and small businesses.
- Cricut – Cricut EasyPress 2 is the best budget option for beginners and home use.
- Mophorn – Mophorn Heat Press 5-in-1 is the best for sublimation.
- Tusy – it is a prudent budgeted option for novices and home use.
- HTVRONT – its Auto Heat Press is an economical alternative for premium and exorbitant machines, particularly for start-ups and small businesses.
The sublimation process can become your forte if you own the right heat press for the job. It has different fundamental requirements than other heat press techniques; not all machines are up for that. You won’t face the same problem with the above list of top heat presses for sublimation because they have what you need. Our buyer’s guide guarantees to point you towards the model fit for your demands. A couple of frequently asked questions are answered to clear all your confusion. I hope you have got everything you need to make an educated call.
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.