11 Best sublimation printer | Guide to Choosing the Right One
Are you a newbie in the world of sublimation and eager to find the best sublimation printer at an affordable price? Well, this article is only for you. We will provide a complete list of the best sublimation printers for beginners.
These printers enable you to perform customized printing on your favorite fabric, mugs, cards, and other goodies effortlessly at home without going to the professional.
Finding the best sublimation printers is not an easy task. we have made this task easy for you. This article reviewed the best sublimation printers, which are durable, budget-friendly, and print high-quality prints of your goods that do not fade and peel off after use and washing.
Finding the best sublimation printers is a challenging task. We research and develop the best sublimation printers, which are durable, budget-friendly, and produce high-quality prints that do not fade and peel off after several uses or washing.
So, let’s get started!
Our Top Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners
What is sublimation? And How Do Sublimation Printers Work?
It is a new and direct thermal printing technique that transfers a digitally produced image on various fabrics and materials. The desired image is printed on a specific paper by using sublimation ink.
After that image is transferred onto a required medium by applying heat (up to 300 to 400 degrees) and pressure via a heat press machine. The solid particles in the dye ink are converted into gas with heat and stick with the polymers of fabric or material (glass, metal, ceramic, wood, plastic).
Pre-Requisite for Sublimation Printing
The sublimation process is as easy to carry out as it sounds. Below we will provide a step-by-step guide and items required to complete the printing job successfully.
1. Sublimation Printer
The first and most important item required to start printing is a sublimation printer specifically designed for this purpose. Or you can also convert your existing inkjet printer to a sublimation printer using special techniques.
2. Sublimation Paper
Sublimation paper specifically made for dye sublimation printing. There are different types of papers available in the market. So you can also check our complete review based on the best sublimation paper if you want to learn more about it.
3. Sublimation Ink
The sublimation ink is vital in creating unique and full-spectrum images on a medium.
CorelDraw and Photoshop software is commonly used for this purpose. May printers come with built-in printing software that helps you create designs beyond limits.
5. Heat Press Machine
It is the most necessary item if you want to start sublimation printing. The heat press machine transfers the printed image onto the desired item. This machine provides heat and pressure; as a result, an image imparts on an item permanently. A 15×15 heat press machine is ideal for t-shirt printing.
Our Reviews of the Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners
Many brands are available in the market that manufactures sublimation printers with different specifications and features. A wrong pick can lead to a massive loss of money because sublimation printers are pretty costly.
However, expert knowledge is required before choosing any sublimation printer for your business; after spending a lot of time and intense research, we find the best sublimation printers.
Epson and Sawgrass are leading brands in this respect that produce sublimation printers. The Sawgrass printers are made explicitly for sublimation printing and are relatively more costly than others. At the same time, Epson printers are convertible to sublimation.
The Epson printers are multidimensional and can also use them for printing, copying, faxing, and scanning simultaneously. So let’s get started with our top-pick product.
1-Sawgrass SG500 – true sublimation printer
If you want a sublimation printer at an affordable price, then this SAWGRASS printer is only for you. The SG-500 is an upgraded version of its predecessor SG-400 and is modified from the inside out.
It offers better resolution, efficient print quality, stable connectivity, and reliability than the previous model. Most importantly, it minimizes ink and power consumption and provides a low cost per image.
What Are The New Features Of SG5OO?
- WIFI connectivity
- Ultrafine photo mode
- Backlit display
- 2-Year Warranty
- Backward Compatibility with SG400accessories
So, if you already have SG400 accessories, you can continue using them.
Sawgrass Virtuoso systems are the industry’s first fully integrated desktop printers specifically for sublimation.
The online creative studio software makes the initial setup breeze. It supports print media up to 8.5″ x 14″. You can quickly expand the maximum media size up to 51˝ long (1295 mm) with the help of an optional bypass tray.
With the SAWGRASS sublimation printer, you will get a complete starter pack of UHD Ink set and 110 sheets of sublimax paper free of cost. So, it is the perfect printer for beginners, hobbyists, or moonlighters who want to start sublimation while living on a budget.
What we like
- Its built-in auto maintenance cycle allows trouble-free printing.
- The online free creative studio software provides thousands of templates, graphics, designs, and fonts free of cost.
- The Print Manager software ensures less ink utilization and gives bright, sharp, and flawless output.
- The 4800 x 1200 dpi high resolution gives clarity and brightness to your final sublimation product.
- It offers high speed and prints ultra-fine photos in only 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
- Only print 8.5″ x 14″
2- HP ENVY Photo 7855
It’s yet another outstanding printer we tested. One of the best qualities of the HP ENVY 7855 sublimation printer is that it is the perfect pick for producing beautiful photos at an affordable price costing around 5 cents only
Warning: The HP ENVY 7855 only works with HP 64 ink cartridges; any other ink may cause damage to your printer.
The ENVY 7855 replaces its sibling ENVY 7640. In terms of feature set, printing detail, speed, and photo quality are improved in this model of HP Envy printer.
It has multiple capabilities, including printing, copying, faxing, and scanning. You can also print or scan from an SD card or USB flash drive. In addition, the Envy 7855 printer supports HP’s ePrint.
Auto duplex, built-in ADF, email scanning capability, color touch screen, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, Google Cloud Print, iPrint, and many other features round out the package.
What we like
- It produces well-saturated, vivid, and eye-catching color photos
- Auto document feeder accommodates 35 sheet
- A solid choice for beginners and home use
- Ink cost high
- Small display
If you are searching for a sublimation printer that can perfectly print your required substrate and use less ink than other printers available in the market.
Then have a look at the Epson Eco tank 15000. It is a dedicated sublimation printer that saves up to 90 percent ink. In addition, the most highlighted feature is that the price of refilling ink is also economical.
The precision core technology gives us an unbeatable performance.
We love its printout quality as it distributes colors evenly and nicely. All this is possible with the help of a high-density print chip. This chip produces up to 40 million dots in a second; as a result, it gives precision and accuracy every time you print.
The borderless printing allows you to easily print up to 11″ x 17″ paper. Another valuable attribute is that you can connect it through Wi-Fi, Alexa, and Ethernet. Thanks to its wireless printing solution for those who want to print with liberty.
Furthermore, hand-free printing is also possible through voice activation. The 2.7″ color touch screen assists you in modifying, previewing, and navigating quickly.
What we like
- High productivity
- Saves 90% of ink usage
- Print, scan, copy, and fax
- Replacement of the ink bottle is easy and offers zero % ink wastage
- One replacement ink equals 80 % of the standard ink bottle (cartridges)
- The initial installation is time-consuming
4. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
The next pocket-friendly best sublimation printer for beginners on our list is the Epson Expression Photo HD. It is a small-size, fully equipped, customer-grade, wide-format inkjet printer.
Its low print cost of up to $0.45 and ultra HD quality photo outcome are comparable to any expensive model in the market. It is a midrange multifunction printer and outplaces its predecessor Artisan 1430.
What’s New in Epson XP-15000
- Small and compact
- Closed drawers and trays system
- Print all size paper ranging 4″ by 6″ To 13″ by 19″
- New red and gray inks (instead of light cyan and magenta inks) give an ultra-wide color gamut and enhanced black and white prints
Epson XP-15000 comes with a complete startup package. So, you can start printing right after the box because Epson provides startup ink and paper with the printer.
The 2.4-inch LCD color display and manual buttons allow easy navigation.
Excellent wireless stability with various options and auto duplex adds convenience to your busy business setups.
We were impressed with how well it printed on our test papers, including images, business charts, and graphics. Thanks to its piezo dot, on-demand inkjet technology that produces rich and intense colors when combined with its six-color Claria ink. Overall, it is the perfect pick for business, professional projects, and office work.
What We Like
- Fast speed and versatile
- Excellent print quality
- Various connectivity options
- Suitable for business, professional projects, and office work
- Initial setup and cartridge installation are super easy
- Best for photographers who want to give a professional touch to their pictures
- No scanner
- No touch screen
5. Sawgrass SG1000
If you have some investment and can afford an expensive, premium-quality sublimation printer, consider this Sawgrass SG1000 to start your business. The SG1000 replaces the SG800 and is modified from the inside out.
It enables you to print on various mediums, including polymers, t-shirts, mugs, Chromaluxe, and others. Plus, you can also use it for large-scale printing business.
Moreover, if you have an SG800, 400, or 500, their accessories are compatible with the SG1000 printer. The best thing about this printer is that you can create versatile and vibrant designs by using its online creative studio software.
Just like SG 800&500, the SG1000 is quick and offers high-speed printing, generating excellent-quality photos in just 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
The high-resolution range is up to 4800×1200dpi; Expert Color Management Software, SawGrass Print Manager, delivers intense, bright, versatile, and beautiful printing results.
Unlike SG 500, it supports up to 11″x17″(28 x 43 cm) print media with the standard tray, and if you own the Optional Bypass Tray, you may expand it up to 13″x51″.
Note: Sawgrass printers also allow you to print on cotton if you use special sublimation paper
What we like
- We love its ultra-fine photo mode as it makes photos brighter and more precise than other printers.
- Another reason to pick this printer is that it comes with a starter bundle, a 2year warranty, and lifetime support
- The self-cleaning system prevents unnecessary ink consumption
- After several washing, the images won’t crack, peel or scratch
- SG1000 is also compatible with all SG800 accessories
- 13″x51″ is Ideal for posters printing
- It does not work for cotton t-shirts
6. Epson Artisan 1430
If you want to print the wide format and high-pixel images, you must remember the Artisan 1430, as its advanced technology gives you up to 900 pixels and borderless printing up to 13×19 inches.
As a result, you get more magnificent and clear pictures. The Artisan1430 is specifically designed for the business community. It is one of the most popular printers among professional photographers and small home-based business owners.
Its DX5 Micro Piezo print head technology, ink droplets as small as 1.5 picoliters, and high resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dpi deliver remarkable image quality.
In comparison to Epson Workforce 1100, Artisan1430 prints large-size photos of any size up to 13 x 19″ whereas WF-1100 borderless prints up to 11 x 17″
The next advantage to choosing this Artisan1430 over other options in the market is its Ultra Hi-Definition Prints out quality. Thanks to its Claria 6-color ink that gives durability.
What we like
- This multifunction printer prints, copies, and scans
- No printer heads clog in comparison to other printers
- Wide-format helps to print large photos like CAD, small posters
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Breakneck printing speed
- Every time you need to reset the setting
7. Epson SureColor T2170
If you are tired of your boring small format printer, look at this superb entry-level Epson SureColor T2170 wide format printer. This printer has everything you need to print posters, blueprints, graphics, and many more. Please scroll down and look at its unique characteristic and benefits.
Its ultra-fast speed, compact, sleek design, small footprint, easy operation, and precision core print head made it a robust topline sublimation printer.
Compared to other printers, you do not need to dry the ink before placing the print on the desired substrate. Thanks to its UltraChrome XD2 pigment ink that instantly dries. The resulting photographs are durable and long-lasting.
Another good thing is that you can easily handle versatile media, for example, rolls (24″) and sheets (11″ x 17″) through the auto sheet feeder. I strongly recommend this printer to anyone looking for a low-cost, large-format quality printer.
What we like
- Wide format borderless printing
- Holds rolls and sheets
- Its Nozzle Verification Technology gives commercial-grade reliability.
- It gives clear, sharp, precise, and accurate results
- Print 24×34 inches prints in only 43seconds
- Sometimes software loads slowly.
8. Epson EcoTank ET-8550
If you want an in-house sublimation printer that can print lab-quality photographs and cartridge-free printing at a low cost, approximately less than 1 cent per page. Then consider the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 printer without a doubt.
It is economical and can save 80% on printing costs with zero ink wastage. The next perk of buying it is that its long-run ink cartridges offer stress-free printing for up to 2 years and are worth your purchase.
In another respect, the wireless connectivity and touch panel display makes it more attractive and valuable for entrepreneurs who wish to launch their sublimation business.
The EcoTank Photo ET-8550 prints large format 13” x 19” professional photos and allows a mess-free ink refill.
Duplex printing and scanner are fast and work accurately.
The multiple feed trays allow convenient paper assembly, so you can easily switch from plain to color photos.
In addition to 4 basic inks (CMYK), the ET-8550 has two additional inks (black and gray). These colors intensify the black areas in photos and improve grayscale images and graphics.
What we like
- Superb printout quality
- It holds 120 standard-size sheets and 20 snapshot-size sheets
- Faster than average printers and prints six black ppm and 12 color ppm, respectively
- Perfect printer for getting snapshot size to super tabloid photos
- Multiple connection options
- Easy to set up and install
- Scanner without an automatic feed
9. Brother HL-L3290CDW
The next best sublimation printer for beginners is by Brother Brand. We tasted this printer and found it best for a sublimation machine for beginners. One of its best characteristics is that it comes with a single set of starting toner cartridges.
This is the most effective approach to save money because this toner yields 1000-1400 copies. Let’s check its highlighted features!
It is one of the faster printers on our list, producing 25 ppm. It has a flatbed glass copier, scanner, and a 2-line LCD.
It has versatile connection options, i.e., Air Print, Google Cloud Print, Brother iPrint & Scan, Mopria, and Wi-Fi Direct, that enable you to print conveniently and efficiently. Furthermore, its wireless printing through mobile, and built-in wireless also makes it different from others.
In terms of performance, it produces crisp and clear documents, whether in color or monochrome. I’ve never had an issue with them. However, it not gives high-quality photo output. So, if you are wanted to print only documents in black & white this printer is the way to go without worry.
What we like
- Easy to set up with excellent connectivity stability
- Manual and automatic feed option
- Automatic duplex printing helps to save on paper
- Scan multiple documents at a time
- High yield and speed
- The toner saves mode also helps to save on toner costs.
- The scanner only accepts A4-size documents
10. Epson EcoTank ET-2720
Epson WorkForce WF-2720 is truly an outstanding and ideal sublimation printer in the market. It has a class to produce exceptional graphic designs with unbeatable quality and performance.
The WF-2720 is for beginners and professionals who wish to deliver a non-compromise photography result.
It helps you to transfer your favorite images on the t-shirts and other goodies utilizing dye sublimation by heat transfer. Most importantly, the WF-2720 provides the same results as advertised.
The ET-2720 is the best economical sublimation printer in the market as it saves up to 90 of replacement ink cost. It comes with 2-year ink bottles that yield 80% more than standard ink cartridges.
The ET-2720 features a high-resolution flatbed scanner, a convenient color display, and cartridge-free printing. Thus making it an ideal basic home printer.
Its unique Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology produces sharp text, impressive color photo graphics, and phenomenal print quality at a low price.
The Wi-Fi connectivity is stable, so you can virtually print from any corner of the home and office. The overall performance of the printer is excellent and unbeatable.
What we like
- It comes with a 2-year warranty
- It generates studio-quality printouts
- Perfect for sublimation printing
- worth buying
- Initial setup is time-consuming
- Scan only one page at a time
11. Epson Expression Premium XP-7100
The next beauty on our list is for those who want to enter into sublimation printing without breaking the bank; you can’t go wrong with Epson’s XP-7100 all-in-One small photo printer. You can start a broad spectrum of gorgeous printing onto clothes, coffee mugs, and more for just a little over $179.
Because of its premium quality, economic output, and extensive range of connectivity options, this Epson’s XP-7100 is our favorite pick in this review. Its superior photo quality and versatility make it ideal for productive and creative people to make endless things while spending a few bucks.
The key features include a 30-page auto document feeder and auto double-sided printing, copying, scanning, and multiple media feed.
You can print borderless photos up to 8″ x 10″. Furthermore, the most prominent advantage of this printer is that you can directly print pictures or any document from your smartphone or tablet.
What we like
- Handle various types of paper
- Unbeatable performance
- There will be zero waste of ink
- Print borderless 4″ x 6″ photos in 12 seconds
- Only print 8″ x 10″ photos
- Not compatible with third-party cartridges or ink
What To Look For In The Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners?
Before choosing the best sublimation printer for your home, office, or business, keep these important points in mind while selecting your first sublimation printer. It must be
- Fast and accurate
- Print high-quality images and graphics
- And most importantly it must be cost-effective
Also, look for the following things too.
It is the most crucial factor to consider when you are going to purchase a sublimation printer. The resolution of any printer is measured in dots per inch. And it is directly proportional to the quality of prints it generates.
The highest the printer’s resolution, the more firm prints it produces. The 700 x 700 DPI is recommended for printing small logos and trademarks. However, if you deal with complex artwork or posters, choosing a printer with 48000X1200 DPI resolutions is better.
Print Media Size
All sublimation printers offer different print media sizes. For example, EcoTank printers support up to 8.5 inches of print media.
On the other side, wide-format sublimation printers print large-size material quickly. So, I prefer a printer that supports large media sizes.
Additionally, we suggest you get a printer in a larger size than the size of your ideal piece of clothing because, most of the time, edges need to be printed.
It is also essential in the many connectivity options that offer a printer you want to purchase (both wired and wireless).
Many best sublimation printers offer USB, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, and even Alexa for the connectivity of printers. So, select according to your needs and set up.
Print Out Quality
The most crucial factor you must consider before making your purchase is the finishing and printout quality of prints the sublimation printer offers. The printouts must be sharp and clear with proper layouts.
Ease of Refilling Ink or Replacing a Cartridge
Choose the printer that offers comfortable refilling of ink and easy replacement of cartridge. It is vital because some sublimation printers’ refilling processes are complex and tricky; as a result lot of ink may waste during refilling.
Some printers come with automatic control and make your refilling job handy. So choose one that offers an easy, quick, and mess-free refilling method.
The Materials It Can Print
Before finalizing your purchase, you must check the materials it prints on and the materials you want to get printed.
How the Printer Prints
The printing method is also essential. You must check the printing method, whether it directly prints or uses heat transfer. First, enlist what you need and then purchase a sublimation printer.
Know About the Cartridge or Ink Bottles
The other most important thing you must consider during the selection process is the performance of the cartridge or ink bottles, its replacement cost, how many pages it can print, and how long it runs. Also, check you need only one cartridge or individual ink bottle per color.
What is a sublimation printer?
A sublimation printer is a device or tool to transfer the image to the desired fabric of materials using heat that converts the ink particles into gas and sticks to the printing object. It is mainly used for printing T-shirts, Mugs, images, and other materials.
What are the things that you can make using a sublimation printer?
Using a sublimation printer, you can print on mugs, tumblers, t-shirts, bags, ornaments, wood, plastic, and many others.
What is the best cheap sublimation printer?
There are many prime options, but which is the cheapest sublimation printer? the best cheapest ones on our list are
What is the printing cost of a sublimation mug?
The sublimation printing cost per mug depends on different factors and varies according to the design, the quantity of ink used, and the price of the color cartridge. However, mostly a mug may cost around $25 to $30.
Can sublimation be done on cotton?
Yes, sublimation can be on cotton fabric, but the print quality could be better than on polyester. Because cotton ink does not embed completely inside the material and forms a layer on its surface, but in polyester, fabric ink embeds ultimately and gives permanent results.
Moreover, the print quality is also not good on polyester fabric and fades off after some washing.
What is the best sublimation printer for T-shirts?
Sublimation printers are important tools for creating customized items and small home base businesses. With the sublimation printer, you can transfer an image easily on any material, which is why they are also widely used for printing on t-shirts.
But obtaining the best one for your business is a challenging task. Many types are available with different features, prices, and functions. These are our top 3 favorites
Is sublimation printing better than screen printing?
Both techniques have their different advantages and disadvantages. The dye sublimation we can print on several products offers better results and vibrant print on various objects.
The downside of dye sublimation is that colors are not as visible on dark things as on light-colored objects. The screen sublimation allows you to print on any material and color.
Which type of printer is used for sublimation printing?
A designated printer is used to produce sublimation rather than the ordinary printer for sublimation. In the market, many printers are available but choose the authentic and genuine ones. Consider the Epson or Sawgrass sublimation printers for the best-quality print.
Can any printer do sublimation printing?
The answer is no; for sublimation printing, you need a specifically designed printer to execute quality prints. In addition to getting professional and, high-quality images must use special inks( sublimation inks) and sublimation papers to get your photo transferred onto your t-shirt, mugs, ceramic, and plastic.
What are the best printers to convert to sublimation?
Epson Eco tank printers like Epson ET2720, ET4760, ET15000, WF7710, and ET8550 are some of the best printers to convert to Dye-sublimation. They offer incredibly high-resolution, clear, and vibrant color prints comparable to the original ones.
Which is the best wide-format printer for sublimation printing?
The wide-format printers enable you to print on a variety of materials. The best wide-format printers in our list are
- Epson Eco tank ET15000 printing up to 13″ x 19″ inches.
- Epson Artisan 1430 Wide-Format up to 13×19 inches
- Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 printing 4″ X 6″ To 13″ X 19″
This article provides in-depth knowledge of various sublimation printers with their highlighted features. Before finalizing any of them, we suggest you enlist your budget and needs. You can choose any of them for your business without fear, explore your printing skills, and increase your income.
If you still thinking, what is the best sublimation printer for beginners? The answer depends upon your budget or priorities. Or you may choose from our three favorite products.
Sawgrass SG500 is expensive but worth your money and provides you with the best industry-standard sublimation prints.
HP ENVY Photo 7855 is the best and cheapest AIO Photo Printer. So, if you have a low budget and want to print monochrome and color images, consider this printer; it adds value to your money without compromising output quality.
Epson Eco Tank ET-2720, the next one, is more expensive than the Brother printer but still affordable and offers better print quality, comprehensive connectivity options, and minimal ongoing cost.
Thanks for reading!