Best sublimation printer

Printers & Office Electronics

Sublimation printers offer users all the features of a normal printer, with the added benefit of being able to print onto sublimation transfer paper, before subsequently being transferred onto polyester goods such as T-shirts and koozies.

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Which sublimation printer is best?

If you’re looking for the best sublimation printer, chances are you’re hoping to do some heat-transfer projects in the near future. While it can be intimidating to pick out the right printer for the job, sublimation printing is less complicated than it may seem.

Depending on what you’re looking for in a sublimation printer, the Epson EcoTank ET-2750 Sublimation Printer is a great pick for just about any home or office, and its ink is easy to transfer onto polyesters using the sublimation process — as long as you have a heat press and transfer paper, too.

What to know before you buy a sublimation printer

How you plan to use your sublimation printer

The best sublimation printers are those that help the user get all of their printing needs taken care of. If sublimation heat transferring is what you’re after, it’ll be most important to make sure you get a model with ink that can do that, as well as one that accepts sublimation transfer paper. 

The right material and press

If you want to perform the sublimation heat transfer process, there are a few important things to consider. First, the process primarily works on polyester fabric, though you can use some other materials, such as ceramics if you purchase additional equipment. Secondly, you must have a heat press, a flat object designed to get up to temperatures high enough to heat images printed on sublimation paper, transferring them onto materials made of polyester.

What to look for in a quality sublimation printer

Accepts sublimation ink and sublimation transfer paper

A wide range of printers can print onto sublimation heat-transfer paper using sublimation ink. Many of them use a cartridge-free bottle ink refill instead of traditional printer cartridges.

Printing, copying, scanning and faxing

Most sublimation printers are versatile enough to also help users take care of regular printing, scanning and copying jobs. Some sublimation printers also include the ability to fax documents; if this is important to you, make sure the one you choose can do it.

Ethernet and Wi-Fi

Many sublimation printers also include useful features such as Wi-Fi and ethernet connectivity. Along with the simplicity of wireless printing, sublimation printers with Wi-Fi or ethernet may also be able to be used with smart home systems and voice assistant apps.

How much you can expect to spend on sublimation printers

Sublimation printers span a wide range of prices, depending on what you need. Cheap sublimation printers cost between $200 and $500, while mid- to high-tier sublimation printers range from $500 to $1,200 — with industrial sublimation printers sometimes costing even more.

Sublimation printer FAQ

What is a sublimation printer?

A. Sublimation printers use ink and heat to transfer designs onto paper or certain fabrics. Sublimation printers print an image onto a sort of transfer paper that can then be used, with heat, to pass the image onto a polyester surface. This makes sublimation printers especially popular for apparel and other polyester products.

Can you use an iron for the heat transfer in sublimation printing?

A. While some have had success using an iron, it may result in unwanted lines or other imperfect printing. For that reason, it’s best to purchase a dedicated heat press made for sublimation printing heat transfers.

What’s the best sublimation printer to buy?

Top sublimation printer

Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Sublimation Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Sublimation Printer

What you need to know: This all-in-one sublimation printer from Epson comes with robust black-and-white or color printing, as well as copying and scanning abilities — all of which can be used with sublimation paper.

What you’ll love: This unit has Wi-Fi and ethernet capabilities, as well as two-sided printing. Its paper tray can accommodate as many as 250 sheets of paper at time.

What you should consider: Some find this model pricey.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top sublimation printer for the money

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Sublimation Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Sublimation Printer

What you need to know: At a much more reasonable cost, this cartridge-free all-in-one sublimation printer offers a simplified take on Epson’s EcoTank models with almost all of the features.

What you’ll love: With features including two-sided printing, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, copying and scanning, this model comes at a fair price for a sublimation printer — and it has all the features most users need.

What you should consider: Those who upgraded from this model often said they wanted larger paper trays.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Epson EcoTank ET-4760 All-in-One Cartridge-Free Sublimation Printer with Faxing

Epson EcoTank ET-4760 All-in-One Cartridge-Free Sublimation Printer with Faxing

What you need to know: Those who want a sublimation printer for the office or can afford the upgrade will appreciate this four-in-one cartridge-free sublimation printer from the EcoTank line.

What you’ll love: Perfect for the mid-sized office, this cartridge-free sublimation printer comes with printing, copying, scanning and faxing, along with Wi-Fi and ethernet, and an easy-to-use digital interface.

What you should consider: Many users found this model too expensive for their needs, despite the addition of fax ability.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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