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10 Best Sublimation Printers – Complete Buyer’s Guide

Do you like those trending T-shirts with beautiful images printed on them? One moment you see a meme or image on your smartphone and the next thing you know they are everywhere from cups to clothes and whatnot. It is all the magic of something called “Sublimation”. Would you like to design one such accessory for yourself or maybe gift it to someone special? Perhaps you may wish to start a business and make some revenue out of it. Be it any of the reasons, what you require is a Sublimation Printer to get started.

With continuously evolving technology, you can find a wide variety of printers in the market. Albeit, having choices is not necessarily bad, making a decision can become challenging with the confusing lot up for sale. If balancing the pros and cons amidst hundreds of models and a plethora of brands seems daunting to you too, we are here to keep your worries at bay. Here is a curated list of the 10 best sublimation printers that will help you make an informed decision and purchase.

Top 10 Best Sublimation Printers

1. Epson WorkForce WF-7710

best sublimation printers - Epson WorkForce WF-7710

On number one for a reason, we have the best of all, the Epson WorkForce WF-7710. Designed perfectly for efficient working, it is a compact printer. For your work, you can avail borderless printing of up to 13 x 19 inches. With the commendable capacity of the 250-sheet tray, you will never run out of paper even for massive tasks. It is a two-sided printer. It means that the different sides of the device work to quickly scan and print simultaneously.

It is one of the best sublimation printers that ensures superb productivity, less power consumption, and also saves time. However, for printing on a cotton material, say a t-shirt, you would require an intermediary fabric for the transfer of printed art. The good thing is, WF-7710 is not too picky in terms of materials so any fabric would do the job. Hassle-free connectivity through Wi-Fi and internet functions come in handy too.

Do you wish that you could save paper? If yes, you have all the more reasons why you should go for Epson. No paper wastage is assured with the 11 x 17 inches surface covering through the scanner. Also, this sublimation printer for shirts supports device communication protocols and NFC connections to help you link your printer with other devices in need.  

Highlights:

  1. Saves power, time and increases productivity
  2. Compatible with several intermediary printing fabric materials
  3. Wi-Fi and Internet functions
  4. NFC Connection
  5. Two-sided printer
  6. Saves paper through optimized scanning

Specifications:

Printing Technology: Inkjet | Special Feature: Auto-Duplex | Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi (802.11n), Hi-Speed USB 2.0, Ethernet, Wi-Fi direct | Storage Dimensions: 22.3″ W x 19.1″ D x 13.4″ H | Print Size: Borderless prints up to 13″ x 19″ | Capacity: 250-sheet paper tray – holds up to 20 sheets of photo paper or 10 envelopes | Print Speed: 8.7 ppm (ISO) in black and 6 ppm (ISO) in color | Screen: 4.3″ color touch screen Compatibility: Wireless printing using iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and smartphones | Special Feature: Auto-duplex

2. Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer

best sublimation printers - Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer

Sawgrass SG500 is the revamped version of Sawgrass SG400, which in itself made quite a reputation for performance. SG500, however, delivers that performance in a more pocket-friendly manner. It is an excellent Desktop sublimation t-shirt printer with exceptional performance. If you are tired of low-resolution print or the colors fading away with time, worry no more. Get your hands on SG500 and print high-quality HD images.

The colors are rich and stay just as vibrant over time. As a bonus point, this sublimation printer for shirts works using less ink and power, thus offering quality output at a minimal cost. At times, sudden issues in the printer can stop the workflow and thus, cost you a fortune. However, you can steer clear of such incompetence with SG500 that has an automatic maintenance cycle technology.

As the name suggests, the printer keeps a check on any printing issues like clogging or paper jams, through frequent maintenance. The unit is also designed compactly. It saves the trouble of finding enough space for storage. Along with the performance, the purchase of this cheap sublimation printer brings to you CreativeStudio Online Designer software and Sawgrass Print Manager to ease you into your first project right away.

Highlights:

  1. Low ink consumption
  2. Efficient performance
  3. Compact design
  4. Automatic maintenance cycle technology
  5. Free software as a bonus
  6. Supports UHD Sublimation ink

Specifications:

Connectivity Technology: Wireless and Bluetooth capability | Resolution: Best resolution 4800 x 1200 dpi | Print Size: Can go as high as 8.5 x 14 | Available Connections: USB and Ethernet | Printing Speed: 6 min 40 sec for printing highest resolution photograph (4800 x 1200 dpi) | Printing technology: Dye Sublimation

3. Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer

best sublimation printers - Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer

Next up we have another Epson Printer which is one of the best sublimation printers you would come across. Epson Stylus C88+ is the device you can rely upon. Priced at a reasonable amount, it is a user-friendly sublimation printer that has several loyal customers. The design and output of Stylus C88+ are both commendable. With its purchase comes the DURABrite Ultra pigment ink cartridge that gives vibrant colors to the printed image.

However, for the sublimation process, you can change the ink and this Inkjet printer will turn into a Sublimation machine. No matter what surface, you can expect a lively print from this cheap sublimation printer. The input tray comes with a capacity of 120 sheets. With a speed of 19 pages per minute of automated paper handling, it will boost your productivity.

Wish to produce wide banners? Stylus C88+ has got you covered with its flexible dimensions of 8.5*44 inches. Enjoy your borderless printing at remarkably high speed with C88+. A further relieving factor would be its compatibility with both Windows as well as mac. That being said, if you own a heat-press, buying this will make your printing work easy-peasy.

Highlights:

  1. DURABrite pigment ink cartridges
  2. Compatibility with both Windows and Mac
  3. Fast printing speed
  4. Automated Paper Handling
  5. A speed of 19 pages per minute
  6. A capacity of 12 sheets

Specifications

Printing Technology: Inkjet | Connectivity Technology: Wired/USB (2.0) | Maximum Mono Print Speed (ppm): 23 | Maximum Color Print Speed (ppm): 14 | Maximum Print Resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi | Color Cartridge Type: Individual | Color Cartridge Media Handling: 1 x Input Tray 120 Sheet | Operating System Supported: Windows and Mac | Input Voltage: 120 Volts AC | Maximum Power Consumption: 19 Watts | Sound Level: 42 dB (A)

4. Brother MFC-J995DW

best sublimation printers - Brother MFC-J995DW

Among the best sublimation printer for shirts with notable quality output is MFC-J995DW. Manufactured by a renowned company Brother, it is an automatic double-sided printer that lends a helping hand in pacing up the work. If you like working your devices over a wireless connection, it has got your needs covered. The touch-screen is a decent 2.7-inch, comprising enough room for the user’s ease at differentiating and using the controls.

Another notable feature of Brother MFC-J995DW is the feature named “Member”. Using it, you can easily find out whether or not a material is compatible with your printer right away. This makes sure that you get all the possible options for flexible designing and not worry about spotting a mess-up at the very last stage, i.e., printing itself.

This sublimation printer for shirts has an automatic double printing feature and also a Page Gauge to know how much ink is left. Also, the paper tray is quite adjustable and is capable of fitting a myriad of paper materials. You can also print stuff directly from your smartphone using a wireless mobile printing form. It is compatible with almost all common mobile devices.

Highlights:

  1. Faster printing and optimum coverage
  2. Auto-Duplex
  3. Touch-screen is easy to use
  4. USB thumb drive and SD card
  5. Wireless mobile printing
  6. Comes with ink that lasts almost one year
  7. No guess-work for ink replacement

Specifications:

Printing Technology: Inkjet | Special Feature: Auto-Duplex | Connectivity Technology: Wireless, Ethernet, USB | Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 13.4 x 17.1 inches | Compatibility: Windows and Mac (10, 8.1, 8, 7, Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016; OS X v10.11.6, 10.12.x, 10.13.x) | Capacity: Adjustable 150 sheet paper tray | Screen: 2.7” color touchscreen | Mobile Device Printing: Wireless printing- Android OS 4.4 or above, NFC one-touch connection

5. Canon Selphy CP1300

best sublimation printers - Canon Selphy CP1300

Almost everyone who is even somewhat interested in gadgets has heard of the brand Canon. A renowned name in the sphere of quality cameras, Canon also offers one of the best sublimation printers in the market. Now, you cannot just click lively pictures, you can also bring them to life through Canon’s life-like printing devices. One such option is Canon Selphy CP1300 that offers an unparalleled sublimation printing experience.

Looking at the appearance, it looks quite uncomplicated with a control device right on top ensuring easy management of tasks. The real ease, however, enters with its feature of compatibility with several devices. Tired of transferring the pictures in your camera to another device just for printing? Canon Selphy has got just the right deal for you. You can directly connect the memory card of your camera to the printer and the printing is done.

This cheap sublimation printer can also create a room through which you can use your smartphone to command the printer within a specific range. Apart from that, it also features a USB connection for printing. These compatibility features come in very handy for urgent printing requirements without the fuss of any transfer requirement.

Highlights:

  1. Wireless printing
  2. Print using Smartphone and even directly from a Camera’s memory card
  3. Compact design
  4. Instant dry photos
  5. Water-resistant pictures

Specifications:

Print Size: 3.5” x 4.7” | Capacity: 18-sheet tray with postcard size paper cassette | Print Speed: Borderless printing of 4″x6″ Photo Approx. 47 Seconds | Print Technology: Dry Sublimation Print | Resolution: Up to clor256 levels per color or 16.8 million colors | OS Compatibility: Windows and MAC |Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 7.1 x 2.5 inches | Special Feature: Instant water-resistant dry photo | Devices Compatibility: Smartphone, USB cable, Camera’s memory card | Screen: LCD 3.2 inches

6. DNP DS-RX1HS 6” Dye Sublimation Printer

best sublimation printers - DNP DS-RX1HS 6” Dye Sublimation Printer

Your search for a sublimation printer for shirts stops here. With DS-RX1HS 6” Dye Sublimation Printer at your service, you will be blown away by the high-quality and quick print on the surface, preferably cloth. This dye sublimation machine comes at a reasonable price with top-notch performance. It is the fastest printing consumer-grade dye Sublimation printer for clothes in the market.

The best part, you can switch between two very useful modes: High-speed and High-resolution. As per your requirement, you can primarily focus on quality or quantity using this handy option. For any business, DS-RX1HS 6” can reap great profits with lucrative productivity, thanks to the appealing speed of 700 prints per hour. The size of this printer is somewhat bigger, but the performance surely makes it one of the best sublimation printers.

Be it a Photo Booth Business or T-shirt printing, you will find it ideal for your work. Expanding more on its built, the unit is made up like a tank. The design is compact but it is very heavy, thus making its portability suffer. Yet, if you are solely willing to give your business a boost and increase productivity by manifolds, DS-RX1HS 6” is your obvious choice.

Highlights:

  1. High-Speed Printing
  2. Two different modes as per choice- high speed and high quality
  3. Firm and sturdy unit
  4. Dye sublimation machine suitable for Shirts

Specifications:

Printing Technology: Dye Sublimation | Special Feature: Photo | Connectivity Technology: USB Cable | Sheet Size: 4-inch x 6-inch, 6-inch x 8-inch | Print Speed: 20 percent increase in print speeds- 4” x 6” prints in 12.4 seconds or up to 290 4” x 6” prints per hour | Print size: 2”x6” photo strips

7. HiTi P525L

best sublimation printers - HiTi P525L

HiTi P525L is a cheap sublimation printer that can amp up the generation of revenue for organizations and businesses relying on photographs of outdoor activities and projects. Be it a display or an event, function or fair, you can expect top-quality images printed conveniently by this device. Even with output in a minimal amount of time, the device does not compromise the high quality of the print no matter what size it is.

The integration provided by the HiTi P525L is commendable. You can simply capture your photograph and then print it straight from the memory card. For this job, it comes with a USB-powered reader. Be it an android device or IOS, you can avail the NFC support and print stunning photographs easily using this one of the best sublimation printers.

The printer also has wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi. To further simplify the functioning, this sublimation comes with a Pinbiz app. It is compatible with both Android as well as IOS operating systems. Also, this device has a feature of multiple-language support to make it worthy of diverse users around the globe.  

Highlights:

  1. Fair price and high-quality photos
  2. Direct printing from memory card using USB powered reader
  3. Compatible with IOS as well as Android
  4. Diverse language support

Specifications:

Printing Technology: Dye Sublimation | Connectivity Technology: USB 2.0 and Wi-F dongle | Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 19.25 x 16 inches | Print size: 4 x 6, 6 x 8, and 5 x 7 inches | OS compatibility: Windows and Mac | Maximum media size: 12.8” x 14” | Print Speed: 4 x 6” print in 12.8 seconds | Max Resolution: 300 dpi

8. HP OfficeJet Pro 9025

best sublimation printers - HP OfficeJet Pro 9025

Cloud network has become a part of our daily life today. Be it keeping a backup stored somewhere safe or making an easy way of sharing files between two devices, the Cloud really saves the day. With the habit of storing every file on the Cloud, do you wish there was a way you could even do printing directly from a cloud network? Well, today is your lucky day as we have HP OfficeJet Pro 9025, which is equipped with all the latest technology you need.

Using a Wi-Fi network and a smartphone, this one of the best sublimation printers can directly print your documents which are loaded on the cloud network. The printing is straightforward and the sturdy tray comes in handy. Apart from effortless printing, it also keeps a check on the security of your documents. This is why it has a Wi-Fi security setup that keeps your data away from the reach of any third party.

Furthermore, you can avail the feature of password protection and ensure that only the permitted certified projects are printed. Looking at its advanced features, you can say that it is a cheap sublimation printer worth the money. The scanning speed of OfficeJet is commendable and the document feeder feature further makes the printing experience pleasant.

Highlights:

  1. Double paper tray enhances the capacity
  2. Can read color picture at a value of 8ipm
  3. Output tray sensor identifying the paper kind
  4. Password Protection feature for printing
  5. Cloud network printing

Specifications:

Printing Technology: Inkjet | Special Feature: Auto-Duplex, Ethernet networking, 2-sided auto document feeder, Scan to email, Cloud print enabled | Connectivity Technology: Wi-Fi, Ethernet and USB (802.11b/g/n) | Print Speed: 24 pages per minute- Black; 20 pages per minute- color | Display: 2.65” color touchscreen| Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 15.6 x 12.53 inches | Auto document feeder: 35 sheets, 2 sided

9. Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S

best sublimation printers - Mitsubishi CP-K60DW-S

If you are someone who does not like complex setup and desires user-friendly devices, Mitsubishi has a treasure for you. It is one of the best sublimation printers for shirt as it offers remarkable detailing in the process. It has a simple mechanical structure and a firm body. The power-saving mode on standby of CP-K60DW-S comes in handy. If you forgot to turn off your printer after a busy day, the printer will shut down itself. Another commendable feature is the “Rewind” function.

With the help of it, you can easily navigate the ink ribbon and later use more ink conveniently for detailing wherever required. Behind the sublimation print, you can even create a background design to give a better finish and look. Any material and solid shape are good enough for the job. Moreover, the digital image processing feature of the printer makes sure that there is a streamlined and smooth printout with neat edges.

Highlights:

  1. Saves power and time
  2. Printout can be made in a variety of sizes
  3. Decorative finish adds more finesse to the output
  4. Remarkable for technical or specific needs of print
  5. Digital Image Processing
  6. Output can switch between glossy or matte without the need of changing ink ribbon or paper

Specifications:

Printing technology: Dye Sublimation | Connectivity Technology: USB | Sheet Size: 4inch x 6inch and 6inch x 8inch | Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.6 x 11.4 inches | Special feature: 96%less Standby-energy | Print Speed: 6 x 8” instant prints | Power Consumption: 0.05W in standby mode

10. Epson EcoTank ET- 4760 T

best sublimation printer - Epson EcoTank ET- 4760 T

Yet another popular choice is EcoTank ET-4760, another Epson product worth the money. The reason being its affordability, coupled with remarkable performance. It is the one you need for all your sublimation needs. This cheap sublimation printer offers hassle-free wireless printing. The voice-activated operation feature further simplifies the usage.

It works at a promising speed offering borderless printing with a massive capacity. You can go as huge as 13*19 inches of dimension with ET-4760. You would find your output enhanced using this device. Also, it will help you save some money, thanks to the sublimation ink tanks as it does not require buying cartridges. Imagine all the work you can get done as one tank will give you the output of 80 cartridges or even more.

The printer has a sheet capacity of 250 papers which in itself is adequate. Papers like A-Sub can also be used with it. The cherry on top of it is the automatic two-sided print mechanism, making it even more versatile at the job. Its design is also sleek and appealing, making it highly suitable even for the office environment.

Highlights:

  1. Cartridge free printing which saves money
  2. Wireless Connectivity
  3. Voice-Activation function
  4. Two-sided print mechanism
  5. 2.4-inch LCD display
  6. 250-sheet paper tray

Specifications:

Printing Technology: Inkjet | Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 14.8 x 9.1 inches | Special Feature: Auto-Duplex | Connectivity Technology: USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet | Print size: Borderless prints of user-definable size ranging from 3.5” x 5” to 8.5” x 47” | Sheet Capacity: 250-sheets | Printing Capacity (before replacement): Enough ink to print 6 to 7.5K pages (black or color) | Screen: 2.4″ color touch screen | Connectivity Technology: Wireless printing using Ethernet/smart devices and even hands-free voice-activated printing

Buyer’s Guide for buying from the 10 Best Sublimation Printers

Which Sublimation Printer to choose?

A lot of people have a misconception that a cheap sublimation printer that can easily fit their budget is the best for them. However, that is blatantly false. Among other factors, how well the printer works out for their needs and printing requirement decides which one is worth the money. You do not want to buy the first affordable printer in your sight, only to find out that there was a better match for your printing requirements but you did not dig deep enough. Thus, to further narrow it down, here are the key factors you should check in the sublimation printers to make an excellent choice:

1. Highest resolution

Better the resolution, more the quality of output. Measured in dots per inch, make sure you get the right resolution that fits your requirement. Make no compromise, especially if you need a sublimation printer for shirts or commercial purposes.

2. Accessing the printer structure

Whether you wish to directly print on your t-shirt or first print on an intermediary material and then transfer the print to the fabric.

3. Observing the material

Some printers can work on all the fabrics while others may be selective with the materials. You have to check for yourself what suits you. If you definitely do not need the fabrics a printer cannot work with go for it. Otherwise, you need one that can work with all the materials.

4. Connection functions

As per your requirement, find out what connections can the printer support. For instance, if you are a dedicated photographer, one that can directly work with a memory card of a Camera like the Canon Selphy CP1300 would be the one of the best sublimation printers.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this list of the top 10 best sublimation printers would have helped you in getting an overall idea about the printers in the market and factors to consider before cutting a deal. Apart from making the right choice in terms of purchase, how well you use the printer will also determine the output. Do your part right. Small things like picking the right sublimation cartridge for a refill and working with colors your printer is compatible with, make a huge difference.

For a successful sublimation process, everything from the gloves on your hands to the ink you use during Sublimation needs to be at your disposal. Now that you know all about it, purchase the printer that fits your needs and budget from the list. Let’s get sublimating today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Which is the best sublimation printer?

The above-mentioned models are one of the best you can get for sublimation. All of these printers can be found as quite different from each other in their own ways. However, the best for you would be the one that suits your Sublimation-related needs and requirements. If you have a business in t-shirt printing, you should go for the Epson WorkForce WF-7710.

  • How long can I expect the Sublimation Ink to last?

The lasting duration of Sublimation ink depends on the usage. On average, you can expect the ink to last for about six months or so. However, if you do not use the ink, it might end up drying out and being wasted. Also, it might cause head clogs on your printer and even color shifting. Even if you buy one of the best, outdated ink can affect its whole output and performance. Hence, ensure to check the “use by” date and utilize the ink before that. 

  • What all materials can I use for Sublimation?

The process of Sublimation can be carried out on a huge range of materials. You can sublimate on cotton, linen, polyester, wool, and many other fabrics. Not just the clothing line, you can even sublimate plastic, fiberglass, aluminum, and mugs. Just ensure that the printer you use is compatible with the materials before beginning the process.

  • I want a Sublimation Printer for shirts. Can I use any printer for sublimation?

No, for sublimation you cannot randomly use any printer. Unless you want to mess up the process or printer, only go for the printers that support heat transfer and sublimation inks for the process. 

  • What is the right temperature for the Sublimation process?

Sublimation can be successfully done within a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is not optimum, the output might not meet your desired quality requirements. A printer that meets this requirement is one of the best sublimation printers.

  • What is the difference between Sublimation Printing and Vinyl Printing?

For Vinyl Painting, an extra layer of ink is required to be added to the top of the material. This layer solidifies to give the desired output and full coverage on the surface. However, the ink coming out of the sublimation printer for shirts becomes a part of the fabric itself. Submerging into the material, instead of sitting on the top, the ink then fuses the design on the fabric with pressure applied through heat.

  • Can you do Sublimation using dark clothes?

Sublimation is a dye-based process. The process in itself does not produce its own color. You can carry it out on any material, no matter which color. However, the result will vary from color to color of the material.

  • How to know if the printer is good?

Before making the purchase, even of a cheap sublimation printer, ensure considering the factors mentioned in the Buyer’s Guide. It is best to assess the size of the printer, your needs, its resolution, and other factors to ensure that the cost of printing and its quality is worth the investment.

  • How to do the Heat Transfer on a Polyester material?

Firstly, start at a temperature of 360-400 degrees Fahrenheit. You will notice that the Sublimation Dye will start converting into a gas. Use a high-tension mesh for heat transfer. Remember to keep a safe and reasonable distance of around 1/16 inch during the process.

  • Are Sublimation Printers very expensive?

You can find a cheap sublimation printer in the list above which would be comparatively more affordable than the others. You can assess any printer as per your needs and then get the one which is worth the money. However, there is always a price to pay for the desired result.

Shikhar Mehrotra

A budding tech reviewer, Shikhar Mehrotra is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Curious about technological developments happening in the world, he holds vital experience in creating content (published on Times Of India's Blog Page and TelecomDrive.com) and also has a knack for social media marketing.

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