Best Sublimation Printers

Best Sublimation Printers

Why Sublimation Printing?

Sublimation printing has become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly in the world of custom apparel and promotional products. Unlike other forms of printing, such as screen printing or heat transfer vinyl, sublimation printing allows for full-color designs to be transferred onto a wide range of materials, including polyester, ceramics, and metals. This unique process results in high-quality, long-lasting prints that are resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling. If you're looking to start a business or create custom products for personal use, sublimation printing may be the perfect solution for you.

What Do You Need to Get Started with Sublimation?

Before you can start printing with sublimation, you'll need a few key supplies. First and foremost, you'll need sublimation paper, which is specially coated to accept the sublimation ink. You'll also need sublimation ink, which is a type of dye that turns into a gas when heated and bonds with the surface of the material. In addition, you'll need a sublimation ink printer, which is designed to handle the unique requirements of sublimation printing. You'll also need a heat transfer device, such as a heat press or mug press, to transfer the design onto your chosen material. Finally, you'll need software to create your designs and prepare them for printing.

Sublimation Paper

Sublimation paper is a special type of paper that is coated with a layer of dye-receptive coating on one side. The coating allows the ink to be absorbed and then transferred onto the material during the heat transfer process. It's important to choose the right type of sublimation paper for your specific printer and application, as different types of paper may have different absorption rates and drying times.

Sublimation Ink

Sublimation ink is a unique type of ink that is designed to turn into a gas when heated, allowing it to bond with the surface of the material. This process results in vibrant, long-lasting prints that are resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling. It's important to choose high-quality sublimation ink that is compatible with your printer and the materials you plan to print on.

Sublimation Ink Printer

A sublimation ink printer is specifically designed to handle the unique requirements of sublimation printing. These printers use special sublimation ink cartridges and can handle the high temperatures required for the printing process. When choosing a sublimation printer, it's important to consider factors such as printing speed, resolution, and connectivity options.

Heat Transfer

A heat transfer device is essential for sublimation printing, as it allows the design to be transferred from the sublimation paper onto the material. Heat presses and mug presses are two common types of heat transfer devices, but there are many other options available depending on your specific needs.

Software Design

To create your designs and prepare them for printing, you'll need software such as Adobe Photoshop or CorelDRAW. It's important to choose software that is compatible with your printer and that you feel comfortable using.

Can You Sublimate onto 100% Cotton Fabric?

Sublimation printing is specifically designed to work with polyester or polymer-coated materials, so it is not possible to sublimate onto 100% cotton fabric. However, there are other types of heat transfer printing that are suitable for cotton and other natural fibers.

What Are the 3 Things You Must Know About a Sublimation Printing Machine Before Buying One?

When choosing a sublimation printing machine, there are several key factors that you should consider to ensure that you get the best possible results. Here are three important things to keep in mind:

1. Dye Sublimation is a Low-Cost Option

One of the main advantages of dye sublimation printing is that it is a relatively low-cost option compared to other forms of printing. While the initial investment in equipment and supplies may be higher, the ongoing costs are generally lower, as sublimation ink tends to be more affordable than other types of ink.

2. A Wide Range of Products Can Be Printed

Another key advantage of sublimation printing is that it can be used to print on a wide range of products, including apparel, mugs, phone cases, and more. This makes it a versatile option for businesses or individuals who want to create custom products.

3. You'll Require Additional Gear

To get started with sublimation printing, you'll need more than just a printer and ink. You'll also need a heat press or other heat transfer device, as well as sublimation paper and software for designing your prints. It's important to factor in the cost of these additional items when budgeting for your sublimation setup.

Buyer's Guide – Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners

If you're new to sublimation printing, choosing the right printer can be a daunting task. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting a sublimation printer:

Maximum Printing Dimensions

Consider the maximum printing dimensions of the printer and whether they meet your needs. Some printers may be more suitable for small items such as mugs, while others are capable of printing larger items such as t-shirts or banners.

How Easy is it to Convert a Printer?

Some printers can be easily converted for sublimation printing, while others require more extensive modifications. Consider whether you want a printer that is designed specifically for sublimation printing or if you're comfortable with converting an existing printer.

Color Accuracy in Printers

When it comes to sublimation printing, color accuracy is crucial. Look for a printer that produces accurate, vibrant colors and has a high resolution for clear and crisp prints.

The Printer's Ease of Use

Consider the ease of use of the printer, including the software it uses and any other features that may make printing easier or more convenient.

Money Well Spent

When choosing a sublimation printer, it's important to strike a balance between cost and quality. Look for a printer that offers good value for money and is within your budget, but don't skimp on quality.


Consider the connectivity options of the printer, including whether it supports Wi-Fi or other wireless options for easy printing from multiple devices.

Printing Speed

Finally, consider the printing speed of the printer and whether it meets your needs. If you plan to do a lot of printing, a faster printer may be more suitable.

Petr avatar