Those with a keen sense of fashion submit their vibrant designs and garments to the fashion industry and frequently become trend-setters overnight. These creators can earn a living from what began as a hobby due to people’s desire to use something customized to their needs.
As with other manufacturing companies, having the best equipment at your disposal is crucial to your success. The best sublimation printer will streamline the entire design process and enable you to create designs that people need desperately.
To achieve the best results with clothing, you’ll want to use a blend of white, high-count polyester, spandex, and nylon. For other items such as ceramics, mouse pads, and coasters, you will need to use a specialized polymer coating to ensure the durability and longevity of your designs.
Today, we will examine the top sublimation printers available on the market. These models were hand-selected from leading manufacturers based on overall print quality, usability, and long-term profit potential.
Our Top Picks
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What Is Sublimation Printing and How Does It Work?
Using sublimation printing, an image is transferred onto a product. Shirts, mugs, and tote bags can be imprinted with designs using specialized inks and machines designed specifically for the task.
Sublimation is the rapid transformation of solid substances into a gas without first becoming liquid. When users superheat sublimation ink to approximately 200 degrees Celsius, they can instantly transfer it to fabrics or ceramics. In the past, this was only possible by pressing solid images from transfer paper onto the product and heating it until it adhered. With sublimation printing, the procedure is considerably more straightforward and more durable.
First, the ink is loaded into a sublimation printer, followed by the item and the design. The ink is then heated and immediately transformed into a gaseous state. The gaseous ink is pressed against the material, causing it to bond with the material’s fibers. The image then returns to a solid state upon touching the surface of the bonded object. The ink adheres to the fabric fibers or ceramic surface without seams or edges.
Why do we use sublimation printing?
You are familiar with other methods for transferring images and designs onto other materials. Screen printing, embroidery, transfer vinyl, and direct-to-garment printing are options. However, what is the purpose of sublimation?
First, sublimation printing offers a unique combination of cost, quality, and time savings, making it an attractive option for designers. In addition, it is the most effective medium for producing high-quality prints on any material.
Benefits of Sublimation Printing
A user requires PES materials or materials containing 80 percent polyester for successful printing results. In addition, it is essential to choose a light background if you want your logos, images, and designs to look their best. Sublimation prints are suitable for various blanks, including key chains, medals, and cell phone cases.
Sublimation printing is also quick and economical. In other words, the printing technique enables rapid production of large quantities of items. Small gifts, promotional products, and similar items can be printed on demand or bulk for customers. When a sublimation printer is available, it is simple to produce high-quality designs.
Another advantage is the durability of the designs. We mean that the designs you create using sublimation printing will not peel, crack, or fade, even after numerous washing machine cycles.
8 Best Sublimation Printer Reviews in 2022
Are you looking forward to buying a sublimation printer as a total beginner, or are you concerned about purchasing an affordable one with outstanding quality sublimation prints? Well, this article was made for you! I will show you the best sublimation printer for beginners.
1. Best Overall: Epson EcoTank ET-15000 All-in-One Supertank Printer
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Undoubtedly, the ET-15000 is the best Epson Ecotank printer for sublimation. This model features the renowned Ecotank technology, allowing you to print all your sublimations with its supersized ink tank that is simple to refill. Numerous business owners seek out EcoTank models due to their unparalleled ink efficiency, which saves a substantial amount of money over time.
Due to its performance-oriented design, this model is also recognized as the top Epson Ecotank printer for sublimation. The patent-protected PrecisionCore Heat-Free technology and its automatic two-sided printing design provide greater output than most laser printers.
The best Epson Ecotank printer for sublimation also includes:
- A 250-sheet front tray paper capacity.
- A rear specialty-paper feed.
- A 2.7-inch color touchscreen.
- Voice-activated printing.
The model has superior connectivity options, including network-free printing from an iPad, iPhone, or Android device. The ET-15000 is the best Epson Ecotank printer for sublimation because it does not require tampering by a third party, which would otherwise void the two-year warranty. It is an excellent option for small and large businesses seeking to produce flawless sublimations.
- Save up to 90 percent on ink with low-cost replacement bottles vs. ink cartridges (1) — about 1 cent per color ISO page vs. about 20 cents with cartridges (1).
- Epson EcoTank is the No.1 Best Selling Supertank Printer
- Versatile paper handling — print up to 13″ x 19″ through rear feed; copy and scan up to 8. 5″ x 11″ (via the scan bed) or 8.5″ x 14″ (via the ADF).
- Print for up to 2 years with each included or replacement ink bottle set (2) — each set includes enough ink to print up to 7,500 pages black / 6,000 color (3); you could save $620 with each one (1).
- Cartridge-Free Printing — one set of replacement ink bottles equivalent to about 80 individual cartridges (4).
- Remarkably high page yield.
- Sheetfed and flatbed scanner.
- Well-built printer with a rear input tray.
- Doesn't support duplex scanning.
2. Runner-Up: Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer
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Sawgrass has always been known for producing the best sublimation printers. In the past, Sawgrass was the only manufacturer of desktop printers designed specifically for sublimation, which earned their models a stellar reputation among artists and entrepreneurs.
Today, the SG500 continues to be one of their most popular models, primarily due to its unique high-definition prints. Due to its maximum printing resolution of 4880 x 1200 dpi and 687,754 color catalog, this Sawgrass model is among the most precise and high-quality sublimation printers.
The SG500 also includes a 2-year warranty and lifetime technical support, making it one of the best sublimation printers in terms of specialized support. The Sawgrass Print Manager and CreativeStudio Online Designer software suite is practical and straightforward, according to users.
SubliJet UHD Sublimation Inks cartridges are less efficient than their Epson counterparts. Many consider Sawgrass models to provide higher-quality prints at a higher price per unit (since their inks are more expensive and consumed at a higher rate).
- Resolution: 4880 x 1200 optimized dpi
- Output capacity: 200 Sheets
- Duplex: Automatic
- Print Size: 8.5 x 14″
- Connectivity: WiFi / USB 2.0 High Speed
- High-quality printing
- Best in speed printing
- Low energy consumption
- With 2 year warranty
- Climate pledge friendly
- Ethernet & Wireless connectivity
- Durable and sturdy product
- Needed special ink for Sublimation
3. Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners: Epson EcoTank ET-2720
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This Epson sublimation printer features a cartridge-free design that will save you significant money over time. These high-capacity ink tanks are also simple to refill, allowing you to replace the ink when it runs out quickly.
Due to its unique Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology and impressive 9600x2400dpi printing resolution, the print quality is surprisingly high.
The ET-2720 is one of the best sublimation printers for beginners due to its affordability and user-friendliness. Because they are still learning the ropes or have a limited budget, entrepreneurs new to sublimation printing may not want to make substantial equipment investments. This Epson model fits the bill perfectly, providing high-quality artistic reproductions at a great price.
- Affordable, and easy to use.
- Innovative Cartridge-Free Printing
- Dramatic Savings on Replacement Ink
- Stress-Free Printing
- Zero Cartridge Waste
- Impressive Print Quality
- Built-in Scanner & Copier
- Modern Connectivity
- Designed for Reliability
- Exceptionally low cost-per-print.
- Small, lightweight design.
- High black and color page yield.
- Very slow printing speeds for all document types.
- Only has a flatbed scanner.
- Printheads tend to clog.
4. Best Sublimation Printer for T-shirts: Epson EcoTank ET-2760
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Epson’s ET-2760 is one of the best T-shirt sublimation printers due to its speed, affordability, and exceptional efficiency.
Several Epson models, such as the 4850 and many of the Workforce series, are technically suitable for sublimation. However, using third-party software to repurpose them will void your Epson warranty. I would invest in an Epson model that fully supports sublimation, such as the ET-2760, even though many people choose to take this calculated risk anyway.
This ultra-reliable, upgraded version of the 2720 model includes all the features that small businesses adore: exceptional ink efficiency, stunning print quality, and an affordable price.
In addition, the ET-2760 includes auto-duplex printing, a color display, and an integrated scanner and copier. You can print your sublimations, scan important documents, and make copies of all invoices for t-shirt sales for accounting purposes.
The ET-2760 is not only the best T-shirt sublimation printer but also one of the best options for startup businesses.
- Innovative Cartridge-Free Printing
- Dramatic Savings on Replacement Ink
- Zero Cartridge Waste
- Stress-Free Printing
- Impressive Print Quality
- Built-in Scanner and Copier, Plus Auto 2-sided Printing
- Outstandingly low cost-per-print.
- Incredibly high page yields.
- Great range of connection options.
- Very slow printing speed.
- Bad color accuracy.
- Photo printing quality is only decent.
5. Best Starter: Epson WorkForce WF-7720
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Why is Epson Workforce 7720 our top recommendation? It accomplishes everything you require at an affordable price. If you enjoy sublimation, you can upgrade your Epson sublimation printer to a Sawgrass sublimation printer later on, or you can keep it.
However, many entrepreneurs who sell print-on-demand items do not upgrade their Epson 7720 printers because they are so good and can print up to 13 x 19 inches, which is rare!
Epson has demonstrated over the years that it sells affordable, high-quality sublimation printers to experts and beginners interested in beginning sublimation printing. If you’re starting and looking for the best sublimation printer, your search is over!
The Epson 7720 is identical to the Epson 7710, except that the 7720 includes two paper trays.
- Get Performance Beyond Laser
- Print-shop Quality
- High-Volume Printing
- Auto 2-sided Print, Copy, Scan and Fax
- Easy Navigation and Control
- Ultimate Wireless Printing and Networking
- Large Scans
- Easy-to-use, efficient design.
- Automatic duplex scanning and printing up to 11"x 17".
- Low cost-per-page.
- Disappointing black page yield.
- Poor color accuracy.
- Slow printing speed.
6. Best Monochrome Printer: HP ENVY Photo 7855 All in One Photo Printer
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Another excellent printer is on my wish list! This HP ENVY 7855 sublimation printer is ideal for printing images, detailed results, and photos in a pinch.
I utilized it frequently, and it never let me down. It is the cheapest image this printer can produce, costing approximately 5 cents. It has a dedicated photo tray and is simple to configure with WiFi, Ethernet, USB, Google Cloud Print, iPrint, and additional connectivity options. Scan your document using a document scanner and a pdf scanner.
The HP ENVY Photo 7855 accepts only HP 64 ink cartridges; using any other ink may render the printer inoperable. Auto duplex, an integrated ADF, the ability to scan to email, a color touch screen, and many other features round out the package.
This sublimation printer outperforms other printers due to its superior image printing quality. It is compatible with both Windows Mobile and Mac OS Mobile devices and multiple printer connections. Utilize Alexa with HP Instant Ink to complete the task.
- Stunning photos for less than 5 cents –
- The power of your printer in the palm of your hand
- Wireless connectivity you can count on
- Our most powerful printing app ever
- HP Instant Ink
- Print directly from SD card OR USB
- Wide range of paper size support
- One-year limited hardware warranty
- Printer That Isn't Expensive
- Work only with HP ink.
- 15 pages per minute are the page-producing pace.
- Printing with inkjet technology
- Connectivity that is simple and quick
- Plain paper, photo sublimation printer
- All-in-one printing is a feature that allows you to print many documents at once
- The Internet connection may drop after some time.
7. Best mini sublimation printer: KODAK Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
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The wireless Kodak Step photo sublimation printer is compact and portable. It is a superb, pocket-sized sublimation printer for your images that is portable.
Due to its small size, this printer can be carried in a pocket. When I require a hard copy of a photograph, I utilize this travel-friendly printer.
The most sophisticated printing technique permits one page of black-and-white printing and one color printing per coin. This is the best printer for travelers because it prints full-color images in a single step with a single click.
Not requiring ink toner is the best and most valuable feature. The Zink zero technology eliminates the need for ink. You can utilize a variety of effects and filters to improve your photographs. Taking photographs with a smartphone is simple.
The images are bright and vibrant, and they are protected against water.With five photo frames and MC-20, MC-30, and MC-50 ink cartridges, you can use them for your wedding and other events.
- STEP UP YOUR PRINTING GAME
- AMAZING ZERO-INK TECHNOLOGY
- FULL EDITING SUITE VIA APP
- CUTE, COMPACT & COLORFUL
- Max prints peed black white: 1.0 pages per minute
- Max print speed color: 1.0 pages per minute
- Printer technology: Zink technology
- Lightweight and simple to assemble
- Printer with instant photo creator
- Printing on the go and in your pocket
- A single charge of the battery yields 25 photos.
- In terms of ink, you'll save money.
- The image is both beautiful and detailed
- You cannot use it for commercial purposes.
8. Best Printer for Sublimation Printing: Brother HL-L3290CDW Compact Digital Color Printer
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According to our testing, this Brother model is the best color sublimation printer with a small digital printer. It has a flatbed copier, scanner, and color printing capabilities that enable the sublimation printer to produce high-quality prints. It is easy to install and connect. It is faster than its rivals, printing 25 pages per minute.
The pricing is reasonable, and the cost of replacement ink is low compared to other printers due to the use of laser printing technology. Similarly, the inkjet printer is inexpensive and has a superior quality that exceeds its cost.
Amazon Dash Replacement is the best feature because it works immediately after activation, monitors the ink level, and sends an alert when the ink runs out.
It comes with a starter set of toner cartridges, which I discovered to be one of the best features. This toner is good for 100 copies, so I’ve found the most cost-effective way to use this printer.
- Affordable Color Printing
- Flexible Paper Handling
- Connect Your Way
- FAST PRINTING TO KEEP YOU MOVING
- PRODUCTIVE AND EFFICIENT
- PRINT AND CONNECT YOUR WAY
- It's the color sublimation printer with the highest quality
- The setup is simple, and the connectivity is excellent.
- It has 250 pages of manual input.
- It prints at a rate of 25 pages per minute.
- With the help of an LCD, you may check out the most valuable functions.
- It comes with automatic duplexing aids in paper conservation.
- It's pretty expensive compared to other
Factors to Consider When Buying a Sublimation Printer
Historically, sublimation printing was limited to large industries because only their equipment could perform the task. Thanks to Sawgrass and Ricoh, you can now access desktop sublimation printers. Hundreds of Epson models support conversion, and the company just introduced its first sublimation-capable printer. However, we have calculated its enormous growth in the industry from 2022 to 2025. Due to the novelty of the technology, the vast majority are unaware of the factors to consider when purchasing a sublimation printer.
Many inkjet printers are compatible with sublimation ink, but the technology is what most beginner artists find disappointing. To avoid dissatisfaction, you must first become familiar with the sublimation printers’ features and how to make the most of them. In addition, some printers provide certain features while others do not. Depending on the usage, you can make better decisions. Therefore, let’s delve into the specifics of each factor to make an informed purchase.
Format of the Printer
The first question to ask when purchasing a sublimation printer is, “what printer format will you use to carry your work? Before you choose, we’ll describe the types of formats and the features associated with each to help you narrow your options.
Wide-format or large-format
Wide-format or large-format printers print between 24″ and 74″ in width. These allow us to print large sublimation designs. In addition to being durable, they are often referred to as industrial or commercial printers for the same reason.
Obviously, for home use, you don’t want to store a bulky printer with a massive printing area unless it’s the Sawgrass VJ 628, which fits easily on a table or compact workspace and offers 24″ prints per square foot. In addition, the desktop wide-format printers feature a 13-by-19-inch print area, under which the Epson WorkForce series is popular.
Printer for sublimation in desktop format
Desktop sublimation printers are identical to standard office printers. They are compact and offer a wide range of printing sizes from 4 x 6 to 8.5 x 13 inches. Also, they can be purchased for residential use.
If you’re purchasing a dye-sub printer, narrow-format sublimation printers are generally designed for photo printing and are ideal for photo booths. Their size is technically smaller, but they are speedy and precise. Even a novice can use them with ease.
Printing specifications describe the overall operation of a printer, such as a printer’s efficiency. The printer specifications are determined by the three factors listed below.
Resolution in printer
Consider the resolution to be the printing quality. The greater the printer’s resolution, the higher its rate. The resolution of the Epson EcoTank and workforce series is 5760 x 1440 dpi, which is the highest resolution available in the printing industry. Sawgrass provides a resolution of 1440 x 1440 dpi.
Although printers do not come with this resolution, they will provide 300 x 300 resolution at most, which is not a terrible resolution for a low-cost best option. However, it would help if you never considered a printer with a resolution lower than 300 x 300.
The sublimation printer must support the size of the prints that will be sublimated. For example, a mug requires a size of 4 x 6, while bags and T-shirts need the standard paper size of 13 x 19.
For instance, if your printer only supports 8.5 x 11 inches and you want a 13 x 19-inch print, you must reduce the design size, which is undesirable. Therefore, determine the substrates’ size and search for printers that offer that size. However, you can also purchase a printer with multiple paper sizes to avoid buying the incorrect one.
Speed determines the pace at which you can conduct your business. Many businesses use the high-speed factor as leverage to increase prices, such as by providing customers with their printing work early for an additional fee. Speed also enables high-volume printing, allowing you to create more designs without falling behind on outputs.
Standard printers, such as converted Epson, vary in speed depending on the resolution setting. At 600 x 600, the speed will be 20 to 30 seconds, whereas the fastest speed at 5760 x 1440 dpi will be three to five minutes for a high-definition print. Sawgrass can produce images in as little as one to two minutes, but it does not offer higher resolutions. In the case of infrequent sublimation work, you can also choose a slow print speed and save a substantial amount on printer costs.
Maintenance of the sublimation printer is one of the most critical factors, as operating costs are substantial in addition to the initial investment. After more than a week of non-use, most printers become inoperable. After the inks have dried, they must be cleaned or repaired by a specialist. In addition, cartridges, connectivity, and several other issues frequently arise with printers. In addition, ink and paper expenses are extra accessories that cost over $300 annually.
To resolve these problems, check the warranty to see what damages it covers. However, this condition does not apply to Epson printers because they require conversion, which voids the warranty.
Good construction quality ensures minimal maintenance. To avoid arduous upkeep, you should prioritize ink efficiency, printing speed, and connectivity (also explained below).
Connectivity and Storage
Since most printers have connectivity issues, the printer must have a proper connectivity system. Wireless or mobile connectivity is a must-have feature because it eliminates the need to transfer files to your computers before continuing the process. With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can effortlessly browse online designs and have them printed.
Along with connectivity, storage is essential for saving the printing work, assuming you may want to reuse your designs without re-entering the settings. Most sublimation printers include internal storage or a memory card; however, in both cases, it is essential to consider the printer’s storage capacity in gigabytes.
The price range for sublimation printers is typically between $200 for the least expensive convertible inkjet printer and $90,000 for the finest commercial units. Price determines the specifications and features of a printer. For instance, if you choose a commercial sublimation printer with advanced features, you can expect to pay up to $5000. In contrast, a good-quality sublimation printer for home use can be purchased for approximately $500; many Epson convertible models fall into this category.
In addition, technology plays a more significant role in these price variations. Due to their convenience, LCD and Alexa compatibility printers tend to have higher price tags. Aside from this, printers with only the most fundamental features and the least advanced technologies are inexpensive.
Now, the question is which option you should choose. Technological or elementary? Well, the answer depends on how you intend to utilize the printer. The additional cost is absolutely justified if you typically use the printer for business. If sublimation printing is intended solely for the home and casual use, standard printers will suffice.
Compatibility with heat transfer/Cricut
Any printer with the label “dye-sub” technology automatically gains compatibility. Well, dye-sublimation printers utilize dying technology, requiring the ink to be heated during printing. These photo printers permanently print cards, photos, and other hard substrates. Therefore, the design cannot be transferred further.
In contrast, “sublimation” refers to transferring designs onto T-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, phone covers, and other fabrics, ceramics, and other materials. Therefore, a transfer printer with piezo heads is required to dry the ink on the paper and be heated further.
Converted or Ready-to-go Sublimation printers
As stated previously, dye-sub and sublimation printers are distinct. With dye-sub, numerous options are available from manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Canon, HP, and Brother. For transferring, however, your options are limited to converted or print-ready files.
Dedicated sublimation printers are more expensive because they come with sublimation-friendly features and are designed to perform sublimation with their required ICC home decor. They are more fun than a converted model. Be mindful, however, that you will not have a warranty, but the sublimation community will always have your back.
Inkjet printers print liquid ink on top of paper, while sublimation printers permeate the material with ink vapors. Sublimation printing is best suited for printing graphics onto plastic substrates.
Sublimation printers are available in desktop solutions to print in sizes 8.5″x11, 8.5″x14, 11″x17″ and 13″x19. Large format sublimation printers print in sublimation paper roll formats and are able to print in roll widths of 24″, 36″, 42″, 44″, 64″ and 104″.
No, you will need a special sublimation printer or converted inkjet printer along with special ink and sublimation transfer paper. You cannot sublimate with regular inkjet printing ink or regular paper. You need special ink and special paper.
Sublimation compatible printer You must have a dedicated sublimation printer that is compatible with the available cartridges. Currently, these include Sawgrass Virtuoso, Ricoh & Epson small format printers and a wide variety of large format printers.
What printers can be used for sublimation? The printers for home and small business sublimation include the Epson F170, Epson F570, Sawgrass SG500, Sawgrass SG1000. The Epson WorkForce and EcoTanks have been used to convert to sublimation but their warranty is voided if used for this purpose.
Sublimation items must have a white or light-coloured print area. Black or dark-coloured surfaces can’t be sublimated. The item may lose color over the months due to the effect of UV rays if it’s permanently exposed to direct sunlight. Like all inkjet printers, the printheads may clog if they are not used frequently.
Sublimation printing is outstanding for fine lines and details, and arguably one of the best methods for all-over printing. With low set up costs, it is great for small runs, and the printing is so close to permanent it’s pretty much unbeatable.
Sublimation is a rewarding and profitable business. Thousands of individuals and small companies are making money with dye sublimation to create amazing personalized items for family members, local community groups, online platforms (like Etsy, eBay, and Facebook) and local paying customers.
The number of available options may appear overwhelming if you’re in the market for your first sublimation printer. It all depends on the time and money you are willing to invest in the setup.
Because many of these printers are designed for conventional printing, sublimation printers are unfamiliar to many users. Instead, these sublimation printers are intended for specialized applications, such as printing various materials to create custom-made items like caps, purses, and mugs.
Whether you wish to test your ideas or launch a small business, you have arrived at the ideal location. This article discusses the best sublimation printers on the market and choosing the right one for your needs.
You’ll find all the information you require right here, allowing you to make decisions conveniently from your home. To help you decide, we’ll also recommend a few of our favorites from this list.
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