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Best Sublimation Printer For High Quality Printed Products

Here, are our reviews of the top 5 sublimation printers for photo mugs, t-shirts, tumblers, and hard objects.
Best Sublimation Printer
Best Sublimation Printer

Are you looking for a reliable way to add vibrant colors, unique designs, and long-lasting prints to your projects? If so, then investing in a sublimation printer might be just what you need. Sublimation printers are some of the most versatile forms of printing available today, offering unparalleled precision and detail in every print job.

Unlike traditional inkjet or laser printing methods, which limit the types of materials that can be used with them - such as fabric or paper - sublimation allows you to transfer an image directly onto any polyester material without having to worry about it fading over time.

In this article, we'll explore some of the best sublimation printers available on the market today. We will also look at how these types of printers work and why they might be a good fit for your needs. So if you're ready to learn more about this technology, keep reading!

How Sublimation Printers Work?

Sublimation printers work by using a special ink that turns from a solid to a gas when heated. The ink is transferred onto a special sublimation paper, which is then placed onto the surface of the item to be printed, such as a t-shirt or mug. And the item is then heated to a high temperature, causing the ink to turn back into a solid and permanently bond with the surface of the item.

The sublimation ink used in these printers contains special dyes that can be transferred onto a variety of materials, including fabrics, ceramics, and metals. Also, the ink is typically loaded into the printer in separate cartridges, which are then used to create the desired image.

Sublimation printers use a combination of heat and pressure to transfer the ink onto the surface of the item. The printer applies heat and pressure to the sublimation paper, causing the ink to turn into a gas and transfer onto the surface of the item. This process is repeated for each color in the image, resulting in a high-quality, detailed print.

Overall, sublimation printers are a popular choice for printing on a variety of materials and producing high-quality, long-lasting prints. They are commonly used in the production of custom t-shirts, mugs, and other personalized items.

Our Top Picks of 5 Best Sublimation Printers

1. Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500-Best Value Sublimation Printer for Beginners

Best Value Sublimation Printer 

Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500 Sublimation Color Printer

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The Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500 is the best value sublimation printer bundle that has everything you need to get started printing vivid colors on mugs, shirts, tiles, and more.

This bundle includes the Sawgrass UHD Virtuoso SG500 dye-sublimation printer, which provides 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution, and PrecisionCore Technology for vibrant colors and sharp details.

Also, it includes 200 ml cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink cartridges for around 1500 full photo pages. Moreover, 100 sheets of premium polyester transfer paper for bright consistent color transfers.

This Sawgrass sublimation printer bundle is recommended for Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.9 or newer. It comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty for peace of mind. The SG500 offers a cost-effective solution for those looking to start a home business or hobby printing vibrant photos and designs on demand without breaking the bank.

The printer is recommended for use with Windows 10 or newer and Mac OS 10.9 or newer. Additionally, the bundle includes access to CreativeStudio, an online designer tool for creating your own designs.

Key Features

High-quality sublimation printing

Easy to use

Online design tool

2-year manufacturer warranty

Compatible with Windows 10 or newer and Mac OS 10.9 or newer

Includes inks, paper, and a variety of blanks and designs

Produces vivid and long-lasting prints with high-resolution details

Key Specs

Brand: Sawgrass

Printing Technology: Dye Sublimation

Recommended Uses For Product: Office, Home

Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14, up to 8.5 x 51

Color Print Resolution: 4880 x 1200 dpi

Compatible Devices: PC, Laptops

Pros and Cons

Pros:

Complete starter bundle

High-quality prints

Easy to use

2-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

Limited compatibility

2. Epson EcoTank ET-2800 Wireless Color-Best Budget Sublimation Printer

Best Budget Sublimation Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-2800 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer

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The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is a wireless color all-in-one cartridge-free super tank printer with scan and copy capabilities. It is designed to be the ideal basic home printer, offering a compact size, easy-to-use interface, and versatile functions.

Also, the printer features innovative cartridge-free printing, which eliminates the need for cartridges and produces zero cartridge waste. This results in a low cost of ownership compared to traditional cartridge-based printers.

Additionally, the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 produces impressive print quality, with high-quality sublimation prints that are vibrant, detailed, and long-lasting. Also, it has a built-in scanner and copier, making it a versatile all-in-one machine that can handle a variety of printing tasks.

Moreover, the printer features wireless connectivity, allowing for easy printing from a variety of devices. It also supports hands-free voice-activated printing.

Overall, the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is a budget-friendly sublimation printer that offers innovative cartridge-free printing, impressive print quality, and versatile functions. It is designed to be an ideal basic home printer, with a low cost of ownership and a variety of features that make it easy to use and maintain.

Key Features

Innovative cartridge-free printing

Impressive print quality

Built-in scanner and copier

Wireless connectivity

Hands-free voice-activated printing

Low cost of ownership

Ideal basic home printer

Key Specs

Brand: Epson

Printing Technology: Inkjet

Recommended Uses For Product: Office, Home

Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 22.8 x 10 inches

Product Weight: 12.50 lbs

Compatible Devices: Wi-Fi, USB

Pros and Cons

Pros:

Cartridge-free printing reduces waste

High-quality sublimation prints

Versatile all-in-one machine

Low cost of ownership

Cons:

Limited color gamut

3. Epson EcoTank 4800 Series -Best All in One Sublimation Printer

Best All in One Sublimation Printer

Epson EcoTank 4800 Series, Sublimation Printer

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The Epson EcoTank 4800 Series is a versatile all-in-one printer that provides high-quality printing for sublimation along with copying, scanning, and faxing capabilities. It uses extra large high-capacity ink tanks that provide low-cost printing for up to 2 years.

Also, the printer offers wireless connectivity, print speeds up to 10 ppm for black and 5 ppm for color printing, and an automatic document feeder that holds up to 30 sheets. It has a 1.44-inch color LCD display, connectivity options like wireless, USB, and Ethernet, and works with pigment-based sublimation ink and specialty transfer paper to print on polyester fabrics and hard substrates.

At 11 pounds, the EcoTank 4800 Series is a compact yet functional all-in-one printer suitable for home and small business use, providing high quality prints at low running costs thanks to its high-capacity ink tanks.

Key Features

All-in-one color inkjet printer for printing, copying, scanning, and faxing

Wireless, USB, and Ethernet connectivity options are available

Mobile and voice-activated printing capabilities

Automatic document feeder can hold up to 30 sheets

1.44-inch color LCD display for easy navigation

Input paper tray capacity of up to 100 sheets

Print speed of up to 10 ISO ppm for black and 5 ISO ppm for color

Weighs 11.0 pounds

Key Specs

Brand: Epson

Printing Technology: Inkjet

Recommended Uses For Product: Office, Home

Product Dimensions: 4.8"D x 22.8"W x 10"H

Product Weight: 11 Pounds

Compatible Devices: Wireless

Pros and Cons

Pros:

All-in-one functionality

Wireless connectivity

Mobile and voice-activated printing

Cons:

Slow print speed

4. A3 DTF Printer, L1800-Best Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts

Best Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts


A3 DTF Printer, L1800 T-Shirt Transfer Printer with White Ink Circulatory for DIY Direct Print

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This L1800 A3 DTF printer is a complete sublimation solution for printing onto fabric items like t-shirts, tote bags, and pillow covers. It features a wide 11.7-inch print width for printing larger designs in vivid colors and sharp details.

The printer comes with 5 ink cartridges including cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and white ink. Moreover, the white ink circulation system prevents clogging so you get consistent results print after print. Also, the included mini heat press oven is used to transfer the prints from the transfer paper onto the fabric items.

This DTF printer is compatible with various fabric types from t-shirts, hoodies, and jeans to mesh, polyester, and cotton blends. The all-in-one package with ink and heat press makes it easy to create personalized fashion items and household decor at home. Lastly, the L1800 produces professional-quality printed fabrics for craft projects, gifts, and casual wear.

Key Features

The printer is designed specifically for DIY direct print t-shirts, hoodies, fabrics, and other items in the A3 size format.

Advanced white ink circulation system feature allows for consistent and accurate printing of white ink on all kinds of fabrics.

It is also compatible with different types of fabrics such as cotton, polyester, denim, athletic mesh fabrics, and more.

High-quality sublimation printing produces high-quality sublimation prints that are vibrant, detailed, and long-lasting. 

The prints are durable, making them perfect for designs that will be used and washed frequently.

The printer is user-friendly and easy to operate. 

Key Specs

Brand: PLK

Printing Technology: Inkjet

Recommended Uses For Product: Office, Home

Product Dimensions: 30.71 x 12.6 x 8.66 inches

Product Weight: 70.55 Pounds

Compatible Devices: USB

Pros and Cons

Pros:

Consistent and accurate printing of white ink

Works with different types of fabrics and items

Produces vibrant, detailed, and long-lasting prints

User-friendly

Cons:

May be expensive compared to other sublimation printers

5. DTF L1800 Transfer Printer-Best Sublimation Printer for Professionals

Best Sublimation Printer for Heat Transfer


DTF L1800 Transfer Printer with Roll Feeder, Direct to Film Print Preheating A3 DTF Printer for DIY Print T-Shirts

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The DTF L1800 Transfer Printer is the best sublimation printer for heat transfer, designed specifically for DIY print t-shirts, hoodies, and fabrics. This printer comes equipped with a roll feeder and direct-to-film print preheating system, making it easy to print on a variety of materials. Also, the printer produces high-quality sublimation prints that are vibrant, detailed, and long-lasting.

Additionally, the DTF L1800 Transfer Printer is user-friendly and easy to operate, making it a great choice for beginners and professionals alike. It is sold as a bundle, including an oven that is designed to dry and cure the ink on the fabric, ensuring that the prints are durable and long-lasting.

Overall, the DTF L1800 Transfer Printer is a versatile and efficient machine that can handle a variety of printing tasks. Whether you need to print on t-shirts, hoodies, or other fabrics, this printer can help you create high-quality sublimation prints that will last for years to come.

Key Features

Best sublimation printer for heat transfer

Roll feeder and direct-to-film print preheating system

High-quality sublimation printing

User-friendly and easy to operate

Sold as a bundle with an oven for drying and curing ink

Efficient and versatile machine

Large printing size (A3 paper size)

Key Specs

Brand: PLK

Printing Technology: Inkjet

Recommended Uses For Product: Office, Home

Product Dimensions: 12.6"D x 30.71"W x 8.66"H

Product Weight: 45 Kilograms

Compatible Devices: Windows 7, Windows 11, Windows 10

Pros and Cons

Pros:

A versatile and efficient machine

Produces high-quality sublimation prints

User-friendly and easy to operate,

Cons:

May be more expensive than other sublimation printers on the market.

Accessories You Need For Sublimation Printing

If you are a beginner and you want to know what are some accessories for sublimation printing, here we are going to enlist some.

1. Transfer Paper

Specialty transfer papers of different types are used for sublimating onto different substrates. There are papers for mugs, light and dark fabrics, polyester fabrics, and hard surfaces. The paper allows the sublimation ink to transfer completely from the sheet onto the substrate during heat pressing.

2. Heat Press

A heat press applies even heat and pressure to securely transfer the print from the transfer paper onto the substrate. Different-size presses are used for mugs, fabrics, and hard surfaces. Temperature and pressure settings vary based on the material being imprinted.

3. Ink and Ink Cartridges

Dye-sublimation inks are specifically made for transfer to polyester substrates. They are available in cartridges for the most popular sublimation printers. Bulk ink systems with refillable tanks offer more cost-effective printing.

4 Refill Kits

For printer models with ink tanks, refill kits containing the dye-sublimation ink are available. These allow for topping off the ink supply and provide substantial cost savings over buying new cartridges.

5. Printer Maintenance Kit

To keep the printheads in good working condition, maintenance kits containing printer cleaning solutions and printhead cleaning sheets are used. These kits help flush out ink residue, extend the life of printheads, and maintain print quality. Regular maintenance is important for reliable sublimation printing.

Buying Guide: What to Look for When Buying the Best Sublimation Printer?

When it comes to buying the best sublimation printer, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you make an informed decision and choose a printer that suits your specific needs. Here are some key things to look for when buying a sublimation printer:

Print Quality

The quality of the prints is one of the most important factors to consider. Look for a printer that produces high-quality sublimation prints that are vibrant, detailed, and long-lasting.

Connectivity

Consider how you will connect your printer to your computer or other devices. Look for a printer that offers a variety of connectivity options, such as USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi, to ensure that you can easily connect to your preferred device.

Ink System

The ink system is a crucial component of any sublimation printer. Look for a printer that uses a reliable and efficient ink system, such as a super tank system, that produces less waste and is more cost-effective in the long run.

Size and Capacity

Consider the size and capacity of the printer, especially if you have a limited amount of space in your workspace. Look for a printer that is compact and has a large input paper tray capacity to minimize the need for frequent paper refills.

Ease of Use

Look for a printer that is user-friendly and easy to set up and operate. Consider the availability of technical support and customer service, as well as the availability of user manuals and tutorials.

Price

Sublimation printers can range in price from affordable to high-end. Consider your budget and look for a printer that offers the best value for your money, taking into account the quality of the prints, connectivity options, ink system, size and capacity, and ease of use.

By considering these factors when buying a sublimation printer, you can ensure that you choose a printer that meets your specific needs and provides high-quality sublimation prints for your personal or professional projects.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Sublimation Printer

What printers are best used for sublimation?

Epson, Sawgrass printers designed specifically for sublimation printing work best. They use dye-sublimation inks and provide features for reliable transfer to substrates.

Which Epson printer is best for sublimation?

The Epson EcoTank ET-4800 Wireless Color printers are designed for professional sublimation applications. They offer wide formats, high color accuracy, and precision printheads.

Which is better: sublimation or inkjet?

Sublimation printing provides colors that "pop" and designs that last longer on substrates compared to standard inkjet printing. It permanently bonds the ink dye to the material.

What do I need for sublimation printing?

You need a dye-sublimation printer, sublimation inks, transfer papers for different materials, and a heat press. Accessories like ink cartridges and printhead maintenance kits are also required.

Can any printer print sublimation?

While many printers can print on sublimation transfer paper, only inkjet printers specifically designed and tuned for sublimation dye inks will produce consistent, high-quality transfers onto substrates.

Final Words:

The best sublimation printer for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. When considering which printer to buy, it is important to look for features such as print quality, connectivity options, ink system, size and capacity, ease of use, and price.

Some of the best sublimation printers on the market today include the Epson SureColor F570, Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500, and the DTF L1800 Transfer Printer. Each of these printers offers unique features and benefits, including high-quality sublimation prints, efficient and user-friendly operation, and a range of connectivity options.

Ultimately, the best sublimation printer for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. By considering the factors outlined in this article and researching different models, you can make an informed decision and choose a sublimation printer that will meet your needs and produce high-quality, long-lasting prints for your personal or professional projects.