Best Sublimation Printers for 2022

Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by Andrew Chapman

Struggling to find a quality sublimation printer for your business? No worries, we are here with the list of the ten best sublimation printers. Since the advent of affordable and ergonomic sublimation printers, now more and more people are into the sublimation business. Sublimation printing is lucrative yet interesting art and can be a source of income if we adopt the right process and equipment.

Best Sublimation Printer

You can find multiple sublimation printers including both ready-to-sublimation or convertible-to-sublimation printers. Therefore it is critical to find sublimation printers with high productivity, functionality, and versatility. Whether you’re a DIYer or want to sell your sublimation products, we have enlisted the ten best printers for sublimation printing. After testing various options, our teams of experts have shortlisted the models that combine efficiency and productivity.

Ten Best Sublimation Printers

IMAGE PRODUCT FEATURES PRICE
Epson EcoTank ET-15000 Printer Epson ET-15000 – Best Sublimation Printer
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 4800×1400 dpi
  • Weight:26.46 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet
Check on Amazon
HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 All-in-One Wireless Printer HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 – Best Printer for Sublimation Printing
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 4800×1400 dpi
  • Weight:18.04 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet, USB
Check on Amazon
Epson EcoTank ET-4760 Wireless printer Epson ET-4760 – Best Inkjet Printer for Sublimation
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 4800×1200 dpi
  • Weight:15 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet, USB
Check on Amazon
Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestmentTank Printer Brother MFC-J995DW – Good Sublimation Printer
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 1200×600 dpi
  • Weight:19.4 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet
Check on Amazon
Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless printer Epson ET-2720 – Cheapest Sublimation Printer
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 1200×4800 dpi
  • Weight:13.2 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet, USB
Check on Amazon
HP Smart -Tank Plus 551 Wireless printer HP 551 – Sublimation Ink Printer
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 2400×4800 dpi
  • Weight:32.8 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet
Check on Amazon
WorkForce WF-7210 Wireless Wide-format Inkjet Printer Epson WF-7210 – Sublimation Compatible Printer
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 4800×1200 dpi
  • Weight:11.34 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet
Check on Amazon
SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer Canon CP1300 – Sublimation Printer
  • Printing Technology:Sublimation
  • Resolution: 600×600 dpi
  • Weight:1.90 lbs
  • Connectivity:802.11n g/b, Ethernet
Check on Amazon
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 printer Epson XP-15000 – Best Wireless Sublimation Printer
  • Printing Technology:Inkjet
  • Resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • Weight:32.8 lbs
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet
Check on Amazon
Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printer Sawgrass SG500 – Suimation Printer
  • Printing Technology:Sublimation
  • Resolution: 4880 x 1200 dpi
  • Weight:14 kg
  • Connectivity:WiFi, Ethernet
Check on Amazon

1. Epson ET-15000 – Best Sublimation Printer

Epson ET-15000 - Best Sublimation Printer

Epson EcoTank series has shaken up the whole sublimation concept by introducing affordable conversion to sublimation printers. The conversion may seem tough, but trust me it is not more than cleaning the nozzle and injecting the sublimation ink. Epson Ecotank ET-15000 combines spacious ink-tank technology with efficient ink usage for low printing costs.

The cartridge-free printing offered by Ecotank ET-15000 makes it highly convertible with the dye sublimation process. This sublimation printer uses large ink bottles that are pretty easy to refill and use the ink efficiently to minimize waste. It is advised to use only sublimation ink in the printer to maintain its performance.

Multiple connectivity options like Wifi, Ethernet, High-Speed USB and Wifi direct further enhance its functionality. Also, you will get mobile connectivity options like Epson Connect. Moreover, this printer comes with a 2.4-inch color touchscreen and supports hands-free voice-activated printing for quick and easy navigation. If you are a beginner and looking for the best printer for sublimation, Epson Ecotank ET-15000 is a definite way to go.

Epson EcoTank ET 15000 Printer testing

The feature that helped this printer qualify for the list of best sublimation printers is its printing quality. With a resolution of 4800×1200 dpi, this printer promises impressive printing quality. The impressive resolution coupled with patented precision core technology ensures the impressive color contrast and unmatched shape formation. For vibrant colors and fade-resistant results, it is advised to use high-quality printing inks.

It is a wide format printer that can handle a wide range of print sizes upto 13×19 inches. So, it is quite evident that it is a versatile sublimation machine that you can use for printing on various objects like cups, t-shirts, and decorative items. The only issue we faced while using this printer was that it is not compatible with all types of sublimation inks and heat transfer papers. Also, its nozzles are pretty hard to clean and it is advised to use the printer only for sublimations.

Related: Best Sublimation Printers for Cricut

Pros
  • Precision core technology
  • Low operating costs
  • 4800×1400 dpi resolution
  • Fully compatible with the heat transfer process
  • Large format printing
Cons
  • Clogging issues in nozzles
  • Not compatible with all sublimation inks

Epson Ecotank ET-1500 with large format printing media, precision core technology, and impressive resolution is one of the best sublimation printers we have ever used. The printer quickly converts to sublimation and offers smooth performance if used with high-quality sublimation inks. It is advised to clean the nozzles regularly to maintain their performance and prevent clogging issues.

2. HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 – Best Printer for Sublimation Printing

HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 - Best Printer for Sublimation Printing

HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 is a highly efficient inkjet printer that features a compact space-saving design and unmatched printing quality. This inkjet printer is already famous for its impressive ink efficiency and blazing fast printing speeds. The feature that makes it perfect for the sublimation process is its impressive printing quality.

Its resolution for monochrome printing is 1400×1400 dpi while for color printing it boasts a printing resolution of 4800×1400 dpi. With this resolution and impressive ink efficiency, it ensures the transfer of vibrant color contrast allowing you to create commercial grade sublimation products. It has an impressive speed of around 10 ppm for color and 20 ppm for monochrome pages. However, in sublimation printing, we are not concerned about speed and the best quality.

A wide range of connectivity options is another standout feature of HP OfficeJet 8035 Pro. It supports wired connectivity through ethernet and wireless connectivity through Wifi, Bluetooth, WiFi Direct, and many more. Its self-healing wifi automatically detects the issues, finds a solution for flawless and smooth performance.

Additionally, it has a USB port that lets you import plenty of printing designs during sublimation printing. Also, it has cloud print enabled and gives and supports hands-free printing making it a perfect fit for all types of environments. The OfficeJet 8035 Pro comes with a touch screen panel making the navigation quick and easy. This printer comes with HP ink cartridges. You can convert it to sublimation by refilling cartridges with sublimation ink.

Remember the quality of heat transfer prints largely depends on the quality of ink and heat transfer paper you use in the process. The printer is Energy Star certified and uses the ink efficiently for low printing costs. The most significant downside of this printer is that it doesn’t offer cartridge-free printing. Unlike Epson Ecotank technology, its cartridges are not much spacious and require frequent refilling. it costs you extra time and effort and also results in ink wastage.

Pros
  • Impressive printing speed
  • High resolution for high-quality prints
  • Broad-spectrum connectivity
  • Color touchscreen for effortless navigation
Cons
  • Lacks cartridge-free printing

HP OfficeJet Pro is a lightweight and compactly designed printer that combines an impressive resolution with high printing volume for unmatched printing quality. The printer promise incredible shape formation and rich color contrast for commercial grade heat transfer prints. Also it delivers smudge-free durable prints making it one of the best sublimation printers.

3. Epson ET-4760 – Best Inkjet Printer for Sublimation

Epson ET-4760 - Best Inkjet Printer for Sublimation

Epson ET-4760 with premium productivity features is among the best affordable sublimation printers. This printer is designed with the needs of small businesses in mind and features a beginner-friendly design. The feature that helped this printer qualify for the list of best sublimation printers is its SuperTank ink technology.

This printer offers cartridge-free printing and uses spacious ink tanks that are pretty easy to refill. You can pair it up with the best sublimation inks like Hippo, Sublijet, or Inkxpro. Ecofit ink tanks are large and do not require frequent refilling. It helps you minimize ink waste and makes the printer an excellent choice for commercial use.

Smudge-resistant high-quality printing is another standout feature of this printer. This printer boasts Precision Core Heat resistant technology and an impressive resolution of 4800×1200 dpi contributing to its ability to create vivid, clear, and sharp printouts. With vibrant color output and correct shape formation, it is the perfect option for t-shirt and glass sublimation.

The smudge-free high-quality printing makes it the best Epson printer for sublimation. Additionally, this printer can handle a wide range of print sizes between 3.5×5 inches and 8.7×47 inches. This way it lets you handle a variety of symmetrical and non-symmetrical designs with much ease.

The printer is fully compatible with all types of sublimation dyes and heat transfer papers. It further enhances its value in the sublimation printing business. Ease of use is another worth mentioning feature of Epson ET-4760. Its 2.4-inch color touchscreen makes the setup and navigation a real breeze.

For standard connectivity interface, this printer comes with Ethernet, USB 2.0 for single PC connection, and WiFi. Also, it supports Apple Airprint, Epson Printing App, Google Cloud Printing, and Morpia printing for mobile and hands-free printing. Flash memory device support is a critical feature of any sublimation printer. Unfortunately ET4760 lacks this support and you won’t be able to import the design directly from different sources.

Its printing speed is around 10 ppm for monochrome and 6ppm for color printing, which is quite impressive considering its compact structure and affordable price. However, it has a comparatively low duty cycle and its suggested monthly print volume is only 800 pages. These figures suggest that printers can handle light to medium duty submission projects.

Pros
  • High-quality prints
  • Impressive print quality
  • Impressive print quality
  • Highly compatible with the sublimation process
  • Easy to refill ink Supertank technology
Cons
  • Low monthly duty cycle
  • Does not support flash memory devices

Epson ET-4760 with its impressive productivity feature and ergonomics is undoubtedly the best inkjet printer for sublimation. It is an affordable yet highly functional sublimation machine that delivers impressive output at a low printing cost making it perfect for small printing businesses.

4. Brother MFC-J995DW – Good Sublimation Printer

Brother MFC-J995DW - Good Sublimation Printer

Brother MFC-J995DW is an advanced All-in-one inkjet printer that has made its way to the list of best sublimation printers for its impressive InkVestment technology. Unlike outdated inkjet printers, this printer offers cartridge-free printing and quickly converts to sublimation making it the favorite choice of DIYers and small business owners. You can perform light to medium duty sublimation tasks on this printer like a pro.

This inkjet printer by Brother takes pride in its high resolution of 1200×600 dpi. With such an impressive resolution this printer is capable enough to deliver commercial-grade output. We loved the rich color contrasts and crispier details in the prints. Moreover, it promises correct shape formation and vibrant color printing making it perfect for dye-sublimation on light-colored objects.

Another feature that we found useful is its compatibility with all working environments. It is fully compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. Moreover, it has broad-spectrum connectivity and also supports wireless and mobile connectivity. Along with standard options like USB, Ethernet, and WiFi, you will get support from Google cloud prints, Apple AirPrint, and Brother Printing App.

Its printing speed is around 12 ppm for monochrome and 10 ppm for color printing. This sublimation printer also delivers good speed and uninterrupted performance if used with high-quality sublimation inks and heat transfer papers. For best quality results, it is recommended to use A-sub paper with Brother MFC-J995DW.

Ist Inkvestment Ink cartridges are pretty ergonomic and come with spacious internal storage. It eliminates the need for frequent refilling and lets you work on bigger projects with maximum ease and convenience. Also, it has an Intelligent Page Gauge feature that lets you know how much ink is left and eliminates the guesswork.

Along with the impressive design and high-quality print, we also noticed some downsides. The biggest issue with this printer is its high running costs. The printer consumes a lot of ink adding extra cost to the whole process. Moreover, it feels a bit sluggish and its monthly print volume is only 300 pages.

Pros
  • High Capacity Inkvestment ink tanks
  • Top-notch printing quality
  • Top-notch printing quality
  • Plenty of connectivity option
  • Mobile printing app
Cons
  • Low printing volume
  • High running costs

Although Brother MFC-J995WD is not a cost-effective option, it is still the best printer for sublimation printing for its premium quality output and ease of handling. We paired this primer with Sublijet sublimation dyes and A-sub paper for T-shirt sublimation and the result was really impressive.

5. Epson ET-2720 – Cheapest Sublimation Printer

Epson ET-2720 - Cheapest Sublimation Printer

Epson ET-2720 is an affordable sublimation printer that features Ecofit Supertank technology and delivers the best-in-class functionality. This printer is famous for its beginner-friendly design and low printing costs. The pointer comes with large-capacity ink tanks. The EcoFit ink tanks coupled with precision core technology result in maximum efficiency and cost-effective printing.

The large-capacity ink tanks can hold maximum ink and we found them pretty easy to refill. For best results, you must use high-quality sublimation dyes. However, the nozzles of this printer are highly prone to clogging and you need to clean them regularly for mess-free printing. The printer is fully compatible with the heat transfer and dye sublimation process.

It quickly converts to sublimation and is fully compatible with all types of heat transfer papers. Wide spectrum connectivity and printing app support further enhance its versatility. It comes with USB 2.0 for a single PC connection, ethernet, and WiFi connectivity. Also, you will get Apple Cloud Print, Morpia prints, and Apple Airprint for voice-activated and wireless printing.

Print quality is another critical feature of any sublimation printer. This printer profiles 1200×4800 dpi resolution and Micro Piezo Heat resistant technology. It results in crispier details, correct shape formation, and rich color contrast masking the printer ideal for commercial-grade projects.

Remember, it is an affordable printer and doesn’t support large printing volumes. You cannot use this printer for heavy and demanding use. Also, it is not compatible with all types of inks and sublimation papers, and you may face compatibility issues while using it with low-quality sublimation supplies.

Pros
  • Fade-resistant printing quality
  • Micro Piezo heat resistant technology
  • Easy to refill eco tank bottles
  • Highly functional design
Cons
  • Low printing volume

If you are new to sublimation and looking for a beginner-friendly printer, consider Epson Ecotank ET2720. It is one of the cheapest sublimation printers that combine high resolution and low running costs for maximum productivity and profit.

6. HP 551 – Sublimation Ink Printer

HP 551 with smart ink technology and plenty of functions is our next choice for the list of best sublimation printers. This printer with its highly ergonomic smart ink tanks offers a quick and effortless conversion to sublimation. Also, it is a lightweight and compact unit and is a perfect option for those who are ready to dip their toes in sublimation.

The most standout part of this printer is of course its Smart Ink Tank technology. It offers cartridge-free printing and comes with high-capacity ink tanks. We found these ink tanks pretty easy to refill. Also, it comes with ink sensors that let you know how much ink is left and eliminate the guesswork.

Ink efficiency is another great trait of this printer. It uses ink wisely, offers spill-free printing, and minimizes the ink waste for a cost-effective process. The printer’s ability to handle multiple paper sizes further enhances its ability to be used in heat transfer and dye sublimation processes. It can handle various page sizes including 3×5, 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, and many more.

This feature makes the printer perfect for printing on acrylic substrates, t-shirts, and stickers. Although it is a lightweight and compact printer it doesn’t compromise speed and performance. The printer offers an impressive speed of around 11 ppm for monochrome and 6 ppm for colored pages.

It also works smoothly in sublimation printing and lets you handle larger projects with maximum efficiency. With multiple connectivity options like Ethernet, Bluetooth, Dual-Band WiFi, and support for AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, it offers smooth performance in various working environments.

HP Smart -Tank Plus 551 Wireless All-in-One Printer
Pros
  • Smart Ink Tank technology
  • Smart ink sensors
  • Spill-free refiling and printing
  • Impressive printing speed
Cons
  • Limited printing volume

HP-551 with affordable price, smart ink tank technology, and impressive printing quality is a beginner-friendly sublimation printer. This printer’s full compatibility with the heat transfer process and ability to handle multiple page sizes helps it stand out as one of the best sublimation printers on the market.

7. Epson WF-7210 – Sublimation Compatible Printer

Epson WF-7210 - Sublimation Compatible Printer

Epson Workforce 7210 is a wide format sublimation printer that can handle a wide range of print sizes up to 13×19 inches. It is a versatile inkjet printer that is famous for its premium productivity features and user-friendly ergonomics. The printer can be used to create commercial-grade projects like T-shirts and garments.

Its impressive resolution of around 2400×4800 dpi makes it one of the finest sublimation printers. This resolution in combination with patented precision core technology gives you impressive results. The high-quality printing lets you perform sublimation on light-colored objects. The printers deliver durable and fade-resistant prints combined with high-quality sublimation ink like Hippo or Sublijet.

Additionally, it is a cartridge-based printer and you can convert it to sublimation by replacing the printing ink with sublimation dyes. Cartridges are spacious but don’t offer effortless refilling as Ecofit Ink bottles. To minimize ink waste and enhance process efficiency, it is advised to use high-quality sublimation ink of a single brand.

WF-7210 Wireless Wide-format Color Inkjet Printer with Wi-Fi

The printer easily fits with all types of working environments thanks to broad-spectrum connectivity. You will get Ethernet and WiFi as standard connectivity options. In addition to that, it supports Google Cloud prints and Apple Airpoints for mobile printing. Unfortunately, it lacks Bluetooth, USB, and Flash memory support which limits access to different design sources.

Low printing cost is another great feature of Epson WF-7210. The printer offers the same printing quality as you can except for the best laser printer for sublimation. However, it uses 80% less ink than laser printers and enhances your profit margin in commercial-grade projects. The printer comes with an intuitive control panel and a 2.4 inch LCD for effortless setup and navigation.

Pros
  • Best-in-class resolution-2400×4800 dpi
  • Ability to handle large format prints
  • Low printing costs
  • Highly compatible with a dye sublimation process
Cons
  • Lacks Bluetooth and flash memory support
  • No cartridge-free printing

Epson Workforce WF-7210 is a professional-grade printer with best-in-class resolution and the ability to handle wide format printers. It is a sublimation printer that prints 11x17x 13x19x 5×8, standard photo print, and many other print sizes.

8. Canon CP1300 – Sublimation Printer

Canon CP1300 - Sublimation Printer

Canon CP1300 is a dedicated sublimation printer designed with the needs of professional-grade photographers and commercial-grade sublimation projects. This is a compact and lightweight unit that can handle standard photo sizes up to 4×6 inches. With this print media size, you can use this printer to print small designs and monograms. The printer has a wide application in acrylic dye sublimation and sticker printing.

This printer uses dye-sublimation technology and requires no conversion process. For the best result, it is advised to use high-quality sublimation dyes in the printers. It doesn’t come with a large ink holding capacity, however, it is enough considering its small print media size. Also, we found the ink refilling and replacement pretty easy and it took us less than 15 minutes to get everything fixed.

The printing quality and high resolution of this photo printer give you laser-grade results. With a resolution of 300×300 dpi, it offers rich color contrasts and crispier details. The printer’s ability to translate correct colors and shapes makes it perfect for printing on light-colored substrates.

Unlike other professional-grade photo printers, it promises impressive printing speeds. The printer can print a 4×6 inch print in around 39 seconds and a 3×5 inch print in 37 seconds. The wireless connection and built-in 802.11n g/b connection make it highly functional and compatible in all working environments. The printer is lightweight and portable and lets you print almost anywhere.

Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Sublimation Printer
Pros
  • Laser-grade print quality
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Impressive printing speed
  • Built-in 802.11n g/b connection
Cons
  • Cannot handle big designs

Canon CP1300 with impressive resolution and wireless connectivity is undoubtedly the best printer for sublimation you can buy today. It is a ready-to-use sublimation printer that lets you perform a variety of sublimation tasks and gives you the best value for money.

9. Epson XP-15000 – Best Wireless Sublimation Printer

Epson XP-15000 - Best Wireless Sublimation Printer

Epson XP-15000 is a professional-grade inkjet printer that combines photo-grade printing quality with low printing costs making it one of the best sublimation printers in 2022. This wide-format inkjet printer is among the most powerful sublimation machines that let you print a variety of sizes up to 13×19 inches. The printer is highly compatible with the heat transfer and dye sublimation process and easily fits in sub-dye environments.

The printer comes with Original Epson cartridges. Ink cartridges are a large capacity and come filled with Claria Photo HD ink. We replaced this ink with Sublijet HD ink for sublimation dyes and the results were quite impressive. Unlike ink tanks and ink bottles, cartridges do not offer spill-free printing.

However, large-capacity ink cartridges do not require frequent refilling and offer a smooth performance over a long period. What sets this printer apart from other inkjet printers is its impressive resolution. It boasts a best-in-class resolution of 5760×1440 dpi and delivers premium quality results.

The crispy details, vibrant color translation, and clear shape formation help it stand among the best printers for sublimation. This premium sublimation printer by Epson comes with a 2.4-inch color touch screen and an intuitive control panel. The printer’s setup and navigation are straightforward making it ideal for printers. The printer supports both wireless and wired connectivity.

In addition to Ethernet and Wifi, you will get options like Morpia Prints, Apple Airprint, and Google Cloud printing. We didn’t notice any major performance and quality issues with this printer. The biggest downside of the printer is its high running costs. However, its high printing costs can be justified with its premium-grade printing quality.

Read More: Best Printers for Vinyl Sticker Printing

Pros
  • Best for professional-grade prints
  • Plenty of connectivity options
  • High-capacity cartridges
  • Easy navigation and quick setup
Cons
  • High running costs
  • Lacks mess-free refilling

Epson XP-15000 with impressive resolution and large print media sizes are among the most powerful sublimation machines on the market. This printer can be used for printing on a wide range of substrates like acrylic, garments, T-shirts, and glass.

10. Sawgrass SG500 – Suimation Printer

Sawgrass SG500 - Suimation Printer

The final product on our list of best sublimation printers is the Sawgrass SG500. It is one of the few ready-to-use sublimation printers you can buy today. This printer used a built-in dye sublimation mechanism and delivers better quality than the convertible to sublimation printers.

The most standout part of this printer is its Modulated dot printing technology. This technology translates the exact design and colors making it an excellent option for commercial-grade projects. The printer only works with high-quality branded dye sublimation ink cartridges like UHD-Sublijet, Easy Subli, and ChromaBlast UHD.

Depending upon your printing needs, you can choose the most suitable cartridge while placing an order. It also accepts all types of heat transfer stickers, heat transfer vinyl, and dye-sub papers. Its ability to adapt to all types of sublimation ink helps it stand among the best sublimation printers.

Another standout feature of this printer is its extensive software support. The printer is backed by Creative Studio Licence and allows you to download hundreds of designs free of cost. Also, you can buy a subscription to use the premium features of creative studio. Also, its Print manager Software handles all your printing issues and lets you perform all types of printing jobs like a pro.

It is a large format printer that comes with an optional bypass tray. The printer can handle a variety of sheet sizes and the maximum size it can print is 51 inches. The printer offers only two connectivity options including Ethernet and Wifi. It lacks support for flash memory devices, which limits its access to various design sources. The printer doesn’t work with cheap sublimation supplies and has high printing costs.

Sawgrass SG500 Sublimation Printers test
Pros
  • Software support
  • Premium print quality
  • Ready to use sublimation machine
  • Access to creative studio designs
  • Large print media size
Cons
  • No flash memory devices support
  • High running costs

SAWGRASS SG500 is a complete sublimation solution that allows you to perform sublimation on all types of substrates. It is an expensive yet premium-grade sublimation printer with a built-in dye-sublimation mechanism and plenty of productivity features.

What To Look For While Buying A Sublimation Printer?

Sublimation printers are a serious investment; buying these printers unseen is not a good idea. Critical features like compatibility with heat transfer papers, the ability to handle different sublimation supplies, printing costs, and the ability to adjust in various working environments are crucial to choosing the most suitable options. Also, it is critical to know all the essentials and features of the best sublimation printers to make a future-proof investment.

Ink Cartridge Vs Ink Tank

The most critical feature you need to consider is the ink technology used in printers. Inkjet printers either use Ink cartridges or Ink tanks. If you are serious in the sublimation business, it is recommended to go with ink tank technology. The finest example of ink tank technology is the Epson Ecofit Supertnek technology.

Epson EcoTank printers use large capacity ink tanks that are pretty easy to refill and use the ink efficiently for low printing costs. Ink tanks can store more ink than the cartridges and eliminate the need for frequent refilling. It results in smooth performance over a long period and also minimizes ink wastage.

Another reason you should avoid cartridge-based printers is their high running cost and low-quality output. Ink cartridges do not fit well with sublimation dyes and heat transfer processes resulting in low-grade output.

Printing Costs

In order to maximize your profit margin, you need to invest in printers with low printing costs. You need to calculate the cost per impression and then compare it with the selling price of the impression. The printing cost of each printer is calculated in cents per print. However, for a convertible to sublimation printer, you might not be able to find the exact cost of each substation print.

The printing cost of a sublimation printer depends on its size, materials, and quality. It is advised to look for a printer that uses ink efficiently and is energy-star rated. Also, ink waste is another factor that adds to printing costs. You must look for a printing solution with minimum ink wastage. The printer’s monthly duty cycle and printing capacity are other features you should be concerned about.

Print Size

Sublimation printing is more than printing on standard A4 sheets or photo papers. It involves imprinting designs on multiple objects like ceramic plates, T-shirts, caps, pants, keychains, and acrylic substrates. Now, it is quite evident that you need a printer that can handle a wide range of print sizes. A wide format printer with an ability to handle a wide range of print sizes is an excellent choice for sublimation printing.

However, if you are interested in only small designs for polyester substrates like keychains you may consider small format compact printers. Another advantage of getting a large format printer is that it lets you deal with various shapes and geometries. You will be able to customize and adjust the design as per your requirements.

Resolution and Quality

Resolution and printing quality are crucial features that you cannot overlook while buying a sublimation printer. If you want to sell your supposition products, you must invest in printers with high resolutions. With the clear shape formation and detailed image output, you need to invest in a printer with high resolution.

The resolution of the printers is measured in pixels per impression(PPI) or Dots per Inch (dpi). For commercial-grade projects, you need to look for a high resolution like 1200×4800 dpi or 1200×6000 dpi. However, for DIY projects you may stick to low-resolution options like 12000 x 1200 dpi.

Printing Speed

Higher printing speeds mean you can create more in less time. However, sublimation printing speed is about quality and less about speed. You should look for printers with above-average printing speed to enhance your workflow. With slow printing speeds, you might not be able to complete commercial-grade projects in time.

Compatibility With Heat Transfer

If you are buying a convertible to sublimation printer, you must ensure whether it is fully compatible with the sublimation process or not. You should buy a printer that can handle all types of sublimation dyes and heat transfer papers.

Connectivity Options

Connectivity should be top of your priority list while buying a new printer for sublimation. For flawless and effortless printing in all types of environments, you must invest in a printer that supports both wired and wireless connectivity. Advanced sublimation printers come with USB, Ethernet, and Wifi as standard connectivity interfaces.

Bluetooth, WiFi, and WiFi Direct lets you print directly from laptops and mobiles and have limited the need of connecting to a printer. For sublimation printing, you need to import a lot of designs from different sources every day. Therefore, you should look for support for flash memory devices like USB. It allows you to import designs directly from different sources.

In advanced sublimation printers, you will get support for Google Cloud prints, Apple Airpoints, and Morpia Prints. Some famous; like Brother and Epson have their own printing app and support hands-free voice-activated printing.

Sublimation Printer FAQs

No, you can not do sublimation with any printers. Some printers are not compatible with heat transfer papers and sublimation dyes. You can only perform sublimation with printers that accept the sublimation in heat transfer papers of all types.

Epson ET-2720 is the best cheap sublimation printer. This printer profiles impressive resolution, EcoFit SuperTank technology, and low running costs making it one of the best sublimation printers.

EPSON ET-4760 is the best eco tank printer for sublimation. The printer uses high-capacity ink tanks that are pretty easy to refill allowing you to convert the printer to sublimation within a few minutes. Also, it delivers high-quality printing results.

Epson and Sawgrass are some of the leading companies that offer high quality desktop printers that work best for those who are looking to get amazing sublimation results.

The main difference between sublimation and regular printers is that of the ink. While regular printers use the normal ink cartridges, the sublimation printers use a specific ink that works by evaporating into gas to transfer the dye.

Depending on the function of the sublimation printer, the prices can range from anywhere around 300 dollars for a household device to a more professional version costing more than 600 dollars while larger industries may use printers even worth 10,000 dollars.

No, an HP printer cannot be converted into a sublimation printer because the latter uses the evaporation of dyes for the ink transfer process. This is essentially why you cannot attain clear results when using sublimation inks for regular printers. 

Considering the low setup costs of the sublimation printers along with their high quality printing results that are pretty close to being permanent, this purchase is worth every penny.

Epson offers a range of sublimation inks that help ensure high quality printing results. These include SC F170, SC F570, ET-16500, ET-2720, ET-2760, ET-4760, ET-3710, ET-2700, ET-2750, ET-2800, ET-2803 etc.

Conclusion:

We are hopeful that our list of the ten best sublimation printers will help you choose the most suitable option for your business. Our list includes all types of sublimation printers including photo printers, large format printers, dedicated sublimation printers, and portable printers. To help you make wise decisions we have also shortlisted our top-three favorites:

  • Brother MFC-J995DW – Good Sublimation Printer for its broad-spectrum connectivity, ease of handling, top-notch printing quality, ability to handle large format prints, and low running costs.
  • Epson ET-4760 – Best Inkjet Printer for Sublimation for its EcoFit SuperTank technology, impressive resolution, low printing costs, and effortless maintenance.
  • Sawgrass SG500 – Sublimation Printer for its extensive software support, laser-grade printing quality, ultra High definition ink cartridges, and straightforward setup.

Calculate your sublimation printing needs and refer to the buying guide of the best sublimation printers. Compare the features of the printers with your needs and then look for the option on the list that is in line with your needs and budget.

Leave a Comment