7 Best Heat Press Machines for Sublimation Printing

What is the importance of buying a good heat-press, especially if you want to use it for sublimation projects? You must know that only a good quality machine ensures a good quality result. For sublimation, the crafters can get their hands in an extensive range of heat presses that deliver commercial quality outputs in the home. With a sturdy sublimation heat-press, you get unlimited opportunities to create beautiful arts and learn many new, innovative skills.

Choosing a good sublimation machine is an investment for the long term. In fact, you can buy a premium quality machine at a budget-friendly price and use it for versatile sublimation projects. Moreover, a heat press constructed with top-notch materials limits the overheating/burning incidents, provides high-class safety, makes your garments never lose their strikingly bright colors, protects the fabric with Teflon-coated platens, and ensure decent sublimated items.

7 Best heat press for sublimation

  1. VEVOR Heat Press T-Shirt Sublimation Transfer Printer with Teflon Coated
  2. CREWORKS 12×15 Inch 360 Swing Away Sublimation Heat Press
  3. TUSY Heat Press Machine Digital Industrial Sublimation Machine
  4. Hihone 8 in 1 Heat Press Machine, 15 x 15 inches Digital Sublimation
  5. VEVOR Heat Press Multi-Function 3D Sublimation Machine 2800W 3D Vacuum
  6. VIVOHOME Upgraded 8 in 1 Combo Sublimation Heat Press Transfer Machine
  7. Nineaccy 12×15 inch Swing Away Digital Sublimation Heat Transfer Press

Here is what we liked and disliked about each item:

VEVOR Heat Press T-Shirt Sublimation Transfer Printer with Teflon Coated

This machine is undoubtedly one of the best options because of the supreme quality, matchless technology, and top-notch sublimation results regardless of the type of fabric. The standout feature of this best sublimation heat press machine is the 360-degree rotation design and 4/5” thick heating board, making it practical for printing ceramic, glass, wood, and various fabrics. 

The swing-away layout comes with a Teflon-coated platen offering an extra punch of protection. Apart from helping you get rid of sticking problems, the built-in loud beep timer provides safety from burning your materials. The over-heat protection and built-in circuit breaker also limit the electrical faults. 

Besides that, the VEVOR heat press offers an incredible range of temperature up to 450-degree Fahrenheit and time up to 999 seconds. The precise control of parameters is guaranteed with a dual LCD panel. Full-range pressure adjustment knob, detachable lower platform, and heat-resistant silicone-gel pad promise ease of transfer work. Two 4/5” long-arm handles let you effortlessly handle this sublimation printer and heat press.

What we like
  • The versatility of this machine for completing sublimation projects.
  • The package comes with five different attached accessories.
  • This rugged machine is a big money saver.
  • Sturdy and durable construction with a non-stick surface.
  • Easy to use and efficient temperature control.
Shortcomings
  • Sometimes, the top plate kept falling off, resulting in the burning hazard chance.
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CREWORKS 12×15 Inch 360 Swing Away Sublimation Heat Press

With CREWORKS heat-press, you get not only a wide range of safety features but also a robust 360-degree swivel framework and innovative tech such as a dual-LED display. An anti-skid handle and alloy rail are designed for a quick transition and comfortable handling. This FCC certificated item ensures supreme user’s safety with an integrated intelligent audible alarm, emergency stop button, and Teflon-coated heating area. 

The sturdy platens apply pressure evenly, which is easy to adjust with a full-range star knob. The temperature stays constant once it reaches the pre-set value for a perfect result. It has a time (up to 999 seconds) and temp (up to 500-degree Fahrenheit) range fit for sublimation.

This best heat press for sublimation gives wonderful sublimated items without putting extra energy with user-friendly control pressure. For exceptional grip and thermal protection, it has a rubber coating.

What we like
  • It ensures complete control over heating time and countdown.
  • Protective nylon and fiberglass coated platens.
  • The machine has an intelligent and stable design.
  • It displays temperature in both Fahrenheit & Celsius
  • The package comes with a detailed manual for quick installation and easy operation.
Shortcomings
  • The paint might chip away constant use.
  • Some reviewers reported problems of built-in alarm as it beeps untimely or not at all.
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TUSY Heat Press Machine Digital Industrial Sublimation Machine

If you want to buy a machine that looks modern, works safely, and is easy to use, this digital heat press must be your first choice – perfect for printing flat-surfaced and circular items!

 The large TUSY heat press measuring 15×15-inch prints colorful images in industrial quality. You can use this best sublimation heat press for professional and personal use. The temp and time are adjustable up to 482 degrees F and 999 seconds, respectively. All it needs is 1400 Watts to run.

The advanced LCD Control panel lets you set the desired time and temp. At the same time, the full-range adjustment knob is for managing pressure. Moreover, the protective anti-overheating spec doubles the safety during sublimation.

What we like
  • Suitable for multiple materials of different thickness levels.
  • The machine gives better control over time, temp, and pressure for easy transfer with a digital controller.
  • The platens are designed to dissipate heat effectively.
  • It automatically shuts down when not needed or inactive.
Shortcomings
  • Moderate in functionality
  • The clamshell-style increases the probability of accidental burn.
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Hihone 8 in 1 Heat Press Machine, 15 x 15 inches Digital Sublimation

Running on 110 Volts and 1000 Watts, this sublimation heat press machine has all the specs one might be looking for easy printing. Hihone press machine is highly functional, has built-in structural support, is easy to switch mode, and height-adjustable range. It serves the purpose of printing multiple items with eight attached accessories of different thicknesses of material with a temperature range of 32 to 430-degree F and a timer range of up to 999 seconds. 

The premium components are used to make your arts and crafts enjoyable and safe. The swing-away design lets you turn around the upper platen made with upgraded aluminum alloy to place the materials easily. The pressing pressure is adjustable with a full-range knob. The LED control panel shows temp in Fahrenheit and Celsius scale.

This heat press sublimation machine demands no extra space for storage. It means the size of the platens is adequate. We can say the smooth operation design is a cherry on the top.

What we like
  • Its headline is the U-shaped built-in heating tube for even heat and pressure distribution.
  • Convenient to change heating accessories.
  • It heats up quickly.
  • Accurate display and setting of temperature and time.
Shortcomings
  • Temperature and heating issues.
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VEVOR Heat Press Multi-Function 3D Sublimation Machine 2800W 3D Vacuum

Another brilliant 3D sublimation machine produced by VEVOR will impress you with its quality construction, matchless functionality, and mesmerizing marron/red color. Apart from a superior body made with magnesium alloy, it has advanced tech integrated to bring perfection to your printing outcomes. The intelligent LCD control box is equipped with an automatic inspiratory countdown to boost safety. 

VEVOR 3D sublimation heat press machine promises powerful performance, top-level capacity, and professional efficiency. The even distribution is heat is guaranteed with far-infrared heating technology. The futuristic warming system of this 3d sublimation vacuum heat press excels in performance and lets you save production costs.

Moreover, the quality of the transferred image seems clear and more textured. And, how can you forget admiring its well-organized air filter? It enhances the machine’s durability.

What we like
  • It is suitable for transferring images and colorful designs on all kinds of materials.
  • Amazing temperature regulation with intelligent control display.
  • Good insulation and wide temp range.
  • Large furnace area for batch printing and improved efficiency.
  • The operation is energy-saving.
Shortcomings
  • 2800 watts are required to run the machine, which is relatively higher than other machines.
  • As it doesn’t use direct heat, the sublimation takes much longer.
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VIVOHOME Upgraded 8 in 1 Combo Sublimation Heat Press Transfer Machine

The unique rail design and swing-away layout help you get the desired design or image on your shirt, mugs, tiles, caps, and much more by providing a full range press! This printing sublimation heat press measures 15 x 12-inch and comes in a classic red outer painting. 

VIVOHOME 8 in 1 Combo printing equipment has a steel body, large LCD screen control box, silicone buttons, and non-slip pull handle on top for quick and straightforward operation. The counting function and the alarm beeping sound bring accuracy and safety to the printing. It has three exclusive modes which can be switched anytime. The heating surface transfers even heat (from 104 to 390℉) and pressure. Two layers of thermal insulation are a silver lining.

Do you know how it makes it safe to use? By keeping the temperature of the machine’s surface about 50-70 °C even if the working temperature is high up to 200 °C. And the credit goes to the double heating tubes design. Moreover, the two plastic-made handles of this large heat press for sublimation are ideal for top heat insulation, limiting scalding possibilities.

What we like
  • The strong base and powerful steel frames for stable design.
  • The display panel shows temperatures in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
  • 8 in 1 set for printing designs on assorted surfaces.
  • The hexagonal design is removable.
  • Practical controllers and industrial strength.
  • The package comes with a pair of commercial-grade gloves.
Shortcomings
  • Heats up slowly.
  • It fails to maintain a steady temperature.
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Nineaccy 12×15 inch Swing Away Digital Sublimation Heat Transfer Press

Among all the heat press machines, the Nineaccy heat press machine made with industrial-grade steel is one excellent pick for sublimation, offering a temperature range up to 430°F/250°C. The top-notch quality aluminum makes it last longer and safe as even intense heat dissipates effortlessly. Non-stick Teflon-coated surfaces and soft, audible beep make this equipment easy to operate with no chances of burning or overheating. 

You can utilize this best heat press for sublimation for several flat items. The structure has a powerful timer making it heat up quickly. The time and temperature settings are manageable, and precision is guaranteed with an LCD control board where you can pre-set the desired values. Besides that, a full-range knob makes pressure adjustment easy. 

This heat press machine for sublimation runs on 110Volts and 900Watts. Further, seamless heat transfers while printing are promised with silicon and sponge pads. These pads optimize the design with good elasticity and uniform thickness. It is great for all projects.

What we like
  • A complete 360-degree rotation makes moving the heated platen convenient.
  • Heat press brings a 5 in 1 combo.
  • It accommodates nearly any material of different thickness levels.
  • Apart from platens, the package comes with a pair of tool gloves, a wrench, screwdrivers, and a detailed manual.
Cons
  • It’s a heavy unit.
  • The instructions are not clear in the manual.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you heat press sublimation paper?

Heat pressing sublimation paper is as easy as and similar to heat transfer. The use of sublimation paper for heat pressing is a professional method that ensures the quality printing of t-shirts, mugs, cups, puzzles, tiles, mousepads, etc. 

You need paper, ink, and polyester-covered items for heat press sublimation paper. Start with placing paper on the platen and press it firmly. Upon heating at high temperatures, the sublimation ink turns into a gas. The pores open up of the polyester-coated items letting the gas enter. Now, you remove it from the heat, and the pores close up, catching the ink inside the item, making the image an actual part of your shirt.

How long to heat press the sublimation tumbler?

Once you close the tumbler, you must only set the timer for 50 seconds. All you need is 1 minute for the heat to press the sublimation tumbler.

How long do I heat press sublimation FR plastic and hardboard?

  • FR Plastic for outdoor use (license plates): 80 – 90 seconds
  • Car Flags: 25 – 35 seconds
  • Hardboard (clipboards, coasters, etc.), FR Plastic (name badges, bag tags, etc.), and Aluminum (bookmarks, face down): 60 – 70 seconds
  • MDF (plaques, paperweights, etc.): 80 – 90 seconds
  • Phenolic and Aluminum (sheet stock and jewelry): 45 – 55 seconds

You can use this sublimation chart for more details.

Can you heat press sublimation on cotton?

The sublimation does not work on 100% cotton but only for polyester fabrics because sublimation ink tends to embed to the pores of polyester material that open up on heating. You can get slightly good results by sublimating on some poly-cotton blends.

How long to heat press sublimation on wood?

As long as the wood comes with a polyester coating, you can use a sublimation heat press for printing the desired outcomes. With light pressure and 360-degree Fahrenheit temperature, all you need is 10 minutes when sublimation heat press settings are concerned.

Do you need a heat press for sublimation?

Yes, because for the sublimation transfer process, you need firm, flat pressure that only a quality-made press machine can ensure for as long as you want for professional results. If the pressure is uneven or the heat fluctuates, you will get blurry results.

What is the difference between a sublimation heat press and a regular heat press?

Apart from the basic science of the transfer procedure, you can find considerable differences between sublimation and heat transfer paper. In a heat transfer, you will never be restricted to the substrate’s color where you intend to transfer the design to. All colors are suitable. But in sublimation, only light-colored garments are suitable. Moreover, the sublimation limits polyester fabrics in either white or light colors. It fails to work on cotton or any other textile. In heat transfer, virtually any fabric seems compatible (polyester, cotton, blends, nylon, etc.).

Sublimation requires no cutting or weeding. With sublimation, you will not feel the image on the substrate material, and the print comes out very light-handed. The ink embedding in the pores makes it more durable than heat transfer paper. In heat transfer paper, the print might crack as the image is left on the top let you feel the design. At the same time, transfer paper may need “weeding” or cutting and trimming of design.

If you are a starter, you must go with heat transfer paper as it is lesser expensive to pick than sublimation and heat transfer paper.

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