Printing of designs on t-shirts with sublimation is a very popular business, it is profitable, eternal and interesting work. Many get confused when they have to buy the best sublimation printer for t shirts.
Our detailed review guide is based upon various tests of printers outputs applied on different forms of clothing and apparel stuff.
Take a read to our detailed reviews and guide. You will be able to snap up the best one after that.
- Dye Sublimation Technology
- Excellent Printouts on Fabrics
- Wide devices connectivity
- Compatible with Mobiles, Laptops
- Brilliant Prints
- Low Cost
- Low Maintenance
- Wide Format Printing
Best Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts
We are using different types of printers for our clothing and t-shirts printing business, it includes products of various brands and companies.
Among them, on the basis of quality outputs and user needs, we have listed down the best one’s available in the market.
- Sawgrass SG500 – Best Dye Sublimation Printer For T-Shirts
- Epson EcoTank 2800 – Best for Beginners
- Epson WorkForce WF-7840 – Best Epson Printer for T-Shirt Sublimation
- Sawgrass SG-1000 – Best Sublimation Printer for Cotton Shirts
- Epson WorkForce WF-7820 – Best for Heat Transfer Shirts
- Epson EcoTank ET-4850 – Best Sublimation Inkjet Printer
- Expression photo HD XP-15000
- EcoTank ET-15000 – Best Supertank Printer
- Epson WorkForce WF-7310 – Best Sublimation Printer for Dark Shirts
- Epson Expression Home XP – 4100-Best Cheap Sublimation Printer for Shirts
- Epson SureColor P700 – Best Sublimation Printer for Clothing
1 – Sawgrass SG500 – Best Dye Sublimation Printer For T-Shirts
Sawgrass produces specially designed dye sublimation desktop printers that are ready for sublimation right out of the box. This is considered as one of the best printer for making t-shirts.
The printer comes with three main types of inks i.e. SubliJet UHD inks, ChromaBlast and easy EasySubli ink. However, a printer can be used only for one ink at a time.
We printed high resolution designs using ultra HD sublimation inks & get extraordinary results on light color polyester materials where ink becomes a permanent part of the substrate.
It is our observation that Siser EasySubli ink is useful not only for polyester but for cotton and blends, maintain the vibrant colors, and withstand frequent washes. For best production, you must have a vinyl cutter, EasySubli mask and a heat press.
Print dark color shirts with EasySubli inks. Choose heat transfer vinyl as substrate and print your design. Weed the design and mask it using EasySubli mask, flip it and peel off the transfer, then use a heat press to print on the t-shirt.
Chroma blast is also used for printing cotton garments but we are not satisfied with the quality of the result this ink delivers as the print fades after some washes.
Creative studio is provided to explore and use best designing ideas. Wi-Fi connectivity is also available now. A color screen to set up and control the printing process. The printer has its own automatic maintenance cycle to increase productivity and efficiency.
- 2 years warranty
- Long running life
- Unlimited support
- Sublimate on light & dark, polyester, cotton, blended garments
- Initial cost is high
To kickstart your t-shirt business with a high production efficiency, this is one of the best sublimation printer for t-shirts to use. Easy to handle and low maintenance. Delivers much more than its price.
2 – Epson EcoTank 2800 – Best for Beginners
Starting up the t-shirt sublimation business with this printer is profitable. It is easy to use and at a low price, produces finer quality designs.
Replacing ink cartridges is not only a hassle, but every time it costs money too. This printer is so designed to operate with the refilled ink tanks.
We used the printer to transfer designs on small t-shirts of kids and babies. The maximum resolution this sublimation machine offers is 5760×1440 dots per inch.
Setting it up with different windows and mac versions is fast and simple. The wireless allowed us to do printing with our smart devices.
- Less waste
- Productive unit
If you have little knowledge about sublimation of t-shirts and are a beginner in this field, we would recommend you to start from this printer.
3 – Epson WorkForce WF-7840 – Best Epson Printer for T-shirt Sublimation
This professional wide format all in one Epson sublimation printer is mostly used for t-shirt printing. It delivers professional quality prints without hassle and expense of a print shop.
Its print quality on t-shirts is awesome. Graphics and text colors are sharp and vibrant. We used different media sizes up to 13 by 19 inches for borderless printing and the results were satisfying.
We noticed that the quality of prints this unit produced is far better than any other laser printer. Its power consumption is significantly low. But the printer cannot be used for direct to garment (DTG) printing like his predecessor.
For a business with a huge printing volume, this is the best printer. It handles a large amount of media with 2 trays, each having capacity of 250 sheets with a fast printing speed of 10 color prints per minute. A rear feed for specialty paper and 35 page auto document feeder is also provided to increase its output.
Wireless and Wi-Fi connectivity has made the printing easy. Connect your iPhone, tablets or smartphones and print remotely. Do voice printing with Alexa. A color touchscreen is displayed that we used to navigate the printing process easily.
The printer comes with 4-color inks. However convert it first to sublimation by replacing inks. You have to arrange a big table for it as it is quite large in size.
- Perform better than laser
- Handle huge printing volume
- Big size
With superior quality features and affordable price, this is one of the most used high productive sublimation printer not only for t-shirts business, but also for other sublimation works.
4 – Sawgrass 1000 – Best Sublimation Printer for Cotton Shirts
This is a wide format dye sublimation desktop printer for t shirts and our personal favorite. It can print on media up to 11”x17” making it best for fabric printing. We also sublimate other soft substrates with it.
You can also use the accessories of its predecessor as it is the upgraded version of sawgrass 800. We use a bypass tray which will allow us to print media up to 13”x51” that is amazing.
We have printed vibrant and beautiful photos and texts with UHD SubliJet inks. The colors are more accurate and exactly how they are supposed to be. We sublimated the prints on small baby shirts and extra-large shirts. The graphics quality is just awesome.
The printer supports various media sizes and types, making it a best option for different sizes of t-shirts. The prints are scratch, fade resistant, water repellent and durable, which is best for producing quality graphic tees.
Its wireless printing feature allows you to connect a smartphone, iPhone or other devices and share the printer with others to print remotely.
The printer has its own online designing software that allows you to use premium designs for your prints. To reduce the headache, an auto maintenance system is provided. You will get a 2 year warranty of the product with unlimited support.
- Durable prints
- Cordless printing
- Lifetime support
- Touchscreen display
- Supports variety of media types and sizes
- No problem yet
This is the best sublimation printer to start and boost the efficiency of a t- shirt business. Given all basic to primary features for t-shirt printing, we think the price is worth it. The printer is durable and you can use it for a long time.
5 – Epson WorkForce WF-7820 – Best for Heat Transfer Shirts
This is a brilliant sublimation printer with fast printing speed and high quality output. It’s a very simple machine to operate with a lot of features.
You can also use the continuous ink supply system (CISS) if your work requires a large printing volume. It prints true to life, vivid color photos and super sharp text on t-shirts.
We get 12 color photos per minute which represent its extraordinary fast printing speed. The printer supports a variety of media that increase its production efficiency. It does borderless printing on various sizes.
We achieve remarkable results on t-shirts. Printed designs are durable, fade and water resistant.
A photo editing software is also provided to create beautiful designs. A sheet tray with the capacity of holding 250 papers at a time.
I would recommend using it regularly to avoid clogging issues. Before you start printing, open the paper tray door and keep it safe from paper stuck.
- Easy to operate
- Low maintenance
- Print up to 13”x19”
- Water, fade, smudge resistant
- It’s a bulky unit with 39lb weight
This printer is a workhorse. If you are looking for a sublimation machine with low maintenance and easy handling, go for it. It will boost up any kind of business with high quality results.
6 – Epson EcoTank ET-4850 – Best Sublimation Inkjet Printer
This is a multifunctional sublimation printer recently upgraded from Epson EcoTank-4760 that we used for different projects. It has a good looking design and small dimensions.
Various media sizes handling ability makes the printer one of the best options to use for sublimation of mugs, shirts and other materials with heat press.
The ultimate wireless connectivity is provided which enables it to print with mac and windows systems without wire. With the Wi-Fi opportunity, we do remote printing.
As the printer is all in one, its scanner has an amazing optical character recognition feature. This helps the printer to differentiate between printed and handwritten characters and adjust quality respectively.
Paper tray is provided with an auto document feeding option. The normal tray has capacity to entertain 250 plain papers. For better functionality, we would recommend printing a maximum of 800 sheets per month.
- Less waste
- Small footprint
- Maximum productivity
- Auto feed jams sometime
If your t-shirt sublimation business needs an affordable, easy to use and fast printer with premium features in a compact design, this is the best you can get.
7 – Expression photo HD XP-15000
It’s an astounding wide format sublimation printer which takes your work to new heights. Prints sensational quality graphics on t-shirts using 6 color ultra-high definition ink.
It is capable of printing any type and size of t-shirt. Red and gray inks are added which gives sharp and solid graphics. You can print a large variety of media with a maximum paper size of 13×44 inches. It delivers borderless prints from 4×6 inches to 13×19 inches.
We have used the old version of this printer, Epson artisan 1430, which has the direct to film (DTF) feature. But this unit didn’t have that ability.
A 200 sheet tray at front and a 50 sheet rear specialty tray is provided to increase the production efficiency of professional projects. The output tray opens and closes automatically.
A touch screen 2.4” LCD display is provided to manage the printer menu settings and functionality. Audio printing is also supported by an additional Alexa device. You can also print CD/DVD directly.
We print wirelessly and remotely by connecting smartphones, tablets, iPhone and other devices through Wi-Fi feature.
- Fast printing speed
- Wide and long format
- Auto two sided printing
- Astonishing print quality
- Easy to setup and operate
- Handle large variety of media
- Ink clogs if not used regularly
It’s an ideal dye sublimation machine for t-shirts those who want their prints to match their creative vision. Professional projects are made easy by the super fantastic features of this printer. It’s a best budget printer with awesome quality production.
8 – EcoTank ET-15000 – Best Supertank Printer
This printer is very popular and highly demanded in the EcoTank series because it can also print wide format. In terms of converting a regular inkjet printer to use for sublimation, this is a really good option.
Our prints came out great. It delivers high resolution sharp text and excellent graphics by printing more than five million optimized dots per inch with a minimum of 3.8 Picoliter droplet size.
This printer handles a large variety of print media types and sizes. With wide format printing, you are able to print t-shirts of any size with a maximum paper size of 12.95″ x 47.24″.
A 250 sheet tray is provided which helps us to handle large printing volumes. I have also printed up to 13×19” through its rear feed. Do automatic printing through an automatic document feeder with a sheet capacity of 35 papers.
Control printer setup through touchscreen LCD. You can also check print head nozzle status, ink level, do print head cleaning, power cleaning, print head alignment and manage other settings through it.
This is all in one printer. Other than printing purposes, you can also use it to scan and copy multiple media sizes. Connect with smartphones and iPads to print remotely through Wi-Fi. The printer also supports voice activated printing.
Setup process is super easy, no refillable cartridges to buy, no ink profiles to install, just install the driver from the website and let the printer walk you through everything.
- Save 90% ink cost
- Scan, print and copy
- Easy setup and control
- Handle huge variety of media
- Excellent quality wide format prints
- Little heavy
This is the least expensive wide format sublimation printer that you are going to get in an Epson eco tank setup. If you are a business owner and looking for a printer with low ink cost, just go for it.
9 – Epson WorkForce WF-7310 – Best Sublimation Printer for Dark Shirts
With the high quality prints, speed and versatility it brings, this is a perfect sublimation printer to start your t-shirt business. It combines high quality and high performance in a single unit.
We get print shop quality brilliant color graphics on shirts with quality far beyond laser. The printer also delivers borderless wide format 13×19” prints.
Many startups and even running businesses require a sublimation printer which would handle large volumes of printing. This printer with a capacity of 500 sheets would be the best option for them.
Save your time and do hassle free printing by your smartphones and tablets connecting with Wi-Fi. Setup and navigate printer with a smart touchscreen LCD.
The printer handles versatile media. A rear feed is given for printing specialty paper. For large printing volumes, you can install high capacity ink cartridges. With fast printing speed, we get 10 color prints in a minute which is awesome.
- Fast printing
- Better than laser
- Touchscreen LCD
- Easy and simple setup
- Handle large printing volume
- No scanner
With excellent output quality features, easy handling and affordable price, this printer is best for any kind of business. You would start your t-shirt business even at home using this printer.
10 – Epson Expression Home XP-4100 – Best Cheap Sublimation Printer for Shirts
This is the cheapest sublimation printer you would use for t-shirt printing. This is a small unit and you can take it anywhere with you.
This would be ideal if you don’t have anything that needs wide format and need to get some small and medium sublimation prints.
We added the continuous ink system (CIS). It helps us economically by nullifying the replacement cost of cartridges.
When the printer says your ink is running low just press the reset button on the CIS system, and it will start working again. You can print 5000 sheets using CIS, refill it and it would be enough for more than 2000 prints.
Not only for t-shirts, it worked for any kind of fabric printing. Using 8×11 glossy paper, we printed multiple designs, stickers, decoration items, stickers for bags and got awesome results.
You can print through voice activated features. Wi-Fi and wireless enables you to connect your smartphones and print remotely. Managing is made easy with a touchscreen.
- Work with CIS system
- 100 sheet capacity tray
- No cons in this price set
If the price is your major concern, and you may compromise somehow on quality, definitely this is the best sublimation printer for t-shirts you should go for.
11 – Epson EcoTank ET-2850
The best feature of the eco tank printers is their significantly low cost ink. You can get excellent results on t-shirts with its micro piezo 4 color inkjet technology.
We printed a variety of media sizes from 3.5” to 14”, A4, A6 and others with a maximum paper size of 8.5 x 47.2 for t-shirt graphics and the delivered colors are vibrant and lively. We would recommend to use it at least 2 times a week to prevent the head from drying out.
It also supports wireless printing. Connect Wi-Fi and operate it from tablets and smartphones. Do voice activated printing. A 1.4” LCD is also provided which reduces the headache of controls and printing process.
The printer is also useful for scanning and copying. It’s a lightweight unit that comes with manual, power cord and non-sublimation ink.
- Low weight
- Save ink cost
- Easy to operate
- Head dry out if not used regularly
It’s a perfect Epson sublimation printer for small t-shirt businesses who require low volume of printing economically. It’s affordable and easy to operate and handle.
12 – Epson SureColor P700 – Best for Clothing
This wide format desktop printer is one of the best for sublimating high quality photos, graphics and text on shirts. It is smaller in size than its predecessors and better in functionality.
It is launched recently, equipped with professional handling features for any kind of business.
This printer is appraised by world’s famous photographers because of the excellent features it provides. With 10 colors of ink and using advanced micro piezo technology, the printer delivers outstanding and highly detailed images to us.
We noticed that the print quality is highly dependent on the design you provide. So, we would recommend to provide as much better design as you can.
It can print borderless up to Super B size. Colors are fade resistant and long lasting on t-shirts. You can also print high quality banners and wall hangers with this printer.
For matte and photo papers, there are two separate ink nozzles provided, no need of switching nozzle every time. New carbon black technology increases the maximum optical density of black color on glossy papers and other media.
Setup and navigation is made easy by 4.3” customizable touchscreen. To print easily, an interior LED is provided. You can connect Wi-Fi and print remotely with smartphones.
- Fast speed
- Durable prints
- Wide borderless printing
- Outstanding print quality
- Print easily from smart devices
- High initial cost
If you are looking for a printer for a professional t shirt business. This is the best sublimation printer for printing all types of t-shirts. Providing you with ultra-high quality prints. It’s worth the price.
Buying Guide-Best Sublimation Printer for T-Shirts
1 – Budget
The major factor to be considered at first is the budget you have to spend. You can pick any one of the sublimation printers which fits with your requirements under the budget.
2 – Print Media Size
There are many shirt sizes and you can sublimate different kinds of designs on them. Pick the printer which is best for printing your required size.
For large designs, pick a wide format printer. If you are printing logos or any other small designs, go for a smaller printer. However, you can also use a wide format printer for small photos by getting more prints on a single sublimation sheet.
3 – Print Quality
Print quality should be a priority of any business. If you are going to earn something, you should have to deliver the best possible quality. It’s not only a moral duty but also a key to success for any business.
Go for the printer which fulfills your desired quality. We would recommend you to put your investment in a quality printer if you can.
4 – Print Volume
Many professional t-shirt printing businesses require large volumes of printing. For a professional t-shirt printing business in which you have to print large quantities of different media and design sizes, choose a printer who has the ability to do that job in a better way.
5 – Printing Speed
Printing speed enhances the production efficiency of any business. The major benefit of these printers is that you can handle and complete large printing orders in less time.
Some printers with high printing resolution take time in printing media to deliver the best quality. However, some of them have features to lower resolution to increase speed.
6 – Connectivity
Check that the printer you are going to buy is compatible with the operating system you have.
For easy handling and less stress in setup and operating, wireless printers are introduced. You can connect your smartphones, tablets and other devices with Wi-Fi connection and can print remotely.
Some printers also have excellent features of voice activated printing. You can also navigate your printing work progress with a digital touchscreen display.
7 – Brand
Check the brand identity before buying the best sublimation printer for t-shirt. Sawgrass and Epson are the main producers and they are widely used for sublimation.
Sawgrass printers do sublimation right out of the box whereas Epson printers require conversion by replacing normal ink with sublimation ink which is available easily.
Mostly, Epson printers are used because they are cheaper even after replacing ink cost.
A short collection of Mitsubishi and canon printers are also used for sublimation, but their sublimation conversion ink availability is an issue.
T Shirt Sublimation Equipment
We have listed down the equipment that we used for t shirt sublimation.
1 – Heat Press
Heat press is used to apply your design onto a fabric using heat. There are two main types of heat press for t-shirts, Clamshell and Swing away.
Clamshell heat presses are used widely for fabrics. Advanced Clamshell has hydraulic or air based technology, which automatically opens it after the set time elapses.
Choose the size of the heat press according to your t-shirt size. We would recommend using 15”x15 or 16”x20”, the perfect size of heat press for a t -shirt.
2 – Shirts
You should have blank t-shirts on which you are going to sublimate your design.
3 – Sublimation Transfer Sheets
Sublimation designs are printed on special papers using sublimation ink to get high quality prints. It is then heated by a heat press to diffuse ink permanently on fabric.
Use sublimation paper for printing light colored or polyester rich fabric. For dark colored or cotton rich t-shirts, we would recommend you to use printable sublimation heat transfer vinyl paper to get astonishing graphics.
4 – Sublimation Ink
If you are going to use a printer for sublimation, you should have sublimation ink to convert it to sublimation. Sawgrass printers do sublimation right out of the box whereas Epson printers need conversion.
Sublimation inks for the above reviewed printers are available easily.
5 – Heat Tape
A heat tape is used to hold sublimation transfer paper on substrate. Heat tapes are designed specially to withstand higher temperatures of heat press. However, it’s not a necessary item, you can also transfer design without using it.
6 – Butcher Paper Roll
A butcher paper so that ink and gases don’t transfer onto your heat press or Teflon sheet or whatever you are putting on top, it should be white and unwaxed, it is inexpensive.
These are the best sublimation printers for t-shirts, every printer has its own benefits. We believe that now you are able to decide and choose what is best for you.
Frequently Answered Questions
Can you sublimate on cotton?
Yes, sublimation is now possible on cotton shirts & fabric with EasySubli dye ink with sawgrass printers.
What is the best sublimation printer for t shirts?
We found Sawgrass 1000, Epson WorkForce 7210 and Epson EcoTank 15000 the best printer for t-shirt sublimation.
How long does sublimation ink last on shirts?
The dye sublimation ink becomes a part of the fabric when heated with heat press, its durable and last easily for 10 years, withstand washes, temperatures and cracks.
What kind of printer do I need to make t-shirt?
There are several fabric printing methods, but if you want to do sublimation, sawgrass 1000 is best printer to make designs on t-shirts.