Sublimation Tumbler Times and Temperatures For Best Results

Sublimation Tumbler Heating Times Chart

Making a sublimation tumbler for the first time? Here’s a handy reference guide to sublimating your tumbler for best results.

We’ll look at recommendations for the Convection Oven Method and Heat Press Method, then walk you through the entire tumbler sublimation process if you need a refresher!

Note: These tumbler times and temperatures are based on MakerFlo sublimation tumblers and cups. The exact time and temperature will vary based on your equipment, climate, material, and other factors.

Sublimation Tumbler Times and Temperatures: Quick Reference Guide

First off, here’s a helpful table to help you remember the time and temperature for each type of heat method. We’ll go into more detail below. 

Method Convection Oven Heat Press
Temperature 375°F (190°C) 360 to 365°F (182 to 185°C)
Time 5-6 minutes 40 seconds
Instructions Rotate at 3 minutes if the tumbler is lying horizontal in the oven. Repeat for all sides.

And here's the same info in an easy graphic you can save ⬇️

Tumbler Sublimation Times for Convection Oven Chart

Method #1 - Convection Oven

MakerFlo Sublimation Oven

One of the best ways to sublimate a tumbler, especially if you’re a beginner to sublimation, is by baking it in a convection oven (also called a sublimation oven). 

Recommended time and temperature settings for sublimation ovens: 375°F (190°C) for 5-6 minutes. If the tumbler is standing upright, all you need to do is pop it in for 6 minutes! But if it’s lying down flat, rotate it halfway through baking to make sure it bakes evenly.

Our MakerFlo Sublimation Oven is a great choice for sublimating tumblers, because it fits any tumbler up to 9.25 inches high including the 20oz skinny tumbler and shorter sizes.

[product=makerflo-sublimation-oven]Our 40L sublimation oven can bake up to 12 tumblers at the same time![/product]

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut your design down to remove any extra white space on the paper.
  2. Put the transfer face-down onto the tumbler, wrapping it tightly to remove any gaps. Secure the transfer paper with heat-resistant tape. (We recommend using plastic gloves for this step so you don’t get any fingerprints on the tumbler.)
  3. Bake the tumbler in the convection oven at around 375°F (190°C) for 5-6 minutes. If the tumbler is lying flat, rotate the tumbler halfway through baking so it heats through evenly. If it's upright, you're good to go!
  4. When baking is finished, remove the tumbler with heat-resistant gloves, then let it cool before removing the transfer paper.
  5. Admire your new design! Make sure to let the finish tumbler sit for a while before handling or washing so that the ink has time to fully dry.

Safety note for sublimation ovens: Once you’ve used a convection oven for sublimation, it can't be used for cooking anymore. Sublimation produces toxic fumes that you don't want in your food.

Method #2 - Heat Press

Tumbler heat press

If you have a mug press or tumbler press, you can use it to sublimate your tumbler.

Recommended time and temperature settings for tumbler presses: 360 to 365°F (182 to 185°C) for 40 seconds. Repeat this as many times as you need to press the entire tumbler.

[product=copy-of-dk14s-digital-swing-away-heat-transfer-press-12-x-14]Grab this handy mug press for making tumblers and cups.[/product]

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut the transfer down to size to remove any excess white edges.
  2. Put the transfer face-down onto the tumbler and wrap it tightly so there are no gaps. Tape it down with heat-resistant tape.
  3. Press the tumbler inside the tumbler press at 360 to 365°F (182 to 185°C) for 40 seconds, repeating the same process if you need to press it multiple times.
  4. Remove your tumbler from the press with heat-resistant gloves and wait for it to cool before peeling off the transfer paper. (Or follow the manufacturer's instructions.)
  5. Enjoy your new customized tumbler! Make sure to leave your tumbler to dry for a while before washing or using so the ink can dry.

Take Notes for Best Results

woman taking notes on sublimation times and temperatures

Ultimately, the right time and temperature for your sublimation tumbler depend on your heat press, the sublimation blank, your climate, and many more factors.

It’s best to keep a notebook of each of your sublimation attempts to find what works best for you.

👉 Want to sublimate your own tumbler? Check out our guide to sublimating a 20oz skinny tumbler to get started!

Materials You Need for Tumbler Sublimation

Here's everything you need to sublimate tumblers at home.

Sublimation tumbler

sublimation tumbler blank

This is a no-brainer! You’ll need a specialized sublimation tumbler, preferably insulated and stainless steel with a sublimation coating. We have tons of high-quality sublimation tumblers, mugs, and cups you can check out in our shop.

Or start with our best-selling tumbler, the 20oz skinny:

[product=20oz-skinny-sublimation-tumbler]Our best-selling tumbler is easy to sublimate and looks amazing with any design.[/product]

Tumbler press or sublimation oven

The heat source you’ll use to sublimate your design. We recommend our MakerFlo Sublimation Oven that can fit up to 12 tumblers at once.

Heat-resistant gloves

heat-resistant glove will protect your fingers when pulling a hot tumbler out of your oven or press.

Heat-resistant tape

You’ll need heat tape to tape your design onto the tumbler before sublimating.

Plastic gloves

A pair of plastic gloves helps when you’re preparing the tumbler for sublimation. This keeps oil and fingerprints off the tumbler, which can interfere with the transfer.

Safety equipment

Sublimation creates toxic fumes. Make sure you cover up your eyes and nose, use an air filter, and keep your room ventilated as you work.

Get everything you need in one go with the MakerFlo Sublimation Oven Kit!

Our handy Sublimation Oven Kit features our large-capacity, 40L sublimation oven that can bake up to 12 tumblers upright at the same time. That means no need for rotating tumblers halfway through baking.

[product=makerflo-sublimation-oven-bundle]Get everything you need to create sublimation tumblers, featuring our best-selling oven, blank tumblers, and supplies![/product]

If you're looking for a sublimation printer plus oven, try our Epson F170 Sublimation Ultimate Starter Kit featuring our best-selling sublimation printer.

    What is Sublimation Printing?

    Sublimation printing is a method in which designs are printed onto transfer paper with sublimation dyes, then applied to an object using heat.

    At the right temperature, sublimation dyes vaporize and settle into the material, dyeing it from within. This creates vibrant prints with zero residue or adhesive left on the surface of the material.

    However, it only works with polyester or polyester blends of at least 65%. Learn more in our ultimate guide to sublimation printing.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What temperature and time should I use for sublimation tumblers in a heat press?

    For MakerFlo tumblers and cups, we recommend pressing at 360 to 365°F (182 to 185°C) for 40 seconds, repeating as many times as you need to press the entire cup.

    What temperature should sublimation tumblers be?

    If using a heat press, we recommend pressing between 360 to 365°F (182 to 185°C). If using an oven, we recommend baking at 375°F (190°C) for 5-6 minutes, and if the tumbler is horizontal, rotating the tumbler halfway through baking. Ultimately, the right times and temperatures will depend on your unique situation, so keep experimenting and adjusting until you find what works.

    What are the times and temperatures for sublimation tumblers in the oven?

    For MakerFlo tumblers and cups, we recommend baking at 375°F (190°C) for 5-6 minutes. If the tumbler is lying flat in the oven, make sure to rotate the cup halfway through baking.

    What temperature and time for stainless steel tumbler sublimation?

    If you’re sublimating a MakerFlo stainless steel tumbler, here are the numbers: 360 to 365°F for 40 seconds on a heat press or 375°F for 5-6 minutes in a sublimation oven.

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