The Best Sublimation Printers for Every Business (2024)

The Best Sublimation Printers for Every Business (2024)

Our favorite sublimation printer for serious crafters? We recommend the Epson SureColor F170 for absolute beginners and the Epson SureColor F570 for growing businesses. Keep reading for all the details 👇

With a good sublimation printer, you can create your own tumblers, coasters, t-shirts, mouse pads, earrings, and much, much, more. (Find more sublimation ideas here.)

And unlike other types of printing that require pretreatment, powder application, or weeding, sublimation is extremely simple. Just print, press, and you’re good to go!

What do we know about sublimation printers? We’ve been in the crafting business for several years now. And along the way, we’ve helped thousands of crafters get their first sublimation printer and discover the joy of sublimation crafting.

So if you’re wondering, “What’s the best sublimation printer for MY business?”...

Keep reading to discover our top 5 picks, plus how to figure out which one is right for you.

Here’s the list 👇

The Best Sublimation Printers for Every Type of Business

  • Best for Small Businesses: Epson SureColor F170
  • Budget-Friendly: Epson EcoTank ET-2400
  • No Computer Needed: Brother Sublimation Printer
  • Great for Garments: Epson SureColor F570
  • Best for Commercial Printing: Epson SureColor F6470H
  • Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using third-party links.

    Epson SureColor F170

    Best for Small Businesses

    Epson SureColor F170

    The Epson SureColor F170 is hands-down the best printer for sublimation, especially for entry-level when starting your small business.

    And because it’s a true sublimation printer (not a converted inkjet printer), it’s more durable, less likely to clog, and includes full support and warranty coverage from Epson.

    Here’s what we love about the SureColor F170:

    • Easy installation and support from Epson
    • Designed for sublimation ink, so doesn’t break down over time
    • Compact and easily fits on a desktop
    • Less than $500

    One downside of this printer? The max printing width of 8.5” might be too small for some t-shirt designs. That said, you can print on sheets up to 8.5” by 47.2”, so it’s still very versatile.

    Specs

    • Size: 14.8” x 19.6” x 7.4”
    • Weight: 10.2 lbs
    • Max Print Size: 8.5” by 47.2” (Standard size is 8.5” x 11”)
    • Max Print Resolution: 1200 x 600 dpi
    • Paper Type: Sheets
    • Colors: CMYK
    • Ink Type: Bottles (Autofill*)
    • Ink Price: $0.29 per ml
    • Printing Speed: 60 seconds per page

    *See more about autofill versus syringe inks in the FAQ section.

    Pricing

    The SureColor F170 retails for $449.

    Final Verdict

    This printer has the perfect mix of performance and affordability. If you want a reliable printer that can handle standard-sized prints, look no further than the F170.

    [product=epson-r-f170-sublimation-printer]Our best-selling sublimation printer![/product]

    Epson EcoTank ET-2400

    Budget-Friendly

    Epson EcoTank ET-2400

    Disclaimer: We don’t recommend converting inkjet printers for sublimation because it comes with risks for your business. But if price is the priority, this is something you might consider.

    The Epson EcoTank is the easiest type of Epson printer to convert for sublimation because it’s easy to fill with sublimation ink.

    (Just make sure that you use a brand-new computer and fill it with sublimation ink only.)

    Why convert an inkjet printer for sublimation? Some crafters do this because inkjet printers cost less than true sublimation printers.

    There are some risks to that, which we’ll get to in a second.

    But first, the pros of this printer:

    • Extremely affordable, under $200
    • Can save money by using third-party ink and paper
    • Easy to fill with sublimation ink—just pour the ink directly into ink tanks

    That said, there are some big downsides:

    • You void your printer warranty, so no more support or replacements if something goes wrong
    • The printer isn’t built for sublimation ink, which means it’s prone to clogging and breaking down over time

    Specs

    • Size: 14.8” x 22.8” x 10.0”
    • Weight: 8.6 lbs
    • Max Print Size: 8.5” by 47.2” (Standard 8.5” by 11”)
    • Max Print Resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
    • Paper Type: Sheets
    • Colors: CMYK
    • Ink Type: Bottles (Autofill*)
    • Ink Price: Depends on the ink brand you choose
    • Printing Speed: As fast as 25 seconds and as slow as 2 minutes depending on the dpi settings

    Learn more about the differences between the EcoTank and SureColor line here.

    Pricing

    The Epson ET-2400 usually retails for under $200.

    Verdict

    If you want to try sublimation printing at the lowest cost possible, and you don’t mind the risks involved, a converted Epson EcoTank might be the right choice for you.

    Buy the Epson EcoTank ET-2400 on Amazon

    Brother Sublimation Printer

    No Computer Needed

    Brother Sublimation Printer

    The Brother Sublimation Printer has a unique advantage you don’t normally see from true sublimation printers: it allows you to print from a smartphone or tablet device.

    In fact, you can ONLY print from a phone or tablet.

    In most cases, we wouldn’t recommend this printer if you have a computer, as it gives you less control than computer-based printers. Also, the ink cartridges are expensive.

    But if you’re the kind of person who runs a business from their phone or tablet, this printer gives you the option to start sub printing without having to buy a brand-new computer.

    Here’s where this printer shines:

    • It comes with a dedicated app called Artspira, which makes it easy for an absolute beginner to create designs
    • You can print from other images or apps on your device
    • No need for a computer to print!

    And the downsides:

    • It’s not particularly cheap, even though it has limited features
    • The companion app is quite limited, though reviewers say you can print from any app
    • Uses ink cartridges, which contain less ink than bottles

    Specs

    • Size: 10.8” x 20.1” x 19.1”
    • Weight: Unknown
    • Max Print Size: 8.5” x 11”
    • Max Print Resolution: Unknown
    • Paper Type: Sheets
    • Colors: CMYK
    • Ink Type: Cartridges (47ml)
    • Ink Price: $0.77 per ml
    • Printing Speed: 60 seconds per page

    Pricing

    This printer sells for $399.99.

    Verdict

    We wouldn’t recommend this printer unless you don’t have a computer. But if you want to print sublimation images from a phone or device, this is the one to pick.

    Buy the Brother Sublimation Printer on Amazon

    Epson SureColor F570

    Great for Garments

    Epson SureColor F570

    The Epson SureColor F570 Pro Sublimation Printer is the next step up from the entry-level F170.

    Here’s what you get if you upgrade to this model:

    • 24.4” max print width (roughly 3x the size of the F170)
    • The ability to choose between sheets and rolls of sublimation paper
    • Higher max dpi than the F170

    The downside? It’s a bigger investment than smaller printers. But it might be worth it if you want to customize bigger items like shirts, tote bags, and other garments.

    Specs

    • Size: 38” x 32” x 10”
    • Weight: 64 lbs
    • Max Print Size: 24” width (virtually unlimited length if you use rolls)
    • Max Print Resolution: 2400 x 1200 dpi
    • Paper Type: Sheets or rolls
    • Colors: CMYK
    • Ink Type: Bottles (Autofill*)
    • Ink Price: $0.29 per ml
    • Printing Speed: Depends on print size and resolution, but comparable to the F170

    *Learn more about autofill vs syringe inks in the FAQ section.

    Pricing

    You’ll pay a little under $2600 for the starter package with printer, paper, and ink.

    Verdict

    Want to customize bigger garments like t-shirts, tote bags, and other items? The F570 gives you greater flexibility with the same world-class printer performance Epson is known for.

    [product=epson-r-f570-pro-sublimation-printer]Perfect for craft businesses that want full flexibility.[/product]

    Epson SureColor F6470H

    Best for Commercial Printing

    Epson SureColor F6470H

    The Epson SureColor F6470H is a commercial-level sublimation printer.

    This is best for high-volume print businesses that want fast printing and more color options, including fluorescent colors.

    Here’s what we like about this printer:

    • Ultra-wide max width of 44” for bigger garments and all-over printing
    • Uses UltraChrome DS ink, which has better color performance than standard Epson sublimation ink
    • Can choose between different ink configurations for different color effects, including vivid and fluorescent colors
    • Fast print speed

    There are a couple downsides:

    • This isn’t a desktop printer, it’s for printing shops with plenty of space
    • Works with Windows only

    Specs

    • Size: 64” x 36” x 45”
    • Weight: 310 lbs
    • Max Print Size: 44” width (virtually unlimited length) (Min print size 10”)
    • Max Print Resolution: 1200 x 600 dpi
    • Paper Type: Rolls
    • Colors: High-Density Black plus 5 colors including: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Fluorescent Yellow, Fluorescent Pink, Orange, or Violet (Choose one of the pre-approved configurations in order to print correctly.)
    • Ink Type: Ink Packs
    • Ink Price: $0.12 - $0.18 per ml
    • Printing Speed: Up to 400 sq. ft. per hour

    Pricing

    This printer retails for just under $9K.

    Verdict

    When it’s time to ramp up your production and expand to new color palettes, consider adding the Epson SureColor F6470H to your printer lineup.

    Learn more about the Epson SureColor F6470H

    Best Sublimation Printer: Comparison Table

    Epson SureColor 170

    Epson EcoTank ET-2400

    Brother Sublimation Printer

    Epson SureColor F570

    Epson SureColor F6470H

    Best for

    Small businesses new to sublimation printing

    Businesses looking for the lowest-price printer regardless of risk

    Small business owners who want to print from a phone or tablet

    Businesses who want to print larger items like garments

    Businesses ready for commercial production with more color options

    Max print size

    8.5” by 47.2”

    8.5” by 47.2”

    8.5” x 11”

    24" width, unlimited length

    44” width, unlimited length

    Price

    $449

    Under $200

    $399.99

    $2600

    $9K

    Buy Now

    Buy Now

    Buy Now

    Buy Now

    Learn More

    How to Choose the Right Sublimation Printer for Your Business

    After looking through this list, one printer may have jumped out at you as the obvious choice.

    Or maybe you’re still considering a couple of them.

    If you’re still on the fence, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

    • How much space do I have to store the printer?
    • Does print speed matter to me?
    • How much can I invest (and how much money do I expect to make from my prints)?
    • How much risk can I handle? Am I okay not having a warranty or support?

    Learn More About Sublimation Printing

    Before you go, check out these other helpful resources on sublimation printing that can help you as you get started:

    We also invite you to join our family of crafters in our Official Facebook Community. See you inside!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What’s the difference between autofill and syringe inks?

    Autofill ink bottles have a specially designed opening that fits your printer’s ink tank. Once you fit the nozzle into the ink tank opening, the ink will flow on its own. (Most reputable ink brands fall under this type.)

    Syringe-fill inks require you to use a syringe to pick up ink and insert it into the printer. As you can imagine, it’s messier and more difficult than autofill bottles.

    You’ll see more syringes with third-party inks made for converted inkjet printers.

    Are all Epson printers good for sublimation?

    The best Epson printer for sublimation is an Epson SureColor sublimation printer.

    Other Epson printers are not recommended for sublimation, but they can work if you convert them.

    To do so, fill a brand-new Epson inkjet printer with sublimation ink. (The EcoTank line is the easiest to convert.)

    Does Cricut do sublimation?

    Cricut doesn’t have its own sublimation printer, so you’ll need to buy one from Epson or another brand. However, you can use a Cricut heat press to transfer your sublimation print.

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