The 6 Best Sublimation Printers in 2023 (June)

Last Updated on 21 May 2023 by Proactive Creative

You might be wondering, what is the best sublimation printer? The answer will depend on what your priorities and budget are. 

  • If you’re on a very tight budget, you could go for the Brother HL-L2320D printer. It’s the cheapest printer on this list, but it can only print in black and white. While affordable, that will severely limit the kind of products you can create. But it’s still a good way to get started with sublimation printing.
  • The next option is the Epson EcoTank ET-2720. More expensive than the Brother printer, it’s still an affordable price option. Even better, it has very low ongoing costs and comes with two years worth of ink! This printer has great print quality and quick and easy connectivity from most devices. It’s also capable of a wide variety of paper formats, providing more options for your designs.
  • But if you want to go all in and get the best, check out the Sawgrass SG1000. You may wince when you see the price – this printer is not cheap. It’s the most expensive list but produces the best sublimation prints. 

Sawgrass printers are the industry standard for dye sublimation. So, this one is well worth your money. But it’s best suited if you’re happy investing a good chunk of money into your business. 

A printer is your best bet if you want to sell customized clothes or accessories. This special printer uses smart technology to create long-lasting, vivid designs. So, here’s a detailed guide to the best printers out there.

Sublimation printers are powerful, fast, and cost-effective. They also tend to provide better results that won’t peel or fade. So, they’re ideal if you want to sell customized products.

The Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners: Buying Guide

You want to make sure you buy a top printer, so here’s everything you need to know! I’ll cover what makes a printer for T-shirts special. 

Plus, I’ll share the most important things to look out for to ensure you get a great printer.

A top printer will have excellent print quality and a good output speed. But just as important is the price and the ongoing cost of the printer, too. (Even more so if you’re on a budget). 

Keep these things in mind, and it will be easy to find the right printer for you.

What Kind of Printer do You Need for Sublimation?

First of all, you’ll need a specially designed printer. That’s because the kind of ink is very different from regular ink. It has specific requirements to ensure that it prints well and looks good. 

All the printers on this list are perfect for sublimation printing. So, you can browse through and take your pick! 

Whether you’re printing items to sell or not, image quality is probably your highest concern. You want your items to look bright, clean, and eye-catching. 

So, one thing you’ll need to find out is the image resolution of the prints. When it comes to resolution, the higher it is, the better. As a result, you’ll get a sharp image that doesn’t look pixelated.

But you also want to look at how accurate the colors come out. Are they true-to-life, or do they look muted or distorted? You want your designs to look vibrant, with rich, saturated colors. That will make all the difference to your products and ensure you have happy customers.

Printer Method – How Does It Print?

One of the first things you’ll want to find out is which method each printer uses for printing. For example, some will apply ink directly onto the material. But others use a heat transfer technique instead. 

Each method has pros and cons, but you’ll need to know upfront to ensure you make the right decision. 

Materials Compatibility

Another thing to consider is which materials you can print on with any specific printer. Each printer may have different compatibility. 

So, you want to make sure it matches what you have in mind. You don’t want to wait until you’ve bought the printer to find out it’s incompatible with your products!

Don’t forget that many printers don’t work well on dark colors. While it’s not completely impossible, it is tricky. You can find out some tips on printing on dark fabrics here.  

Ink Cartridge – Price and Longevity

When buying any printer, you should look into the ink cartridges it takes. Even though printers use special sublimation ink, the principle is the same.

Make sure you find out how much the cartridges cost and how long they last. You should also look up how many cartridges each printer uses, too. 

Then, you can estimate what your ongoing costs will be. That will give you an idea of how much your products will cost to produce. This information is especially important if you want to sell them and make a profit.


Think about how you’ll connect to your printer to transfer your designs. There are now many different options available to you. But not every printer will support all connectivity options. 

Most printers will allow you to connect your laptop via USB to print off your designs. But you may prefer to transfer them from another mobile device like your phone. Or maybe you want to draw right onto your tablet and print from it. That makes it much more streamlined. It also saves you from messing around with USB sticks. 

The majority of modern printers offer wireless printing. So, you can connect to any device over a network from any of your gadgets. 

But it’s even better if your chosen printer has WiFi Direct. That means you can connect without there even being a router nearby. It makes it straightforward, quick, and effortless to print. 

Top Sublimation Printers

epson ecotank et 15000 sawgrass virtuoso sg1000 brother hl l2320d mono laser printer
ProductEpson EcoTank ET-2720Sawgrass SG1000 Brother HL-L2320D Mono Printer
Printing TechnologyColor Inkjet PrinterDye SublimationLaser
ConnectivityWiFi Direct, WiFi, USB, EthernetWiFi, Ethernet, USBUSB
Warranty2-year limited warranty if you register it with Epson2-year warranty & lifetime product support1-year limited warranty

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

Best Printer for Long-term Value for Money

Epson EcoTank ET-15000

(Image credit: Epson)

If you’re looking for a desktop printer built to last, go for the Epson EcoTank ET-15000. Not only is it durable, but it’s incredibly economical and eco-friendly. 

The EcoTank ET-15000 has a super tank of ink lasting up to 2 years. As a result, you can save tons on buying new cartridges for your printer. Each page averages out at just 1 cent with this printer. Not only will the refillable cartridges save you cash, but it’s also kind to the environment and provide unnecessary waste. 

And when the ink does run out, you can get a replacement bottle at a very reasonable price. So, the ongoing overhead of running this printer is very low. That’s true even if you do a lot of sublimation printing.

Despite the low operation and printing costs, you don’t lose any image quality. This printer has a high-density print chip, so you get fantastic print accuracy and detail. Your designs will look amazing, sharp, and true to life. 

Plus, the PrecisionCore technology ensures superb performance from this printer. That makes it perfect for large print runs.

It also offers all the other features you’d expect from any regular printer. Of course, you can fax, copy, scan, and save paper by duplex printing. It has a 250-sheet paper tray, a media tray for large or high-quality prints, and an Auto Document Feeder.

As for the sublimation paper formats compatible, this printer is very versatile. You can print up to 13 x 19-inch designs, giving you the option to create larger designs. It even offers borderless prints up to 11 x 17 inches.

The 2.7-inch color touchscreen makes it easy to use. And with WiFi Direct, you don’t even need a computer or a router to print. You can do it all right from your phone or tablet for the ultimate ease and flexibility.

Overall, the Epson EcoTank EP-15000 is an excellent printer for T-shirts. It’s not cheap to buy, but this printer will save you so much money in the long term. So, it’s worth spending more upfront for enduring print quality and low operating costs.


  • Brand: Epson
  • Printing Technology: Inkjet
  • Connectivity: WiFi, WiFi Direct, Ethernet
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty (2 years if you register it with Epson)


  • You can print accurate, crisp designs up to 13 x 19 inches
  • It meets all your regular and sublimation printing needs
  • It has very low ongoing costs and comes with enough ink for two years


  • This printer is very expensive to buy upfront
  • It can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first
View Prices

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

Best Affordable Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

(Image credit: Epson)

You might look at this printer and think it’s still a little expensive for an affordable printer. But you have to consider the cost of buying ink cartridges every month or so. Then, the EcoTank ET-2720 suddenly becomes a very attractive alternative.

Because the amazing thing about this printer is that it comes with enough ink to last two years. With this clever, eco-friendly printer, you’ll save around 90% of the cost of ink cartridges. 

But the EcoTank ET-2720 is also much cheaper than the ET-15000. So, that makes it ideal for anyone who wants a super tank printer, but not the steep initial price point. This model won’t set you back too much, making it easier to start with sublimation. 

The ET-2720 produces good-quality prints. It can even print sharp, accurate photos without any pixelation. But it may not be as crisp or precise as the premium printers. 

But it does offer easy connectivity from any smartphone or computer. It’s quick and easy to set up, and refilling the ink is simple. So, there’s no need to get your hands messy! Plus, it comes with a 2-year warranty and is compatible with many paper formats.

So, this EcoTank printer is perfect if you want to start sublimation printing on a budget! 


  • Brand: Epson
  • Printing Technology: Inkjet
  • Connectivity: WiFi Direct, WiFi, USB, Ethernet
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty if you register it with Epson


  • A fantastic budget printer for beginner sublimation printing
  • You can print a wide variety of paper formats
  • It provides good-quality prints 
  • There’s a very low ongoing cost as the ink lasts for ages


  • It doesn’t have the highest print resolution compared to other models
View Prices

Sawgrass SG1000

Best Premium Sublimation Printing Machine

Sawgrass SG1000

(Image credit: Sawgrass)

If you’re not familiar with Sawgrass, then listen up. It’s one of the most well-known brands in sublimation printing, and for a good reason. Sawgrass has been in business for over 50 years. It also produces some of the best printers out there. And the Sawgrass SG1000 is no different.

It’s a compact desktop printer designed specifically for sublimation printing. It works flawlessly on a range of different polymers in a remarkably quick time. So, with the SG1000, you can print on T-shirts, mugs, wood, and more. 

Sawgrass SG1000 uses high-quality sublimation inks to produce incredible results. With a super-high print resolution, your designs will be vibrant and stunning. 

It can also handle large print runs without any worries. That means there are no limits to how many T-shirts or other products you can make. So, there are no limits to the money you can make in your new business! 

What’s more, this printer comes with amazing software included. So you can create unique designs for your products. The warranty covers SG1000 for two years, and you also get lifetime product support. So, there’s a lot to like about this printer.

But there are a few drawbacks to this model. First of all, there’s the high cost. That’s not to say it’s not worth this price, but it’s not within everyone’s budget.

Also, the Sawgrass sublimation dyes are very expensive. So, that adds to the ongoing cost of this printer. 

If you want a professional printer that can churn out product after product, this is for you! The Sawgrass SG1000 is ideal for anyone who wants to start a serious business. While you will first have to invest in this printer, it’s well worth your money. 


  • Brand: Sawgrass
  • Printing Technology: Dye sublimation
  • Connectivity: Wifi, USB, Ethernet
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty & lifetime product support


  • The best Dye-sublimation printers for small/medium businesses
  • It can produce large print runs with superb quality, thanks to a high print resolution
  • It prints quickly and accurately 
  • You also get powerful software for designing images 
  • It comes with a great 2-year warranty and ongoing support


  • The SG1000 is very expensive, and the inks also cost a lot 

View prices on

Sawgrass SG500 Printer

Top Printer

Sawgrass SG500

(Image credit: Sawgrass)

Next up is the slightly cheaper model, the Sawgrass SG500. But while it’s more affordable than the SG1000, this printer is by no means a budget printer.

However, it’s well worth your attention. You still get the same great customer support and high-quality printer as the SG1000. 

And just like the SG1000, it uses the Sublijet UHD sublimation inks. The interface is smooth and intuitive, making this printer easy to use. Plus, you get access to the Creative Studio Online Designer included in the price.

It also comes with a generous 2-year warranty. So, you can trust that this printer will be durable and hardwearing. (And if not, Sawgrass should repair or replace it for you). That provides great peace of mind when investing in a more costly printer. 

The smaller paper capacity of this model is where the SG500 differs from the SG1000. The SG500 is compatible with paper formats up to 8.5 x 14 inches. So, it’s most useful if you want to print smaller designs onto clothes or accessories.

But if you don’t need to print very large prints, the Sawgrass SG500 ticks all the right boxes. It meets all your needs for a quality printer and offers great value for money.


  • Brand: Sawgrass
  • Printing Technology: Dye sublimation
  • Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, WiFi
  • Warranty: 2-year warranty & ongoing customing support


  • One of the best printers for heat transfer
  • You get superb image quality using the best sublimation inks
  • It’s easy to use, durable, and powerful
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty and lifetime customer support


  • It’s still not a cheap printer

View prices on

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000

Best Epson Printer for Sublimation

Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000

(Image credit: Epson)

The Epson Expression XP-15000 is technically a high-quality photo printer. But it also works well for sublimation printing. 

This printer is ideal as it can print large formats up to 13 x 19 inches and handle materials up to 23 mm thick. That gives you a lot more flexibility for what you can print. 

It’s perfect if you want to create big, bold designs or print on thicker materials like hoodies. There’s no limit to what you can make with this printer! You can also use a wide variety of fabrics or polyester fabrics with the Epson Expression XP-15000. 

Despite these great features, it’s one of the cheapest printers available. It also has excellent print quality, including gorgeous, true-to-life photos. You get incredible detail and vivid colors that make your products look amazing.

The Epson Expression provides everything you could need from a printer. It offers borderless printing, wireless connection and is compatible with most devices. You can also connect it to Alexa for voice control and set up dash replenishment, so you don’t run out of ink. 

It’s easy to navigate and select your printing options, thanks to the 2.4-inch color LCD. But it would be even more user-friendly if it had a touchscreen instead of buttons. 

Despite the large print format, it’s still pretty compact. So it won’t take up too much space in your office or home. 

This printer isn’t the fastest, so bear that in mind. If you have large print runs, that will be very time-consuming. So if speed is your priority, you may consider other options on this list.

As for the ongoing cost, this printer gets a little pricey. It’s recommended only to use Epson ink cartridges, but they don’t come cheap and get through lots of ink. But that could be outweighed by the low initial cost. It’s up to you whether you’re after long-term affordability or not. 

But if you can get past the low printing speed and expensive cartridges, this could be your printer. With great features and image quality, it’s a fantastic low-cost printer.


  • Brand: Epson
  • Printing Technology: Inkjet
  • Connectivity: Wireless, Ethernet
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty


  • The six-ink system produces bright, vibrant, and accurate images
  • It has good wireless connectivity options
  • It offers borderless printing & large formats up to 13 x 19 inches


  • The cartridges are quite expensive to buy, and you can’t use third-party inks
  • It doesn’t have any memory card slots
  • The print speed is pretty slow
View Prices

Brother HL-L2320D Mono Laser Printer

Best Black & White Printer for Sublimation

Brother HL-L232D Mono

(Image credit: Brother)

The Brother HL-L2320D could be what you’re looking for if you’re brand new to sublimation printing. It will also suit anyone who has a very tight budget but still wants to try creating customized clothing.

This printer has super-fast print speeds of up to 30 ppm. It’s also very gentle on your wallet, with a low initial price. Plus, the toner cartridges tend to last longer than regular ink cartridges. So, it could work out more affordable in the long run, too.

It offers duplex printing (although you’re unlikely to need that for sublimation printing). The print quality is excellent, thanks to a 2400 x 600 dpi resolution. 

The biggest downside to this Brother print is that it can only print in black and white. So, if you have dreams of creating bright, colorful designs, you can think again. (Or, check out the other printers on this list!) 

For a basic printer, the Brother HL-L2320D ticks the right boxes. It’s a little limited in features, and you can only connect by USB. But that’s what you’d expect for this bargain price. 


  • Brand: Brother
  • Printing Technology: Laser
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Warranty: 1-year limited warranty


  • Images come out sharp and accurate, thanks to the high 2400 x 600 dpi resolution
  • It prints very quickly – up to 30 ppm


  • It can only print in black and white
  • It doesn’t have wireless connectivity – you have to connect via USB
View Prices
The best sublimation printers reviews and buying guide

The Wrap Up

This complete guide to sublimation printers gives you a good idea of what you’ll need. Now, you know what makes a top printer for heat transfers. 

You can shop around and compare your options with confidence. Or, you can save some time and take your pick from the reviewed printers above!

Let me know how it goes with your new sublimation printing machine in the comments below. And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more tips and reviews. 

This post contains affiliate links. Proactive Creative may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase.


Outmane is the founder of Proactive Creative. He is an artist/designer.


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