If you are planning to start a custom printed apparel business or want to add artwork onto t-shirts, the quality is must. Prints, for instance, should be clear and well-defined.
Color balance should be accurate and your designs must be fade proof. A good t-shirt heat press machine can help you full fill these criteria.
Selecting the right Heat Press for your needs is a rather daunting task. The process of choosing your machine can be less daunting if you remember that all heat presses do the same thing: apply heat under pressure for a specific period of time.
Editor’s Short List: Top 6 Heat Press Machines Compared
- The Top 10 Best Heat Press Machines Reviewed by Experts
- 1. VEVOR Heat Presses 15 X 15 Inch 8 in 1 Digital Multifunctional Sublimation T Shirt Heat Press Machine
- 2. F2C Pro 5 in 1 Combo Heat Press T-shirt Digital Heat Transfer Sublimation Machine
- 3. Power Press Industrial Quality Digital Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press
- 4. Super Deal Digital Swing Away 12″ X 10″ Heat Press Clamshell Transfer Machine
- 5. Fancierstudio Power Heat press 15×15 B/BLK
- 6. F2C 15″ x 15″ Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press
- 7. ZENY Digital 12″x10″ Heat Press Swing Away Sublimation Machine
- 8. Diamond Professional Industrial Transfer Clamshell Upgraded Heat Press
- 9. Orange A Controller Multifunction Sublimation Swing-away Heat Press
- 10. USCutter 15″x15″ Digital Heat Press Machine, T-Shirts, Vinyl, Non Stick Sheet
- Heat Press Machine Types
- Digital or Analog?
- Your Budget
The Top 10 Best Heat Press Machines Reviewed by Experts
1. VEVOR Heat Presses 15 X 15 Inch 8 in 1 Digital Multifunctional Sublimation T Shirt Heat Press Machine
Whether you are designing t shirt for your kids or making t-shirts that your employees can wear at work, you’ll find that Vevor heat press is up to the job. Your T-shirt design business will perform well with the VEVOR 15 X 15 Digital Controller Sublimation machine. Its five-in-one and 8 in 1 solutions are ideal for variety of applications including heat transfers on bags, mouse pads, mugs, glass, T-Shirts, caps, and other items. Both business owners and home crafters rely on this versatile equipment for their design transfer needs.
Why you should use this press
The VEVOR comes with some great features that you’ll find appropriate for your business. The following list is just a few that we choose to highlight:
Versatility: Any flat surface can be used to transfer whatever you need. It’s effective with ceramic tiles, jigsaw puzzles, mouse pads, and of course, T-shirts. This is what you should expect from this flexible eight-in-one machine.
Size: This heating press provides a large printing surface of 15 inches by 15 inches that is Teflon coated. This is just perfect for your T-shirt and design business.
Digital Controls: Your machine comes with full digital controls for time and temperature settings. It also provides an audible alarm to signal when a transfer is finished.
Timer and Temperature Ranges: Your heating press offers a timer range of 0-999 seconds and a temperature range of 32-430 degrees Fahrenheit. These controls are easy to use and will allow you to set the right temperature and duration for any of your print or image transfer jobs.
Safety: You can safely move the heating element with its 360-degree rotation swing-away feature. This allows for a safe cool down operation and little chance of accidental burns.
Of course, the VEVOR has many more features that we did not discuss. You can, however, explore them later as you get to know your heat press.
- Very easy to use
- Budget Friendly
- Non-stick surface
- The manual that comes with it may not be helpful
2. F2C Pro 5 in 1 Combo Heat Press T-shirt Digital Heat Transfer Sublimation Machine
Available for a price which seems too good to be true. Your solution for a flexible and versatile heat transfer equipment is found in this F2C Machine T-Shirt Transfer Sublimation Heat Press. This is a six-in-one machine that offers superior versatility in the transfer of graphics and a variety of designs on almost any material you can use. You can easily transfer your awesome designs on ceramic, canvas, fabrics, metal, and any other suitable material. Hobbyists and small business owners have come to rely on this efficient and flexible equipment for lucrative t shirt printing.
Why should you try this?
There are tons of features to expect from this multi-purpose heat press. We have listed just a few here:
Versatility: This heat press is a six-in-one unit that comes with attachments that allow you to work with mugs, hats, T-shirts, plates, and other materials.
Size: You’ll be able to carry out various sizes of print and transfers with the 12 inch by 15 inch heating plate. The height is adjustable from 13 ½ inches to 17 inches.
Digital Controls: Maintain complete control with its digital controls that allow for precise timer and temperature settings.
Temperature and Timer Ranges: Your heating press provides a temperature range of 32-430 degrees Fahrenheit and a timer range of 0-999 seconds. These are just what is needed to get the job done effectively.
Many other features are offered by this F2C Machine T-Shirt Transfer Sublimation Heat Press that you can discover later yourself.
- Easy to set up and use
- Maintains its temperature settings well
- Pressure is adjustable when closed on item to be pressed
- Safe to use and won’t cause accidents
- The instructions that came with this press were limited.
- May trip your house breakers if the energy load gets too high.
3. Power Press Industrial Quality Digital Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press
If your business is T-shirt design or transferring cool images to a variety of materials then the Power Press Industrial Quality Digital Sublimation T-Shirt heating press is just what you need. Not only will you be able to create awesome T-shirt designs, you’ll be able to provide great design items on canvas, metal, glass, ceramic – on almost any material you can think of.
Why should you choose this press?
This heating press carries features that users really love. Here are just a few that may be what you’re looking for:
Versatility: This heating press works well with fabrics, metal, glass, canvas, and other materials. Test the versatility of this heat transferring tool and see for yourself why so many persons are using it.
Size: You’ll be able to carry out large printing with the 15 inch by 15 inch heating plate. This is just perfect for your T-shirt and design business.
Digital Controls: You can maintain full control over your press settings with its LCD control board. The time and temperature of your heating press can be accurately placed on settings that get the job done.
Timer and Temperature Ranges: Your heating press comes with a timer range of 0-999 seconds and a temperature range of 0-750 degrees Fahrenheit – just great to get things heated quickly.
Safety: Your heating press won’t overheat or experience a short circuit thanks to its replaceable fuse. In addition, the heating plate is Teflon coated to protect it from scratches and other surface damage.
There are other cool features that you’ll love about this heating press – such as the durability, material, appearance, and adjustability that you may explore later.
- Convenient to use and maintain
- Easy to operate
- Non-stick surface
- A little heavy, so it’s not easily portable.
4. Super Deal Digital Swing Away 12″ X 10″ Heat Press Clamshell Transfer Machine
Perhaps you would rather a heat press that can easily transfer letters, photos, and other images to bags, T-shirts and anything you can lay your hands on. In that case, consider the Digital Clamshell Transfer Sublimation Temperature Heat Press. This versatile heat press is suitable for personal as well as business printing jobs.
Why should you select this press?
You may love the features offered by this swing-away clamshell heat press sublimation printer. See for yourself why this is listed among our top ten heat press machine:
Versatility: You’ll find that this heating press performs quite well with bags, mouse pads, ceramic tiles, jigsaw puzzles, plates, and other flat surfaces.
Controls: You can rotate the upper heat platen completely around with its one of a kind swing-away feature. It’s also possible to easily open and close the heat press with its manual handle and adjust the pressure with the knob found at the back of the machine.
Timer and Temperature Ranges: This clamshell heat press offers a timer range of 0-999 seconds and a temperature range of 0-399 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll be able to get started quickly – simply plug in and set your temperature and timer to what you want.
Safety: You won’t accidentally burn yourself as the heating element can be moved aside to reduce harm. Now, you can freely work with your material and transfers using the base plate.
You’ll find other great features on this swing-away clamshell heat press including appearance, flexibility, and durability which you can look into later.
- Easy to handle
- Simple to set up
- Works with almost any material
- Low price
- It gets very hot if you don’t pay attention to the temperature adjustments.
- The constant beep (which is a safety feature) may be annoying to some users.
5. Fancierstudio Power Heat press 15×15 B/BLK
If you’re an amateur with little experience in printing items like promotional T-shirts, then it helps to have an easy-to-use machine like the 15″x15″ Extra Wide Body Rhinestone Heat Press. You’ll love the way this machine provides the quality you need without the hassle. Its versatile enough for use on various materials and you can produce anything from numbered team jerseys to event promotion tote bags. Users have been impressed with its easy set up and use and the high-quality products they are able to crank out.
Why consider this press?
You’ll find the features of this heat press to be just what you require to get your project started on the right footing. Consider these general features:
Versatility: Users can produce prints on materials such as fabrics, canvas, glass, and ceramic tiles. Almost any material that is flat and can withstand heat are appropriate for this heat press.
Size: This heating press provides a large printing surface of 15″x15″, which is ideal for most projects by small businesses and home crafters.
Clamshell : The Clamshell machine ideally opens and closes via a hinge and operates like a mouth. This is perfect for newbie as it is super easy to use. It is also a great choice if you wish to only work with thinner garments such as T shirts.
Timer and Temperature Ranges: With a timer range of 0-999 seconds and a temperature range of 0-699 degrees Fahrenheit, this heat press can deliver more jobs than many others on the market.
If you’re also concerned about features like durability, appearance, and portability, you may want to check these features as well.
- Quite simple to set up and use right away
- Price is reasonable
- Comes with a 15″x15″ heat press sheet
6. F2C 15″ x 15″ Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press
If you need to quickly print T-shirts or other items for yourself or your client, the F2C 15″ x 15″ Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press is just for you. It’s easy to set up and use and you can actually get your project started right away. This versatile machine can work on almost any flat surfaced item and the results you’ll achieve will be impressive, just like professional quality prints.
Why choose this press?
F2C 15″ x 15″ Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press machine comes with certain features that are ideal for the small business or home craft operator. Here are a few:
Versatility: It’s possible to work with almost any material that has a flat surface and can withstand heat. This machine allows the transfer of numbers, letters, photos, graphics, and other design elements to tote bags, caps, hats, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, ceramic tiles and other flat surfaces.
Size: This heating press offers a printing surface of 15 inches by 15 inches which is ideal for small to medium transfer jobs.
Controls: All controls on this heat press are easy to manipulate. The handle is operated manually to open and close the unit. The pressure knob located at the back of the heat press is also adjustable to suit the materials you are working with.
Timer and Temperature Ranges: Your heating press comes with a timer range of 0~ 9999 seconds and a temperature range of 0-400 Fahrenheit. These settings are flexible enough for hot and cold transfers.
Safety: Its swing-away feature allows for rotating the upper heating element a full 250-degrees. This will reduce the chance of getting burnt accidentally and allow you to work safely with garments and other materials during transfers.
We have not exhausted the features provided with this heat press. Check for yourself the other features that are offered.
- Quite easy to set up and use
- Easy on the budget
- Surfaces are non-stick
- This heat press can get very hot, so pay attention to your temperature settings.
7. ZENY Digital 12″x10″ Heat Press Swing Away Sublimation Machine
What better equipment would you need for your T-Shirt design business than a multifunction transfer sublimation heat press by ZENY? Here is an effective solution for all your design transfer needs that is rolled up in one machine. Users like the versatility in the range of materials that can be used that is offered by this heat press.
Why use this press?
The ZENY is designed with features that will make producing quality print and transfer designs easy and fun. Here is a shortlist of a few you would like:
Versatility: This swing-away heat press is flexible enough for application on metal, fabric, glass, ceramic and other materials. It’s also suitable for producing gift items as well as promotional ads.
Size: This heating press provides a Teflon coated heat platen that is 12 inches by 10 inches. It also provides a full range of heating coils for consistency of heat distribution throughout the entire surface.
Digital Controls: Your machine comes with full digital controls for time and temperature settings. It also provides an audible alarm to signal when a transfer is finished.
Timer and Temperature Ranges: Your heating press provides a timer range of 0-999 seconds and a temperature range of 0-399 degrees Fahrenheit. These ranges offer more flexibility for use for a variety of image transfer projects.
Safety: Rotation of the upper heat platen by 360 degrees is a safety feature that prevents accidental burns. This swing-away feature is also convenient for the operation of this machine.
Certainly, there are other features of this swing-away heat press that we did not discuss. Check them out later at your convenience.
- Quite sturdily made from mostly metal parts
- Reasonably priced for the budget
- Heat press heats quickly and is efficient
- The manual provided is poorly translated from Chinese
- The timer function may be difficult for some users to figure out
- It’s recommended to assemble the plastic foot cover in order to keep the device steady
- Read instructions carefully prior to use.
8. Diamond Professional Industrial Transfer Clamshell Upgraded Heat Press
For any job, large or small, you’ll be satisfied with the Professional Industrial Transfer Clamshell Upgraded Heat Press. This robust and versatile machine will make your design printing and transfer jobs a snap. Whether you need to quickly print T-Shirts for a product promotion or family event, you’ll find this industrial grade machine to be the right option for you.
Why select this press?
With the Professional Industrial heat press comes a variety of features that you’ll certainly appreciate. Here are a few to consider:
Versatility: Any material may be suitable for transferring your designs using this professional industrial heat press. It’s ideal for mouse pads, caps, mugs, ceramic tiles, jigsaw puzzles, and certainly, T-Shirts.
Size: You’ll get a big heating surface of 15 inches by 15 inches, which is a great starting size. If you wish to upgrade even more, there are bigger sizes you could get. The heating elements are also Teflon coated.
Digital Controls: This professional industrial heat press provides a full-color LED display that allows the electronic timer and temperature settings to be shown. The pressure adjustable knob is also easy to use. You’ll also receive an alarm signal whenever a transfer is completed.
Timer and Temperature Ranges: This professional heat press is also equipped with a 0-999 seconds timer range and 0-499 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range.
Safety: This heat press is also outfitted with a Silicone base that can absorb 500 degrees of heat without difficulty. Operators will also be safeguarded by dual electric system protection. A specially thickened heating plate also provides stable and even temperature distribution for safe machine operation.
There are other useful features of this professional industrial heat press that you can check out for yourself later.
- Quite simple to use, once you understand the basics of how to do it
- The screen is very easy to use
- This machine is sturdy and stable, with very little plastic components
- Heating elements provide non-stick surfaces
- This heat press is heavy, so you’ll need help to get it to a table before use
- It will take a few minutes to warm up fully, so be patient.
- You’ll need to read all instructions carefully to ensure that you are using the correct transfer paper cutter – whether for hot or cold transfers.
You can’t go wrong with a multipurpose heat press like the Orange A Controller Multifunction Sublimation Swing-Away Heat Press. Your T-Shirt design business will thrive with this machine that also allows you to do a variety of jobs on the same equipment. Large and small jobs are facilitated by this versatile machine which is built to last for a long time.
Why you should consider this press
There are many features that will make your Orange A heat press so desirable. The following is just a shortlist of the more notable features:
Versatility: Expect nothing less from this eight-in-one heat press. It is versatile enough to work on any surface you like. It’s perfect for applying letters, images, numbers, and transfers on bags, jigsaw puzzles, caps, mugs, ceramic tiles, plates, garments – on just about anything!
Size: Not only are you able to do large prints and transfers with its 12 inches by 15 inches platen surface, you will also be able to tackle smaller jobs with the 6 inches by 3 inches Cap/Hat press.
Digital Controls: The digital LCD display allows for accurate temperature and timer settings. You will also get an audible alarm to whenever a transfer is done.
Safety: The swing-away feature allows you to move the heating element safely by 360 degrees to prevent accidental burns.
Clearly, there are other features that we could not discuss here. You should check them out later whenever you find the time.
- It is simple to use
- You pay a reasonable price
- Heating elements are non-stick surfaces
- It is quite flexible for use in a variety of print and transfer jobs.
- Directions provided in the manual may not be easy to understand
- The beeping may be annoying to some users
To complete our top ten picks, here is the Digital Machine T-Shirts Starter Bundle which will get your business off the ground. This machine is created with the small design transfer business and the home crafter in mind. Not only is this machine simple to set up and use, it is also quite versatile. You will get great results on wood, ceramic, fabrics, and glass, among other materials.
Why should you take this press?
Your design business will benefit from the many features of this Digital Machine T-Shirt starter bundle. Here are a few to consider:
Versatility: This heat press works best on flat surfaces including metal, ceramic, wood, glass, and fabrics. It’s ideal for any print and transfer job that you would want to do for yourself or clients.
Digital Controls: Your machine comes with a large digital LCD display for precise time and temperature settings. It also provides a pressure adjustment knob that is full-range to allow pressure adjustments based on how thick the transfer material is.
Durability: This heat press is a commercial grade, heavy-duty machine that is built using a thick aluminum board on a rigid steel frame. It is, therefore, built to last and is quite stable.
High Density: The heating board is designed for high-density applications. It has a non-stick surface that prevents scorching during operation.
You won’t be disappointed with the many features that this heat press actually carries. You may, however, check them out later.
- Already preassembled for easy use straight out of the box
- Non-stick surface
- It comes with a one-year warranty
- You get 2 T-Shirts and 5 sheets of Siser EasyWeed Vinyl sheets with your order
- It doesn’t beep when it is finished warming up. It will beep when the transfer is completed though.
Five main things that you May consider When purchasing a Heat Press machine:
Firstly, make sure the heat machine you are choosing is from a reliable manufacturers. We also recommend that you get a t shirt printing machine that offers technical and commercial application.
Probably the most important consideration is how large of a heat press you’re going to need. This will mainly be based on the area that you’re going to be printing on. Here are the basic size ranges:
Very Small – 4×6 – 6×8, good for small items such as baby clothes and handbags. This size is referred to as a ‘Label Press’.
Small – 9×12 – 12×14, very portable presses that can be used for pressing 8×11 sheets that you print out on your computer printer, etc. Relatively inexpensive.
Medium – 14×16 – 16×16, this range is usually more heavy duty than the smaller heat presses. They are also large enough to press most pre-made heat transfers.
Large – 16×20, Generally the largest press that you’ll need for normal pressing work. This size can press the largest preprinted heat transfers available (about 11×17).
Heat Press Machine Types
It’s important to base your decision on what your needs will be when using your press. There are three main types:
Swing Away Press – Presses where the top part of the press lifts straight off and swings out to the side. Great for printing T Shirts.
Draw Press – A mix of the swing away press and the clamshell. The top plate lifts off, but instead of swinging to the right, the bottom plate is on a bearing that can angle downwards.
Clam Shell – The top platen on this type of T Shirt Heat Press lifts straight up and the bottom plate can be either rigid or tilting.
Digital or Analog?
Time and temperature are more accurate with digital timers than analog, which often only go to 60 seconds. Reading from a small gage can be hard to view correctly. For most garment decorating shops, a digital heat press is not a deal breaker, but they can make your shop more efficient, giving you less to deal with.
Safety is important… especially when dealing with something that will be extremely hot while you’re operating it. Be careful when buying a used machine, as there won’t be a warranty attached to it. Getting a deal may be great, but knowing that your press is safe for you to use is worth a little extra cost.
The Weight: If you’ll always be working in the same location, then weight won’t be too much of an issue. However, if you want to carry your heat press to various events, you’ll want portable one.
How much you’re able to spend will be a factor. While you don’t need the biggest, most expensive model available – it is important to have room to grow. It’s highly recommended to buy the best possible heat press that you can afford.
Heat Transfer Machine for Different Intended People
When you go to purchase a best heat press machine, there is a range of models available depending on your needs, budget, and experience. Here are the ones you will get with each device category.
These presses are great, an economical option if you’re just starting out and do not want to spend a lot of bucks, the cost is around $200. They are small and are good for those who are hobbyist and print in small quantities. Some of the cons are the warm-up time that can make bulk printing take a lot of time and the most basic controls. But, these models still give you a great opportunity.
These machines are a step beyond the beginner level, providing with an experience closer to professional machines but more economical without losing quality. In this range, the cost of the machines moves between $300 -$400. Its design is a bit simpler than at the professional level, but features, such as temperature control, are a step further from the initial model.
At this level, the heat press machines will give you a super accurate impression, and the price range varies from $500 to thousands. Usually, they have features like heat control, temperature, and pressure settings as well as presets if you are printing large quantities, the result is consistent. These machines can also be large and heavier since they are made with higher quality materials. However, they are also the best heat press machine option if you are printing large quantities on a large scale as they provide a quick printing process.
Heat Press Time and Temperature
You might think that the job of transferring graphics on fabric is a simple task. In some cases, it might very well be so simple any five-year-old could do it. Yet in other situations, the task of transferring your design on t-shirts using a heat press machine can be a bit more complicated.
To achieve the best results, you will need to be familiar with the temperature and heat settings of your heat press machine and of the fabrics, you will be using. You definitely need to understand how and when to apply heat to your fabrics to carry out a successful transfer. The incorrect temperature will cause your graphic designs to be messy on your material and t-shirts. That, of course, is the last thing you need in your t-shirt printing business.
So, to get the best from your heat transfer machine you need to set the correct temperature, apply the right pressure, and use the right amount of time that each material actually needs. In addition, you would also need to know whether to peel off your transfer paper when the heat press is hot or cold.
You might be a little flustered or overwhelmed when you try to decide among these factors in producing your masterpiece t-shirt prints.
Let’s break it down a little:
Setting the right temperature depends on the materials you are working with. Not all material can tolerate high temperatures so you have to be careful not to scorch or burn your fabrics as you do your heat printing.
So, for multi-purpose materials, your temperature setting should be at around 350° F, and your time setting should be around 10 to 12 minutes. Certain materials, like Polyester, do not work well when the temperature is high. In such cases, take these steps:
- Set the temperature to 270° F
- Set the heat press timer for 10 minutes
- Peel your transfer paper only when it is hot
Stretchy material, like swimsuits, require a different temperature and time setting than what you would use for non-stretch material. Here are the steps:
- Set the temp at 335° F
- Set the timer for 12 to 14 minutes
- Peel transfer paper when cold
You will find that the temperature and time settings will also depend on the design and effect you want to pull off. If your temperature settings are not right, the desired result will be spoiled and you would have to do your heat printing all over again.
Let’s look at a few settings:
- Full-color designs – Temperature 350° F; Time 10 to 12 mins; Peel when hot
- The vintage (old and faded) look – Temperature 350° F; Time 10 to 12 mins; Peel when hot
- High textured print with Glitters – Temperature 350° F; Time 15 mins; Peel when hot
- Sweat or T-shirts – Temperature 365° to 375° F; Time 10 to 12 mins; Peel when hot
- One of a kind designs, e.g. Glow in the Dark – Temperature 350° F; Time 10 to 12 mins
- Difficult or stubborn materials or fabrics – Temperature 330° F; Time 15 mins
- Metallic finish – Temperature 320° F; Time 20 mins; Peel when warm.
- Reflective material – Temperature 305°F; Time 10 to 12 mins; Peel when cold.
- Photo transfer on white fabric – Temperature 385°F; Time 25 to 30 mins.
- Photo transfer on dark fabric – Temperature 365°F; Time 25 mins; Peel when hot.
- Very high-quality, full-color prints – Temperature 305°F; Time 10 mins; Peel when hot.
This list, of course, is not exhaustive. There are many more settings that you should at least be able to refer to. As you can see, the temperature and time settings for your t-shirt heat printing are not the same for all jobs. The fabrics, design, and effects dictate the temp and time settings you must make to get the most stunning results.
You can also refer to the instructions that come with your heat press or transfer paper to ensure that you are following the correct temperature and time settings required for each of your heat printing jobs. You may also go online for additional information on how to set your temperature and time to get the job done.
Heat press machines are an affordable way to create designs and customized t-shirts. Whether you’re starting out with your store in your home or in a modest workspace, these machines will help you get the job done.
When selecting a heat press machine, the most important thing is that you have to consider the result and which tool will help you to get your objective more easily. With so many models and pricing options available, you’re sure to find one that works for you. Happy impression!
If you’re ready to go into the business of selling your own T-shirts, it’s easier today than ever before. Once you have the design, you have some options to make the transfers to your shirts. You can outsource the work on many sites online, you can print, or you can do it with heat, a method that is gaining popularity by its ease and convenience.