The Best Sublimation Printers
Most people are often confused between sublimation and thermal printers. These two are actually quite similar. Both require the use of heat to transmit dye on to fabric, cloth, and other materials.
Sublimation printers are great if you’re into a mug, t-shirt, and photo printing. This year, similar to the last, will see the majority of the people working from home. Thus, everyone wants to manage their work remotely, yet effectively.
Whether you run a remote or a full-scale company. These sublimation printers will help churn out pristine prints that meet the industry standard.
We at WFH Adviser, have reviewed over two dozen sublimation printers and have shortlisted the best ones for you.
HP is the market leader when it comes to sublimation printing. Almost all their products surpass our expectations. And the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 is no different.
This multifunctional printer designed for mid-tier offices can handle a heavy workload. You can expect top quality output and a seamless printing process.
The OfficeJet Pro 9015 comes with multiple sizable paper drawers that have 250 sheets. As for speed, it can print up to 22 pages in a single minute.
Furthermore, it offers excellent document organization via QuickBooks, and Google Drive synchronization. Using SmartTasks, you can organize your documents including receipts.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 in conjunction with HP smart app can protect sensitive data. It also has an ink tracker that reminds you to refill the ink whenever it’s low.
The self-healing WiFi technology helps maintain a stable Wi-Fi connection. Consequently preventing abrupt stoppage and increasing the printer’s longevity.
The Epson WorkForce WF-7710 is a wide-format color inkjet printer with exceptional wireless compatibility that allows printing via smartphones, tablets, and AirPrint.
With its PrecisionCore technology, you can generate about 40 million dots every second. As a result, you can get accurate, fast, and quality output. Besides, the WF-7710 can print both black, and color texts up to 13” x 19”.
Similar to the MFC-J995DW, it offers 2-sided auto duplex printing. Consequently, making it perfect for innovative small businesses seeking productivity.
Apart from the impressive dual printing mechanism, it can store up to 500 sheets in the front. Moreover, it has special paper and envelopes to print via the rear tray.
What sets Epson apart is its ink quality. And WF-7710 being an industrious sublimation printer is capable of generating excellent output at a reasonable price. Furthermore, it offers impressive compatibility allowing one-click print via its app.
Xerox’s Phaser 3260 is perhaps the most competitively priced sublimation printer in the market. If you have moderate printing needs and don’t require a hefty machine, the Xerox Phaser 3260 can easily be the ideal printer.
It weighs less than 20 pounds, and thus it’s quite mobile. When working from home, we usually seek products that are easy to move around. With the Phaser 3260, you can achieve 4800 x 600 dpi print quality in a hassle-free manner.
Apart from its competitive price, and lightweight build, it’s also easy to set up. It operates quietly and can deliver quality output with no hiccup. Furthermore, it offers Wi-Fi support and can print up to 29 pages per minute.
Phaser 3260’s compact design manages to grab your attention. It can effectively print up to 8.5” x 14”. The only shortcoming with this printer is that it’s not very economical, and cannot print on varied materials. Besides, don’t expect to print intricate designs using this machine.
When working from home, you want to look for durable products. Sure, you don’t want to spend a lot, but at the same time, you don’t want a cheap machine incapable of meeting printing needs. This is exactly where the Brother MFC-J995DW fits in.
We at WFHAdviser believe that this mean machine offers the best value in its price range. It’s an all-in-one printer that’s perfect for work-from-home and small scale users. In the MFC-J995DW, you’re not just getting a printer but fax, and a scanner as well.
MFC-J995DW houses great features that help achieve quality results. With its 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD, you can control sublimation or photo output seamlessly. Moreover, you also get the wireless printing feature with automatic two-sided printing.
Unlike other printers in its price range, the Brother MFC-J995DW also gives you an option to choose the material you want to print. If you’re short on budget and want a machine to heat or thermal press images onto a t-shirt, mug, or cloth, this is a great option.
Lexmark MC3224dwe is a mid-range compact printer that offers stunning prints with vibrant colors. Similar to other Lexmark mean machines, this sublimation printer boasts a solid body. However, that does not affect mobility and overall power consumption.
This sublimation printer can hold up to 250 pages and offer multifunctional capabilities. Thus, you can use it as a scanner, copier, and printer. With a 1-GHz dual-core processor and 512MB memory, you can achieve great output.
Lexmark MC3224dwe is great for two-sided printing and can print up to 24 pages per minute. It’s energy star certified and rated EPEAT Silver. Furthermore, you get a recycling toner cartridge so you don’t have to buy one every single time.
Lastly, Lexmark’s MC3224dwe offers excellent wireless connectivity. Setting it up is easy, and using the standard Wi-Fi, you can print using your mobile, USB, or ethernet via the Lexmark mobile print app, and google cloud print.
The Epson EcoTank is a decent sublimation printer. It might not be the fastest printer on this list but is quite economical. It can print up to 8 black text pages, and up to 5 color documents per minute. The cost-per-print is extremely low, thus making it an ideal option for in-house printing.
If you want a printer with a flatbed scanner, Epson EcoTank can get the job done. However, you shouldn’t expect features such as duplex scanning from this model. Nonetheless, it makes up for the missing features via its excellent compatibility.
Its lightweight and compact design helps maintain a minimal footprint. This makes it ideal for work-from-home offices and dorms. EcoTank ET-2720’s most eye-catching feature is the super tank system. Herein, it utilizes four high-cap ink tanks that offer a great yield.
Using Wi-Fi Direct, the wireless connectivity allows you to print from your Android, iPhone, and iPad devices.
When you think portable printing, you think Selphy CP1300. This sublimation printer has been a runaway success for its mobility. Whether you want to print in the office, or at your home, the Selphy CP1300 makes the process smooth.
Using the wireless connectivity, you can access AirPrint, the camera’s memory card, or social media platforms via the Canon Print App. Use the app to print any photo you want as per your size preference.
Users love this sublimation printer for its innovativeness. It allows you to print fun collages using in-house features such as Photo Booth Style Print or Party Shuffle Print. As for sizes, the Selphy CP1300 works best when printing postcard, square label, L Size, and Card Size.
Selphy’s Party Shuffle feature can be used to send images to the printer wirelessly. After which, you can combine all the images into a collage before printing. What makes this process easier is a 3.2” flip-up LCD color screen.
The second HP printer to make our list is the HP OfficeJet Pro 8025. It’s amongst the most popular entry-level sublimation printers in the world. It’s excellent for small and medium offices seeking quality yet economical output.
It can print up to 10 black text pages, and up to 6 color documents per minute. The cost-per-print sits at 0.148 US$ per print, making it a preferred option for in-house printing.
OfficeJet Pro has 250-sheet paper drawers, which is the same as Epson’s $200+ models. HP being a leader in sublimation printers offers extended support on the majority of its machines. For instance, even when you’re using Pro 8025, you’ll get innovative features of 9025.
Using the HP smart app, you can save time on printing tasks. Furthermore, with built-in security elements, you can also save confidential data. Similar to other HP Sublimation Printers, this too has an ink tracking system.
When it comes to speed and output, the OfficeJet Pro 8025, is the best one in its price range. Furthermore, it comes with a duplex dray – a feature that was missing in the Canon Selphy CP1300.
The Brother HL-L39290CDW is a Compact Digital Color Printer that allows you to print 25 pages per minute. Its remarkable cartridge helps maximize the yield.
With this sublimation printer, you can enjoy affordable B&W printing without compromising rich, and vivid colors. Personally, I feel that it works best for B&W. However, that doesn’t mean it cannot offer quality color outputs.
Though it has a scanner, it lacks an Automatic Document Feeder. Furthermore, it does not have the best traditional connectivity – No Ethernet port or Bluetooth support. However, it does offer wireless printing with built-in wireless support, Wi-Fi Direct, and a USB interface.
This printer is ideal for work-from-home offices that seek quick output. It can store up to 250 sheets in the paper tray and can withstand an exceptional printing workload. It has an innovative design that offers easy accessibility in case of a paper jam.
VuPoint’s IP-P10-VP is one of the most underrated sublimation printers out there. VuPoint is not a huge name as HP or Epson, but it does manufacturer quality printers. This particular model is perfect for 4×6 inch photo printing.
At an entry-level, it’s among the best photo sublimation printers in the market. However, it’s clearly geared towards personal and family usage than commercial. It takes about 55 seconds to print including overcoating, data processing, and pre-heating.
The IP-P10-VP offers a seamless dye sublimation thermal transfer. Its usage might not be as expansive as other printers, but it’s one of the best at what it does in this price range.
It sports a compact square-shaped design with a grey top and white base. Additionally, it has diagonal textures that make it aesthetically pleasing.
The only downfall to this product is that you need Photo Cube Color Cartridge Ink that can only offer 36 photos per refill.
Buyer’s Guide for Sublimation Printer
When buying a sublimation printer, you ought to figure out space and usage. Are you buying it for office or college use? Will it be a family printer or a personal photo printer?
Once you have these answers, you’ll be a step closer to finding the ideal sublimation printer.
Next, you want to learn different features. These include print quality, print speed, paper tray space, connectivity, and footprint.
For instance, for photo printing work, you need a high-resolution printer with specialized ink. On the contrary, if you’re a student, you’ll most likely need to print B&W documents for presentations, and assignments in high volume. In that case, cost-per-print will be a deciding factor.
Each sublimation printer is specifically designed. Not all printers have all the features. However, you can pick and choose between the following options. These include multi-function, duplexing, high-resolution, speed, touchscreen, big paper tray, and Wi-Fi integration.
Remember, a multi-function printer will be a basic sublimation printer that may offer duplexing, and high print speed. However, it might not offer the highest resolution.
Similarly, a sublimation printer with a big paper tray, and economical printer, may lack connectivity options. So, you’ve to choose the product as per your printing needs.
Can any material be sublimated?
Dye sublimation via the heating process is used for penetrating the surface with ink. This means that not all materials can be sublimated. It’s ideal to sublimate materials such as nylon, polyester fabrics, and certain plastics that can enable ink boding.
Can you print sublimation with a regular printer?
Yes, if the print head is compatible with sublimation ink. For instance, if using a normal inkjet printer, you can print sublimation with a regular paper. However, the output might not be up to the mark.
How do I choose a sublimation printer?
Choosing a sublimation printer can be daunting. However, it’s not that complicated. You just need to choose from these factors – print quality, print speed, paper tray space, connectivity, and footprint.
How long does sublimation print last?
The higher the quality of the print, the longer it will last. A good-quality dye-sublimation print can easily last up to 10 years. However, the number may vary based on the type of printer, and resolution.
Fred splits his corporate time between the office and his WFH office. He believes that a few days of working remotely is a great way to boost productivity and employee happiness. Fred started WFH Adviser in order to share insights and products with people who are beginning their WFH journey.