Best Sublimation Printer for Vibrant, Custom Apparel and Merch

Best Sublimation Printer for Vibrant, Custom Apparel and Merch
3 min read

Looking to start a sublimation printing business or bring customized merch production in-house? When it comes to high quality dye sublimation printing, a dedicated sublimation printer is the best choice. With models from top brands like Epson, Ricoh, and Sawgrass, today’s sublimation printers offer outstanding print quality, speed, reliability and user-friendly operation.

Best Sublimation Printer for Vibrant, Custom Apparel and Merch

Sublimation printing infuses fabrics, mugs, phone cases and more with vibrant, permanent prints using specialized inks and high heat pressing. While standard desktop printers can work, a professional sublimation printer will generate the color-accurate transfers needed for the best results on t-shirts, drinkware, and other sublimated items.

How Sublimation Printing Works

Sublimation printing utilizes special inks and heat to bond full color graphics into polyester, ceramics, metals and more. The key steps include:

  • Print reverse image onto transfer paper using sublimation ink
  • Apply heat press at 400°F+ to convert ink into gas
  • Vapor infuses into the substrate and bonds permanently
  • Result is photographic quality, vivid print

Unlike regular printing where ink sits on the surface, sublimation ink becomes part of the material for durable, bright results.

Why Choose a Dedicated Sublimation Printer

While some standard desktop printers can be used, a professional sublimation printer offers key advantages:

  • Engineered for sublimation ink compatibility
  • Print heads withstand 400°F+ heat required
  • Built-in sublimation color profiles for accurate prints
  • Industrial print engines for fast transfer output
  • Advanced image processing optimizes ink
  • Reliable performance for high-volume production

Simply put, dedicated sublimation printers provide the best quality and performance.

Top Sublimation Printers for Business and Home Use

Here are some of the best sublimation printer models on the market today:

Epson SureColor F170 - Compact 13” desktop dye-sublimation printer perfect for startups. Fast print speeds up to 576 sq ft/hr. Supports continuous runs.

Ricoh Ri 100 - Affordable desktop sublimation printer. Fast 20 second speeds. User friendly LCD interface. Low operating costs.

Sawgrass Virtuoso SG400 - Designed for sublimation. Convenient ink management system. Compact 8.5” print width. Lower cost.

Epson SureColor F570 - 24” wide format sublimation printer. Vibrant UltraChrome DS inks. Advanced media handling up to 1.5 mm thick.

HP Z3200 - HP’s top desktop sublimation printer. 12” print width. Built-in spectrophotometer for color accuracy. High speed.

Mutoh XpertJet 1641SR - 64” wide high production printer. Up to 4 print heads for excellent quality and fast speeds. Heavy duty performance.

Key Features and Innovations

Today’s best sublimation printers offer innovations like:

  • High temperature printheads over 400°F
  • Automatic transfer sheet feeding
  • Advanced color management for accurate prints
  • High capacity ink systems for lower costs
  • Powerful print controllers for productivity
  • Industrial duty for high-volume production

Leading brand names like Epson and Sawgrass also provide proprietary printing technology optimized specifically for sublimation.

Ideal for Sublimated Products

With a quality sublimation printer, you can create:

  • T-Shirts, apparel, masks, fashion
  • Phone cases, laptop skins, electronics accessories
  • Coffee mugs, water bottles, drinkware
  • Awards, glassware, trophies, plaques
  • Signage, trade show banners, displays
  • Tiles, decals, keychains, magnets
  • And endless other customized merchandise!


For outstanding results producing sublimated t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, accessories and more, a dedicated sublimation printer is the best choice. Models from top brands provide excellent print quality, speed, precise color matching and industrial-level reliability. With the right sublimation printer, you can profitably bring customized merch production in-house and delight customers with vivid, permanent prints.

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