After spending a couple months testing out different types of heat press machines, we are convinced that the PowerPress Industrial Quality Digital 15 x 15 Inch Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press offers the best quality and provides the best value for your money.
Heat pressing has gained popularity as one of the easiest and fastest methods for creating beautiful imprints on garments and other surfaces. This has turned what once a very tedious process into a very lucrative business opportunity. Each year, thousands of businesses in every part of the world are getting started based around the use of heat press machines. With such a great demand, it is not surprising that there is a wide variety of heat press machines available in the market today.
Having such a wide variety to choose from presents a challenging decision. The worst part is that making the wrong choice means more that wasting your money – it could also damage your business’ reputation. To make the choice easier for you, we tested out different types of heat press machines and compiled a list of the 12 best heat press machines.
Our selection of the 12 best heat press machines:
Here is our list of the 12 best heat press machines based on factors like performance, features, size and price.
Topping our list is the Powerpress Industrial Quality Digital 15 x 15 Inch Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press. This is an easy to use that is suitable for both beginners and advanced users. It comes fully assembled, saving you the time and frustration that comes with trying to assemble a heat press machine by yourself. You simply need to unbox it, place it where you want it and you can start working right away.
The Powerpress Industrial Quality Digital 15 x 15 Inch Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press has a temperature range of 0-500 degrees Fahrenheit and a time range of 0-999 seconds. This makes it capable of handling professional and semi-professional jobs on a wide range of materials, from t-shirts to heavier fabrics. The timer and temperature controls are both digital to ensure maximum control and consistent transfers onto your materials.The timer gives off a series of beeps to notify you when the time is up, ensuring you don’t overexpose your garments. The pressure on the PowerPress Industrial Quality Digital Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press is also adjustable, which allows you to apply the correct pressure depending on the kind of material you are printing on. This prevents burning your fabrics or in any way producing undesired results.
The PowerPress Industrial Quality Digital Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press is durable, made to withstand high volumes of printing. The working surface measures 15 x 15 inches, which provides plenty of room even for large projects. Another great thing about the the PowerPress Industrial Quality Digital Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press is that it has a magnetic draw that automatically opens to avoid over exposure and also helps ensure that your hands are always a safe distance from the hot plates. The best part? The Powerpress Industrial Quality Digital 15 x 15 Inch Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press comes at a very affordable price.
This product by Promo Heat is another great heat press machine that is incredibly versatile – capable of printing on any flat faced item – , easy to use, works exceptionally well and comes at a pocket friendly price. The machine has been designed in a space-saving clamshell configuration and comes fully assembled right off the box. The Promo Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine has a very wide temperature range, with a maximum of 750 degrees Fahrenheit and an effective temperature control feature that works as intended. This allows you to easily transfer your artworks from vinyl onto thicker fabrics. To aid in this, the machine also has a full range pressure adjustment knob that allows you to easily adjust the pressure depending on the thickness of the material you are printing on. These two features mean that you are unlikely to face any problems with printing on any surfaces.
Apart from the adjustment knob, the Promo Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine is also fitted with an adjustable multi-spring balancer that makes sure that the pressure is evenly distributed across all parts of the working surface. The working surface is also coated with high quality Teflon that gives it non-stick capabilities, ensuring it does not burn your transfers. Since the surface is 15 x 15 inches, it provides ample space capable of handling even large projects. The Promo Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine also comes with a digital LCD timer that gives audible feedback when time is up, a digital LCD temperature control and is fitted with an easily accessible top-mounted control. All in all, the Promo Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine is a great machine that will give your business an edge over your competitors.
The Promo Heat Swing-Away Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine is a commercial grade machine that will work perfectly for your t-shirt printing business. Since it is a commercial grade model, you can expect it to perfectly handle a large amount of projects while still producing excellent quality results. Unlike the previous Promo heat press machine on the list, this one is built in a swing-away design, which allows you to press straight down, applying pressure to the material you are working on. However, this means that it is going to require more space as compared to the clam-shell style machines. The lower plate – which is constructed with aluminum and fitted with a hi-temp silicone pad – is elevated in a manner that allows you to easily insert and remove your fabrics from the machine.
Just like the other Promo machine, the Promo Heat Swing-Away Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine has a Teflon coating on the heating element, which makes the surface non-stick and prevents your transfers from scorching. With some other machines, you’d have to find a separate Teflon sheet to protect your transfers. This heat press machine has an extensive temperature range, capable of reaching temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a temperature adjustment knob for controlling pressure depending on the thickness of the material you are printing on. It also has a digital temperature control system that allows you to select preset temperatures for different types of fabric. It also has a digital timer with audible alarms to notify you when the time is over to avoid overexposure.
This is one of the newest offerings from Fancierstudio. Like other Fancierstudio heat press machines, this machine is easy to use and comes pre-assembled, ready to work immediately you get it out of the box. The working surface on this heat press machine is 15 x 15 inches, which offers ample working space for all your projects. It is designed in the compact clam-shell style that helps you save on space. It has a voltage rating of 110 volts and a wattage of 1800W. The FancierstudioPower 15 x 15 Inch Digital Heat Press Sublimation Rhinestone Heat Press has a 0-500 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range and a time range of 0-999 seconds. This makes it a versatile machine that is capable of transferring artworks to a wide range of materials.
The time and heat controls on this Fancierstudio machine are both electronic, allowing for precise time and temperature set-up. The timer is equipped with an audible warning system that notifies you when you need to remove your transfers from the machine. The heat press machine is also fitted with a pressure adjustment system that allows you to alter the pressure depending on the material you are working on. The working surface comprises of a silicone-gel base board coated with Teflon. In addition, Fancierstudio also gives you a free Teflon sheet. The TheFancierstudio Power 15 x 15 Inch Digital Heat Press Sublimation Rhinestone Heat Press is an improvement of the previous model and is a heat press machine you are definitely going to love.
5. ShareProfit 12 X 15 Inch 8 in 1 Digital Heat Press Adjustable Multi-spring Balancer Heat Press Machine
Despite being a late comer into the market, this heat press machine has quickly taken the heat press machine market by storm and gone on to overtake some established brands. One of the greatest features of the ShareProfit 8 in 1 Digital Heat Press Adjustable Multi-spring Balancer Heat Press Machine is that it comes with 8 elements: A Teflon-coated 12 x 15 inch platen press, a 6 x 3 inch curved hat and cap press, 4 different sizes of mug presses and two different sizes of plate presses. Quite impressive! This means that this bad boy can be used to print on t-shirts, mugs, hats and caps, mouse pads, coasters, ceramic tiles, ceramic plates, number plates, jigsaw puzzles and many other miscellaneous materials.
The machine is built in the swing-arm design, with a sturdily built long arm handle that is fitted with a comfortable rubber grip that allows you to easily work without straining your hand and shoulder. The temperature range on the ShareProfit 8 in 1 Digital Heat Press Adjustable Multi-spring Balancer Heat Press Machine is 82 – 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Though this does not compare with some higher end machines available in the market, it is still sufficient for most of your printing needs. This machine is fitted with a crisp clear dual digital LCD display that helps you to keep track of the time and temperature. The ShareProfit 8 in 1 Digital Heat Press Adjustable Multi-spring Balancer Heat Press Machine is durable, easy to use and offers the latest heat press technology at a reasonable price.
As a digital clamshell design heat press with a power rating of only 1200 watts, the F2C Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press Transfer T-shirt Sublimation Machine is the perfect heat press for a home printing business. The low power rating means that it will require relatively low amounts of electricity to keep it running as compared to other commercial grade machines. In spite of this, it has a heavy duty design that guarantees you that the machine is going to serve you quite a long period of time. It is constructed with a strong welded steel framework coated with scratch resistant material. This heat press machine has also been built with ease of use in mind, such that it can even be easily operated by absolute beginners with no prior experience in using heat press machines.
The F2C 15 x 15 Inch Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press Transfer T-shirt Sublimation Machine has a temperature range of between 0-200 degrees Celsius, or about 392 degrees Fahrenheit. Though this might seems a bit low, it is still capable of producing high quality prints on a wide range of materials. The machine is fitted with an intelligent time and temperature control system with memory function. This allows you to preset the exact temperature and time settings for different kinds of materials. If you need to work on a certain type of material, all you have to do is to select a preset setting and you are good to go. The timer also has an audible warning to notify you when the time is up. Like the other machines on this list, the F2C 15 x 15 Inch Black Digital Clamshell Heat Press Transfer T-shirt Sublimation Machine has a Teflon coated heating platen to prevent any damage to your transfers.
7. F2C Pro 5 in 1 Digital Transfer Sublimation hat/Mug/Plate/Cap/T-Shirt Multifunction Heat Press Machine
If you are looking for a multi-function heat press machine, then the F2C Pro 5 in 1 Digital Transfer Sublimation Heat Press Machine is another great choice. Like the 5 in 1 in its name suggests, this heat press machine comes with 5 professional grade heating elements. It comes with a Teflon coated 12 x 15 inch platen press, a mug press for printing on mugs and cups, a 6 x 3 inch curved press for printing on caps and hats as well a 15 inch and a 26 inch plate press. The 12 x 15 inch platen press provides enough working surface for printing most projects, though the very large projects might provide a bit of a challenge. The platen press is sturdy and durable and is optimized to ensure that heat is evenly distributed across the surface.
It is good to note that unlike its sibling above, the F2C Pro 5 in 1 Digital Transfer Sublimation Multifunction Heat Press Machine is built in the swing-away configuration. This means that you will need some space around the machine. It has a 1200 watts rating which translates to relatively low power consumption. The temperature range on this heat press machine is 32 – 450 degrees Fahrenheit, while the timer control ranges between 0-999 seconds. The temperature scale allows you to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. It also has an adjustable multi-spring balancer that allows for even pressure distribution across the entire surface of the platen. The F2C Pro 5 in 1 Digital Transfer Sublimation Multifunction Heat Press Machine is perfect for printing on textiles such as nylon, flax, cotton and chemical fiber, ceramics and even glass.
8. 5 in 1 Swing Away Print Sublimation Heat Press Transfer Machine T-shirts Mugs Hats Heat Press Machine
This is another multi-function heat press machine that appears on the list. One thing you will notice right away is that this machine has a high quality build, with very solid construction. The handle that controls the swing-away part of the machine is made of heavy duty metal that is very durable. The handle is insulated to ensure safety and comfort when using the machine. The machine comes with a 12 x 15 inch flat platen press that is coated with Teflon to give it non-stick capabilities. Like other multi-function heat press machines, it also comes with a 6 x 3 inch curved press for caps and hats, a mug press and two plate presses of different sizes.
The 5 in 1 Swing Away Print Sublimation Heat Press Transfer Machine T-shirts Mugs Hats Heat Press Machine is also fitted with a heavy duty adjustable spring balancer that ensures even pressure and heat distribution. It is also fitted with a knob for controlling the amount of pressure. The machine has a rating of 1250 watts and a temperature range is 0-399 degrees Fahrenheit. The timer has a range of 0-999 seconds. The temperature control is quite efficient. The heating element will turn off when it gets to your desired temperature. The timer is equipped with an audible alert system that will give off loud beeps when the time is up. The time to temp is also a bit short. The machine heats up pretty fast, therefore you can turn it off when you don’t need to press several t-shirts at a go without worrying that it will take forever to heat up again.
The ePhotoInc Heat Transfer Press Sublimation Heat Press machine is a heavy duty commercial machine that is built to last, just like their tagline promises. The machine comes fully assembled, therefore you do not have to worry about putting it together. This heat press machine is built in a clamshell style configuration, which makes it ideal for people who are worried about having a heat press machine take up all the space in the house or business premises. At the same time, the 15 by 15 inch working space provides enough space for when you are working on large projects, such as XXL t-shirts or large hoodies.
The ePhotoInc Heat Transfer Press Sublimation Heat Press machine can be used on a variety of items, such as fabric, wood, metal, ceramics, license plates, mouse pads and even glass. The machine is fitted with a full range pressure adjustment knob that allows you to easily adjust the pressure to the precisely match the material you are printing on, depending on its thickness. The heating element is coated with non-stick Teflon which prevents your transfers from scorching. With some other heat press machine models, you would have to find a separate Teflon sheet to cover the garment you are printing on. The Teflon also ensures a smoother finish. The ePhotoInc Heat Transfer Press Sublimation Heat Press machine also comes with a digital LCD timer and temperature control that allows you to keep close tabs on the time and temperature settings. The machine has a temperature range of 0-500 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Vevor 1400W Heat Press Machine 8 in 1 Sublimation Steel Frame Heat Press with Temperature and Time Control
The Vevor is a 8 in 1 multi-functional heat press machine that can be used for printing on T-shirts, mugs, plates, jigsaw puzzles, ceramic plates and tiles, mouse pads, number plates and other miscellaneous fabrics. The machine is designed in the swing-away design, with full 360 degree rotation for the swing arm. Since it is an 8 in 1 machine, it comes with 8 heating elements. Upon delivery, it comes fully assembled with the platen press installed. The 12 by 15 inch flat platen is fitted with a full range of heating coils to ensure that every part of its surface receives even heating. The surface is coated with Teflon to prevent the transfers from damaging during pressing. Apart from the flat platen press, it also comes with a 6 by 3 inch curved hat press, 4 different sizes of mug presses and two different sizes of plate presses.
The Vevor 1400W Heat Press Machine 8 in 1 Sublimation Steel Frame Heat Press has a temperature range of 32 – 480 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat press machine has a rating of 1400 watts. Like most other heat press machines, the timer control has a range of between 0-999 seconds. The temperature control is equipped with a warning system that gives continuous beeps once it reaches optimum temperature. This is a great safety feature since it prevents situations where you might forget to switch off the machine. All in all, the Vevor 1400W Heat Press Machine 8 in 1 Sublimation Steel Frame Heat Press is a great machine that will handle nearly all your heat pressing requirements.
The OrangeA Heat Press 6 by 3 Inch 450W Heat Press for Hats is a machine that was built to provide an affordable solution for people looking to get into the heat pressing business. The machine can be used for transferring artworks to hats, baseball caps and other curved materials. The machine is built with ease of use in mind. It comes fully assembled right off the box, complete with the platen press installed, a silicon pad and cotton pad. It is built with an upgraded aluminum cradle which enhances its durability. The machine is designed in a swing away design with full 360 degree rotation, which reduces the chances of accident since the swing arm and the heating element can be moved out of the way when you are loading caps on the platen.
The working surface on this machine is the 6 by 3 inch curved element. The machine comes with a digital LCD display that helps you to keep your eye on the time and temperature for improved precision. The OrangeA Heat Press 6 by 3 Inch 450W Heat Press for Hats has a temperature range of between 32 and 750 degrees Fahrenheit. The timer is also fitted with an audible alarm that lets you know when the time is up. The temperature controller also allows you to switch between a Fahrenheit and Celsius scale. The feet of the machine are adjustable, in case you need to place it on an uneven floor. The spring and pressure plate system allows the machine to evenly distribute pressure across the entire surface of the platen when closed.
12. Happybuy 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine 12 by 15 Inch Swing Away Multifunction Sublimation Transfer Heat Press Machine
This is a compact and affordable multi-functional heat press machine that comes with 5 heating elements. The main element is the 12 by 15 inch flat, Teflon coated heat platen that provides a large enough surface for printing on t-shirts, mouse pads, puzzles and any other flat items. Next is a 6 by 3 inch curved element for printing on hats and caps. It also has a 3 – 3.5 inch (diameter) mug press and two different sized plate presses. The Happybuy 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine is styled in the swing away design with full 360 degree rotation. This makes the machine safer to use. However, the downside is that the machine needs some space around it to allow for movement of the swing arm. The Happybuy 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine has a temperature range of between 32 – 480 degrees Fahrenheit, a time range of 0-999 seconds and a power rating of 1250 Watts. It is fitted with an LCD digital display that helps you to easily keep track of time and temperature.
About Heat Press Machines
There are many different kinds of heat press machines, with the main types being the swing-away, clamshell and draw. Heat press machines can also be classified based on whether they are manual, automatic or a combination of both. So, what’s the difference?
- Swing-away: Swing-away heat press machines have an upper plate that swings away to the side in order to reveal the lower plate. The main advantage of swing-away machines is that they allow direct access to the lower plate without the risk of your hand getting in contact with the hot top plate. The downside is that they require more space to allow for the movement of the swing arm.
- Clamshell: Clamshell heat press machines open in similar fashion to a clam. They are fitted with a hinge in between the two plates. These machines are perfect for beginners. However, they are not the best when working with thick items. You also have to be very careful not to touch the hot top plate.
- Draw: These machines have a lower plate that can be drawn out just like you would do with a cupboard drawer. Just like swing-away machines, they allow access to the lower plate without the risk of getting burnt. However, since the working surface is moving in this case, you have to be extra careful when placing the design under the heated plate.
- Manual: In manual machines, everything is operated manually. You have to manually set the time and pressure and open and close the press.
- Auto-release: These can also be termed as semi-automatic. They come in clamshell style. You have to manually close the press, but it automatically releases once the preset time is up.
- Automatic: These come in either swing away or clamshell style. They control the time and temperature with a high level of precision to ensure perfect results. Pressure on automatic heat presses is maintained using air pressure.
Watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to heat press artworks on T-shirts:
Buying a Heat Press Machine
When buying a heat press machine, here are some of the things you need to consider:
- Quality: Quality in this case refers to the durability of the machine. High quality heat press machines will provide more service. A good way of looking at quality is to look at the weight. If two machines are similar in size, go for the heavier one. In most cases, this implies that it has been made using better materials and will better handle the constant clamping and movements.
- Quality of heat plate: A high quality heating plate has even distribution across all the surfaces of the plate. The best way of testing the quality is to request a demo. You could also turn on the machine and hover your hand close to the plate to feel if all parts are equally heated.
- Size: The general rule of the thumb with size is the bigger the better. This is a matter of logic. You can print a small item on a large press but you cannot print a large item on a small press. Ideally, you should go for the largest you can find within your budget. However, larger sized machines will be heavier, so you should consider whether the machine will need to be moved or if it will remain in a fixed position.
- Time and Temperature: You need to consider if the machine will provide adequate heat and if it can work for sufficient time. Generally, standard heat transfers require about 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of around 10 seconds. If you are going to be working on thicker fabrics such as hoodies, you should go for a machine that is capable of reaching higher temperatures.
- Digital Timer: Ideally, you should go for a machine with a digital timer if you don’t want to risk burning your fabrics.
- Adjustable pressure knobs: You should go for machines that allow you to control the amount of force you apply on your fabrics. A machine that requires you to apply too much force might end up hurting your back. On the other hand, if the force is too little, the artwork might not stick on the fabric.
- Budget: This is one of the most important factors to consider, especially for beginners. You should always go something that is within your budget.
- Customer support: Always go for products from reliable companies who offer reliable customer support in case you have an issue with your machine. Poor support means you are on your own if something breaks.
The right heat press machine depends on the needs, requirements and budget of each individual. In this article, we provided a review of some of the most popular and best performing heat press machines available in the market. We hope that this review will help you make a more informed decision. Based on our tests and considering various factors such as price, quality, heat plate, durability, features and printing precision, we came to the conclusion that the Powerpress Industrial Quality Digital 15 x 15 Inch Sublimation T-shirt Heat Press is the best choice. We will keep the list updated as more presses get into the market. Stay with us.