Best Sublimation Printer for Beginners: Top Picks and Buying Guide

Sublimation printing is a popular method for creating high-quality, long-lasting prints on a variety of materials, including fabrics, ceramics, and metals. While the process can be complex, with the right equipment, even beginners can create stunning prints with ease. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best sublimation printers for beginners, so you can get started on your own printing projects.

When choosing a sublimation printer, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to look for a printer that is easy to use, with intuitive controls and software that won’t leave you feeling overwhelmed. You’ll also want to consider the size and resolution of the printer, as well as its compatibility with different types of materials.

Whether you’re looking to create custom t-shirts, mugs, or other personalized items, a sublimation printer can help you bring your ideas to life. With the right printer, you can produce vibrant, high-quality prints that will stand the test of time. So, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the best options for beginners.

What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing is a unique printing process that involves transferring dye onto a material using heat. Unlike traditional printing methods, sublimation printing does not use ink or toner. Instead, it uses a special type of dye that is heated to a high temperature and turned into a gas. This gas then penetrates the surface of the material and bonds with its fibers, creating a permanent image or design.

Sublimation printing is commonly used for printing on fabrics, such as polyester or other synthetic materials. It can also be used on hard surfaces, such as ceramics, metals, and plastics. The process is ideal for creating high-quality, full-color designs that are durable and long-lasting.

One of the benefits of sublimation printing is that it produces vibrant colors and sharp details. The dye used in the process is able to bond with the fibers of the material, creating a permanent image that will not peel or fade over time. Additionally, sublimation printing allows for full-color designs, which means that you can print images with a high level of detail and complexity.

Another advantage of sublimation printing is that it is a relatively simple process. Once you have the right equipment and materials, you can easily create high-quality prints at home or in your business. Sublimation printers are widely available and come in a range of sizes and prices, making it easy to find one that fits your needs and budget.

In summary, sublimation printing is a unique printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto a material. It is ideal for printing on fabrics and hard surfaces and produces vibrant colors and sharp details. Additionally, it is a relatively simple process that can be done at home or in your business with the right equipment and materials.

Why Choose a Sublimation Printer?

This was tote bag I made using Cricut sublimation markers. The color and details last much longer in the wash than vinyl and other fabric paints. Here’s a link to the article along with free floral template if you want to give this more “manual” sublimation method a try.

Sublimation printing is a popular method for producing high-quality prints on various items, including t-shirts, mugs, and phone cases. It involves transferring dye onto a substrate using heat and pressure, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting prints. Here are some reasons why you should consider a sublimation printer:

  • Professional-looking prints: Sublimation printing produces high-quality prints with vivid colors and sharp details, making them ideal for creating custom merchandise or promotional items.
  • Durable prints: Sublimation printing creates prints that are resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling, ensuring that your designs will last for a long time.
  • Versatility: Sublimation printing can be used on a wide range of materials, including polyester, ceramic, metal, and more, giving you the flexibility to create a variety of products.
  • Cost-effective: Sublimation printing is a cost-effective way to produce high-quality prints, especially if you plan to print in bulk.

Overall, a sublimation printer is an excellent investment for anyone looking to produce high-quality prints on a variety of substrates. With its versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness, it’s a great choice for beginners and professionals alike.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Sublimation Printer

Choosing the right sublimation printer is crucial for any beginner looking to start their sublimation printing journey. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Print Quality: The quality of the prints produced by the printer is an important factor to consider. Look for a printer that can produce high-resolution prints with accurate colors.
  • Size of the Printer: The size of the printer is another important factor to consider. If you plan on printing large designs, you will need a printer with a larger print bed. However, if you only plan on printing small designs, a smaller printer may be sufficient.
  • Cost: The cost of the printer is also an important consideration. While you want to get the best printer possible, you also need to consider your budget. Look for a printer that offers a good balance between cost and features.
  • Ease of Use: As a beginner, you want a printer that is easy to set up and use. Look for a printer with a user-friendly interface and clear instructions.
  • Brand and Support: Finally, consider the brand and support offered by the manufacturer. Look for a reputable brand that offers good customer support and a warranty on their products.

By considering these factors, you can find the best sublimation printer for your needs as a beginner.

Top 5 Sublimation Printers for Beginners

Sublimation printing is a great way to create high-quality, long-lasting prints on a variety of surfaces. However, choosing the right sublimation printer can be a daunting task for beginners. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 sublimation printers for beginners.

*this article contains affiliate links for your convenience, see full disclosures here

PrinterPricePrint SizeFeatures
Epson EcoTank ET-2720$299.998.5″ x 11″Wireless printing, easy setup and maintenance
Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500$599.008.5″ x 14″High-quality prints, compact design, easy-to-use software
Ricoh SG3110DN$499.008.5″ x 14″Fast printing, low cost per print, user-friendly interface
HP Envy 4520$119.998.5″ x 11″Wireless printing, affordable price, compact design
Canon Selphy CP1300$129.994″ x 6″Portable, easy to use, prints from mobile devices

The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is a great option for those on a budget. It offers wireless printing and easy setup and maintenance, making it a great choice for beginners. The Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 is a bit more expensive, but it offers high-quality prints and a compact design that’s perfect for small spaces.

The Ricoh SG3110DN is a fast printer with a low cost per print, and its user-friendly interface makes it a great choice for beginners. The HP Envy 4520 is another affordable option with wireless printing and a compact design. Finally, the Canon Selphy CP1300 is a portable option that’s easy to use and can even print from mobile devices.

When choosing a sublimation printer, it’s important to consider your budget, print size needs, and any additional features you may require. With these top 5 options, you’re sure to find a sublimation printer that’s perfect for your needs as a beginner.


As you can see, not all sublimation projects turn out perfectly. Here, it wasn’t so much the printer’s issue, it was more the base sequence that didn’t provide enough contrast for the image to show up. Check out this mermaid sequins project along with free templates here. Maybe you’ll have better luck with another base!

Choosing the best sublimation printer for beginners can be a daunting task, but we hope this article has provided you with a clearer understanding of the features and specifications you should consider before making a purchase.

After researching and analyzing various sublimation printers, we recommend the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 as the best option for beginners. It offers a high-quality printing experience with its four-color dye ink system and can handle a variety of media types and sizes. Additionally, its easy-to-use interface and low-cost ink refills make it a budget-friendly option for those just starting with sublimation printing.

However, it’s important to note that the best sublimation printer for you ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Whether you prioritize print quality, speed, or affordability, there is a sublimation printer out there that can meet your requirements.

Remember to always do your research and read reviews from other users before making a final decision. With the right sublimation printer, you can unleash your creativity and produce high-quality prints that will last a lifetime.

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