• Last updatedLast updated: Aug 30, 2020

12 Best Heat Press Machines – Produce Awesome Merch In No Time!

View Article Statistics

Unfortunately, not all heat press machines can offer professional results. Some presses can be tricky to use and deliver the results you’d expect with a household iron.

Our team of researchers scoured the market to find the best heat press. We looked at the different styles, which can affect how easy the machine is to use and the results it produces. We also examined the size of machines and how much work space is needed. Finally, we looked at other machine features including the temperature, time range, wattage and voltage, which impact the efficiency and effectiveness of each press.

Editor’s Choice

A portable heat press machine available in three sizes

  • heats up in under 3 minutes
  • three heat settings
  • auto shutoff
Read Our Review
9.9
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Premium Pick

A six-in-one kit including 15” x 12” swing away T-shirt heat press

  • 800W
  • digital LCD timer
  • multiple string balance
Read Our Review
9.8
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Heat Press for Beginners

An industrial grade clamshell heat press

  • 1400W
  • full digital time and temperature control
  • silicone gel base board
Read Our Review
9.7
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Swing Away Heat Press Machines

A small swing away heat press machine, perfect for a small home printing business

  • 600W
  • digital LCD timer and temperature control
  • Teflon coated platen
Read Our Review
9.6
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Heat Press for Sublimation

A clamshell heat press with even heat distribution, suitable for a wide variety of designs

  • 1800W
  • precise time set up
  • fully adjustable pressure
Read Our Review
9.4
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Multifunction Heat Press

A 6-in-1 kit including a 12” x 15” swing away heat press, a mug press, and a hat press.

  • 1200W
  • 360-degree rotation
  • adjustable work table height
Read Our Review
9.3
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best T-shirt Heat Press

A professional grade 12” x 15” swing away heat press

  • 1200W
  • LED display
  • full-range pressure-adjustment knob
Read Our Review
9.1
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A versatile 15” x 15” clamshell heat press

  • 1400W
  • Teflon coated platen
  • Digital control panel
Read Our Review
9.0
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A cheap and cheerful swing away heat press machine for your t-shirt printing projects

  • 1500W
  • aluminum Teflon coated heat platen
  • top-mounted pressure knob
Read Our Review
8.9
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A five-in-one kit that allows users to print on t-shirts, hats, caps, mugs, glasses and any flat materials

  • 900W
  • 4/5″ thick heating board
  • removable cotton pad
Read Our Review
8.8
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
Best Value

A portable and affordable heat press machine with the perfect range of features for beginners

  • 1000W
  • insulated base
  • easy-to-grip handle
Read Our Review
8.6
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

A high-quality 12” x 9” swing away heat press

  • 1200W
  • temperarure of 500°F
  • Teflon coated aluminum platen
Read Our Review
8.5
CraftyScoreTM
?
CraftyScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.

Top 12 Heat Press Machines Review 2020

1.

Cricut Easy Press 2 (Raspberry)Editor’s Choice

Features
  • Style: portable
  • Size: 12” x 10”
  • Temperature: up to 400°F
  • Time: up to 60 seconds
  • Wattage: n/a
  • Voltage: 120V

Other features: lightweight, heats up in under 3 minutes, ceramic coated heat platen, 3 heat settings, auto shutoff feature

The Cricut Easy Press 2 may be the best heat press for home use. It’s an ideal entry level machine and this is why we’ve made it our editor’s choice. This heat press is available in three different sizes to meet your needs. It has the features that you need and it’s easy to use. Many new users wonder if they can achieve similar results with an iron but the results are often less than optimal. An Easy Press has a larger 12”x10” surface area so your press gets the even pressure required to get the best results. If you have to press your design more than once or one section at a time you’re simply asking for trouble.

Even if you’ve never used a heat press before you will be up and running with your Cricut Easy Press 2 in next to no time. The most important thing to remember with this machine is that you need to have your settings correct before you start using it. There is an easy to read display on the top of the unit and the machine works well. This is a fantastic heat press of beginners and more experienced users alike.

Pros
  • The larger size makes this ideal of sweatshirts, t-shirts, blankets and banners.
  • One user loved the portability of the Cricut Easy Press 2.
  • Another user described this as a “must have for iron-on crafters.
  • Professional results can be achieved in 60 seconds or less.
  • The precise temperature control system operates at up to 400ºF.
Cons
  • One user noted that this machine doesn’t come with a mat.
Features
  • Style: swing away
  • Size: 15” x 12”
  • Temperature: 200°F
  • Time: n/a
  • Wattage: 800W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: 6 in 1 kit, digital LCD timer, multiple string balance, 360-degree rotation function

The VIVOHOME 6 in 1 Combo Heat Press is our premium pick because it’s the best heat press machine for small business users. The heat press is a 15”x12” working area which is large enough to accommodate most printing projects. The frame is made from durable steel and the unit is simple to use if you have a little experience. There is a 360º rotation function that improves the quality of the heat transfer. There is a double heating tube that guarantees a temperature difference of only 5º between the edge and the central heat press area. This is better than most heat press machines where the difference may be as high as 10º making the heat transfer less even,

A large and easy to read to read LCD screen sits on the top of the unit and the silicone buttons are clearly labelled. There are three different modes to select and you only need a single press to complete the heat transfer. The working temperature on this machine can reach up to 200º and yet the surface temperature will only reach up to 70º. This makes the machine safe to touch during operation and you cannot burn your hands. The 6 in 1 set is a complete kit to apply transfers to caps, mugs, coasters, mouse pads, t-shirts or anything else you can think of.

Pros
  • Users like the professional build quality and functionality of this machine.
  • If you want to set up a home printing business this is an ideal machine because it’s safe to use and the 6 in 1 kit provides plenty of flexibility.
Cons
  • This is a premium grade heat press with a matching price tag.
3.

WattagePress PW15x15 Heat Press MachineBest Heat Press for Beginners

Features
  • Style: clamshell, sublimation
  • Size: 15” x 15”
  • Temperature: 0-999 s
  • Time: 32-455°F
  • Wattage: 1400W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: silicone gel base board, adjustable pressure, replaceable fuse

The WattagePress PW15x15 Heat Press Machine is an industrial grade unit that’s easy enough for beginners to use. This may be the best heat press for beginners because users have full digital control over two key parameters, the heat press time and the temperature range. The time can be set anywhere from 0 up to 999 seconds and the heat range is 32ºF up to 455ºF. The 15”x15” heat plate is coated with non-stick teflon to provide even pressure and to prevent burns or scorch marks on the materials. The 17½ “ handle is fitted with a form fitting rubber coating that improves the users grip and this also adds extra protection.

Safety should be a key consideration on any machine where you may be working with high temperatures. The WattagePress PW15x15 Heat Press Machine has an onboard chip to monitor the temperature and this protects the machine against electrical shocks up to double the voltage and current used. The adjustment knob allows the user to increase the panel pressure but this needs some trial and error to get it just right.

Pros
  • One user praised the capabilities of this machine and found that the swing arm was very helpful at moving the heat plate out of the way when setting up the next item.
Cons
  • One user found that this machine constantly tripped their power and this may have occurred due to an electrical issue clashing with the temperature monitoring chip.
4.

Super Deal 12" X 10" Digital Heat Press MachineBest Swing Away Heat Press Machines

Features
  • Style: swing away, sublimation
  • Size: 12” x 10”
  • Temperature: 0 – 399℉
  • Time: 0 – 999 sec
  • Wattage: 600W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: digital LCD timer and temperature control, teflon coated, 360-degree rotation

The Super Deal 12”x10” Digital Heat Press Machine may be one of the best swing away heat press machines at the smaller and cheaper end of the market. This machine can transfer heat onto a wide variety of materials including canvas totes at very high speeds. The smaller working area does limit the user and it doesn’t have any special attachments to handle curved items but it works very well on flat surfaces. This makes this machine a workable unit for a small home printing business working with T-shirts, pillowcases, totes and other smaller items.

The standout feature has to be the 360º swing rotation that moves the heat plate out of the way when you set up the next item for printing. This makes this machine far faster and safer to use when you have multiple items to print. Although the swing means that you need more space around the unit you can still operate the Super Deal 12″ X 10″ Digital Heat Press Machine on a kitchen counter with no problems. The heat plate can be set from 0ºF up to 399ºF and the timer range is 0-999 seconds and a beeper alerts the user that heat transfer has been completed.

Pros
  • One user described this machine as “a great little heat press for the price!”.
  • The 360º swing is a great feature that you don’t find on many smaller heat press machines.
Cons
  • This heat press machine cannot handle curved surfaces.
5.

Fancierstudio BB FS15x15 Heat Press MachineBest Heat Press for Sublimation

Features
  • Style: clamshell, sublimation
  • Size: 15” x 15”
  • Temperature: 0 – 699℉
  • Time: 0 – 999 seconds
  • Wattage: 1800W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: precise time set up, silicone gel base board, adjustable pressure, Teflon coating

The Fancierstudio BB FS15x15 Heat Press Machine may be the best heat press for sublimation on our list. The machine has a design that opens upwards and this makes it ideal or those with limited space. The 15”x15” heat plate is large enough for a wide variety of printing designs and the even heat distribution works well. The machine is constructed with durable materials and it only uses 110v of power. So, you won’t need any additional power connections beyond a regular domestic power outlet. However, it will compete with other electronic devices so you need to find a single power connection and avoid using adaptors.

This machine comes with a silicon pad to keep the surface stable when working on a flat surface. The heat pad coating provided excellent heat transfer and the settings are easy to master with the well laid out controls. The pressure is fully adjustable so you can work on different materials and the timer can be set to turn off automatically. When the heat transfer is complete the machine will alert the user with a notification beep. It’s easy to keep track of everything thanks to the LCD screen on the side of the unit.

Pros
  • Many users stated that this is a lot of heat press for a modest investment.
Cons
  • Some users have reported used machines sent to them as new but this may be a problem with a specific Amazon seller.
6.

F2C Pro 6 in 1 Heat Press MachineBest Multifunction Heat Press

Features
  • Style: swing away, sublimation
  • Size: 12” x 15”
  • Temperature: 32 – 428℉
  • Time: 0 – 999 s
  • Wattage: 1200W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: 360-degree rotation, teflon coated; includes mug press, plate press and hat press

The F2C Pro 6 in 1 Heat Press Machine may be one of the for small business machine options on the market today. Users can perform transfer sublimation on a T-shirt or perform heat transfers on curved ceramic surfaces with ease. This is an excellent 6 in 1 machine that can imprint on many material types with excellent results. The machine is pretty large and you will need to factor this into your thinking. However, it can still be used on a kitchen countertop but serious users may need to find a permanent spot. The 15”x12” heat plate provides even heat distribution over a larger surface making larger projects possible.

In fact, the entire work table height is adjustable from 13½” up to 17” which is a godsend when you are printing multiple items and you want to reduce stress on your back. There is a pressure control knob to help users to avoid scorching and burning. The machine is simple to set up and there is a comprehensive manual to help you get started. The machine takes around 10 minutes to heat up with a 32ºF up to 430ºF temperature range. The modest price tag makes this an excellent machine for beginners and more experienced users alike.

Pros
  • The height adjustable table is helpful when working at this heat press for longer periods.
  • Many users have praised this heat press for its durability.
Cons
  • Some users have complained that the instructions were not provided in the box.
7.

ZENY JA0854 Professional Heat Press MachineBest T-shirt Heat Press

Features
  • Style: swing away
  • Size: 12” x 15”
  • Temperature: 32 – 399℉
  • Time: 0 – 999 s
  • Wattage: 1200W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: LED display, full-range pressure-adjustment knob

The Zeny JA0854 Professional Heat Press Machine may be the best t-shirt heat press on our list but it is capable of much more. It has a handy 360º swing away design to keep the heat press away from you as you load the next item to print. There is a digital 2 in 1 controller and all the attachments that you need are close to hand. This heat press has a 5 in 1 design and you can use it to print onto fabrics, ceramics and even glass. The 12”x15” heat plate is large enough for most projects and the heat is evenly distributed for high quality results.

This heat press has a pressure adjusting knob to help users when they want to print on different thicknesses of materials. The temperature range is 32ºF up to 430ºF and a timer that goes from 0 up to 999 seconds. When the heat transfer is completed the timer beeps automatically and it will continue to beep during temperature changes. This machine is a great option for people that want to print at home or maybe start their own business.

Pros
  • Many users have praised this heat press for the high quality results it delivers.
  • This machine offers a great deal of functionality for a modest investment.
  • The temperature range is a little wider than many other heat press machines.
Cons
  • Some users found this machine to have a steep learning curve.
Features
  • Style: clamshell, sublimation
  • Size: 15” x 15”
  • Temperature: up to 500°F
  • Time: 0 – 999 seconds
  • Wattage: 1400W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: adjustable pressure, Teflon coated heat platen, digital timer and temperature control

The ePhotoInc 1515GB Heat Press Machine is a versatile machine that would suit people interested in starting a small printing business at home. The 15”x15” heat surface is a little larger than some on our list and this makes it easier to handle larger projects. This heat press works best of flat surfaces but users can print on fabric, ceramic, glass and even metal with ease. Sadly, there are no curve attachments so this is not a hat heat press and you cannot print on vases, mugs or other drinking vessels.

There is a knob mounted on the top of the unit to change the pressure and temperature settings. Getting this right is crucial if you need to work on materials with differing thicknesses. A digital control panel is located on the side with an LCD display that shows all the settings. The adjustments are easy to make and with a little trial and error you will soon know how to get the best out of this machine. The teflon coated heat plate delivers the heat evenly on a wide variety of materials and the temperature range is 0ºF up to 500ºF.

Pros
  • Users like the hinged opening system because it keeps the heat safely in check.
  • The beeper warning works well as a timer and to improve safety.
  • The temperature range is very wide.
Cons
  • Some users have experienced problems with broken parts.
  • This machine is affordable but others on our list do more for less money.
Features
  • Style: swing away, sublimation
  • Size: 9” x 12”
  • Temperature: 0-750°F
  • Time: 0 – 999F
  • Wattage: 1500W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: aluminum Teflon coated heat platen, LCD display, top-mounted pressure knob, electronic time and heat control

The Transfer Crafts 9×12 Heat Press is a cheap and cheerful heat press machine for your t-shirt printing projects. As the name would suggest, this machine has a modest 9”x12” heat plate. This is not sufficient for larger projects but it can handle a t-shirt in any size with no problems. Users can transfer their designs onto a variety of flat surfaces but this machine is not equipped with any curved accessories so mugs and glasses are impossible. The machine is fully assembled and ready to use out of the box.

This may be the best heat press for beginners because it’s easy to learn and it comes with directions to get you started on your first project. Simply plug the heat press into a standard power outlet, it heats up quickly and it’s ready to use in next to no time. Despite being a budget machine, the Transfer Crafts 9×12 Heat Press has a digitally controlled timer and temperature system. This is important because different materials and thicknesses require just the right combination of heat and time to transfer correctly. When the heat transfer is complete an audible alarm sounds to warn you and prevent overexposure which could burn or scorch the material.

Pros
  • Users report that this is a great machine for simple printing projects such as t-shirts and bags.
  • A heavy duty silicone insulation pad is included.
Cons
  • This is a basic heat press and it cannot print on curves.
  • One user reported that this heat press was loud.
Features
  • Style: swing away
  • Size: 12″ x 15″
  • Temperature: 0-500°F
  • Time: 0-999 s
  • Wattage: 900W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: Teflon coated platen, removable silicone pad and cotton pad and 4/5″ thick heating board; includes hat press, mug press and plate press (x2)

If you need one modestly priced heat press machine for your small business the Weanas 12×15 Heat Press Machine may be just what you’re looking for. This is an industrial grade 5 in 1 heat press with great build quality that will hold up to years of regular use. The five included elements allow users to print on t-shirts, hats, caps, mugs, glasses and any flat materials. This heat press has a swing away design making it efficient and safer to work with when you’re busy printing.

A built-in LED display shows the timing and temperature settings for your current project. When you start the heat transfer an automatic timer begins and an alarm sounds when the process is completed. The 12”x15” printing surface is sufficient to handle most projects and if you get the pressure correct for the material you can expect great results. The heat press is coated in non-stick teflon to reduce scorching and burning issues on your printed surfaces.

Pros
  • Some users have mentioned that this heat press is easy to set up for beginners.
  • This is a lot of heat press for a modest investment.
  • That five attachments add a lot of extra value.
  • The build quality is outstanding.
Cons
  • One user complained that the instructions are not clear enough.
Features
  • Style: sublimation, portable
  • Size: 9” x 9”
  • Temperature: 0 – 356F
  • Time: 0 – 300 seconds
  • Wattage: 1000W
  • Voltage: 110V/220V

Other features: multi-function, evenly heated plate, insulated base, easy-to-grip handle, digital time and temperature control, auto shut-off

The O Bosstop 9×9 Heat Press Machine is a portable and affordable machine for those that want to print at home. This is our best value pick because we think it has the perfect range of features for beginners that want a portable unit that they try without spending too much money. The 9”x9” heat press is smaller than any other unit on our list, but the work area is still large enough to handle home projects. This machine is certainly a step up from using an iron for heat transfers and the results are much higher in quality. The unit comes fully assembled and it’s ready to use right out of the box.

Despite being a budget unit the O Bosstop 9×9 Heat Press Machine has many features that you would find on a more expensive heat press. A digital LED display shows the temperature to ensure that you have the right heating conditions for your current project. The base is insulated to protect surfaces and the heat pad is coated with non-stick teflon to prevent scorching and burning. The handle is ergonomic and comfortable to use and after 10 minutes of inactivity and automatic shut-off engages to keep your home safe. This heat press works well on flat projects only, such as: t-shirts, photos, totes, bags, jigsaws and even some metal surfaces.

Pros
  • Users like the affordability of this handy little heat press.
  • This is a great entry point into the world of home printing.
Cons
  • One user noted that heat pressing thinner materials could melt the including silicon base and they rectified this issue by placing a thin towel under the base.
Features
  • Style: swing away
  • Size: 12″ x 9″
  • Temperature: up to 500°F
  • Time: 0-999s
  • Wattage: 1200W
  • Voltage: 110V

Other features: electronic time and heat control, teflon coated aluminum platen, teflon sheet included

The ePhotoInc T Shirt Heat Press Machine may be the best heat press machine for vinyl and other materials on our list. This is a 12”x9” that can transfer heat onto a number of flat surfaces including: plates, ceramic tiles, mouse mats, t-shirts, totes, fabrics, vinyl banners and anything else you can think of. This heat press has a swing away design so the heating pad is out of the way when the machine is reloaded with the next item. The maximum temperature is 500ºF and the timer can run from 0-999 seconds. When the timer has run down to zero an audible alarm will sound to ensure that you don’t overheat your project and burn it. It’s easy to keep track of your current settings thanks to the LED display screen.

A top mounted pressure knob allows the user to adjust the pressure to the desired thickness. The aluminum heating element is coated with a teflon non-stick surface to prevent scorching and burning and this removes the need for

a separate silicone pad. The heat press comes fully assembled and it’s ready to use right out of the box. This is an ideal machine for those that want to print at home and it can be used as a light business machine.

Pros
  • Many users have praised this machine because it’s light and powerful.
  • This is a great product for beginners.
  • This heat press heats up quickly.
Cons
  • One user found this machine hard to use on hoodies.

Buying Guide

Whether you want to develop a side gig printing merch or want to promote your favorite charity or enterprise, a heat press can be an invaluable tool. However, with so many heat presses on the market, it can be tricky to choose the right one for your needs. In this buying guide, we’ll explore the features to consider and answers to some frequently asked questions to help you make your purchase decision.

How does a heat press work?

A heat press is a machine that you can use at home to imprint your artwork and designs onto a variety of surfaces including: t-shirts, hats, mugs and many more. In order for this to work a heat transfer has to take place to secure the design to the surface material. Every heat press has a heat plate that is electronically heated and controlled to meet a set temperature. This is important because different materials and thicknesses require differing timings and temperature settings.

It is true that this process can also be carried out on a flat surface using a regular iron and a clean towel. But, this process can be problematic. The heat transfer may be uneven and it can be a hit and miss affair. If you want to print your designs on a curved surface such as a mug or glass an iron will be of no use at all.

12 Best Heat Press Machines - Produce Awesome Merch In No Time!

Benefits of heat press machines

Heat press machines can allow you to quickly produce high quality printed materials. Many heat presses work on a wide variety of materials, including: fabrics, glass, ceramics and even metal. If you want to start a heat pressing business at home or you want to make a lot of items for your family you need a heat press to get the best results. An ideal business unit is our premium pick which is the VIVOHOME 6 in 1 Combo Heat Press.

Styles of heat press machines

Broadly speaking there are four different types of heat press on the market. The variation is usually centred on how the heat press opens and certain smaller differences in size and functionality. However, even a basic heat press such as the O Bosstop 9×9 Heat Press Machine works in a similar fashion to a more expensive unit but it lacks some of the extra features.

Clamshell heat press

This type of heat press opens like a clam shell, the user opens the top plate, the material and design are placed at the bottom and the machine is closed.
This initiates the heat transfer process so it’s important to set the time and temperature before starting. This is a well-regarded design because it’s simple and it’s a one step process. Most clamshell designs don’t take up a lot of space so they are an attractive option for casual printers working at home. They are typically more portable than other heat press models and easier to store when not in use. A clamshell heat press is ideal for flat and thin material such as fabric or vinyl and if you read the manual you should be up and running in next to no time.

Swing away heat press

A good example of this type of heat press on our list is the Super Deal 12”x10” Digital Heat Press Machine.

When the platen is opened it will swing out and away to the side instead of opening up directly at the front.
The main reason for this is safety, the heat of the top platen is out of the way and this reduces the chance of a burn. When the top platen is fully open it is also easier to access the bottom platen and make adjustments. This makes for more precise printing than you will find on other heat press designs.

Draw heat press

Choosing between the clamshell and swing designs can be tricky if you’re new to heat presses and printing. In this case the draw heat press design is a good compromise.

The top platen opens up much like the clamshell units but the bottom platen pulls out like a drawer.
This allows the user to place their materials on the bottom surface with a reduced chance of burning. This is not a great heat press design for those working with thicker materials but it is an excellent machine type for t-shirts.

Sublimation heat press

The best example of this type of heat press on our list is the Fancierstudio BB FS15x15 Heat Press Machine. This heat press design is ideal for users that want to lay artwork on t-shirts, totes and other items. They differ from other heat press types because they are designed to minimize ink creeping on elaborate art designs. These types of heat presses typically have a larger working area which makes printing larger items easier.

Things to consider when choosing a heat press

With so many heat presses on the market, it can be tricky to choose the right one. So, here we’ll look at the features you should consider when you start shopping around.

The product being printed

Some models such as the F2C Pro 6 in 1 Heat Press Machine come with extra attachments. These allow the user to print more unusual items that may have curves or awkward shapes that would be impossible on a standard heat press. Some typical printed examples include: hats, mugs, vases and glasses. If you only want to print T-shirts you don’t need this functionality, but if you plan to expand into other items later, they are a worthwhile investment.

Size

12 Best Heat Press Machines - Produce Awesome Merch In No Time!

Some heat presses can be fairly large units, they need plenty of working and storage space. A heat press such as the Cricut Easy Press 2 is smaller and more portable but it is not as good at handling larger projects. Some small heat presses perform very well and if you want to print on smaller items you may be surprised at the quality of the results. But, if you want a heat press for a business you’re going to need something larger and a dedicated area to work with the machine.

Temperature

The temperature used during the heat transfer is critical if you want the very best results. If the temperature is too low the transfer will not succeed and if it is too high the material could be scorched or even burned. So, you need a heat press that has a comfortable temperature range that you can work within. It’s a great idea to get a heat press with a very wide temperature range so you have plenty of flexibility later. Each heat press should come with a manual to explain the temperature settings for a wide variety of materials. Use this as a guide and tailor the settings to your own materials to get the best results.

Time range

Another key factor in a successful heat transfer is the amount of time that the material is exposed to the heat source. So, it’s important to choose a model with a precise digital timer such as the Super Deal 12”x10” Digital Heat Press Machine. Different materials require differing exposure times so users should check the manual for general guidelines. Many digital timers now have an audible alarm to warn the user that the heat transfer is complete.

Wattage

A more powerful heat press with a higher upper temperature range will have a higher wattage to match.

Voltage

These types of machines can still be used with a standard power outlet but they do consume more power. This could be a consideration for a small new business because you want to keep your overheads low.

Heat Platen

12 Best Heat Press Machines - Produce Awesome Merch In No Time!

The heat transfer process is facilitated by the heat platen and it needs to deliver even heat distribution to get the job done. The heating must be consistent over the entire range of the transfer time. The best heat press machines such as the PowerPress PW15x15 Heat Press Machine have teflon coated or ceramic platens. These prevent scorching and burning and deliver a good level of even heat. If you have the heat press open and you carefully move your hands above the surface you can feel the heat distribution. There should be no spots that feel cooler or hotter than the rest of the surface.

Adjustable force and pressure knobs

A good heat press will have digital controls that allow the user to precisely set the temperature and heat transfer time. This is crucial if you want to avoid scorching or even burning your projects during the heat transfer. Most heat presses have a temperature range up to 350ºF but others such as the ePhotoInc 1515GB Heat Press Machine can go as high as 500ºF! The typical time ranges from 0 up to 999 seconds and most modern heat presses sound some type of audible alarm to alert the user. Many heat presses have a pressure knob located on the top of the unit to change the heat settings manually. Understanding how your heat press works will help you to adjust the machine to different materials.

Warranty

Every modern electronic item should come with some kind of manufacturer’s warranty. This shows the purchaser that the manufacturer has confidence in their product and it puts the new user at ease. Even a limited warranty can be useful and most manufacturers now offer a 6-month grace period to ensure that you’re happy with your purchase. Another key concern is the availability of spare parts, if you’re starting a business you need to know that your heat press can be repaired.

FAQ

When looking at presses, you need to consider the available space. Clamshell or draw presses typically require two feet of countertop space, but swing away models need a little more.

Yes. Once you find the ideal time and temperature that works for your graphics, you want to be able to replicate the exact settings. A digital readout allows you to control the time and temperature with precision for consistent results.

Typically, dusting or cleaning with a mild cleaner is all that is needed. You can clean the silicone pads, heat platens and exterior of the machine. However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations for your specific model.

Our Verdict

As you can see, there are some fantastic heat press models on the market. From the WattagePress PW15x15, which offers temperatures up to 455º and a timer up to 999 seconds, to the VIVOHOME 6 in 1 Combo. The VIVOHOME has a double heating tube guaranteeing a temperature difference of less than 5º between the central heat area and the edges.

However, the stand out choice as the best heat press has to be our editor’s choice, the Cricut Easy Press 2. This impressive machine is available in three sizes, yet can provide even heat and pressure for optimal results every time. The Easy Press 2 is ideal for beginners and the larger size is suitable for printing t-shirts, sweatshirts, banners and blankets. This makes it a great choice for all your merch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *