If you’re into t-shirt printing for fun or do it as a business, then you know that the heat press is an essential component of the t-shirt printing kit. It’s an effective way to transfer designs for heat transfer printing and sublimation, and it’s also a great option to cure screen prints if you can’t afford an industrial conveyor heater.
If you’ve been looking for a heat press to purchase and add to your printing setup then you know that there are plenty of options to choose from but not really much information about them. Being a bit of an investment as a product that generally costs around $200, you want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Since we’re in the business of making your lives easier so you can focus on the more creative and artistic side of t-shirt printing, we composed a top 5 list for what we consider to be the best heat presses out on the market today. No particular order, just 5 reliable options to choose from so you can narrow down your search and hopefully find the best heat press that most suits your needs.
1. Fancierstudio Power Heat Press
The Fancierstudio Power Heat Press is a very popular manual heat press among t-shirt printers mainly for its reliability and simplicity. It has a 15x15 inch heat plate that is capable of pressing large designs onto t-shirts, something that is hard to find for a good price on the heat press market. The press can also consistently reach temperatures of up to 699°F and features electronic time and heat control to ensure consistent results every time you press.
When it comes to heat presses, reaching consistent temperatures for specific amounts of times is extremely important since most t-shirt materials are heat sensitive at the high temperatures that heat presses tend to operate at. When it comes to the Fancierstudio Power Heat Press you definitely will not have to worry about damaging your t-shirt with consistent results for thousands of uses. Adjusting the pressure is also very easy to do with its silicon-gel baseboard. All in all, this is a very reliable and user-friendly heat press that provides excellent value at a $189.99 price point.
2. F2C Pro 5 in 1 Heat Press
The F2C Pro 5 in 1 Heat Press is an extremely versatile heat press. This is a great choice for printers who do not print on just t-shirts but also mugs, hats, or pads. The pressing surface is very large with it’s 12 X 15 inch frame allowing for the printing of relatively large designs. When using it to print just be sure to have the heat press secured on a flat surface so it is sturdy while pressure is applied. Overall, we would recommend this for people that print not only on just t-shirts but also hats and mugs. If you’re looking for a heat press just for t-shirt printing there are definitely better options available with heat presses designed specifically just for t-shirts.
3. PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine
The PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation Heat Press Machine is a very similar heat press to the Fancierstudio Power Heat Press. It has a 15x15 inch heat plate which is a very large surface that should be well-suited for large designs. It also features a silicon-gel baseboard for easily adjustable pressure for different t-shirt fabrics. Specifically designed for t-shirts, the press can quickly reach temperatures of up to 455°F and has an easy to use time and temperature control via an LCD control panel. The press also has a non-stick coating to eliminate the need for coated sheets. At the time of this article, the press currently sells for $209.99 on Amazon which is a huge bargain considering it was selling for over $300 just a few months ago.
4. ePhotoInc New 15” x 15” T-Shirt Heat Press Machine T-Shirt Transfer Machine
The ePhotoInc New Digital T-Shirt Heat Transfer Press is an extremely user-friendly heat press. No complicated assembly is required once ordered since it comes ready to use right out of the box and it also features a more modernized look with an easy to read LCD display. If you prefer the LCD display compared to dials then this heat press should be around the top of your list.
The press plate is quite large with its 15x15 inch dimensions and can reach consistent temperatures of up to 500°F. The aluminum plate also features a teflon coating for even heating throughout and easy t-shirt removal once pressed. Lastly, one of the key features of this heat press is the ability of time control through the LCD display. Simply plug in the time you want (anywhere from 0-999 seconds) and press. Currently, the press can be found on Amazon for $184.99.
5. Cricut Easy Press Mini
The Cricut Easy Press Mini heat press is a lot different than the other heat presses featured on this list. However, it makes a worthy appearance for one key reason that makes it stand out compared to the rest. It is the ideal heat press for small designs and even better for those designs that need to be printed on awkward surfaces. Maybe you want to print a design on a shirt pocket or on a hat with a rough face. The Cricut Easy Press Mini will likely be the best candidate for the job.
The press may be similar to an iron in its shape and design but do not get it twisted, it is a massive upgrade compared to a standard iron. The press has three different heat settings to suit various inks that require different temperatures and the plate is ceramic coated to allow for even edge to edge heating. You will not get inconsistent heating like you would from a standard iron. This press is specifically designed for t-shirt and apparel printing so expect quality results upon use. Since it is a bit of a niche heat press this is not something you would get to accommodate all of your pressing needs. Instead, consider it as a new addition to your printing arsenal for small and awkward designs at just $49.99.