The journey to find the best printer for heat transfers isn’t all smooth sailing. Not all printers are compatible with heat transfer paper, and not all printers are efficient. As fun as heat transferring your drawing to t-shirts is, having the wrong printer can ruin the whole process.
You might be wondering how you can differentiate a good printer from a bad one. Luckily for you, I went on an expedition to find the best printers on the market and collected all the information I gathered into this list.
So, without wasting any more time, let’s jump right in.
Top 3 Best Printer for Heat Transfers
|Budget Friendly||Best Overall||Epson Workforce 7720||
||Check Today’s Price|
|Budget Friendly||Runner Up||Epson XP-15000||
||Check Today’s Price|
|My Choice||For Multipurpose||Brother HL-L2320D||
||Check Today’s Price|
5 Best Printers for Heat Transfers in 2020
1. Epson Workforce 7720: Best Overall Picks
I’m starting off this list strongly with the Epson Workforce 7720. Not only is this printer perfect for heat transfers, but it’s also a great choice all around for the many functionalities it offers and its incredible output.
First and foremost, this printer offers wide-format printing of up to 13 x 19 inches, so you can have multiple images ready on the same heat transfer paper, or you can use the large paper to print on larger items of clothes.
It has a printing resolution of 4800 x 2400 dots-per-inch (dpi), which, while average for a wide-format inkjet printer, is pretty sufficient.
Being an inkjet printer, this unit uses 4 DURABrite Ultra-Pigment ink cartridges that are known to produce high-quality prints and vivid, vibrant colors. Also, if you want the ink to last a little longer, you can opt for the extra-high capacity ones similar to these best printer for stickers.
Additionally, this printer is an all-in-one unit, meaning it also can copy, scan, and fax. If you’ll be printing in larger volumes, you can just print on one paper and then copy it as many times as you want without having to use your computer. It also boasts an automatic document feeder of up to 35 pages for maximum efficiency similar to these best cheap 3d printer for cosplay.
On the subject of saving time, the Workforce 7720 can print up to 18 pages per minute (ppm) in black and white and 10 ppm in colors, which is an excellent rate for an inkjet printer.
This printer can be used via a wireless connection, so it’s compatible with any phone, computer, or laptop you have. Also, it accepts Ethernet connections and has a USB port, if you prefer wired printers. Besides, this unit has a 4.3-inch touchscreen that’s so user-friendly; I found myself familiar with this printer just a few minutes after having it installed.
If you want to print on the fabric directly, it’s possible with this printer. You can easily convert it to use sublimation ink, but keep in mind that it’ll void the warranty! Epson advises against using third-party ink, so beware of the consequences that might follow.
- All-in-one printer
- Supports wide-format printing
- 500-sheet paper tray
- Has an auto-document feeder
- Sublimation ink voids its warranty
It simply doesn’t get better than the Epson Workforce 7720 regarding printing on heat transfer paper. It’s easy to use, fast, and reliable, which is a combination you rarely see nowadays. Additionally, because it’s an inkjet unit, you’ll be getting an excellent color output.
2. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Best Premium Pick
The Epson Expression Photo HD XO-15000 is my runner-up printer for how incredible its output looks. Having 6 Claria Photo HD ink cartridges makes for a vivid, lively color output that’ll take your printing to the next level.
This inkjet printer can print in wide-format up to 13 x 19 inches, so you can color transfer your drawings on a large piece like a dress or a jacket instead of using multiple small sheets for each part.
It has an exceptional printing resolution of 5760 x 1400 dpi, so you’ll be getting excellent prints with the most accurate colors possible. Additionally, the XP-15000 can print up to 9.2 ppm in black and white and 9 ppm in color for a speedy operation.
For connectivity, the printer supports wireless connections, an ethernet port, and a USB port, so you can choose whichever method best fits your setup similar to these school printers. You can also navigate the printer with its 2.4-inch screen that’s straightforward, even if this is your first time using a printer.
The printer’s front tray can take up to 200 sheets of paper, so you won’t have to worry about reloading it every few hours, even if you’re printing in high volumes.
One of my favorite things about this printer is that it’s relatively compact when compared to other tabloid laser printers in the same category. It can fit on your desk or somewhere in the office without taking up too much space.
- Excellent printing resolution
- Uses six ink cartridges
- Lightweight and compact
- Vivid printed colors
- The printer’s head gets clogged often
If you’re on the lookout for a printer with excellent resolution and vibrant color output that’ll give life to your fabrics, the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is second to none. It uses 6 ink cartridges, which is a lot more than an average printer, so you’d get accurate colors without breaking the bank.
3. Brother HL-L2320: Best Budget Pick
Not everyone seeks colors in their heat transfers; some are only looking for a monochrome printer that’s easy to use, fast, and reliable. If you’re one of those people, you’ll love the Brother HL-L2320D.
The HL L2320D mono laser is a laser printer, so you can already guess that its speed is unmatchable. It can print up to 30 ppm, making it perfect for professional use requiring high volume production without sacrificing the quality like these good printers for art prints.
What’s more, its printing resolution is up to 2400 x 600 dpi, which is a lot higher than I expected for a monochrome laser printer; it was a pleasant surprise! Also, it can print on up to legal-sized paper.
If you’re worried about spending too much on toner, the HL L2320D mono laser printer has a Toner Saver mode that you can opt for if you’re running low on toner or looking to save some money. Besides, it’s compatible with the TN660 cartridges, which are high-yield ones.
You can use this printer by connecting your laptop or computer to its USB 2.0 port, but that’s about it. Seeing a printer that doesn’t accept wireless connections is a massive let down, considering we’re in the era of technology. However, it comes at an affordable price, so I can’t really complain.
Even though this printer doesn’t have an auto-feeder, the 250-sheet tray capacity makes up for it. You can just load it with paper and forget about refilling for a few days or even a few weeks, depending on your usage.
- Compact printer size
- Budget-friendly price point
- Unmatchable printing speed
- Toner Saver mode
- Has a manual feeder in the printer
- Doesn’t support wireless printing
If you’ll only be printing in black and white and not willing to spend a fortune on a printer, the Brother HL-L2320D is for you. It offers an incredible printing speed of up to 30 ppm and an excellent printing resolution of up to 2400 x 600 dpi during print.
4. Epson Workforce 7210: Best Value Pick
Epson is a brand known for producing high-quality printers, and the Workforce 7210 is no exception. This unit has everything you might be seeking for seamless heat transfer printing, including decent speed, reliability, convenience, and efficiency.
This inkjet printer uses four DURABRite Ultra-Pigment ink cartridges that result in excellent color output and minimal smudging and running. You can also upgrade to the Extra High-Capacity cartridges if you’ll be printing in large volumes to save you some time, money, and effort.
On that note, if you’ll be printing in high volumes and want a speedy inkjet printer, this might be the one you’re seeking. It can print up to 18 ppm in black and white and can print 10 ppm in color. Additionally, you won’t be making any sacrifices when it comes to quality because it has a resolution of up to 4800 x 2400 dpi.
What’s more, the Workforce 720 can print in wide-format up to 13 x 19 inches, which is always a bonus. It can save you a lot of effort if you’re printing multiple images on the same sheet to maximize efficiency and production.
You can connect to this printer wirelessly through Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Epson iPrint app, and more, so you can start the printing process without having to be in the same room. Also, if you prefer using a wired connection, it has USB and Ethernet ports that you can use.
Among my favorite things about the Workforce 7210 is its tray capacity of up to 500 pages that no other inkjet printer can match. However, you might be disappointed to know that it doesn’t have an automatic feeder.
Much like the Workforce 7720, you can use sublimation ink with the 7210 model, but beware that doing so will void your warranty.
- 500-sheet print tray capacity
- Supports wide-format printing
- Offers wireless and wired connections for print
- Good value for the money
- No automatic feeder
- The head gets clogged
The Epson Workforce Wf 7210 is an excellent choice for hobbyists, beginners, and professionals alike. It offers a decent printing resolution of 4800 x 2400 dpi with wide-format printing support. This heat transfer paper printer is also compatible with most phones and laptops out there, for the most convenience possible.
5. Canon IP8720: Best Entry Level Pick
The Canon IP8720 inkjet printer offers the best printing resolution on this list, and possibly the whole market. If the print quality is your priority over anything else, the IP8720 is definitely for you.
It has a six-color ink system that print the most vibrant colors for starters, which is exactly what you need for heat transfers. The printed colors will transfer beautifully to your fabric of choice, and it’ll look professional and high-quality.
What’s more, the IP8720 can print in wide-format for an incredible production rate. That’s not all; this printer can print up to 14.5 ppm in black and white and up to 10.4 ppm in color, making it the one fastest inkjet printer on the list.
Not to mention, it makes no sacrifices in quality whatsoever because it has a printing resolution of 9600 x 2400. I wasn’t kidding when I said this printer produces one of the finest prints I’ve ever seen.
It gets even better. The IP8720 has its own software called My Image Garden, that you could use to make collages and organize your different photos and documents. This printer makes the process a breeze for artists or any creative person who’ll print many different heat transfers.
This heat transfer paper printer is second to none when it comes to connectivity options. It offers wireless printing via any device that uses Wi-Fi, AirPrint, Pixma Printing Solutions app, and Google Cloud Print. You can also connect it to your laptop or computer via its USB port for a quicker and more reliable data transfer.
Lastly, for professionals and small business owners, this heat transfer paper printer has an automatic feeder, so you can keep it running for extended periods without having to stand there and manually feed it the sheets.
- Incredible printing resolution and speed
- Supports wide-format printing
- Has its own image-organization software
- Six-color ink system
- Compact size
- Wi-Fi glitches occasionally
If you’re looking for the best printing resolution possible in a heat transfer paper, the Canon IP8720 prints up to 9600 x 2400 dpi. Also, it’s quite speedy at 14.5 ppm in black and white and up to 10.4 ppm in color, and it supports wide-format printing, as well!
How to Pick a Printer for Heat Transfers
Picking the best heat transfer printer for heat transfers is nowhere as easy as you might think. You need to make sure that the printer is compatible with transfer paper first and foremost, and then you can start comparing the different models to find the one that best fits your needs.
Throughout this section, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know before making a buying decision, so stick around!
Your heat transfer printer’s maximum printing resolution is the biggest indicator of how the output will look. The heat transfer paper printing resolution is measured in dpi, referring to how many droplets of ink are used on each paper inch.
More heat transfer ink droplets mean the printing will have more visible details, which is critical for heat transfers. I always recommend going for the highest resolution possible, especially because most printers allow you to control each page’s printing resolution. So, having a high-resolution configuration is helpful, even if you don’t see yourself using it often.
Going for a printer with a high printing speed is critical for small business owners rather than hobbyists. If you’ll be printing in large volumes, you can’t really afford to waste much time because it’ll lower your production rate.
Generally, laser printers are much faster at heat transfer paper printing, especially monochrome ones. If you won’t be printing in color at all, opting for a monochrome printer is the way to go.
Inkjet vs. Laser Printer
The heat transfer laser printer or heat transfer inkjet argument has been going on for ages, and it won’t be ending any time soon simply because each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
If your priority is high-quality heat transfer paper printings, vivid colors, and low initial cost, going for an inkjet printer is the safest bet. The fact that they use heat transfer ink makes for a life-like output that just looks excellent on fabrics.
However, the biggest downside to inkjet printers is that the ink itself is quite expensive. While, yes, the initial cost of the printer itself is low, you’ll be paying a lot more than you’d expect in the long run for print as compared to a laser printer.
On the other hand, investing in a heat transfer laser printer is the best decision possible if you know you’ll be heat transfer printing in medium to high volumes. Not only are laser printers much faster than inkjets, but they’re also heat transfer cheaper in the long run because toner isn’t nearly as expensive as ink. Additionally, toner doesn’t really smudge or run as the ink does, but that’ll be covered in more detail later on.
As you’ve seen in the previous point, inks produce more vivid colors than toners, which is critical for heat transfers. However, not all ink is the same.
First of all, dye-based ink is the most popular type. Dye-based ink is more affordable and just overall better for beginners. However, it tends to fade when exposed to sunlight for extended periods, so keep that in mind when heat transferring your drawing to clothes.
On the other hand, pigment-based ink is water-resistant, and it doesn’t get affected by the sun, but it comes at a price. If you want your printings to last as long as possible, opt for a pigment-based ink cartridge.
Lastly, sublimation ink has the best of both worlds. Its price falls somewhere between dye-based and pigment-based ink, and it’s water-resistant. Also, you can use sublimation ink to print directly into the fabric without needing special transfer paper for print.
However, print sublimation ink usually requires its own printer. You can use a converter to use sublimation ink for regular inkjet printers, but that usually voids the printer’s warranty, so keep that in mind.
For the most convenience, opt for a heat transfer printer that offers wireless printing, so you can start the heat transfer printing process without having to get up from your seat. Also, wireless printers can import photos or documents straight from your phone or tablet, so you wouldn’t have to move them to your computer beforehand.
However, some people prefer wired heat transfer connections for print because they’re much more reliable and faster. It depends on your print setup; if you have enough room to keep the heat transfer printer close to your PC at all times, by all means, go for the wired print connection configuration in a printer for heat transfer.
Now that you’ve made it this far, you should have a clear idea of what you need in your next heat transfer printer, how much you’re willing to spend, and which features you prioritize and which aren’t as important. However, if you need a quick memory refresh, you’re in luck! Here’s a recap of my top three picks for the best printer for heat transfers.
First of all, the Epson Workforce Wf 7720 has everything you might be seeking. This heat transfer printer can print in wide-format with a maximum printing resolution of 4800 x 2400 dpi, guaranteeing a high-quality heat transfer output. Also, it offers a decent printing speed for an inkjet printer, which is a massive plus.
Following closely behind, the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-1500 offers an excellent heat transfer printing resolution of up to 5760 x 1400 dpi. It can also print in wide-format, and it produces accurate, print vibrant colors that no other laser printer can match.
Lastly, the Brother HL-L2320D is the best monochrome laser printer for heat transfers on the market. Its printing speed of 30 ppm with heat transfer is outstanding, even among other laser printer. Additionally, it’s quite compact and comes at a budget-friendly price making it one of the printer for heat transfer.