Best Beginner Heat Presses

5 Heat Presses to Buy in 2021 – Review of the Top Sublimation Heat Press

What Is A Heat Press?

A heat press is a machine that is designed to imprint designs, graphics, or other media onto a substrate with heat and pressure. Heat presses are most commonly used to press designs onto t-shirts to create custom shirts or other apparel. The press uses heat and pressure for a predetermined amount of time to press the design onto the substrate. While heat presses are most commonly used for t-shirts, there are many different uses for heat presses. The type of work you plan on doing will determine which heat press is going to be best for you. Today, we are going to look at the top 5 heat presses on the market.

smartxchoices heat press

SmartxChoices Pro 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine Combo

Our #1 choice for heat presses is the SmarxChoices Pro 5 in 1 Heat Press Machine. This combo is much more than just a heat press, it has 5 uses all in one. With this kit, you will get  1 platen press, 1 hat press, 1 mug press, and 2 plate presses. The teflon coated heater plate measures in at 12”x15” to transfer large designs to t-shirts or other larger substrates. With the other plates available with this kit, you can press designs onto caps, mugs, plates, tiles, coasters, mouse pans, jigsaw puzzles, lettering, and many other fabrics and materials.

With a full digital LCD control, this heat press is going to be easy to operate for beginners. It has built in structural supports to make the heat press more stable, providing a safer operation. A full 360 degree swing away design also aids in providing a safe use. You will get a one year warranty on the control and heating plate along with lifetime online tech support.

Features

  • 5 In 1 Combo Kit
  • Digital LCD Control
  • More Secure
  • Swing Away Design
  • One Year Warranty
  • Lifetime Tech Support

What’s In The Box

  • 1x Heat Press
  • 1x Platen Press
  • 1x Hat Press
  • 1x Mug Press
  • 2x Plate Presses

Reviews

Looking at the reviews on this heat press, we see that it is one of the most popular on Amazon. With 669 reviews at the time of this article, the SmartxChoice heat press boasts a 4.5 out of 5 star review. Most customers rave about how easy the heat press is to use and that it works well with many different substrates. The only negative thing that stood out was people having trouble with the mug press. However, this is something that should be covered with the one year warranty provided by SmartxChoices.

Power Press Heat Press

PowerPress HPM-0000-PK Heat Press Machine Portable

Switching gears to a single use heat press, the PowerPress HPM-0000-PK heat press is a great, affordable alternative for those wanting to heat press personal items. With a heating plate size of 10”x12”, this heat press is easily portable and can be used to press designs onto shirts for the whole family. The touch screen control panel makes using this heat machine super easy for beginners. The press has a safe anti-heating system to ensure machine and user safety when operating this press. This makes it a great press for families with kids to ensure they do not get accidentally burned. The white and pink design makes for a fashionable machine for people of all ages.

The PowerPress is a particularly great heat press for anybody interested in a portable, easy-to-use heat press for making small gifts at home. Take a look if you want to step up your at-home crafts!

Features

  • Touch Screen Control Panel
  • Pressure Regulating System
  • Safe Anti-Overheating System
  • Dual Function Base
  • Wide-Ranged Applicability.

What’s In The Box

  • 1x Home Press
  • 3x Transfer Vinyl Sheets
  • 1x Heat-Resistant Mats
  • 1x Safety Base
  • 1x Manual

Reviews

Boasting the most reviews on this list through Amazon, the Power Press HPM-0000-PK heat press has over 1,100 reviews with a 4.5 out of 5 star average review. Most of the reviews on this heat press talk about being easy to use and getting a great bang for your buck. At under $150, this heat press is a great buy and is obviously one of the favorites in the industry. Many of the lower star reviews revolve around the unit not working after a few months. These are few and far between and are most likely resolved with the warranty.

MPress Heat Press

MPress 15" x 15" High Pressure Heat Press Machine

If you are looking for a heat press machine that is going to allow you to start your own business, the MPress 15”x15” high pressure heat press machine can get you there. This heat press machine is the perfect entry level heat press for those who want to build a sublimation business. Easily customized your own shirts, sweatshirts, ceramic tiles, coasters, sweatshirts, and much more. You can use heat transfer, vinyl heat transfer, and rhinestone transfers with this machine.

Built for both commercial and domestic applications, this heat press machine is built to outlast cheaper alternatives. It is very easy to operate and will provide professional quality results. With high-quality components, this press was built to take on the abuse of a small business while providing the ease of usability for the most novice heat press user. 

Features

  • Non Stick Coated Heat Plate
  • Durable Heating Board
  • Easy To Operate
  • Full Range Adjustable Pressure Knob
  • Digital Temperature & Time Control
  • Heat Resistant Silicone Pad

What’s In The Box

1x Heat Press

Reviews

With over 360 reviews on heatpressnation.com, the Mpress heat press has an average review rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Of these 360 reviews, 291 of them are 5 star reviews and only 6 of them are 1 or 2 star reviews. The reviews on this site showcase the quality of the heat press and how easy it is to get started with it. Many people are using this heat press for their sublimation business and say that it was a great addition to increase productivity.

Fancierstudio Heat Press

Fancierstudio Power Heat Press 15X15 Sublimation Rhinestone Heat Press

As another standard, large 15x15 heat press, the FancierStudio heat press give you commercial style features in an easy to use package. This heat press is a clamp style press with a rigid and elongated handle for easy use. Built to be a great heat press for both commercial and domestic use, this press is great for beginners or experienced heat press professionals. While it sports a more commercial look and may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other heat presses, the Fancierstudio is going to get the job done for years to come. The 15”x15” heat plate will allow for heat pressing large designs on t-shirts and other larger substrates.

We've done a more detailed review on another Fancierstudio Heat Press, make sure to take a look!

Features

  • Large Heat Press Plate
  • Commercial & Domestic Settings
  • Easy To Operate
  • Professional Results
  • Digital Display

What’s In The Box

  • 1x Heat Press

Reviews

The Fancierstudio Power Heat Press currently has nearly 350 reviews on Amazon at the time of this article. It has an impressive 4.5 out of 5 star rating with 82% of those reviews being 5 star reviews. Only 5% are 1 and 2 star reviews. Most reviews state that this heat press is a great press for those starting out in the sublimation hobby. The problems stated around the lower star reviews revolved around defects in the press when they were within the warranty period, so these have most likely been resolved and replaced.

The Fancierstudio Power Heat Press is one of the best heat presses available if you are looking to start or grow your sublimation business! Along with the Fancierstudio Heat Press, you need to know some other great tips for starting a sublimation business.

Tusy Heat Press

TUSY Heat Press Machine 15x15 inch Digital Industrial Sublimation Printer

Last but not least, we have the TUSY heat press machine. This heat press is the most popular press on this list and boasts the most reviews on Amazon out of the 5 on this list. This digital industrial sublimation heat press easily transfers colorful photos and designs onto cotton, fabric, htc, and other various materials. The LCD control board allows you to easily use and monitor all of the functions of the heat press with ease. The 15”x15” size allows for printing onto large materials such as t-shirts or other large substrates. It it loaded with features such as adjustable pressure and anti-overheating. This is a great press for commercial or domestic use as it is easy to use for beginners and it creates high quality prints.

Features

  • Easy To Use
  • LCD Control Board
  • Large Heat Press
  • Pressure Adjustable
  • Anti-Overheating Feature

What’s In The Box

  • 1x Heat Press

Reviews

With over 1,600 reviews on Amazon, this heat press currently holds a 4.6 out of 5 star review. Customers compliment this heat press on the easy of use, value of the press, and how heavy duty it is. This is a customer favorite when it comes to heat presses and is sure to give you everything you need for your home or business use.

Cricut Heat Press

Honorable Mention: Cricut EasyPress 2

While not in our top 5 heat presses list, an honorable mention goes to the super popular Cricut EasyPress 2. If you have been around anyone who is into heat pressing or vinyl cutting, you have most likely heard about Cricut. Cricut is well known for their aesthetically pleasing, easy to use machines. The EasyPress 2 is a smaller press coming in at 9”x9”, but it is going to be a great option for smaller shirts, tote bags, aprons, and much more. 

Features

  • Easily Transportable
  • Professional Results
  • Advanced Heat Plate Design
  • Precise Temperature Control
  • Easy To Learn
  • Auto-Shutoff Feature

What’s In The Box

  • 1x EasyPress
  • 1x Safety Base
  • 1x Welcome Book

Reviews

The Cricut is a very popular heat press with over 17,000 reviews currently on Amazon. Surprisingly, it holds a 4.8 out of 5 stars which is something we have never seen before. Cricut has sort of a “cult-following” behind it as they have done really well marketing to the DIY crowd. This has made them a staple in the craft industry and the EasyPress 2 is a great example of this. We expect that Cricut will continue to develop the EasyPress over the years to improve on the overall design. You can get the EasyPress 2 in a 9x9, 12x10, and 6x7 configuration.

Take a look at our more in-depth review of the Cricut EasyPress 2!

Which Is The Best Heat Press For You? - Buyers Guide

Now that we have looked at the top 5 heat presses, let’s review a few things to take into consideration when making your purchase.

What Will You Be Making?

One of the biggest things you need to take into consideration when buying a heat press is what you will be using it for. Since most heat presses are designed to press designs on to shirts, you will have an easy time finding a suitable heat press for custom shirts. If you plan on using a heat press for making other products, make sure that the heat press you are looking at is going to accommodate the substrate you plan on printing on. 

What Size Heat Press Do You Need?

Heat presses come in a variety of sizes. You will want to make sure that the heat press you buy can press designs the size that you need. If you are wanting to press larger designs, you will want to make sure you get a heat press with a larger press area. As a rule of thumb, you will want to get the largest press you can afford or fit in your workspace as it will allow you more room to grow or experiment with other substrates/designs.

Quality & Reliability

When researching different presses, you will want to look at the reviews and warranties available with each press. This will give you a good indication of what you can expect from your heat press and what problems you may run into. Generally, you will want a highly-rated heat press with a longer warranty. This will help cover any manufacturer defects that you may encounter.

Business Or Personal Use

Lastly, you will want to get a heat press that is going to be able to take on the quantity you plan on producing. If you are wanting a heat press for personal use, an entry level heat press will most likely suffice. If you are wanting to start your own business or add heat-pressed apparel to your current business, a commercial use heat press should be considered. Commercial heat presses are built to take on larger volumes and are built better than entry level heat presses.

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