10 Best Heat Press Machine Reviews – Buying Guide & Comparison

Top 10 heat press machine reviewsGetting the best heat press machine is a very rewarding experience. This is because doing so allows a buyer to effectively accomplish a number of printing and transfer jobs with utmost convenience. Read our honest reviews and buying guide for better understanding.

But as the number of machines offered for sale continues to increase, selecting the best from what is offered had become complicated. Due to this, buyers are strongly advised to conduct the needed online and personal research prior to purchase. They are also encouraged to learn and identify the most common features that the heat print machines have.

This is a super lengthy article, so at first, take a look at our top 5 pics of best heat transfer machines!

Best Heat Press Reviews – Our Top 5 Picks

Common Features of a Heat Press Machine

The following features are considered as the most common features that should have a professional heat press machines usually.

Functional Design

Potential heat printer buyers are encouraged to go for the products that feature a functional design. This simply means that they should as much as possible go for the machines that effectively help in saving space, work well when used on different items and are equipped with advanced time and temperature controls and displays. This is because getting a machine with such characteristics can help them obtain the best printing and transfer outcomes.


Aside from the functional design, buyers are also advised to go for the machines that come with user-friendly functions and controls. This can be accomplished by going for the models that are equipped with highly-adjustable knobs and buttons that can be easily tweaked to input the most important information needed to get the job done, particularly the time and temperature settings.

Equipped with a non-stick heating element

Finally, buyers are encouraged to prioritize the models that are equipped with the non-stick heating element. This is because doing such can help them in avoiding overexposure and sticking to materials used for printing. On top of that, different models equipped with this feature effectively prevents scorching that can ruin the outcome of the printing jobs accomplished using the machine.

Still, have some confusion? Don’t worry. Read our latest heat press reviews and take your buying decision.

Heat Press Machine Reviews – Our Top 10 Picks

1. Powerpress Digital Heat Press 15 x 15 Sublimation Heat Press – Best Heat Press Machine for Small Business

Are you looking for a  replacement/old or a brand new machine for your custom made gifts or custom printed T-shirt business? Then we have an ideal match for your choice? The Powerpress Digital is an industrial grade machine which can handle all your business needs.  It is one of the most popular and demanded heat printing machine in the market today; this is because of its ability to print on any flat surface whether be it fabric, ceramics or metal. It’s a comparatively budget-friendly machine for the start-up business and also it’s the best t-shirt printing machine with lots of standard features.

Fancierstudio Power Heat Press Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch

Why prefer Powerpress Digital over others?

Well, there are a ton of reasons to select this product over other, and some of the most important ones are mentioned below.


  • Versatility: This is one of the few machines which can print on garments, fabric, canvas, ceramic, glass, metal and much. It offers you a rare chance to work on all different materials using just one machine.
  • Size: The device gives you a wide surface area of 15 inch X 15 inch which is quite suitable for even large projects. The important aspect is that being such large, it heats
  • Digital controls: The press has digitally controlled timer and temperature which means that you can set these parameters accurately depending on the print requirement.
  • Wide Temperature and Timer Range: The machine offers very wide heat range from 0-500 degree Fahrenheit and a similarly large time range of 0-999 seconds.

Well, there are a lot of other features to mention such as affordability, durability, design,  high production and much more which we would discuss later.

  • Compact space saving design
  • Accurate electronic timer and temperature control
  • A non-stick surface and heat platen
  • Larger working element
  • Works with any flat surface
  • Slightly heavy
  • Relatively high priced


I would like to recommend this product to any of the person looking to start up his own small print business as it offers a larger working element and versatility to work with different materials. The machine looks sturdily built and durable; I am sure you will be very much satisfied with the print quality and overall performance of the machine. Also, the electronically controlled timer and heating element improve print quality.

2. ePhotoInc Swing Away T-SHIRT PRESS – Best Small Heat Press Machine

Either if you are looking for new heat printing machine to start your business or just a replacement for your old one then this Swing Away T-SHIRT PRESS would be the best heat press choice for you. If you are on a small budget but have plenty of space, then you are going to love this press. The machine is highly versatile dishes out high-quality prints on multiple different surfaces with various printing option such as vinyl, sublimation, inkjet and many others.

Why should you consider this press?ePhotoInc Swing Away 9 x 12 T SHIRT HEAT PRESS MACHINE

This machine provides a number of features to be seen as a primary choice for the user, some of which are mentioned below.


  • Versatility: The number of items that this machine can transfer prints is quite large including s garments, glass, paper, ceramic, metal and much
  • Size: It’s a medium-sized device and measures 10″ X 12″, suitable for printing T-shirts and other custom gifts and items. It’s highly portable and can be carried anywhere you need.
  • Workspace: Being a swing away model it offers greater work-space as compared to Clamshell models.
  • Safety: The top heating plates move completely out of the way thus there is no risk of accidental burning of your hands.
  • Nonstick platen: The platen is Teflon coated, so you don’t need to cover the transfer paper.
  • Even heating and pressure: The platen heats evenly and being top-down ensures even pressure through the plate.
  • Wide range: This machine offers a very wide range of temperature from 0 to 500 degree Fahrenheit and a time range of 0-999 seconds.

There are lots of other features which this machine offers which we would discuss later.

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Electronic controlled
  • Portable
  • Safe
  • Durable
  • Medium size
  • A bit issues with thicker items


I loved the way this amazing press has performed so far; it gives excellent print at a higher rate. Moreover, it is easy to transport and much safer to use because of extra workspace. Thus I would love to recommend it to the person who needs high portability hand have a great larger space. Besides it easily comes in your budget and is much easy to operate.

3. PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation T-Shirt Press

The PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation t-shirt printing machine is the most in-demand model in the market at present. This is because a lot of buyers prefer this over the other available models since it is blessed with an upward-opening configuration that helps the device to save space. In addition to that, the Powerpress machine is capable of transferring images on t-shirts, ceramic tiles, jigsaw puzzles, garments, and bags. On top of that, this machine is equipped with an accurate timer and heat control feature that prevents sticking and scorching.

FeaturesPowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press

    • Comes with dimensions of 28x17x16.5
    • Weighs about 56.9 pounds
    • Equipped with a 15”x15” working element
    • Features an upward-opening construction
    • Features a coated sheet along with a coated heat platen
    • Derives power from a 110-volt source
    • Has a power output of 1800 watts
    • Provides a temperature range of 0-500 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Has a heating time range of 0-999 seconds
    • Equipped with an electronic heating and time controls
    • Has a pressure adjustable Silicon gel base board
    • Works on a number of items like ceramic tiles, t-shirts, and bags
    • This machine is great for small t-shirt printing business owner
  • Compact and space-saving
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Comes with a larger working element that provides more workspace
  • Has an electronic temperature control that allows convenient temperature adjustments
  • Has an accurate electronic timer that helps prevent sticking and scorching
  • Provides a non-stick surface and heat platen
  • Offered with a glued-down silicon rubber base
  • Works well in doing transfer, letter, number and image applications
  • Can be used on objects with flat surfaces
  • Sold at a relatively higher price
  • Not available for shipping in some countries
  • Not sold along with a warranty
  • Product availability is quite limited


Despite of its relatively expensive price, the PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation t-shirt printing machine is still regarded as a good purchase by a lot of buyers. This is because the product comes with an upward opening configuration that makes it convenient and safe to use. In addition that, such it is equipped with a bigger working element, coated sheet and heating platen along with a glued-down silicon rubber base. Finally, this heat press is also admired for its electronic heat and time control for better work outcomes.

4. Zeny® 6-in-1 Combo

Buying personalized gifts can be expensive and you can’t always find what you’re looking for, even in specialized stores. Sometimes you may wish you could make your own gifts or T-shirts for a fundraiser, or a T-shirt in support of a cause. Now you can do it with the Zeny Heat Press Pro, 6-in-1 Combo Heat Printing Machine. Get all the cool designs on the items you want without the hassle of dealing with stores and the high costs of paying to personalize items you have to buy separately. Also if you decide to start a home business then it will be the best choice for small business as a startup with a little investment. It is so far the perfect machine for home use.

Zeny Heat Press 6 in 1 Combo


The Zeny Heat Press Pro has a lot of features that make creating your own personalized designs easy, fun and safe. Not only it is convenient for use in your own home, but other features make it simple and fun. The biggest features that have customers enjoying and loving their Zeny Heat Print Pro include:

  • The 4/5 inch heating board allows the heat to be evenly distributed across the entire platen
  • Choose from a Fahrenheit or Celsius degree control
  • Warms up quickly
  • The built-in structural support helps to maintain flatness
  • Designed with an upgraded alloy cradle so that you get even heating
  • Comes with a compact size, lightweight, detached cradle to use for mug elements. More compact than standard cradles
  • Comes with timer control
  • Adjustable multi-spring balancer

Before you purchase your desired press machine, you need to compare pros and cons. Knowing what the benefits and positives are about a product, versus the negatives, or concerns, can help you make a wise decision as to if the product is right for you and what you are looking for. Other customers who have the machine give their opinion on the pros and cons of the machine to help others make an informed decision before they buy. Below are some of the lists of pros and cons.

  • Made sturdy; all metal and no plastic
  • Easy to put together
  • Easy to use. Not difficult to use the different functions to make T-shirts or mugs or anything it’s intended to
  • Instructions aren’t very clear on how to put together
  • There may be some difficulty using the pressure screw and getting it to work right
  • There were some concerns with how the timer works with some customers


Whether you are crafty at heart or want to learn something fun to do, the Zeny Heat Press Pro will have you seeing your creative side quickly and easily. You’ll be amazed at what you can create for your personal use, gifts or even items for your business. Let your imagination lose and start creating the Zeny Heat Print Pro.

5. Digital Heat Press Machine, T-Shirts, Vinyl, Non-Stick Sheet (STARTER BUNDLE)

When you are looking for either a replacement for your old heat press or just a new one, that can simultaneously deliver excellent quality prints and at the same time can last longer this must be the obvious choice. The 15” X 15” Digital Heat Press comes fully pre-assembled and is ready to be used right out of the box.

USCutter 15"x15" Digital Heat Press Machine

This machine gives you a pretty large heating area to work with, which comes in handy when you are doing projects like oversized T-shirts and hoodies. This machine is sturdy and durable which reflects in its construction. The heat press is stable and supported by the high-quality stainless steel that won’t get corroded.

If your workspace has a tight working space, then it will serve you greatly as it Clamshell design requires very almost half the space compared to Swingaway models. It features a large LCD that shows the present time and temperature setting. Both the temperature and timer is controlled digitally by respective P1 and P2 switches from the control panel.

The machine features a 3-prong input cord and has a power rating of 1400 watts at rated 110 volts. The heat press comes with a Starter Bundle that includes two full-sized cotton T-shirts, a 15’ X 15” replacement Non-stick sheet and five color siser EasyWeed Heat Transfer vinyl to get you going.

Why prefer this over others?

Well, there is simply more than one reason to prefer this machine over other, the most obvious ones are mentioned below.

  • Versatility: It is one of the few devices that can work on any flat surface whether it may be a fabric, garment, glass, ceramic or even metal. This gives you a chance to work on multiple projects just with one machine.
  • Size: It’s not only that it offers a vast working area, but the point to be noted is also that the entire can be used for printing.
  • Digital controls: The digital controls give you the ability to vary each parameter depending on the specific print requirement
  • Larger range: The 0-999 second timer and 0-500 degree Fahrenheit temperature is capable enough to deliver all kinds of print requirements
  • Heavy duty: The machine is built to last and provide the massive number of prints on the continuous basis
  • Warranty: USCutter offers a one-year warranty with full support, personally I feel you won’t need any of that. 

Apart from these, there are tons of different features which speak for the product, we will discuss them at some later point in time.

  • Thanks to clamshell design its space saving
  • Has digital control and electronic timer
  • Features a Non-stick sheet of heat platen
  • Offers a larger working area
  • Ideal for printing on any flat surface
  • Works only with flat surface
  • Priced slightly higher


This is the one product that I will recommend to anyone who is looking to get into the print business or a custom printing shop. The heat press offers a decent working element and has the versatility to work with various other materials. By the looks and built quality, the machine seems durable. Overall all the owners of this press were very much satisfied with the print quality and performance. Moreover, the electronically controlled timer and heating element, overall improve print quality which helps you to create better business opportunities.

6. DG HEAT PRESS Digital Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press Review

Another great product in the line that can serve either as the perfect replacement for your old heat press or the ideal one for your business. The heat printing machine is designed to deliver excellent quality prints and at the same time has improvements from previous models. In a nutshell, it is an updated heat transfer machine available at affordable price, that is why it is so much popular in the market.

Fancierstudio DG HEAT PRESS Digital Sublimation Heat Press

The 15” X 15” area is pretty decent to work with even some of bigger projects, which comes in handy when you are doing projects like larger garments and mats. The machine is quite simple and elegant in design which makes it quite easy to operate, even in your home.

Talking about the design, the heat press features a Clamshell design which would prove to be an advantage if you have a limited workspace at your shop. As clamshell designs require almost half the space compared to Swingaway models. There is a segmented LCD to show the pressure and timer setting. Both Pressure and temperature are digitally controlled. As a result, the print quality improves.

The machine has a power rating of 1800 watts at rated 110 volts. It features a silicon rubber base which is not fixed so that you can adjust it according to your need. The heating platen is Teflon coated to prevent any sticking of design and garment. This heat printer eradicated the tension of getting garments or designed damaged by heating platen as you get an extra Teflon sheet to drape in between your substrate and the heating platen.

Why prefer this over others?

There are some great features which this machine offers, which speaks for itself. Let’s have a look at some of the notable ones.

  • Versatility: Let’s not talk about the fabric only, this machine is capable of working with ID badges, ceramic tiles, woodwork and lots of materials giving you multiple options.
  • Size: It offers full 15” X 15” area for printing, thus enabling you to take care even larger print
  • Digital controls: The digital controls give you the ability to vary each parameter depending on the particular print requirement
  • Better range: The 0-999 second timer and 0-500 degree Fahrenheit temperature is capable enough to deliver all kinds of print requirements
  • Adjustable base: It provides you with removable silicon rubber base, which can be adjusted as per job’s requirement.

There are other features which are great, but we will discuss them at some later point in time.

  • Teflon coated heating platen
  • Features adjustable silicon rubber base
  • Has digital control and electronic timer
  • Additional Teflon sheet for draping in
  • Offers a larger working area
  • Can heat press various types of materials
  • The hatch is slightly harsh to open under high pressure
  • Nothing clear about the warranty


If you have had hard times with design and fabric because of the heating platen, then this is the ideal choice for you. Also, this is simple to operate and offers a decent working element and has the versatility to work with various other materials. All of the above features give assurance that you will be satisfied with the print quality and performance of this machine. If you are looking for versatility with reliability while keeping your garments safe, this must be your pick.

7. OrangeA Heat Press 6 in 1 Swing Away

Look what we have in-store for you. This is the best Swingaway heat printing machine. If you have no issues regarding space at your workplace, then this machine is designed for you. It belongs to a unique class of presses that bring all the printing option in a single package. The main reason for the success of this press is its interchangeable platen and different elements; this gives you the ability to print on mugs, cones, fabric and all different items.

OrangeA Heat Press 6 in 1 15X15Inch Swing Away Multifunctional Heat Press

It is upgraded version of the previous model thus can work with all different printing techniques. The 15” X 15” area is not as big as compared to previous models but what it lacks in size makes up versatility. The full 360-degree rotation gives you more than enough working space and at the same time prevents operator hands from accidental contact with the heated platen. This machine features Swingaway design which has its own advantages. Though it requires a bit more space, looking at the positives, you get even pressure throughout the platen and completely open workspace. This design makes it one of the safest and affordable heat print machine to work with.

The heat press feature digital display and controls for heat and time. It offers a temperature ranging from 0-250 degree Celsius (32-430-degree F) and 0 to 999 second for the timer. The press has a power rating of 1400 watts at rated 110 volts. It features a detachable lower platform along with adjustable multi-spring balancer. It looks durable and has a composite metal and plastic construction.

Why prefer this over others?

There are some great features which this machine offers, which speaks for itself. Let’s have a look at some of the notable ones.

  • Versatility: This is the ultimate item to be offered when versatility is being considered. Leave the flat items apart it can print on any shaped objects thanks to its complete set of attachments.
  • Safety: The Swingaway design gives the operator extra protection while working, besides it also features built-in fuse
  • Digital controls: The digital controls give you the ability to vary each parameter depending on the particular print requirement
  • Better range: The 0-999 second timer and 0-500 degree Fahrenheit temperature is capable enough to deliver all kinds of print requirements
  • Stable design: It has adjustable feet which keep it stable on uneven floors too.

There are other features which are great, but we will discuss them at some later point in time.

  • Comes fully assembled, ready to use
  • Has a Teflon coating for non-stick platens
  • Offers a larger working area
  • Highly portable
  • Offers multiple attachments
  • Nothing clear about the warranty


This is one of the best swing away heat press and its the dream machine for many. I would like to recommend it for those who are looking to get into T-shirt print business and at the same time are seeking to explore further. It features all the necessary tools to perform any printing job thrown at it. If you are looking for versatility along with reliability, then this is the heat print machine for you.

8. VEVOR 1400W 8 In 1 Sublimation Steel Frame Heat Presses

If you thought that this list couldn’t get any better than, think once again as going down the list we have another 8 in 1 sublimation heat press. You just want to get into t-shirt printing just for fun or as a hobby; then this press is for you. With the multiple attachments, it opens the door of custom printing for you. It is a printing machine that does not only deal with garments but also with cups, mugs, hats and much more.

VEVOR Heat Press 8 in 1 Combo Multifunction Sublimation Heat Transfer Machine

Looking at the construction of press, I can say it is durable. It has full stainless-steel frame with adjustable legs to keep it stable on uneven surfaces too. The press offers 15” X 12” area which not to huge but decent to take care of regular jobs. What the heat press lacks in size makes up for versatility. The Swingaway design offers full 360-degree rotation, providing ample working space and keeping the operator hands from heated platen. This design makes it one of the safest heat presses to work with. Though it requires a bit more working space at the same time gives even pressure.

The machine comes with Teflon coated platens to prevent the garments from sticking. There is a total of eight distinct attachment for various kinds of printing needs. Besides featuring digital display heat and timer are also electronically controlled to enhance the print quality. The press has a power rating of 900 watts at rated 110 volts. It features a detachable lower platform along with the pressure adjusting the arm to enhance the transfers.

Why prefer this over others?

There are some great features which this machine offers, which speaks for itself. Let’s have a look at some of the notable ones.

  • Versatility: This is the ultimate item to be offered when versatility is being considered. Leave the flat items apart it can print on any shaped objects thanks to its complete set of attachments.
  • Safety: The Swingaway design gives the operator extra protection while working, besides it also features built-in fuse
  • Digital controls: The digital controls give you the ability to vary each parameter depending on the particular print requirement
  • Better range: The 0-999 second timer and 0-500 degree Fahrenheit temperature is capable enough to deliver all kinds of print requirements

There are other features which are great, but we will discuss them at some later point in time.

  • Comes fully assembled, ready to use
  • Evenly priced
  • Has a Teflon coating
  • Highly portable
  • Offers multiple attachments
  • Nothing clear about the warranty
  • Continuous beeping buzzer that some users disliked


If you were looking for the top rated swing away machine in the budget, I would recommend it for you. If versatility is the nature of your business, just grab this combo press before it goes out of the stock. There is no printing job which this machine cannot perform. Those who are looking to get into the custom printing business, it’s a must-have for them.

9. OrangeA 6 IN 1 Swing Away Print Sublimation

If you want some more options to look for in Swingaway design we one last piece left in our stock. It is a five in one option and is capable of fulfilling all your printing needs. It can work with T-shirts, caps, mugs and many other items.OrangeA Heat Press 5 in 1 Swing Away Heat transfer Press Machine

The press offers 12” X 15” working, large enough to take on odd daily jobs. The heat platens are Teflon coated to make them non-stick and prevent clothes. The Scorching operation warms up the platen evenly and quickly beside the press also features adjustable spring tension for even pressure. All of these combine to give better print quality. As far as safety is considered Swingaway machines are quite safe to work with.

This machine has LCD display and electronically controls the heat and timer which are very much precise. The range for the heater is 32-430-degree Fahrenheit and for timer its 0-999 seconds. The power rating for the press is 1250 watts at rated 110 volts. Its cord length is 4.5′. The build quality of press is on the higher side and will last for quite some time even with heavy usage.

Why prefer this over others?

There are some great features which this machine offers, which speaks for itself. Let’s have a look at some of the notable ones.

  • Versatility: Why only garments, with this machine you can print whatever you like and whenever you want
  • Safety: The Swingaway design gives the operator extra protection while working, besides it also features built-in fuse
  • Precise controls: Unlike the other presses it has unique monitoring system that provides accurate output of heat and time, there is no lag or delay
  • Affordability: It nearly gives you all the features of a top model heat press nearly at half a price, so definitely deserves a chance

There are more of the feature which you may like; those will be discussed later.

  • ready to use out of the box
  • Moderately priced for all the features
  • Has a Teflon coating
  • Offers multiple attachments
  • Nothing clear about the warranty


Even if you are low on budget but still want a multi-option press, then this one would be the best pick. It can get all your jobs done quite quickly. I would love to recommend it to someone who wants a machine that can last long and still deliver quality work.Select it, and you will be joining a long list of satisfied customers.

10. Promo 15 X 15 in. Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine – Clamshell – Model PRO-3804X – Black

Promo Heat 15 in. x 15 in. Sublimation Heat Transfer Press Machine - Clamshell

This is an excellent product that can offer you the best support for your t-shirt printing business, ideal for replacing your old heat press. The sublimation transfer machine is uniquely designed to provide you with excellent and high-quality prints, and it’s an improved model over the previous models. This transfer machine is an updated digital version with high performances and affordable prices. You can be assured of its quality from most of the real customers on Amazon leaves the 5-star review

The machine is large enough with an area of 15” by 15” making it versatile enough to handle even the most significant projects which are essential when dealing with larger projects like mats, garments, metal, wood, glass, and ceramic projects. The machine is elegant in design making it attractive and simple to operate giving you an easy time in your home.

The machine has a Clamshell design that makes it work perfectly well in limited workspaces and the segmented LCD is designed to show timer and pressure settings which are digitally controlled hence improving the print quality. The machine comes with a power rating of 1400 watts true rated and features a silicon rubber base that is adjustable. It has a heating platen that is coated with Teflon preventing sticking on garment and design.

Why choose this machine

The machine offers some of the highest features that make it unique and the most notable ones include:

  • Versatility: The tool is versatile enough to handle different range and types of prints like fabric, ID badges, woodwork, metalwork, glasswork, ceramic tiles, and glass. This gives your multiple materials options.
  • Size: the machine is large enough since it has a working size of 15”x 15” printing area giving you a comfortable and secure way of working with large prints.
  • Digital Controls: It has a digital control that comes with a preset desired time with a clear and audible alarm that makes a sound once the time is complete. You can adjust the prints parameter according to print requirements.
  • Better Range: has a temperature range of up to 750F capable of delivering a variety of prints requirements.
  • Adjustable base: The machine comes with a removable silicon rubber base that is adjustable to give you comfort on each job requirement
  • It is Teflon coated with heating platen
  • Comes with electronic timer and digital controls
  • Offer large working areas
  • The machine warranty is not clear


The Promo Sublimation Transfer Press Machine is your ideal choice since its easy to operate and versatile enough to handle various materials. The features are unique and provide you the satisfaction of high performing and print quality machine.

Check out this video on What You Need To Know

Things To Consider Before Buying:

Imprinting graphics on various items like t-shirts, caps, Mugs is a very rewarding business today as more people opt for personalized products. This type of business is made possible by these press machines. These machines designed to imprint graphics on substrates using heat and pressure.

There are numerous types and brands of heat printing machines on the market today. As such, it can be quite daunting for you to land the best one for your ventures. Herein is a comprehensive guide on the factors to consider when buying your desired machine.


The heating capabilities of the heat press have to meet the requirements of the transfers you are going to use. The most common types of transfers include printable heat transfer vinyl, laser transfer paper, inkjet transfer paper, sublimation and plastisol transfers.

In order to produce the highest quality of imprints possible, the press machine should be able to apply your chosen heat transfer to the substrate properly. Also, you can use one of the Best Vinyl Cutting machine for t shirts for making any kind of custom heat transfer paper.


The number of heating elements in a printing machine platen will determine how even the heat produced will be. The occurrence of cold spots in a platen can potentially ruin not only your transfer but also the garments. Cold spots are a result of an inadequate number of heating elements.

They can also be caused by heating elements that are not well spaced. The best heat printing machines are those with many heating elements that are placed closer together. This will provide even heat from edge to edge of the platen.


The thickness of a platen is directly related to its capability to retain heat or not. Thick and heavy platens will be able to retain more heat as compared to thin and light platens. This is especially important if you intend on maintaining long production runs.

Retaining heat is crucial if you seek to produce consistent imprints. As such, if you want regular imprints on a large number of items you should opt for a heat printing machine with an extra thick and heavy platen.


When it comes to size, it does matter and particularly if the press will be stationary. It is recommendable to go for the largest press size within the limits of your budget. The standard full press size is 16” by 20”. The minimum recommendable size is 15” by 15”.

There are several advantages of having a larger press size. It makes easier to align and press large size garments. Larger presses enable you to easily load and unload bulky garments such as jackets and hooded sweatshirts. In addition, you can be able to press several small items all at once.

It is important to note that larger machines are less portable due to the weight. If you want to take your machine on the road, smaller machines will be the best option. We have an article on this important factor machine sizes

What Machine size do you need?

To answer this question, first of all, you need to identify your printing needs, space availability, and portability. There are different sizes of machines available in the market which are mentioned below.

  • Small presses: When you need to print smaller items such as labels, tote bags and baby cloth these types of presses come in handy. These presses are available in 4” X 6”, 6” X 6” and 6” X 8” sizes. They are compact thus require negligible space as compared to others and are highly portable & costs very less.
  • Medium Presses: These presses are available in multiple sizes such as 9” X 12” and 12” X 14”, they require less space and can print on t-shirts and other materials. They are portable and cost less than large ones.
  • Large presses: When you need to print on larger size garments or fabrics, and in the huge quantity, you require such a press. These presses require more space and stay fixed as they are quite heavy. They come in 15” X 15” and 16” X 20” sizes.
  • Extra Large presses: They come in sizes up to 40” X 65” and are only required when need to print artistic items in vast They are multinational company when mass production is expected.

So depending on your choice, you can select a model that fulfills all your business needs. If you have low workspace and need portability, you can buy the small and medium-sized press else if you need high productivity and larger prints you can go for large and extra-large presses.


In terms of operation, a heat printing machine can be manual, automatic or semi-automatic. Automatic machines generate pressure using compressed air. They often have more features and are easier to operate. However, they are more expensive than manual and semi-automatic press machines.

They also require a higher degree of maintenance. With the manual machines, you can be able to adjust the pressure between the firm, medium, and light depending on your pressing needs. While they are cheaper than automatic models, they are relatively harder to use.


A good machine should be guaranteed to function optimally without issue or to be serviced at no cost for a period of time beyond the purchase date. Technical support should also be available in the event that you need guidance or the machine needs repair. This should be provided both before and after the warranty expiry date.

Technical support is very crucial since some user manuals can be quite complex. Depending on who will be operating the machine, the vendor should provide proper product training.

There are other factors that you should consider including budget, workload, workspace, brand, additional features, the technology employed and where the heat press is manufactured.


There are three main categories of heat printing machines; swing away, clamshell and draw. Note that some heat presses are a combination of at least two of the above three categories. These are a swing away/draw and clamshell/draw hybrid.


A clamshell machine is where the bottom and top platens open and closes in a similar way to the shell of a clam. In most clamshell models, the bottom platen remains stationary as the top plate goes up at an angle. One of the main advantages of a clamshell is that it takes up less space than the swing away machines. It also feels more sturdy and solid on the surface.

The problem with clamshell presses is that the top platen limits the workspace. This is more evident in smaller presses. The top plate on such presses may get in the way of your line of sight and hands. Due to this, there is a slight risk of a burn.


  • It’s user-friendly, best for the beginners
  • Not suitable for thicker fabric
  • Easy to move as it has the portable option


In a swing away machine, the bottom platen is stationary while the top platen opens up then swings to the right or left of the working space. This design gives it one major advantage. It provides much more working space than the clamshell machine since the platen moves out of your way. As such, you can achieve a higher production rate.

However, it is also the source of one of its drawbacks. Due to the swinging top platen, more room is required for a swing away press. In addition, the moving parts of this heat press make it less sturdy and stable.


  • It’s best for experienced user’s
  • It requires more space than Calm shell
  • It can produce higher volume products


In draw heat presses, the bottom platen pulls out towards you, much like opening a drawer. This design provides a heat-free and unobstructed workspace while saving space. It’s only notable drawback is its unsuitability for pressing intricate items that need a stationary and stable workspace. These are the high-quality machines for the most experienced users.


  • Requires Heat free work surface
  • Requires more space and it’s not portable
  • It’s ideal for high-volume production

 What is the Different Usage of Heat Press Machine?

There are some various applications of this machine, and each one can be developed into a successful business. Some of them are mentioned below.

  • Printing T-shirts: This is one of the most common uses. You can start up your own business of custom printed T-Shirts.
  • Custom Gifts: Well it’s quite exciting to design a special gift for someone, and it’s becoming a great People love specially imprinted mugs, glass artwork and much more.
  • Designing Tiles and Number plate: With the high-quality machines available you can print artistic designs on ceramic tiles and metal plates, it’s also a flourishing business.

Importance of Heat Press Machines

It is frequently asked that why do I need a heat press for my printing business when there is a lot of print option such as offset and screen printing are available. We need these machines because of the following features.

  • Permanent prints: Here printing is done by applying heat and pressure to the substrate the colors become a part of it. As a result, prints are durable.
  • Multicolor option: In these machines, you can have prints of five or six different colors simultaneously. Which is not possible in others models.
  • High Production Rate: These machines are capable of printing non-stop and thus can produce large quantities in less time.

How to Use a Heat Printing Machine?

Printing custom-made designs on a substrate such as glass, fabric, tiles or even T-shirts has become very comfortable with these machines. If you are a newbie, you can follow these simple steps and learn to use these fabric printing machines.

  • The first phase requires you to prepare your transfer paper. You can get ready-made transfer paper or print your custom design via a suitable printer for your transfer paper and printing need.
  • Now you need to open the press and move the heat platen away from silicon pad.
  • Now depending on the substrate and print set the temperature and pressure accordingly using the thermostat and pressure knob respectively.
  • Now you need to set the timer, increase or decrease the timer clock depending on the transfer paper and substrate.
  • In the next step, you need to place your substrate on the machine, the side on which print has to be transferred must be facing up.
  • Keeps the transfer paper facing down on the place where you need the print.
  • If required cover your transfer paper with a tea towel or handkerchief.
  • Now close the press and press start button, after printing completes the timer will buzz. Press the start button again to reset the timer and stop the press.
  • Open the press and remove the substrate, peel the paper and let it dry for some time.

Repeat the steps mentioned above if you want to print multiple times, it’s quite easy and fun to do. For the detail process of using, we have a review article and infographic.

Manual vs Automatic

Over the year people have had debates that which one is better option to go with. Some people say that it’s good to go with the manual while others say it’s better to have an automatic one. So let us see for ourselves what these machines bring to the table.

  • Manual:
    In these devices, you need to set all the parameters such as temperature, pressure and time for a material all by yourself. And once press starts, pay attention to the buzzer to avoid accidental damages. Well, these are great machines for beginners as it gives you a better practice to set up the parameters and is also cost effective as they do not require additional equipment.
  • Automatic:
    Here can pre-program your machine for different materials by selecting the required values of parameters for a particular material. Rest of the time just load the content, press start button and unload the final piece. These are much easier to use. There are no chances of damaged pieces as it opens up after the preset condition, it saves time, requires less attention but regular maintenance. Its bit expensive as has some extra equipment such as a compressor.

The final quality is nearly identical, so it depends on your requirement and budget to choose which one you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have just bought your heat printing machine but still have questions about it, then a frequently asked question section will be a great help. Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers about this topic.

  • How do I check the pressure setting?

To check for pressure setting, you have to lower your upper platen and lock it. If your press machine has pressure, then it will display on the front panel.

  • Why do you have to use a silicone pad?

The silicone pad enables your heat print machine to retain heat. Therefore, it facilitates the flow of adhesives and inks. As such, using the silicone pad ensures that your printing process goes on smoothly.

  • What should I look for in a heat press?

When you are buying heat printing machine, you need to look for its ability to provide consistent heat temperatures. A cold spot on the platen is a leading cause of misapplied transfers. A cold spot usually occurs when there is a lack of proper heating, a disconnection in the heating element or a short.

  • How do I know if my heat press has even pressure?

You can easily test your press machine to ensure it has just the right pressure. The only way you can do so is to use four squares of paper and place them in each corner and close your heat press. In case one of the papers is not coming out easily; it means that your platen has been warped and it does not have even pressure.

  • What is the work of a heat press?

This device gives you a temperature of up to 235C. The machine has pressure and temperature that is greater than a normal iron. You can use it to print images on heat mouse pads, ceramic plates, t-shirts, placemats, mugs, and also cups.

  • Does a heat press need cleaning or maintenance?

Yes, it requires cleaning just like any machine. For cleaning, you need to dust your machine with a household cleaner. You can also clean your heat platens, external parts and even silicone pads. When cleaning the heat platen, you can use abrasive free hand soap and a piece of cloth. As for the maintenance, you do not have to worry about it. We also cover this topic.

  • Why does my upper platen appear loose?

During operation, the platens allow for even pressure from one corner to the next. As such, you can have an even application when you are heat printing.

  • What type of heat press machine should I buy?

The type of machine you buy depends on your budget, available space, image size, products to be transferred, and the frequency of use. Therefore, you should only choose the machine that can help you print without any problem.

  • What is the work of interchangeable platens?

Interchangeable platens allow you to print items of different styles, shapes, and also sizes. They can be changed with a lot of ease. You can easily change the platen to suit your printing needs and taste.

Bottom Line

In this article, we have tried to focus on the most common and best heat press machines. Also, we will keep this site updated with the latest heat printing machine review with informative and resourceful articles. Stay with us!

Last update on 2023-09-17 at 21:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3 thoughts on “10 Best Heat Press Machine Reviews – Buying Guide & Comparison”

  1. Any recommendation about, what is the best heatpress machine for starting small t-shirt printing business? Also, is there any warranty information for the specific machine?

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