The Best Heat Press Machine Models for 2019

A heat press machine is essential to anybody who runs a T-shirt printing or any kind of related business. The practical device is used to apply heat transfers onto garments and other surfaces, enabling users to transfer designs to garments, mugs, caps, and other items with minimal hassle. While there are countless models on the market, the best heat press machine for you needs to fit into your budget, help you create durable prints without compromising quality, and ensure a smoother and user-friendly printing process.

You can cut costs by using an iron to transfer designs onto your desired surface, but it's more time-consuming. As your small business grows, investing in a heat press machine is a smart move, as it allows you to increase efficiency and ensure high-quality transfers every time. Even if you’re enjoying this whole printing process as a hobby, the device will help you bring your end products to the next level without breaking the bank.

That being said, with so many options to choose from, shopping for a heat press machine can be overwhelming. To give you a head start, I decided to review my favorite devices and offer a few tips that will help you better understand what to look for. Read on for an overview of the best heat press machine models on the market. 

The Best Heat Press Machine: Shopping Tips

Buying the first heat press machine that catches your eye is never a good idea. For optimal results, do some research beforehand to make sure that the model you’ve settled on is genuinely the best your money can buy. Here are three factors to consider:

Quality

Ideally, your heat press machine will last you for years to come. As a result, you will a device made from durable materials, preferable by a reputable brand. If it comes with a generous warranty and friendly tech support, even better. Your T-shirt printing business will thrive.

Features

An essential feature that will always come in handy is a digital timer measuring temperature, time, and pressure. If you run a busy printing business, you will want a programmable machine that beeps or opens automatically when the transfer is complete. Uneven pressure translates to imperfect transfers, so consider getting a machine with over-the-center pressure adjustments that ensure even pressure during the application process.

Platens

Heat press machines generally come with a standard platen. Some offer custom platens – these are available in different shapes and sizes to print on duffel bags, mugs, and so on. Larger platens will enable you to print on larger items, like XL hoodies. Again, this all comes down to your printing needs. 

Looking for the Best Heat Press Machine on the Market

Since the aim of this article is to help you save time and money, I did not include a huge variety of heat press machines. Instead, I focused on models that I believe are worth the hype in terms of quality and value for cash.

That being said, the best heat press machine for you has to fit your needs to a T and cater to your projects, so read the specifications carefully before making a purchase. Also, keep an eye out for machine reviews from other customers to see how the product works for them. Without further ado, start scrolling for some shopping inspiration meant to bring your T-shirt printing to the next level. 

Looking for the best bang for your buck? You probably can’t find a better heat press machine than this digital sublimation one. The highest temperature it can reach is 500 degrees Fahrenheit, more than enough for most semi-professional and even professional projects, from T-shirt printing to transferring designs on all sorts of other fabrics and materials.

The machine features adjustable pressure for various materials, so there’s a lower risk of burning an item. The working surface is 15 X 15 inches – reasonable, although it can limit you if you plan on working on bigger projects.

Moreover, the model features an LCD control board, allowing you to keep an eye on the temperature and set a timer. When the heat press machine is done printing, you’ll be notified with a series of beeps.

Finally, the closing system uses a clamp and is fairly easy to manage. However, I realized that this is not the best system to rely on in the long run. On that front, the machine below is a tad better.

This functional and versatile heat press machine comes with a 15 X 15 inch heating board press and can be used for T-shirts, caps, ceramic plates and tiles, mugs, coasters, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, and more. The complete package actually includes two plate presses, four mug presses, and one hat press, so you can get crafting as soon as it arrives.

Furthermore, the machine boasts a digital LED controller. You can set the temperature and timer, which makes the product particularly user-friendly. The temperature range is 0-220°C or 32 - 430 Fahrenheit, while the timer can be set for up to 999 seconds.

Pros

  • Full 360-degree rotation of swing-away design
  • Digital LED controller
  • 8-in-1 multifunctional heat press machine

Cons

  • Instruction manual can be hard to follow
  • Will take up a lot of space

All in all, this is a sturdy, well-built, and easy to use heat press machine, especially recommended for those who are just starting out in the field. You can experiment with printing on a variety of surfaces and materials, which is always a plus.

Let’s get one thing straight. The heat press machines above are made in China. They do offer great value for money, but we all know that when the price is suspiciously low there will can be quality concerns to worry about. Hotronix, however, is a brand that manufactures their machines in the US, ensuring durable and well-performing products. So if you’re after professional results, as well as interested in purchasing products manufactured in the US, this might just be the best heat press machine for you.

The machine is easily customizable and has plenty of features that will catch your eye. It stores all previous projects and records all the pressing cycles, which can be useful. Plus, it has a digital timer, along with temperature and pressure indicators. Helpful for those working with a large variety of materials and fabrics.

The 16 x 20 inches working table has an aluminum frame and the heat retention system works very well thanks to the 3/4 inches platens. The swing away closing system is solid, offering great flexibility and ease of use. This is a perfect heat press machine for T-Shirts printing and other types of clothing because it comes with plenty of space underneath the table and a dedicated frame.

This heat press model offers a high tech touch screen which is responsive and easy to figure out. The preset program is another great feature and the machine comes with clear instructions that should help you learn how to operate it quickly. Although more expensive, the machine is definitely worth the extra cash. 

Pros

  • Great quality and solid build
  • High tech touch screen
  • It’s a commercial grade machine
  • Numerous features and adjustability functions for easier operation

Cons

  • You may need a hand to move this around as it’s pretty heavy
  • Expensive

This is a great investment for both professionals and T-shirt printing enthusiasts. The majority of the customers who reviewed this model tend to agree, ranking it as one of the best heat press machine models currently available.

The main thing I love about this heat press machine is its versatility. An 8-in-1 device, it can be used for T-shirt printing, ceramic plates, coasters, mouse pads, and more. When it comes to the types of projects you can tackle with its help, the world is your oyster.

As for features, the machine sports a swing away design, which allows for the heating element to be moved safely aside, reducing the chances of accidental contact. It has a Digital LED temperature and time controller and enables you to adjust the pressure according to the thickness of the material. 

Furthermore, the machine comes fully assembled, so there’s no need to worry about setting it up. You’ll get one heat press, four mug presses, two plate presses, and one removable silicone pad and cotton pad.

Concerning downsides, the instructions are not great, so it may take you a little while to get the hang of using it. However, there are plenty of videos and other machine reviews online you can check out for more detailed directions that will help you set up the device. 

Overall, this is one of the best heat press machine models in its price range, enabling users to work on a variety of printing jobs with ease. 

Bonus Tip: You may want to check out my article on the best heat transfer paper to make sure you have everything you need to get up and running ASAP.

Yet another Hotronix machine, the Stahls Hotronix Auto-Open Clam 16×20 Heat Press doesn’t feature a swing away closing system. That being said, the standard is better implemented than what I have seen on cheaper machines - it has a very clever auto-open clam so you won’t have to sit near the press at all times.

Despite the great features the device comes with, this may not be the best heat press machine for T-shirt printing and other clothes because it doesn’t have a dedicated space underneath or accessories to help with this process. I would rather use it for fabrics that are not finished products and for other industrial applications. However, if you already have experience with heat presses in general, you can try to use it for clothes as well.

The machine can reach temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It comes with an automatic timer, a temperature and pressure controller, as well as a rubber bottom pad. On top of that, it sports a smart latch system, which allows you to change the platter in less than 20 seconds. You don’t need any extra tools to install or use the machine. It’s lightweight, doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it’s highly portable.

I also like the machine’s auto sleep mode, patented magnetic Assist Lock down, patented magnetic auto open digital controls for temperature, and over the center pressure adjustment. You can have two independent time settings thanks to the Twin Timer feature. The machine has a rugged build and it’s scratch resistant due to its powder coat finish. Plus, the Teflon coated heater is stress relieved to minimize warping.

Pros

  • The machine has a rugged build but is lightweight
  • It comes with many adjustments and features
  • Closes/opens smoothly
  • Easy to use and has a small footprint

Cons

  • In the beginning, the machine takes longer than average to heat
  • Expensive

At the end of the day, Hotronix makes machines worth investing in. This is yet another example of a high-quality device made in the US that can deliver outstanding results when used properly and with care.

The Hix Heat Press Swingman 20E: 16″x20″ Swing-Away is a machine I like very much thanks to the brand’s attention to detail. Besides being of very good quality and proficient in many professional applications, it also has a slick, beautiful design. Most brands only focus on pragmatic features, but Hix seems to want to deliver aesthetically pleasing products as well, which is always a plus.

Looks aside, the swing away closing system is simple and intuitive. More importantly, it’s superior to your standard clamp system, which I mentioned before. The machine is made here in the US from quality, durable materials, so I’m confident to praise this as a long-lasting device. The temperature ranges up to 400 degrees, which makes it a reliable choice for hobbyists and professionals alike.

The adjustment features aren’t impressive, but the machine does come with an analog temperature controller and a separate digital timer as well. You can take advantage of the pressure controls and the versatility of the machine to work with materials of various thickness (up to 1.75” thick). Finally, the model comes with lifetime heating element warranty, which is never a bad thing.

Pros

  • Swing away closing system
  • Dependable and versatile
  • Has a strong build and it’s made in the US
  • Gives consistent heat and pressure

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with many fancy features
  • Has some manual controls

All in all, if you want an American press and have a generous budget, this machine is a smart choice.

If you’re looking for something on the more affordable side, this heat press machine from ePhotoInc is a clever pick. It comes with a 15 X 15 inch heating board press and will arrive at your door fully assembled, so you don’t need to worry about figuring out how to put it together.

The heat press machine has a digital controller that allows you to set both the temperature and a timer. You can choose a temperature of up to 500°F, while the timer goes up to 999 seconds. In other words, that translates to precise programming, which should enable you to obtain consistent results even if don’t have a lot of experience with heat transfers.

Pros

  • Arrives fully assembled
  • Digital LCD controller
  • Brand new Teflon sheet included
  • Long arm handle with rubber grip

Cons

  • Can only be used for flat surfaced items

This heat press machine offers great bang for your buck, as long as you’re only interested in printing on T-shirts, tiles, bags, mouse pads, and other types of flat surfaces. You won’t be able to print on mugs, however, or caps, so that’s something you should keep in mind before placing your order. Despite that, it surely deserves a spot among the best heat press machine models money can buy.

This powerful swing-away heat press boasts all the must-have attachments one might need when starting a printing business. You can use it to transfer designs onto ceramics, glasses, and textiles such as cotton, flax, chemical fiber, nylon, etc. In other words, it’s very versatile.

Moreover, it comes with a full-range pressure-adjustment knob and an LCD Control Board. The temperature range is 32 - 430 Fahrenheit, while the time can be set from 0 to 999 seconds. I appreciated the fact that this comes fully assembled, so you don’t need extra tools to get it up and running. 

Pros

  • Full 360-degree rotation of swing away design
  • The heating element is safe to move aside
  • Full-range pressure-adjustment knob
  • Built-in fuse for safety

Cons

  • The instruction manual is not particularly comprehensive

Overall, this is one of the best heat press machine models for beginners, giving you the chance to experiment with printing on different objects with minimal hassle. Highly recommend.

This heat press machine had me on the fence for a long time, but I ultimately believe that the pros make up for the drawbacks. The RiCOMA High Pressure Flat Heat Press Machine offers a spacious working area (24”x16”) and great temperature range: 0 to 599F. I will mention this – the machine takes very long to heat up.

The model has a pretty good built, is dependable, and you can use it to transfer onto T-shirts, sweatshirts, mouse pads, magnetic material, bags, and license plates. It opens up around 70 degrees and takes press items up to 1” thick.

I really like the machine’s user-friendly features – more exactly the thermometer for heat platen temperature and the heat indicating light. The thermostat is adjustable and the baseboard is made of silicone. As a result, it can endure temperatures of up to 575F without sustaining any damage. I didn’t notice any color difference after a heat transfer, which is often a concern with this type of devices. You can adjust pressure and the machine comes with electronic time control.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Large working area 
  • The temperature range is from 0 to 599F degree
  • Plenty of features for easier and safe use

Cons

  • It sure takes time to heat up
  • The body is a tad thin
  • The heat distribution is not even

This might not be the best heat press machine out there, as it needs some improvements, but it’s a solid model for hobbyists.

This heat press model offers great functionality. It’s easy to set up and you can use it for T-shirt printing, but also to print on hats, plates, mugs, and different fabrics. The machine is durable, features a swing-away 360-degree rotation function, and ensures that heat will be distributed evenly during the printing process.

The F2C Pro comes with a full-range pressure-adjustment knob and built-in structural support to maintain flatness. It has a Digital LED Controller - you can set the desired time and temperature, as well as multitask, since there’s an intelligent audible alarm that will warn you when the transfer is done. The box includes all the accessories you need to print on T-shirts, mugs, hats, and plates.

Pros

  • All-in-one multi-function heat press machine
  • Swing away 360 degree rotation function
  • Digital LED Controller

Cons

  • Instructions can be difficult to understand
  • It may need a dedicated outlet

Overall, this heat press machine is a great choice for personal use, enabling you to print on a variety of surfaces without breaking the bank. If you’re having trouble figuring out the instructions, there are plenty of YouTube videos and machine reviews from fellow heat press enthusiasts that can help.

Hotronix is a quality brand, so there’s no wonder I decided to include multiple models on a list of the best heat press machine options on the market. This one is for caps only, so it can be limiting. But if you’re not interested in T-shirt printing ot printing on any other surfaces, it’s a great pick.

The machine comes with plenty of features that ensure easy use. For instance, you don’t need an air compressor for the machine and the opening release is automatic. The lock down is magnetic so everything is safe in place as you work. The settings are user-friendly as well. The machine comes with controls for time, temperature and pressure. You can even use the two independent time settings thanks to the Twin Time function. The under center pressure adjustment feature ensures more accurate prints.

The list of features continues with the 5 five additional, optional lower platens and the quick-change lower platen. The machine comes with a silicone pad and a Teflon coated heater. It also features a heavy-duty pin and bushing pivot points, whereas the cast in tubular element every 2” makes sure there are no cold spots when in use. You also get a warranty for all components.

In short, this durable, feature-rich model is a solid investment that will last you a very long time. 

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • It’s easy to use and operates smoothly
  • Gives maximum pressure with minimal effort
  • Numerous features

Cons

  • It comes with a standard platen only
  • It’s only for caps

These minor flaws didn't change my mind about the quality of this machine. I really like it.

There is no limit to what can be heat pressed with this machine. Think T-shirts, caps, ceramic plates and tiles, mugs, mouse pads, canvas tote bags, wood, metal – the list goes on and on. If you’re looking for a multi-functional option, this is one of the best heat press machine models for you.

The Super Deal PRO 5 comes with full 360-degree rotation and professional swing-away design. It also features a digital LED controller, as well as a non-stick surface with detached upgraded aluminum alloy cradle which makes it easy to use the mugs, hats, and pads elements. There’s built-in structural support to maintain flatness, which allows pressure to be more evenly distributed across the entire platen when it is closed.

Flexible and user-friendly, this heat press gives you complete control over the printing process, ensuring a smooth operation every time. The box includes a fully assembled machine with platen press, one hat press, one mug press, two plate presses, one silicone pad, and one cotton pad.

Pros

  • Built-in structural support to maintain flatness
  • Full-range pressure-adjustment knob
  • Various accessories

Cons

  • Instructions can be difficult to decipher

I’ve looked up machine reviews from other customers and we all tend to agree – this is a solid investment, especially if you’re just starting to get the hang of this whole printing process. One of the best heat press machine models for sure.

This 8 in 1 heat press machine is an economical solution for commercial applications, but it’s also an excellent choice for hobbyists. You can use it to transfer designs to garments, bags, puzzles, ceramic tiles, hats, plates, and more.

The swing away heat press has a digital LCD times for temperature control and audible alarm set to go off once the transfer is done. The temperature range is between 32 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit, while the time function can be set up to 999 seconds.

Besides its versatility, I also like the machine’s full-range pressure-adjustment knob and long arm handle, which makes handling it a breeze.

Pros

  • Built-in fuse for safe use
  • Detachable lower platform
  • Full 360-degree rotation of swing-away design
  • Adjustable height

Cons

  • Setting up the machine can be difficult
  • Heavy

If you’re looking for the best heat press machine for beginners, you can’t go wrong with this one. We advise you to watch some YouTube videos before getting started to make sure you understand how the device works, since the instructions aren’t great. Reading machine reviews from other customers can help as well.

This FancierStudios digital sublimation model comes with several improvements over its predecessor. The silicon rubber base is now glued down and there’s coating on the heat platen. This heat press is compact, which saves space. It’s a smart option if you’re looking to apply letters, numbers, and images on T-shirts, garments, bags, mouse mats, jigsaw puzzles, ID bags, ceramic tiles, and other similar items.

If you want value for money, you’ll be happy with this one. The highest temperature it can reach is 699 degrees Fahrenheit, more than enough for most semi-professional and even professional. The machine enables you to adjust pressure for various materials, preventing damage and burns. The working surface is 15 X 15 inches. The closing system uses a clamp, which I’m not a fan of, but it’s fairly easy to maneuver. 

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • The silicon rubber base is glued
  • Versatile
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space

Cons

  • Uneven heat every now and then

Despite its shortcomings, this is a great choice for budget-conscious users and one of the best heat press machine models for T-shirt printing. Adjustability and durability are always a plus.

Need a laser engraver or cutter? Click on the link for a comprehensive buying guide.

1 Comment
  1. Reply Cas July 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    how is the blue press at the start of the page called?

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