Heat transfer crafts are becoming increasingly popular. With this technology, it is possible to print a high-quality image on a medium like heat-transfer vinyl.
Then, this image is transferred to a t-shirt or other item using heat from an iron or another source. Frequently, crafters use an inkjet printer to print the image that they want to transfer by heat to another item. This makes it essential to find the best inkjet printer for heat transfer purposes.
While it’s possible to spend hundreds of dollars on an inkjet printer, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank to get acceptable quality and performance.
That’s why our extensive review covers several options that are the best on the market at every price point. Below we will tell you about the best printers for heat transfers.
Top 7 Best Printers for Heat Transfers:
1. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Heat Printer
Priced at less than $350, this is the best Epson printer for heat transfers at an affordable price. It’s capable of creating borderless images of up to 13″ by 19″.
Using six-color Claria HD ink, this printer realizes a wide selection of nuanced colors. Versatile performance is assured by the ultra-compact size, which also means that this printer can fit on some desktops.
The Epson Expression can be used wirelessly to print ultra-HD quality photos and other projects. A rear tray holds up to 50 sheets of specialty medium while the front tray can accommodate 200 sheets.
This printer is fast too. It can turn out a color 4″ by 6″ photo in less than 27 seconds.
Use your tablet or smartphone to print. Alternatively, this printer is equipped with a 2.4″ LCD screen that’s easy to use.
Graphic artists, photographers and crafters love this printer. The fantastic print quality, ease of use and ability to print large-format projects all are praised. Several reviewers also admire the compact size.
Nonetheless, some people wonder why this Epson doesn’t have a larger user-interface with a touch screen. The answer probably is that a smaller screen with buttons keeps the cost in line.
The Epson Expression is a budget answer for the home crafter who’s interested in heat transfer projects and wants the ultimate in color versatility.
2. Epson Stylus C88+ Inkjet Printer for Heat Transfer
With a price of less than $125, this is another good choice for the budget-conscious. It uses only four colors, which means that it’s more economical over the long run when compared to the six-color Epson Expression.
The Stylus features parallel and USB ports and relies upon DURABrite Ultra pigment inks. Each color comes in an individual cartridge for greater convenience.
Not only can this Epson print photos without a border but also it comes with straightforward editing software to maximize every project.
Fairly fast operation guarantees black-and-white projects at a rate of 23 sheets per minute and color projects at 14 sheets per minute. Projects as large as 8.5″ by 11″ are possible.
The quality of the print projects produced by this unit is impressive, especially at this affordable price point. DURABrite Ultra ink has a fast drying time, which means that users don’t have to worry about smudging and smears.
The ink is fade- and water-resistant too, so you can trust your projects to last over the long term.
People who have used this printer with transfer paper say that the results are simply amazing. They get sharp, clear quality every time.
Nonetheless, critics warn that the machine may jam when there are too few sheets in the paper tray.
Overall, this Epson Stylus is a tremendous value for someone interested in heat transfer projects who doesn’t need large-format capabilities.
3. Epson Artisan 1430 for Heat Transfer Inkjet Printer
With a price tag of more than $900, the Epson Artisan is mainly for the dedicated crafter or the professional. Of course, with that cost, you can imagine how spectacular the images are.
It’s capable of printing borderless photos of up to 13″ by 9″. With this printer, no computer is required. It can be operated with a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. A nice extra feature is this printer’s ability to print directly onto CDs and DVDs, obviating the need for labels.
If it’s your goal to acquire a printer that can produce high-quality, high-definition projects, then this is the perfect choice. It can work via wireless networking, which means that sharing images is easier than ever before.
Thanks to the Claria Hi-Definition ink that’s used by this Epson, finished projects won’t smudge or smear and they also are resistant to fading and water.
Advanced color and lighting correction make heat-transfer projects look better than ever. Also, this printer uses six inks for a wider range of true-to-life colors.
Accurate skin tones, crisp lines and smooth gradations make this an excellent printer for the crafter, artist or designer who demands only the very best.
People frequently refer to the Epson Artisan as the best printer ever. It’s unmatched in terms of picture quality, and that makes heat-transfer projects stand out from the crowd. In fact, this printer is so reliable that many businesses trust it to keep them running.
If there is a downside to this fantastic printer, it is its size. The enormous footprint means that it likely needs to occupy its own printer stand or desk.
The Epson Artisan is perfect for the serious hobbyist or the small business that needs a reliable machine for heat transfer.
4. Epson Workforce WF-7710 Inkjet Printer for Heat Transfer
This all-in-one Epson is perfect for the home or office that needs a single machine that handles not only heat-transfer projects but also copying, scanning and faxing.
It’s priced at less than $250, making it a veritable bargain considering how much work it can handle. The Epson Workforce supports wireless operation and wide-format printing.
With a PrecisionCore processor and the capacity for 250 sheets, this printer is designed to take on big jobs. It’s configured for automatic two-sided processing of copies, scans, faxes and print jobs.
One of the nicest features of this affordable model is the 4.3″ color touch screen. This is larger than the screens on many competing models, which makes it easier to read.
Four DURABrite Ultra ink cartridges are required for operation. Again, this means not quite as much color variety as a six-color system, but it’s certainly not bad for the price.
Its ability to handle almost any job around the home or office makes this a popular printer. Professional crafters love it for its ability to work with heat transfer medium.
Nonetheless, some people have had trouble with the Epson print heads and/or ink drying up or clogging without regular use.
If you’re someone who always likes to have a project going, then this Epson Workforce printer is the right choice.
5. Silhouette Cameo 3 4T Wireless Cutting Machine Printer for Heat Transfer
While technically a cutting machine as opposed to a printer, the Cameo from Silhouette definitely deserves a place on this list of good inkjet printers for heat transfers.
It’s capable of cutting fabric, paper, cardstock and vinyl, including heat-transfer medium. Materials may be as much as 12 inches wide and 10 feet long.
Design software known as Silhouette Studio lets you create custom projects that you won’t find anywhere else. The Cameo even comes with PixScan and Print & Cut technology.
This cutter is equipped with a self-adjusting AutoBlade for greater precision and detail.
Capable of cutting more than 100 materials, the Cameo is a versatile tool that makes heat-transfer projects a breeze. It even has Bluetooth compatibility for wireless communication.
Visit the Silhouette Design Store to find thousands of ready-made shapes and images for you to use. Or, use the PixScan technology to use your smartphone or tablet with the Cameo.
People praise not only the cutting abilities of the Cameo but also the incredibly accessible and easy-to-use software. Nonetheless, critics say that there is a particularly steep learning curve for novices with this machine, which can be frustrating.
The Silhouette Cameo cutting machine is an exceptional tool for the hobbyist or professional crafter.
6. Canon PIXMA TR4520 All in One Photo Printer for Heat Transfer
With a price tag of less than $150, this is an incredibly economical choice that delivers reliable service for the hobbyist. Canon has a reputation for building quality machines at competitive prices, and this printer is no exception.
Admittedly, this model isn’t loaded with bells and whistles, but it’s still impressive. Use it wirelessly with the Canon Print app so that your smartphone or tablet can control the project.
With a compact footprint, this Canon printer is even equipped with If This, Then That support for automated printing with a variety of web services and apps.
Capable of scanning and faxing in addition to printing, this small machine is a total all-in-one. You can even integrate this Canon with Amazon Alexa for even more capabilities.
Users praise this affordable model for the clear, sharp pictures that it produces. This makes it perfect for use with heat-transfer projects.
People love the compact size of the printer because they can keep it anywhere. Keep in mind that this machine isn’t sized for large-format work, so look elsewhere if that’s your goal.
Critics say that without a fast Wi-Fi connection, it’s best not to use this model wirelessly.
Perhaps you will be interested in our selection of best printers for envelopes.
If you are extremely budget-conscious but still want to play with heat transfer technology, this is the way to go.
7. Epson Workforce WF-7210 Wireless Inkjet Printer for Heat Transfer
Thanks to a PrecisionCore processor, this Epson printer promises excellent performance and laser-sharp images. It’s capable of printing finished projects of up to 13″ by 9″. Nonetheless, it’s economical as it uses as much as 80 percent less power than competing models.
At a cost of less than $300, this also is an affordable choice. It has the capacity for 500 sheets, a rear feed for specialty paper and other media as well as dual trays and a 125-sheet output tray.
Wireless printing and networking are possible with this Epson Workforce model. You can easily create and control projects from a smartphone or tablet. A 2.2″ LCD screen is small but serviceable. Use DURABrite Ultra ink for the best results.
The Epson Workforce is designed to deliver print-shop quality images, and it appears to do so at an affordable price. Images are crisp, clear, and nuanced despite using only four color cartridges.
Reviews suggest that users frequently have a positive experience with this printer. In comments, users say that this Epson is pretty economical with ink usage and that it prints with surprising speed.
However, several customers remark about how small the screen is, which can complicate setup and customizing options.
This Epson Workforce printer produces print-shop quality images at a fraction of the price of competitors.
Tips for Choosing Printers for Heat Transfers
In general, it’s not wise to use just any run-of-the-mill printer for heat transfers. This is because an ordinary printer simply isn’t capable of achieving the same image quality as an advanced inkjet printer.
Inkjet printers are versatile and affordable, and the quality of the inks that they use has greatly improved over the years.
This means that they can produce high-quality images on a variety of mediums, making them especially capable when it comes to heat-transfer applications.
The number of ink colors also may make a difference when choosing a printer for heat transfers. Four-color printers are the most common and economical option. These colors are cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
For a bit of extra money, it’s possible to multiply the color versatility with a combination of six colors.
If you have the ability to upgrade from a four-color to a six-color printer, chances are that you will be flat-out amazed at the nuanced, rich colors that you can achieve.
Your decision also will be made easier if you give some thought to the size of the images that you want to produce.
Inkjet printers are available in both normal and wide formats, which makes it possible for you to take on some really oversized projects.
Of course, if you want a printer that can accommodate large-format jobs, you have to be aware of what goes with it. Because these printers can turn out oversized images, the printer itself has to be large. You’ll need extra space to store it, so it may not be the best choice if your room or office is cramped.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Printer for Heat Transfers
Whether you want to use heat transfers for personal projects or for a small business, you’ll need to do some research before you make a purchase. One of the most basic features to think of is whether or not the printer can be operated wirelessly.
If you have a strong Wi-Fi signal, then a wireless printer may be the way to go. These models are pretty easy to configure with your usual smartphone or tablet so that you have a multitude of ways to create, change and print your various projects.
Image quality is another critical consideration. As printers become more expensive, it’s safe to say that they also become increasingly capable of producing sharp, clear images. This can be crucial if you’re transferring an image to a t-shirt or other fabric.
If possible, compare the image quality between a budget printer and one that costs at least a few hundred dollars. Chances are good that the difference will be obvious.
While it isn’t required that you spend hundreds of dollars to get a good printer, you will find that performance improves with the amount of money that you spend.
Making the Decision
With options from $50 up to nearly $1,000, a wide variety of options are discussed above. It isn’t necessary to spend a fortune to get a quality printer that can turn out sharp, clear images for heat transfer.
Instead, it’s important for each consumer to consult their own budget, as well as their requirements for colors and image quality, to choose the best printer to meet their needs.