Sublimation printing can be an excellent option if you want to create customized and impressive prints on various substrates. The technique is relatively convenient and offers great color results that are durable and resistant to wear and tear.
However, the sublimation printer industry has proliferated over the years, and finding a good one can be challenging, especially if you’re on a budget.
But worry not. This post includes a list of the best cheap sublimation printers under $200, $300, and $500 you can get your hands on. It also highlights their features, pros, and cons to help you decide the best option for your application. Let’s jump in and look at the world of affordable sublimation printers together.
Before diving into our list of the best cheap sublimation printers, it’s essential to understand the factors to consider when choosing a sublimation printer.
Sublimation printer prices vary greatly, with some models costing as little as $100 and others costing upwards of $1,000. Therefore, setting a budget and sticking to it is essential when choosing a sublimation printer.
2. Size and Design
Sublimation printers come in various sizes and designs; some are more portable and compact, while others are larger and more stationary. Consider the space available and, most importantly, the intent of the printer.
3. Printing Resolution
The printing resolution of a sublimation printer determines the quality of the prints it produces. Look for printers with a high DPI (dots per inch) for the best results.
4. Connectivity Options
Consider the connectivity options of a sublimation printer, such as Wi-Fi and USB connectivity. This can impact the ease of use and convenience of the printer.
5. Ink Cartridge System
Sublimation printers use a specialized ink cartridge system that can impact the printer’s cost and ease of use. Look for printers with easy-to-replace cartridges and consider the cost of replacement cartridges when deciding.
Now let’s look at some of the viable sublimation printers under $200 you can consider.
Glance at the table below to quickly uncover some amazing sublimation printers that you can get for under $200.
|Printers Under $200
|Epson WorkForce WF-2860
|$137.00 (Check Update)
|Epson Workforce Pro WF-7820
|199.00 (Check Update)
|Epson Printer XP 41 Series
|$159.99 (Check Update)
1. Epson WorkForce WF-2860
The Epson WorkForce WF-2860 is a versatile sublimation printer designed to cater to the printing needs of home offices and small businesses. It comes with advanced PrecisionCore technology that delivers high-quality prints at impressive speeds.
Features of Epson WorkForce WF-2860
Below we look at its features in more detail.
- Resolution: The Epson WorkForce WF-2860 offers a maximum print resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi. It produces sharp and vibrant prints suitable for a wide range of personal and professional applications.
- Ink System: This sublimation printer uses four individual ink cartridges that are easy to replace. It comes with DURABrite Ultra pigment ink that produces smudge, fade, and water-resistant prints. However, you should note that this unit is designed only to use genuine Epson cartridges, and using any other can lead to poor-quality prints or damage to the printer.
- Design: The Epson WorkForce WF-2860 has a sleek and modern design ideal for home offices and small businesses. It has a 2.4-inch color LCD screen that makes it easy to navigate through the printer’s various functions. The UI is also very intuitive and user-friendly; we’re certain you will learn to use it quickly.
- Connectivity: This sublimation printer has versatile connectivity options that allow you to print from a wide range of devices. It comes with Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, and USB connectivity. It also supports mobile printing via the Epson Connect app, Apple AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print.
- Paper Handling: The Epson WorkForce WF-2860 has a 150-sheet paper tray that handles both letter and legal-sized paper. It also has a 20-sheet Automatic Document Feeder that makes scanning, copying, and faxing multiple pages easy. It also has a maximum print speed of 14 ppm for black and white and 7.5 ppm for colored, which is sufficient for most tasks.
- High-quality prints with vibrant colors
- Versatile connectivity options
- Mobile printing capabilities
- Automatic Document Feeder for easy scanning, copying, and faxing
- Easy to replace individual ink cartridges
- Sleek and modern design
- The paper tray has a limited capacity and may need frequent refilling
- Some users have reported issues with paper jams
- Not recommended for high-volume printing
2. Epson Workforce Pro WF-7820
The Epson Workforce Pro WF-7820 is a versatile all-in-one sublimation printer that can print, scan, copy, and fax. It is designed to handle high-volume printing tasks and is suitable for small businesses or home offices that require a reliable printer.
Features of Epson Workforce Pro WF-7820
Here’s a detailed review of the printer.
- Resolution: The WF-7820 has a maximum print resolution of 4800 x 2400 dpi, which produces high-quality prints with sharp text and vibrant colors. It also has a maximum scan resolution of 1200 x 2400 dpi, which ensures that scanned documents are clear and legible.
- Ink System: The printer uses four individual DURABrite Ultra ink cartridges, which deliver smudge, fade, and water-resistant prints. The ink cartridges are available in standard and high-capacity sizes, which helps to reduce printing costs.
- Design: The WF-7820 has a sleek and modern design with a large 4.3-inch color touchscreen display. It also has a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for multi-page scanning and copying, and it can print on various paper sizes and types.
- Connectivity: The printer offers a wide range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, and USB. It also supports mobile printing via Epson Connect, Apple AirPrint, and Google Cloud Print.
- Paper Handling: The WF-7820 has a 250-sheet paper tray and a rear paper feed for specialty media. It can handle paper sizes up to 13 x 19 inches and automatically print double-sided documents. Moreover, this printer is no grouch and can print at a maximum print speed of 12 ppm.
- High-quality prints with sharp text and vibrant colors
- Versatile all-in-one functionality
- Large 4.3-inch color touchscreen display
- Wide range of connectivity options
- Automatic document feeder for multi-page scanning and copying
- Can handle paper sizes up to 13 x 19 inches
- Automatic duplex printing
- Relatively expensive compared to other sublimation printers
- Ink cartridges can be costly to replace
- No support for CD/DVD printing
3. Epson Printer XP 41 Series
The Epson Printer XP 41 Series is another economical sublimation printer from Epson. It’s designed to work well in a home office or small business, with minimal maintenance and running costs.
Features of Epson Printer XP 41 Series
Here is a closer look at its features.
- Resolution: The Epson Printer XP 41 Series has a maximum print resolution of 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi, giving it enough pixels to print clear and detailed prints.
- Ink System: It has a four-cartridge ink system that makes it easy to replace depleted ones. This system also allows for economical ink use, making it an excellent option if you’re trying to keep your printing cost low.
- Design: The Epson Printer XP 41 Series has a compact, stylish design that will fit well into most office spaces. It’s also light and small enough to move alone and place on small desk spaces. However, its 2.4″ color LCD might be too small for some users, but its excellent UI makes up for that.
- Connectivity: The unit also has Hi-Speed USB and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity options. Moreover, you can easily print from your iPhone or iPad with AirPrint, as well as a hands-free voice command option.
- Paper Handling: The printer can handle 3.5″ x 5″ to 8″ x 10″, Letter, Legal, A4, B5, A5, and A6 paper sizes. Moreover, the XP 41 Series is not the fastest printer as it can only achieve maximum speeds of 10 and 5 ppm for black and white and colored prints consecutively.
- Sleek modern design
- Good print quality
- Can be slow
- Limited connectivity options
Here is our list of the best sublimation printers under $300.
|Printers Under $300
|Epson Workforce WF-110
|$299.99 (Check Update)
|Epson EcoTank ET-2760
|$259.99 (Check Update)
|Epson EcoTank ET-2850
|$218.74 (Check Update)
1. Epson Workforce WF-110
The Epson Workforce WF-110 Wireless Color Mobile Sublimation Printer is another excellent choice if you need a portable printer that delivers high-quality prints under $300. The team at Epson has also done a wonderful job fitting it with functions and features that will make your printing much more convenient, as we are about to see.
Features Of Epson Workforce WF-110
- Resolution: The Epson Workforce WF-110 Wireless Color Mobile Sublimation Printer produces prints with a resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi, resulting in sharp and detailed prints ideal for professional use. This makes the printer suitable for printing photos, documents, and graphics, providing versatility for your sublimation needs.
- Ink System: The Epson Workforce WF-110 uses a four-color (CMYK) MicroPiezo inkjet technology, producing high-quality prints resistant to fading, smudging, and water damage. This ink system delivers excellent color saturation and accuracy, making it suitable for printing photos and text.
- Design: The Epson Workforce WF-110 printer has a sleek and compact design that makes it easy to transport. It comes with a rechargeable battery that provides up to 100 pages of printing, allowing you to print without being tethered to a power source. The printer’s design also includes a 1.4-inch color LCD, making it easy to navigate and operate.
- Connectivity: The Epson Workforce WF-110 Wireless Color Mobile Sublimation Printer offers multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and USB. This printer is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, allowing you to print from your smartphone or tablet without a computer.
- Paper Handling: The WF-110 Wireless Color Mobile Sublimation Printer can handle up to 20 sheets of paper at a time, which is suitable for printing small batches of documents or photos. It can also handle a range of paper sizes, including 3.5 x 5 inches, 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches, and 8.5 x 14 inches. Moreover, it supports various paper types, such as plain, matte, and glossy.
- High-quality prints
- Portable and compact design
- Multiple connectivity options
- Rechargeable battery
- Small paper capacity
- Expensive ink cartridges
- Slow printing speed
2. Epson EcoTank ET-2760
Features of Epson EcoTank ET-2760
Here’s a breakdown of its key features.
Resolution: The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 has a resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dpi, which produces sharp and vibrant prints ideal for photographs and graphics. In addition to extremely sharp text, the printer uses its PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology and Claria ET pigment black ink to deliver sharp detail and excellent colors.
Ink System: This printer uses an advanced 4-color dye-sublimation ink system that produces prints resistant to water, smudging, and fading. You also don’t have to worry about constantly changing expensive ink cartridges as this printer uses fillable economic ink tanks. Moreover, the box comes with two years’ worth of free ink.
Design: The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 has a sleek and modern design, with a compact and lightweight frame that makes it easy to move around. It has an LCD on the front, giving you access to its easy-to-use user interface.
Connectivity: The EcoTank ET-2760 offers multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and USB, making it easy to print from various devices.
Paper Handling: The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 has a paper handling capacity of up to 100 sheets, making it ideal for printing large batches of photos. Additionally, the printer features automatic double-sided printing, which helps save on paper costs but only prints at speeds of up to 5 ppm.
- Cost-effective printer with a large ink tank that can print up to 7,500 color pages
- Produces vibrant, sharp, and long-lasting prints
- Offers multiple connectivity options
- Easy to set up and use, with a simple and intuitive interface
- Automatic double-sided printing
- Relatively slow printing speed.
- While the printer’s paper-handling capacity is sufficient for most home users, it may not be adequate for larger businesses or offices.
- Relatively large, which may make it less suitable for those with limited space.
3. Epson EcoTank ET-2850
The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is a high-performance sublimation printer that offers a range of features designed to meet the needs of both home and office users. It provides high-quality printing at a low cost of ownership, making it a top choice if you need a reliable and cost-effective printer.
Features of Epson EcoTank ET-2850
Below we highlight its features.
- Resolution: The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 offers a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 dots per inch, which ensures high-quality and detailed prints. It also utilizes Epso’s unique Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology to deliver exceptional print quality.
- Ink System: The printer uses a refillable EcoTank ink system that eliminates the need for traditional cartridges. The system includes four individual ink tanks that can be easily refilled, reducing the cost and waste of conventional ink cartridges.
- Design: The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 features a sleek, compact design that fits easily into most spaces. Its easy-to-use 1.44-inch color display and intuitive interface make it simple to navigate and use.
- Connectivity: The printer offers multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, USB, and Wi-Fi Direct. This makes it easy to print from a variety of devices remotely without too much hustle.
- Paper Handling: The Epson EcoTank ET-2850 has a paper handling capacity of up to 100 sheets. This makes it suitable for medium print jobs and home and small office use. It also offers automatic two-sided printing, which saves time and reduces paper waste. Moreover, it’s not fast and only prints at five ppm.
- Refillable ink tank system eliminates the need for traditional ink cartridges, reducing cost and waste
- Excellent print quality with sharp and crisp text and vibrant and accurate colors
- Multiple connectivity options
- Offers duplex printing, which helps save time and reduce paper waste
- User-friendly design makes it easy to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy
- Slow print speed compared to other printers in its class
- Can only hold up to 100 sheets of paper, which may not be sufficient for users with high-volume printing needs
- Has a higher upfront cost compared to some other sublimation printers, which may be a barrier for some users
Here is a list of the best sublimation printers under $500 if your budget is not too constrained.
|Printers Under $500
|Epson EcoTank ET-4700
|$312.54 (Check Update)
|Epson Expression Photo XP-8600
|$438.93 (Check Update)
|Epson EcoTank ET-2720
|$159.99 (Check Update)
1. Epson EcoTank ET-4700
The Epson EcoTank ET-4700 is a reliable and efficient sublimation printer suitable for home offices or small businesses. It can handle a variety of printing tasks, including sublimation printing, with ease.
Features of Epson EcoTank ET-4700
Let’s take a look at its features.
- Resolution: The EcoTank ET-4700 offers a maximum print resolution of 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi, sufficient for producing high-quality sublimation prints.
- Ink System: This printer uses a four-color (CMYK) MicroPiezo inkjet technology with an EcoTank ink system that allows for refillable and replaceable ink tanks. The EcoTank system has a high yield and can produce up to 7,500 pages of black and white prints or 6,000 color prints before needing a refill.
- Design: The EcoTank ET-4700 has a sleek and compact design, measuring 14.8 x 13.7 x 9.1 inches and weighing only 11 pounds. This makes it light enough to move on your own and place on any working surface without taking up too much space. It features a 2.4-inch color display screen, making navigating and customizing print settings easy.
- Connectivity: This printer has several connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and USB. It also supports mobile printing through Epson Connect, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Mopria Print Service.
- Paper Handling: The EcoTank ET-4700 has a 100-sheet input tray and a 30-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for easy scanning, copying, and printing. It supports various paper sizes, including 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, letters, and legal.
- High-yield ink system with refillable tanks
- Compact and lightweight design
- Wireless and mobile printing options
- Slow printing speed for sublimation printing
- Limited paper-handling capacity
2. Epson Expression Photo XP-8600
The Epson Expression Photo XP-8600 is a versatile sublimation printer designed for photo enthusiasts and professional photographers. Its sleek and compact design offers a range of advanced features we’ll look at below.
Features Of Epson Expression Photo XP-8600
- Resolution: The XP-8600 offers a high resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi, ensuring sharp, detailed prints with vibrant colors. It also uses a 6-color Claria Photo HD ink system, including red and gray ink cartridges, for more accurate and realistic color reproduction.
- Ink System: The Claria Photo HD ink system is specially designed for photo printing, delivering exceptional image quality with long-lasting results. The individual ink cartridges are easy to replace, making them more cost-effective and convenient.
- Design: The XP-8600 has a sleek and compact design, with a 4.3-inch color touchscreen display for easy navigation and control. It also has a built-in memory card slot, making printing photos directly from your camera’s memory card easy.
- Connectivity: The XP-8600 offers a range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and Ethernet, allowing you to print from anywhere in your home or office. It also supports mobile printing via the Epson Connect app and Apple AirPrint.
- Paper Handling: The XP-8600 has a 100-sheet paper tray capacity and a dedicated photo paper tray for 4×6-inch prints. It also supports automatic duplex printing, making it more efficient and eco-friendly. Its maximum print speed is 9 ppm, which is not bad.
- High resolution and 6-color Claria Photo HD ink system for exceptional image quality
- Sleek and compact design with a 4.3-inch color touchscreen display
- Multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and Ethernet
- Built-in memory card slot for easy printing of photos from your camera’s memory card
- Automatic duplex printing and dedicated photo paper tray for more efficient printing
- The paper tray capacity may not be sufficient for high-volume printing
3. Epson EcoTank ET-2720
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is a compact, cost-effective sublimation printer perfect for personal or small business use. It features an efficient ink system, a high-resolution printing capability, and wireless connectivity for easy printing.
Features Of Epson EcoTank ET-2720
Below we highlight some of its features in detail.
- Resolution: The EcoTank ET-2720 boasts a printing resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dpi, producing high-quality prints with sharp and vivid colors. This large resolution also allows you to print large images without losing detail.
- Ink System: The EcoTank ET-2720 uses a refillable ink tank system, which is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than traditional cartridge-based printers. It comes with four bottles of sublimation ink (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) that can produce up to 4500 pages before needing a refill.
- Design: The EcoTank ET-2720 has a sleek and compact design, making it easy to fit in small spaces. It has a paper input capacity of up to 100 sheets, and its rear paper feed allows printing on different media types. However, the unit is slow and only manages print speeds of five ppm, but it more than makes up for what it lacks in speed in its excellent user interface.
- Connectivity: The EcoTank ET-2720 has wireless connectivity options, including Wi-Fi Direct and Ethernet, enabling easy printing from any device. It also supports mobile printing from smartphones and tablets using the Epson iPrint app.
- Paper Handling: The EcoTank ET-2720 supports a variety of paper sizes, including 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches, and 8 x 10 inches, as well as letter and legal-size paper. It also supports borderless printing for edge-to-edge prints.
- Cost-effective ink system
- High-resolution printing capability
- Wireless connectivity options
- Compact and sleek design
- Supports a variety of paper sizes and types
- Limited paper-handling capacity
- No automatic document feeder
- No duplex printing capability
Here are some more tips to help you pick the best sublimation printer for your needs at any price point.
1. Choose a Printer That is Compatible With Your Intended Materials
Make sure to choose a sublimation printer that is compatible with the types of materials and transfer papers you plan to print on.
2. Invest in High-quality Transfer Paper
Using high-quality transfer paper can significantly improve the quality and durability of your sublimation prints.
3. Follow Manufacturer Instructions for Maintenance
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance and care to ensure the longevity of your sublimation printer.
4. Use Proper Heat and Pressure Settings
The heat and pressure settings on your heat press or other sublimation equipment can significantly impact the quality of your prints. Use the proper settings for the materials you’re printing on.
5. Experiment With Different Settings and Materials
Sublimation printing can be a trial-and-error process, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings and materials to find what works best for you.
6. Invest in a Good Heat Press
A high-quality heat press is essential for producing consistent and high-quality sublimation prints. Look for a heat press with even heat distribution and precise temperature control.
7. Consider the Cost of Ink and Supplies
While the initial cost of a sublimation printer may be low, it’s essential to consider the ongoing cost of ink and supplies. Choose a printer that uses affordable and easily accessible ink cartridges or tanks.
Sublimation printing has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to its ability to produce high-quality, durable prints on a variety of surfaces. While sublimation printers can be expensive, many affordable options are available if you’re just starting or don’t have a large budget.
We have reviewed some of the best sublimation printers under $200, $300, and $500 and provided a detailed analysis of their features, performance, and pros and cons.
Furthermore, sublimation printing offers many possibilities for creative expression and commercial applications. With the right sublimation printer, you can produce stunning, high-quality prints at an affordable price. We hope this guide has provided valuable information to help you choose the best sublimation printer for your needs and budget.
What is the Best Cheap Sublimation Printer Under $200?
While there are many budget-friendly sublimation printers on the market, we recommend the Epson WorkForce WF-2860 as the best option for those on a tight budget. This printer offers a high level of versatility and quality for its price point, making it an excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike.
What is the Best Cheap Sublimation Printer Under $300?
The Epson Workforce WF-110 is our top pick for the best cheap sublimation printer under $300. This printer is compact and portable, making it an excellent choice for those who need to take their printing on the go. Despite its small size, it offers a high level of versatility and quality, making it an excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike.
What is the Best Cheap Sublimation Printer Under $500?
The Epson EcoTank ET-4700 is our top pick for the best cheap sublimation printer under $500. This printer offers a range of features, including wireless connectivity, an automatic document feeder, and a high-resolution printing capability of up to 5760 x 1440 dpi. It’s compatible with dye sublimation ink cartridges, which are readily available online, and it has a relatively low cost of ownership compared to other printers in its class.
Sublimation printing is a process that uses heat and pressure to transfer ink onto a surface. The ink is first printed onto a special transfer paper and then transferred onto the final surface using a heat press or other specialized equipment.
Sublimation printing can be used on polyester fabrics, ceramic mugs, metal plates, and phone cases. It is important to note that sublimation printing can only be used on materials that are specially coated for sublimation printing.
You cannot use regular inkjet printers for sublimation printing. Sublimation printers use a specialized ink and transfer paper system incompatible with standard inkjet printers. However, you can convert some inkjet printers using specialized equipment to accept sublimation ink.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining your sublimation printer is essential. This may include regular cleaning of the print heads and replacing the ink cartridges or tanks as needed.
You cannot use sublimation ink in a regular inkjet printer. Sublimation ink requires a specialized ink cartridge or tank system and transfer paper to work properly.
The main difference between a sublimation printer and a regular inkjet printer is their ink type. Sublimation printers use special dye-sublimation ink that turns into gas when heated, allowing it to penetrate the surface of the printed material, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting prints. Regular inkjet printers use liquid ink that sits on top of the material’s surface and may fade or smear over time.
While you can convert most printers into sublimation printers, not all are suitable. It is essential to check the printer’s specifications and ensure it has the necessary components, such as a piezoelectric printhead, to handle sublimation ink.
Yes, using specific sublimation paper with a sublimation printer is necessary. Sublimation paper is specially coated to accept the sublimation ink and transfer it to the printed material.