Last Updated on February 4, 2023
How would you feel if your loved ones or best friend presented you with a personalized mug? It is always appreciated when someone presents a personalized gift, such as a tumbler bearing a special message like “The honey bunny.” However, printing dozens of mugs is not only costly but also time-consuming and energy-consuming. Purchasing a sublimation printer and printing each mug yourself would be ideal for this problem.
This printing job is relatively straightforward by using the best sublimation printer for mugs. A top-quality printer can help you out if you are interested in mug collecting and wish to add interesting characters and texts.
You can start a profitable business by using dye-sublimation printers. You may find it difficult to find the most suitable option when shopping online. The printers available today come with a variety of features.
You should be able to determine which printer would suit your needs and budget after reading our list of the best sublimation printers for mugs and tumblers.
7 Best Sublimation Printers for Mugs and Tumblers
Epson Ecotank ET-7750
|Cartridge-free printing – Resolution: 5760 x 1440 – Versatile paper handling||Check On Amazon|
Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16600
|Genuine Epson Ink for Genuine Epson Quality – Less waste And Shop quality print||Check On Amazon|
Epson Expression ET-2650
|Built in wireless, plus Wi Fi Direct – Cartridge-free printing with low wastage||Check On Amazon|
Canon PIXMA TR7520
|Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax: Airprint and Google Cloud Compatible||Check On Amazon|
HP ENVY Pro 6475
|Includes 2 Years of Ink Delivered, Mobile Print, Scan & Copy||Check On Amazon|
|Versatile paper handling – Compatible with mobile device and Duplex printing||Check On Amazon|
|Multifunction Laser Printer with Print, Copy, Scan, and Wireless Capabilities, Two-Sided Printing||Check On Amazon|
1. Epson Ecotank ET-7750
Epson’s ET-7750 is one of the best mug sublimation printers and stands first on my list for several reasons. The sublijet HD inks that come with this sublimation printer are specifically designed for the printer. On mugs and other ceramic surfaces, these inks produce outstanding results.
This printer also includes 110 specialized sublimation sheets in the box, which was another factor that I appreciated. Another benefit of this printer is that it prints images in the size of 11 inches by 17 inches, which makes it a good choice for printing on mugs and cups and wide sublimation tasks. Also, the image is printed at a resolution of 5760 x 1440, optimized for dpi.
I can assure you that you will find the Epson EcoTank ET-7750 an ideal sublimation printer for printing on mugs and tumblers. The inks of this model are specially designed for mugs so that the result will be a mug with a striking and stunning appearance.
A sturdy and robust body houses these features and nifty specifications. The printer has a relatively light body, making placement and movement easier. Further, the EcoTank ET-7750 printer is designed to be simple and easy to use.
2. Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16600
The second printer in our review list is EcoTank Pro ET-16600 wireless printer that includes a wide touch screen, rapid Cartridge-Free Printing, and easy-to-fill large-sized ink tanks. I saved up to 80 % with its additional feature of low-cost renewable ink containers.
What I liked most about this printer are zero cartridge waste and low energy consumption. Results are extraordinary as it gives high volume as well as high-quality printing. It comes with a complete set of DURABrite and Epson pigment-based ink that delivers vital prints up to 13″ x 19″.
Its scanning capacity is up to 11″ x 17″. Ink bottles replace ink cartridges, making the printing process easier, as you will not have to refill after a few prints.
I particularly liked the fact that this model can print images up to 13 inches by 19 inches, so feel free to use large mugs as print media if you have them lying around. This printer increases its quality dramatically by adding a 500-sheet capacity and Precision Core technology.
3. Epson Expression ET-2650
We rated ET-2650 as the third-best sublimation printer for tumblers due to its ease of use and ability to be used by both professionals and novices. One of the major advantages of this model is its ability to operate via both wired and wireless connections. Additionally, there is an SD card slot that can be used as well as a means of connectivity.
The ET-2650 has many features, but I especially liked the two-year ink warranty. There are approximately 20 sets of ink cartridges in this box, enough for approximately 4,000 pages of printing.
Among the advantages of this model are its multifunctionality, the large capacity of its e-ink bottles, as well as its multiple connectivity options.
4. Canon PIXMA TR7520
In this review, I will discuss a shift from Epson to Canon PIXMA TR7520 sublimation printers. I am confident that this suggestion will satisfy your mug printing requirements. In contrast to other printers that are incompatible with sublimation papers and similar sheets, Canon’s TR7520 is exceptionally reliable! It is also equipped with a five-color printing system.
According to my observation, the Canon PIXMA TR7520 sublimation printer is doing its best to make the whole printing process easy and full of convenient. Additionally, this printer is very easy to use. It features a 3-inch LCD touchscreen and a 20-sheet auto document feeder. Moreover, it includes the automatic on/off feature so that you can print and copy without encountering any difficulties.
There are 100 sheets of plain paper capacity in the rear tray, or up to 20 sheets of 4 x 6 / 10 photograph paper. Approximately 100 sheets of plain paper can be sublimated in the front cassette. The Canon PIXMA TR7520 printer allows for effortless printing operations. Your tablet or smartphone can be connected to this printer and you can print as many sheets for your mugs as you like!
5. HP ENVY Pro 6475
I have been sublimating mugs and tumblers with this printer for the last couple of years and I can assure HP Pro 6475 is the best in the budget, speed, and print quality. HP Instant Ink service delivers ink automatically to your door with this wireless picture printer for a period of two years.
In just a few simple steps, you can remotely scan documents from any mobile device and share them with your family using the HP Smart App. Keep connected and minimize interruptions with the self-healing wireless technology and a 35-page document feeder.
Sublimation printing with HP Envy Pro 6475 is an exciting and unique concept. In addition to this one-year limited hardware warranty, you will receive a one-year limited warranty upon purchase. The web support team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist customers with their questions and concerns.
6. Brother MFC-J497DW Inkjet Multifunction Printer
As the second last exclusive recommendation from our side, we have selected the Brother MFC-J497DW dye-sublimation printer. Inkjet color all-in-one printer with wireless connectivity and ink cartridges. Any mobile device can be easily connected to it, and it is capable of printing in both directions. You may consider the Brother MFC-J497DW printer if you want to invest in a branded sublimation printer dedicated to the mug printing business.
My favorite features of this printer are as follows; By accessing Brother cloud apps, you can print, scan, and share documents using the Brother MFC-J497DW sublimation printer. Additionally, the device showcases a maximum paper capacity of 50 sheets. A paper tray can hold up to 100 sheets.
This device is characterized by intuitive cloud connectivity and exceptional performance in sublimation printing. It is also possible for this Brother MFC-J497DW printer to access the cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, or OneDrive.
7. Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer
The final printer on our list is a laser printer. With the Lexmark MC3224, small businesses can customize printing options at a low cost. Data is protected across documents, on the device, through network communication, and in the cloud using the security features of this printer. This device is portable, lightweight, easily movable, easily erected, and easily transportable.
Stability and durability are guaranteed by the steel construction of the MC3224dwe, along with long-lasting image components. Among the best sublimation printers for mug printing, we chose this printer for its remarkable resolution of 600 x 600 dpi, as well as its fast printing performance.
I found this printer simple and quick to set up. Both the color and black versions of the first page were printed in 13 seconds. A single-sided document can be printed at a speed of 24ppm and a double-sided document at a speed of 13ppm. By default, the Lexmark MC3224dwe features two-sided printing, which reduces your paper consumption and helps you save money.
How to Heat up and Make Sublimation Tumblers
I use heat tape just down the seam, approximately 3 small pieces, to secure the paper. Once I have one piece of heat tape about an inch or so longer than my tumbler, I run it along the seam starting from the bottom of the cup and folding the extra over to the inside of the cup.
Then I use shrink wrap, but I match up the tear strip with my heat tape on the cup. I bake them for 4.5 minutes and start by placing my cup in the center of my oven at 350°F, using a thermometer inside the oven as my temperature setting.
As I said, I first place my tumbler in the center, then after 1.5 minutes, I rotate it to the left side of the oven, then rotate it again at the 3-minute mark to the right side of the oven. Then at 4.5 minutes, I take it out. I now don’t have to fight to get the shrink wrap off at all. I use my weeding tool to immediately lift the tape from the inside of the cup and pull that long piece off.
Since it’s lined up with the tear strip of the wrap, it removes it in the same process cause it’s still on the paper. Then all I have to do is unroll the tumbler from the paper. I set it to the side and let it cool. Also, I don’t use heat tape around the bottom or top of my tumbler.
Choose the right Heat Press along with your Sublimation printer for tumblers.
I got a swing arm heat press. After I set the temperature and time, it registers said temp, however after I put my shirt in and press the timer, the temperature keeps rising. I turned away for a second while it was pressing. I looked back and the temp said 536! Needless to say, it actually burned a hole in the shirt. So it’s always mandatory to buy a compatible heat press machine.
Use of Sublimation Products
In addition to our daily lives, sublimation products are also a good choice for businesses: They are ideal for promotional items, gifts, and custom and personalized purchases. This will increase your company’s popularity, improve your brand’s reputation, and help you promote your business. It transfers high-quality images onto various items such as mugs, mobile phone cases, keychains, ornaments, photo frames, crystals, coasters, jigsaws, and puzzles. The materials include ceramics, plastics, woods, fabrics, leathers, glass, etc.
Print Speed and Volume
The speed and volume of a dye-sublimation printer play a significant role in your company’s success. Most sublimation printers are not capable of handling a large volume of work at the same time. Sublimation printers can sometimes print tens of thousands of images per job, while in other instances, the number is limited to a few thousand images. In the end, printing volume and speed will depend on your requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you use the mug press for tumblers without using shrink wrap?
I’ve never used shrink wrap because it just melts down. You can even use painters tape or heat tape. It is all about the way you feel comfortable.
What do you use to heat your tumblers?
Most people use a cup/mug press, tumbler press, or convection oven. But I used chicken Rotisserie out of curiosity to heat my tumbler, and it worked perfectly fine. It has a pan at the bottom that rotates, so I put them in upside down, and it’s literally perfect.
How to wrap the design around Tumbler?
I print a little larger paper, then fold the end on the bottom just a tiny bit, so the design folds up, then I overlap the other end and tape it down, but no tape on the tumbler part; you are sublimating on. Then I wrap it in butcher paper a few times, bake it, and dunk it in water; as soon as I can pull the paper off while still hot. The seams are almost invisible.
How not to mess up Sublimation Tumbler?
I make sure my print is the right size. And I tape the entire seam with heat tape. I use a plastic razor blade and push the seam down. After that I use heat tape along the top and bottom, pulling very tightly (and ensuring there are no wrinkles). In the end, I wrap the entire tumbler in painters tape (pulling tightly while wrapping) Bake at 360 for 6 minutes, and it’s perfect every time!
Do you need special mugs for sublimation?
Yes, a glazed ceramic surface compatible with sublimation ink and prints is ideal for such specialty coated mugs. So, if you are looking for a promotional item or gift that your customer is going to enjoy and that is also durable, the sublimation coffee mug is the best option.
Is sublimation permanent on mugs?
A sublimation process (or dye sublimation process) is an extremely easy, yet highly effective technique for permanently embedding images into (not onto) ceramic surfaces to create high-quality, saleable products.
How to make sublimation stickers for water bottles for campers?
We don’t use sublimation ink for stickers, we use the regular printer for that. Another way to do is to print on vinyl and then laminate.
What kind of printer do you need for sublimation Cups?
For this purpose, you will need a special sublimation printer or an inkjet printer which has been converted to sublimation mode, as well as special ink and sublimation paper. Regular inkjet printing inks and regular paper are not suitable for sublimation.
Is there a difference between the blank Cricut mugs and a regular blank mug from a store?
Cricut mugs have the coating on them for sublimation, normal mugs don’t- sublimation won’t adhere to non-sublimation. If a mug is a sublimation ready (has a coating), it will work, it does not need to be a Cricut product.
Can you use sublimation print on any mug?
It is important to keep in mind that sublimation printing requires a special coating on the mugs. A special coating is applied to these mugs in a factory. Coating them yourself is not recommended.
How to use the Cricut mug press to press tumblers?
I wrap and tape my paper, press for 90 seconds, with a square piece of cardboard on the opening side. Then turn and do the other side for 90 seconds. Flip and do the other half for 90 seconds and turn and 90 more seconds.
How long does sublimation ink last?
The shelf life of a printer’s sublimation ink is limited. It is important not to leave them in the printer for an extended period of time. This may result in color shifting, head clogging, and banding. It is generally accepted that you are able to print after they have passed their “use-by” date without any issues, but a good rule of thumb is to use the cartridges within six months of their installation.
Thus, the issue of which sublimation printer is best for mugs is concluded here. We have reviewed sublimation printing machines from top-notch manufacturers. The list includes Epson Econ Tanks, HP Pro printers, Brothers, and Canon. Every printer comes with unique features, usage, and durability. Depending upon your personal and professional needs, printing volume, and budget, you can handpick the best sublimation printer for mugs and tumblers.
For the past five years, I have been working as a printer service supervisor in a printing press that serves customers with tailor-made designs and prints. My job involved dealing with printers five days a week, so I decided to take up printing as a hobby.