Best Heat Press Machines For All Your Needs in 2020
We have a saying here at HeatPressNation, “There’s no single heat press that’s best for everyone, only the heat press that’s best for you.” Over the years we’ve spoken with literally thousands of production shop managers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, weekend warriors, crafters, and hobbyists. We've heard what they need from a heat press and have been happy to help them find their best heat press for over 10 years. With all of this experience, we’ve put together a list of what we feel are the best heat presses for different situations.

There are a huge variety of heat presses and options available. Your needs may require a different heat press than what we have suggested below. If that’s the case, please call us at (800)215-0894. A friendly member of our MyExpert™ Team will be happy to hear you out and work with you to find the best heat press for you.


Best Heat Press for Getting Started on A Budget
The HPN MPress 15”x15” Heat Press is probably the best bang-for-your-buck heat press on the market. This no-frills machine has everything you need for professional results with HTV, heat transfer paper, plastisol transfers, and more! It’s also available in 16”x20” and 16” x 24” sizes.

If you’re looking for an affordable heat press with upgraded features from the MPress, check out the HPN Black Series line of heat presses. These presses come with upgraded features as well as Auto-Open and Swing Away models.


Best Heat Press for Crafting At Home
The HPN CraftPro 13” x 9” Heat Press was specifically designed with home crafting in mind. The slide-out lower platen makes positioning your garments and transfers an absolute breeze, while keeping your hands a safe distance from the heating element. The automatic timer means you don’t have to play anymore guessing games with your home iron. The HPN CraftPro is also available in a 15”x15” size, for your larger projects.

If you have smaller projects and are shopping on a budget, check out the MPress 9”x12” Heat Press. While it doesn’t have as many features as the CraftPro, it holds it own and is a great option to consider.


Best Heat Press for Small Businesses - Low Daily Volume/Occasional Large Runs
We highly recommend the Black Series 15”x15” Auto-Open Heat Press for this application! There is a physical effort required to open and close a manual clamshell heat press. This is not really something you notice when pressing a few shirts. However, when you start pressing 20, 30, even 50 shirts at a time, operator fatigue becomes very real. Auto-open is a feature that opens up your heat press automatically when the timer counts down to zero - cutting operator fatigue in half! The Black Series Auto-Open Heat Press also comes in a 16”x20” size.


Best Heat Press for Small Businesses - Moderate Daily Volume
If your small business is pressing 25+ t-shirts daily, you need a heat press that can help increase your efficiency. The HPN Signature Series 16”x20” Auto-Open Heat Press has a slide-out lower platen, which makes loading your garments and transfers both safe AND easy. The Auto-Open feature means that you can start setting up your next item while the current one is pressing, without fear of burning or over-pressing your items (and of course, also reduces operator fatigue). The Signature Series has upgraded, UL-listed components and a slew of additional features that put it in a category far above its modest price point. Similar-quality heat presses typically go for double the price.

This heat press is also available without Auto-Open and in a smaller 15”x15” or larger 16”x24” size.


Best Heat Press for High Volume Production
Your small business has grown and your’re now running a full-blown production shop. You need a heat press that can handle the long hours you and your crew put in. We usually consider “high volume production” any instance where your heat press needs to be running 8 to 12+ hour shifts, 5-7 days a week. The Geo Knight DK20A and HIX S-650 are two heavy-duty, American-made heat presses that are built like tanks and will handle any project you throw at them. They both come with lifetime warranties on their heating elements, which just gives you an idea of how confident the manufacturers are in their respective products. These are the kind of heat presses you invest in that will pay for themselves many times over for years and years to come.


Best Heat Press for White Toner Laser Transfers
The Stahls’ Hotronix Fusion IQ 16”x20” Heat Press has been called “The Cadillac of Heat Presses”. It’s totally unique in that it’s a swing away heat press WITH a slide-out lower platen. But the premium heating element is what really makes this heat press ideal for White Toner Laser Transfers - like Forever Laser Dark No-Cut. Stahls’ Heating Element has excellent heat distribution, which is essential for these types of transfers. The Fusion IQ also has the ability to store presets, which makes switching between materials easier than ever.

The Insta Model 256 is another 16”x20” heat press with a top-quality heating element that can handle even the most finicky of white toner laser transfers. There’s a reason you’ll see both this heat press and the Fusion IQ in a large majority of online white toner tutorials (like this one) - they’re extremely good at what they do.


Best Heat Press for Pressing Hats/Caps
The HPN Signature Series Auto-Open Cap press is the new kid on the block when it comes to cap presses. With its included interchangeable lower platens, large non-stick heating element, and auto-open feature, it has quickly become a favorite here at our main offices & showroom. Dad hats, snapbacks, foam trucker caps - this heat press does it all. The Auto-Open action is smooth and makes pressing caps a joy rather than a task.

If you’re looking for a cap press at a more entry-level price point, try the HPN Signature Series Cap Press. It’s a pared-down version of the Signature Series Auto-Open Cap press, with a one-size-fits-all heating element & lower platen, simplified computer gauge, and no auto-open. It’s heavy-duty dual-frame construction means it’s built to last. Which is why it can be found in thousands of shops across the USA.


Best Heat Press for Sublimation Mugs (and other drinkware)
One of the hottest-selling items on our site is the HPN Signature Series Automated Mug Cup Heat Press. Sublimation is big business these days and custom coffee mugs are by far the most popular product. This mug press can handle both 11oz & 15oz mugs and other drinkware with similar diameters. The 4 separate pressure adjustment points and upgraded heating element mean that you get consistent, even pressure and heat application every time. There are 5 additional heating elements in different shapes and sizes that really open up your capabilities of what types of sublimation drinkware you can customize. These additional elements are available separately or can be bundled together when initially purchasing the mug press.

The most popular size of sublimation drinkware by far is the 11oz coffee mug. The MPress Sublimation Mug Press fits this size mug only, but is priced very affordably. This mug press is a great way to get started in sublimation drinkware and is sure to pay itself off in no time at all.


Best Heat Press If You Want To Do It All
The HPN Signature Series Multi-Function 12-in-1 Heat Press is really the one heat press to rule them all. At its core is the HPN 15”x15” Signature Series Swing-Away Heat Press. This will handle all of your t-shirts, sweaters, and jackets, as well as your flat substrates like photo panels, coasters, keychains, and awards plaques. It also comes with the mug attachment and 6 different heating elements. This will allow you to heat press sublimation drinkware like shot glasses, latte mugs, water bottles, and coffee mugs. There are 2 additional interchangeable lower platens that make pressing odd-shaped items a breeze. The shoe attachment works with most low-top shoes and cleats and even works on other odd-shaped items as well. Finally, the flask and plate attachments round out this incredibly versatile package.

If all of this is a little much for you, check out the Black Series 8-in-1 Multi-Function Heat Press. It has the cap, mug, and plate attachments with a Black Series 15”x15” Swing Away base.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published