Did you want to start a sublimation business but need to know how to select the best sublimation paper that will give you amazing results on a wide range of substrates? Don’t worry; I am here to assist you on this matter. A good sublimation paper can help you to grow the business because the quality of the sublimation printing depends on three things best sublimation printers, ink, and paper. Running a sublimation business is very interesting and profitable, but it can be a lot of work if you are stuck with a substandard quality sublimation paper.
Selecting the best sublimation paper is very time-consuming, especially if you are new in this business; that’s why I have prepared a well-researched list of 10 papers for you, one of which can also be used on wood substrates.
How to Choose Best Sublimation Paper? (Buying Guide)
Selecting the best sublimation paper takes work, especially if you are new in this field. There are hundreds of brands available in the market that are offering different types of papers at different prices. I have prepared a list of important factors so you can easily find the best paper.
Color quality is the most important factor in the sublimation business if you want happy customers. I have been working in the sublimation business for 5 years, and I noticed that No one wants to wear dull and fady colors. For smooth finishing and quality results, you need to purchase the best paper that will give you vibrant and cheerful colors without wasting a lot of ink.
Ink Transfer Rate:
This is the second most important thing you must remember while choosing the paper for sublimation. The color quality of the design depends on the ink transfer rate. You will get more vibrant colors if the paper transfers a high amount of ink to the substrates. I have used a lot of paper and noticed that the low ink transfer rate aper waste more ink than the others. You should go with a paper that will transfer up to 96% ink.
The ink drying time of the paper is also a very important factor especially if you have a lot of work burden and want to complete the sublimation projects quickly. The sublimation ink takes a lot of time to dry compared to regular ink but, If you choose a paper with fast drying time, it can increase your work efficiency.
Weight and Thickness:
The ink drying time depends on the thickness of the paper. The thicker and denser paper can absorb ink faster than thin paper. Moreover, thicker paper can endure more pressure and temperature during heat transfer. I suggest you choose a paper with a weight of 90-120GSM.
A special coating of the silica and binder is added to the paper, which transfers the ink during sublimation. A substandard coating on the paper can cause cracks and smudges to the designs. So, you need to choose a paper with a smooth coating that will give you outstanding results.
Compatibility With the Printer:
Did you want paper that is different from your printer? Your answer will be absolutely not. After checking all the other factors, you ordered a paper, but it will be useless if it is incompatible with your sublimation printer. Most of the sublimation paper is available in different sizes, so, no need to worry. Just check the size of the paper from the printer’s paper tray and order it accordingly.
Most of the papers available in the market are applicable for only Polyester≥70% fabric and polyester-coated substrate. To do sublimation on Cotton fabric, you need to choose a paper specially designed for cotton.
The Short Version
|A-SUB||Best Sublimation Paper for Epson||8.5 x 14″||Check Price|
|Printer’s Jack||Best Sublimation Paper for Dark T-Shirts||8.5 x 11″||Check Price|
|Koala Sublimation Paper||Best Sublimation Paper for Inkjet Printer||13 x 19″||Check Price|
|Dye Master||13×19 Sublimation Paper||8.5 x 11″||Check Price|
|Tex Print||Sublimation Sticker Paper||8.5 x 11″||Check Price|
|S-Race||Best Sublimation Paper for Sawgrass Printer||8.5 x 11″||Check Price|
|Hiipoo||Best Sublimation Paper for Tumblers&Mugs||8.5 x 11″||Check Price|
|Tonha||Best Sublimation Paper for Cotton T-shirts||8.5 x 11″||Check Price|
|Seogol||Good Sublimation Paper||13 x 19″||Check Price|
|Hemudu Tale||11×17 Sublimation Paper||11 x 17″||Check Price|
1: A-SUB Best Sublimation Paper for Epson
This A-SUB Sublimation paper comes in a nicely packed box with an instruction sheet that tells you how to print, like rough time and temperature for various substrates. This paper comes in different ranges of weights from 120 to 130 GSM. After doing multiple tests on this paper, I prefer you to use 125 GSM paper. Because it has full colors on paper compared to others, it comes with 110 sheets of paper so you can do many projects with that.
It can work with any inkjet printer with sublimation ink; that’s why it is the best sublimation paper on the market. It can work with almost all materials, including Polyester, premium ceramic tile, and metal plate phone cases; it can also transfer the ink on material with cotton content ≤ 30.
This paper has a very fast drying time compared to other papers so you can do hassle-free sublimation quickly. In addition, this paper absorbs only a small amount of ink and can transfer the maximum quantity of ink to the object while applying heat. In our testing, I found this paper unsuitable for dark shirts; it is only used on light shirts.
If you want top-quality results, then you can go with this paper. This paper is expensive but transfers vibrant colors to your sublimation material. Moreover, it is compatible with almost all inkjet printers, including Epson eco tank and other Epson models like 2720, 2760, 7710,7720.
2: Printer’s Jack-Best Sublimation Paper for Dark T-Shirts
Printers Jack is one of the market’s best sublimation papers for dark t-shirts. Currently, there is no sublimation paper available in the market that can transfer the designs on dark t-shirts very beautifully but It works well. I have never had any jams or problems, and the results are amazing.
I have sublimated many mugs and t-shirts with printer jack sublimation paper and found great results. All colors were vibrant. The ink transfer rate is also very high. When you open the paper box, you need to make sure that you print the right side. To make it easy to know which side, the back side is slightly bluish compared to the front side. That way, put the blank side in your printer to print on it.
You want to avoid printing on the backside. While using this paper, I found that it is not thick compared to the A-sub paper, but it gives the best quality results at an attractive price.
This paper is also compatible with Hp, Canon, and Sawgrass printers. Heat transfer processes are very easy with this paper, and they can be used on mugs, T-Shirts, Phone cases, and plastic. Printers jack is a very affordable brand, and it comes with 100 sheets so you can do a lot of projects with that. The dry time of this paper is a little higher than A-Sub paper due to its thickness, but don’t worry, it is less than a minute.
If you are looking for a sublimation paper to transfer the designs on ceramic mugs, polyester fabric, phone cases and metal plates, then it is the best paper for you. This printer is compatible with all types of inkjet printers. However, the paper is not very thick compared to the A-Sub paper, but it is affordable; I have tested it on different types of materials and found great results.
3: Koala Sublimation Paper-Best Sublimation Paper for Inkjet Printer
This Koala sublimation paper is excellent if you want sublimation on light colors. It is a more advanced and updated version than the other sublimation papers. The colors came out very vibrant. I have sublimated the 30+ T-Shirts, and each one has pleased me. I didn’t feel any crack, smudge, or fade in color. The color drying time is also very amazing. If you use (Sublimation ink), it will dry within 60 seconds.
The transfer rate is also very high, but it depends on the applied temperature through heat transfer. The temperature varies depending on the material. That’s why a temperature guide document is provided with the papers. So, you can easily get the full colors by applying the right temperature.
The thickness of this paper is 23 GSM which is perfect for all types of sublimation. Due to its thickness, it can hold the ink perfectly. This paper is very lightweight and compatible with all inkjet sublimation printers. It comes in different sizes. It is challenging to distinguish the printable side in some papers, but thanks to the Koala brand made it very easy. The green-colored side is the backside, and the blank side is for printing.
If you are a beginner and don’t have extensive knowledge about the sublimation paper, I recommend you go with this paper. It is very smooth and easy to use. I transferred the ink to different materials using this paper and found great results every time. But there is a downside: we can’t use this paper without a heat press machine.
4: Dye Master-13×19 Sublimation Paper
Dye Master is a very advanced and affordable 13×19 sublimation paper available in the market. If you are a professional working on many sublimation projects and looking for an ink transfer paper with fast drying time, even under the heaviest ink load, then you can try this paper. In my observation, the ink drying time is 3s, but I suggest you use it after 5s for the best results.
It comes in 13×19 size, which makes it applicable for all types of materials, especially for t-shirts. The ink transfer rates are outstanding. I have tested two t-shirts with it, one with 100% polyester and the other with 50% polyester and 50% cotton, and it transfers the ink on both t-shirts, but it gives me the best results on 100% polyester t-shirts. I will suggest you use cotton content ≤ 30. This paper works with key chains, mugs, clocks, jerseys, tiles, photo boards, etc.
The thickness of this paper is almost the same as A-Sub paper, and it is compatible with all types of inkjet sublimation paper. It isn’t easy to distinguish the printable side of this paper because both sides are plain, but if you notice that one side is brighter than the other, this is the printable side.
If you are a professional and want to speed up your work, then go with this paper because the drying time on this paper is very fast. It transfers the ink on the 100% polyester shirts very well, but unfortunately, it is only designed to use light-colored Fabric. All other qualities of this paper impressed me, but for a beginner, it is difficult to determine the printable side.
5: Tex Print-Sublimation Sticker Paper
Texprint is a new sublimation paper in the market compared to the others. Still, it engaged many customers quickly due to its reliability and special features like directional outgassing. Tex print paper is great if you want to transfer your designs to Shirts, Drinkware, Home Decor, Office Supplies, Bottle Openers, Pillows, Socks Bags, etc
A special coating on the front side of the paper allows the paper to hold and release the ink more efficiently during the heat transfer process. The drying time of this paper is very fast and almost the same as the Dyemaster sublimation paper. I have tested it on all types of materials that I have mentioned above, and I found excellent results.
The paper thickness is also very helpful in transferring the ink on many materials. It is available in a wide range of sizes from 3.5×9 to 13×19. The Directional outgassing feature makes this paper more effective than the others. Unfortunately, this paper is not suitable for dark t-shirts and Fabric. This printer works with all types of inkjet printers. A heat resistance tape for all sublimation uses is also included in the purchase.
It is the new sublimation paper in the market, but due to its special features and reliability, it is one of the best papers I have tried for heat transfer. Start with this paper if you are a beginner or want to expand your business. A tape is also included with the paper box.
6: S-Race-Best Sublimation Paper for Sawgrass Printer
S-Race is an innovative and recommended sublimation paper for sawgrass and other inkjet printers. It has a unique microporous technology that will give you great printing results on t-shirts, textiles, and hard substrates. After heat pressing, the final product will impress you with vibrant colors and even greater details. I have tested this paper, which provides outstanding results on the t-shirts.
The suitable subtracts for this paper are polyester fabrics and all kinds of polyester-coated surfaces as long as they are heat resistant, like aluminum panels, glass, and plastic ceramics. The one thing that I like most about this paper is that we can use it in the woods. The dye sublimation with this paper is not used to print on 100% cotton shirts or other natural fibers.
For the best results, I recommend you use it on 100% polyester fibers. Before printing with this paper, please remember that the lower the percentage of polyester fibers, the lives the printed image will appear on a substrate because only the synthetic fibers can receive the sublimation inks.
If you want a sublimation paper that can print on hard and soft substrates, including wooden materials, you can try this paper. Its price and printing qualities make it the best heat transfer paper on the market. But the downside is we can’t print on dark-colored material with this paper. The reason is that there is no white sublimation ink available in the market, which would be necessary to replace a needed white background for dark-colored materials. Overall I am very impressed with the transfer rate of the paper.
7: Hiipoo-Best Sublimation Paper for Tumblers&Mugs
Hiipoo sublimation paper comes in a nicely packed yellow-colored cardboard box. It is very easy to distinguish this paper’s printable and not printable side because one side is gray and the other is not, and gray is not the side you want to print. I have tested this paper on different types of mugs and tumblers by using Epson eco tank 15000, and it gives me the best results.
The color transfer rate of this paper is 98% which is very high compared to the other brands; this means that 98% of the ink will be transferred to your t-shirts, mugs, or on the other things you want to sublimate. No matter which sublimation blanks you try to fill out with this paper, it will turn all the designs beautifully, everything from coffee mugs, tumblers, koozies, keychains, etc. This paper looks like regular paper but is a little bit heavier.
This paper is available in all regular sizes from 8.5×11 to 13×19. It comes out from the printer completely dry, so you don’t need to wait too long. I noticed that the printout did not look vibrant or saturated, but after transferring the ink with a heat press, I found great colors and results. It works with Epson, Sawgrass, and Richo inkjet printers.
Hippo sublimation paper is best if you want to transfer your designs with great color precision. It is compatible with almost all inkjet printers and can transfer up to 98% of the ink. Its fast drying time will give you reliability during the work. You can transfer the text, images, or vector art onto light-colored Fabric with ≤ 30% cotton. If you want the best results, I prefer you to wear t-shirts with 100% polyester. But unfortunately, you can not use this paper with dark t-shirts.
8: Tonha-Best Sublimation Paper for Cotton T-shirts
The Tonha sublimation paper comes in different sizes from 8.5×11, 12 to 8.5×14, and 10; it is specially designed to get more vibrant colors on cotton t-shirts. The finishing of this paper is very smooth. You can also use this paper on ceramic mugs, tumblers, pillowcases, canvas bags, and mouse pads. This paper gave me better results on the cotton t-shirts than the other brands of paper I have tested.
If you want professional sublimation, I recommend you use spray coating while transferring the design onto the cotton t-shirts. The paper Itself is not waterproof, but once you apply it to your mugs and plates, the design will be waterproof. The transfer rate of this sublimation paper is 98%, almost equal to the other papers. What I like most about this paper is its ultra-high protection against scratches, rubbing, and ink smudging.
The color of the sublimation paper looks darker after printing; normally, you can get vibrant colors after heat transfer. It works with all inkjet printers with sublimation ink. One side of the paper is a little orange, and the other is white. The white side is printable.
If you are new in the sublimation business or want to transfer your designs onto cotton t-shirts, I suggest you use this paper. Unfortunately, there is no sublimation paper available in the market that we can use directly on cotton t-shirts. But I have tested this paper with the spray coating and found great results compared to the other papers. Moreover, it is very budget-friendly and provides an ultra-high transfer rate without fading and cracking.
9: Seogol-Good Sublimation Paper
The Seogol is a good sublimation paper if you want professional results at an affordable price. The Seogol package comes in multiple sizes from 8.5×11 to 813×19. The sheet count of this paper is 100, and it is short compared to the other papers that come with 120 sheets. The colors come out very clear and it is best for unique handmade gifts for Christmas, easter, and other functions.
Like the A-sub paper, the transfer rate of this paper is over 98%, but I found it needs to work better on the cotton shirts. But if you want the best results, I suggest you use a butcher or parchment paper while transferring your designs. In my testing, the drying time is more than a minute which is a little high. It is very easy to distinguish the printable side of Seogol paper. Put the paper on a white chart as a reference to identify the white is printable and the other is the backside which is a little pink in color.
For the convenience of customers, the box comes with instructions and a temperature settings book. The thickness of this paper is 125GSM which is best for all types of polyester coating materials. It is suitable for Epson, Sawgrass, Ricoh, and other inkjet printers that come with the piezoelectric printhead.
Suppose you want to transfer your design to polyester coating materials for affordable prices for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Birthday, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day gifts. In that case, the Seogol sublimation paper can be a good option. The transfer rate of this paper is the same as the other expensive papers. It is very easy to use and compatible with inkjet printers. I have tested this paper on almost all major sublimation printers, and it provides me with the best results without any jamming or cracking.
10: Hemudu Tale-11×17 Sublimation Paper
The paper comes in a beautifully packed cardboard box. It is tightly wrapped in a polythene bag to avoid the curls on the edges. Overall the packaging quality was amazing. The weight of the paper is 126 GSM so it’s slightly thicker than the thickest A-Sub paper. The printable side of this paper is very smooth and the other side is covered with a watermark. It comes in from 11×17 size.
The corners are perfect, and it’s nice and thick too. The drying time of this paper is okay but not fast compared to the A-sub and other top-brand papers, but the ink transfer rate is high. I have tested it on an Epson wf printer, and it provides me with the best results. You can also use this paper with all inkjet printers but make sure you use only sublimation ink.
Unfortunately, it is not suitable for texture surface substrates such as wood. If you have not used this paper before then, I suggest you do some practice on some scrap paper. A manual is also provided with the paper box so you can easily find the temperature settings for different materials.
The Hemudu Tale is a good paper for hard subtracts compared to the other brands, but it could provide better results on the fabrics. The colors were great; it doesn’t release quite as much. If your usual brand is out of stock, you can go with this paper. It’s cheaper compared to the other brands.
How to print successfully for the sublimation paper?
Printing on sublimation paper is easy and interesting, but it can be hard if you don’t follow the proper steps. I will share some steps that will guide you through the process.
The first and very easy step is to sketch your design on the computer. If you don’t have extensive knowledge about it then don’t worry some free and paid tools are available in the market. For example, if you have a sawgrass printer, you can use the sawgrass creative studio tool for the design.
After sketching the designs on the computer, now connect it to your sublimation printer. You can use wireless connectivity for it. Before printing it on paper, make sure to enable the mirror settings of the printer.
Let’s dry the paper for a few seconds and Preheat the suitable substrates. If you want to transfer the design to the t-shirt, remove its wrinkles by preheating it.
Now put the paper to the appropriate material and use the heat resistance tape to attach the paper to the substrates.
Give a certain temperature and pressure according to the given instructions. I prefer to use butcher paper between the paper and heat-transfer machine for best results.
Open the heat press machine and remove the butcher paper & tape gently from the substrates. Allow it to cool down to room temperature, and now it is ready to use.