Best Cheap Sublimation Printer | Affordable Solution For DIY

Most crafting enthusiasts wanted to get started with a sublimation printer but how many can pay a high price to enjoy premium-quality results? Of course, most of us can only take deep breaths due to the high costs of sublimation printers. However, we won’t leave you behind if you’ve dreamt of getting a cheap but quality sublimation, you can still achieve high-quality results with the best cheap sublimation printer.

From manufacturing quality to cartridge-free systems, manufacturers have produced inexpensive sublimation printers. To be honest, not all of them are the same when it comes to results. It took our hours, in fact, days to determine the cheap sublimation printer quality and select the following budget-friendly sublimation printers for you. Want to get the cheapest option? Buy the ET-2800.

Best Cheap Sublimation Printer

Best Cheapest Sublimation Printers- Top 6 Inexpensive Printers for 2024 How we selected the affordable sublimation printer

  • Considered 24 budget-friendly printers
  • Checked the printing quality and sublimation ink costs
  • Keeping in mind the cost per print
  • Printing on various sizes of substrates
ET Premium 4700
  • Printing Speed 10 ppm
  • 1.44u0022 color LCD
  • Paper-loading trays
Epson EcoTank 3830
Epson EcoTank 3830 
  • High-quality printing
  • Flatbed scanner
  • 2.4″ Color Display
Epson EcoTank 2800
Epson EcoTank 2800
  • 1.44″ Color Display
  • Auto 2-Sided Printing
  • 100-sheet input tray

1- Epson Premium EcoTank 4700 – Top Pick

Epson EcoTank ET-4700
  • Printing Speed 10 ppm (black) & 5 ppm (color)
  • Resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • 1.44″ color LCD
  • Automatic Document Feeder

A successor of ET-4700, an economical AIO solution for a cheap price. The compact yet durable body has only 11 pounds weight with a classical design that will fit on the home desk. The ink tanks were easy to fill with the help of the Ecofit system and the visibility of the ink levels are decent to determine before the ink runs out.

Along with the initial cheap buying price, the running and page per print cost was super low but produced satisfactory quality prints though the maximum resolution was also a good number. However, the printing speed in the coloring pages was not up to the mark but thanks to the auto document feeder.

The ADF can hold up to 30 sheets to scan and copy the size 8.5″ x 11″ but the flatbed scanner is adjustable to scan thicker items. The LCD display is not muchly appreciable, it is small with buttons and can be used for device maintenance. However, the below-listed ET-3830 offered me a touchscreen LCD with better visibility.

The plus point is its sheet tray that can accommodate 100 papers of different sizes up to a legal size which is 8 by 14 inches and can be printed from the rear side. However, it also features an output tray of 30 sheets. But the product is not suitable for business level.

photo printing quality is passable with mediocre color accuracy. ET-4700
photo printing quality is passable with mediocre color accuracy.

This Epson sublimation printer offered excellent connectivity options. There is an Ethernet connection Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Apple AirPrint for iOS devices, and Mopria Print service for Android users. Voice-over printing was also available but you can’t load data from an SD card and USB as external storage support is missing.

  • Excellent high black and color page yield
  • Outstandingly low cost-per-print
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • A cost-effective super tank system
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Slow printing speed

Image Product Name Benefits Price
Top Pick
Epson EcoTank ET-4700
1- Epson EcoTank ET-4700
  • Paper-loading trays
  • 1.44 inches screen
  • Mediocre color accuracy
  • Excellent connectivity options
Epson EcoTank ET-2760
2-EcoTank ET 2760
  • Easy to load the rear paper tray
  • 1.44 inches simple display
  •  OCR technology scanning
  • Voice-activated
Epson EcoTank ET-2720
3-EcoTank ET 2720 
  • An excellent super tank system
  • Built-in printhead cleaning
  • Automatic document feeder
  • Mopria printing option
Epson EcoTank ET-3830
4- Epson EcoTank 3830 
  • High-quality printing
  • High-capacity ink bottles
  • Flatbed scanner
  • Printhead cleaning
Epson EcoTank 2800
5- Epson EcoTank 2800
  • Vertical screen
  • Flatbed scanner
  • 100-sheet input tray
  • High-Speed USB 2.0
Epson Workforce Pro WF-7840
6- WF 7820
  • Two paper trays 
  • Automatic document feeder
  • Duplex printing
  • Voice-activated printing

2- Epson EcoTank ET-2760

Epson EcoTank ET-2760
  • Printing Speed 10.5 ppm (black) & 5 ppm (color)
  • Resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • 1.44″ color LCD
  • Voice-Activated Printing

A small cheap sublimation printer along with low running costs suitable for small tasks. Lacks an auto document feeder and Ethernet connectivity but thanks to the all-in-one feature that enabled me to scan and copy manually. The LCD visibility and tilting were good enough compared to the ET-4800 although the printing quality it produced was mediocre, not high-end.

The running cost was significantly low to get started with the sublimation. Featuring 4 CMYK refillable inks, the refilling was easy as we can expect from an Ecotank printer. The maximum print size it can print was 8.5 by 14 inches along with various sizes. The sheet capacity of input as expected is adequate which is 100 in various sizes.

The printing speed was passable, not much appealing which was 10 ppm monochrome and 5 only for coloring pages. So you have to wait a bit longer to get the larger images printed. But the printing then came out was fabulous.

high resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi and color depth
high resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi and color depth

Although if offered the duplex printing which was not essential for me in the sublimation.

The connectivity option is notable but didn’t support Ethernet but includes wireless printing, Wifi, Wifi direct, and USB, and also an SD card slot was found on the left bottom corner and enabled me to print directly from it. The printing and maintenance were easy with Epson’s smart panel app which can be utilized with the iOS and Android platforms.

  • Incredibly high page yields
  • Automatic double-sided printing
  • Great low cost-per-print
  • Innovative OCR scanning for tiny items
  • Multiple sheets size printing
  • Poor color accuracy

3- Epson EcoTank ET-2720

Epson EcoTank ET-2720
  • Printing Speed 10 ppm (black) & 5 ppm (color)
  • Resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • 1.44″ color LCD
  • Cartridge-free printing

Another printer from the 2700 series. With the same build quality as ET-2760 which is passable, the low cost per print and high page yields make it suitable for small businesses. Featuring the super tank refillable system, the ink tanks are easy to fill and can print a good number of pages. Additionally, the ink levels can be determined from the front.

The input paper tray can handle only 100 sheets and 30 plain paper sheets in the output paper tray, similar to the ET-2760 with various sizes of printing papers. Lacks an auto document feeder which can be annoying. So you need to scan and copy the pages manually although the scanning resolution was exceptional, however, the scanning hinges were not extendable to scan thick items.

The maximum print size is not much wide but can print the images for various sizes of substrates like frames, personalized photos, t-shirts, and much more. The print quality was ample with adjustable resolution but the printing speed was significantly low for higher-resolution images.

Along with that, the speed for coloring pages it provided was only 5 PPM which is similar to the ET-2760 so it might let you wait for a bit but then the printing quality turned out excellent.

photo printing are extremely cost effective
photo printing is extremely cost-effective

Featuring a 1.44 inches color display to navigate the tasks, you can perform regular maintenance and various copying, printing, and scanning tasks with it.

The connectivity was super handy as the printer offered me Wi-Fi and WI-Fi Direct with windows and iOS. While it doesn’t support any external storage support like USB or SD card slot. Also, the Ethernet connectivity is missing.

  • High black and color page yield
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Great low cost-per-print
  • Reproduces a large number of colors
  • Affordable price
  • Lacks automatic document feeder and duplex printing

4- Epson EcoTank ET-3830

Epson EcoTank ET-3830
  • Printing Speed 15 ppm (black) & 8 ppm (color)
  • Resolution 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • 2.4″ Color Display
  • Auto 2-Sided Printing

Built with decent quality and also felt like a premium sublimation printer. The ET-3830 is a bit bulkier than to above-listed printers. The navigation screen is also one inch bigger and provides better visibility than our top pick and other listed products, but it is also navigational by buttons.

But ET-3830 lacks an ADF which is a negative side of it. But thanks to the printing speed which is satisfactory than above-mentioned printers. ET-3830 also utilizes the cartridge-free super tank system to provide a low cost per print and high page yields. The ink tank visibility is also greater than ET-2760 and 2720. I still had tons of ink remaining in the reservoirs so I didn’t need it to be refilled often.

The AIO printer is able to scan and copy with the flatbed scanner manually. The input extendable tray can accommodate a decent number of sheets which is 250. Although I also got a front paper tray to accommodate some of the pages to boost productivity. The auto duplexing was also there but I didn’t utilize it for sublimation.

The combination of great color depth and high-resolution scanning is perfect for capturing minute details in your photos. Overall, the printing quality was impressive producing sharp graphics. The printer also provided me the large borderless prints so the images were suitable for large substrates.

great color depth and high resolution scanning
great color depth and high-resolution scanning

Besides that cheap buying price, the printer offered a plethora of connectivity options like wireless connectivity, Ethernet, USB, Epson smart panel app printing, and compatibility with smart devices.

  • Ink bottles feature auto-stop technology
  • Auto Document Feeder
  • High capacity Paper Tray
  • Low cost per print
  • Fast printing speed
  • Ordinary print quality

5- Epson EcoTank 2800 Series – best cheapest sublimation printer

Epson EcoTank 2800
  • Printing Speed 10 ppm (black) & 5 ppm (color)
  • Resolution 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • 1.44″ Color Display
  • Auto 2-Sided Printing

One of the cheap and most lightweight sublimation printers on our list. The ET-2800 is a basic sublimation printer to get at the lowest price under $200 to $250. But you won’t get the maximum benefits with the printer such as ADF, good printing speed, and Ethernet connection. Yet the printer is suitable to fulfill the bare necessities like printing legal-sized papers, scanning with decent resolution, and copying color pages.

With the only weight of 4 kg, the printer is suitable to fit on a small desk in your home. featuring CMYK refilled Eco tanks, the price per page was extremely low along with the buying price. It can save you 90% of the running cost without compromising on the print quality. The DPI resolution was also better than the other basic printers.

decent color accuracy
decent color accuracy

The display screen is small featuring only 1.4 inches like a small square shape on the front panel, but thanks to the tilting option, you take to raise the panel according to your convenience. The printing speed was also the same as the above-mentioned ET-2700 series which is 5 in the coloring pages.

For the paper handle, Epson has added a 100-sheet input tray to print up to 8.5″ x 14″ sizes but the sheet tray is extendable.

It offered me modern connectivity options like wireless printing, voice-over printing, Airprint printing, windows compatibility, and Epson’s smart panel app for utilizing various tasks like printing and maintaining the printer from smartphones.

  • Space-saving design
  • MicroPiezo inkjet technology
  • Automatic Image Corrections 
  • Ink bottles feature auto-stop technology
  • Inexpensive ink bottles
  • No automatic document feeder and duplex printing

6- WF-7820- Fastest cheap sublimation printer

Epson Workforce Pro WF-7840
  • Printing Speed 25 ppm (black) & 12 ppm (color)
  • Resolution 4800 x 2400 dpi
  • 4.3″ Color Touch Display
  • Auto 2-Sided Printing

One of the fastest best cheap sublimation printers and the successor of WF-7720, the WF-7820 is a decent sublimation printer equipped with a cartridge system. Although I got the refillable cartridges except for the package. Also, I got to install the CISS chipset system for the quick refilling of ink cartridges.

The appealing feature it offered me was an automatic document feeder with an exceptional number of papers which was 50. Another plus point is it offered wide format printing up to 13 x 19 inches with the rear tray with borders and the borderless printing was 11 x 17 inches. While the printing cost was a bit higher which was 11.3 cents due to the cartridge system but its page yield offered a decent number of pages.

Further, its scan and copy size is also wide format to print super tabloid-size sheets except for faxing size. Additionally, WF-7820 features one paper tray of 250 sheets almost half less than the 7720 but it is passable if you do not tend to print heavy monthly-duty cycles. However, Epson WF-7840 has dual paper trays.

Print quality Epson WF 7820
Print Quality before heat transfer

The print quality was excellent with precise dots but it came out a bit faded on the sublimation paper. However, when I heat-transferred the image, it became rich in colors.

Print quality after heat pressing WF-7820
Print quality after heat pressing

Thanks to the large 4.3 inches color touch screen, it is the only one on our list that is equipped with such mobile-sized navigation. To be honest, viewing angles were good, vertical visibility provided even more good viewing for sitting and standing persons.

The printer offered me a printing speed of 25 ppm for black and also 25 ppm for color documents. For connectivity, the printer offers Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, and USB port to import data from an external source. Additionally, Bluetooth connectivity is also available.

Mopria Print and AirPrint are useful for mobile printing and compatible with iOS and Android. Besides voice-activated printing, Epson iPrint app allows printing, scanning, and copying from smartphones and also monitor ink levels and maintenance tasks.

  • PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology 
  • Fast printing speed
  • Automatic Document Feeder
  • 250-sheet paper tray
  • Control Panel Lock and Password Encryption
  • Poor black page yield

How to find an inexpensive printer for Sublimation- The buying guide

How to find an inexpensive printer for Sublimation The buying guide

Is It Good To Get A Cheap Sublimation Printer

Well, cheap sublimation printers don’t mean built with cheap quality and will have a shorter lifespan. But these printers don’t support high-end features which enable you to get the prints quickly or with the accurate colors that high-end printers produce.

In simple words, cheap products fulfill only basic necessities for printing. Like printing, copying, and scanning. Other than that, they won’t provide a good printing speed and better color gamuts. This won’t make any sense if we compare the ET-2700 or 2800 series with the high-end series like the ET-8000, 16000, and 5000 series.

High-end Ecotank models provide multiple paper cassettes, ADFs, a wide range of ink tanks, fast printing speed, larger displays, and much more. In contrast, cheap sublimation printers lack those features. But still, you’ll get the maximum benefits with a WF-7820 cartridge printer.

Cheap solutions may also lack automatic document feeders but thanks to some of the above-mentioned printers, you’ll get the ADF too.

Is Getting A Cheap Sublimation Printer A Good Decision?

This completely depends upon your printing needs. If your printing needs don’t require high-end features then getting started with a cheap product will be a good decision for you. Along with that, cheap printers will also provide a minimal running cost and maintenance so it will be a wise decision to get started.

Getting The Right One For Your Needs

Not all cheap solution printers are the same. Some may even provide you with decent features to fulfill the needs of high-end printers. So here are some of the features you should look at when getting the right one.

1. Printing Quality Matters

When looking to get a sublimation printer, look at the DPI resolution and color accuracy it is producing. If the printer is printing some low-quality images with faded results, you should stay away from that printer. You can select a minimal DPI of at least 300 to print the phot-sized images.

2. Cost-Effective Running

If your initial buying power is low then probably your pocket is out of the bucks and you won’t be able to bear the hefty running expenses. Get a quality affordable sublimation printer that provides low running costs with only a cost per print under 0.10 cents. Along with that, ink tanks will provide thousands of pages without getting the sublimation ink refilled.

3. Media Size And Quantity

If your business is not wide print-oriented then you can select the 8.5″ by 14″ maximum printing size. However, cheap printers along with low running costs won’t be able to provide you with super-tabloid size printing. You need to compromise either on the initial price or running cost. Check if you may like the best 13×19 sublimation printers. Along with that, the least quantity of paper handling should be 100.

Besides, It is also essential to get a printer that can print multiple-size printing media to sublimate small-sized substrates like mugs, glass, acrylic keychains, leather, stainless steel, and much more.

4. Connectivity With Gadgets

You might also need to compromise on the Ethernet connection but still, cheap choices will be worth it if you get the wireless connectivity options with iOS and Android along with Windows. Although the SD card slot is an additional point.

What Is Cheaper Vinyl Or Sublimation?

Well, vinyl is cheaper than sublimation because sublimation involves a sublimation printer that might cost you the highest price among the pieces of equipment. So the starting cost of sublimation will be higher than the vinyl but sublimation is a durable and vibrant color printing method that is worth the price.

In contrast, vinyl doesn’t require a printer but it only involves a vinyl cutter other than the printer to get started. It doesn’t involve inks, papers, and a printer but only essential equipment like a vinyl cutter and a heat press. But it doesn’t provide the same durability and versatility that the sublimation provides.

1- Usage

Sublimation printers are versatile and can be used for a wide variety of tasks. However, you should consider your usage before buying a sublimation printer. For instance, if you have a commercial business of designer shirts, you need a sublimation printer for a t-shirt that can produce heavy-duty output with fast speed so that you can easily deliver orders on time. Therefore, you should keep in mind the usage before making a decision.

2- Resolution

DPI (dots per inch) is a unit for measuring resolution. It is directly proportional to the detailing in your printed design. In simple words, the higher-resolution printer will produce a premium-quality image. If you are looking to print complex designs, you should go for a high DPI resolution printer. Buying a low-resolution printer may result in blurry images.

The selection of resolution mainly depends on your printing needs. For instance, a low-resolution printer works best for printing small logos and trademarks. The minimal print resolution should be 300 DPI On the other hand, a printer with a 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution printer is ideal for printing complex and large artwork. Also, make sure to get knowledge of ink quality and how colors are charged by your printer on the desired material.

3- Print media size

All sublimation printers are not designed to print big designs. The printer you are buying should meet the size requirements. It is recommended to go for a sublimation printer with large medium support because sometimes you may need to print large-sized materials.

Sublimation printers don’t print the edges of the media, mostly. Therefore, you must select a little bit larger size compared to the size of your perfect garment.

4- Budget

The most important thing while buying any product is to decide your budget. There are multiple brands, products, and features of similar products depending on the limitation of the budget. You are aiming for an inexpensive printer, but it doesn’t mean you should sacrifice on required features.

Set your budget, make a list of printers falling in your limitation, consider features, compare printers and choose the right one for your printing needs. However, you may have to sacrifice some features like build quality, printing speed, and touchscreen as they are available with expensive sublimation printers only.

5- Printing speed

However, you’ll get the slow printing speed in the cheap sublimation printer but still, consider the 5 PPM colored prints. For fast printing, you can get the WF 7820. Printing speed and resolution are two inverse things. The higher-resolution printer produces slow-speed results. Printing speed is vital for commercial businesses. If you have a huge order to deliver, you need a printer with fast printing speed.

On the contrary, if you are buying a printer for personal needs, speed isn’t a concerning factor for you. Also, the printer offers fast printing speed for black documents and slow printing speed for color documents.

6- Connectivity

Connectivity options are essential for both commercial and home use. There are printers with wireless connectivity that allows printing from anywhere in your room. If you are a busy office guy, wireless printers are best for you. USB or SD card port is helpful for printing from external sources. There is also an Ethernet connectivity to print from your PC and laptop.

Mobile printing is common nowadays, and popular brands like Epson offer a smart app for hands-free printing. Epson iPrint app is a bright example of how easy it is to print, scan and copy documents from your smartphone. Additionally, you can perform various maintenance tasks like power cleaning and print head cleaning. Last but not least, Alexa compatibility allows enjoying voice-activated printing.

7- Paper handling

No one wants to add paper every now and then. A printer should have a good enough paper-handling facility to provide consistent printing for some time. Most printers have a single paper tray with 100 plain sheets capacity, whereas wide format printers can handle up to 500 sheets easily. 

8- Smart Features
  • An automatic document feeder is always handy to avoid manual document feeding. 
  • Another smart feature to look for is auto-duplexing. Whether printing or scanning, you don’t want to manually flip the documents. Automatic double-sided printing is a useful smart feature that helps to save time and paper by flipping the pages automatically. But this feature isn’t helpful in sublimation.
  • The touchscreen offers convenient navigation but unfortunately, this smart feature isn’t available with inexpensive printers. However, manufacturers are now producing printers with touchscreen for quick and easy navigation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of materials can b used with a sublimation printer?

Sublimation printers can be used to print high-quality designs on t-shirts, mugs, smartphone cases, mouse pads, bags, and purses. And always every hard substrate that is coated with polyester can be exposed to the heat press to get the sublimation transferred.

Can any printer be used as a sublimation printer?

You can’t use any printer for sublimation. It is vital to use a dedicated sublimation printer for printing on different materials. Consider the piezo print head as an essential feature to be used for sublimation.

What is the cheapest printer that can be converted to sublimation?

mainly Epson Ecotank series is one of the cheapest sublimation converted printers. But one of the cheap choices is ET-2800 or 2803.

You can also get the Cricut Sublimation printers


Sublimation printers are great for small businesses, DIY projects, and home-based offices. You can print desired designs on different items, including T-shirts, mugs, and many more. Sublimation printing can be easy, smooth, fun, and affordable when you choose the right printer for your needs.

While choosing cheap sublimation printers, remember you can’t buy a jack of all trades as some features are linked with premium printers only. Therefore, consider the features you need on a priority basis and buy the inexpensive sublimation printer for the best results.

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