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How Much is A Heat Press? Average Heat Press Machine Cost

Getting a high-quality heat press machine is one of the first major milestones of my t-shirt printing business. Before that, I outsourced heat press printing tasks to my network of friends. This worked well for some time. But, I started noticing all the clients I sent to other print shops never set foot in my store again. I’d be closing up shop soon if I didn’t do something about this!

So, I set off on a search for the best heat press machine I could afford in the market. A cursory google search revealed that heat press machines range from $300 to more than $3,000. Here it thought they were merely large household iron-like contraptions – boy was I ever so wrong!  

Why is there such a price disparity? As I discovered, factors like size, style, and enhancement features come into play. It also became clear that you can settle on a machine that addresses your business needs. So, now my task was simple – find a heat press within my price range and deliver all the services that my business offers.

However, that makes settling on the ideal price of a heat press machine easier said than done. It takes exhaustive research and window shopping in some cases. You probably don’t have the time for all that. And that’s why I’ve prepared this article to help guide you to the best possible option in the market.

Without further ado, let’s look at all the factors you need to consider before settling on how much is a heat press.

Is Heat Press a Good Investment?

A heat press machine is essential for any startup apparel decoration business. It ensures your production runs smoothly, and you can add value to even the blandest of marketing materials. Once you develop the technical skills to use one, all that’s left is to expand your network of clients, and the profits start rolling in.  

You can achieve screen-printed, sublimated designs with special transfer papers with a heat press machine. Your customers will get t-shirts with a professional touch, and you will not dent your pocket from acquiring this new investment.

Heat press machines are made from heavy-duty material, which is quite durable and can sustain frequent use.

Not yet convinced on whether to invest in a heat press? Let’s look at more reasons why it should be the next in your list of assets to get.

1. Won’t Cause a Dent Your Pocket

A heat press is a relatively inexpensive machine. Anyone can buy a heat press and its products.

A great printing machine can set you back by around $300 to $800. It offers more variety in designs, features, and styles. For a large setup that is already running, you might need a larger heat press, which might spend up to $3,000.

When choosing the model, make sure it suits your demands, has the features you need, and considers the brand.

For a startup operation, you can choose to get a second-hand heat press that would cost you even less than a new one, and you can upgrade as your business demand grows.

2. User Friendly

Heat press machines are generally easy to learn and use. Whichever design you choose to invest in, you’re guaranteed to have an easy and fun time using a heat press on your t-shirt.

Learning to use a heat press can be done in a matter of minutes. The basics are simple to grasp:

  •  Use a pre-heated garment that has no folds or wrinkles.
  • Placing the garment and print on the heat press.
  • Setting the timer for the heat press.
  • When to peel the graphic from the t-shirt.

3. Adds Diversify to Your Product Line

You can print on anything. The list is endless, from t-shirts, hoodies, canvas bags, tote bags, nylon jackets, caps, mugs, and water bottles. You can include personalized products that you can sell to various corporations to help them with their marketing and branding campaigns.

Consider the type of goods you would want to customize and then go for those heating plates.

Three main types of heat press can get you variety in your production line.

  •  Headwear can be done using an auto-release clamshell cap press with a 4 by 8 inches heating plate.
  •   Drinkware can be customized mug press.
  • You can decorate plates using auto-release clamshell.

4. High ROI (Return on Investment) Value

Most customers perceive heat-pressed items as highly valuable, and this same perception will make you cash in on sales and make a pretty good profit margin.

You can still earn more from custom made items for special occasions and holidays by giving your customers the option to choose the kind of designs to include in their items.

Automatic presses also increase productivity by offering more items for less time and cost.

Increased profit margins are just the thing that would push any prospective business owner to start investing in a machine. Everyone wants to cash out on their ideas and efforts.

5. Stock Multimedia Designs that Stick Out

With a creative mind and a heat press, this is your chance for business to stand out.

Creating mixed media is pretty unique and can give your products a name in the market. Mixing embroidery with print is just a fresh and new look to the usual graphics on garments.

You can print a portion of a design on a t-shirt and then finish off the other portion using embroidery and even buttons. The possibilities are endless to the creative mind.

6. A Conservative Footprint

You don’t need to worry that you’ll need a lot of space to store and work on your heat press machine. They can fit into a space of about three feet, and you can start from your garage or that spare room you haven’t figured out what to do with.

Unlike the screen printing machines, which require proper ink disposal, heat press use does not require you to follow any special environmental laws and is quite safe to use in your home.

7. Variety of Heat Transfer for Different Types of Looks

There are various options you can consider depending on the look you’re going for:

Inkjet transfer – is good for a startup but does not print on white garments or surfaces. You would have to go for an off white

Sublimation transfer – suitable for larger corporations as the production levels are high and works well with polyester, which is ideally thin for heat press.

Screen printed transfer – Require special ink, which can be pricey, but the results are worth it.

Laser transfer – They are enough horrors stories out there to keep you off these transfers.

How Much Do Heat Press Machines for Printing Shirts Cost on Average?

A shirt hears press machines is one of the major assets you require to starta t-shirt printing business. The machines have different features, performance, heat press styles, and sizes.

An essential point to consider is the size of your operation. You don’t want a heat press machine that cannot meet your production needs. With a larger machine, for a small enterprise, you still have the growth potential, and an initial investment can save you more in the long run than re-investment.

You can choose a smaller machine for home use, which will still offer you quality service, instead of opting for your iron box to do a job not meant for it.

For small to medium setup, heat press machines can set you back by $200 to $1000, while a professional machine will cost around $1000 to $3000.

How Much Do Other Type of Heat Press Machines Cost

You can do a heat press on any material imaginable. The only limitation is your imagination.

Aside from the t-shirt heat press machines, You can use other heat press machines on different items:

1. Mug Heat Press

Mug heat press transfer uses heat transfer sublimation on cups and can also be used on water drinking bottles. The result is a full-color image, which is sharp and vivid.

Mug printing has become popular and on-demand. It’s essential to have one of these to provide outstanding designs for any occasion. It offers an easy way to diversify your products and service line.

The prices for a mug heat press depending on the brand. The prices average between $100 and $400.

2. Hat Heat Press

We all like our caps to be saying something about our interests and hobbies. So, it is a safe bet that having one of these machines in your operation will fetch you some high profit margins based on the demand. To increase your profit margin, you can incorporate a hat heat press.

The prices are fairly reasonable, ranging from as low as $130 to $270, depending on the size and the brand. They will give you a return on your investment in no time.

3. Plate Press

Plate designs are also another way to add divert to your stock. Customers will love the idea of having plates for every season and occasion, and this will give your brand a name.

The heat transfer is done by sublimation, and you are guaranteed a great final product.

The prices for a plate heat press transfer can cost on average $290, which will surely give you a return on investment in no time.


1. Can you rent a heat press?

Yes. Some entrepreneurs have come up with rental options for heat press machines. You can rent a heat press machine for as little as $25 a day. If you like the machine, they also allow you to buy the machine for a much cheaper rate than the new one.

2. How long does a heat press machine last?

Heat press machines can last between 10 and 20 years. It is one of the advantages of investing in a heat press. However, they need proper care and maintenance. This includes dusting, lubrication, keeping the upper platen clean, protecting the lower platen, and testing the temperature before use.

3. What is best brand of heat press?

The Vevor curved element hat press machine ranked on top of the list. It features an aluminum plate that reduces maintenance costs works well for commercial use. You can expect a service life of 12,000 hours, and it offers an ergonomic foam parallel arm handle.


My heat press machine is an integral part of my t-shirt business. I don’t believe my enterprise would have scaled so high and fast without it. It’s certainly a far cry from the days of making uneven heat transfers with an iron. So, you can’t afford to have one, especially if you’re planning to open a custom apparel and branding company.

You don’t even have to get a heat press machine with all the bells & whistles. Start small by getting something within your price range and fits your business goals. For instance, my first heat press cost less than $300 (I don’t remember the exact price). But, I eventually got something that could rise to the pressing demands of my customer or client base. 

So don’t be afraid of humble beginnings. If you do your job right, you’ll get more customers then you can upgrade to an intermediate or advanced heat press machine. After reading all this, I hope you can draw deeper insight into your heat-press printing needs.

I love sharing all I know about the t-shirt printing business. And while you’re at it, consider bookmarking my website and following me on social. That way, you’ll never miss out on the precious gems of information I share every day. Have fun creating some amazing merch. See you on the next one! Feel free to leave a comment on your observations or any questions that you may have.

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