Heat presses are wonderful tools that can help you make amazing, personalized products. But to use a heat press effectively, you need more than just the heat printing machine itself. You need a heat press stand or table.
Since heat presses are heavy, bulky pieces of professional equipment, it’s not a ‘keep it in a cupboard and just put it on your kitchen table when you use it’ kind of deal. A heat press will need to stand on a sturdy table that can carry a certain amount of weight. Oftentimes, these tables are used for printing, cooking, and other professional uses. It’s also recommended that such a stand is made of material that can handle being exposed to a high temperature.
There are a few things to consider when buying a stand for something as heavy and hot as a heat press, but we’ll cover everything you need to know. We made sure to explore a wider range of products to give you the freedom of choice.
Read on below to browse all the heat press machine stand options we have prepared alongside a full guide to picking the one that suits you best.
What is a Heat Press?
A heat press is a machine used to transfer designs onto (primarily) fabrics by use of heat and pressure. It’s kind of like a panini machine for t-shirts.
The lower platen on the press will have a rubber sheet for heat protection, and the upper platen will be a heated platen used to apply the heat transfer vinyl. It permanently transfers your design onto your desired surface in a quick and easy way.
Most projects only need to be pressed for 15-20 seconds, and for more heavy duty projects you can just adjust the heat settings.
These machines are used to professionally decorate t-shirts with designs made out of heat-transfer vinyl and other similar materials.
Designing a custom t-shirt is just one of the many use-cases for heat press machines. For most heat press machines, one of your only limits will lie in your ideas. You could make heat-pressed leather bracelets, custom golf bags, baby blankets, tote bags, pillow cases, yoga pants, sweatshirts, curtains, or even boxing gloves.
You could buy a heat press machine for your own needs, such as creating unique gifts in the form of a personalized t-shirt, or in order to start your own business.
Although most heat press machines look a little intimidating, they are easily accessible and can be owned by enthusiasts.
What Surface Should I Put my Heat Press on?
Choosing a heat press stand is fairly straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is weight. Heat presses are really heavy, so fold out tables or little coffee tables are instantly out. They just wouldn’t be able to handle the weight, which means your heat press would be unsteady.
Not only does this create danger (for you and your press), it also means that when you’re using a heat press, your machine could move when you operate it and disturb the fabric inside. Therefore, getting a high-quality heat press table is your best bet.
Most heat press tables are made from heavy-duty steel or wood. Both of these materials can make a sturdy table and are fairly resistant to high temperatures. One reason to buy a designated stand for your heat press is that scratches can happen.
Your heat press machine is unlikely to completely destroy a table, but in the long run, it could severely damage it. That’s why it’s better to invest in a mobile workstation for your heat press.
Can You Put a Heat Press on a Plastic Table?
It depends on the kind of plastic. Generally, the bottom of a heat press won’t actually reach a very high heat and it’s unlikely that it will melt anything. However, it never hurts to be safe.
Any good quality plastics on a good adjustable height table/stand are going to be fine. The only plastics that might not be such a good idea are probably going to be part of some pretty flimsy tables anyway, so you’ll already be crossing them off your list of possibilities.
Can You Put a Heat Press on the Floor?
Putting your heat press machine on the floor is not recommended.
Firstly, it is going to be a lot easier and more comfortable for you to work with a heat press that is at the right height for you, so an adjustable height model is the best to pick.
You’ll be pulling down a big handle and applying a decent amount of force to close your heat press, so it’s better for your body if it’s at a comfortable and accessible height.
The right height for you can depend on a couple of things, including your height and upper body strength. If your table is high, you’ll be reaching up quite far to grab the handle of your heat press, and you’ll have to use arm strength alone to close it.
If you think you would struggle with that, having the heat press lower so that you can use your weight to close it will work much better.
Secondly, it’s always better for machines that use heat applied to fabric to have access to good air circulation. A table is going to let the bottom of the heat press machines breathe a lot easier than a floor.
5 Best Heat Press Stands Available to Buy in 2022
It always helps to have a few concrete examples of what’s good and what’s not, so we will list a good example of several heat press stands here.
Do note that some of these won’t be specifically made for heat pressing machines. You’ll probably see a lot of industrial stands and printing stands, but that’s totally okay. They are still exactly what you need!
Starting off, we have the Safco Products Deskside Wire Machine Stand. This stand is made from industrial grade steel, and can hold up to 200lbs.
A great feature of stands like this lies in the included storage space. These extra shelves will give you a place to store the equipment you need to use your press, like teflon sheets, your designs, material, transfer tape, rubber, extra tools, vinyl sheets, and the like.
This product also has four wheels attached to the legs which can be extremely useful if your heat press cannot permanently live right where you want to use it. If you need to move your press between a workspace and a storage space, this is the way to go.
Definitely do not attempt to lift this equipment on a regular basis: it’s heavy, and after it’s been used, it reaches very high temperatures.
The size of the tabletop is 24”W x 20”D, which is big enough for most standard sizes of heat pressing equipment. If you’ve bought one of the biggest and meanest presses around, you might need something just a little bigger than this.
This is also a printing stand. It’s made out of steel and wire, it can hold 200lbs, and has shelves for storage. It also has wheels with caps, which, by the way, can lock and unlock depending on what you need.
Of course, when you’re transporting the heat press the wheels will be unlocked, but when you are ready to use the press, you can lock those wheels up so nothing slides around.
The biggest difference between the Safco and the HUANUO is the price. The HUANUO printer stand costs a little less than the Safco. If you can stretch for the former option and splash out for the extra quality and sturdiness, then we would recommend doing so. But if you have a budget to stick to, the HUANUO is going to be a perfect option.
A slight con of the HUANUO is that it’s also a little smaller, at 22”W, 18”D. This will still be big enough for plenty of heat press machines, but definitely check the sizes before you go and click ‘add to basket’.
A good alternative to this stand if you’re on a really tight budget is the Lapworks utility cart. It can usually be found on Amazon.
It can hold up to 350lb, which is more than you need, and it has a steel frame. It’s also the only stand on our list that has plastic surfaces. If you need to keep your price low, then don’t be afraid to buy this—it will definitely do the job!
As the name suggests, this product is actually designed for serving food! But it’s a great, sturdy little thing that can definitely work for your heat stand purposes. It has a steel frame and a rustic wooden top, which looks really nice in any design space. This option also has lockable wheels.
In terms of size, this stand is smaller than the last two. This really is not a downside at all, as long as you’ve checked the dimensions of your heat press are smaller than 23.6”W and 15.7”D. The maximum weight is 176lb, which is definitely plenty, but could be lacking for some vinyl pressing machines.
In terms of price, this one is definitely aimed at those who would like to splash out a bit, and maybe be a little picky about the looks of your stand as well. You are not paying for no reason, however, as the construction quality and overall sturdiness of this product will definitely leave you satisfied.
Moving away from wire and wheels, up next we have the Mophorn Stainless Steel Work Table. The little table is actually designed for kitchen prep work, but as it will hold up to 220lb on the top shelf, it will definitely hold a heat press.
This is a bigger table at 24”W, 24”D. We recommend this table for those who have a designated spot to keep and use their heat press, because it does not have wheels!
This really isn’t a downside if you are lucky enough to not need to move your press when you use it. It just means your table will be even more sturdy, and there will be no chance of you forgetting to lock the wheels. However, if you’ve got limited space, Mophorn could be the way to go.
This table does also have an adjustable lower shelf so you can store some equipment and accessories, but unlike the above options, it is only one shelf, not two.
Finally, this table is pricey! It is pricey, but it is perfect in its sturdiness. It is designed for professional chefs to chop food on, after all. No one wants to handle a knife on a flimsy table, and no one wants to use a heat press on a flimsy table either, so those needs are aligned.
This three-tier printer stand is probably the most stylish of the five. The frame is steel, but the table surfaces are all CARB P2 class manufactured wood in a ‘rustic brown’ color. This table is definitely great for those who have a lot of equipment and accessories to store—the lower shelves are extremely spacious.
This table also has the option to install adjustable feet or lockable wheels. While these are not easy to swap out once your table is in use, it’s nice to be able to choose which you would like and keep the other as a backup.
The size of the top shelf is a spacious 20”W by 15”D, which is, as we have established, plenty big enough for your average heat press. The table is advertised as being able to hold 88lbs on each tier.
The price is in the middle of our range and works as a good option if you want to avoid steel wire surfaces and choose wood instead. It will certainly compliment any space beautifully.
Let’s delve a little deeper into the topic of heat press machine stands.
1. Can I put my heat press on the floor?
Floor level is not a good place for a heat press to be, because it’s not a good height to work from. The heat press works quickly (in about 15-20 seconds), so you would be kneeling down to interact with it very often.
In addition, the temperature runs high when you use your heat press. Using it on the floor could potentially be dangerous for the flooring, even making it peel as a worst case scenario.
2. How much weight should my heat press stand be able to hold?
Many of the tables you see will hold between 100-200lbs altogether (including extra shelving). Finding a table whose main shelf can hold at least 80lbs is ideal, and definitely do not go below 50lbs.
3. How much should I spend on a heat press stand?
This depends on your needs and your budget, but there is definitely a price range that you shouldn’t go below. This is simply because you need the heat press table to be sturdy, and that requires a certain level of quality, which requires a certain amount of money.
As a general rule, anything below $70 is getting risky, and anything at around the $50 mark or below is a no-go.
And those are our top five heat press table recommendations. It’s very simple, just a sturdy table that can withstand plenty of weight, store some accessories, and potentially be wheeled around. Simple as it may be, it’s also a huge gamechanger for heat press owners.
With a reliable table like any of the above, you’ll know that you’ll be able to use your heat press to its fullest without excessive heavy lifting or having to endure awkward postures while using the machine.
And, just to reiterate this, we really recommend avoiding the urge to grab a $30 flimsy table at the general store. It could feasibly work or seem like it’s working at first, but it definitely won’t last, and there’s no telling how loud and destructive it might be when that table gives out.
You’ve gone to the trouble to acquire an amazing, professional-standard piece of equipment so you really might as well finish the job right and give it a wonderful place to live! The sturdier your stand, the better your heat printing experience.
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Last update on 2022-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Disclaimer