What is the cost of a heat press machine ?

Hi everybody! Today, I will talk about the cost of a heat press machine. I will focus on the price ranges. For each range, I will present what are the specifics of such machines and what makes them more expensive etc..

Under 50$ :

For this price, you might have guessed it, you won’t be able to get any decent heat press machine. All you can get is an accessory. Examples of accessories are mugs wraps.

These tools allow you to imprint a design on a mug. Also, for this price, you can get some decent transfer papers. The cost of a heat press machine usually lies above the 50$ range.

Between 50$ and 100 $:

Now things are starting to become interesting. For this range, you can start to find some entry-level machines. However, most of them are for mugs imprinting. For this price, the machines are usually made for single mugs imprinting and, some of them can be used for two mugs at the same time.

They can definitely be used for small businesses. If customizing your mugs is a hobby for you, you definitely can acquire one of these machines.

Example of mug heat press
Mug press machine

As I told you, most of them are for mugs. However, you can find some for T-shirts and fabrics imprinting. As an example, you can find the Cricut easypress. This is definitely not a common heat press machine.

It works more like irons to imprint designs on T-shirts and flat fabrics. I would recommend using this one for a hobby, definitely not for business.

Cricut easy press on its base
Cricut heat press

Between 100$ and 200$:

We are getting serious now. There are many machines in this price range. What makes them different from one another? Well, keep scrolling:

  • The dimensions of the plate: this can be a decisive parameter. A 6 x 10 inches plate won’t be the same as a 15*15 inches. The first one will let you print relatively small designs while with the latter you will print bigger ones.
  • The temperature range: some of the machines will go from 32 to 399℉, while others will go from 32~ 500°F. Depending on the materials you are using, this parameter could be a decisive one.
  • The timer: a general heat press machine or a T-shirt printing one’s timer ranges from 0 to 999 seconds. However, for some specific ones, the range can go below. And, for some machines the timer can be replaced by a new one if there is some malfunction: Since it is electronics, someday it will definitely kick the bucket.
  • Customer service: this is definitely a good reason to pick a machine for another one. For instance, you can know if a seller offers a good customer service from his selling page or platform. Pay attention to the number of customers reviews

Between 200$ and 350$:

For this price range, you will start to find machines for different products. What are the reasons for such a high cost of a heat press machine?

The main reason to justify this price is simple. They are usually multifunctional machines. In other words, you can use them for T-shirts imprinting, mugs imprinting and even hats. Another reason to raise the prices is a bigger plate. A bigger plate means more imprinting area which means bigger designs.

Above 350$:

Above this price, the machines are more sophisticated. You can find vacuum heat press machines. These machines create a vacuum before imprinting the object.

This will ensure that the quality of the product is better. It will ensure that there are no cracks in your imprints. In general, a vacuum machine will let you print several small products at the same time.

For really high prices, you can find more powerful families of machines. For instance, pneumatic machines and hydraulic ones. They usually use an external source of pressure to apply some force to the object. These devices are useful for big objects like carpets.

A pneumatic heat press machine
high cost heat press machine: pneumatic machine

How to reduce the cost of a heat press machine

This is a legitimate question. In my opinion, the best way to cut costs is to look for a used heat press machine. Be careful though to ask the following questions to the buyer before initiating anything:

  • Why do you want to sell your heat press machine? A typical answer which will scare me is the following: It is too old, I want to change it. The seller is saying implicitly that his machine has some defaults and is not good anymore. However, a reassuring answer would be like this. ” I thought I would like running my business/using it for my hobbies but I don’t/ I don’t have time anymore”
  • How old is your machine and at which frequency did you use it? Scary answer: “I have been using it for the past 2 years for X articles per day”. Good answer: “It has been here for several years but I didn’t want to use it. It started catching dust so I decided to get rid of it.”
  • Where did you keep your machine before deciding to sell it? Scary answer: “It was in my basement with other garbage I don’t use”. You might want to avoid this buyer. Since basements tend to be humid, the metallic parts of your machine might be rusty. Good answer: “ It was in its original package in my basement”

Moral of the story, if you want to reduce the cost of a heat press machine, look for a product which hasn’t been used too much, and which was safely kept.


I would like to say that the cost of a heat press machine depends highly on its features. Before buying anything, you will have to decide on your goals.

Do you want to buy it for home use, for a hobby or to start a business. I invite you to check my other articles to help you choose!

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