best sublimation printer for circut

Best Sublimation Printer for Cricut (Buying Guide)

If we’re looking for the best sublimation printer for Cricut, we’re most likely looking to print from Cricut Design Space to that respective printer.

Can it be done? Absolutely.

If you’re a Cricut Design Space user and you want to print from there to a sublimation printer, then it will work perfectly.

If you’re using the Print then Cut feature in the Cricut Design Space that will also work. But that’s a separate discussion because that’s not sublimation. I’ll explain why later on. After I review some amazing recommendations for the best sublimation printer for Cricut.

Best Sublimation Printer for Cricut Reviews

If we want to find the best sublimation printer for Cricut, we’re only interested in their design app and how it can allow us to create our own beautiful images and designs.

And then we’ll press the print button, choose our printer and print on sublimation paper with sublimation inks. Obviously, the printer must be connected to our laptop, tablet, PC when we’re doing all that. Nowadays, printers can be connected wirelessly or via USB.

If you’re not doing sublimation, then Cricut Design Space is used by many users because it connects to any Cricut smart cutting machine, which is great for those doing HTV (heat transfer vinyl).

Well, we can create our designs with other design software and apps.

For example, printers like Sawgrass SG500 & Sawgrass SG1000 will come with their own design software, the Sawgrass Creative Studio.

Or we can choose others, like: Canva, GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Gravit, Affinity, CoreIDrew, etc.

Regarding the printer that we’re going to use with Cricut Design Space, we have two main categories to choose from.

We can buy a dedicated sublimation printer, like the Epson SureColor F170, Sawgrass SG500, Sawgrass SG1000, Epson SureColor F570.

Or we can buy an Epson piezo inkjet printer and convert it to sublimation. We convert it to sublimation by disregarding the inkjet inks that come with our chosen Epson. Instead, we need to buy sublimation ink for that respective Epson model.

Conversion is the path that most people use because it’s more convenient. Before buying an Epson model for conversion to sublimation, make sure that you can find sublimation inks for that model. And order a set because there’s no conversion without them.

Let’s review some top picks for the best sublimation printer for Cricut.

1. Epson EcoTank ET-2850: Overall the Best Sublimation Printer for Cricut

What I must warn you about when it comes to buying an Epson inkjet printer to convert it to sublimation is not that it’s going to be hard.

Or that the printed designs are not going to be amazing.

Or that the designs will not transfer wonderfully if you use a good heat press and you do it properly.

Those things are not concerns to have.

The thing I must warn you about is that the moment you buy this printer or any other Epson model and you don’t use the inkjet inks that come with it but you fill in the tanks/cartridges with sublimation dyes, that’s the moment the warranty is void.

Thus, if something happens you won’t be able to take advantage of your warranty to have it fixed.

That’s because these Epsons products are not sold for sublimation. They’re sold for regular printing. On regular printing paper. With regular inkjet ink. We do none of that with sublimation.

Thus, there’s the risk we run. And it’s a risk that many buyers take. I believe that converted printers are even more popular than dedicated sublimation printers. Both among amateurs and business owners.

If you want to only buy dedicated sublimation printers, there are 4 main options to choose from: Epson SureColor F170, Sawgrass SG500, Sawgrass SG1000, and Epson SureColor F570.

Otherwise, we’re stuck with conversion.


I chose to recommend the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 as my first pick for quite a number of reasons.

One is the price.

If you buy it on sale, it can cost less than $300. That is pretty amazing in the world of sublimation printers.

To make a comparison, the Sawgrass SG500 is about two times more expensive. Of course, the SG500 is also a dedicated sublimation printer with nice resources, amazing resolution, and amazing inks.

The EcoTank ET-2850 is the model that replaces the ET-2760. And I would say that it does this substitution with success.

I love the fact that it’s cartridge-free, it uses high-capacity, easily refillable ink tanks. So we won’t have any problem with filling up these tanks with sublimation inks that are made for the ET-2850.

The max print size is 8.5 x 47.2 inches.

This will be more than enough for most crafters because not everyone needs to print designs on 13 x 19 inch sheets of paper.

And the max print resolution is 1200 dpi, which is perfect.

2. Epson EcoTank ET-15000: Best Wide-Format Sublimation Printer for Cricut

The ET-15000 is incredibly popular. And it’s wholly loved by people who buy it to convert it to sublimation. There are plenty of reasons for loving it.

If you buy it for conversion, you just need to buy sublimation dyes for the ET-15000 and fill the easy-to-fill supersized ink tanks with these special inks. I love that we get tanks and not cartridges. While I have nothing against cartridges, tanks are just much easier to handle overall.

So don’t use the inks that come with the Epson ET-15000 because these are used for normal printing. Inkjet inks are also used for heat transfer on heat transfer paper but never for sublimation.

Thus, converting these types of printers is very easy and it makes these printers easy to use.

However, if you need further help, there are a lot of tutorials on YouTube about how to convert Epson printers to sublimation.

13 x 19 max print size

Let’s start with one feature that makes the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 stand out.

It’s a wide format model, meaning that it has a 13 x 19 max print size.

It can certainly be an amazing choice for people who want to print bigger designs.

Or for people who want to print a bunch of smaller designs on the same sheet of paper.

Of course, even if we have a 13 x 19 model, we can still use 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14 or 11 x 17 sublimation papers.

These smaller sizes are cheaper, while the 13 x 19 papers are the most expensive, about twice as pricey as the smallest 8.5 x 11 inches sheets.

However, you should also be aware of the fact that the Cricut Design Space imposes a limitation on creators.

The print size allowed is roughly 9 x 7 inches, 6.75 inches more precisely. That’s because this particular design software is created for the Cricut cutting machines.

If you want to create bigger designs, you’ll need to design your images for sublimation with the help of other design software.


Besides the 13 x 19 max print size, there are some other features that make the EcoTank ET-15000 stand out.

One is the quite decent price tag. It costs about the same as the Sawgrass SG500 but their max print size is a big difference between them.

The 1200 dpi resolution is also great.

It will print beautiful images with striking colors.

Those who have converted the ET-15000 to sublimation mention that it’s top notch and one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.

All in all, the Epson EcoTank ET-15000 will always be a top pick for me. It just offers such amazing versatility for a pretty decent price that it’s hard not to like it so much.

3. Sawgrass SG500: Best Dedicated Sublimation Printer for Cricut

Before talking about what the Sawgrass SG500 offers for a pretty expensive price, I wanted to mention something else.

If you buy the Sawgrass SG500 or the Sawgrass SG1000, these will come with the Sawgrass Creative Studio and many other resources so you might abandon using the Cricut Design Space completely.

If there is one major thing I really like about Sawgrass, besides their attention to quality and high resolution, is the fact that they provide amazing resources. So, I definitely recommend using the Sawgrass Creative Studio if you have enough money to afford the Sawgrass SG500 or the Sawgrass SG1000.

Besides that, we also get Sawgrass Print Manager and educational resources integrated.


The Sawgrass SG500 is a nice pick as the best sublimation printer for Cricut.

But it’s not my favorite because it’s pretty expensive, quite hard to find for sale, and the inks are expensive.

With a price around $600-$700, it’s absolutely not the cheapest printer we could buy. Some Epson inkjet printers that can be converted to sublimation will be considerably cheaper, while others will be twice the cost. The final choice will be absolutely influenced by our budget.

Plus, the inks for Sawgrass sublimation printers are not cheap either. Before buying any printer, be it Sawgrass or Epson, you must make sure that you can buy new inks. And that their price would be something you can comfortably afford.

The SG500 comes with the SubliJet HD Ultra High-Definition inks. They’re amazing but they can be quite expensive when we need to buy new ones.

What I absolutely love about the Sawgrass SG500 is the 4880 x 1200 dpi resolution.

That’s an amazing high resolution. We get the chance to sublimate high resolution designs with vivid colors and life-like images. That’s the impressive feature about this model.

The max print size is 8.5 inches. It’s a good max print size and most people will be absolutely satisfied with this size.

The only thing we can’t do is print designs for full front or back for T-shirts of big sizes on the same sheet of sublimation paper. But most people really don’t need a 13 x 19 printer.

The SG500 performs its own automatic maintenance cycle for trouble-free printing, which is another attractive feature.

All in all, the Sawgrass SG500 is an amazing model but only as long as you can afford the price both for it and for the future purchases of SubliJet HD Ultra High-Definition inks.

4. Sawgrass SG1000

We can’t talk about the SG500 without mentioning the other model in their new series, the SG1000.

Sawgrass describes their new series as being eco-friendly and more energy-efficient.

They’re taking over the SG400 and the SG800, bringing WiFi connectivity.

And it describes the SG1000 as the only desktop printer designed for sublimation.

It’s also nice that we get a 2 year warranty for Sawgrass products.

The tray from the SG800 can actually be used with the SG1000, as well.

While the max print size for this new SG1000 is 11 x 17 inches, which can be big enough for most people, you should also know that the tray from the SG800 enables us to print on media up to 13 x 51 inches.

Of course, in order to benefit from that you’d have to have already bought the Sg800 and still have its tray.

The 4800 x 1200 dpi max print resolution is perfect and it will allow us to print vivid, life-like colors and images.

It comes with CreativeStudio design software, Sawgrass Print Manager, educational resources integrated.

And the Sawgrass SubliJet HD Ultra High-Definition inks are included, which are definitely amazing but it will be pricey replacing them.

5. Epson EcoTank ET-2803

If you get it on sale, the Et-2803 can be among the cheapest printers we can convert to sublimation. If you are lucky to find it on sale, it will have a price under $250, which makes it the cheapest pick for the best sublimation printer for Cricut.

Thus, it’s a great alternative to the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 if it is just a bit too expensive for you.

The two have a lot in common so we’re getting high quality for an affordable price.


First of all, we get to pour our sublimation inks for the Et-2803 in high-capacity, easily refillable ink tanks. That’s awesome and it’s very easy to use. Everyone certainly loves these tanks more than cartridges.

The max print size is 8.5 x 11 inches.

Surprisingly, the max print resolution is 5768 x 1440 dpi, which is fantastic.

However, as one user describes it in their review, the Epson EcoTank ET-2803 is an entry-level choice for those who want to dabble with sublimation printing.

It’s an OK sublimation printer and the least expensive way to enter the hobby. I can definitely agree with this description.

All in all, the EcoTank ET-2803 is a highly popular model for sublimation and a large majority of buyers are absolutely satisfied with its performance. That’s great and it can be exactly what you’re looking for if you have a lower budget at the moment.

How do we do sublimation with Cricut?

If we’re using the Print then Cut feature all the way, as it was intended to be used, we’re not actually doing sublimation of any type.

What we’re doing is printing our design from Cricut Design Space on regular printer paper or vinyl, whatever medium we choose.

Let’s say we’re printing on regular printing paper. We’re clearly using inkjet inks because we’re not doing sublimation. Once the image is printed on the regular paper, we’ll load our paper onto a mat and get it cut out. Thus, we’re using the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machine for cutting the design around its edges.

As you can see, that’s totally not sublimation. It’s inkjet heat transfer and it’s great if we want to personalize dark shirts or cotton.

If we’re looking for the best sublimation printer for Cricut that means that we only intend to use their Cricut Design Space for designing our images.

Then we’ll print on sublimation paper with sublimation inks. After the printing is done, we’ll fix our sublimation paper to our object (T-shirt, mug, tumbler, glass objects, acrylic objects, wooden objects, hats, baby clothes, earrings, keychains, etc.) with heat resistant tape.

And we’ll place them in the heat press protected by butcher paper to transfer the design from the paper to the object. Cricut also makes some amazing heat press machines.

That’s what sublimation consists of in a few words.

How to use Cricut Design Space for sublimation

I found this YouTube guide on how to print from Cricut Design Space to a Sawgrass Printer.

It’s actually a short guide on how to design for sublimation and it applies whether we’re using Sawgrass or Epson.

This is a perfect tutorial to watch because it can be used both for Sawgrass and Epson sublimation printers. The steps are the same so I totally recommend watching this video if you want to see how the whole process goes.

It shows us how we can use the Cricut Design Space to design for sublimation.

However, I should also mention that if we’re using the Design Space to design for sublimation we’re limited in the size of our designs.

The print size is roughly 9 x 7 inches, 6.75 inches more precisely.

That’s because this software is mainly designed to be used with the Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker machine for cutting, which is mainly used for HTV/vinyl.

It can work for mugs, smaller objects, and even for T-shirts.

Thus, if you want to make bigger designs for bigger T-shirts, for example if you have a 13 x 19 sublimation printer, then you’ll need to design your images with the help of another design software.

We need a Cricut cutting machine

If we want to use the Cricut Design Space to design for sublimation, we still need to have a Cricut cutting machine connected to Design Space.

It doesn’t matter that we won’t be cutting our sublimation design, we still need to connect a Cricut cutting machine in order to print our design on sublimation paper with our sublimation printer. If you watch the video I recommend, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Of course, those who already own a cutting machine will be totally okay with connecting their cutter to the software.

For the others, I simply recommend using another software to design your images and to enrich your creativity.

Once the cutting machine is identified by Design Space, the Send to Printer button will appear.

We click it, then select the printer model we’re using, and turn off the Add Bleed option. The bleed function is used for cutting and not for printing designs for sublimation.

Then choose Print. I recommend having the Mirror option automatically turned on because most substrates will need a mirror image option.

Why I recommend using other design software

I know that we’re here to talk about the best sublimation printer for Cricut and it will totally work to print from Cricut Design Space with our sublimation printer but I also want to remind you that there are many other design software and apps that you can use, some of them totally free, like Canva, GIMP.

And, most importantly, we won’t be limited in the size of our print, which will totally matter to users using a 13 x 19 sublimation printer.

Plus, the Design Space will automatically create a black square around our image because that’s how it’s designed for cutting and it doesn’t matter that we’re not cutting our design. So we’re wasting a bit of black ink and we’ll need to cut that blank square.

All in all, whether you end up using the Design Space or any other software for designing for sublimation, that’s not what matters the most.

The important thing is that we have many resources at our disposal. And all these resources will be compatible with whatever printer you end up using.

If you need more options, check out my reviews for the best sublimation printer for T-shirts. Or the best for beginners. Or just stick to the recommendations for the best sublimation printer for Cricut, they’re all amazing.