Heat Press Machines

Whether you’re doing sublimation, toner heat transfer, or vinyl, you’ll want a quality heat press to ensure your projects come out looking their best.

There are several styles of heat presses to choose from, including swing away, clamshell, auto press, and heat presses for specialty products like drinkware, hats, and garments. Heat presses are available in a wide range of platen sizes to fit virtually any project, from small 8” x 10” hobby heat presses to 44” x 64” maxi presses.

When choosing a heat press, you’ll want to make sure you get a press that can handle the projects you want to create and fit in your available space. Selecting the right press for you and your business can lead to fewer press errors and make your production output more efficient.

Johnson Plastics Plus offers a wide range of heat presses to fit any shop and budget, with financing options available. If you’re unsure about what press is right for you, our team of equipment specialists can help make sure you get a press that will fit your needs now and in the future.

three different heat presses with a pillow and baseball capthree different heat presses with a pillow and baseball cap

Your transfer is only as good as your heat press…

You could have the perfect, personalized sublimation, heat transfer, or vinyl design for your customer, but if you don’t have a good, quality heat press your finished project might not live up to their expectations.

A high-quality heat press will ensure you’re getting even temperature and pressure across your entire transfer. The right press will give you transfer results that are consistent and repeatable, saving you time and money from having to redo transfers that were ruined by heat platen cold spots or light pressure zones.

Two of the most popular types of heat presses are swing aways and clamshells. On a swing away press, the top can swing completely away from the bottom part, giving consistent pressure while a clamshell opens up and down, similar to a clamshell.

heat press sitting on a table next to a stack of customized itemsheat press sitting on a table next to a stack of customized items

Swing-Away vs Clamshell Press

Which Heat Press is Right for Your Business?

The two most common types of heat presses on the market are Swing-Away and Clamshell. Each style has its benefits and choosing the right style for your business is an important step in your heat press purchase.
angle view of an open heat press

Swing Away

A Swing-Away press features a top heating platen that “swings” out to one side, giving you easy access to the item you’re pressing. The top platen comes down onto your item in a single top-down motion, ensuring even pressure for the best and most vibrant results. Swing-Away presses require a little more space due to the top platen “swinging” away from the base. However, the “swing” action reduces the chances of accidentally burning yourself when placing a product into the press. Swing away heat presses are perfect for garments and textiles and offer the most consistent results with every single finished project.

Even, consistent pressure

Easier to press garments and textiles

Allows pressing of thicker items

hot pink craft press in the open position


A Clamshell press has a top heating platen that closes from back to front, which makes it a great choice for shops and offices that have limited space. Because the platen closes from back to front, there is the chance that the item being pressed can shift during the closing process, causing “ghosting” for sublimation items. However, when closing the press with a slow, consistent motion, a clamshell press can give you great press results with sublimation or vinyl. We do not recommend using a clamshell press with toner heat transfer.

Great for smaller spaces

Works with sublimation and vinyl

Portability for on-location crafting

mug press with different customized drinkwaremug press with different customized drinkware

Ramp up your drinkware personalization with a JP700 Drinkware Heat Press!

Designed specifically for a wide range of drinkware, the JP700 will take your drinkware personalization to the next level! The JP700 Drinkware Heat Press comes with four interchangeable heating elements: one for 11oz and 15oz mugs, one for water bottles, one for 11oz latte mugs, and one for 17oz latte mugs. Also available are attachments for 20oz “skinny” tumblers and shot glasses (sold separately).

The JP700 Drinkware Heat Press will give you the ability to customize a wide range of drinkware for sublimation or heat transfer with consistent, reliable results every time. Check out some of the most popular drinkware options below.


Get Inspired!

See what you can create with sublimation or heat transfer and a high-quality heat press.

With a sublimation or toner heat transfer printer and a quality heat press, you can offer your customers any of the thousands of blanks we offer, and each has been tested to work with your chosen personalization method. From home décor items to drinkware and soft goods like t-shirts and blankets, you’ll find something to personalize for every customer and every budget!

Stahl heat pressStahl heat press

Heat Press Resources

Need help deciding what press is right for you? Check out some of our helpful heat press videos downloadable product guides. And if you still have questions, you can contact one of our helpful Customer Service representatives who will make sure you’re getting the right heat press for you and your business.

cover image of the Heat Press Guide

Heat Press
Comparison Guide

The easiest way to compare the different types of heat presses that we offer from swing away, to clamshell to drinkware… you’ll be able to compare size, temperature range and more!

cover image of the Hat Press Guide

Hat Press
Comparison Guide

Knowing which hat press is best for your company can be difficult, but we make it easy with our one page comparison guide!


Can you use a regular printer for sublimation or toner heat transfer?

You will need a specific sublimation or toner heat transfer printer and the accompanying paper to create custom designs for transferring with a heat press.

What do I need to print t-shirts at home with a heat press?

To print t-shirts at home using a heat press, you will need:

  • A heat press machine
  • A printer (sublimation or toner heat transfer)
  • Heat transfer or sublimation paper
  • T-shirts (preferably made of a high percentage of polyester for sublimation)
  • Graphic design software for creating designs

Is it better to screen print or heat transfer?

The choice between screen printing and toner heat transfer depends on your specific needs. Screen printing is better for large quantities and provides a durable and professional finish. Toner heat transfer, on the other hand, allows for more detailed, full color designs, and is more suited for smaller quantities or personalized items.

What is the difference between heat press and heat transfer?

A heat press is a device used to apply heat and pressure to transfer a design onto a material. Heat transfer, on the other hand, refers to the process or technique of transferring a design onto a material using heat and pressure, which is facilitated by a heat press. Thus, the heat press is the tool, and heat transfer is the method or process.

What are the different types of heat presses?

Heat press types include clamshell heat presses, which operate like a clamshell, suitable for beginners; swing-away heat presses, where the top plate swings aside, providing full access to the work area. Auto heat presses automate the operation, enhancing production efficiency. There are also presses designed for specific items: Hat and Cap heat presses conform to the curved shape of hats, caps and other headwear for a perfect transfer, while Drinkware heat presses are shaped to handle mugs and cups, allowing for customized designs on cylindrical surfaces. There are also programmable, interchangeable, all-in-one and transportable heat presses. Read our Heat Press Guide or Heat Press Comparison Guide to learn more!

Is a 15”x15” heat press big enough?

A 15”x15” heat press is large enough for many applications, such as pressing designs onto T-shirts, tote bags, sweatshirts, pillowcases, aprons, flags/banners, canvas bags and other medium-sized items. A 15”x15” heat press a popular choice for both home crafters and small businesses due to its balance between workable space and the convenience of not taking up too much room. However, if you plan to work with larger items or require a larger pressing area for batch processing or larger graphics, you might need a larger press. It's important to consider the size of the items you intend to use with the press to ensure it meets your needs.

What is the best size heat press for T-shirts?

The best size heat press for T-shirts is a 16”x20” press. This size provides enough space for most T-shirt sizes and allows for a more generous working area to accommodate placement of larger designs or graphics. It also gives a bit of extra room around the edges, making it easier to align the shirt and design correctly. However, a 15”x15” heat press can also work well for many standard T-shirt pressing tasks, especially if you are working with smaller sizes or if space and budget are constraints.


Talk to one of our trained experts to make sure you get the right equipment for your business! From printers to heat presses and everything in between, we'll take the mystery and uncertainty out of the buying process and set you up for success!


Let our team of experts be your trusted source for equipment, blanks and supplies!

When you purchase your equipment through JPPlus, you'll not only get FREE lifetime tech support but also FREE remote installation.

Our friendly team of equipment experts will help get you up and running and help troubleshoot any issues that may come up.

woman using a heat presswoman using a heat press


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