The 5 Best Sublimation Papers in 2021 [Buyer’s Guide]

You’ve probably heard about sublimation paper if you work in the printing industry. But, if you’re new to this world, you’re probably wondering what sublimation paper is.

In a nutshell, sublimation paper is a type of printing paper that allows ink to be absorbed and retained. Ink is released onto the material by laying the paper on a blank surface and heating it.

And as you’re here, you’re probably on the lookout for a sublimation paper. This is why we’ve prepared for you a well-researched list of the best sublimation papers out there. So, let’s have a look at our top 5 picks!

At a Glance:

  • 1. A-SUB – Best Overall
  • 2. DyeMaster – Most Advanced
  • 3. Koala – Diverse Pick
  • 4. Texprint Dye – Colorful Choice
  • 5. Printers Jack – Best for Mugs

The 5 Best Sublimation Papers in 2021

It takes a lot of time and effort to find the perfect sublimation paper. So, to make the process easier, we’ve created the following list of the 5 best sublimation papers in the market.

And now, let’s dive in!

1. A-SUB – Best Overall

A-SUB Sublimation Paper

The most fantastic sublimation paper for printing on many mediums is the A-SUB sublimation paper. It’s used on premium ceramic, tile, phone cases, and metal plates. It can also be used with polyesters and fabrics with less than 30% cotton.

When it comes to its size, A-SUB is pretty versatile; there are sizes of 8.5” x 11”, 8.5” x 14”, 11” x 17”, and 13” x 19”. So basically, there’s a size for every use, big or small.

What’s more, it’s considered a thick type of sublimation paper. Its thickness is between 120-130 GSM, which is higher than the average of 123 GSM in other sublimation papers. A thick paper is essential and easier to use during sublimation printing as it prevents creasing and also withstands stress; who wants a paper that isn’t stress-tolerant during sublimation?

In addition, A-SUB holds ink perfectly, so you’ll be having a greater quality of transfers.

However, this sublimation paper might be a bit costly, but you’re definitely going to get that money back with all its perks and practicality.

Pros:

  • High-quality, non-sticking paper
  • Dries quickly
  • Thick paper
  • Doesn’t crease easily
  • Absorbs ink well

Cons:

  • A bit costly

Bottom Line

The A-SUB sublimation paper is your go-to option when you want to print top-notch sublimation projects.

2. DyeMaster – Most Advanced

DyeMaster

A DyeMaster sublimation paper is excellent if you want a versatile paper that works on different items. It’s considered to be one of the most advanced sublimation papers in the market.

What we love most about DyeMaster paper is its incredible performance. In a couple of seconds, you’ll receive fantastic, high-quality results. So you shouldn’t worry about your sublimation paper taking too long to dry completely. All you have to do with this paper is wait three seconds, and you’re ready to go.

In addition to its high quality, DyeMaster treats your eyes with the vibrant colors it produces; it’s just a visual delight. So whatever medium you’ll use for your sublimation projects, this paper will make sure to grab everyone’s attention.

However, it’s challenging to know which side of the paper is the front and which is the back. This is important because you need to know which is the print side of your sublimation paper.

Pros:

  • Mind-boggling drying time
  • Versatile
  • High-quality image
  • Stunning colors
  • Long-term and dependable

Cons:

  • Not easy to differentiate between front and back

Bottom Line

The DyeMaster sublimation paper is an outstanding choice because it generates sharp images with vibrant colors. Not to mention, it has an exceptional drying time.

3. Koala – Diverse Pick

Koala Sublimation Heat Transfer Paper

Koala sublimation paper is one of our top picks for your sublimation printing needs. This is because it offers enough options to ensure that you can complete any project you set out to do.

So whether you prefer the smaller size of 8.5” x 11” or the larger 11” x 17”, the Koala sublimation paper can handle both jobs efficiently.

Just like A-SUB, this sublimation paper is also a thicker-than-average brand of paper. It’s usually between 120 and 130 GSM. As we said, this thickness is perfect for preventing creases and folds in your transfers.

Also, Koala sublimation paper has an ideal weight that helps you get the most satisfactory results when transferring your drawings.

And when it comes to its price, Koala doesn’t break your bank; it’s pretty much affordable.

What’s more, it’s beginner-friendly, so it suits people who are just starting their sublimation printing journey.

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Ultra-quick drying
  • Vivid and crisp image
  • Colors linger for a long time
  • Exceptional rate of transfer
  • Excellent quality

Cons:

  • Only works with a heat press machine

Bottom Line

Koala sublimation paper is one of the best choices to be used for a diversity of projects. It’ll also deliver excellent quality without breaking your bank!

4. Texprint Dye – Colorful Choice

Texprint Dye Sublimation Paper

The Texprint Dye sublimation paper is one of the ideal options for printing stunning graphics on key chains, mugs, mousepads, and phone cases. Its special coating prevents it from breaking and allows it to easily be compatible with sublimation ink.

Also, Texprint Dye offers good ink load stability, a high transfer rate efficiency, and a rapid drying time. Besides, it’s completely recyclable. And with its versatility, you won’t need to buy multiple dye-sublimation papers for different products. It also adds vibrant color and texture to your design, making it a fantastic eye-catching object.

Plus, Texprint Dye comes with a free thermal heat tape, making your overall experience with the paper even easier. However, the tape may leave a mark on your objects, so take care of this aspect.

Pros:

  • Colors are bold and vibrant
  • Works on a wide range of surfaces
  • Dependable and long-lasting
  • Completely recyclable

Cons:

  • Tape may leave marks behind

Bottom Line

If you want a colorful, eye-catching design, then Texprint Dye has got your back. It’s versatile, dries quickly, and is long-lasting, all helping you produce the desired results.

5. Printers Jack – Best for Mugs

Printers Jack Sublimation Paper

Printers Jack sublimation paper is a perfect choice to put colorful images on any mug, phone case, purse, or shirt.

It has excellent color reproduction, so it’ll also grab people’s attention! Besides wonderful colors, Printers Jack sublimation paper has an ultra-high transfer rate of 98%, ensuring an easy and reliable process.

It’s also budget-friendly, so you can enjoy the perks of this sublimation paper while you’re on a budget. You’ll even save more money while using it as its ink consumption isn’t high.

However, Printers Jack sublimation paper isn’t as thick as others on this list. But it can definitely deliver your designs with ease.

Also, its sizes aren’t diverse, so it won’t be your best pick when it comes to really small or really big projects.

Pros:

  • High transfer rate
  • Easy to use
  • Fade-free
  • Works well with inkjet printers
  • Stunning colors

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have diverse sizes

Bottom Line

If you want to print some stunning photos on your mug, Printers Jack sublimation paper would be your way to go! With its high transfer rate, it’ll deliver reliable designs.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Sublimation Paper

Before you choose your sublimation paper, there are crucial factors to consider. Let’s check some of these important factors.

Color Quality

This is something to keep in mind when making a purchase. Sublimation papers must bring out bright, life-like colors; you don’t want to walk around with items that have dull, faded colors.

Drying Time

This is a significant issue with sublimation papers. The sublimation ink on many papers takes a long time to dry. So, always use a paper that takes seconds to dry because the faster the papers dry, the faster you can finish printing your projects.

Transfer Rate

The transfer rate improves the aesthetics of the design while also conserving ink. Therefore, your transfer paper should have a minimum transfer ratio of 95% to ensure a successful printing job.

A proper transfer rate should also result in high-quality, high-resolution prints and lower the likelihood of color blurriness. Fortunately, many current sublimation papers have a high transfer rate, with some as high as 98% in specific cases.

Thickness

A thinner paper will curl and distort if you’re printing damp artwork with a lot of ink. However, a thicker paper can withstand stress and is less likely to crease or fold.

The average thickness of sublimation papers is 23 GSM, with some types going up to 30 GSM. When choosing your paper, always opt for a thicker one.

Also, we have a small tip here; if your design has a combination of heavy and light inks in some areas, you may want to choose a thicker paper to avoid any issues.

Warp Degree

Sublimation paper is a form of coated paper that requires constant coating to minimize warp. Because the coating layer is inconsistent, one side will dry faster, and the other will dry at a slower rate. This will affect the overall sublimation process. So make sure to check the warping degree and the coating consistency before choosing your sublimation paper.

Compatibility

The sublimation paper must work with your equipment. It’s a waste of money and time to use paper that isn’t compatible with the accessories. So, you have to check to see if the potential sublimation paper will work with your printer. Inkjet printers are compatible with almost all sublimation papers.

It’s also crucial that the paper size you use is compatible with your printer. Your ink and paper must also have good chemistry. The more consistent the paper is with your accessories, the better the results will be.

Number of Spots on Paper Surfaces

The amount of spots on the paper surface is a crucial consideration when choosing a sublimation paper.

Spots are expected during the manufacturing process and can degrade image quality when printed. In addition, when only transferring one color, the spot can impact the transfer outcomes. As a result, it’s preferable to select a transfer paper with a low number of spots on the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Paper is Used for Sublimation?

Sublimation is a printing technique for putting images on various materials. Sublimation paper is essential for this technique to be successful. This is because it has a unique coating, which enables it to contain the sublimation ink. This is why we don’t use regular printing paper in sublimation.

Is Sublimation Paper Reusable?

No. Any brand of sublimation paper can’t be re-used.

How Do I Take Care of My Sublimation Paper?

Because this sort of paper absorbs moisture, it can quickly get destroyed if left in a humid environment. So, when not in use, it’s best to keep it in a sealed bag.

Is Knowing Which Side of the Paper to Print Necessary?

Knowing which side of the sublimation paper is printable is crucial. A mark or color indicates the printable side of most of the papers. The final design must be on this side of the paper for correct printing.

Final Thoughts

There is rarely a single paper that’ll work for all uses when picking the best sublimation paper.

And after reading the reviews of the best sublimation papers, it’s clear which comes on top.

A-SUB is the best sublimation paper on our list, and it’s ideal for people aiming for thick papers that can deliver top-notch quality projects.

If you want an option with a mind-blowing drying time, DyeMaster sublimation paper will be your go.

However, if you want a more versatile, budget-friendly choice, opt for Koala!

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