Sublimation Paper Types – Which One is best for Vibrant Transfer

We are in the sublimation business for over six years now. Bringing designs to life on mugs, t-shirts, tumblers, and other sublimation blanks is kind of my thing.

And in these years, I have tested many sublimation paper brands and found a few reliable ones that never disappoint me. So I am writing this piece on a sublimation paper instead of doing a quick DIY job for my client.

Today, I want to help you make an informed decision about purchasing the right sublimation paper. But you might ask, can’t I pick any sublimation paper to get the job done?

Well, not exactly. See, here is a thing. Sublimation papers vary according to size, coating, basis weight or GSM, tackiness, drying time, durability, and several other factors. I know that these terms can be a bit overwhelming, but it is necessary to have a basic understanding to choose right.

What sublimation paper to use for best results?

A-sub 125 GSM is the ideal paper to use in an Epson or Sawgrass printer. As it absorbs the colors very well and has a high transfer rate onto a wide variety of blanks like t-shirts, mugs, tumblers, wood, etc.

And the type of surfaces you plan on infusing your designs with eventually determines the paper you should get. 

Throughout this piece, I shall help you look at the top 5 sublimation papers whilst making it easier to decide which to pick.

Sublimation papers comparison

Quick list of the top 5 sublimation papers

Even though everyone likes a good mystery, it is better to be upfront while listing sublimation papers. Therefore, we shall start with a quick list and what each paper is good at:

  • A-SUB sublimation paper: Great for Epson printers and Best Overall
  • Beaver TexPrint DT: Good for Sawgrass printers
  • HTVRONT sublimation paper: Superior in terms of printer compatibility
  • Hiipoo Sublimation paper: Ideal for fabric
  • Printers Jack sublimation paper: Ideal for a wide range of substrates

Now that you have the list, you can always go and check all of the brands of sublimation paper individually.

Intrigued already! Keep reading on as I explain each sublimation paper exactly the way I found them to be. 

The 5 Best Sublimation Papers in 2023

Let us now get to review each type of sublimation paper comparison with a focus on compatibility, usage, and every other relevant aspect:

1. A-SUB sublimation paper

I did mention why I feel that the A-SUB sublimation paper is the best type you can invest in. Starting from a competitive price point of $8.49 for the smallish 4” x 9.5” sheets to the easy availability and seamless usage, A-SUB beats a lot of other brands in several key areas. Let us delve deeper:


Don’t we all love paper variants that work with almost every type of sublimation printer? A-SUB is one of those variants but with a special liking towards converted Epson printers.

I tested the A-SUB sheets with my converted Epson ET-4800 and found that the designs were exceptionally vibrant. Even I have tested the A-sub sublimation papers with Sawgrass printers and the output print is as vibrant as the Epson ones with some negligible differences. Plus, the manufacturing manual says that A-SUB sheets can work really well with large-format inkjet sublimation printers. 

As for the substrate, this paper works really well with blended fabrics, polyester, and polyamide. While the company urges you to try the same on hard substrate, I would recommend sticking to the fabrics for now, especially if you are a newbie.

The ink-based compatibility is also extensive, with SawGrass Sublijet UHD, Hiipoo, and Cosmos ink variants working seamlessly with the same. 


You can always head over to the official website to check the paper varieties that A-SUB, the brand offers.

You can choose from an extensive array of sizes — 8.5” x 11”, 8.5” x 14”, and 13” x 19”, a few to name. Plus, there is an option to opt for the number of sheets you want to get for each size, with the stacks ranging between 110 to even 150 sheets per the preferred size. This makes your life easier in case you always follow highly specified printing instructions with a focus on size.

Coming to the basis weight as a selection metric, you can pick anything between 75 GSM to 140 GSM, depending on the substrate you are looking at.

Do note that 75 GSM paper is the lightest and precisely meant for fabrics and faded images. You can use 90-100 GSM sheets for glass, metal, and even ceramic substrates.

Paper sheets rated at 120 GSM work really well with polyester blends and hard substrates. They even keep ghosting and fading out. And finally, if you want to design those hoodies and blankers, a 140 GSM paper sheet is what works best. A-SUB has all the varieties for you.


The usage depends on the type of paper (basis weight) you pick. Regardless, it is important that you take a closer look at the instruction manual associated with each paper type and follow the temperate and pressure recommendations to the T.

That will help you perfect the print. Still, if you are looking at a ballpark, most paper sheets and sublimation blanks respond to a heating range of 365-392 degrees Fahrenheit and a pressure range of 30 to 50 psi

However, these paper sheets have a standard drying time of 60 to 120 seconds, which you must keep in mind for perfect design infusion. 

Technical elements

Well, if you are a pro, this segment will make sense to you. A-SUB paper sheets have a high transfer rate of almost 98%. This metric stands for the percentage of ink that gets inside the substrate. As you can see, it’s remarkably high. Additionally, there is a special clay-silica coating that works like a charm and places A-SUB right at the top in regard to print quality. 

Another factor that works in favor of A-SUB sheets is the tacky surface. This feature increases the sheet-substrate connection. Finally, these sheets are also heat-tape resistant, making them easier to secure. 

  • Offers an excellent transfer rate
  • Quick drying mechanism
  • Affordable
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes and thickness choices
  • Some users have experienced paper jamming.
  • Some heavy paper and large sheets can be expensive. 

2. Beaver TexPrint DT Heavy: Ideal for Sawgrass printers

Trust me when I say that Beaver’s TexPrint lineup of sublimation paper sheets is definitely one of the market leaders. And today, I shall focus specifically on the Beaver TexPrint DT heavy paper stack, boasting 110 sheets and a sheet size of 11” x 17” to be exact. Let us take a closer look at what it brings to the table. 


Firstly, the Beaver TexPrint DT heavy is a top-notch sublimation transfer paper, meaning that it still works the best in response to heat and pressure. Coming to its printer compatibility, this paper stack works really well with Sawgrass printers. While I used the SureColor F-series printer — F170 to be exact (not compatible), the results with Sawgrass Virtuoso and converted Epson – 4780 printers were the best. 

Ink-wise, TexPrint DT works well with pigment-based and sublimation ink variants. As a professional, I would urge you to test the same with the likes of InkTec and Mutoh inks over anything else. You can even consider using the SubjliJet-RTM dye sublimation ink variants for the best possible results. Also, as each TexPrint DT sheet is heavy paper, you can expect it to work well with metal, glass, ceramics, and a wide range of other substrates. 


If you want to go paper hunting TexPrint style, you can easily get your hands on sheets with basic weights ranging from 105 GSM to all the way up to 140 GSM. The 105 GSM and 115 GSM sheets are the most popular, with the former working like a charm with Epson printers and the latter fitting in just right with SawGrass SG500/1000 sublimation printer.

You can even pick any roll size you want, depending on the size of the substrate you are dealing with. The choices range from 17” to 63”. 


Even though the usage requirements are pretty standard, Beaver has a workable temperature standard of 380-420 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the sheet GSM you choose, the pressure application can be set anywhere between light to medium-high. Beaver is one of the sublimation paper brands to offer the quickest possible drying time, but the same will still depend on the type of ink and even the substrate you choose. 

Technical elements

As an aspiring sublimation professional, here are a few important aspects related to the TexPrint DT that you should be aware of. Firstly, the transfer paper is resistant to off-settings and smudging, which ensures top-notch printing. Plus, the transfer rate is anywhere between 95% to 98%, depending on the substrate you are using. 

The coating dries up quickly and even keeps bleeding out of the question. However, it lacks a lot of tackiness, which can work well if you want something that’s peelable or rather removable. Yet, for more impactful heat pressing, low tackiness can become an issue. But you can always use heat-resistant tapes with this paper type. 


  1. Works really well with hard substrates like mouse pads, ceramics, and more.
  2. In case you plan on using it for fabrics, athletic wear t-shirts and hoods can really shine with TexPrint DT.
  3. Quick-dry coating for faster absorption.
  4. Excellent transfer rate.
  5. Comes in a wide range of thicknesses (GSM) and sizes.


  1. It can be a bit more expensive compared to other paper sheets in the same category.
  2. The heat pressing settings can vary a lot depending on the GSM and substrate variety. All that can become a bit difficult to track. 

3. HTVRONT sublimation paper: Perfect in terms of printer compatibility

If printer compatibility is one of your priorities, I would ask you to consider the HTVRONT sublimation paper over everything else. The best thing about this paper type is its size — 13” x 19” — a feature that makes it good enough for larger surfaces. Let us learn a bit more about this paper type.


Well, here is a good thing. You can own any inkjet printer, and this sublimation paper will work like a charm. I tested it with one of my all-time favorites — the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500 — and everything, right from the print quality to the transfer rate, was impeccable. Do note that the HTVRONT sublimation paper works equally well with printers from HP, Canon, Epson, and more. 

However, you can expect the best results with the  HTVRONT sublimation ink, especially if you plan on working with light-colored fabrics, including bags, t-shirts, and pillows. If you have any substrate where the cotton content is less than 30%, this paper type is the one to go with. But that’s not the end of the road for HTVRONT. The paper works equally well with coasters, mugs, phones, cases, metal plates, and more. 


The thing with HTVRONT sublimation paper is that you might be able to get your hands on a wide range of variants, but the one you end up purchasing — the 13” x 19” paper sheets — does the job right. The pack I purchased had 120 sheets, each costing under 30 cents. Yet, if you are only interested in small mugs, crop tops, and other substrates with a smallish surface area, the 120-sheet 8.5” x 11” pack is the one to get.

Each sheet that way would cost you $0.13. Another good thing about this paper type is the minimal to zero bleeding — a feature that would save you almost 20% of your yearly paper usage. And for that, you do not need to look at the types and can pick almost any pack of any roll size.

Plus, the uniform 125 GSM basis weight is the reason why it acts like heavy paper and even works with sublimation blanks other than fabric. 


Firstly, the HTVRONT sublimation paper works with a wide range of sublimation blanks with the advisable temperature range shifting depending on the material. The paper is way too strong for a standard ceramic mug, which makes the suggested temperature range go as low as 280-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

For textiles with cotton content lower than 30%, you should push the range up to 356-392 degrees Fahrenheit

As for the ideal pressure setting, anything between 20 to 50 psi feels like a sweet spot. As for the time under the heat press, anything between 0 to 4 minutes might be needed, depending on the substrate. 

Technical elements

As for the specifics, the HTVRONT sublimation paper has an excellent high transfer rate of 98%. And if you notice closely, the coating on this one feels a tad thicker, making it less likely to bleed. The tackiness is optimal, and I could see the less-than-a-minute ink drying rate during my usage. 

Also, this paper type saves a lot of ink and doesn’t even curl, helping you get the best transfer quality. 


  1. Excellent transfer rate.
  2. Excellent printer and substrate compatibility.
  3. Distinguishable logo pattern to help you choose the right side.
  4. No curling and bleeding. 


  1. Prone to fingerprints
  2. The colors aren’t as vibrant for surfaces with more than 30% cotton content.
  3. Works best with HTVRONT ink. 

4. Hiipoo Sublimation paper: Ideal for polyester fabric

I was initially a bit apprehensive while picking up the Hiipoo sublimation paper as I didn’t want to work with 8.5” x 11” papers for now. Yet, Hiipoo as a brand surprised me with its affordability, paper quality, substrate compatibility, and a few other traits. Let us find out more:


If you are willing to use Hiipoo sublimation ink (s) and any compatible Epson or Sawgrass sublimation printer, you can make the most of this paper type. Personally, I would prefer Epson inkjet printers as I own a few, but during my extensive review, I realized that the Hiipoo sublimation paper works really well with Ricoh variants. 

Substrate-wise, Hiipoo works well with DIY ideas ever, including mugs, tumblers, mouse pads, plates, bags, polyester-based clothing fabric, and more. And finally, if you are interested in ink-specific compatibility, these sheets work well with every kind of Hiipoo’s proprietary ink option.


The variant that I picked to review came with 110 sheets, each of 120GSM. Also, each sheet was 8.5” x 11”, making it useful for mugs and medium-sized t-shirts. And yes, every other substrate that is medium to small can really be made to look good with this size of sublimation paper.


How you use the paper would depend entirely on the type of substrate you plan on using! As it is a 120 GSM paper type, the pressure and temperature requirement would be on the higher side. This would ensure that the ink transfer is optimal. Another important aspect of using the Hiipoo sublimation paper is that the printable side is clearly distinguishable. 

And finally, if you are interested in substrate-specific usage, you should be extra careful while dealing with ceramic mugs as they respond the best to medium pressure and the longest exposure — even three to four minutes if needed.  

Technical elements

As mentioned, the transfer efficiency of the Hiipoo sublimation paper is close to 98%. This ensures that almost every bit of the ink gets infused with the substrate. Next, we have the ultra-dry mechanism where you do not need to wait even for a second. The ink dries almost immediately after it gets out of the printer. Even though the tackiness was more than adequate for me, you might even want to try those heat-resistant tapes to keep the paper aligned with the substrate. 

Despite not needing it, I tested and found that heat-resistant tapes work just fine with the Hiipoo sublimation paper. 


  1. One of the best transfer rates.
  2. Quick-drying mechanism
  3. Works with a wide range of printers and substrates


  1. Performs best with Hiipoo inks.
  2. Some users have experienced curling, which isn’t the best trait for a sublimation paper. 

5. Printers Jack sublimation paper – Ideal for a wide range of sublimation blanks

The last one on the list, or the Printers Jack sublimation paper, makes it to the list due to its extensive substrate-specific compatibility. And if you look at the pricing, each sheet costs 15 cents, making it one of the more affordable picks in the market. 


For starters, the Printers Jack sublimation paper is compatible with almost every Inkjet printer around. From Epson to HP to SawGrass to more, the list keeps going on and on.

However, as it is a dye-sublimation paper with relevant coating, you should consider pairing it only with dye-sublimation ink variants and not anything else.

Printed using Printer’s jack paper

You are better off using it with the Printers Jack lineup of Sublimation inks. And if you are searching, you can choose between classic, anti-UV, auto-refill, and other ink-specific variants. But that’s not even the best thing about using the Printers Jack sublimation paper. It boasts excellent substrate compatibility, allowing you to print your DIY magic on the likes of mouse pads, ceramic plates, puzzles, phone cases, and more. 


If variety is your buzzword, then the Printers Jack sublimation paper has you covered. Coming to the roll size (s), you can choose between 8.3” x 11.7”, 8.5” x 11”, 13” x 19”, and a few other variants depending on your preferences. I personally tested the 8.5” x 11” version, and the results were more than satisfying.

Not just that, you can even toggle between paper thickness or basis weight options as Printers Jack allows you to get 105 GSM, 120 GSM, and 125 GSM versions. The variety in regards to basis weight is the primary reason why it is compatible with most substrates. 


If you want to make good use of the Printers Jack sublimation paper, you might have to consider customizing the pressure, temperature, and time-specific standards to match the requirements of the substrate. The maximum temperature for any use case (specifically for mouse pads) can go as high as 374 degrees Fahrenheit

The pressure application can range between medium to heavy depending on the surface, whereas the max timeframe could go as high as 6 minutes in the case of a porcelain board. Do note that all these specifications are keeping the 125 GSM sheet in mind. 

Technical elements

Like most other options on the list, even the Printers Jack sublimation paper comes with its own highly specific traits. These include a 98% transfer rate (helping with complete infusion), a decent level of tackiness, bleed-proof coating, and certainly the quick drying functionality.


  1. It has one of the best transfer rates among the ones I reviewed.
  2. The paper takes almost no time to dry, thereby speeding up the entire process.
  3. Comes in a wide range of sizes and basis weight (GSM) options.


  1. Some users have complained of printer jamming.

Things to consider while selecting a good sublimation paper

Now that I have listed five of my go-to brands of sublimation paper, here is a list of what I usually consider while selecting:


Always look for a paper that’s compatible with most printers, like Epson, SawGrass, and more. And even though some brands might promise top possible performance with their own sublimation inks, nothing beats a paper that can work with other dye- or even pigment-based inks.

GSM (Paperweight)

Depending on the substrate you want the design to infuse with, you can pick sublimation papers with varying GSM or basis weights. You can start as low as 70 GSM if you are a newbie and looking for some affordable options. You can go as high as 140 GSM if you want to print hoodies and on thicker substrates.

Coating type

On closer inspection, you can find sublimation papers with either high-release or low-release coating. While the high-release sublimation papers work with thicker ink coats, the low-release ones are meant for light-colored substrates and work perefect with thinner coats.


The size of the paper you choose is important, depending on the substrate you choose. And if you like a paper better than others, it is important to see if you can get your hands on different sizes of the same, especially to get the desired surface-to-print fit. 

Apart from these factors, you also need to consider the transfer rate (higher the better), drying time (lower the better), heat resistance, brand reputation, and even the price before purchasing. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Paper for Sublimation Right

Now before you purchase the ideal sublimation paper for your needs, here are a few do’s and don’ts that you need to follow religiously to make the most of sublimation crafting:


  1. Set up the printer correctly and always mirror the design before printing.
  2. Handle the paper carefully to avoid creasing and smudging.
  3. For paper types with low tackiness, always use heat-resistant tapes.
  4. Preheat the heat press to get the optimal temperature.
  5. Always use protective gear before handling the sublimation ink.


  1. Do not try sublimation with any printing ink or paper.
  2. Do not put more pressure than recommended.
  3. Do not overheat, as it might lead to discoloration
  4. Do not expose the paper to moisture.

Regardless of the brand you choose among different sublimation papers on the market, always read through guides like these to choose well. I will always be around to help. 


  1. What is the difference between light and heavy sublimation paper?

The major difference here is the basis weight. A light sublimation paper typically has a GSM rating of 70 to 100. Anything between 120 to 150 GSM is considered heavy. 

  1. What is the best weight for a sublimation paper?

While the ideal paper weight typically depends on the type of substrate you plan to print, 120 GSM to 140 GSM makes the most sense regarding availability and compatibility. 

  1. What is the difference between 120g and 125g sublimation paper?

The major difference between a 120 GSM and a 125 GSM paper sheet is almost negligible. However, minor changes can translate into different pressure, temperature, and time-specific usage patterns specific to the substrate. 

  1. What temperature should the TexPrint sublimation paper be?

While the specific temperature depends on the substrate and also the required pressure, the TexPrint Sublimation paper works perfectly at high-temperature zones, close to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  1. Is Thicker sublimation paper better?

Not necessarily. However, if you have plans to print designs on metal, hoodies, bags, and even blankers, thicker paper types — 120 GSM and above — make sense. 

  1. What is the recommended paper setting for sublimation?

The ideal paper setting will depend on the substrate type you plan to work with. However, for the sake of answering, the temperature range can be 380-400 degrees Fahrenheit, the timeframe can be anywhere between 45 to 60 seconds, and the pressure setting can be set to medium. You might also consider setting the right ICC profile or, rather, the color management system to get the best designs printed on the paper. 

  1. What sublimation paper to use for cotton?

Sublimation printing is strictly a polyester-specific process and doesn’t agree with cotton. Yet, some paper types, like the Forever Subli-Flex 202, can even work relatively well with cotton-based fabric choices. However, some fading and cracking can be experienced over time. 

  1. What sublimation paper to use for tumblers?

If you want to pick the right sublimation paper for tumblers, your focus should be on selecting the smaller ones and the ones that can handle curved surfaces. Some of the best picks include TexPrint-R or DT and A-SUB sublimation paper.