Best Sublimation Inks | for Epson, Sawgrass and Ricoh

In the midst of printing out your favorite logo for your coffee mug, and BOOM! Your printer ran out of ink. Well, we’ve been in this exhausting situation a lot, and believe us, it’s always a task finding the right sublimation ink for the sublimation printers. 

Best Sublimation Inks

Having 4 sublimation printers currently, we’ve tried about 15 brands of sublimation inks in the last decade and here we brought the top 8 sublimation inks that always lived up to our expectation. Among them, Hiipoo is the best sublimation ink for Epson, while the Sublijet by Sawgrass has an unmatchable level for Sawgrass and Ricoh printers. 

And how they’re the best? Well, we test them not only for the colors but also for quantity, ICC profiles, lifespan, compatibility rating, quantity consumption per resolution, and their running ability. Here, we combined all these factors to give you a quick analysis for why you should go with them.

PRODUCT
PRODUCT
Lifespan
Compatibility
ICC profiles
AMAZON
Hiipoo Sublimation Ink
Lifetime
Epson [all series]
Doesn’t require
Printers Jack
8-10 years
Epson [all series], Ricoh
Doesn’t require
Xcinkjet
5-7 years
Epson WorkForce series
No settings
Tonha
6-7 years
Epson [all series]
Doesn’t require
E-Z Ink (TM)
6-8 years
Epson EcoTank
No settings
INKXPRO
7-10 years
Ricoh and Epson [all series]
Downloadable file
WOKOK
6 years
Epson EcoTanks
Doesn’t require
SAWGRASS SUBLIJET UHD
Lifetime
Sawgrass and Ricoh
Doesn’t require

1. Hiipoo Sublimation Ink – best for all Epson Models

9.4/10 – Our Score

Hiipoo Sublimation Ink - best for all Epson Models
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Key features:

  • Compatible with almost all the Epson sublimation printers.
  • The inks are ISO and MSDS certified.
  • No hectic ICC profile setups are required to get the true colors.
  • Supports T-shirts, mugs, metals, and other substrates with permanent colors.
  • It has a high transfer rate for pressing.
  • Never clogging the printer is undeniably the best feature that the ink possesses.
  • Doesn’t need a syringe for printers except for the Epson Ecotank series.
  • it’s highly budget-friendly and runs for a very long time.

Overview: 

Hiipoo sublimation ink has had an unbeatable reputation in the sublimation printing industry for over a decade. The ink’s compatibility with a wide variety of printers to its permanent and vibrant results and that too at a budget makes it a highly worthy sublimation ink to look into. 

Our verdict: 

This is our go-to ink for sublimation when printing from any of the Epson printers. We don’t remember the exact time, but it was somewhere between last summer and fall when we refilled our Epson WF 7710 with this ink (roughly 10 months till now) and we still have half of each bottle left in the cartridges. 

4800 x 1200 dpi resolution

Even though the workload we’ve here is massive. We daily need to print 4-7 designs on an average with a 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution and the way this ink compliments our work plus the budget is truly impressive. In addition, this ink works smoothly in the printer, we never faced any clogs or jamming. 

Last but not the least, the ink colors are very vibrant and vivid. We just download the ICC profile from the Hiipoo for the printer and that’s all the hassle it requires. No manual setup. This saves your time and ensures your color outcomes are as perfect as you’ve expected. 

Though, here’s a darker side of this ink though. It doesn’t work quite well with the Sawgrass printers. Sawgrass printers have their own inks though, and they hardly support any other brand so it’s not that much of a drawback. If you’re running out or setting up your Epson printer, this one is, by far, the best sublimation ink to opt for without any second opinion.

2. Printers Jack – All-in-One sublimation ink 

9.4/10 – Our Score

Printers Jack - All-in-One sublimation ink
02

Key features:

  • It can be filled directly into the printer. There’s no need for a syringe despite any kind of printer.
  • they’re Anti-UV so the sun exposure has no negative effects on the printouts.
  • Offers ICC free printing.
  • It Incorporates three-layer filtering technology which results in more smoothness, vibrant colors, and impressively free ink movement in the printer.
  • It has an Auto-Stop nozzle that prevents messes and ink splashes.

Overview: 

Printer Jack is the most popular among sublimation inks. It’s the most dependable ink for Epson printers and a top choice for the following features. 

Our verdict:

On the first look, the thing that got our attention was the syringe-free refilling. The ink was so much improvised from all its three predecessor models. It comes combined with all the features of previous models individually. they’re Anti-UV, Auto-Fill, plus fill up directly to the printer without syringes and that’s what its previous models lack. 

The ink bottles have a spout with which we could easily fill up the printers—even the EcoTanks! Getting rid of the lengthy and boring syringe transfer was a massive relief, though. 

ink bottles have a spout

If that was not enough, the ICC free printing was the feature where we couldn’t stop ourselves from admiring the ink. It runs very efficiently too. Though, it’s a benefit, and why should it not? The inks do give you a maximum of benefits that you won’t find even half in other types of inks.

3. Xcinkjet Sublimation Ink – best affordable sublimation ink

9.4/10 – Our Score

Hiipoo Sublimation Ink - best for all Epson Models
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Key features:

  • Xcinkjet Sublimation Ink comes in a good quantity.
  • The ink transfer rate is impressive though, it provides good results to the final substrate.
  • it’s Budget-friendly yet has great quality.
  • The installation methods require a syringe that already comes with the printer.

Overview: 

Xcinkjet is a reliable sublimation ink for Epson as well as Sawgrass printers. It has vibrant colors plus a budget price tag that combined gives you both quality and quantity! 

Our verdict:

Xcinkjet was the brand we recently got familiar with. The ink quality compared to its price and quantity effortlessly made it our top consideration. Though the compatibility is quite limited, you can have your entire WorkForce series catered with this—we’ve this ink installed in our Epson WF 7710 model. 

While using this ink, we came across its printing results on various surfaces. It does have standout quality when transferring on the fabric materials, i.e. hats, T-shirts, bags, etc. however, we don’t recommend it to the ceramic substrates. This means that you’ll have an edge with this ink for garment printing. However, for the other substrates, there are better options in this list to look into. 

transferring on the fabric materials

Another plus is the quantity. It came with extra ink, so we use the bottles up to the requirement and keep the leftovers in the cupboard for later use. Their durability is great too. We still have 3 bottles saved while we used one (magenta) after 9 months of opening up and it still works great. However, the ink isn’t so great for the Epson Surecolor series.

4. Tonha Sublimation Ink – best for Epson old inkjet models 

9.0/10 – Our Score

Tonha Sublimation Ink - best for Epson old inkjet models
04

Key features:

  • Compatible with EcoTank, WorkForce, and previous Epson inkjet models.
  • Thin consistency.
  • Allows for ICC-free printing.
  • Rigid air-tight packaging.
  • Smudge-free and fade-resistant.

Overview: 

Tonha Sublimation Ink sits closely with Printer’s Jack sublimation ink. It has similar quality outputs as the printer jack, plus some features are also identical that make it more than a backup ink when these high-end inks are out of stock.

Our verdict:

We use Tonha as a backup sublimation ink when Printer’s Jack gets out of stock. It’s also because we’re not much of a fan of its consistency in the old Epson models, i.e., Epson Stylus C88+ and the Artisan. The ink basically is for the Epson EcoTank and WorkForce series, as their nozzles complement this ink well. 

In addition, the company’s customer service is highly supportive. For any queries about the color shades, and settings with response to the printer, they guide you well. 

We also found the texture of the ink being very natural. It flows like water and this is the reason why it hasn’t let our printer clog even once. In addition to its characteristics, it flows in a thin line from the bottle, thanks to the air-tight design. You don’t need any syringes to waste the product. If needed (for EcoTank) there are syringes that already come with the printer so you can use them for a mess-free transition. 

Here’s an important thing. Don’t use the ink for the installation or conversion method. If you had to convert the printer, you may consider using Hiipoo or printer jack sublimation ink and after it’s finished, you can refill your printer with this ink.

5. E-Z Ink Sublimation Ink – ideal for Epson EcoTank 

8.9/10 – Our Score

E-Z Ink Sublimation Ink - ideal for Epson EcoTank
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Key features:

  • Ideal for converting EcoTank models.
  • Provides sharp print on ceramics and wooden substrates.
  • Comes with gloves and syringes.
  • Resist UV rays and fading.

Overview: 

E-Z is a well-budgeted sublimation ink for EcoTank conversion. It comes packed with syringes and gloves–plus the 3 layer filtered consistency and color profiles go well with the nozzles of the printer. 

Our verdict:

The ink was well-priced and the loaded package couldn’t stop us from trying these magical colorful bottles. Currently, our ET 3760 has this ink and the conversion dates back to 2019. It comes with gloves and syringes, however, we always save up the syringes for a later use, when we’re changing Sawgrass inks. 

The manufacturer claims the ink for the Workforce models as well, however, the color transparency drops down in those bulky machines. So we suggest that you stick to the Ecotank series when opting for this ink, and go for printer’s jack when you want to convert WorkForce printers. 

 transparency drops down in those bulky machines

Well, the ink has a great consistency and goes well with almost any rigid substrate, but you’ve to print at high resolution if printing fabrics. And don’t print cotton when your printer has this ink, you’ll regret it. For the fabrics, Xcinkjet or the Hiipoo will provide you the expected results. 

Also, we’ve to set the ICC settings as per the printer’s guide since the ink doesn’t provide you that, and for the brighter colors sometimes, YouTube videos help to get the right results. 

6. INKXPRO – best industrial-level Sublimation Ink

9.1/10 – Our Score

INKXPRO - best industrial-level Sublimation Ink
06

Key features:

  • Comes with ICC profile settings.
  • Thicker density.
  • Works with Epson and Ricoh sublimation printers.
  • Anti-UV and fade resistant.
  • Meets industrial level color-quality requirements.

Overview

Inkxpro, as the name suggests, is an industrial sublimation ink that gives 2x better results, compared to the printer jack ink. It’s packed with a downloadable ICC profile setup that works for the Ricoh, Epson Surecolor, Ecotank, and WorkForce series. It’s thicker in density and provides super realistic colors, standing with non-fade, UV-resistant, and anti-ghosting abilities to stay on your substrate for years. 

Our verdict:

We’ve Ecotank 4760 model with a CISS setup in which we tried this INKXPRO, and this one shook us with the brightest colors it provides–even beating our number one option, printer’s jack. Ever since, we use this ink in heavier models as it meets the professional level requirements. 

INKXPRO

It comes with ICC settings though, but it’s a year and we didn’t need them. The printer works fine without it when using pressure between 350 to 400F. However, we downloaded the ICC profiles in a Surecolor model and it just gave 3 times better variations. The bottles are well-packed, they’ve a rigid foil pack that keeps the ink safe for a safer use. We keep them at a room temperature to protect its quality. 

Speaking of color, it’s black one is really magical. We meant the “BLACK” you’d expect and very few inks are there with these rich characteristics–Hiipoo and printer’s jack included. Though, it’s thicker and might get your printer clogged if you install it in the Epson 2800 and 2803 model. But, at the same time, it’s compatible with Ricoh printers and cuts down your cost by 70% when you run out of its very own Geljet viscous ink. 

7. WOKOK Sublimation Ink – quality ink for T-shirt sublimation 

9.2/10 – Our Score

WOKOK Sublimation Ink - quality ink for T-shirt sublimation
07

Key features:

  • No syringe required, the ink bottles are installed directly for filling and stopping.
  • No requirement of ICC settings.
  • Best for fabric sublimation.
  • Tested and certified by ISO-9001 and MSDS.
  • 99% transfer rate.
  • Anti-UV and fade resistant.

Overview: 

WOKOK is another well-rounded ink for the Epson EcoTanks. Besides providing quality results on rigid substrates, this ink has a reputation for setting up fabric sublimation projects on higher trends of quality that cashes back to profitability.

Our verdict:

Well, WOKOK is an affordable and an ideal option for the fabric-based sublimation industry. Though it doesn’t come with syringes, a thin nozzle gets the work done without getting your fingertips and work space messy. 

The ISO-9001 and MSDS certification pretty much convinced us to switch our Ecotank printers from Hiipoo to this. And we didn’t regret it. The printouts are brighter than before, and the best thing is, it provides excellent quality results on the T-shirts and pillows–that’s what we’ve been looking for in a while. 

The printouts are brighter than before

Also, its washability is worth mentioning. The ink is ant-UV and fade resistant and withstands 9-13 washes with no cracks. Which means, you can store up the remaining product at high temperatures as well, after refill. However, the ink tips are designed for the Ecotank models, i.e., it doesn’t go well with the cartridge printing system. 

8. SAWGRASS SUBLIJET UHD – best in the market 

9.0/10 – Our Score

SAWGRASS SUBLIJET UHD - best in the market
08

Key features:

  • Gives professional edge to printouts.
  • Vivid color outputs on all types of surfaces.
  • Dries instantly.
  • Economical quantity usage even at higher resolution.
  • Top-marketed ink with the best colors.
  • Comes in 5 colors.

Overview: 

SAWGRASS SUBLIJET UHD is the Sawgrass’ very own sublimation ink, and currently is the most high-grade one in the market. It’s compatible with Sawgrass printers. However, this ink sets your sublimation work at an excellent edge of professionalism. It comes with 5 cartridges and saves up 19.3% than all the existing ink in the market, which justifies its pricier point. 

Our verdict:

Honestly, we can’t think of a better option than the Sawgrass Sublijet UHD, when it comes to the Sawgrass printers. It dries very quickly, lives up to the expectations, and provides the best results one could ask for. 

We tried this ink on all the surfaces, because it was pricier, and we just wanted to test what’s so special about it. The tumblers, elastic pads, wood pieces, canvas, acrylic blanks, T-shirts, blankets, signage, and everything turned out so vividly that we couldn’t stop getting ourselves obsessed with it. 

By far, it’s the only ink working with all the surfaces flawlessly, with such permanent results. And about the price, it’s the same whether you buy from the seller directly or through Amazon. However, on Amazon, you’ll get a complete package with 110 sublimation sheets and they also send you cute gifts with it which you won’t get otherwise when buying from the seller. 

There’s Easysubli ink made for the Sawgrass printers at a budgeted price, but well, they struggle with the quality and is exclusively for Sawgrass only. Besides, SubliJet ink can be used with Epson SureColor and Ricoh printers. In fact, many expert artists prefer that, because of the ensured quality Sublijet ink provides. 

Although the inks are expensive, they also run economically, even at the highest resolution. If you’ve installed the printer on Printer’s jack or Hiipoo sublimation ink, 1400 dpi doubles the amount compared to the Sawgrass, and that’s where your concerns should be if you sell your artworks to keep up the quality to your customers. 

What makes a sublimation ink best for your Epson and Sawgrass Printers: 

Well, ink is the soul of the printer, without which the printer simply can’t work. But the problem is going with the “righteous” ink that actually gives your printer life, so it performs as you want it to. Though, an ink might seem like just a little milliliter of colored water, but here’s a list of characteristics, you need to abide by, or else you’ll forever keep guessing why your printouts aren’t brighter, vivid, or simply don’t carry the image well. 

ICC profiles: 

5 word horror story “ICC color profiles are HEADACHES!”. Basically, these are the profile of your monitor colors and is counted if you’re designing from the PC. The problem arises when there’s a difference between the ICC profiles settings in your PC to your printer, which ultimately results in a change in colors for how you see the image in your monitor vs. how it appears on the paper. Now include the heat pressing, which further alters all of it.  

To troubleshoot it, some inks don’t come with ICC settings, which means the colors will go as it appears on the monitor screen. The best sublimation ink, however, comes with a downloadable file which fixes the color correction and gives you true results.

In the rest of the cases, if you encounter color changes, you can ask the manufacturer or simply watch one or two YouTube videos to get the results, because sometimes, it’s not the ink but the printer’s settings that haven’t been configured. Assuming that, here’s a link to the video that might help. 

Compatibility: 

Compatibility is the most crucial factor to look into. Though almost all the sublimation inks in the market claim that they go well with Epson, but when it comes to practicality, the ink nozzles, consistency, and its profiles don’t go well with certain models. However, in the reviews above, we’ve covered the in-depth analysis, covering all the Epson series [EcoTank, WorkForce, and SureColor], Ricoh, and Sawgrass printers so make sure you paid enough attention to have your shots placed on point. 

Usage: 

The packaging and its refilling method decides how easy or difficult is the usage of the ink. For the EcoTank models, syringes are usually preferred, but recently Printer’s jack new model found the solution for it, making it easy to inject the bottle with no over spilling. The packaging also includes how tight the caps are, what temperature you can store the leftover product, and what required accessories come with the ink, gloves, foil caps, etc. 

Quantity consumption per resolution: 

This is the major difference between inks. Some inks use higher quantities in order to get you higher resolution prints. Examples are tonha, wukok, etc. and they’re also well-budgeted ink so you may use them for home use and set the printer at a lower resolution to extend its lifetime. In contrast to that, there are sublijet inks that work economically even at higher resolutions, and can be your true best friend, for long-term projects. 

Transfer Rate: 

Sublimation inks have a 60% role in deciding the rate at which your print will translate onto your substrate. Most of the brands come with a heat pressing guide so the user may have intended results using those temperatures. They all pretty much follow the same temperatures that’s between 350-400 F. All the inks we’ve chosen here will get you a 99% transfer rate between these temperatures.

Transfer Rate  of sublimation ink

However, you’d also have to look out if the ink offers UV resistance and fade resistance, as it’ll guarantee the quality for years to come. And also, the washability rate, because even if sublimation inks are water-proof, they tend to fade away after 3-4 uses. 

Substrate supported by the ink: 

Some inks are better with a rigid surface, while some goes well with the fabrics, so it’s also a matter of consideration as to what substrate you prefer. If you’re into rigid materials, we’ll suggest inks with thicker density would work as they hold the material well. E-Z Ink is one of the best inks for ceramics and rigid substrates. For the fabrics, a thinner density is preferred, such as WOKOK. 

However, there are inks that support tons of various types of substrates too, such as printer’s jack and Sublijet. However, they’re pricier inks and only recommended for well-grounded business enterprises. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

No, sublimation inks varies in density, filtration, and characteristics, i.e., UV resistance, fade resistance, compatibility, and lifetime. In addition, some are oil-based while the other is composed of water. So you’ve to decide what type of ink suits your printer and meets your printing requirements, and of course, the price you decide what you’re getting into. 

No, sublimation inks have different chemicals and they cause a color disaster if you mix them. Worst-case scenario, you’ll get your printer, printouts, and the papers wasted, and sometimes, the ICC profile never sets back to its original settings, if you do so. 

Black sublimation prints turn green because of not enough heat pressure and the use of low-quality inks and paper. Therefore, it’s always recommended using the right ink that goes best with the printer’s model along with the sublimation paper with higher transfer rate. 

Yes, you can use sublimation ink for printing photos and a lot of other stuff, only if you’ve an intention to transfer them with a heat press. Direct prints on cardboard and glossy papers won’t give you satisfactory results because sublimation ink needs heat pressure to get brighter. 

Ending Note:

Deciding on which one is the best sublimation ink depends on how you intend to use it and what your possible expectations are. If you’re converting Epson models, we may suggest Hiipoo is the ideal choice, while if you own some of the Ricoh units along with 1 or 2 of Epson, Printer’s Jack may help you get your desired results. While Sawgrass Sublijet is the ultimate solution, if you don’t mind spending a lot on the quality in returns of the high-end yields. 

Whichever ink you choose, make sure you keep the same brand for the same printer. If changing, clean your printer first, using a cleaning kit. 

Hope you got all your answers. Let us know in the comments which one you’ve got and what ink brand you preferred the most, and why? 

Happy sublimating!

Emily

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