What Size Heat Press Should I Get?

A heat press machine is an essential equipment for you if you are searching for some machine that will transfer your designs on your t-shirts or other garments as well as cups, mugs, or other materials.

Choosing the right machine for your purpose will not be easy as there are various types of heat press machines based on size, temperature range, printing ability, or budget.

This article will help you to choose the best machine for your need and also demonstrate a comparison between 15×15” and 16×20”

Types of Heat Press

Depending on the heat palate and its moving, heat presses can be classified into 3 major categories. Let’s discuss them first:

1. Clamshell heat press

This kind of press has 2 palates called upper heat palate and lower heat palate. Together they consist of clamshells or jaws. It is comparatively cheap, needs less space and durability is also good.

2. Swing away heat press

It’s almost the same as clamshell heat presses. The upper heat plate of this machine can be adjusted. The major difference between these two is that the upper palate of swing-away machines can push fully out of its way by completing a 360-degree rotation.

This heat press lacks durability and needs extra care for cleaning. But they are safer to use.

3. Draw heat press

In both clamshell and swing away machines the upper plate is moveable. But here the lower plate is moveable. It is similar to a drawer that can be taken out.

You must stay careful while using this machine to eliminate the bottom plate sliding.

What Size Heat Press Should I Get?

What Size Heat Press Do I Need?

The size of heat press machine is one of the main factors to consider when choosing a heat press machine. Size of machine matters where size of the cloth or anything else that can be pressed depends on it. If you plan on pressing large size things, you will need a large machine. If you plan on pressing small size items, you will need a small machine.

Small, medium, and large heat press machines are commercially available in the market. Let’s discus more about these 3 size in details with available sizes, advantages and their disadvantages:

1. Small Size Heat Press

A small size heat press machine is a great option for those who are looking for a compact machine that is still able to apply high-quality prints. This type of machine is also good for those who have limited space, as it can be easily stored away when not in use.

Popular available small heat press sizes are:

Popular available small heat press sizes are
  • 9″ * 12″ Heat press
  • 12″ * 14″ Heat press

Small Size Heat Press Advantages

  • Less expensive than larger machines.
  • Take less space.
  • They are lighter and easier to move.
  • Small size heat press often come with features that larger machines do not have.


  • May not be able to fit larger size cloths onto the heat press platen.
  • Smaller machine may not have as high pressure as a larger one, so you may not get the result you want.

2. Medium Size Heat Press

This size is the perfect machine for small businesses or start-ups. With a smaller footprint than large heat press. Also perfect for those with limited space. This machine comes with all of the features of larger heat press, but is smaller and more compact.

Popular available medium heat press sizes are:

Medium Size Heat Press
  • 14″ * 16″ Heat Press
  • 15″ * 15″ Heat Press
  • 15″ * 20″ Heat Press

Medium Size Advantages

  • It can be used to press a variety of things, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, and more.
  • A medium-size heat press machine evenly distributes heat, making it good for pressing a variety of things.
  • Medium size heat press can be used to press custom designs and logos.
  • Perfect for small businesses or those who want to start their own heat press business.
  • Good investment that will last for years to come.

Medium Size Heat Press Disadvantages

  • Medium size heat press machines is that they can be less durable than their larger size.
  • Their smaller and larger counterparts may have more features, but they still pack a punch.
  • Sometimes problems happen with extra-large or odd-shaped.

3. Large Size Heat Press

Great investment for anyone who wants to start their own business or print shop. With a large-size heat press machine, you’ll be able to print on a variety of materials, including t-shirts, posters, and even canvas.

Large Size Heat Press

Popular available large heat press sizes are:

  • 16″ * 20″ Heat Press
  • 20″ * 25″ Heat Press


  • The ability to print on a variety of sizes and materials makes this machine versatile.
  • Large size offers more pressure.
  • Offer a larger surface press area.
  • More power, which can be beneficial.

Large Size Disadvantages

  • Main disadvantage of large size heat press is, that it’s need much more space.
  • Expensive than smaller and medium heat press.
  • Difficult to store and transport.
  • More challenging to use, especially for beginners.

15X15 Vs 16X20 Heat Press Machine (Medium Vs Large Size Heat Press)

15×15” is pretty handy for t-shirts whereas 16×20” is more appropriate for both t-shirts and coarser clothes like hoodies or sweatshirts. Let’s see what are the difference between them.

15X15 Vs 16X20 Heat Press Machine

Size Ratio

15X15 is a kind of medium size heat press. It is good for medium-size businesses as they have a lot of power. whereas 16X20 is a large size press with more power than 15X15 and is best for bulk work.

Thickness of Printed t-shirt

With 15X15 you can press thin clothes like t-shirts and do repetitive work. On the other hand, 16X20 is suitable for both thick and thin garments. like tees and hoodies.


16×20 Heat presses can operate 24/7. So its productivity is pretty high compared to 15X15.

Price Comparison

15X15 provides the best versatility for price.16X20 is more of an easy alignment and large with some extra price.

Using Experience

The shape of 15X15 is very handy. It needs less space and this size is easy to move. But 16X20 is a little big and heavy, which makes it hard to move.

Features and Functions of Heat Press Machine You Should Consider While Selecting Heat Press Size


It is very important to identify your purpose for buying a heat press machine. You don’t need a large press for only t-shirt printing. That will cost your money.

It becomes much easier to pick the best one for you if you know what you exactly want to do with the machine.

Pressure and force knob

If Pressure and force knobs are hard to handle it can cause some issues afterward. so it is necessary that you choose the one with easy pressure and force knob adjustments. It will surely make your work easier and more pleasant.

The main reason behind this is that you need to make sure you put the right amount of pressure on the right material.

If the implied Pressure is more than required it can cause backaches. On the other hand, putting less pressure will not help you to print your design on your t-shirt.


This is one of the main features of a heat press. The temperature range of your heat press has a significant impact on the materials you can print with. T-shirts normally just need to be heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 176-177 degree Celsius. Understandably thicker clothes like sweatshirts or hoodies require a higher temperature.

Temperature control with Timer

Talking about temperature and leaving temperature control would be a crime

Nowadays the majority of heat press machines have the timer feature and it allows you to adjust the exact heating time based on the material you are using.

Who wants to give his/her consumers a burned product! Nobody, I guess.


No need to tell why is budget important. It will balance your need and expenses.

Consider factors like workload or how much space you have to keep your machine, whether you want to take it out for work or not, and who is working with it.

This will get you close to your best pick.

Note: It’s important you research the product before you buy it. Check for original reviews of the product. It will help to find out the performance of the particular


To sum up, if your goal is to print only t-shirts and run a small business 15X15 is the perfect pick for you. But if you are buying a heat press for industrial use or planning to do sublimation prints 16X20 is the best heat press machine for you.

Read More Heat Press and Others Textile Related Articles on:

How To Clean A Heat Press Machine

Can You Use a Sublimation Heat Press for Vinyl?

How to Wash Clothes in Bathtub (Easy Step-By-Step Guide)

How to Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl on a Cricut Machine

Types of T-shirt Printing & Let Know About All the Different Methods

How to Wash Screen Printed Shirts & The Best Way

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