What temperature do you use for sublimation tumblers? [7 easy steps]

What temperature do you use for sublimation tumblers? Sublimation printing is a fantastic technique that can be used to produce wonderful designs on various materials, this thrilling process uses heat to create a permanent design on almost any surface, the technique is getting more and more recognition worldwide due to its straightforward nature and ability to produce long-lasting and beautiful outcomes.

The sublimation technique works on countless types of canvases including a tumbler, various types of tumblers require different temperatures to create an excellent outcome, and the recommended temperature for different types of tumblers and everything you need to know about sublimating tumblers will be explained in detail.

tumbler 8
Image source: pinterest.com

Best temperature for sublimating tumblers

Several materials serve perfectly well as canvases and tumblers are one of these materials, you can sublimate tumblers to personalize them, enhance their appearance, and make them even cooler.

Though some tumblers are perfect sublimation canvases you should know different types of tumblers vary in properties, which means they can withstand heat differently. Different types of tumblers suitable for sublimation are explained below alongside the recommended temperature for sublimating the tumblers.

Glass tumbler

Glass tumblers are my favorite, they are transparent and beautiful, and they make an excellent canvas for this wonderful technique. The transparent nature of glass makes the perfect surface to bring out your creativity and enhance the beauty of your design, this transparency also allows your designs to pop up and be easier to notice.

Though glass is a nice surface that guarantees clear and vivid prints, it is also a very fragile material, this means that you have a higher chance of destroying your lovely sublimation tumbler and ruining your creation before even getting to see it.

This also means that it has a higher chance of destroying if the temperature settings are not carefully set or if too much pressure is applied when handling the heat press or tumbler press.

tumbler 12

I recommend using a glass sublimation tumbler only if you’ve tried many other canvases and you are used to the process already, if this is the first time you are sublimating you should stay away from glass to avoid any mishaps, go for something more durable that will be easier to work with.

Some nice choices for newbies include ceramic mugs or anything made of stainless steel, this material is more durable and won’t break or get damaged easily, which means that you have a lower chance of messing it up.

If you are dealing with glass you should stick to using low temperatures to avoid cracking to damaging the canvas, I recommend 360 – 400 °F to get an amazing outcome, which allows the sublimation ink to permeate the glass surface effectively without causing any damage.

Use moderate pressure to avoid compromising your creation. Another important aspect to consider is the time you will use the heat press or tumbler press, glass gets damaged easily so use no more than 240 seconds.

tumbler 4
Image source: pinterest.com

Ceramic tumbler

Ceramics are highly durable materials and they are suitable for sublimation, they easily absorb sublimation ink and they produce stunning sublimation outcomes.

Ceramic cups are designed to absorb ink and spread it readily all over the heated surface, this is why they are microwavable and suitable for dishwashers.

The hardness of ceramic tumblers makes it easier to sublimate because you don’t have to worry about damaging the canvas when handling the heat press or tumbler press. What temperature do you use for sublimation tumblers like these? I recommend using a temperature range of 380 – 400 °F for ceramic tumbler sublimation, this range allows easy penetration of the sublimation ink and produces a nice and durable finish.

tumbler 15
Image source: michellespartyplanit.com

You can design anything you want on your ceramic sublimation tumbler, from famous quotes by science legends to sketches of your favorite athlete, if you have a clear picture in your mind, it can go on your tumbler.

Ensuring uniform heat distribution throughout the sublimation process is crucial, this helps you avoid hot spots which can cause uneven printing and color distortion. Use the recommended temperature and apply constant pressure when handling the heat press to get excellent outcomes.

You should also be cautious when handling the heat press or tumbler press to avoid destroying your masterpiece.

tumbler 5

Plastic tumbler

Plastic tumblers are nice canvases and they produce awesome results, I found that people easily make mistakes when sublimating plastic so if you’re dealing with a plastic tumbler you will need to be very careful when handling the tumbler press or heat press.

You should also go for plastics specifically designed for sublimation to ensure they have better heat resistance and that sublimation ink will adhere easily. Using recommended sublimation tumblers makes everything easier, they have a special coating that makes the bonding process very easy and improves the durability of the printed design.

Plastic is more susceptible to heat damage than most other sublimation canvases, so you must be cautious with the heat press or tumbler press because you have a high chance of destroying the canvas. Use a heat press temperature of 400 °F for plastic tumbler sublimation.

tumbler 7
Image source: ywtlpress.com

Stainless steel tumbler

This is one of the most common types of tumbler and an excellent canvas for sublimation. A stainless steel tumbler sublimation requires an easy process.

Don’t forget to get heat-resistant gloves to avoid burns and heat tape to keep your stainless steel tumblers in place. Stick to the recommended sublimation tumbler times and don’t apply too much pressure to prevent mishaps and to guarantee a result you will be proud of.

tumbler 11

How to sublimate a tumbler

Sublimation can be a fun and exciting adventure when the right tools are used and when the correct steps are followed, don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s instructions on your heat press, tumbler press, or mug press before sublimating.

Sublimating a tumbler is an easy process that can produce mind-blowing results when the right instructions are followed, the procedure to safely sublimate a tumbler is explained below.

tumbler 13
Image source: wellcraftedstudio.com


Preparing everything you will need for this fun process is the first thing to do, this includes preparing the space you will be working and making it clean, after preparing the workspace, you will have to get your tumbler ready and make sure it is clean.

I recommend cleaning your big or skinny tumbler with lukewarm water and a lint-free cloth before the process. It would be best if you then gathered all the supplies you will need for the sublimation process. Below are the necessary things you need to get a nice outcome:

  • Heat press, convection oven, or tumbler press: you can get either of these three to sublimate your tumbler safely. You might need an oven thermometer if you are using a convection oven.
  • Sublimation printer: get a high-quality printer to get sharp prints and a clear design.
  • Sublimation paper: use high-quality sublimation paper to get a great result.
  • Sublimation ink: choose high-quality ink to get vibrant colors and ensure a smooth appearance.
  • Heat-resistant tape: you’ll need heat transfer tape to hold your design in place, this tape has to be heat resistant to prevent melting.
tumbler 1
Image source: pinterest.com

Take measurements

After making sure everything is set you will need to decide on where you want your sublimation design to be and measure the dimensions of your tumbler, these measurements will be used to correctly position your design.

Choose your design

Now you have to choose what you want on your beautiful tumbler, if you can print it then you can sublimate it so this could be anything. Cool examples include a funny quote or a detailed design of your first name or nickname.

Print it out

After selecting what you want, print it using any design software of your choice, I recommend using popular and reputable ones like Canva or Adobe Illustrator. After designing it print it out.

tumbler 9 1
Image source: pinterest.com

Secure your design

Next, you will need to secure your design on your tumbler, use a heat-resistant tape to hold the sublimation paper or transfer paper on your tumbler, and make sure there it is extremely tight.

Use as much heat tape as you can especially if you are using a convection oven sublimation method instead of a heat press or tumbler press.

Sublimate your design

It’s now time to sublimate your tumbler, if you are using a convection oven set it to the recommended temperature and leave the tumbler in for 6 minutes. If you are using a tumbler press or heat press set it to 365 °F and press it for 80 seconds. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions during this process.

tumbler 16
Image source: amazon.com

Let it cool

Using heat-resistant gloves take the tumbler out and remove the transfer paper.

After sublimation allow your fantastic design to cool. By following the simple steps explained above you can sublimate on a skinny tumbler, big tumbler, or even water bottles and create beautiful outcomes.

tumbler 10
Image source: pinterest.com


What temperature and time do you sublimate a tumbler?

When dealing with sublimation tumblers use an average temperature of 380 °F and use not more than 240 seconds.

How long do you heat press a 20 oz tumbler?

If you’re working with a 20 oz tumbler you should sublimate it for 80 seconds and use a temperature of 365 °F.

What temperature do you heat press sublimation cups?

When using a heat press for a sublimation cup apply moderate pressure and use a temperature of 356 °F.

What is the standard sublimation temperature?

The recommended temperature for sublimating to achieve bold prints and beautiful outcomes is 400 °F.

Can you sublimate a plastic tumbler?

Yes, by following the right steps and applying moderate pressure you can easily sublimate a plastic tumbler.

tumbler 3
Image source: pinterest.com

The bottom line

Sublimation printing is a wonderful technique that can produce vivid prints and mind-blowing results done the right way. By following the necessary precautions and using this article as a guide you can easily sublimate any tumblers you can get your hands on and produce vivid and awesome outcomes.

Marc Marsh

Your go-to guide to unveil the incredible potential of printers beyond the ordinary. As you delve into my blog, prepare to be amazed by the boundless horizons that these ingenious devices can unlock. Yes, you heard it right – printers aren’t just about mundane documents anymore.

Leave a Comment