The best heat transfer paper is very important when you want to create your own illustration for a T-shirt or other clothes. Along with a special printer, it allows turning unremarkable textiles in original and commemorative ones. Whether you are doing it for yourself or for a gift, you will obviously need the bright and good looking images that will withstand last for a long time.

If you have ever tried to print an image on a T-shirt, you have probably faced such issues as cracking or some crumpling noise on the images. Well, why does this happen? The problem might not have been in your design skills or in the printer, it may lie in the quality of a heat transfer paper that you use.

However, what is heat transfer paper? And how can it help in the creation of the most durable images? The heat transfer paper is an intermediate tool for thermal transfer of images to fabrics, ceramic, leather, and other types of surfaces. A special thermal transfer printer prints the selected image or decorative element on the heat transfer paper and after that it transfers to the final product. The printer fixes the pattern on the base by the influence of temperature and pressure. The inks evaporate when the material comes in contact with the surface, and then the image transfers to the product, being firmly fixed. The paper, used for a thermal transfer printing, is made from progressive polymers, so it can be used for laser and sublimation printing, but most frequently it’s used with inkjet printers.

Sometimes the image can look good at first, however, if the transfer paper is of bad quality, it will crack and fade over time. The high-quality heat transfer paper creates stunning images that keep their look wash after wash. It also allows creating volumetric decor with imitation of textures and even embroidery. The images can be combined with glitter, rhinestones, compositions that glow in ultraviolet rays.

The choice of the best heat transfer paper can be difficult taking into account the number of products that a modern market offers. However, it will be much easier if you have an understanding of what you are searching for when making a purchase. We offer you 5 great heat transfer paper decisions and an informative guide on how to choose the most suitable option.

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Heat Transfer Paper Reviews

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Jh-Best Crafts 12″ X 10′ Feet Roll Transfer Paper w/Grid

Jh-Best Crafts 12″ X 10′ Feet Roll Transfer Paper w/Grid
This heatpress transfer paper from Jh-Best Crafts is a great option for those who don’t want to break the bank on their purchase: it goes with 4 additional feet as it’s longer in comparison with its analogs from other manufacturers (12 in x 10 ft). Plus, the same piece of this paper can be used up to four times before it loses its sticky qualities.

The present heat transfer paper is universal as it can work not only with textiles but also with any sleek surfaces like walls, glass, ceramics, etc.

This paper saves time: the bright red square grid lines contribute to the smooth and accurate applying. Thanks to such a feature, the chance of misalignment is minimal. So generally, this heat transfer paper is easy in exploitation and suitable to be used for the first time.

The materials, used for the manufacturing of this paper, are of high quality as they can withstand great pressure. Thus, the images, created with its help, will most likely stand the test of time. Plus, it makes this paper suitable for difficult, long projects.


  • The paper is very versatile and can perform various chores.
  • It’s very flexible.


  • It’s not completely transparent so you may not catch some small details.
  • The material is a little bit cloudy.
  • This paper may seem too thick for some customers.

Craftopia Transfer Paper Tape Roll 12 inch x 25

Craftopia Transfer Paper Tape Roll 12 inch x 25
It’s quite a volumetric transfer paper tape roll of 25 ft, designed for those who have dozens of projects to complete. It goes along with a special blue or pink squeegee with the felt tip so you could engrave even patterns on any surfaces. This tool can also help get rid of any bumps or bubbles, making the surface perfectly flat. It has easy to follow instructions on how to use this paper as a tool for making crafts

This heat transfer paper goes with a blue alignment grid for simplified applying and provides accurate backing of your work. This feature also allows aligning the chosen design with the template. Plus, this grid is also completely transparent so you are able to see through it without missing any details.

These heat transfer sheets can be also used on many kinds of surfaces (metal, ceramic, glass, etc).


  • It’s easy to transfer, align, and position.
  • It can be reused several times.


  • It will quickly lose its adhesivity if you use it on wood.
  • Too complicated for beginners.
  • It demands efforts and a good amount of pressure for transfer.

Angel Crafts Transfer Paper Tape – 12 Inch by 8 Feet, White

Angel Crafts Transfer Paper Tape – 12 Inch by 8 Feet, White
This heat transfer paper is made on a base of a rubber-based adhesive. This feature is very convenient if you want to speed up the whole process and to save some time. Plus, it doesn’t leave sticky marks. It’s suitable for those who are limited in the budget due to its affordable price.

If you are wondering “how to use heat transfer paper?”, this product from Angel Crafts may be a very good option for you: it goes with easy to follow instructions, understandable even for those who are dealing with a transfer paper for the first time. And if you will strictly follow instructions, the image will look just as it looks on your screen. Plus, this paper consists of the clear side and a grid side, which also simplifies the work greatly. It’s transparent enough so you won’t miss out.

This paper has enough level of tackiness to be reused several times. Just don’t forget the stickiness will start wearing out under the influence of air, so don’t forget to do the work as fast as you can to reach maximum efficiency.


  • It doesn’t create air bubbles. You don’t even need to use the squeegee.
  • Easy and fast to release.
  • This model transfers on any smooth surfaces.


  • This paper may be too sticky.

Avery Printable T-Shirt Transfers, For Use on Dark Fabrics 5 Sheets

Avery Printable T-Shirt Transfers, For Use on Dark Fabrics 5 Sheets
This transferable paper for T shirts from Avery is designed for dark clothes. It can be used on any cloth made of 100% cotton or cotton/polyester mix. The manufacturer provides very detailed transfer and maintenance instructions.

Avery uses the Color Shield technology to provide long-stay vivid colors on dark surfaces. And a special white layer prevents the image from getting lost on dark textiles.

Besides, this paper is quite an affordable option. For a cheap price, you will get five 8-1/2 x 11-inch sheets. Plus, Avery’s website provides a bunch of completely free templates and design ideas for transfers.

This paper can be cut by electronic cutters and customary scissors as well. If you transfer the image using an iron or a heat press machine, it will require only 2-3 minutes to cool down, after which you can peel the paper away.

Note that it cannot be used with any T shirt transfer printer. It’s designed to work only with inkjet printers.


  • The Avery provides wash durable images that will withstand at least 20 washes.


  • It can’t be used on any surfaces other than fabrics that composed mostly of cotton.
  • If the fabric surface is not dark enough, it won’t provide a high-quality image on it, so be attentive.


The present heat transfer paper is designed for usual and inkjet printers as well. It works with dark and black cotton, cotton blends, and synthetic fabrics, and goes in a pack of 25 individual 8.5×11″ sheets.

This hot peel heat transfer paper is made of high-quality materials as it provides really vivid and solid result. This fact also makes this paper suitable for the transfer of the most detailed pictures. It takes only 30 seconds to heat up, which allows creating multiple prints really quickly. As a result, you will get a plastic-textured finish. However, the fabrics will require careful washing thereafter, but it will guarantee durability.

For operating with this heat transfer paper you will need an iron or heat press that is 350°F. It requires only 30 seconds of pressing under medium pressure and after that, it can be peeled away.


  • This paper transfers smoothly even on the wrinkled materials.
  • It holds up to 25-30 washes.
  • It is easy to cut due to the thickness.


  • When the paper is wet it may leave spots on the image.
  • The provided instructions are difficult to understand.

How to Choose the Best Heat Transfer Paper

Firstly, it should be noted that the heat transfer paper is the main thing in the process of thermal transfer. The quality of the transfer and the final product directly depends on the paper quality. As a rule, people who have been engaged in printing the images on different items never risk saving money on transfer paper. The special heat transfer printers for T shirts and toners don’t significantly affect the print and transfer quality. So let’s highlight some issues that you need to pay attention to when making your purchase decision.

1. Which kind of paper do you need?
There are several types of heat transfer paper. Firstly, it’s necessary to consider the surface: there is heat paper for light or dark surfaces. Some manufacturers also indicate for which kind of pattern the paper is designed: glossy or matte.

2. Is it necessary to consider the compatibility of paper and printer?
When choosing the heat transfer paper, you should also pay attention to its compatibility with your printer. The manufacturers of paper, as a rule, have special tables that show the compatibility of various types of transfer paper with various types of printers. You can also test the paper yourself on your printer but with extreme caution.

If the paper is selected incorrectly or the testing was inaccurate, it can damage printer shafts: the paper often sticks to the hot shafts and wraps around them.

Frequently, the proper paper selection for a particular printer is not easy. Some printers just refuse to accept the heat paper from certain manufacturers for no reason. And the point is not in the quality or type of the paper, it all depends on the printer.

3. What are the characteristics of a high-quality heat transfer paper?
By choosing a high-quality paper for transfer, you can create images endowed with the following advantages: thin lines, high degree of detail, rich color palette, wear resistance. A picture from such a paper can be easily transferred to materials with a relief surface, buttons, and zippers. At the same time, it will be fixed in a few minutes (or even seconds), without requiring additional time for drying.

The right transfer paper for T shirt provides photographic image quality with smooth tone transitions. It doesn’t absorb ink completely and doesn’t smear them on the surface of the sheet.

The main characteristics of a high-quality heat transfer paper are as follows:

  • A two-layer structure consists of a substrate and a printing base. Its front side has a loose structure, and the substrate is impermeable since it was subjected to a chemical pretreatment.
  • It evenly spreads paint over the surface, preventing its smearing. The printed image slightly rises above the surface of the T shirt (or any other cloth or item) and looks volumetric.
  • The heat transfer paper is able to provide vivid color reproduction.