The t-shirt has quickly become a staple in the everyday American outfit, so it only seems right that a surplus of t-shirt brands have popped up along with that. Some t-shirt brands are exceptional and offer great comfort and quality at a fantastic price. Others... not so much. They would rather market their t-shirts as “designer” products with “designer” price tags, but not exactly deliver on that “designer” quality.
If you’re new to the t-shirt game finding a go-to brand can be like trying to find a diamond in the rough. Trust us, we know it can be very irritating to try to decipher all the complicated material statistics and sales pitches, trying to find the best bang for your buck. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with an in-depth breakdown of what we firmly believe to be the top 5 t-shirt brands out there for all of your printing needs.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, it is important to note that this list is not in any particular order. These t-shirt brands are all phenomenal in their own unique ways and have special features that vary in appeal based on your preferences as a t-shirt printer. Now let’s get into it.
Gildan is a common favorite among many t-shirt printers, and for good reason. Gildan is arguably the best brand in terms of value, offering a variety of durable and comfortable t-shirts at some of the lowest prices in the industry. Take for example the Gildan G500. Although it may appear to just be a standard t-shirt, it’s quite comfortable with its relatively soft and heavyweight 5.3 oz. 22 single cotton knit. In simpler terms, the shirt has that cozy heavyweight feel with a nice soft touch at the surface. The best thing about this shirt is that you can normally get it for just over a buck, especially if you plan on buying in bulk!
This unbeatable value isn’t only just provided by one item either. Consider the Gildan G640 which has a much finer and softer ringspun cotton compared to the G500, giving it a much lighter and more delicate feel. It typically sells for only around $2.50, about a dollar cheaper compared to most ringspun cotton t-shirt counterparts. If you’re looking to save some money without compromising any quality, Gildan is definitely the way to go.
Hanes is kind of like the rival to Gildan. They are both what we would consider value t-shirt brands, and it should really come down to preference when you are choosing between the two. Once again, the value on t-shirts such as the Hanes 5280 is superb, offering a middleweight soft fitting t-shirt at just over $1 just like the Gildan G500. In fact, many times price is the deciding factor between Hanes and Gildan, which is no surprise for two companies that have been in marketing and price wars for years now.
3. Next Level
If you’re a t-shirt printer that is getting a little tired of printing on the same old standard cotton t-shirt time and time again, Next Level should be a breath of fresh air. When it comes to the t-shirts provided by Next Level, there is a true focus on comfort and quality.
For example, the Next Level 3600 is not at all what you would consider a typical t-shirt. It features 100% combed and ringspun cotton for an exceptionally soft feel as well as side seams for a fit that more matches the contours of the human body. T-shirts provided by Next Level are just about as comfortable as they get, but do come with a slightly higher price tag ranging from $3 to $4 dollars for the 3600. This is still great value for a shirt of this quality, however.
The other great thing about Next Level is their focus on women’s clothing. Items such as the Women’s Ideal T-shirt (Next Level N1510) and the Women’s Ideal Racerback Tank (Next Level N1533) are bestsellers, and favorites among printers looking to offer some more options to their lady customer base. Definitely check out Next Level if you’re looking for more t-shirts fitted specifically for women.
Just like how we said you could consider Gildan and Hanes rivals of one another, the same could be said about Next Level and Bella+Canvas. Over the past decade or so, Bella+Canvas has made a huge push for utilizing a much higher quality airlume ringspun combed cotton, instead of the typical carded open-ended cotton which is much cheaper to produce. In turn, their main t-shirt, the Bella+Canvas 3001C, has quickly risen to the top as one of the most common favorite t-shirt choices among printers looking for a higher quality t-shirt.
Overall, when choosing between either Bella+Canvas or Next Level, no one is going to judge you for just choosing the lower price. These two brands are extremely similar in feel and quality and many times price is really the only differentiating factor between the two. One thing we will say, though, is we will give the slight nudge to Next Level in terms of value in women’s clothing. However, Bella+Canvas is still a great option if that’s what you prefer which is why it is featured on this list.
This last brand is a bit of a wild card compared to the other brands featured on this list, but it gets the last spot for one reason. All of its products are made right here in America. We know that a lot of you t-shirt printers out there are hardcore patriots and we love that. So we wanted to include a quality brand that features t-shirts only made here in the US. Looking for a nice and comfortable USA made cotton t-shirt to print? Go ahead and try out our personal pick in the BA5040.
Overall, there are plenty of t-shirt brands out there, both good and bad. We figured we would make your lives a little bit easier by providing what we consider the top 5 brands. For more expert advice for your t-shirt printing needs, feel free to check out our blog or our website if you're looking for some of the lowest prices on t-shirts and apparel!