by | Mar 23, 2021 | Crafting, Z

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021 @ 1:24 pm.

What's the best heat press to make your own caps or hats? We asked the heat press enthusiasts among our parent readers for their suggestions. Then we took a deep dive into researching each candidate. We wanted to know which were easiest to use? Best for beginners? More advanced users? Here are the ones we recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best For Beginners

Great for larger designs
Loved how easy this machine is to use—quick set up and heating. Also nice: aluminum plate has longer life than other designs we researched. LCD digital control is great.
$132.30

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Best For Beginners: VEVOR Heat Press 6×3.7Inch Curved Element Hat Press

When it comes to heat press machines for hats (ball caps, specifically), you have two main options: larger machines that can do larger designs to fill up the entire crown, or smaller heat press machines that are best for smaller logos.

If you are a beginner and want a press that can do larger designs, we’d recommend one of our reader favorites: VEVOR’s Heat Press. With a curved plate that is nearly six inches wide, this heat press can cover an entire hat crown with a design—and is super easy to use for those just starting out.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to set up.

• Lage plate area (5.5″ by 3.5″).

• Great for beginners.

• LCD digital controller.

• Aluminium heating plate has longer life than others we researched.

• Auto time setting that sounds alarm and stops heating at preset time and temp.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• May need to be bolted down so it doesn’t tip when in use.

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Best For Small Businesses

Professional looking results
Easy to set up, this heat machine can handle large logos and designs up to 5.5" by 3.15". Perfect for that side hustle. Sturdy, but is best to mount on a non-slip mat.
$159.90

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Best For Small Businesses: SHZOND Hat Heat Press

If you run a small business and need to churn out hats with logos, this heat press is a good bet. We liked how easy it was to use, with digital LCD time and temperature controls. The only downside: it is so popular it’s sometimes hard to find in stock!

What We Liked

• Quickly heats up.

• Easy to use.

• Sturdy.

• Great for DIY crafters or a side hustle.

What Needs Work

• May need to place unit on a non-slip mat to keep it from sliding around.

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Best For Smaller Logos

Easy to use
If all you want to transfer is a small logo on a hat, then this mini-heat press is great solution at a price that doesn't break the bank. We liked the compact size and quick heat.
$31.98

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Best For Smaller Logos: DODODUM EasyPress Mini Heat Press Machine for T Shirts Shoes Hats

Large clamshell-design hat heat presses are nice, but may be overkill if you all you want is to press a small logo (think the side of a woman’s fist) on a hat. In that case, a mini heat press may do just fine . . . at a price that is much easier on the wallet.

What We Liked

• Great for small, one-off projects.

• Works fantastic on hats with small design logos (that is, not the entire crown).

• Heats fast.

• Affordable.

• Auto turn-off after 10 minutes.

What Needs Work

• Not ideal for large designs.

• Limited heat (top temperature is 374 degrees) may be too low for some designs.

• Not as easy to do multiple hats.

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Best Tried & True Brand

Great for hats—and other projects
Perfectly sized for small projects, this mini heat press is super easy to use. Quick to heat, we liked the three heat settings (although you can't dial a specific temperature).
$49.00

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Best Tried & True Brand: Cricut 2007468 Easy Press Mini

Cricut is a brand with a legion of fans for a good reason: the company’s products offer consistent quality and ease of use. 

We liked this mini heat press’ quick heat-up time and overall design, with auto-shut off and three heat settings. Also nice: Cricut sells a raft of compatible supplies, like their Infusible Ink. So that makes this a good choice for beginners who want to try a heat press for a hat or two.

What We Liked

• Great for small logs on at hats.

• Also good for t-shirts or other heat press projects.,

• Quickly heats up.

• Easy to use with three heat settings.

• Design software lets you unleash your own creativity.

• Compatible with Cricut supplies (inks, etc).

What Needs Work

• No ability to dial specific temperatures.

• Not ideal for large quantities of hats.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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