by | Mar 23, 2021 | Crafting, Z

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

What is the best heat press to make custom-printed mugs or tumblers? We asked the heat press enthusiasts among our parent readers for their favorites. Some folks use these to create gifts from their kids' artwork, while for others it is a great side hustle. After looking at 7 different options and interviewing parents who've used them, here are the mug heat presses we'd 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 Budget-Friendly

Great for kids artwork!
Loved this machine's two cup options (straight and conical) and easy to use controls. Professional looking results without breaking the bank.
$79.99

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Best Budget-Friendly: Super Deal Pro 2 in 1 Mug Cup Heat Transfer Sublimation Heat Press

Heat press hobbyists have grown dramatically in recent years and one big reason is affordable machines. Case in point: this mug heat press from Super Deal. Our readers recommended this press for its two mug attachment sizes (most competitors have a single size, with others available as an extra purchase).

Also nice: a price that is easy on the wallet.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to use.

• Professional looking results.

• Digital timer.

• Digital temperature control.

• Full surface heat transfer.

• 2 mug size attachments: straight and cone.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Heat could be higher. Some heat press machines for mugs go up to 430 degrees Celsius, which is great for more versatility. This one has a top temp of 400 degrees.

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Best Tried & True Brand

One-touch controls
This machine is great for beginners and features Cricut's simplicity—no complicated settings. Also nice: design software lets you get creative!
$190.00

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Best Tried & True Brand: Cricut Mug Press

Cricut is best known for their dye cutting machines and mini heat presses. This is a model is new to for Cricut and offers some interesting advantages for those just starting out.

We don’t usually recommend brand new models until we see more reader feedback, but based on Cricut’s track record, we’ll go ahead and suggest this one as a good bet for beginners. 

The secret sauce to Cricut’s success is ease of use and this mug press follows that blueprint. It’s super simple with one-touch settings. And Cricut’s own design software plus proprietary materials makes it easy to get going in a jiffy.

What We Liked

• User friendly one-touch settings.

• Tried and true brand.

• Design software lets you create your own designs.

• Compatible with Cricut’s own mug and invisible ink transfer sheets.

• No manual temperature or pressure settings.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Design software has a monthly fee. That surprised some folks.

• Takes 15-20 minutes to finish a mug. That’s longer than other mug heat presses we researched.

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Best For Side Hustle

Multiple shapes, sizes
We loved this machine's versatility—great for small businesses. Auto baking control is great and the results are impressive. Easy to set up.
$59.99

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Best For Side Hustle: BetterSub Mug Heat Press

If you want to turn your heat press hobby into a full-blown side hustle, we’d recommend investing in a machine with the ability to do multiple mug shapes (cynical, conical) and sizes (12 ounce and 17 ounce). We liked BetterSub’s Mug Heat Press for exactly that reason. This model was recommended by our readers who wanted to turn their mugs into a side business.

What We Liked

• Easy to set up.

• Multiple sizes and shapes (available as extra purchases for different shapes).

• Lightweight.

• Auto baking time control.

• Quickly heats up in 1-3 minutes.

What Needs Work

• Learning curve. It can take a bit of trial and error to get the settings just right.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive researching, 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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