Cricut Mug Press Review and Competitor Comparison

Cricut Mug Press review

Do you want to make your dull white mugs look interesting? Or do you want to create eye-catching designs and images on mugs to gift or sell? If yes, the Cricut Mug Press is something you must have thought of purchasing. It is all the rave in the crafting world currently, and craft enthusiasts are going gaga over it. The name ‘Cricut’ is not new for crafters and DIYers. Their cutting-edge machines and crafting tools are essential to create professional-quality craft projects.

Even the most skilled crafters struggle with printing on mugs, but Cricut has made it so much simpler and easier with this innovative equipment.

We assessed it in depth to validate whether or not the tool was worth the hype. We made several designs on mugs using Cricut Maker and Cricut Design Space. Continue reading if you are wondering if it’s worth purchasing or not. This Cricut Mug Press review is an honest account of our experience with the tool. So let’s jump right into it.

What is a Cricut Mug Press?

The Cricut mug press is a heat press that transfers images on ceramic mugs. It utilizes Cricut’s advanced infusible ink technology to affix vibrant, permanent designs on polyurethane-coated mugs. The images it produced were crack-free and vivid, which is often hard to achieve when printing on mugs. The infusible ink becomes a part of the mug making the images on them dishwashing and microwave-safe. It has a cute, small design and is incredibly easy to operate. In short, the equipment has all of Cricut’s signature convenience features: quality, ease of use, safety, and precision.

Who Needs a Cricut Mug Press?

The Cricut Mug Press is suitable for everyone; small art and craft business owners, DIYers, and stay-at-home craft enthusiasts. It is a quality machine delivering promising results that allows crafters to elevate their hobby to a home-based customization business. Moreover, if you have printed designs on mugs with other technologies like sublimation or heat transfer vinyl, you must know that their results are subpar and fade away in just a few washes. So if you have been looking for a way to print long-lasting, colorful images on ceramic mugs, the revolutionary Cricut Mug Press is just what you need.

Cricut Mug Press Review

Now let’s share our experience with the Cricut Mug Press. We will explain how to set up and use the machine and guide you through the entire mug printing process in case you are new to it.

Unboxing the Cricut Mug Press

Here is what we found on opening the packaging of the Cricut Mug Press:

  • The Cricut mug press
  • A USB cord
  • A leaflet with warranty information and instructions on how to use the tool.
  • Power cable

How to set up the Cricut Mug Press?

Setting up the Cricut Mug Press will only take a few minutes.

Connect the mug press with an electric socket using the power cord.

cricut mug press review

Connect the mug press to your computer via the USB cable.

Go to www.cricut.com/setup and download Cricut Design Space. Select the product you want to set up, then follow the instructions.

cricut mug press review

The power button will turn green when the press is ready to use, and the LED lights on the tool will indicate the progress of the design transfer process.

cricut mug press review

What Do I Need to Use the Cricut Mug Press?

Here is a list of supplies you need to transfer an image onto mugs:

  • Infusible ink sheets or markers
  • Butcher paper
  • Heat-transfer paper
  • Cricut cutting machine
  • Lint roller
  • Heat-resistant tape
  • Cricut mug blank
  • Cricut Design Space

If you are an avid crafter like us, you must probably already own the Cricut cutting machine and Design Space software. Remember that you cannot use the mug press without Cricut’s cutting machine. You will need it to cut the mug designs. You can use Crciut Maker, Cricut Joy, or Cricut Explore Air 2. Also, the Cricut mug press only works with Cricut’s mug blanks and infusible ink. Now let’s learn the quick and easy process of designing personalized mugs using the Cricut mug press!

How to Use the Cricut Mug Press?

Using a heat press on fabric is straightforward, but transferring designs onto mugs is tricky and complex. You have to adjust the heat and pressure settings accordingly, and several times, the output doesn’t come out how you wanted it. One thing we love about the Cricut mug press is that it automatically adjusts the temperature and provides consistent results through and through. Let’s learn the step-by-step process of designing, cutting, applying, and pressing ceramic mugs using the Cricut Mug Press.

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Create Your Custom Design

Start by selecting a design for your personalized mug. You will find numerous mug designs on the Cricut Design Space software that you can customize. The software is intuitive; you can easily adjust the images according to your choice and style. You can add pictures or text to the templates to create your unique design.

cricut mug press reviews

Since you will have to weed the design, try not to use images that are too thin and small and have intricate cuts. But, if you intend to use infusible ink pens, you can choose whatever design you want. You can see in the picture below how the software guides you on where you should put your image and helps you align it accurately.

review cricut mug press

Cut the Design        

When you are happy with the design, it’s time to cut it. Remember to mirror the design before cutting it. Attach the infusible ink sheet to your Cricut cutting mat, shiny side facing down. Make sure that it’s smoothly attached and that there are no bulges or lines on the sheet. Choose custom on the dial of your cutting machine, select infusible ink sheet for the material, and for pressure, choose MORE. Once the machine finishes cutting your design, unload the mat and weed it. Weeding infusible ink sheets is incredibly easy- you do not need a tool. All you have to do is roll the sheet and remove the parts you don’t need with your hands.

cricut mug press

Press the Design on the Mug

It’s time to affix the weeded design to the mug. Place the Cricut mug press on a flat, heat-resistant surface and preheat it for about four minutes. Wipe the mug with a lint roller, roll the design around it, and secure it with heat-resistant tape. Place it inside the heat press and push the clamp. The machine will indicate with a beep when the transfer is complete. It should take about five to six minutes.

The Cricut mug press assesses the temperatures of the mug and the room you are working in and bakes the perfect design each time. It makes the process much easier and quicker by adjusting the heat automatically. Remember to work in a well-ventilated area.

cricut mug press machine

Remove the mug carefully from the machine; the handle will not be hot. Place it on a heat-proof mat, and do not touch the sides for a few minutes as they will be heated. Also, the heat place will be hot, so handle the mug press carefully. Peel the sheet off the mug slowly to reveal your beautiful personalized design. Wash the mug or place it in the microwave- the image will not budge.

cicut press mug

Remember to keep your Cricut mug press clean by wiping it with a soft cloth every now and then. Better keep it covered in the box when not using it, and you should be able to use it for many years.

What We Loved About The Cricut Mug Press

We tried to be critical but absolutely loved the mug press. Here is a list of the high points we noticed while working with the Cricut Mug Press.

Professional-Quality, Microwave-Safe Designs

The designs printed with a Cricut mug press are permanent. The quality speaks for itself, so if you are into the customization business, you will definitely have an advantage if you purchase the Cricut mug press. We found the print quality significantly better than other heat pressing options for ceramic mugs, like heat guns, silicone wraps, etc.

Automatic Pressure and Heat Adjustment

This feature is what we loved the most about the Cricut mug press. You don’t have to worry about the heat and pressure settings, and you will not mess up your designs because you can’t figure out the accurate temperature; the machine will do all of it for you.

User-Friendly and Safe

The Cricut mug press has a straightforward operation. Also, the design ensures there will be no accidental burns. Producing vivid, high-quality images with it is smooth and hassle-free. It has a single-button operation; press the button and get your design ready within a few minutes. The mug press also has an auto-shut-off feature that activates if you do not use it for thirteen minutes.

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Small, Sleek Design

Unlike other heavy, bulky mug presses on the market, the Cricut mug press is small and has an attractive design. It is perfect for individuals who print designs at home as it is light and requires little space to accumulate. You can place it on a shelf or desk with other Cricut machines.

What We Didn’t Like About The Cricut Mug Press

We are all praises of the Cricut mug press, but we feel there are a few catches we think we should discuss, so you can decide whether or not you should buy it. 

Not Suitable For Bulk Printing

Since the machine can print designs on one mug at a time, it is more appropriate for at-home crafters, hobbyists, and small business owners with low-volume printing needs. It is not for you if you are a customization business owner who regularly gets bulk orders for personalized mugs. You should get a commercial-grade mug press machine that can print on five to ten mugs in one go.

High Price

The Cricut mug press is more expensive than other mug presses available in the market. However, the robust features, quick and comfortable operation and professional quality results make it worth the premium price tag. If you own a Cricut machine already, you should know that a Cricut crafting tool can be the best investment for your business. The Cricut mug press is one of them.

Works Only With Cricut Mug Blanks

Cricut mug press will not work on anything except Cricut’s mug blanks. You cannot get mugs from target or dollar stores and print designs on them. We used a regular mug we purchased from a nearby store, and the print couldn’t survive a single wash. Cricut has prepared sublimation mugs coated with polyurethane that are perfect for custom-design printing. The images you print on them will not crack, peel, fade, or wash away. You can also use sublimation-ready mug blanks; it works well with them.

Requires Cricut’s Cutting Machine and infusible ink Sheets

If you don’t already own a cutting machine, you will have to buy Cricut’s cutting machine to work with its mug press. It also doesn’t utilize sublimation inks- you will have to purchase infusible ink sheets or markers. Now, there are many crafters who already own these supplies and equipment, so it will not be a big deal for them. But if you have to buy all of this to be able to print designs on mugs, it is probably going to cost you an arm and a leg.

Cricut Mug Press VS Other Mug Presses

Cricut Mug PressTraditional Clamshell Mug PressesOven Presses
Design Transfer TimeAbout five minutesTwo minutesFifteen minutes
Print QualityExcellent print qualityThe design may have spots and patches.The print quality is excellent but you have to figure out the temperature and time for each unique design and material.
Automatic Heat & Pressure AdjustmentYesNoNo
Ease of UseQuick and convenient. Little room for trial and errorUser-friendly, but adjusting temperature and pressure settings according to the material can be precariousUsing the oven press is tricky. It heats up the entire mug blank making it more prone to accidents and burns. It also has a learning curve.
Maximum Mug Size14-16oz11ozIt depends on the size of the silicone wrap; they do have size limitations.
Mug CompatibilityOnly works with Cricut mug blanksWorks with all types of mug blanksWorks with all types of mug blanks
VersatilitySublimates well on different mug and tumbler sizesWorks well for small-sized mugs or tumblersYou can use oven presses for tumblers, mugs, shot glasses, etc.
PriceSee PriceSee PriceSee Price

Many features make the Cricut mug press stand apart from other mug presses. The print quality is better than traditional mug ovens and heat guns. The safe, foolproof design of the Cricut mug press is a winner. Using other mug presses is tricky, and they emit nasty, potentially dangerous fumes into the environment. The Cricut mug press leaves little room for error and offers enhanced convenience and output quality than other mug presses.

Is Cricut Mug Press Worth the Hype?

The Cricut mug press is more expensive than traditional mug press machines. But the consistency, uniformity, quality, ease of use, and reliability make it worth the investment. You will get what you pay for vivid, colorful, long-lasting designs on your mugs. It looks cute and elegant and takes up as much space as a coffee maker machine. What makes it best for printing designs on mugs is that you can wash the mugs several times and even put them in the microwave.

The printed images are not going anywhere. It is a modern-day machine that simplifies a complex process and helps crafters reach their true potential. We loved the results each time we used it and were thoroughly impressed by how easily it could print photos and text on ceramic mugs.

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