The best heat press machine in 2022
When it comes to the best heat press machines available now there’s more choice than ever before. These specialist devices can enable you to transfer your designs onto shirts, bags, mugs and much more. If you’re looking to expand your crafting these top heat press machines are essential.
While it’s possible to use a simple iron to transfer vinyl, the best heat press machines are designed specifically for this task. Unlike an iron these heat press devices offer even pressure and heat, adjustable and automated temperatures and can consistent results.
To get the most from the best heat press machines you’ll need a craft cutting machine; take a look at our best Cricut machines feature and our best Brother ScanNCut machines buying guide to see which is best for you.
We have comprehensive reviews of many of these devices for you to read too, including the EasyPress 2 and EasyPress Mini. Other entries in my list have been included because of my hands-on experience and knowledge of this specialist craft area. Read our guide to how we test craft and sewing machines to find out more.
The best heat press machines available now
The Cricut EasyPress 2 fits neatly into Cricut’s range of easy-to-use crafting machines for hobbies or those with small businesses. This comes in three sizes and three varying prices, so pick the one that best suits your projects. Whichever size you opt for it will transfer a design in 60 seconds. In our Cricut Easy Press 2 review we found it’s also quite portable.
With fully adjustable temperatures up to 180°C and a timer that counts down automatically, you can be confident that your results will be consistent. Results will last wash after wash, and you’ll find that if there are any issues you can easily re-press adhesives for a few seconds to extend their wear time.
The Cricut EasyPress 2 has since been superseded by the Cricut EasyPress 3, which means if you’re after a bargain now is the time. You can regularly find deals on the EasyPress 2, including 50% off, which is why, along with it being an excellent heat press machine, the EasyPress is ranked No.1 on my list.
If you want the best heat press machine for smaller tasks, take a look at the Cricut EasyPress Mini. It has a very small heat press area: 8.2 x 4.8 cm, which makes it perfect for hats or badges. While it’s more limited than some of the larger heat press machines in this guide, there’s no denying that the Cricut EasyPress Mini is sweet and easy to take on the go.
The design is handheld, which means you can work around the curves of a baseball cap or the corners of a hem. It’s got three temperature settings, which is limited when compared to larger machines, but it’s still a good selection of options. In our Cricut EasyPress Mini review we found this was the perfect gadget for quilting and sewing projects, and can sit comfortably next to a sewing machine.
Cricut’s latest gadget is the Cricut Mug Press. While it’s a lot less versatile than some heat press machines, it’s designed to do one thing and do it (very) well. The Cricut Mug Press works for a range of mug sizes: 350-470ml, but you can only use it on compatible mugs and with compatible Infusible Ink sheets.
You can control the Mug Press completely remotely. It comes with a USB cord so it can be set up once, and then you can monitor it with Cricut software and work in tandem with your Joy or Maker to design your mugs before you heat press them.
In our Cricut Mug Press review we found this particular heat press was easy to use and delivered consistent results time and again. We also discovered you can use cheaper non-Cricut mugs with the machine, but the official ones always worked well. The connection to Cricut Design Space and need for a Cricut cutting machine, such as a Cricut Joy or Cricut Explore 3, means this is more of an add-on than a machine.
The Cricut Hat Press is one of the brand’s newest small heat press machines, and this one’s singular purpose is to enable you to transfer designs onto hats and caps. if that sounds simple, then it is. And that’s why I love the Cricut Hat Press.
It’s a little more ‘designed’ than you’d imagine for such a simple outcome, for example I love the subtle curve of the Cricut Hat Press that fits the shape of a standard cap. The Cricut Hat Press also comes with a bespoke hat pressing form, a kind of stand that you can fit your hat and cat over while you transfer your design.
As always, Cricut’s aim here is to make crafting as easy as possible so the Hat press connects with the Cricut Heat app, ensuring you can send exact heat settings to the device, automating a lot of the process. If you’re looking to expand into hat and cap designs, the Cricut Hat Press is the best heat press machine around for the job.
You may be surprised to see the Cricut EasyPress 3, the newest model in the brand’s main heat press machines, is only at No. 5 on my list. This isn’t because the EasyPress 3 is bad, it’s not, it’s excellent, but this new heat press machine is technically the same spec as the older and cheaper Cricut EasyPress 2, which is No. 1 on my list.
What is new is the Cricut EasyPress 3’s bluetooth connectivity, which means it can speak directly to the new Cricut Heat App. This software enables you to manage your settings, adjust the temperature and timings, as well as use presets. Everything is sent directly to the Cricut EasyPress 3 so there’s less stress.
If you like the sound of the Cricut EasyPress 2 but want the same heat press machine but with less trouble and plenty of designs, and templates to manage your designs, then the Cricut EasyPress 3 is a better option.
The Cricut Autopress is the largest model in the brand’s heat press machine roster, and was only recently released. Where other recommended heat press machines, such as the Cricut EasyPress, are designed for hobbyists as well as professionals, the Cricut Autopress firmly has pro crafters in its sights.
This top heat press machine has a large 15 in x 12 inch heat plate for making t-shirt designs of all sizes – as well as sweatshirts, aprons, linen and more. This is called the Autopress for a reason, as even though it’s an industrial-like machine it can be easily closed and opened with two fingers – there’s a nifty motor that does all the heavy work of moving the large pressure plate.
Easy-of-use is Cricut’s thing, and the Cricut Autopress is no different despite the size. This heat press machine automatically detects and adjusts to the thickness of the material you’re using, up to two-inches – which means it can press designs onto foam, heavy wood, and more.
This leading heat press machine is a sturdy steel build and comes with tethered Control Pod with four presets, so it takes a lot of the hassle out of temperature and timing control – though it’s also fully manual too. If you’ve outgrown the EasyPress models and are taking your crafting to a new, professional level, the Cricut Autopress is a good option. At $999 / £899 it’s an expensive machine, but there are often discounts.
If you want something a little more hands-free, the PowerPress Industrial-Quality Heat Press Machine is a brilliant option. Instead of having to lift the whole press, simply pull down the lever. It’s perfect for professional use, and the 38.1 x 38.1 cm is perfect for even larger tasks.
The LCD control board goes up to 235°C and you can control the timer with the touch of a button. Using the dial at the back of the machine you can also adjust the pressure, which is great for printing items of different sizes and shapes.
Mugs, hats, even mouse pads, there’s not much that the UKCutter Heat Press Machine 8 in 1 can’t work on. It even includes a curved press specifically designed for baseball caps and a mug press that works on four different mug sizes.
You can swivel the heat press base a full 360 degrees, meaning you’ll easily be able to slot the UKCutter Heat Press Machine 8 in 1 away from the base when it’s hot and keep it out of the way while you work, and then return it to place when you’re ready to store it again. The LED display shows heat settings in celsius and fahrenheit, and there is a pressure regulator dial at the top of the machine.
The BLZK Easy Heat Press Machine combines the best of heat press machines with a convenient alternative to an iron. Take it on the go for work trips or pack it away to craft as you travel. Its pressing area is 17.7 by 9.8cm, and it comes with a sturdy resting base to make sure no surfaces are scorched when in use or cooling down.
Choose from three heat settings: 135, 160, or 180°C. You can easily toggle between them using the button that sits right under your thumb when you’re pressing. It’s also a budget-friendly option for those who are new to heat pressing and want a versatile machine that will get regular use.
How do I choose the best heat press machine?
A lot of the best heat press machines in my guide are from Cricut. That’s because they make excellent heat press machines with controls that work on all types of materials. Here are some things to consider:
1. Think workflow: If you’re pressing from textiles you’ve printed from your Cricut machine, it makes a lot of sense to use a heat press machine that’s designed to work with the same materials.
2. Size and use: Think about the size you need for your intended products and work from there. It is easy enough to pick up large heat press machines, but they won’t be easy to store and you will need a dedicated space to work with them.
3. Easy to use: While there are more heat press machines around than ever before, consider how you’ll use the device. Newer Cricut models, for example, can connect to the Cricut Heat App for greater automation.
What can you do with a heat press machine?
The best heat press machines can enable you to transfer complex designs onto different material types in seconds, with consistent results. Here are some of the uses:
• Create bags – tote bags, handbags, designer luggage and more
• Transfer to wood – good for creating plaques, gifts and illustrations
• Bed linen – create designer pillowcases, duvets and more
• Cups – specialist heat press machines can create designer mugs
• Hats – transfer designs onto canvas hats
What accessories do I need for a heat press machine?
You’ll need a heat resistant mat for a start, they can be bought to fit the size of your machine. After that, you’ll need a computer or tablet for designing and a craft cutting machine, such as Cricut Maker 3 or Brother ScanNCut. Heat is optional, not all machines need it though they may suggest you do.
Can you make money from a heat press machine
Yes, of course. Heat press machines, such as the Cricut EasyPress 2 are designed to enable you to create unique products and sell them on websites such as Etsy and at craft markets. You can also use these devices to create your branding and marketing.
A second way to make money from a heat press machine is to create your own designs and upload them to the stores, either at Cricut via Design Space or Brother using Canvas WorkSpace. You can also offer your designs as downloadable files from your blog or website.
Is a heat press machine worth the money?
Yes, especially if you intend to create professional products. Heat press machines offer an even, regulated temperature across a large flat area, unlike an iron that can be uneven. Heat press machines are also quick and easy, a Cricut EasyPress 3, for example, can reach temperature in under four minutes (400℉ (205°C) and only takes 60 seconds to transfer the design.
Do I need a Cricut to use a heat press?
Generally you’ll be using heat transfer vinyl with a heat press machine, and to print and cut your designs you’ll need a Cricut craft cutting machine. However, there are more excellent brands around too, such as the Brother ScanNCut machines and the Silhouette craft machines.
What size heat press do I need for shirt designs?
For shirt / t-shirt designs you’ll need a heat press machine that’s ideally 12 x 10 inches in size. Of course a 9 x 9 heat press machine would work also, but you’ll more likely use this for children’s cloths and badges, slogans or logos.
How much does a heat press machine cost?
You can get a good heat press machine for under $200 / £180, but brand such as Cricut regularly have discounts and sales on their models. For example, you should be able to get a Cricut EasyPress 2 for $99 / £119.