The best heat press machines allow you to transfer your designs to t-shirts, mugs, hats and more. They can be essential tools for anyone wanting to turn their art and design into a business, or simply to add some interest to their own wardrobe. While it's possible to use a simple iron to transfer vinyl, the best heat press machines were designed specifically with this task in mind. They offer even pressure, adjustable temperatures, and in-built timers to make sure your projects are completed consistently, time after time.
You'll notice that some of the best heat presses in our guide can also be found in our best Cricut machine feature. From the classic EasyPress 2 to the Mini, Cricut heat presses are perfect for crafters or those who are starting small-scale projects. However, for anyone working with larger fabrics, we've also included 15-in-1 industrial-style presses that come with attachments to work on mugs, baseball caps, and even oversized shirts and hoodies. For alternatives to the different types of craft machines produced by Cricut, see our guide to the best Cricut alternatives.
In the meantime, read on for our guide to the best heat press machines. There are some differences in the brands and products available on either side of the Atlantic, so we'll start with the best heat press machines available in the US then move on to the UK, but if you can also skip straight to the best heat press machines in the UK.
The best heat press machine: US
- Skip to the best heat press machines in the UK
Cricut is known for making easy-to-use crafting machines for hobbies or those with small businesses, and the Cricut EasyPress 2 is no exception. It comes in three sizes, but the middle option at 22.5 x 22.5cm is perfect for most clothes and especially t-shirts. At 6.13kg, it is a little on the weighty side for using all day long, but it does its job in 60 seconds or less though.
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.
If you need to print larger, the Cricut EasyPress 2 - Large offers you a little bit more coverage, measuring 30.5cm x 25.4cm. It's a little wider and more capable of printing large branded motifs along the back of t-shirts or sweatshirts, or down the front. Like the smaller model above, it comes with an insulated base for safety and the press is ceramic coated for durability and even pressure. The handheld design is as easy to use as your average iron, but the well-distributed weight and flat wide surface makes it a lot more versatile.
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.
The PowerPress Home Press Portable Heat Machine is the best heat press machine you can buy at Walmart. It comes with a reference chart to make it easy to judge the timings temperature settings that are best suited to different material types. At only 8lbs it's one of the most lightweight heat press machines you can buy. Like the Cricut EasyPress 2, it goes up to 180°C and has an adjustable panel to customise the timings and temperatures for different tasks.
We're fans of the overheating function which will prevent any burning when using the PowerPress Home Press Portable Heat Machine for prolonged periods of time, but the handle will get a little warm after a few hours.
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 best heat press machine: UK
The Cricut EasyPress 2 is convenient and easy to use. While it comes in three sizes, the 22.5 x 22.5cm press is a comfortable size for most people who want to print onto T-shirts. It's a little heavy at 6.13kg but does the job fast (in 60 seconds or under) and offers fully adjustable temperature up to 180°C and an automatic timer. Results are consistent and stand up to repeat washing. If you have any problems, you can easily re-press adhesives for a few seconds to extend their wear time.
If you need to print larger designs or work with larger size items, the Cricut EasyPress 2 is also available with a 30.5 x 25.4cm press size, which can print larger branded designs onto fabric. It has the same convenience and reliability of the smaller device above, again with a safety insulated base and ceramic coating for durability and even pressure. It's easy to use and very versatile.
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.
For smaller tasks, the Cricut EasyPress Mini is the best heat press machine for convenience and versatility. It has a very small heat press area – just 8.2 x 4.8 cm – which is ideal for hats or badges. It's more limited than some of the larger heat press machines but its size makes it very portable, so it's perfect for those who need to press on the go, for example at events.
In our Cricut EasyPress Mini review we found the lightness also means you can work around the curves of, say, a cap or a hem. It has three temperature settings, more limited than larger machines, but again, if you're only printing small items, you don't need anything larger. We found the design is perfect and enables you to get into very small areas and work in all manner of directions, making it the perfect sewer's accessory.
The Cricut Mug Press is a rather specific device, so it doesn't offer the versatility of some other heat presses. But the one thing it does, it does well. You can control the Mug Press remotely, and you can monitor it with Cricut software and work with your Cricut Joy or Maker to design your mugs before you heat press them.
It comes with a USB cord for a quick set up. There is a slight limitation in that you'll need to use compatible mugs (sizes 350-470ml) and compatible Infusible Ink sheets. In our Cricut Mug Press review we discovered the machine is compatible with many mugs and it delivers consistently excellent results. Note, you will need a cutting machine to work with the Cricut Mug Press, the Cricut Joy can be used but only for stacking mugs, so the Cricut Explore 3 is the best option.
Choosing a heat press machine
How do I choose the best heat press machine?
A lot of the best heat press machines in our guide are from Cricut. That's because they make excellent heat press machines with controls that work on all types of materials. 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.
However, these models are more suited to small-scale operations, and if you're starting a small business it may be wise to pick something with hands-free levers so you don't need to apply any pressure yourself as you work to print t-shirts and hats.
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.