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Cricut Heat Press Guide

Cricut Heat Press Guide main article image
Posted on September 6, 2022 by Naomi Garcia

Do you remember when Cricut was primarily for cutting out paper shapes to use for scrapbooking?  Well, that’s certainly not the case anymore.  Cricut has advanced to much more than die cutting.  Not only have their cutting machines become more high-tech.  Now Cricut markets an entire line of heat presses.

Cricut heat presses make it so easy to create professional-looking shirts, hats, home decor items, and so much more.  I, for one, am happy with the ability to quickly whip up unique outfits for my kids with personalized decals.  Adding my very own logos to shirts right before an event has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.

There are currently several different Cricut Heat Press models available.  These include the Cricut Autopress, Cricut Easy Press 2 and 3 series, Cricut Hat Press, and Cricut Mug Press.  In this article, I’ll take you through them.  As we go along, I’ll hit on the features of each heat press.  Specifications for each press mentioned are from Cricut’s website.  When applicable and possible, I’ll also be speaking from personal experience, as I am a die-hard Cricut fan.  

Because pricing can differ across regions, I will not be listing prices.  However, I encourage you to check out the Cricut website to get current prices in your area.

Cricut Autopress

The Cricut Autopress is the latest and greatest in the Cricut family of presses.  When this press was first announced, it turned heads for sure!  

Cricut AutoPress Display Poster at Michael's

One of the biggest selling points, and why it’s dubbed “Autopress” is that it opens automatically when your press is complete.  It also uses what Cricut has trademarked as a Zero Effort™ operation, which makes it possible to close the press with just 2 fingers.

When it comes to pressing your designs, you have a 15” x 12” plate to work with.  That is a good size area, although it is slightly smaller than the 15” x 15” heat presses traditionally available from other vendors.  

The Autopress can reach up to 400℉.  This is key if you are looking to work with sublimation using this heat press.  

Cricut Autopress Poster

Another cool feature is that the heat plate will automatically (AutoPress in full effect) adjust to materials up to 2” thick.  That means you don’t have to worry about adjusting the pressure in between materials you use on the Autopress.  

Finally, for those of us with kids (or with short memories like me), the Autopress will shut off after 13 minutes of inactivity.  Let’s face it: most of us have walked away from our irons, glue guns, or other electronic devices without turning them off at least once or twice.  This feature is definitely a winner in my book.

I personally do not own the Cricut Autopress… yet.  So there isn’t much I can share with you as far as use.  I will say that I have several craft buddies who do own this press.  They unanimously agree that it is an amazing tool and do not regret having it.  From what they’ve told me, it can drastically cut down time when pressing multiple items and is easy to use.

Cricut EasyPress 3

The series 3 Easy Presses recently debuted as updates for the Easy Press 2.  There are 3 different sizes currently available: 12 x 10, 9 x 9, and the Easy Press Mini.  If you’re fortunate enough, you may also be able to find the Easy Press 2 in a 6 x 7 size.  These are not part of the Easy Press 3 series.

Cricut Easy Press 2 6x7

You’ll be able to tell the difference between the 2 and 3 versions by the colors.  Cricut Heat Press 2 can come in Raspberry, Mint, and Rose, while the Easy Press 3 currently only comes in “Mist” (light blue).

Cricut Easy Press 3 Display at Michaels

The main difference between the Easy Press 2 and the Easy Press 3 series is that the 3s have Bluetooth capabilities.  This makes it possible to connect to the new Cricut Heat App.  With the Cricut Heat App, you can put in the information for the kind of surface you’re pressing on and the kind of material you are using (iron-on, foil iron-on, glitter iron-on, etc.).  The app will then communicate with the heat press and set the correct temperature and time for your press.  That’s pretty cool!

Like the Autopress, the Easy Press collection can reach up to 400℉.  This comes in super handy when you want to add sublimation to something smaller like a child-size shirt, a pant leg, a washcloth, or something similar.  

Easy Press Mini

The other Easy Press is the Mini.  I have to say that the mini is definitely one of my most-used Cricut Easy Presses.  It is super small and has a pointed, precision tip.  I’ve used my Mini for adding fun accents to shoes, hats, notebooks, mouse pads, ribbons, and so many other cute things.  

Press on shoes with Easy Press Mini

Unlike the other Easy Presses, the Easy Press Mini doesn’t have precise temperature control.  Instead, there are three levels.  The lowest setting is for lightweight and heat-sensitive fabrics.  It’s also a safer setting for foil iron-on and other delicate iron-on materials.

The medium setting is where most of the action takes place.  This is the setting used for most fabrics and the majority of iron-on materials.  I use this setting for glitter, regular htv, and even for interfacing when I’m sewing.

The high setting is awesome.  It reaches up to 400℉.  And by this point, I’m pretty sure you know what is so special about that temperature.  Yep- that’s the temperature for sublimation and Infusible Ink.  That means that with this little bitty heat press, you can add sublimation to your creations! 

Cricut Hat Press

At the same time that the Cricut Autopress was announced, Cricut also announced their new Hat Press.  This press was actually the first one released that we could use with the Cricut Heat App.  

The Cricut Hat Press has a curved plate.  Prior to this press, I successfully and consistently used my Easy Press Mini to add decorations to my baseball caps.  I have to say, though, that the Hat Press is a pretty neat addition.  

Naomi's Cricut Hat Press

Included with the Hat Press is a hat pressing form.  It’s really heavy!  You place your hat (or whatever you want to press) over the form and it gives you a firm surface to press against.  

Just like the Easy Press Mini, the Hat Press operates on three different temperature levels.  You can either select the level manually, or you can connect to the Cricut Heat App. I’ve used both features and can’t really say that I like one over the other.  I do think that the Heat App is really convenient when I’m not sure about the material I am using.

Cricut Mug Press

The final Cricut Heat Press being marketed is the Cricut Mug Press.  This press was specifically made for sublimating mugs.  You don’t have to worry about setting the temperature or the time on the mug press.  It works with the ambient temperature to heat up to the correct temperature needed to sublimate onto the mug you are using.

Cricut Mug Press Set Up

I do like the Cricut Mug Press.  It’s great if you are making just one or two mugs.  For me, the drawback was that if I was making several mugs, this seemed to take FOREVER, because I can only sublimate one mug at a time.  Also, the Cricut Mug Press needed “breaks” after a few mugs.  It’s still a good press, but just not great for bulk work.

A Final Note

So there it is.  If you’re wanting to create nice, fun, and professional mugs, shirts, hats, or other items using a heat press, Cricut may be a great place to start.  I can personally recommend most of their heat presses.  I think what I like most is that they are portable and easy to use.  They heat up quickly (except for the mug press), and are of great quality.  

If you have more questions about any of Cricut’s heat presses, you can definitely find the most up-to-date information on their website.  I’m also happy to try to answer any questions you may have.  So feel free to add a comment below.  If you grab yourself a Cricut Heat Press, let us know!  Tag me on social media.  I am EJsFunCrafting everywhere.

Now, go make something amazing!

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