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Are you thinking about getting a mug press for sublimation? If so, you may be wondering how to choose the best mug press for sublimation to meet your needs.

There are many different mug presses on the market, and it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you.

I love to know all my options, too so, let’s compare to figure out which is the best mug press machine for sublimation and help you decide which one is right for you!

What Is a Mug Press for Sublimation?

Before we explore the question of what is the best mug press for sublimation, it makes sense to take a minute to understand what a mug press is and is not.

Mug presses are heat presses with a vertical or horizontal insertion of mugs for pressing. So, the mug is placed inside the machine (typically with the handle sticking out), then the press gets snug around it, pressing the transfer paper (with your sublimation design) tight around the mug. Then the heat press does its thing to get hot, which then activates the transfer of the ink from the sublimation paper to the mug.

This can take a minute, but once the allotted time necessary for pressing is finished, the mug press will then release the mug so you can pull it out and toss out the used transfer paper.

So it’s quick and easy to make a custom mug!

front of WALAPress auto open mug press

Is A Mug Press Only For Mugs?

Actually, you can also press water bottles, and tumblers of different sizeed mugs too. The brand PYD Life makes a silicone mug wrap. And it makes it so your mug press fits almost any size of tumblers and coffee cups.

I own both the Cricut Mug Press (you can check out my Cricut Mug Press Review, WalaPress mug press, PYD life tumbler Press, and also The HPN Tumbler Press. But for me, the best mug press for the sublimation of all of these is my tumbler press.

The tumbler presses both have a control panel with time settings and also a decent temperature range.

But the ease of use with my WalaPress is great! This machine auto opens and the best thing is that it is compact so it’s great for small spaces, so it’s And is great for home use.

I have used Air Fryers and convection ovens for my sublimation mugs in the past, but my personal preference is to use a digital mug heat press machine.

The Best Mug Press for Sublimation: How to Choose the Right One for You

There are many mug presses on the market, but not all of them are created equal. When choosing the best mug press for sublimation, you need to consider your needs and budget. If you are looking for a professional mug press for your business, you will need to spend more money than if you are looking for a mug press for your home hobby business.

Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Mug Press.

If you’re looking into getting a mug press for sublimation, there are several factors you’ll want to keep in mind before making your purchase.

What are some of the benefits of using a mug press?

  • Mug presses can help you save time and money on production costs.
  • Mug presses offer consistent results and can help you produce high-quality coffee mugs.
  • Mug Presses are typically easy to use and can be operated by anyone.
  • Mug presses are generally versatile and can be used for different sizes of mugs.

Not every consideration makes the list of important things in my mind, because, in my business, speed is important, yes, but also quality – that’s pretty much my highest concern when it comes to client projects. But if you are doing this as a hobby for your personal projects, then maybe a little ghosting isn’t as critical to you as it is to me.

That having been said, if a specific mug press cannot meet your needs, then there would be no point in buying it. So, weigh what is truly important to you before jumping to hit that “order” button.

Mocaru Tumbler Press in pink

Here are some of the most popular mug presses for sublimation:

  • The Cricut mug press is one of the most popular mug presses on the market. Because, it is affordable and easy to use, and it comes with a variety of features that make it perfect for loads of uses.
  • The WALAPress Auto Open mug press is also a great choice for those who need a high-quality mug press for their business. It’s a great alternative to the Cricut mug press but its heat time is significantly less (almost half the time) so works well for those looking for a faster application.
  • The PYD Life 2 in 1 Tumbler heat press is a press with a wide variety of sizes for mugs and tumblers. It’s a more professional-level heat press that requires a little more familiarity with heat presses than a casual bystander. I would not recommend purchasing this if you plan to only make a mug or two. This is truly a more professional machine.
  • Lastly, the Mocaru Tumbler Mug heat press is, much like the PYD Life 2 in 1, a more professional machine. However, the Mocaru works for a slightly wider variety of sized mugs than the PYD Life.

Let’s break down the most important bits in a table we can really get our minds around:

Best Mug Presses for SublimationCricut Mug PressWALAPress Auto Open Mug Press, VerticalPYD Life 2 in 1 Tumbler Heat PressMocaru Tumbler Mug Heat Press
Size Compatibility11 – 16 oz mugs11 – 16 oz mugs12 – 15 oz mugs
20 – 30 oz tumblers
11 – 15 oz mugs
20 – 30 oz tumblers
Press Multiple Mugs/TumblersNoNoYesYes
Heating Time6 minutes3.5 minutes2 minutes3 minutes
Auto-Off Time?time unclear10 minutestime uncleartime unclear
Digital Display (Time & Temp)NoNoYesYes
Closure TypeAuto-Open ReleaseAuto-Open ReleaseManual ReleaseManual Release
Compatible MaterialSublimation Prints, Cricut Infusible InkSublimation Prints, Cricut Infusible InkSublimation Prints, Cricut Infusible InkSublimation Prints, Cricut Infusible Ink
PriceCheck Price $199Check Price $199Check Price $395Check Price $399

Note: All prices are accurate as of the date of this post

Now, let’s get even more detailed about what a mug press can bring to your mug sublimation activities.

PYD Life 2 in 1 Tumbler Heat Press Machine mint green

How Do I Decide Which Is The Best Sublimation Heat Press Machines?

There will be a few things that will go into deciding. You want the best results possible. And though you can use a mug press for sublimation there are many extra steps you will have to take.

If you are just starting out you may want to get a heat press with a detachable lower platen, that also has a mug attachment. You can also use a convection oven or air fryer for sublimation transfers. My personal choice is to use the machine with the best temperature settings. I think that these are more error-free heat press machines for mug printing.

What Else Do I Need To Start Start Sublimation Printing On Mugs?

You will need a sublimation printer that can handle high-quality prints. If you need help making that decision you can check out the Best Sublimation Printer For Shirts-5 Amazing Options. Also sublimation printer and sublimation paper. And of course, sublimation blanks.

Where Do You Get the Designs to Put on the Mugs?

The internet is filled with free files that you can use to customize your own design. There are also sites like Etsy and Design Bundles where people upload pre-made designs for sale, and I even have a few fun designs that I’ve made. You can check out my design library here. So if this sort of thing interests you then I recommend checking that out.

If designing your own graphics from scratch sounds more up your alley though, you can always make your own designs in Cricut Design Space, Photoshop, or other design software.

For sublimation, you can use sublimation-specific images, or you can use SVGs and just flatten them.

What are the Materials That Mug Press Machines Can Apply?

The application of heat is what these mug presses do. So, anything that can be applied with heat to a mug can be applied with a mug press. But the following are my favorite transfer materials:

  • Heat Transfer Vinyl
  • Sublimation Prints
  • Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets
  • Cricut Infusible Ink Pens & Markers
cricut mug press with diy mug in it next to infusible ink markers

What are the Materials That the Cricut Mug Press and Competitor Machines Can Press Onto?

Mug presses can be used only with poly-coated, sublimation-ready compatible blanks. If you read the material from Cricut about the mug press, you’ll be led to believe you can only use the mugs that are specifically made by Cricut. But that’s not exactly true.

Non-Cricut mugs work in the Cricut Mug Press or ANY mug press, but they have to be specifically poly-coated for sublimation. Whether that’s a glass tumbler, a steel tumbler or a ceramic mug, they all have to be specifically poly-coated for sublimation for the ink to make the transfer.

Further, I recommend making sure that they’re straight-sided and have a diameter and height that fits the machine you have.

Can a Mug Press be Used to Press Anything Besides Mugs?

No. The mug presses are not safe to be used with anything except for mugs and/or tumblers, as noted. The way that the mug presses are designed, there are very specifically made for mugs and/or tumblers and will not work for anything else, as far as I am aware.

Which Is the Best Sublimation Mug Press?

There’s really no right or wrong answer that I can give you because it’s truly and fully based on your situation as to which of these heat press products is better for you. If you want to make tumblers, then you obviously will not be able to use two of the four alternatives we explored here. But if mugs are your jam, then your options are quite open. So, with that in mind, happy crafting!

More Sublimation and Cricut Comparisons.

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  1. If I am using Cricut Design Space and Cricut infusible ink for my mugs, do I need the sublimation printer yet?

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