Marilyn knows how to present the dullest topic in an interesting and easy-to-read way. When she’s not teaching English Literature at a local school or writing for our site, Marylin loves to knit and bake for her two grandchildren.
Julie owns a shop specializing in sewing equipment and accessories. No wonder she knows everything when it comes to technical specifications of practically anything we review. In her free time, Julie loves quilting and scrapbooking.
Last updated: March 31, 2021
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If you start searching for a mug press to purchase online, you’ll soon realize that these machines are not as straightforward as they might seem. Luckily, you’ve landed on the right page, where you’ll find not only the best mug presses available today, but also some info on what the main types are and how to choose the ideal one for you.
For creating this list, we made sure to include a variety of different types from machines designed specifically for 11-ounce mugs to combo models which are capable of transferring images onto T-shirts and plates as well. For each of the listed products, you’ll find the maximum capacity: 1-cup ones for occasional home use as well as a 12-cup model for commercial purposes. Also, we made sure to highlight the available temperature and time settings so that you know if the machine is suitable for your project. Ready to find your ideal mug press? Then, read on.
The Synpress Artista Heat Press makes it incredibly easy to create your own coffee mugs. Whether you have a hobby or a small business, this tool will leave you satisfied with its creations.
The Synpress Artista Heat Press is a slightly smaller machine than others on our list. This lends it to being quite portable and lightweight. You can take it anywhere you want, which is ideal for pop-up markets or hobby nights with your friends.
In addition to making mug designs, you can also create t-shirts, plates, puzzles, water bottles, and many more items. Its surface is able to hold plenty of different shapes and really, there is no end to how creative you can be.
While the version we are reviewing has a white and red design, along with a mug plate, you can also find a white and grey-themed product, and a cheaper version that does not include a mug plate. The many choices means that if you really like the manufacturer, it is easier to find a product that works exactly for you.
One of the best features of the Synpress Artista Heat Press is that it can heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is partly why you can create so many different designs on so many textiles.
This machine works really well. The only thing to watch is the temperature, which might take a few tries to get it working exactly how you want it to.
Why create one mug when you can create two? The Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press is our favorite mug heat press because it can create two mugs at the same time. If you are creating a series of mugs for gifts, or if you’re working on a small business, having the ability to create two mugs at once is essential.
The Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press may have twice the capacity but it doesn’t sacrifice on quality. Both mugs will come out looking identical thanks to the high-quality manufacturing of the machine.
With the Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press, you will find an LCD screen that displays all of your adjustments. You even have the option of presetting some commands when you’re making a bulk batch.
By far, one of the best features of the Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press is the fact you can make mugs of many different sizes. The standard is 11 ounces, but this press can accommodate mugs that are 6 ounces, 9 ounces, 11 ounces, 12 ounces, and even 17 ounces in size. This is quite versatile!
Furthermore, the Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press just looks good. Some mug presses are pretty industrial-looking. This machine, however, looks almost futuristic and will really liven up your crafting room.
As for downsides, the Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press is a relatively new product and therefore doesn’t have a long purchasing history. It looks amazing, but only time will tell if it holds up to the hype.
Having a mug printing machine is great. Having a printing machine that can handle all types of materials is even better. The F2C Pro Combo Heat Press Machine is a combination machine. In addition to printing mugs, it can handle shirts, hats, and plates. This is the perfect machine to get your small business up and running.
All of the elements are controlled via the impressive LED display. You can navigate the different design options and seamlessly switch between mugs, shirts, and plates. All the attachments are easy to install, allowing you to work without any frustrations.
Because of the different attachments, the dimensions of the F2C Pro Combo Heat Press Machine are a bit larger than other products. Make sure you have both enough surface space to place the item, as well as space to store all the attachments.
You will need to make sure the surface you are using is absolutely flat. You will also have to adjust the pressure knobs, to ensure your designs are perfectly placed on your items.
If anything does happen with the F2C Pro Combo Heat Press Machine, there is a one-year warranty, which is always nice to have.
By far the biggest downside with the F2C Pro Combo Heat Press Machine is that it doesn’t actually come with an instruction manual. While there are online videos available, having a set of written instructions would have been a better feature to have.
For those looking for a machine that specializes in crafting mugs, the PlanetFlame Factory Mug Heat Press Machine is a sure bet. It has everything you need for coffee mugs and works well, too.
The PlanetFlame Factory Mug Heat Press Machine can unfortunately only craft mugs, but if that’s all you need, then this is a great choice. While on its own it can only work with mugs that are 6 to 11 ounces in size, if you purchase a separate attachment you can work with mugs that are up to 17 ounces in size.
One of the best aspects of the PlanetFlame Factory Mug Heat Press Machine is that it is incredibly simple to use. When you purchase it online, it will arrive fully assembled. Simply open the box and you can get crafting. There is even a video manual if you need to troubleshoot anything.
The PlanetFlame Factory Mug Heat Press Machine can heat up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite nice for such an affordable product. It is also small in size so you can store it and not have to take up too much space.
The buttons are easy to navigate and you don’t need a fancy LCD screen to operate it. This does mean there aren’t many options, but again, if you just want to put some cool designs on a coffee mug or water bottle, this device is perfect.
For those that want the most sophisticated mug press available, the BetterSub Heat Press is a sure winner. It has just about everything you need to get started and is a great option if you are creating your own small business.
The BetterSub Heat Press is actually a combination heat press machine. In addition to having a mug press, it also comes with a shirt press, a hat press, and a plate press. That means in addition to crafting mugs, you can also design your own line of shirts, ball hats, and plates. Really, the choices are endless.
To navigate all these choices, the BetterSub Heat Press has an LCD control board. You can easily switch between your choices and ensure all your needs are met. It can be a bit overwhelming to have such a capable machine, but with the display screen, your options are made much more manageable.
There is also a video and a manual included in your purchase. You can reference each tool both during setup and as you craft your designs. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed or frustrated.
The BetterSub Heat Press has an incredibly impressive temperature range which can go all the way to 480 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is needed for all your material choices and it gives you confidence that you can indeed create what you want.
By far the biggest downside to the BetterSub Heat Press is the price. However, if you need a machine that will last for long and has everything you need, then this is a solid investment.
Want something simple? The Estink Mug Press Machine is right up your ally. This mug press is incredibly easy to set up, use, and troubleshoot, if the need should arise. There are no bells and whistles with this product. You simply get started and can produce beautifully-crafted mugs right away.
The Estink Mug Press Machine has an LCD control panel to better help you navigate all your options. There is a simple on and off switch and a few buttons to get going.
One really nice feature of the Estink Mug Press Machine is that it has an automatic cup size adaptation. So, no matter what shape your mug is, the machine will sense it and adjust accordingly.
There is also intelligent temperature control so you don’t have to worry about playing around with the device.
Unfortunately, the Estink Mug Press Machine doesn’t come with any accessories. It simply includes a power cord and instruction manual. However, this is reflected in the affordable price. So, if you want a simple mug press and don’t want to pay a lot for it, the Estink Mug Press Machine is a great option.
The Estink Mug Press Machine is small and portable. It is great to bring along on crafting adventures, or even to parties.
Just remember that the Estink Mug Press Machine can only work with 11-ounce mugs. Other mug presses have adapters, but this device only works with standard mugs.
INTBUYING Vacuum Sublimation Heat Press Machine not only comes with a formidable mug printing machine, but it also comes with a whole host of accessories to get you started.
In addition to the mug press, you also get a pair of safety gloves, a power cord, two packages of heat tape, and a video guide. You can stay safe and get amazing results.
The INTBUYING Vacuum Sublimation Heat Press Machine works on mugs that are 11 or 15 ounces in size. But what’s truly incredible is that it can work on 12 mugs at a time. If you have a small business, this is exactly what you need to get up and running. There’s no need to painstakingly work on only one mug at a time.
A really nice safety feature of the INTBUYING Vacuum Sublimation Heat Press Machine is that it will shut off after 15 minutes of not being used. This will lead to great peace of mind, especially if you have little ones running around the home.
While the instructional DVD is helpful, you may need to checkout online videos as well. It can be a bit hard to determine the correct temperature and timing, so it’s best to perform a few practice runs first before you ramp up production.
Overall, if you want a mug press that has great accessories and a large capacity, this is the product for you.
What we liked:
Can produce 12 mugs at a time
Includes a lot of great accessories
Easy to setup
What could be better:
May need to consult online videos to troubleshoot issues
Yes, you could spend a small fortune on a deluxe mug press machine. Or, you could purchase exactly what you need and save the difference. The Yescom Automatic Pneumatic Mug Heat Press is basic but it works well. It doesn’t come with extra presses, but the result is you don’t have to spend more than you need to.
The Yescom Automatic Pneumatic Mug Heat Press has a mug capacity of 11 ounces which is pretty standard. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with an adaptor so this is the only size of mugs you can create. It also doesn’t come with any extra presses, so you won’t be able to make other novelty items, such as shirts or puzzles. However, if all you want to make are mugs, then this is a great product to purchase.
While the Yescom Automatic Pneumatic Mug Heat Press does have an instruction booklet, it’s not the most comprehensive. It can take a little while to set up, but if you are having troubles, there are online videos you can check out.
There have been reports that the color can bleed from the pictures at first, and it can be hard to find the right temperature. While it can be a bit of a hassle, try to create a few practice mugs first, to really get the hang of the entire machine. Again, if you’re stuck, check out online videos to see how other users have worked around these issues.
What we liked:
Lots of online videos to help you out
Creates solid mug designs
What could be better:
Some issues with quality when first starting
Not suitable for any other mug sizes
Things to Consider
Not only do mugs hold all our favorite liquids, but they are also a representation of our unique personalities. If you’ve ever thought that you want a more personalized mug to drink out of, investing in a mug press is a must. To help you find the mug press that will give you all the results you’re looking for, we’ve created this buying guide. It will help you understand the features to look for and answer any questions you might have.
How a mug press works
Before you purchase a mug press, it’s important to understand just how it works. To start with, choose a design. This can be a pre-made design or something you want to create on your own. Whatever it may be, the design needs to be on specific paper. The paper is called sublimation paper and is meant to transfer designs at very hot temperatures.
You can use Photoshop or other computer programs to craft your own design or even print your own pictures. Just make sure the designs are printed on sublimation paper.
Next, have the correct type of mug. It needs to withstand very high heat. It also needs to be of the right material, in order to hold the image onto its surface.
Next, place the mug and the sublimation paper into your mug press. Each press is slightly different, so you will want to thoroughly read the instructions. If you’re in doubt, check online for video tutorials that will walk you through the process.
To work properly, you need the right length of time and the right temperature for the image to transfer over. Unfortunately, this can take a few tries to get right.
While there are many guidelines to follow, each machine is different. Just be aware that you will need to purchase a few extra trial mugs at the beginning. As long as you are aware of this, it will be a rewarding experience and not a frustrating one.
Features to consider when choosing a mug press
Mug presses come in many different sizes and shapes. To help you find one that works best for you, consider all the features it may come with.
What mug sizes it’s compatible with
The first feature to consider with a mug press is what size mug you can use with it. The standard is 11 ounces. This is your typical coffee mug. All the products on our list are compatible with 11-ounce coffee mugs.
While 11 ounces may be standard, times are changing and people want more options when it comes to their mugs. Taller, slimmer mugs are more in fashion. Different presses may even be able to accommodate water bottles.
More sophisticated mug presses, such as the Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press can accommodate multiple mug sizes. These include 6 ounces, 9 ounces, 11 ounces, 12 ounces, and 17 ounces.
Even if your mug press doesn’t accommodate other sizes, there may be a way to change this. Some products, such as the PlanetFlame Factory Mug Heat Press Machine, can accommodate a 17-ounce mug, as long as you purchase a compatible attachment.
Once you’ve decided to purchase a mug press, start by asking yourself what types of mugs you want to decorate. Then, you can narrow down your choice and find a product that make your dreams a reality. And remember, even if the initial purchase is only for an 11-ounce mug, read the fine print to see if a separate attachment can also be purchased.
How many mugs it can fit at a time?
If you need a mug press for a small business, quantity is extremely important. Once you’ve settled on the design you want printed on your mug, it makes sense to be able to produce as many mugs as possible.
Standard mug presses can unfortunately only fit one mug at a time. This means that if you have a large order to create, it can be quite time consuming. Luckily, there are some machines that allow you to produce multiple mugs at the same time.
The Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press is a double machine. You can fit two mugs in at the same time. If you really want to mass produce an item, however, be sure to check out the INTBUYING Vacuum Sublimation Heat Press Machine. It has an amazing capacity of 12 mugs. That’s right: you can create a dozen mugs in the same time it takes most other presses to decorate just one mug. Obviously this product is only for a select group of people, but for those expert crafters and entrepreneurs, it’s nice knowing such a product exists.
Temperature and time settings
The transfer of images onto a mug requires very high temperature. A mug press, then, needs to have a high enough temperature threshold for the process to be effective. On average, a temperature of around 180 degrees Fahrenheit should be fine. However, some processes require even higher heat, sometimes up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The average temperature that a mug press will offer is 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than adequate for most needs. Specialized mug presses, however, will have higher temperatures. The INTBUYING Vacuum Sublimation Heat Press Machine, for example, has a max temperature of 482 degrees Fahrenheit. This is partly because it can hold 12 mugs at a time.
Another example of high heat is with the BetterSub Heat Press, which has a max temperature of 480 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to being able to design mugs, it can also be used for t-shirts and other items. In this case, a high heat is needed to add versatility for all the options.
For time settings, it takes about 4 to 5 minutes for an image to transfer onto a mug. However, just to confuse you, mug presses record the amount of time they work in seconds. We’ll do the math for you. 4 minutes is 240 seconds and 5 minutes is 300 seconds.
The typical time range for a mug press is 0 to 999 seconds. This gives you plenty of time to play around and find that sweet spot. For mug presses that work with other materials, such as shirts and hats, the pressing time might be longer or shorter.
Just as you may need to adjust the temperature setting, you will most likely need to adjust the time setting on your mug press, as well. Your instruction manual will give you a time frame to start with. You may also want to check online once you have purchased a specific mug press, to see what other users have found works best.
If there’s anything else it can be used for
The name mug press conveys the idea that the press is only able to decorate a coffee mug. And while this is true for most such products, there are always exceptions. If you want to be able to decorate coffee mugs and other items, look for a combo press that can meet all your needs.
Combo presses can create an astounding number of items. This can include t-shirts and even baseball hats.
You can craft other food ware, such as plates and water bottles. There are even some machines that allow you to craft puzzles.
There are two ways to go about purchasing a combo press. First, you can buy one specific to your needs. If you know that you want to produce both mugs and shirts, then you would purchase an appropriate press. However, if you’re not sure about what you want to craft, then a combo machine is also a good investment. Having more options available right away means that a soon as inspiration strikes, you can get started. It’s a lot more fun to have extra tools available, rather than having to purchase another new item and wait for it to arrive.
If you have a mug press that also functions as a shirt press, then the dimensions will naturally be larger. This is because the surface are of a t-shirt are much larger. When thinking about dimensions, also factor any accessories or extra press extensions. Press extensions might not be included in the original dimensions because they aren’t connected to the primary press. However, you will still need a place to store them and some extra presses are quite bulky.
It should go without saying that the smaller the mug press, the lighter it will be. Expect a mug press to weigh only 4 or 5 pounds. Combo presses will weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.
While combo presses are heavier, they are still portable. If you want to bring a mug press with you to a crafting party, or if you want to offer on-the-spot mug creations, any of the products on our list are easily transported.
Mug presses usually only have a one-year warranty included. While this is fine for the more inexpensive, single mug models, it is a bit lacking for the expensive, multi-use mug presses. The more advanced a machine is, the more things that could go wrong with it. As always, if you’re unsure about the mechanics of a mug press, be sure to ask about an extended warranty, just in case.
Like most machines, mug presses will come with an instruction booklet. However, not all instruction booklets are created equal. The PlanetFlame Factory Mug Heat Press Machine is nice because it comes with both a paper manual and a video tutorial. On the other hand, the F2C Pro Combo Heat Press Machine doesn’t come with an instruction manual at all – you need to find it all online.
Even if your mug press does have instructions included, always be sure to check out online videos. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to watch another person walk you step by step through a new process. Thankfully, there should be many videos to find online.
Mug presses are pretty utilitarian. They take a design, heat it up, and transfer it to a mug. There’s not much need for aesthetics, but it’s still a nice bonus when the manufacturer puts some effort into it.
There are some pretty basic looking mug presses available. For example, the Estink Mug Press Machine is more focused on practicality than anything else.
However, more manufacturers are realizing that consumers want products that work and look good. The Synpress Artista Heat Press comes in either a white and red design or a white and grey look, so you can have it match your craft room décor. The PlanetFlame Factory Mug Heat Press Machine has some bold red accents which really stand out against the flat black color. It also has a start cut-out, for a more rebellious look.
Even larger presses, such as the Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press have paid attention to its looks. It has bold chrome accents and a yellow handle. This is a mug press that is not afraid of showing off.
Looks might not be important to some people, but if they are, it’s nice to know there are a few more options out there.
If you want to use a mug press for mugs, then yes, you will need ceramic mugs to start with. The sublimation, or transfer stage, requires very hot heat, and you need a mug that will withstand hot temperatures.
In addition to mugs, some mug presses function as different presses. You can find attachments that work with t-shirts and plates. Some will even create puzzles. Look for each mug press to find out what they can craft and what their basic requirements are.
Before you get started, make sure your hair is tied back and you don’t have any loose articles of clothing, such as a tie or a long necklace.
Open a window so there is adequate air flow, just in case any fumes are released.
Never touch the heated part of the press as it will be very hot.
Keep track of the time so that nothing ends up burning.
Use the right materials. Don’t experiment as different materials can quickly catch on fire.
Always check that your mug press has been turned off when you are finished.
It’s time to get crafty. Custom-made mugs are the perfect keepsake and if you can make them right at home, even better.
Our Editor’s Choice for the best sublimation mug press is the Synpress Artista Heat Press. You get everything you need to get crafting, and it’s also an affordable option.
If you’re trying to ramp up a small business, the Freesub Double Station Mug Heat Press is a great option as it will press two mugs at the same time. You can also use it for mugs of different sizes, which is a unique feature.
Finally, if want to press mugs as well as shirts, puzzles, and hats, then you will need a combo machine, such as the F2C Pro Combo Heat Press Machine. It comes with five presses so no matter where your creativity leads you, you will be able to follow. With the best mug press, you’ll be able keep your memories close to you.