There is something quite satisfying about turning a blank mug or tumbler into something artistic and customized: a process that is most efficiently done with one of the best tumbler heat presses on the market. These machines are a form of sublimation printing, and allow you to effortlessly imprint your designs onto any form of… well, tumbler. If you are wanting to effortlessly emboss your water bottle or mug, then investing in one of these units is the best way to do it – but it can be hard to know what the best tumbler heat press looks like.
I’ve put together some recommendations for the best units currently on the market, factoring in a range of budgetary concerns and specialist needs. Irrespective of your skill level or volume of use, these tumbler heat presses are sure to meet your expectations and needs.
Best tumbler heat press
Cricut Mug Press
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Best for beginnersCALCA Mug Tumblers Press
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POVOKICI Tumbler Heat Press
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What Makes a Good Tumbler Heat Press?
The major benefit of a tumbler heat press over a convection oven for sublimation is the price: tumbler heat presses are the more affordable option, nine times out of ten. That said, no product is without its strengths and weaknesses, therefore it’s important to consider a few key factors beyond price.
Depending on how frequently you plan to use the heat press, elements such as print speed or print quality are vital considerations. If you are planning on making your mark on a high volume of products, then speed and quick turnarounds will be essential.
Similarly, sublimation printing for beginners can be difficult, with some machines making the process even more challenging. Ease-of-access is vital to tumbler heat press newcomers and experienced printers alike.
Below, our recommendations detail the advantages and disadvantages of each product. Not all heat press printers are born equal, so I’ve accounted for different tastes and recommended for different needs. Consider your specific requirements, and how the disadvantages of one model may be advantageous for your own setup.
Best Tumbler Heat Press: Cricut Mug Press
- CREATE DECOR WITH A ONE-TOUCH SETTING — Get the mug of your dreams with Cricut Mug Press, a pro-level press designed to transform mug blanks (11 oz – 16 oz) into works of art with designs that last forever.
- VIBRANT GIFTS FOR ALL — Turn a mug blank (sold separately) into an unforgettable gift for friends, family & the ones you love.
- ONE-OF-A-KIND CUSTOMIZATION — The patent-pending heat plate with zone heating creates consistent results that are peel-proof, dishwasher safe. Use Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets, Pens, or Markers. (sold separately)
- PERFECT COMPANION FOR CRICUT PRODUCTS — This unique heat press for mugs is an ideal companion for all Cricut smart cuting machines. Enjoy a worry-free experience with an auto-off safety feature.
- SAFETY CERTIFICATIONS — Cricut products conform with applicable product standards like UL, CSA, FCC, or IEC standards. Cricut products are also listed or certified Nationally Recognized Testing Labs (NRTLs) such as TUV & Intertek.
- Delivers professional-quality vinyl transfers
- User-friendly with one-touch settings
- Fully insulated exterior for safety
- Not suitable for tall tumblers
The Cricut Mug Press is our top choice for the best tumbler heat press. It boasts a sleek and compact design, specially tailored for heat press printing on tumblers.
This tumbler heat press is incredibly user-friendly, with convenient one-touch settings and an auto shut-off feature. After creating your designs with infusible ink and attaching the transfer sheets to the mug blanks, it’s as easy as pushing a button. It seamlessly integrates with other Cricut DIY machines like the Cricut Explore Air. The patented heat plate with zone heating, ensures your designs remain peel-proof and dishwasher-safe. You’ll be impressed with its quick heating time, taking just 6 minutes to work its magic. Moreover, it’s compatible with off-brand sublimation inks and other products for added convenience. However, note that taller tumblers aren’t supported in this compact design.
Compared to other options on the list, the Cricut Mug Press stands out for its simplicity.
Best Tumbler Heat Press for Beginners: CALCA 110V
- ✔ Mug Press Sublimation Machine is specially designed for heat transfer on the surface of the mug. Allow you to heat print custom designs onto mugs. It is widely used for advertising, gift purpose with artistic and applied effects.
- ✔ Specification: Power: 500W. Voltage: 110V. Temp. System: Celsius & Fahrenheit. Temp. Range: 0-428℉, 0-220℃. Time Range: 0-999 Seconds. Mug Heater: CH1924.
- ✔ Easy to use: It comes with 20OZ straight Cylindrical Mug Wrap Heating Mat . Suitable for 20oz skinny tumblers, straight mugs and tumblers with a diameter of 3″ (7.5 cm), and up to 9″ (23 cm) high. Arrives fully assembled and ready to use out of the box. Plug in and begin your DIY! This mug press is easy to operate, it is very suitable for beginners or proficient.
- ✔ VERY IMPORTANT: The heating process of the machine is intermittent, and it is normal to cool down during transfer. The heat will be absorbed by the tumblers, so the temperature will drop instantaneously, but if you continue to heat it, the temperature will rise. We recommend that you put the cup in first, and then heat it up In addition,the heat press parameter should be P=80,AR=60,Cr=30,Pt=20,T=5
- ✔ Certification: CE certificate & FCC certificate. Heat Press Machine is best for industrial, professional, small studio and personal use. Application: Suitable for 20oz skinny tumblers, straight mugs and tumblers with a diameter of 7 to 8cm, and up to 20.3cm high.
- Affordable price point
- Easy setup and operation
- Ideal for 20oz tumblers
- Poor temperature control
As an entry-level offering for tumbler heat presses, the CALCA 110V is an ideal solution. Coming fully assembled for immediate use, this affordable and user-friendly tumbler heat press is an excellent jumping-on point to the world of sublimation printing.
Certified for home and business use, the CALCA 110V is built with ease of use in mind. Simply print your designs onto sublimation paper, insert that and your mug or tumbler, and it’s ready to go. The conical mold allows for tumblers of different sizes to be inserted with ease, and the results look fantastic.
However, the temperature modulation on this tumbler heat press is incredibly difficult to gauge, with the unit often overheating or underheating the desired temperature. This can cause print errors in the worst-case scenarios, but otherwise is manageable – especially at an entry-level. For beginners looking to learn the craft of sublimation printing, the CALVA 110V is the ideal tumbler heat press!
Best Budget Tumbler Heat Press: Realkant Tumbler Heat Press Machine
- 【MUG TUMBLER HEAT PRESS MACHINE】Realkant tumbler heat press is designed for those who are always bustling with creative energy, you can use it to print customized designs onto 11-30oz mugs, straight skinny tumblers and glass jar and allows you to print any custom images, pictures or logos onto your tumbler for advertising or gifting.
- 【EASY TO SETUP & USE】Our tumbler heat press machine is easy to operate, suitable for both beginners and professionals, and create beautiful pattern tumblers in minutes. Just stick cut sublimation paper to mug by tape, put it into the 30oz tumbler press, set the corresponding time temperature easily, when you hear the beep sound, you’re done! With this model, you get an effective tumbler press that is capable of working on two 11-15oz mugs at the same time, while also keeping the cost down.
- 【WHY CHOOSE US】With compact stylish appearance, our sublimation tumbler press is 20% smaller than traditional. Also have anti-scalding handle, safty male plug, stable suction cup, intelligent sound alert for using safty, built-in temperature correction, adjustable pressure knob for creative possibilities. Humanized design is everywhere, give you a better heat press use experience, enjoying the fun of making unique tumbler at ease and the happiness of turning your design into reality.
- 【PERFECT DIY GIFT】There’s nothing as special as a handmade gift. Show your friends and family you love them with customized Gifts. Come On, It’s time to craft one-of-kind tumbler, giving a well-deserved special cool gift to children, wife, friends or your fan and customer in this more easier way. Our sublimation tumbler heat press is perfect for parties, holiday events, competitions, giveaways, and more.
- 【WHAT’S IN THE BOX】This super value multifunctional tumbler press set included: 1x 30oz tumbler heat press machine with 47″ power cord , 20 x sublimation blanks paper, 2 x Heat resistance gloves, 1 x heat-resistant tape and excellent customer service, plus a 6-months warranty on the whole machine. If you are new to using a tumbler heat press, fret not. This sublimation machine comes with detail user manual and videos with QR codes so you can wrap your head around its features and functionality.
- Built-in temperature correction for even heating
- Suitable for pressing 1-2 mugs simultaneously
- Low price point
- Time-consuming setup
All of today’s top tumbler heat press machines have been priced relatively similarly, but the Realkant offering is our pick for the best budget tumbler heat press machine. Often on sale despite offering a great deal more in the package, this budget unit comes with a gamut of useful features.
With a design capable of handling mugs, skinny tumblers, and even glass jars; the Realkant Tumbler Heat Press is a great option for multiple sublimation prints. It is even capable of printing on two items simultaneously, maximizing productivity. A built-in timer keeps things ticking along smoothly, and there’s built-in control for fine-tuning pressure and temperature.
However, unlike our entry-level pick. This tumbler heat press machine is a lot more time-consuming to set up, which may alienate some first-time buyers. If you want to avoid a length assembly, avoid this model. However, for affordable sublimation heat printing with ease, this unit is the best choice!
Best Compact Tumbler Heat Press: AKEYDIY Tumbler Heat Press
- ❃【WIDELY APPLICATION & 10-30 OZ】Max Press Length: 10.6inch; Diameter: 2.88-3.5inch. Full Tumbler Surface Heat Transfers Print. The Tumbler sublimation machine fits 11oz/15oz mugs/20oz/30oz straight tumbler,glass,mug and more. If your print design is a full package design, we recommend printing twice.
- ❃【INNOVATIVE KNOB CONTROL TECHNOLOGY & EFFICENT】 Get ready to press like never before! The one-piece patented LCD knob-style panel enables accurate and effortless control, Integrated design with digital display, more intuitive and efficient, with full sense of technology. Pressure Adjustable; Automatic Baking Time Control; Automatic Temperature Constant.The cup heat press is easy to operate. Every touch is so elegant and efficient.
- ❃【SIMPLE OPERATION STEPS & EFFICENT】①Wrap sublimation transfer papers on the surface of the cup and stick it with a high-temp tape.②Put the mug into the heating pad, adjust the pressure to the right point③Turn on the switch, then set the temperature and time. (Turn the knob to the left to set the temperature and turn right to set the time.)④Wait for the heat to finish. Remove the cup after the beep to complete the transfer.
- ❃【SWEET KIT & SERVICE】1 x 30 OZ Tumbler Press; 1 x Heat-Resistant Tape; 1 x Heat Resistance Gloves; 20 x Sublimation Blanks Paper; 1 x Operating Instructions; 1 x Power Cord.This sublimation tumbler heat press machine suitable for both home and commercial use which can help you easily apply transfers, letters, numbers and images onto mugs.【Service】Our heat press machine has 1.5 years Warranty.We provides with 24hrs Sale Service and Professional Repair Service, which can make you shop without wor
- ❃【BEST GIFT FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS】Imagine that when you get your cup, you can see your children, wife, friends, favorite stars or any patterns you like. It will be very interesting and happy, right? This upgraded version of mug heat press adopts the latest sublimation transfer design.Not only to better meet your needs, but also very easy to operate and very friendly to Beginners or Proficient. It’s time to give a personalized cup to your family or friends.Come On!
- Tremendous value for money
- Entry-level user-friendliness
- Lightweight and compact
- Resolution slightly poorer than some sublimation printers
- Basic control layout
For those working with limited space for their tumbler heat press, consider the AKEYDIY offering. Boasting a compact form factor without sacrificing quality, this is a great option for great sublimation printing!
The AKEYDIY unit offers a digital display for easy adjustment, making for an easier level of configuration and customization. On the other end of the spectrum, for a hands-off approach, the tumbler heat press has automated features for easy plug-and-play printing. I’m also a big fan of the design: with a great metal finish that ensures sturdiness in such a small footprint.
This is one of the more expensive models on our ranking, due to its finer build quality, but it is negligible considering the results. The AKEYDIY compact tumbler heat press is an ideal choice for those who need top-tier sublimation printing in a low-tier package.
Best Tumbler Heat Press for Business: TEKCHIC Tumbler Mug Heat Press Machine
- 【2023 Upgraded Tumbler Heat Press】Do you want to put a picture of your family or beloved pets on a mug that is often used? Imagine picking up a mug to drink water and being able to see your children, lover, friends, family members, or any patterns you like. It will be unique and special. Enjoy the fun of making a unique tumbler easily and the happiness of turning your design into reality. This upgraded mug press machine adopts the latest sublimation transfer design
- 【30oz Extra-large Capacity】Our tumbler heat press machine fully covers the mug surface from 11oz to 30oz, overcoming the limitations of cup heat presses that have a limited transfer range and uncovered areas. You can also print 2 pieces of 11-15oz straight mugs or cups simultaneously. Applicable cup volume: 11-30oz. Cup Diameter: 2.87-3.42in / 7.3-8.7cm. Maximum Cup Height: 9.8in / 25cm
- 【Easy & Safe Operation】 You can adjust the pressure and diameter by twisting the pressure knob. Besides, there is a built-in fuse to ensure safe operation and a longer lifespan, making it user-friendly for both beginners and professionals. It will sound an alarm to remind you when the sublimation is completed, greatly facilitating your work
- 【Reliable Sublimation Transfers】With a compact stylish appearance, it also features an anti-scalding handle, a safety male plug, built-in temperature correction, and an adjustable pressure knob for creative possibilities. A soft silica-gel heating liner is applied to wrap mugs and reduce unpleasant smells. Perfect for cups made from ceramics, stainless steel, glass, and more. Time Range: 0-999s. Temperature Range: 0-410°F / 210°C
- 【DIY Special Gift】 The tumbler sublimation machine can be used to customize many gifts for club activities, campus matches, and social events, and is suitable for souvenirs and advertising promotions. It is a good choice for giving as a present, as the recipients can customize their own cups and press meaningful photos on tumblers. Perfect gift for birthdays, congratulations, graduations, weddings, and for sending unique wishes on Christmas, anniversaries, and Thanksgiving
- Exceptional print speeds
- Safe and easy to use
- Premium pricing
If you want a business-class tumbler heat press that is capable of using both sublimation and vinyl, then this tumbler heat press unit from TEKCHIC is the ultimate solution. Capable of printing designs in as little as one minute, this heat press is impressively fast and devilishly well-designed.
Heat is consistent all throughout the print process with this tumbler heat press, so you don’t have to worry about inconsistencies ruining your design. It is capable of offering a versatility of sizes for mugs or glassware, from 10oz mugs up to skinny 30oz straight tumblers, thanks to the conical construction.
This is aimed at business-level outputs, however, so consider the price point if you don’t plan to use this tumbler heat press regularly. And whilst the model isn’t too large in size, the bulky metal construction makes it very heavy and impractical to move. Still, if used as a tumbler heat press for businesses, this unit will pay for itself!
Features and Considerations
If you are looking at a tumbler heat press not on today’s list, here are some things to consider to get the most out of your purchase:
Most tumbler heat presses have a variable accommodation for different mug and glassware sizes, but always double-check beforehand that your unit has the correct capacity for your planned product. The standard array of 11-ounce mugs are generally universal, but the best tumbler heat press units can hold larger mugs or tumblers as high as 30 ounces.
The heating element is one of the most crucial elements of a tumbler heat press, as it is the component that actually begins to transfer your design onto a tumbler or mug. Ensure that yours has a rapid heating time, and is made of a decently conductive material to reach the necessary temperature in time. Different tumbler heat presses have different heat times: from two minutes to as little as a few dozen seconds – make sure to check with the manufacturer before you buy.
Some mug presses allow you to adjust the duration of the media, which helps create mugs with diverse designs. You can set a shorter time for simple designs and longer for more intricate ones, to ensure the quality remains consistent throughout. This is not an essential feature, however.
What else do you need to start sublimation printing?
Unfortunately, your investment in sublimation printing doesn’t start and end with one of the best tumbler heat presses. There are a number of other purchases that need to be made in order to get started with your designs.
In order to correctly print your designs on sublimation paper, you will first need to invest in a sublimation printer. Without one of these, your tumbler heat press is inert; and no designs will ever be printed. For those operating on a tight budget, it’s worth checking if a printer that you already own is able to be converted to a sublimation printer.
The next key ingredient is ink: standard printer inks don’t work with sublimation printing, unfortunately. Therefore you will have to invest in sublimation ink for the best results. Similarly, sublimation paper (or heat transfer paper) is vital. You can’t sublimate onto standard sheets, so having appropriate paper is an essential.
Heat-resistant gloves are of the utmost importance for tumbler heat presses: they can run extremely hot, and require you to provide literal hands-on attention. Avoid injury or damaging the machine with some high-heat handware.
Another important element to consider is the software you plan to design with. Most printers are compatible with the standard design suites, but it is always worth double-checking that you know how to export your designs into choice formats.
Finally, it’s worth assembling several mugs or tumblers with which you can practice the tumbler heat press process. It can be a learning curve to get right, so having some spares on hand for your planned gift is a good investment.
How to Use a Tumbler Heat Press
With everything set, it’s time to dive into the heat-pressing process, but careful attention is required. As mentioned above, I recommend having a few trial runs before embarking on any intensive heat transference.
Begin by thoroughly cleaning the tumbler’s surface with a lint roller. If any oily residues are detected, use an alcohol-soaked cloth to remove them.
Wrap the previously prepared heat transfer paper tightly around the tumbler, securing it with heat-resistant tape. To minimize ink loss, I recommend encasing the heat transfer paper in silicon paper.
Only now are you ready to switch on the tumbler heat press machine. Adjust the temperature to your desired level (I recommend 375°F, or 190.556°C) and adjust the pressure. Be sure to use the heat-resistant gloves to avoid burning yourself.
Place your wrapped tumbler in the slot, and enclose it – ready to print. After the allotted time, your print should be done. Some models may require you to turn the model halfway or some other hands-on checking, so be sure to double-check that before leaving the transfer unattended.
Once the transfer is complete, carefully unwrap the paper from the tumbler, taking extra care with the heat-resistant tapes. Allow it to cool for a period of time, and immerse it in a bucket of water for rapid cooling. After that, your tumbler is ready for use!
That wraps up our rankings for the best tumbler heat presses on the market today. Given the numerous options, finding the best tumbler heat press can be challenging. I’ve taken the time to evaluate these machines based on key factors like ease of use, quality, performance, features, durability, and value for money.
Whether you’re a beginner looking for user-friendly options or a professional seeking high-quality results, there’s a suitable heat press on our list! In the meantime, check out our page for even more sublimation printing techniques, including a guide on sublimation on canvas!