Wondering what is the best heat press machine to buy? Cricut EasyPress vs Heat press? Here I’ll compare my experiences and share which one I think is better!
Crafting has always been something I love and I want to start incorporating it into my blog more. One of my favorite things to do is make shirts for my kids. When I first started I was using an iron and it was such a pain to use it when making shirts or projects with HTV. I quickly upgraded to a Heat Press and fell in love. I never touched my iron again. Then the Cricut EasyPress came out and I loved that it was portable and lightweight, so I got one of those to try out. Now I have the EasyPress 2 in 3 sizes, plus my full-size heat press.
Today I am going to explain what I like about my EasyPress and my Heat Press and what I don’t like about them. Do I have a favorite? You’ll just have to read and see…
I currently use my EasyPress and Heat Press for HTV or Iron-On, Cricut Infusible Ink, and Sublimation. So I’ll be comparing the heat presses when it comes to those projects.
The Heat Press I have is a 15×15 inch Fancierstudio Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press The model I have is no longer sold, but there is a newer model. I paid about $160 for it on Amazon, but it seems to get going for around $200ish now. Going from my Iron to my heat press was a game-changer. It’s so much quicker and I don’t have issues with HTV peeling anymore (pressure can be an issue when using an iron). My Fancierstudio remembers the heat setting I last used so I’m not having to reprogram it every time I turn it on, which is nice. Getting the pressure right took some trial and error, but once I got it right it has been wonderful with my projects. All I need to do is turn it on, put my shirt down, and close. It does all the work for me.
My heat press is heavy. Like 50lbs heavy. Once I put it on its table it hasn’t been moved. It heats up in under 10 minutes, so I’ll usually get my shirts laid out and ready to go while it heats up. It can be a little tough to open, but I like it with a bit more pressure to make sure my HTV is getting enough pressure. Low pressure = increased chance of HTV peeling. My heat press does get very hot so when it’s on my kids aren’t allowed in my office since I worry that they’ll touch it. A traditional heat press is great for sublimation, HTV, and Infusible Ink.
Pros of having a traditional heat press:
- Even pressure
- Bigger for bigger projects
- Gets to a higher temp, up to 699 degrees
- No mat needed because the heat press has a mat built in and has a stand so you aren’t pressing directly on a table
- Great for if you’re making mass amounts of something, like running a business
Cons of having a traditional heat press:
- Big, Heavy, and Bulky. It takes up a lot of room
- Pulls a lot of power. Depending on the breaker the room is using it can make the power surge.
- No auto shut off, on my model
- Can only be bought online unless you have a craft store near you that sells them
- Teflon Coating, this can be dangerous for some pets like birds.
Cricut EasyPress 2
When the EasyPress came out I instantly wanted it. The portable, lightweight design really drew me in and I liked that if I wanted to press some shirts outside of my office I had the option. The price was slightly below my heat press which made me a little hesitant. I wasn’t sure how it would compare to my Fancierstudio heat press or if it was just a giant iron, but I wanted to try it out. Maybe it would replace my heat press and I could have more space in my office.
The Easy Press is great because it’s small and lightweight. It fits on a shelf in my office and takes up very little space. It’s not bulky or heavy and if I wanted to take it on the go I could. It heats up within a few minutes and the EasyPress 2 now remembers your previous settings. So when you turn it on it will heat to what you had previously programmed. The added base is nice for storing and while using it. It’s beneficial for projects bigger than 15×15 inches because you can easily move it around your design.
The biggest sizes can be hard to use on small shirts because of the seams on the shirt, but using a pressing pillow helps with this. You do have to apply some pressure, but not as much as an iron. You’ll have to give it a firm hold for about 30 seconds or longer depending on your project. You also have to press both sides of the item (front and back) when working with HTV.
The EasyPress now comes in a variety of sizes from the EasyPress mini which is great for small projects like socks, hats, and keychains. There is also a 9X9 EasyPress and 12×10 EasyPress. If you had to pick only one I would say to start with the 12×10 EasyPress 2 since it gives you more coverage.
However, the EasyPress Mini is my favorite EasyPress. It’s great for quick projects, I use it to iron seams when sewing, and it gets into small spots perfectly.
Pros of the Cricut EasyPress 2
- Variety of sizes for different project types
- Travels well
- Small and easier to store
- Lightweight compared to a traditional heat press
- Doesn’t surge power
- Can be used with HTV, Infusible Ink, and Sublimation
- Can be bought locally in craft stores like Michael’s, Joann, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart
- Heats up quickly
- Auto Shut Off
- Ceramic coated (please double check with Cricut just to be safe)
Cons of the Cricut EasyPress 2
- You need to apply pressure and sometimes pressure can be off in spots
- A little pricey when compared to a traditional press, but they go on sale a lot more now
- You need to use an EasyPress Mat or towel to protect your surface while pressing something
- Only goes up to 400 degrees, but this hasn’t been an issue for me. I’ve never done a project that used more than 400 degrees.
The Final Verdict
I’m torn. I like both items and they both serve great purposes. Some things to consider before making your purchase is:
- Size of the projects you’ll be doing
- How often you’ll be using it – Will it be a hobby heat press or are you running a business?
- Price – If you want a cheap heat press or if you can afford a more expensive one
- How hot you’ll need the press to go
- How much space do you have to store it
The Easy Press is better when it comes to layering because I can just pick up the press and put it back in it’s holder while I put the next layer on the shirt. With the Heat Press I have to remove the shirt from the press, apply the layer, and then add it back to the press. Not a big deal, but the Easy Press does make it more convenient.
However, when it comes to pressure for projects, which is really important with Infusible Ink and Sublimation, a traditional heat press is far better at getting even pressure.
If you are limited on space and want something portable I would recommend the Cricut Easy Press. If you are running a business then a traditional Heat Press would be my recommendation. It’s hard to pick a favorite because both make a good heat press, work for a varitey of material types, and get the job done.
Wednesday 9th of May 2018
They do now offer the Easy Press mat. My Easy Press arrived today along with the mat that I purchased separately. I also have a heat press but it is kept in the garage and having to reach under the hot lid to apply the HTV can be tricky since I don't really have a table out there just for my crafts. I'm looking forward to trying out my Easy Press very soon.
Monday 19th of March 2018
So what did you end up using for a surface to press on when using the Circut Easy Press? I’m considering it or a heat press, but it seems that once I buy an ironing surface to protect my table, and the possibility of needing pressing pillows, the cost is about the same as a heat press. Would you agree?
Tuesday 13th of March 2018
Have you had any luck with pressin pillows with the easy press?
Wednesday 14th of March 2018
I haven't used a pressing pillow yet, sorry.