Sublimation Mugs Vs Regular Mugs | Main Difference Between Them

Most beginners don’t know the difference between sublimation mugs vs regular mugs, because they’re obsessed with the sublimation process which is quite tricky. Starter enthusiasts don’t even they whether they can sublimate all kinds of mugs or not. So today, I am gonna clear you the difference between a sublimation mug and a regular mug and if you can sublimate regular mugs or not.

Mugs And Regular Mugs

What Is The Difference Between Sublimation Mugs And Regular Mugs

The main difference between sublimation mugs and regular mugs is sublimation mugs are coated with poly-coating and regular mugs don’t have that coat. There is a reason that sublimation mugs are coated with polymer to hold the sublimation ink because the ink becomes part of the mug in the sublimation process and the poly-coating helps to retain the ink. Sublimated mugs look flawless and aesthetic when you have a sip of coffee in your own personalized cup.

Sublimation Blanks Coating

When sublimated mugs are prepared, the factory owners use the poly-coated spray to prepare the substrate and manufacture from ceramic. The poly-coated surface opens the pores when it is heated while sublimating. This way the ink adheres to the cup and the sublimation ink becomes a part of the cup. These mugs can be printed with your own images and also can be gifted to your friend’s special days.

They are a great choice for gifts to give someone printed with their own image. Moreover, you need to keep yourself on a limit that is you cannot sublimate dark color or black color mugs and drinkware.

Can You Sublimate On Regular Mugs

On the other hand, regular mugs don’t have poly-coating. They are coated with a ceramic glaze that cannot hold the sublimation ink. If you sublimate the regular mug then sublimation ink won’t be retained and it will be faded or dull when you wash them. They are manufactured from “Fine China” which is not an ideal choice. Fine China mugs cannot be heated at a high temperature like we do heat transfer in the sublimation process.

Apart from that, if you want to sublimate regular mugs then you can use a poly coat to spray on the mugs like we usually do to sublimate on tiles.

What Type Of Mugs Do You Need For Sublimation?

What Type Of Mugs Do You Need For Sublimation

You must need to use polymer-coated mugs in order to do the sublimation. They are factory-coated mugs thus it is not suggested to coat them by yourself. Although there are sublimation poly-coated sprays available. But this can cause a mess with the whole process. Also, select the right size of the drinkware glasses and mugs because our famous Cricut Mug Press can only handle the 4.72 inches large size of mugs.

Can You Sublimate On Walmart Mugs

You can sublimate only those Walmart mugs that are coated with polymer. You can buy the sublimation mug blanks and other drinkware blanks from Walmart. But we don’t prefer to buy regular mugs for sublimation from Walmart. In addition, keep an eye on the manufacturing material. If they are manufactured from ceramic then you’re good to do sublimation onto them.

Can You Sublimate On Porcelain Mugs

Yes, Porcelain mugs are denser and more durable than ceramic mugs. Because they are manufactured at high temperatures also they can bear the temperature that is utilized in the sublimation heat transfer process. But again consider the same thing that is polymer coating. If they are coated with polymer then they can be sublimated efficiently.

Can You use Infusible Ink On A Mug Without A Mug Press?

Can You use Infusible Ink On A Mug Without A Mug Press

Yes! Infusible ink can be retained on the mugs if the infusible ink is the right kind of ink. But you can only use Subli-coated or polymer-coated mugs with it. You can sublimate the Cricut infusible ink sheets by printing the specific design. But you need to weed the design, unlike sublimation. Because the sublimation paper is self-weeded and we don’t need to weed it.

Later on, you can transfer the weeded area of the Cricut infusible sheet on the mugs, however, it doesn’t include any kind of guarantee that the infusible ink sheet won’t peel off after the washing. To know more, you can have a look at the full guide on how to sublimate a mug.

What Things Do You Will Need To Sublimate The Mugs?

What Things You Will Need To Sublimate Mugs?

1. A sublimation printer – You can use Epson sublimation printers they almost have different sizes of adjustable paper trays for printing photo-sized images for mugs. But it is suggested to use the dedicated mug sublimation printers.

2. A bundle of sublimation papers – A-sub papers are the best to use with Epson sublimation printers. You can cut them with a Xacto knife by measuring the exact size of the paper in order not to waste the paper.

3. Sublimation inks – For printing onto sublimation paper. You can use Hiipoo sublimation ink for the best results.

4. Cricut cutter – For cutting the printed designs

5. Cricut Mug press – A heat press machine for transferring on drinkware substrates. Check out Cricut vs Sublimation

6. Heat-resistant gloves and tape


Now it is clear to you the difference between a regular mug and a sublimation mug. If you’re still confused let me be clear in the conclusion. You cannot sublimate a regular mug and a sublimation blank mug must be coated with polymer in order to do the sublimation. If you have mistakenly done the wrong sublimation then you can check how to remove sublimation ink from the shirts, mugs, & tumblers.

Moreover, it won’t be possible for you to sublimate dark color mugs and drinkware. Because black color won’t show the vivid and vibrant colors of sublimation. Hence you can only print white color ceramic coffee mugs.


  • Jessica Warner

    A printing enthusiast is here to serve you the vision of art. I’m working as a printing artist since my childhood and running a successful business online and offline. I inspire you to create beautiful printings via my select products and How-To tutorials. Warner Jessica

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