What Are The Different Cricut Mats & What They Do

Are you wondering what are the different Circut mats?

Cricut is fast becoming a household name in the world of crafting and is highly popular for people who love to do paper crafts, vinyl crafts and even fabric cutting.

We currently have two mats for our Cricut Explore and have ofund them both really useful but I am wanting to explore more into using different materials and wondering what mats I would need to use for which material.

After doing plenty of research I decided to put together a quick read guide on the different mats availble with information on sizes, what projects and materials they are used for and even where you can buy them.

There is other information that you might want to know about Cricut and Cricut accessories such as Cricut blades and replacing your blades.

What Is a Cricut Mat?

For anyone who is just looking at getting into cutting machine and doing in depth research about the Cricut brand I wanted to cover what a Cricut mat actually is.

A Cricut mat is a felxible mat that has 1 inch grid system in place. It has a sticky side which helps grip onto your chosen material ready to go into the machine to be cut.

The sticky side is meant to keep your material (paper, fabric, wood, vinyl etc) in place while the blade cuts your chosn design.

There are different size and style mats that have multiple purposes and some have specific purposes for different materials and cutting styles.

What Are The Different Cricut Mats?

Like I said above there are different mats available and each one will have a different grip which is suited to certain materials.

The mats come in 3 different sizes 12 x 12, 12 x 24 and 6 x 12. These are to fit a number of machines that Cricut create. There are some exceptions which are highlighted further on in a table, where you can clearly see which mats are available in which size and are compatible with the different styles of the machine.

Blue Mat – Light Grip

The blue mat is maybe the most common for crafters to use. It was the first mat we got which actually came as a bundle with our Cricut Explore.

The blue mat is the lightest grip there is for Cricut mats and so won’t be able to hold anything heavier or thicker than thin cardstock.

If you were to use anything thicker or heavier it wouldn’t stick and so when the blade starting cutting the material would move and destroy your design.

The mat still has a fair amount of stick and grip for a lightgrip mat but only works for the below materials.

Materials that are best suited to use on the blue mat are:

  • Construction paper
  • Normal paper
  • Thin cardstock
  • Regular vinyl
  • Thin Scrapbook Paper
  • Washi Tape Sheets
  • Wrapping Paper

Green Mat – Standard Grip

The green mat is the next up and is a standard grip. This is another common mat to have as many crafters will use both the normal vinyl and heat transfer vinyl so it would require both mats.

You can use the above materials on the standard grip mat but it would be harder to get the pieces off.

You may find you need to scrape them off which would result in damage to your mat or it would cause things like card and paper to curl heavily.

Materials that are best suited to use on the green mat are:

  • Cardstock
  • HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl)
  • Permanent or removable vinyl
  • Textured Paper

Purple Mat – Strong Grip

The purple mat is the strongest of the mats making it perfect for using with wood, thick cardstock and chipboard.

If you are looking at buying the strong mat you may also want to check that your Cricut machine complies with these materials and you may require a special blade to do so.

The purple mat is really strong so using things such as vinyl or paper on this mat isn’t going to end well. You might as well leave it stuck there as it will be near impossible to remove.

If you do get paper stuck to the mat you will need to carefull peel off what you can without removing any of the sticky surface or damaging the mat altogether.

Materials that are best suited to use on the purple mat are:

  • Chipboard
  • Thick and glitter cardstock
  • Leather
  • Balsa and basswood
  • Posterboard
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Faux Leather
  • Faux Suede

Pink Mat – Fabric

This mat is a fairly new release and it a new addition to the Cricut family. I have mentioned before that the Cricut Explore is a great fabric cutting machine and even more so now with the use of a dedicated mat.

The pink mat or otherwise known as FabricGrip is designed to hold the fabric in place while being cut. Using the rotary blade and mat it is a perfect partnership with the Cricut Explore.

I love this as I often cut out pieces to use for quilting projects so this would really help me speed up my time and the production line.

Check your machines specifics and blade before using the mat as you want to make sure you aren’t damaging your fabric or your mat.

  • Bonded fabric
  • Any other type of fabric

What Cricut Mat Should I Use For My Cricut Machine?

I found doing my research that there are a number of different machines, some newer than mine and some older. Some are even smaller perfect for shows and small events.

After working out which mats were on the market, I found that there are mutiple sizes to suit each style of machine.

If like me you are a little confused as to which is most suitable for the machine you have I decided to create a handy table below to help you understand which size mat you need for your machine type.

As far as I can tell from Cricut themselves and other resources each colour mat comes in 3 different sizes so you have full options for eachs style of Cricut machine.

Cricut Machine VerisonMat Size (inches)LightGrip (Blue)Standard
Grip (Green)
Grip (Purple)
Grip (Pink)
Cricut Joy4.5 x 12YesYesNoNo
Cricut Explore12 x 12
12 x 24
Cricut Maker12 x 12
12 x 24
Cricut Expression12 x 12
12 x 24
Cricut Personal6 x 12NoYesNoNo
Cricut Create6 x 12NoYesNoNo

There are a couple of older models such as the Cricut Mini, Cricut Cake, Cricut Cake Mini and the Cricut Imagine which no longer produce the correct size cutting mats for these models.

You can find more information on the size mats for these models if you wish to be able to buy them second hand.

Where Can I Buy Cricut Mats?

There are a number of platforms in which you can buy Cricut Mats.

Places such as Joann’s and Hobby Lobby are great for those in the USA where places such as Hobbycraft is the best option for those in the UK.

Screen shot of Hobbycraft.co.uk

These may be at a more premium price compared to online but you may find it easier to find what you need quickly and be able to judge for yourself the correct size and strength you require.

Alternatively you can find Cricut Mats online platforms such as Amazon, Ebay, Etsy and more. There are also dedicated sites that are distributers along with buying from Cricut directly.

Tip: If you plan to snag a bargain on Amazon or eBay check that the item is genuine Cricut and has the Cricut logo on the top lefthand corner.

If it doesn’t or has another logo there, it will be fake. While you can try and use an alternative brand I have never tried them to judge the quality.

These are two examples of other brands which are very much like Cricut mats but are not genuine.

Here are a few of the mats you can buy on Amazon that are sold directly by Cricut. You can find them in a single mat for each strength and multipacks in all sizes.

The link below is to Amazon who has a 4 pack of the mats listed below, one of each strength at the size of 24 by 12 inches.

The link below is to Amazon who has a 4 pack of the mats listed below, one of each strength at the size of 12 by 12 inches.

The link below is to Amazon who has a single standard grip green mat listed below, the size is 6 x 12 inches.

I hope you have found this useful and feel a little more informed and know more about where you can find Cricut mats, which ones are suitable for your projects and which ones fit your machine.

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