Home » Cricut Mat Differences: Cricut Cutting Mat Sizes, Types, and Uses

Cricut Mat Differences: Cricut Cutting Mat Sizes, Types, and Uses

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It can be so overwhelming right? Trying to figure out a new hobby that comes with so many different tools, supplies and materials.

In this post I want to explain the Cricut Mat differences to you - make it easy-peasy! 

We will cover, which mat to use with which machine. We will talk about sizes available, as well as which Cricut mat to use for which materials. 



Bonus: We even talk about how to look after these mats - because let's face it - they are not cheap!

Before you go any further, here is a handy cheat sheet for you to save and print out.

Types of Cricut Mats

80 Cricut Cheat Sheets

TOP TIP FOR YOU:   If you love cheat sheets, you will fall in love with our Cricut Cheat Sheet Book which has over 80 sheets in it - super duper handy for any Cricut Beginner!

Click here to check out the Cricut cheat sheets.


Cricut Anatomy

Before we look at the sizes and types of Cricut mats that are available, let's just quickly do an overview of the mat anatomy. 

I find it really interesting how some crafters who have been crafting for years, think there is only one RIGHT way to insert the mat into the machine, whilst really there are two right ways - depending on whether you want to work in inches or centimeters. 

Cricut-Mat-Anatomy

When you get your new mat, this is what you will get in your packet:

1. Protective Plastic Cover: Your new mat will come with a plastic cover. 

Some new crafters make the mistake of thinking they should throw this away. This plastic sheet is actually designed to protect your mat from dust and to help the mat to stay sticky for longer. 

So you should remove this sheet when you start a new project, pop it to the side and then replace this plastic on top of the mat after your cutting is complete.



2. The Mat Itself: Under the plastic sheet you will find your mat. The mat will be sticky.

The mat itself has a grid on it. The grid boxes are 1x1". You will also find the mat has BOTH inches AND centimeters on it. The grid really helps to make sure you pop your materials on straight.

You will also find that the mat is bendable. It has been designed this way so that you can easily peel the mat away from your materials. 


Cricut Mat Sizes

There are four different sizes of Cricut Mats available. It is important to buy the right sizes for the type of machine you have.



a) Cricut Maker and Explore Mats

Cricut Mat Sizes
  • If you own a Cricut Maker Machine, or one of the Cricut Explore Machines, then you can choose between either a 12x12" mat, or a long 24x12" mat. I mostly use my 12x12" mats so that is a great place to start.
  • They are available in LightGrip, StandardGrip, StrongGrip and FabricGrip (more on what to cut on each of these types of mats below). Click here to choose and purchase your mats.

b) Cricut Joy Mats

Cricut Joy Mat Sizes

Cricut Cutting Mat Types and Grips

Okay so let's look at what makes these Cricut Mats different from each other.

The Cricut Cutting Mats have been designed with a focus on grip. So essentially some are stickier than others.



So what you need to understand is that you need to match the type of material to the correct 'stickiness'. 

For example if you are using thin printer paper you should pair it up with the mat that has the least amount of grip - the blue LightGrip Mat.

If you pair it up with the StrongGrip mat, you will most likely tear your design whilst trying to remove it from the super sticky mat.



Here is a quick explanation of the mats, their grip and the material you should be using with them:

4 Types of Cricut Mats

a) Cricut LightGrip Cutting Mat (Blue):

The blue LightGrip Cutting Mat is perfect for thin and lighter weight materials.

It has just enough sticky grip to hold thin material firmly in place during cutting, yet it allows for easy removal of the lighter weight material when you are finished cutting.

Example materials you can cut with this mat are:

  • Thin Cardstock
  • Printer Paper
  • Construction paper
  • Vellum

Click here to buy your blue LightGrip Mat


b) Cricut StandardGrip Cutting Mat (Green):

The green Cricut StandardGrip Cutting Mat will most likely be the one that you use most frequently.

This mat is perfect for cutting medium-weight materials, and it also has the perfect amount of grip that makes for easy removal of your material.

Example materials you can cut with this mat are:

  • Cardstock
  • Patterned Paper
  • Permanent and Removable Vinyl
  • Iron-On or Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV)

Click here to buy your green StandardGrip Mat

c) Cricut StrongGrip Mat (Purple):

The purple StrongGrip mat is brilliant for heavyweight materials.

 You need the strong sticky grip in order to keep the thicker material as the machines have to apply more pressure to cut through these materials.

Example materials you can cut with this mat are:

  • Glitter Cardstock
  • Magnet Material
  • Chipboard
  • Faux Leather
  • Basswood

Click here to buy your purple StrongGrip Mat


d) The FabricGrip Mat:

The pink FabricGrip mat has specially been created to allow those with a Cricut Maker to cut through even the thinnest of materials without the need for fabric stabilizer. 

The pink mat has a special type of adhesive on it, which can not be cleaned in the same way as the other mats.

Example materials you can cut with this mat are:

  • Bonded Fabric
  • Felt
  • Any Fabric
  • Crepe Paper

Click here to buy your pink FabricGrip Mat

e) Cricut Joy Mats

And then lastly we have the mats for the Cricut Joy specifically.

Remember that the Cricut Joy can cut Smart Materials without a mat. Otherwise your green StandardGrip and blue LightGrip mat is the same as mentioned above, they are only resized to fit in the tiny Cricut Joy cutter. 

The Cricut Joy has three different types of mats.

  • Blue LightGrip Mat: Use for thin materials like printer paper, thin cardstock and vellum.
  • Green StrandardGrip Mat: Use for medium weight materials like Infusible Ink, vinyl, textured paper.
  • Insert Card Mat: Use with insert cards.

Click here to buy your Cricut Joy Cutting Mats.

Comparison Table: Cricut Mat Differences

Find below the 4 main types of Cricut Mats on the market together with a suggestion of which types of material you should cut on each.

Cricut Mat

Purpose of Mat

Machine

Cricut® LightGrip Cutting Mat

White Printer Paper
Vellum
Light Cardstock
Thin Scrapbook Paper
Washi Tape Sheets
Wrapping Paper

Works with Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker Machines

Cricut® StandardGrip Cutting Mat

Cardstock
Textured Paper
Embossed Cardstock
Iron-On Vinyl
Vinyl

Works with Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker Machines

Cricut® StrongGrip Cutting Mat

Thick Cardstock
Glitter Cardstock
Magnet Material
Chipboard
Poster Board
Fabric with Stiffener
Corrugated Cardboard
Faux Leather
Faux Suede

Works with Cricut Explore and Cricut Maker Machines

Cricut® FabricGrip Cutting Mat

This mat can cut fabric without a fabric stabilizer

Only works with the Cricut Maker Machine together with the Rotary Blade or Bonded-Fabric Blade

Hopefully you have a clear picture now of which mat you should be using with each type of project that you enjoy creating.

Our recommendation is that you invest in a Cricut mat bundle.  That way you always have the right mat on hand, no matter which material you might be choosing to work with.

Are you a Cricut fan? Why not check out all our articles and resources on all things Cricut related here.

Cricut for Beginners Tips on Cricut Mats
The Best Vinyl Cutters Cricut Mat

Addition Resources:

  1. Are you after some tips of how to clean or re-stick your Cricut mat? We have an Easy Guide on How to Clean a Cricut Mat in Only a Few Minutes!
  2. Looking for a new Cricut Machine? Check out our Cricut Reviews and Comparisons.
  3. After more tips of how to use the FabricGrip Mat with fabric? Read Cricut's post on the FabricGrip mat: Tips and tricks.

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