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Cricut Mat Guide: Which Mat Should You Use

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This Cricut mat guide simplifies the different cutting mats for the Cricut. Learn which Cricut mat you should use for different materials.

You might also like this post on the differences between a Silhouette Cameo and a Cricut Maker.

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I love the Cricut, but the mats are a little confusing. No project can be started until I google which mat to use. So, I decided to make a cheat sheet for myself to print and place with my Cricut Maker.

Be sure to download the Cricut Mat cheat sheet at the bottom of this post!

Cricut Mat Guide

All Cricut mats are available in both 12″ and 24″ lengths. They also come in a smaller size for the Cricut Joy.

You can buy the mats individually or in mat sets. It’s cheaper to buy them in sets!

There are also mats available that fit the Cricut Venture.

Each mat has a different level of adhesive, making it perfect for certain materials. If you’ve ever ruined a paper project with a mat that’s too sticky, you will appreciate this!

cricut mats

Standard Grip Mat

The standard grip mat is green.

This is the mat that will be used most often for medium-weight materials such as:

  • Heavy cardstock
  • Vinyl
  • Iron-on vinyl
  • Patterned paper
  • Embossed cardstock
  • Sticker Paper

Light Grip Mat

The light grip mat is light blue.

This mat has a lighter adhesive and is perfect for lighter materials such as:

Cricut maker and mats

Heavy Grip Mat

The heavy grip mat is purple.

This mat has a heavier adhesive and is used for heavier materials such as:

  • Thick cardstock
  • Chipboard (taped to mat)
  • Backed fabric (the fabric used with a stiffener)
  • Posterboard
  • Leather (read tips for working with leather here)
  • Faux leather
  • Glitter cardstock
  • Magnetic sheet

Fabric Grip Mat

The fabric grip mat is pink.

This mat is used for softer materials such as:

  • Fabric
  • Crepe paper
  • Felt

Card Mat

Card mats are available in 2 sizes. The 2 x 2 size is compatible with the Cricut Explore machines and the Cricut Makers.

There is also a size that is compatible with the Cricut Joy.

The Cricut card mat is used for cutting cardstock cards.

Learn more about using the Cricut Card Mat.

Tips for Making Cricut Mats Last Longer

Here are some tips for making your mats last longer.

  • Always replace the protective sheet when not in use.
  • Use the correct mat for the correct materials.
  • Designate mats for certain uses. For instance, felt leaves a fuzzy residue behind, so I only use one mat for felt. Fabric is typically cleaner, so it needs a different mat.
  • Don’t scrape mats when weeding excess materials. Be gentle so that you don’t damage the surface.
  • Mats can still be used when they aren’t sticky. You can use them as light-grip mats, or you can use them with washi tape to hold the material in place.
  • Use spray adhesive to add a new coat of stickiness. Be sure to use repositionable adhesive.
  • Another way to get more use out of a mat is to flip it the other way. We generally use the top right portion of the mat, but the rest of the mat isn’t used. I always thought it needed to be used a certain way, but nope. You can flip it the other way.
  • If you need more mats, wait for a sale. Cricut always holds sales; you can buy multiples at a great price. If you have a Cricut Access subscription, they have really good deals.

How to Clean Cricut Mats

There are a few ways to clean mats. Use caution because some procedures can remove the adhesive and ruin the mat.

However, if you have a mat that is garbage because it has no adhesive left, it’s worth trying.

  • Baby wipes can be used to clean mats. This is the gentlest way to clean a mat.
  • Dish soap and a scrub brush can be used for really dirty mats. You’re not supposed to use them on a fabric mat because the adhesive is different. (However, it’s worth trying out if it’s trash.) I tried it on a mat that I use for felt, and it worked! My mat is clean, and it’s sticky again!
pink cricut mat
It’s clean and sticky again!

Cricut Mat Cheatsheet Printable

pin image - cricut mat cheat sheet on clipboard

All downloads are for personal use only. Please do not redistribute or sell files.

Click to download a Cricut mat cheatsheet.

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