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Cricut Joy vs. Cricut Joy Xtra

This Cricut Joy vs. Cricut Joy Xtra post is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

Cricut’s newest machine, the Cricut Joy Xtra is a fantastic machine but you may be wondering, how does it compare to the Cricut Joy? And which is the right machine for you? Today I’m going to share my comparison of the Cricut Joy vs. Cricut Joy Xtra so that you can decide which would be the best fit for you and I’ll also be showing you how to personalize a t-shirt with the Cricut Joy Xtra.

Cricut Joy vs Cricut Joy Xtra machine comparison


  • The Cricut Joy weighs 3.9 pounds while the Cricut Joy Xtra weighs 6 pounds.
  • The Cricut Joy is 8.4 x 5.4 x 4.3 in and the Cricut Joy Xtra is 12.5 x 6 x 5.5 in.
  • The maximum cut size of the Cricut Joy is 4.5 inches wide X 4 feet in length and Cricut Joy Xtra’s maximum cut size is 8.5 inches wide X 4 feet in length.

Both the Cricut Joy and the Cricut Joy Xtra are fairly compact in size and can fit easily onto a counter or corner of a desk. I do feel like the extra width of the Cricut Joy Xtra does give you a greater variety of things that you can make because it really opens up the ability to cut iron-on vinyl and Infusible Ink designs that are larger.

You can of course cut Infusible Ink or iron-on vinyl with the Cricut Joy but the size of your designs would be limited by that 4.5 inch wide cut size. You would be able to make something like a small logo that goes on the pocket of a shirt but not a design that would fill the front of a shirt.

Cricut Joy vs Cricut Joy Xtra side by side comparison closed
Cricut Joy vs Cricut Joy Xtra side by side comparison above


Both the Cricut Joy and the Cricut Joy Xtra can be used with vinyl, iron-on vinyl, Infusible Ink, paper, cardstock, and writeable labels. The Cricut Joy Xtra can also cut printable sticker paper because it has the Easy Printables sensor. Both machines use the same Cricut pens and markers. When buying your Smart materials you will want to buy the Smart materials for your specific machine so that they are tailored to the width of your machine.

Cricut Joy vs Cricut Joy Xtra with printable sticker paper


The Cricut Joy and the Cricut Joy Xtra can both cut, write, draw, foil, and score. Both machines come with the fine point blade which cuts yardstick, vinyl, and more. You can also use the foil transfer tool, Cricut pens, and markers with both machines. One big difference is that the Cricut Joy Xtra has a print-then cut sensor that enables you to make print-then cut stickers.

You can make both regular stickers that could be used to decorate things like notebooks and waterproof stickers for water bottles. My kids are huge into water bottle stickers and they have already had me make a bunch of different ones for their water bottles.

Potential Projects

When thinking about which Cricut machine is right for you it’s important to consider what types of projects you want to make. If you are looking to make small vinyl decals, written labels, and cards then the Cricut Joy is probably the machine for you. I have used my Cricut Joy to make many of these types of projects over the past few years and it works very well.

Cricut Joy with cards
graduation party decorations
pantry labels

However, if you want to make larger vinyl decals, full-color stickers, and personalize t-shirts then the Cricut Joy Xtra would offer you those capabilities in addition to everything that the Cricut Joy can do.

Cricut Joy Extra Review feature


The Cricut Joy retails for $179. The Cricut Joy Xtra retails for $199. Cricut does have great sales so the prices on the machines does vary from time to time. I think that both of these machines offer great value for their prices.

Which machine is right for you?

In my personal opinion if you are picking between these two machines I would pick the Cricut Joy Xtra. The Cricut Joy Xtra only costs a little more than the Cricut Joy and it offers more versatility. If you do not need those extras then the Cricut Joy would be the machine for you. Both are impressive machines just be sure to consider your own crafting needs when deciding between the two.

If you want an even more in-depth comparison of the machines be sure to check out the Cricut Cutting Machine Comparison Guide. It’s a great way to visually see how the machines stack up.

Cricut Machine Comparison

T-Shirt Project

One great thing about the Cricut Joy Xtra is the larger cut size. It enables you to cut infusible ink or iron-on vinyl to personalize a t-shirt. You can cut those materials with a Cricut Joy but the smaller cut size really limits you and makes it hard to make a full-size design for a t-shirt. So I’m going to show you how easy it is to personalize a t-shirt with your Cricut Joy Xtra.

Cricut Joy vs Cricut Joy Xtra t-shirt project




First you will want to make a design for your t-shirt. I grabbed a cute image from Design Space and sized it for my t-shirt. I chose an image that I liked that says hello on a pennant.

Design Space has a number of free images and fonts to choose from and even more if you have Cricut Access. Cricut Access is a monthly or yearly membership that allows you access to thousands of additional fonts, images, and project instructions. You do not have to have a Cricut Access subscription to use Design Space or your machine but it will give you a whole lot more that you can do with those extra fonts, images, and projects. I have found it to be an incredible value and I highly recommend it.

Once you find or make a design you like then you will adjust the size. Design size for a shirt will vary based on the size of the shirt itself but generally for an adult-sized t-shirt you are making a design that’s somewhere between 8X8 and 11X11.

Once your design is all ready to go you will hit Make in the top right corner.

Designing a t-shirt design in Design Space


Design Space will have you select if you are using a mat or not. I used Smart iron-on so I did not use a mat.

selecting mat or no mat in Design Space

On the next screen you will see your design as it will be cut out. On the left hand side of the screen you will need to select Mirror. You need to select mirror for iron-on projects because we will be cutting it with the iron-on material facing down. Click continue.

creating a design in Design space

Design Space will walk you through selecting your material and loading your material.

selecting the material in Design space

Load the Smart iron-on vinyl into the machine and press Go for the machine to cut it. Once it’s finished unload it.

The vinyl loaded into the machine


Weed the image using the weeding tool. Weeding means that you will remove the pieces of vinyl that are not part of your design.

weeding the vinyl design

Make sure that you have washed and dried your t-shirt according to instructions. I used a Cricut t-shirt for my project and I have been very pleased with how the Cricut shirts have washed and worn. I have made a few personalized t-shirts with Cricut shirts over the past few years for my kids and I have been very pleased with them.

Cricut Joy vs Cricut joy xtra with easy press

Place the shirt on your heat press mat. Preheat your shirt according to the instructions in the Cricut Heat Guide. The heat guide will have you put your heat transfer material and base material and then tell you exactly what to do. For my iron-on vinyl and Cricut t-shirt blank I preheated my shirt for 5 seconds at 315 degrees Farenheit.

After pre-heating you will place the iron-on face down on top of the shirt with the liner (shiny) side up. You want to place your vinyl in the center of the shirt and about 2-3 inches below the collar of the shirt. Then you press it. For mine I pressed it for 30 seconds according to the heat guide instructions.

the vinyl design on top of the t-shirt
pressing the vinyl onto the t-shirt

Then you remove the iron-on according to the instructions in the Heat Guide. For my project this meant slowly removing the liner once it was cool to the touch.

the shirt after pressing
the t-shirt after peeling

Now your shirt is done! Make sure to wait 24 hours after application before washing and wash and tumble dry the shirt inside-out. Do not bleach your shirt.

Cricut Joy vs Cricut Joy Xtra shirt made with Cricut Joy Xtra

I love making personalized t-shirts and I think the Cricut Joy Xtra’s ability to cut larger designs from iron-on vinyl makes it such a fantastic machine. Both the Cricut Joy and the Cricut Joy Xtra are great machines but I do prefer the greater versatility of projects you can make with the Cricut Joy Xtra.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that this comparison of the Cricut Joy vs. the Cricut Joy Xtra has equipped you to decide which machine is the right machine for you.

More Cricut Fun

Cricut Joy Xtra Review and Sticker Tutorial
Cricut Joy Xtra Unboxing and Setup
pantry labels

Mary Martha Mama