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Give Your Parcels an Expert Touch With the Best Thermal Labels

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Give Your Parcels an Expert Touch With the Best Thermal Labels

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Buying Guide: Thermal Labels

Whether you own a small e-commerce store or are simply looking to make custom stickers for your next arts and crafts project, a thermal labeler is just what you need. But a printer is only as good as the surface it prints on. In the case of thermal label printers, this surface is called a thermal label. As the name suggests, these labels are made from thermal paper, which is quite different from your regular white paper. Particularly fine in texture, this paper changes color when you press the printer’s thermal head on it. The result is a high-definition image, barcode, or text that remains intact for a long time. These labels also feature self-adhesive backing so you can effortlessly stick them onto your package, furniture, or other equipment. Buying a high-quality thermal label isn’t exactly easy — what with so many seemingly similar options to choose from. So, join us as we take you through our favorite thermal labels of 2023 and teach you all about them.

You may not think too much about buying new thermal labels for your printer, but that’s where you’re making a blunder. You see, the wrong kind of labels can not only damage your printer but also your business if you’ll be using them to label the parcels you send out. To make sure you’re prepared, we’ve assembled a comprehensive buying guide that will teach you everything you need to know about thermal labels.

What Are the Different Types of Thermal Labels?

Fanfold thermal labels

Fanfold thermal labels are supposed to be stacked in a way that one is folded on top of the other, almost like a fan. This type of label requires dedicated space since it cannot fit inside most thermal labelers.  While this means less portability and more space requirement, a plus side is that fanfold labels can come with more labels in a single package. In fact, you can even find ones with up to 2,000 labels in one pack! This makes fanfold labels great for individuals looking for mass-printing options.

Roll thermal labels

Roll thermal labels are coiled around a cardboard core, which is usually 1 to 3 inches in diameter. You insert your printer’s spool inside this core to secure the label to your printer.  Since the label is secured within the printer, roll thermal labels are great for small businesses that can’t allocate too much space for their labeler. On the flip side, since the labels are spun around a core, the labels come out a little curled. So, you have to first straighten them out and then stick them onto the package, costing you extra time.

Things To Consider When Buying Thermal Labels

Compatibility

First things first, you should ensure the label you buy is compatible with the thermal printer you own. Most brands offer a list of printers their thermal labels are compatible with. You can find an even more comprehensive list by going through some FAQs and customer reviews. 

Size

Next, you should think about the size of your thermal labels, which are measured in inches. The size you should opt for will depend on the application that you’re buying the label.  For instance, if you’re looking to make a shipping label, it should be 4 inches wide and 6 inches long. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make stickers or organizational labels, just be sure the label is large enough to be easy to read.

Quantity

Finally, you should also consider the number of thermal labels you need. For instance, if you’re looking to make shipping labels and if your business deals with a large number of orders, consider getting the labels in bulk. This will get you a sweet discount and also save you from the hassle of reordering. Just be sure to properly store your labels to prevent them from going bad or curling. 

Shape

Thermal labels come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. While rectangular shapes are more suited for shipping labels, you can play around with shapes like ovals, circles, and even rose-shaped ones if you’re making stickers or labels for your brand.

Color

Although thermal printing works best on white labels, you don’t have to restrict yourself to that color. Mix and match unique colors to give your label a unique look. 

Additional Buying Tips

Top coat

Many brands offer a reinforced top coat for their labels that makes them water-resistant and safe from oil spills. It is worth keeping an eye out for such top coats since they will greatly increase the lifespan of your labels and ensure no damage comes to them during shipping.

Ease of use

We also recommend keeping an eye out for user-friendly features like easy-peel designs, self-adhesion, and perforation for your thermal labels. The latter feature will ensure you can easily tear the label when it is printed. 

01 MUNBYN Thermal Label

For the first spot on our list, we have this thermal label pack that comes in 2 and 3-inch size variations to best suit your product labeling needs. It also comes in cute round and heart-shaped design options, meaning you’ll be able to add a personal touch to whatever you’re labeling. Additionally, you can pick between nine color options, ensuring that each label is easy to read on different surfaces. 

The best part of this pick is its high adhesion capability, which allows it to firmly stick to any surface. The high compatibility is also a great plus, as you can use these labels with almost any label printer brand, including MUNBYN, Rollo, Jiose, Polono, and IDRPT. The high durability, great adhesion, and multiple color options have earned these thermal labels the top spot on our list. 

Pros

  • Color labels available to personalize
  • Bright enough to read, but not pitch black
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Reasonably priced at under 3C/ each
  • Prints perfectly on Munbyn printer models at 300 dpi

Cons

  • Some reported the labels aren't waterproof
MUNBYN Thermal Label

02 9527 Product Thermal Label

The runner-up on our list is 9527 Product’s Thermal Labels, which are available in roll and stack variations so you can get the type that’s compatible with your printer. You also get to pick between eight different bundle options to best fit your buying habits. Best of all, their large size is enough to print out all the information you need without the text looking cramped.

Most importantly, these thermal labels have high print quality, providing very clear visuals without any blurring. Another plus is their excellent adhesion properties, which provide a firmer, long-lasting stick. Its high compatibility is a bonus as well, so you can use it with most printer brands, such as Zebra, Brother, Elton, and Fargo without worry. 

Pros

  • Comes in roll and stack options
  • Large label size
  • Available in eight bundles of different quantities

Cons

  • Only comes in one color
9527 Product Thermal Label

03 Rollo Thermal Label

Next, we have this pack of Rollo Direct Thermal Labels, which contains 500 labels. They feature a laminated finish, allowing you to get a much better print, and the standard sizing ensures that you don’t have to worry about sheet wastage during printing. Even more, each label in the pack is perforated to allow for easy tearing. 

Additionally, the use of non-jamming technology allows you to efficiently print out labels without having to worry. The strong adhesion also prevents labels from coming off easily, ensuring that your package always reaches its destination. And, since they are FSC-certified, these thermal labels are environmentally-friendly.

Pros

  • Utilizes non-jamming technology
  • BPA-free for your safety
  • Perforated for easy tearing
  • Laminated finish provides higher print quality

Cons

  • Only comes in one stack size
Rollo Thermal Label

04 Kenco Thermal Label

Kenco has brought us these thermal labels that you can get in four size variations and multiple colors as per your preference. Each roll consists of 1,495  labels, so you won’t run anytime soon, providing better value for your money. Additionally, the direct thermal design prevents the need for a ribbon for labeling, making the process that much smoother. 

The materials used to make these thermal labels are all locally sourced in the USA, ensuring much better print quality and adhesion. These labels are also widely compatible and can work with most label printer brands on the market, including Godex, Zebra, and Rollo. With so many positives, there’s no reason not to consider this pick.

Pros

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Made with locally sourced materials
  • Features great adhesion and print quality

Cons

  • Cannot be used with DYMO printers
Kenco Thermal Label

05 Buhbo Thermal Label

These thermal labels are brought to us by Buhbo, and you can get them in 500, 2,000, and 4,000-label packs. Each stack in the pack is individually packaged, so you can take out only the amount of labels you need without creating a mess. These thermal labels also utilize a strong adhesive that sticks very well to boxes, envelopes, and mailers. As a bonus, there is a perforated line on each label as well, making them much easier to tear and use. 

Even more, the fanfold packing style makes it more convenient to load the labels into the printers quickly. Additionally, this pick is highly compatible, so it works well with label printers such as Datamax, MUNBYN, NEX, and Zebra. And, if all that wasn’t enough, these thermal labels also boast high durability and great print quality — who could ask for more?

Pros

  • Fanfold packaging design for faster loading
  • Each stack is packed individually 
  • Perforated lines allow easier tearing 

Cons

  • Could do with more color options
Buhbo Thermal Label

People Also Asked

How should I store my thermal labels?

Always store any spare thermal labels in a cool and dry environment — the dry part, in particular, is super important. So, if you live in a humid region, consider poly-bagging the labels. This will ensure the paper stays in shape and that the self-adhesive backing doesn’t expire. Also, if your thermal labels are in roll form, make sure you store them upright. 

Should I load thermal labels face up or down?

Most thermal labels are supposed to be fed into the printer with their right side facing up. Still, you should check out your printer’s user manual to double-check which side should be facing up.

Can I put tape over a thermal label?

It is generally not recommended to tape over your thermal label since this can make it hard to read the label. The glue on the tape can also fade the text on your label.

Denise McNamara

Oct 20, 2022

85 Articles Published

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We're not just tech junkies, but we're also tech experts. Each and every "Best of.." list on TechJunkie is curated by our content-area subject matter experts to provide a well-rounded, unbiased perspective to help and inform you, our reader. Our lists are constantly reviewed and updated, so you can be sure you're reading relevant and up to date information.

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