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How to Choose a Thermal Printer Label [2023]

Consider these 8 areas when buying a thermal label

Thermal printer labels are highly versatile and important for the logistics, shipping, food and beverage, ecommerce and in fact any industry that requires fast, clear and organized labelling. Having the right thermal printer label can also greatly increase your operational efficiency.

However, choosing a thermal label tape can be absolutely daunting and confusing, given the hundreds of available choices in the market coupled with so many different brands like Brother, Epson, Dymo, Zebra, Generic brands and the list goes on. Here are some of the considerations to ponder upon

Which brand of thermal printer labels?

Typically, in the thermal printer label market, Brother and Zebra thermal printer labels are the most common and most widely found for their ease of use, low cost and wide variety. This is subsequently followed by the generic thermal printer brands from China. They are highly popular as they are relatively economical and cost only a fraction of the market leading brands with the same reliability. Furthermore, the print quality is comparable or even better. Find it Here

What surface are you applying the label on?

You should be clear what type of material you are applying the thermal labels onto. Are the surfaces expensive materials which you would need to preserve and avoid staining it? There are certain models that possesses a more premium glue to the tape that is removable and does not stain the surface but rest assure it is highly sticky to perform its purpose. These sticker labels will obviously be slightly more expensive. For a cheaper alternative at the same quality, you can check out our labels here

What is the tape width you would require?

Typically for industries like in the ecommerce space, sellers usually use the 100mm by 150mm thermal sticker labels that is specifically sized by major ecommerce platforms to print their airway bills and address easily with a click. Other industries like food and beverage, they will look for smaller sticker labels like 29mm, 39mm, 52mm tape width. These can be used in their kitchen to organize items or for example in the bubble tea order preparation process to label customer orders. Another application is to print out sticker label barcodes to manage inventory more efficiently. Other industries like shipping and warehousing, they will require larger width size labels to organize cartons and pallets

What text colour do you need?

Thermal printer labels unlike label tapes, do not very much require different colours due to their primary purpose (mainly to identify and organize). Hence, the text colour is always black as a standard. However, for Brother thermal label printer, there are a few printer models where you can set the text colour to be either black or red. In order for this setting to be activated, the right sticker label paper is required. You can check out our compatible thermal label model which allows red colour text printing here

What is the background colour you need?

Same for thermal labels, the standard background colour is white. However, there are certain Brother models which allows for other colours like yellow or transparent tape background. You can check out this compatible Brother tape model which allow for such alternatives here

What is the paper cut you require?

Generally, there are only 2 types of thermal label paper. 1 is the die cut version and the other one is the continuous paper version. The former is more convenient as the labels have already been machine cut out for you and once printing is done, just peel the label and paste. It is more suitable for print contents which are of standard length. As for the latter, many customers prefer that as they are able to print different lengths of contents and not be restricted to the standard label size cut out. This has an advantage of being more cost saving in terms of usage

Do you have a thermal paper stand?

To understand this point, you would have to decipher the difference between internal and external compartment thermal label printer. The former has the thermal paper roll contained inside the thermal printer while the latter has it externally. Typically, for Brother and Zebra label printers, every purchase of a thermal paper roll comes with a label stand. However, if you were to purchase a compatible thermal label roll, then you can have a choice on whether to buy with the stand or without. Obviously, the former will be a few bucks more expensive.

The external compartment thermal printer will have 2 versions of thermal labels to choose from- the label roll or label stack/ fold. The former will require a label stand to avoid it rolling about while printing while the latter is more convenient as it stands on its own and printing is more seamless without those frustrating paper jams due to paper positioning. Therefore, if you have an external thermal printer version, go with the thermal label stacks! We have them on sale as well below

The budget that you have

There are 2 types of thermal label paper in the market. Originals (OEM) or brand-new compatibles. Typically, the former will cost more than 50% as compared to the latter. Performance wise, there are no observable differences. Some individuals have a larger budget and hence stick to originals while some would prefer brand new compatibles as they are budget friendly and their performance are comparable or even better than originals. Speak to our experts at theinksupply where we have been specializing in supplying premium Grade A quality and low cost brand new compatible thermal label sticker paper for many years. Our range of label stickers will satisfy your home or business needs.


In summary, choosing a label sticker should not be a chore if you know exactly what you need. If not, follow our guide and it should be a smooth process. Choose wisely and if in any doubt, do not hesitate to contact us at the below.

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Any and all brand name designations or references are made solely for purposes of demonstrating compatibility.