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Best Sticker Material Handbook: Top Picks and Pro Tips

· 7 min read

Stickers are everywhere, from that huge bumper sticker on your neighbour back windscreen saying "Slow down" to the sticker on your laptop, to the sticky price tag on your groceries when you go shopping.


Bet you, knowing the material your sticker is made from is of more importantance, it helps you understand how long the stickers are likely to last, can they withstand outdoor usage or they are meant for indoor usage alone.

Therefore, our discussion will include an exploration of the primary sticker types, their applications, as well as a consideration of their advantages and disadvantages.

Types of sticker materials

Various types of sticker materials exist, but our focus will be on the primary types of sticker materials and their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Vinyl stickers

Vinyl is essentially a fancy plastic that is formed into thin sheets called “film” from PVC with the aid of plasticiser, this makes them generally resistant than other types of stickers, with the ability to adhere to nearly any surface, including metal, glass, wood, and plastic.

Common applications for vinyl stickers encompass car decals, laptop adornments, office signage, and product labeling.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of vinyl stickers?


  • Vinyl stickers are easy to customize, with a wide range of colors, sizes, and cutting shapes.
  • Vinyl stickers last longer, waterproofed, can resist sunlight and have high degree of harsh weather resistance.
  • Their flexibility allows them to adhere effortlessly to curved materials, making them the most adhesive type of sticker available and they are less prone to tearing.


  • Vinyl stickers tends to come with slightly higher cost compared to other sticker materials.
  • Vinyl stickers can be recycled but at the same time they are not considered eco-friendly due to their non-biodegradable nature.

Paper stickers

Want a budget-conscious choice that still allows wide range of customization eith various type of finishes, be it matte or glossy, then Paper stickers are your best bet, Primarily suitable for indoor applications, they are commonly employed as product identifiers or labels and can be adhered to materials such as paper, wood, glass, metal, and plastic.

Paper stickers come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages


  • Paper stickers have several noteworthy qualities, including their cost-effectiveness, cheaper than vinyl and other materials
  • environmental friendliness due to their biodegradability, and ease of printing. Unlike vinyl stickers,
  • Paper stickers do not necessitate high-tech printers for production, making them a practical choice for various printing needs.


  • They tend to fade and lose legibility when exposed to external weather conditions, they do not handle dirt well and cannot be washed, unlike vinyl stickers.
  • Paper stickers have their limitations. they exhibit poor durability, even when coated, in comparison to their vinyl counterparts.
  • Since they are paper composition, they are prone to tearing more easily.

Polyester stickers

Polyester stickers stand out as the most resilient option among the choices. Slightly thicker than vinyl stickers, they can withstand the harshest conditions, including exposure to the sun, rain, snow, dirt, harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures, and other elements, while maintaining their appearance.

They are best used for long-term applications, especially for product labels that must remain legible throughout the entire lifespan of a product.


  • Polyester stickers offer exceptional durability, with the ability to withstand a wide range of weather conditions and environmental elements.
  • They also exhibit a high degree of tear resistance, making them a robust choice for various applications


  • The print quality on polyester stickers tends to be lower when compared to vinyl stickers
  • Polyester stickers typically more costly than vinyl options.
  • From an environmental perspective, polyester is not as eco-friendly as vinyl since it is a non-recyclable material.

Factors to consider when choosing sticker material

It's clear now that each type of sticker material has its pro and cons, To know which one to choose for your commercial or personal uses, here are some factors to consider.

Intended use

Knowing the intended purpose of the stickers is the first step, is it indoor or outdoor, as stated above paper sticker are suitable of for inside use, while vinyl and polyester sticker are better suited for outdoor use.

Vinyl stickers are so flexible that they can stick on curved and round surface better, for surface with oily residue or dirt, polyester stickers are the best.

Environmental concerns

Most of the companies are being comited to ecological responsibility and according to 2022 statistics, 30% of consumers expressed a keen interest in purchasing products from sustainable or environmentally-friendly brands.

So knowing that vinyl are recyclable and paper is biodegradable while polyester are non-degradable nor recyclable, so if you are considering making your packaging more eco-friendly, you already know which one to pick from.

Cost and budget considerations

Cost can really be your primary factor for choosing sticker material to go with, and its totally okay too, especially for promotional and bulky ordering.

Paper sticker is the most cheapest and can also be printed using both inkject or laser printers, at the same time investing in higher-quality designs sticker print often results in a return on your investment.

And that's the vinyl stickers which provides outstanding value for your money, particularly when you leverage bulk-order discounts thats available on Stickerkeen.

Longevity and Durability

The lifespan of the sticker material is a crucial factor too, want something that will stick around for a very long period of time.

Vinyl and polyester can endure long-term fixtures unlike paper sticker, although you can get paper sticker to hold for a while using UV sprays, but it would never come close to the durability of vinyl and polyester.

Printing on polyester gives great vibrant printouts but it can be very challenging to print on it, on the other side both vinyl and paper sticker prints are also vibrant, especially vinyl which can have both matte and glossy finish and paper sticker print doest really goes shinny like that of vinly.

You can see polyester printing on large screen from a far distance while you have to go closer to the prints on vinyl and paper stickers to see them.

Tips for selecting the best sticker material

Here are some tips for selecting the best material for your stickers? With the above info in mind, here is our recommendations:

  • Start by defining the intended use of your stickers and consider factors like print quality, durability, weather resistance, and waterproof capabilities.
  • You can order small custom samples to test different materials and find the one that best suits your needs.
  • Don't hesitate to consult with professionals, like those at a printing company.
  • One way or the other, know that picking environmentally-friendly options can benefit both the planet and your objectives.


Discovering the best sticker materials entails careful consideration. It might appear overwhelming initially, but fear not, and vinyl stickers with great print quality is a good click, considering its cheap and can withstand all kind of abuse.

But yes, might not be a good option for product labels, likewise the paper stickers are great too, each has their purpose.

Reading this far, shows you might be on the hunt for stickers and looking for which one to go for, why dont you try our vinyl and paper stickers.