Vinyl vs. Bopp
There are lots of options for stickers out there. A common question we get at Custom Stickers is: "Vinyl vs. BOPP, what's the difference, and which should I use for my stickers?"
At Custom Stickers, we use vinyl for our stickers and BOPP for our labels. This article will cover the differences so you can get a sense of which material is better for your application.
What is Vinyl?
Vinyl is a plastic product manufactured from ethylene and chlorine (a type of salt) to produce Polyvinyl Chloride, more commonly known as vinyl. It is a versatile product used to make various everyday products, including vinyl flooring and siding, vinyl records, and vinyl stickers.
What is BOPP?
BOPP is an acronym for Biaxially-Oriented (BO) Polypropylene (PP). It's a type of plastic that has been stretched in two directions (biaxially) so that it is thin and flexible. Its most common use is packaging labels such as food and beverage, personal care, and more.
Comparing and Contrasting Vinyl and BOPP
Both materials have uses outside of sticker production, but this comparison will cover the differences specifically for sticker production. Before we dive in, note that both vinyl and BOPP are waterproof and recyclable.
Weight and Thickness
Vinyl is significantly thicker than BOPP. It is simply a heavier-duty material that is manufactured for durability. It is better for die-cut stickers because the thickness and weight have a better impact when passing them out or including them in packages.
On the other hand, BOPP is manufactured to be thin and flexible. This means it is better than vinyl for product packaging and similar applications. It is easier to apply to product packaging with various depths and curvatures. It's a better material for sticker label rolls.
Vinyl is thicker and more rigid. BOPP is thinner and more flexible.
If you plan to use your stickers for packaging, BOPP is better. For handing out, or marketing, vinyl is better.
Because vinyl is thicker and more rigid than BOPP, it has better durability. This is especially true under harsh conditions.
For example, vinyl is much better if you have an outdoor application, such as bumper stickers or window stickers. It will hold up for years under rain, snow, and heat.
Likewise, vinyl is the best choice if you plan to put your stickers on a water bottle because it is dishwasher safe.
BOPP is best suited for indoor use or temporary applications. BOPP can hold up for a long time indoors.
For durability and long-term use, vinyl has the edge.
Both vinyl and BOPP can have similar print quality. This is because they are both white materials (but can also be produced to be clear and holographic).
One key difference is that BOPP material is stretched, so it is significantly thinner than typical vinyl sticker material. This can make it appear more translucent. In practical terms, this can make print slightly more dull.
However, the more significant difference stems from the type of printers available to print on Vinyl and BOPP. There are commercial vinyl printers, such as the ones we use at CustomStickers, which print using ten colors. On the other hand, the BOPP printers with the broadest color gamut print using up to 7 colors.
When comparing the top-of-the-line vinyl printers vs. the top-of-the-line BOPP printers, the vinyl printers win out in terms of color.
Vinyl has a slight edge, but it isn't something most people would notice.
Who uses vinyl, and who uses BOPP?
Vinyl tends to be more common for sticker production. Most folks would agree that it is the superior material for sticker applications. That said, several sticker producers use BOPP exclusively - they tend to be companies that focus on labeling solutions.
Vinyl Sticker Producers
BOPP Sticker Producers
We use vinyl for our sticker material because it has the best durability and print quality. We also offer BOPP material for our label products.