What’s the Difference Between Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Labels?

What’s the Difference Between Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Labels?

If you’ve ever bought a raincoat you know they can be waterproof or water-resistant. And if you are like me, you’ve wondered to yourself, “What is the difference?”.  Well, just like raincoats, labels also come in waterproof and water-resistant options. And like raincoats, both labels repel water, but there are certainly key differences. 

Understanding each type of label and it’s traits can help you decide which one is best for your product. For example, if you own a beverage company, then you may want a waterproof label because your customers will likely set their beverage in an ice bucket during the hot days of summer. In contrast, a water-resistant label may suffice for your handmade soap

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Seems easy enough right? While it’s maybe not quite that easy, let’s look at the key differences between waterproof and water-resistant labels and discuss how to choose the right label for your needs. 


What are Waterproof Labels? 

Waterproof labels can be applied to almost every product. Once applied on a clean, dry surface, these waterproof labels will hold up against exposure to water and oils as well as stay affixed. 

Made out of biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film, waterproof labels not only repel water but also resist most acids, chemicals, and oils. Biaxially-oriented polypropylene refers to the production process that stretches the plastic film in two different directions, making it stronger and more flexible. In the case of clear BOPP, this production process also makes it crystal clear.

Waterproof labels are great for products likely to be submerged in water or exposed to oils, such as beer bottles, cosmetics, or food jars. 

Additionally, if the waterproof label is exposed to water, the contents of the label will remain legible, which is important for products facing constant water contact, such as beverages. If you want a durable, waterproof label, choosing one made from BOPP is a perfect choice. 


 What are Water-Resistant Labels?

Water-resistant labels are those that can take some exposure to moisture but on a lesser scale than their waterproof label counterparts. These labels are generally printed paper with an overlamination. They are designed to repel water and oil-based liquids while offering some protection to the printed surface. 

Water-resistant labels are best for products that do not come into contact with water or oil-based substances constantly, such as labels used for dry goods. The overlamination protects the ink printed on a standard paper label, keeping it from smudging or running when splashed with water. 

These water-resistant labels can handle splashing, rinsing, and wiping without the label getting completely ruined. However, if hot sauce drips down the side of the bottle or if the product is submerged in water, the label may experience some damage because the edges of the paper label are exposed. 


Difference Between Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Labels

While it might be tempting to think that waterproof and water-resistant mean the same thing, they are different. A waterproof label is completely protected by repelling water, whereas a water-resistant label does not have a total water barrier in the material. Many businesses choose waterproof labels for their products because they offer the most protection against environmental hazards when exposed to substances from the manufacturing, shipping, storing, and retailing processes.

On the other hand, water-resistant labels are still a respectable choice because they are durable and long-lasting. They can survive being in damp areas even if they cannot handle a deluge of water.  


Which Label is Best for You?

Label material may play a role in choosing which label is best for your needs. If you are on the fence between choosing a waterproof versus water-resistant label, think about the type of product and how it will be used and how you want your label to look.

Exposure to UV, Water, & Substances

Certain kinds of products will likely be exposed to high levels of moisture—beverages (beer, wine, etc.), cosmetics, water bottles, and glass jars— and will need to last with all the wear and tear. Waterproof BOPP labels can withstand water and chemicals. Other types of products may not be exposed to water consistently, such as for dry goods, paper products, shopping bags, etc., so a water-resistant label would work just as well. You may not even need to have a water-resistant label for these applications.

Label Design

Both custom waterproof and water-resistant labels are going to help convey the message of quality to your customers! Customers will appreciate the quality and thought that was put into every detail of your packaging – so it’s critical you take your time on this! Before you start the design process, it’s essential to know what typically comprises a product label: 

  • The name of your product
  • Logo of your brand
  • A tagline or a short description of the product
  • Units of measurement 

Once you know exactly what you want on your label, you can start choosing the colors and fonts that match your product and brand vision! For example, if you are aiming for a simple and minimalistic vibe, then having muted colors and classic fonts on a white background will do the trick. 

Above all, your label must have readable content that can help customers understand more about your product. Therefore, it’s critical that you choose the right combination of colors and fonts for your label so it becomes readable to everyone. 


Cost is definitely another factor when choosing to use a waterproof versus water-resistant label. Waterproof labels can be more costly due to the price of the materials used to make them whereas water-resistant labels made from paper are more economical. If the product is not going to be submerged in water, then a water-resistant label will work for you.The benefits of waterproof labels made from BOPP far outweigh the cost in some product lines (like beverages). For both options, costs will vary depending on size, cut type, and order quantity.


Don’t Stress – Ask Stomp!

Don’t stress about choosing the right waterproof label! Check out Stomp’s amazing waterproof labels for your products that can be customized for your labeling needs. We make it easy for you with many choices for your label design. You can choose from rectangular, die cut, oval, circle, or square roll shapes as well as finishes including glossy, silver metallic, and clear. 

It’s time to jazz up that boring water bottle with one of Stomp’s waterproof stickers! Have any questions? Contact our printing experts to help get you started.

Design Your Label



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