Vinyl vs. PET vs BOPP for Sticker and Label Applications

By  //  June 14, 2023


Are you looking to understand the differences between vinyl, PET, and BOPP? You’re in the right place! These three materials are commonly used for labels and stickers, but each has unique properties and applications.

The Basics of Vinyl

Vinyl, a sturdy and adaptable material, is a favorite pick for outdoor applications. Just picture those vibrant vehicle wraps that turn heads on the street, or the athletic decals adorning your beloved baseball helmets – they’re all crafted from vinyl.

Additionally, vinyl’s thickness and durability make it the ideal choice for die-cut stickers. These sturdy vinyl stickers are perfect for distribution at events or as promotional items in product packaging. Their resilience ensures they can withstand the wear and tear of being passed from hand to hand, maintaining their crisp, professional look no matter what.

Lifespan of Vinyl

Vinyl’s impressive lifespan is what makes it such a fan favorite. It can survive anywhere from 2 to 7+ years in the great outdoors, depending on the specific type of vinyl. Budget monomeric vinyl is at the lower end of this scale, with a lifespan of about 2 years. However, polymeric vinyl – the type used at some sticker printing companies like CustomStickers – can endure for 3 to 7 years. With lamination, you can expect this material to last a whopping 5 to 7 years!

Uses of Vinyl

From die-cut stickers to outdoor signage and vehicle wraps, the versatility of vinyl is astounding. It’s the go-to material for long-term outdoor use.

All about PET Material

Unlike vinyl, PET (or Polyethylene Terephthalate) is generally used as a label material rather than a sticker material, designed for temporary applications.

Lifespan of PET

While PET might not match the hardy longevity of vinyl, it certainly holds its own. As per the insights from our suppliers, the majority of PET products are resilient enough to endure about a year of exposure to outdoor elements. Impressively, this lifespan can be stretched up to 2 years when laminated.

Typical Applications of PET

PET demonstrates its true value in outdoor labeling scenarios. Its durability and resistance to external elements make it an ideal choice for labels associated with oil, water, or chemical products. These products often face challenging environments, and PET labels stand up to the task with steadfast resilience.

Insight into BOPP Material

BOPP, unlike vinyl and PET, is typically relegated to indoor labeling applications. It doesn’t quite measure up to the outdoor durability of its counterparts, making it a more appropriate choice for settings protected from harsh weather conditions.

Lifespan of BOPP

The lifespan of BOPP is comparatively brief, typically maxing out at around a year. This short duration aligns well with its indoor use preference, where it’s less likely to face damaging elements.

Common Use Cases for BOPP

You’re most likely to encounter BOPP in the realm of product labeling, especially for items designed for indoor storage and usage.

PET vs Vinyl vs BOPP: A Comparative Overview

Each of these materials has its strengths. Vinyl’s durability makes it ideal for long-term outdoor use, PET strikes a balance between indoor and outdoor application, and BOPP excels in indoor labeling. In terms of lifespan, vinyl takes the crown, with PET and BOPP following behind.

Tear Point: An Exception to Vinyl’s Superiority

The one area where PET outshines vinyl is the tear point. The flexibility of vinyl, while usually a benefit, makes it more susceptible to tearing.

BOPP and PET’s Unique Advantage for Labeling

An interesting aspect to note is that both BOPP and PET are more flexible compared to vinyl. This increased flexibility allows them to conform more easily to curved or irregular surfaces, a trait that comes in handy for certain applications. This makes them an excellent choice for cosmetic labeling, where products often feature unique, contoured designs. These materials ensure the labels smoothly adhere and maintain their integrity, contributing to an overall polished, professional appearance.

Print Quality: Vinyl Has the Slight 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 duller. 

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.


In the battle of vinyl vs. PET vs. BOPP, the best choice depends on your specific needs. Vinyl is perfect for long-lasting outdoor use, PET works great for outdoor labeling and in harsh conditions, while BOPP is ideal for indoor labeling