Pressure Sensitive Labels vs Self Adhesive Labels – Are They Same?

pressure sensitive labels vs self adhesive labels

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In the diverse world of packaging and labelling, terminology often becomes a tangled web, leading to confusion and misconceptions. Among the most commonly misunderstood are “Pressure Sensitive Labels” and “Self Adhesive Labels.”

Despite the apparent differences suggested by their names, pressure-sensitive labels and self-adhesive labels refer to the SAME labelling technology. 

At the heart of pressure-sensitive and self-adhesive labels is a simple yet ingenious mechanism: an adhesive layer that adheres to surfaces upon applying pressure. No heat, solvent, or water is required to activate the adhesive, distinguishing these labels from other types in the market. This feature makes them a versatile and popular choice for various applications, from consumer goods packaging to industrial labelling. 

For a deeper understanding of pressure-sensitive labels and their components, consider reading our article What are Pressure Sensitive labels?

Advantages of Pressure Sensitive Labels

  • Ease of Application: Pressure-sensitive labels adhere securely with just pressure. No heat, solvents, or water is needed, simplifying both manual and automated applications.
  • Versatility Across Surfaces: They stick to various materials like glass, plastic, metal, and paper, thanks to customisable adhesive formulations suitable for diverse conditions.
  • No Additional Adhesives Required: The self-contained adhesive layer eliminates the need for external adhesives, streamlining the labelling process.
  • Durability and Resistance: Designed to withstand moisture, chemicals, and temperature changes, ensuring labels stay intact and legible.
  • Customisation and Design Flexibility: Offers extensive customisation in size, shape, colour, and finish, with advanced printing for high-resolution graphics and vibrant colours.
  • Wide Range of Use Cases: Applicable across industries for packaging, identification, and logistics, meeting varied sector needs with their flexibility.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Features options made from recycled, biodegradable materials and renewable resources, supporting sustainable packaging efforts.

Disadvantages of Self-Adhesive Labels

  • Cost Considerations: Pressure-sensitive labels are generally more expensive than direct printing or laser marking due to their complex construction and specialised adhesives.
  • Equipment Dependency: Efficient application often necessitates high-speed print-and-apply systems, making the process labour-intensive and slow without such equipment technology. 
  • Environmental Impact: The silicone-coated liner is non-recyclable, and adhesive residue presents waste management challenges, hindering sustainability efforts.


Together, these factors necessitate carefully evaluating both the benefits and limitations of pressure-sensitive labels to determine their suitability for specific applications.


Thus, Pressure-sensitive labels, often interchangeably referred to as self-adhesive labels, stand out for their ease of application, durability, and versatility across various surfaces and industries. 

Despite the confusion surrounding their terminology, these labels share the same fundamental characteristics and offer substantial benefits for various applications, from product branding to compliance labelling.

We hope this was useful. 

Thanks for reading! 

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