Thermal receipt paper is essential for many businesses that rely on point-of-sale systems and receipt printing. However, not all thermal paper is created equal.

Thermal paper is engineered much differently than the normal paper used in dot matrix printers. It contains chemicals that allow the paper to produce an image once heat is applied to it, and there are many paper and synthetic formulations to choose from. While they look similar, the chemical makeup of each material affects its resistance to moisture, heat, and other external factors. The thickness of the paper and the lifespan of images printed on it also varies. All these attributes are very important to consider to ensure documents remain intact and readable during their useful life.

While most thermal receipt papers look fine when they come out of the printer, the true test is how they will hold up over their expected life span. When printed data is unreadable, problems with returns, service, warranties, and compliance can arise. Here in this article, we will explore the six key considerations you should examine when you choose thermal receipt paper:

1. Visual Inspection

You can start checking the quality of the thermal paper by visually examining the thermal paper roll surface. High-quality paper should have a smooth, consistent surface without any visible defects, discoloration, or irregularities. Check both the front and back of the paper for evenness.

2. Print Density and Clarity

Poor print thermal paper

Thermal paper with poor print

You can put the thermal roll into a thermal printer, print a sample receipt, and assess the print quality. The text and images should be sharp, well-defined, and free from smudging or fading. High-quality thermal paper will produce crisp, dark prints that are easy to read.

3. Coating Quality

Premium coating thermal paper

Premium coating thermal paper can deliver dark black print image Source: Panda Paper Roll

All thermal papers have a base coat and thermal coat, but premium papers often include a protective top coat as well. This additional layer helps protect against environmental factors like moisture and heat. Check if the paper has a top coat for enhanced durability.

4. Heat and Environmental Resistance

Test the paper’s resistance to heat and other environmental factors. Quality thermal paper should maintain its print integrity even when exposed to moderate heat or humidity. Consider heat-resistant options if receipts will be exposed to high temperatures.

5. Thickness and Durability

The thickness of the thermal paper is measured in micrometers (µm) or mils, which affects durability and print quality. You can use a micrometer to measure the paper’s thickness. Consistent thickness indicates better quality. High-quality thermal paper usually ranges from 50 µm to 100 µm.

Thicker papers tend to be more robust and are often perceived as higher quality by customers. However, keep in mind that thicker paper means fewer receipts per roll. For example, for the most popular paper roll size 80mm x 80mm, the length can vary from 50m to 90m if you use paper of different thicknesses.

6. Sensitivity and Print Speed

Check the paper’s sensitivity to heat and its performance at different print speeds. Quality thermal paper should produce consistent results across various temperature settings and printing speeds without compromising image quality.

Practical Steps to Test Thermal Paper Quality

You can use the following ways to test your thermal paper quality.

  • Print Test: Print a test page and check for clarity, sharpness, and consistency.
  • Heat Test: Apply heat to a small section of the paper using a lighter or other heat source to see if the paper reacts as expected (turns black where heated).
  • Friction Test: Rub a printed receipt with your finger to see if the print smudges.
  • Light Exposure Test: Place a printed receipt in sunlight for several days and check for fading.
  • Storage Test: Store printed receipts under various conditions (humidity, temperature) to evaluate print longevity.


By thoroughly evaluating these factors, you can ensure you’re selecting high-quality thermal receipt paper that will meet your business needs. This ensures that your receipts are clear, durable, and professional, which is vital for maintaining customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Investing in high-quality thermal paper is a small step that can make a big difference in the smooth running of your business.

Choose Panda Paper Roll for your thermal paper needs and experience the difference in quality and reliability. Our products are designed to deliver the best performance, ensuring your receipts always look sharp and last longer. Don’t settle for less—invest in the best. Contact us today to place your order and elevate your business operations with Panda Paper Roll!

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About the Author: Frank Ouyang

Frank Ouyang is the sales manager at Panda Paper Roll Company - a leading factory of thermal paper rolls, label rolls, and other print-related products in China. With extensive experience in the industry, Frank is an expert in thermal paper knowledge and enjoys sharing his insights and expertise with clients, helping them achieve their goals and maximize their success.
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Krishna enterprise
1 year ago

Hello sir,
i am from india and i wants to import thermal paper from china.

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