Thermal Paper Rolls: The Trusty Receipt Paper

Thermal Paper Rolls. Image of crumpled paper. Text reads "Thermal Paper Rolls".

Receipts are either a blessing or a curse. On one hand, they can be kept in wallets or hung on refrigerators to track spending for budgeting purposes. On the other hand, receipts can also be a dreadful reminder of the not-so-budget-friendly lunch you might have had last weekend. Either way, the type of paper you print your receipt on can determine how long you’ll actually want to keep the receipt. You see, receipts aren’t just printed on any standard sheet of paper; most are documented on thermal paper rolls — high-quality sheets of paper designed to provide a long-lasting, crisp and clear print of purchasing information.

Looking for a more in-depth analysis of thermal paper rolls to make selecting the right product for your business’s cash register easier? Read on.

Breaking Down Thermal Paper Rolls

  • What sets thermal paper apart from its competitors is its coated texture developed from a mixture of dye and chemicals. When the textured paper is heated above its melting point, the dye reacts to the chemicals, causing a shift to a colored form.
  • Think of thermal paper as an onion. Both have multiple layers…except the layers of a thermal paper roll are a lot less messy and smelly.
Layers of Thermal Paper Rolls
  1. Substrate Layer: Nothing too complicated. This is just the paper layer.
  2. Base Layer: Serves as the binding element designed from starches, gelatin, and alkali salts. This layer has the superpower of allowing heat to transfer through the paper.
  3. Active Layer: The active layer’s job title is to assist in making the paper react to heat.
  4. Protective Layer: Prevents the paper from fading. Not all thermal paper rolls contain this layer.

Thermal Paper Rolls. Image of Point-of-Sale Paper Roll 220 Feet CS of 100.

Thermal Paper vs. Bond Paper

Fun fact: Thermal paper has a twin it often gets mistaken for. This twin goes by the name of bond paper, and while it may look oddly similar to thermal paper, the two are uniquely different. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between rolls is to check the texture of the paper. Thermal rolls have a glossy and slick surface that is challenging to write on with a pen, while bond paper feels like ordinary copy paper.

Thermal Paper Rolls. Image of Paper Rolls Now 1-Ply Thermal Paper Roll White PK of 3.

Finding the Right Printer for your Thermal Paper Rolls

To achieve the highest-quality images on your receipt, select a thermal printer with an energy level compatible with the sensitivity level of your thermal paper. How is energy level determined? By a combination of temperature and print speed.