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What Kind of Paper is Used for Receipts?

Chances are that when you grab a receipt with your purchase, you don’t think about the type of paper it is made with. However, many businesses end up having to make a choice about what type of paper to use for receipts. If your business is looking at this decision, let’s review the different types of paper used for business receipts. 

Thermal Receipt Paper

By far, the most popular type of paper used for business receipts is thermal receipt paper. This may sometimes also be called POS paper. This type of paper is coated with a chemical that reacts with heat from a print head in a printer. The result is that the receipt turns black where it encounters the head, creating an image or text. 

Thermal receipt paper is frequently used in things like ATM machines and by many retailers. You can tell receipt paper is thermal by the slick feeling of it, which is the result of the chemical coating. POS paper is often preferred for its ease of printing. 

3 1/8" x 220' Thermal Paper (50 rolls/case) - BPA Free


Bond Paper

Another common type of paper used in business receipts is bond paper. You may frequently hear this type referred to as wood-free paper or even non-thermal paper. This type of paper comes in a variety of sizes and is printed with a traditional printer that uses ink.

Since bond paper does not have any chemical coating, it is much smoother than thermal receipt paper, making it relatively easy to tell the difference between the two when examining them. Bond paper is not particularly economical for the use of receipts as it requires ink cartridges. Thus, it is rarer to see. 

3" x 150' 1-Ply Bond Paper (50 rolls/case)


Carbonless Paper

Have you ever made a purchase and had the business give you a yellow copy of a receipt while they keep the original? This is carbonless paper, the third major type of paper used for business receipts. Carbonless paper has three layers and uses coats of dye between layers to transfer text and images when pressure is applied. 

This type of paper used to be quite popular for business receipts. However, they have become less common over time as the triplicate copies typically mean both more waste and less paper for your money, leading to a higher cost. 

3" x 95' 2-Ply Carbonless Paper (50 rolls/case) - White / Canary


Final Thoughts 

There are three major options when it comes to the type of receipt paper used by businesses. However, thermal receipt paper or POS paper is by far the preferred method for most businesses. 

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