Laboratory Labels

Laboratory Label Guide

This short guide will introduce you to our label range for biotechnology, agricultural, environmental and forensic laboratories.  These labels are used by healthcare, testing and research laboratories across the UK.   You have a choice from a wide range of specialist labels made for laboratories.

Label materials: paper, plastic, water soluble and direct thermal

Choosing the correct label material is the key to long life, readable labels.

  • Paper labels are the most cost effective label solution.  Designed for one off identification – but won’t survive significant contact with water or steam.
  • Plastic labels are more robust, designed to survive water content and provide clear text and barcodes.  If your labels are used with autoclaves, you will need plastic labels.  For sample that might come into contact with solvents, you will need a plastic label and ink combination that will not rub off.  Ask us what combination would work best with the solvents you use.
  • Direct thermal is perfect for labels with short label life and are not exposed to heat.  They eliminate the need for ink and can be printed with any thermal or thermal transfer printer.
  • Water-soluble labels are not found commonly in laboratories, but mean that all traces of labels can be removed from samples before being re-labelled.


Adhesives are the key to labels you can trust.  It’s the adhesive that survives contact with solvents, water, liquid nitrogen, freezers and all the extreme conditions encountered in laboratories.

  • Standard permanent adhesive are the most cost effective labels.  This is not a reliable adhesive for high temperatures or freezing.
  • Peelable adhesive is ideal for containers and samples that need to be reused.  If used with plastic labels you will be able to remove old identification labels quickly and easily, even if the sample gets wet.
  • Freezer adhesive comes in a range of specifications for labels rated down to -20, -40, -90 and cryogenic storage at -196

Ask for an adhesive that is tested to resist contact with a range of solvents – Xylene, Toluene, Alcohols, Acetone, Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO), Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) and Acrylonitrile (ACN).

Label sizes

With more than 6,000 label dies in our die library, we are able to provide you with a label that fits your situation exactly.  Combine these with the different label materials and adhesives we use and you’ll be confident that you’ll get the exact label you can trust.

Let us print your labels for you

If you need to uniquely identify your labels, but don’t want to invest in a high resolution printer, ask us to pre-print your identification codes.  You can use us for numerical or alphanumeric sequences or provide us with a database and we’ll print them for you.

Common Laboratory applications

Tube labels

Label on a conical tube
Laboratory Labels
These labels are made to stick to plastic and glass tubes, for temporary or permanent use.  Labels can be applied to the sides or tops of PCR and micro-centrifuge tubes.  Coloured dot or rectangular labels are available.  Whilst these labels are designed for thermal printers (so the ink doesn’t flake off) they can still be written on with the trusty marker pen.  Available in a range of freezable adhesives, which can remain stuck all the way down to -196.  Choose from labels that are made from waterproof plastic or paper that stick to most plastics and glass. With our plastic labels, your samples will remain identified after boiling water baths, standard freezing down to cryogenic freezer temperatures. They are resistant to most organic solvents, caustic agents without peeling, becoming brittle or degrading.

Slide labels

microscope slide
Microscope Slide
These labels have a coating which makes the information printed onto the labels clear and sharp.  Equally suitable for text and barcodes.  As with many of our labels, these labels come with a choice of solvent resistant or peel able adhesive.

Cryo tubes and Vials

Cryogenic Labels
Cryogenic Labels
 Made from laser printer or thermal printable plastic materials with an adhesive that will not come off when stored at -196.  We have labels sized for vials, microscope slides, tubes, micro-centrifuge, microplanes and a wide range of containers used in long term bio-preservation in liquid nitrogen.

Laboratory Glassware Labels

Glassware Labels
Glassware Labels
Labels that can be peeled off for reuse with glassware – or permanent adhesives for long term storage and identification.  Come in a large range of sizes.  Labels made from flexible materials that stay attached to curved surfaces.

Conical centrifuge tube labels

Labels specially designed to be applied to glass or polypropylene conical tubes.  Label sizes to suit 5ml to 100ml.

Vial top labels

Circular labels that can withstand low temperature storage.  Either printed with identification details and high density 2D barcodes or coloured.

Multi-part laboratory labels

Multi-part labels with peel off sections are useful when you need to identify multiple samples with the same identification.  We carry a small number of these labels as stock, most are made to specification.

Straw labels

With straw labels typically being 5mm x 25mm, the label material needs to be soft and flexible to adapt to the tight curve of the straw.  Choose from a range of adhesives suitable for storage right down to -196.


As with all labels – we recommend you test a sample of label to make sure you can trust them under your laboratory conditions.  Click here to order your free sample pack.  Make sure to mention what conditions you intend to use your labels under.

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