Uncoated vs. Coated Paper: What Are the Differences?

Paper has come a long way over the years -- now, people have what seems like thousands of options to choose from regarding color, finish, size, and more. Today's paper is even more eco-friendly, with more than one-third of new paper being created with recycled fiber. But one common decision people must face when choosing between plotter paper options is going for an uncoated or coated finish. So to help you make this decision, let's take a look at a few key differences between uncoated and coated paper.

Uncoated Paper

Uncoated paper is not as smooth as coated paper -- and while the roughness may feel weird, the lack of coating actually helps the paper absorb the ink better. And since the paper absorbs more of the ink, the ink also tends to dry faster on uncoated paper. Types of uncoated paper can include bond paper rolls, cardstock, offsets, and newsprint paper. Uncoated paper is great for envelopes or letterheads because the paper allows the ink to go on smoothly, resulting in a professional and elegant finished product. For deep colors, greater contrast, and a traditional finish, you should choose uncoated paper.

Coated Paper

Two main coating options for paper include a glossy or matte finish. Coated papers are much smoother and sometimes have a shine to them, depending on the coat. Furthermore, the coating on paper can make the paper more durable and resistant to damage, like dirt and water. This can result in a finished product that will last and look better for longer. And because not as much ink is absorbed on coated paper, colors and images will show up more vibrant and clearer. With that in mind, coated paper is a great option for showing high-quality designs and print in a clear and crisp manner.

As you can see, there are several benefits to both uncoated and coated paper. Ultimately, it depends on the intended use and desired final result when choosing between the two types. Both will print 1good images and words, just in slightly different ways. So keep these key differences in mind when you're choosing between plotter paper options.