When you have multiple kids around the same size or are looking to organize your little one's T-shirts, water bottles, and other belongings for school or summer camp, good clothing labels help keep track of things. Your garments could be made of corduroy, cotton, or nylon, and your water bottle could be collecting condensation as we speak. For every item your child has, there is most likely a compatible clothing label up to the task.
"All clothing items have a label option that will work," says Dina Sweeney, chief merchandising officer for KIDPIK, a kid's clothing subscription box and fashion brand, adding that you just need to consider what fabric you're working with and what labeling method is best for it. "For instance, when it comes to heavyweight jackets and coats, using a sew-in label versus iron-on option is best," she says. "The fabric content for these items often consists of poly and nylon."
While labeling clothes ultimately comes down to personal preference on fabric, budget, and desired permanency, we looked at key features like durability and adhesion, too, when researching the best options for you. The Name Bubbles School Labels Pack is our top pick because it's versatile, and you can customize your labels. This pack also meets Sweeney's compatibility recommendation because the labels are designed to stick on everything from water bottles to jackets.
Here are the best clothing labels you can add to your cart.
Name Bubbles School Labels Pack
Large quantity of labels in one pack
Safe for the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer
Can be pulled off clothing
Although the Name Bubbles School Labels Pack is on the expensive side, we believe it’s the best in terms of quality, versatility, customization, and durability—and, therefore, worthy of our top overall pick. Busy parents will love the ease of no longer wondering how their little one’s emergency change of clothes got accidentally swapped with their friend’s at daycare or summer camp. Plus, you don't need to reapply the labels frequently, burning through your brand-new stash.
These tags are designed with a powerful adhesive that can stand up to numerous washes and wears. You can choose between laminated labels, designed to stick to a clothing item’s care tag, or un-laminated ones, which stick on the brand stamp inside a garment. Name Bubbles labels are also dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe, so the days of swapped lunch boxes and thermoses are also long gone. They can withstand the cold and condensation of lunch ice packs and the wear and tear of your child’s favorite water bottles.
The personalization options are also extensive. Their site allows you to plug and play, so you can view exactly what your labels will look like when they arrive. Choose from a large array of festive prints and classic colored backgrounds, plus 12 different fonts and over 46 motifs. Three lines of text are offered on some of their labels, so you can include an address and phone number with your child’s name.
One downside: These stickers can be removed by tiny, picking fingers if found in an easily accessed part of an item. However, that isn’t a dealbreaker in our eyes because their versatility and customization options fit most families’ needs and then some.
Price at time of publish: $39 for one-time purchase
Amount: 89 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: Multiple colors available | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Lil' Labels Name Labels, 1 Pack
No ironing or sewing required
Safe for the washer and dryer
May detach after many washes
Only one size offered
While there are plenty of options for fun, customizable name labels, those packs can be expensive and take a long time to ship. If you’re searching for a basic, reliable pack of plain clothing labels, we recommend the Lil’ Labels Name Labels. You can shop them in a pack that includes 42 stick-on labels. These labels don’t require any ironing or sewing, so they’re great for busy households and spur-of-the-moment labeling needs.
The manufacturer recommends using a fine-tipped permanent marker to write on the labels and allowing the ink to dry before transferring a label to your clothing item. Be sure to allow these labels 24 hours to adhere to a garment before laundering them. If properly applied, the manufacturer claims these labels are permanent and should not fall off. Our only concern is that multiple washes over time will weaken the adhesive. The labels are also very small, measuring less than an inch high and wide, so longer names or added information may not fit. Despite these concerns, we think these labels are a great basic option for everyday, less-extensive needs.
Price at time of publish: $13
Amount: 42 labels | Dimensions: 0.85 x 0.57 inches | Shape: Rounded rectangle | Color: White | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: No
Label Daddy School Pack
Safe for the freezer and microwave
Multiple sizes available
May deteriorate under excessive heat conditions
There is nothing more convenient than a label pack that offers every style, size, and purpose imaginable. We love Label Daddy’s School Pack not only because of the number of labels included (a whopping 139), but also because it includes labels specifically created for lunch containers, shoes, backpacks, and more. This pack also includes 51 extra-small clothing labels, which are ideal for children who may pick at the tags or smaller clothing items such as socks and underwear.
This set also includes 64 multipurpose labels in small and medium sizes, which are dishwasher, freezer, laundry, and microwave-safe. From thermoses to ice packs, these labels can handle it all. A large backpack label and eight shoe labels are also included. You can customize these labels with your child's name and phone number, plus choose between nine graphic designs inspired by interests like MLB or princesses. While we recognize this pack is well-justified in its pricing, we know it may not be within everyone’s budget. Despite its higher price point, we still love these labels for their multipurpose design and fun customization options that help your child easily recognize their belongings.
Price at time of publish: $50 for 139 Labels
Amount: 139 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: Multiple options | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Haberdashery Iron-On Fabric Labels
Come in a single roll
Easy to apply
May shrink when washed in warm water
Iron-on clothing labels are one of the most secure options available, aside from sew-in labels. This roll of 100 labels from Haberdashery can be customized with names or phone numbers up to 25 characters long. We love that these labels come in one roll, so they’re easy to reach for and store. The rectangle shape is also very basic and easy to apply.
To apply these labels, cut the label off the roll, place it in the desired location within your garment, and iron it on high heat with a thin piece of gauze, muslin, or tissue paper between the iron and label. Allow a full 24 hours for the label to fully adhere before laundering. Keep in mind: The Haberdashery labels are made of 70 percent polyester and 30 percent cotton, so there is a chance they may shrink if washed in warm water. However, they are waterproof.
Price at time of publish: $10
Amount: 100 labels | Dimensions: 2.4 x 0.4 inches | Shape: Rectangle | Color: White | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Avery No-Iron Kids Clothing Labels
Safe for the washer and dryer
Easy to apply
Can be pulled off clothing
The Avery No-Iron Kids Clothing Labels are a great option for parents who are looking for a quick and easy-to-apply labeling solution. These labels are safe for the washer and dryer and will not bleed onto your clothes. The brand recommends using a permanent marker to write names and phone numbers onto the labels and, as with other labels, be sure to allow 24 hours before laundering.
Determined little ones could manage to pull these labels off, especially if placed in an uncomfortable and itchy location on clothing. We recommend placing these labels in an area your little ones cannot reach when wearing their clothes to ensure they last a long time. In addition, these labels may not be best for children with sensitive skin or sensory sensitivities, as they do have a plasticky feel.
Price at time of publish: $9
Amount: 45 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: White | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: No
SchmabelLabels 100 Custom Clothing Labels Silky Satin
Can be customized with branding or images
Multiple lengths available
May require a sewing machine
May fall off if not stitched well
Sew-in labels—like iron-on labels—are a reliable option because they won’t fall off or wear down over time. We recommend these labels from SchmabelLabels on Etsy because of their silky satin finish, which would be great for children with sensitive skin or sensory sensitivities who might enjoy a softer and lighter material. They may not even notice that they're there, especially if you order a comfortable size and orientation for the item they're wearing.
These labels can be ordered in multiple lengths and in both horizontal and vertical orientations. Starting your own clothing business or want to really distinguish your belongings from someone else's? You can include personal branding or a character on the tag, along with a name and phone number. These labels are available in multiple colors and ink combinations, as well. We recommend using a sewing machine if you have access to one when it comes time to add these labels to clothing. Hand stitching would also be effective, but be sure to do multiple rows of stitching across the label end.
Price at time of publish: $20
Amount: 100 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Rectangle | Color: Multiple options | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
ThePrintMint Kids Clothing Label Stamp
Refill ink is available
Self-inking stamp is easy to apply
Eight font options
Label may fade over time
Ink pad may dry out over time
A stamp is an efficient way to quickly label all of your child’s clothes without much fuss. ThePrintMint offers up to four stamp options, which are customizable. You can choose a self-inking stamp, a self-inking stamp plus a refill, a wooden stamp and fabric ink pad, or just a wood stamp. Once your selection is made, then decide what you want to write on your stamp. There are eight font options, and you have enough space for two lines of text with 15 characters each.
The self-inking stamp is a great way to bring your kids in on the fun of labeling and organizing their clothes. It's easy to apply and doesn't require any heat-setting. If you’re worried about the ink drying out over time, you can buy a wooden stamp with a fabric ink pad. This ink is heat-set. That means it becomes permanent once you set it with heat from a hair dryer for 15 seconds. Allow the ink for both options to settle for 24 hours before tossing your clothes in the washer or dryer. While these stamps are labeled as permanent, we worry they may fade over time and after several washes.
Price at time of publish: $19
Amount: 1 self-inking stamp (refill available) or 1 wood stamp and ink pad | Dimensions: Approximately 1.75 x 0.5 inches | Shape: Rectangle | Color: Black ink | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
SUPIRITIV Ez Kids Clothing Labels
Can be written on with ballpoint pen
Safe for the washer and dryer
Come in a pack of 60
May bleed ink
No customization options
Waterproof labels are a must for clothing and lunch containers. These labels from SUPIRITIV are safe for the washer and dryer and can be written on with a ballpoint pen. We recommend using a permanent, fine-tip pen when writing on these labels to prevent any ink bleeding that might occur after washing. These labels should also adhere to clothing for 24 hours before laundering.
Label everything from your kids’ gym clothes to water bottles, so it’s less likely they’ll disappear forever if lost. These labels are large enough to accommodate a first and last name, but longer names may need to be written smaller to fit. Sadly, there aren't any customization options, but they're easy to apply and a great, basic option for heavy-duty labeling of your child's most-loved items.
Price at time of publish: $13 for 60
Amount: 60 labels | Dimensions: 1.18 x 0.51 inches | Shape: Rectangle | Color: White | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: No
Best for Lunch Boxes
Minted Waterproof Name Labels
Artwork by independent artists
Safe for the dishwasher and washer and dryer
Don't fall off easily
Character limit varies based on size
Separate product listings for each design
Minted—the online retailer known for its endless selection of personalized stationery, notecards, and photo books—also offers its own selection of waterproof name labels that are great for lunch boxes. Each design listed on Minted’s name label page is created by an independent artist, so they’re unique compared to other name label options. We've had the opportunity to test these stickers and love how they can be easily personalized. These stickers are also dishwasher and laundry safe. Just be sure you search their site using the “Use: Lunch Boxes” filter, so you know the stickers you selected are dishwasher safe.
Although we love the variety and fun styles offered by Minted, we wish the character count was uniform across all designs. While their design interface allows you to change the font size and orientation of the lettering, some longer names may be illegible on the small, round label options. Despite this inconvenience, we think these stickers are not only stylish but also a functional option for everything from snack boxes to water bottles.
Price at time of publish: $40
Amount: Over 30 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: Multiple options | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Best for the Whole Family
Mabel's Labels Split Name Pack
48 labels per family member
Eight fonts and 20 color options
10 characters per line limit
Only two names allotted in initial pricing
Name labels can keep the whole family organized—not just the kiddos. This pack from Mabel’s Labels allows you to split the organization task between members of your family—each name receives 48 labels. There are eight font choices and 20 color combinations, so you have plenty of personalization options to make each person’s label unique.
While we love the option of splitting this set, we wish the character limit were larger. Only 10 characters are allowed per line on these stickers, which does limit some longer names. This pack is priced for two names, which is a great starting point, but if you'd like additional names, each new name is $3 extra. We love that these stickers can be used on everything from lunch boxes to extra clothes, though, since they’re waterproof, dishwasher safe, and washer and dryer safe.
Price at time of publish: $23
Amount: 96 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: Multiple options | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Sharpie Rub-a-Dub Fabric Marker, 2 pack
No additional sticker or label required
May fade with washes and wear
A fabric marker is a great multi-use tool to have on hand for labeling clothes, as well as any other craft and organization projects that may pop up. Fabric markers are also a great option for parents of children with sensitive skin who may not enjoy the plasticky feeling of a stick-on option. For a fabric marker, we recommend Sharpie’s Rub-a-Dub Fabric Marker because it has a fine, felt tip and won’t bleed onto other clothing and fabric items.
This marker stays permanent through several washes, but it may fade over time, especially if frequently washed in hot water. Like other options, be sure to allow the ink to dry for 24 hours before running your garments through a wash cycle. When using fabric markers, it's also best to label your child’s clothes near the tag or care instructions, so the label and information are easily identifiable by others.
Price at time of publish: $6
Amount: 2 markers | Dimensions: Not listed | Shape: Not applicable | Color: Black ink | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Not applicable
MeYDecals Personalized Clothing Tag Labels
Over 100 customization options
Water- and fade-resistant
Permanent when applied correctly
Confusing online store front
With 112 character options, 26 color options, and 13 fonts, your customization possibilities are endless with MeYDecals Personalized Clothing Tag Labels. These iron-on clothing labels are a great way to prepare your child’s clothes for summer camp, daycare, or sleepovers. They’re not only water- and fade-resistant, but the labels are also permanent when applied correctly. They work best on cotton and polyester clothing, and you will want to make sure you're applying them to the tag of the clothing item or on top of the printed label. Also, be sure to use even pressure when running the iron over the labels to really ensure their permanency.
Our only concern with these labels is the online experience. There are multiple listings for the same product option, and the stock is also limited. You’ll want to pay attention to when new listings appear and be careful about what you're adding to your cart.
Price at time of publish: $12
Amount: 40 or 100 labels | Dimensions: 1.75 x 0.5 inches or 1.25 x 0.375 inches | Shape: Rectangle | Color: Multiple options | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Best for Daycare
Lil’ Labels Daycare MEGA Pack
Daily stickers included
Bottle and clothing stickers
Daily and permanent stickers could become mixed
Could be pulled off
Most daycare centers require labels on all of your child's personal belongings, so there’s no confusion between bottles, clothing, and toys. This sticker pack from Lil’ Labels is a great option for any parent sending their child to daycare because it has three types of labels: clothing labels, bottle labels, and daily use labels. The clothing and bottle labels are permanent stickers that can be written on with a ballpoint pen or fine-tipped permanent pen.
The bottle labels are self-laminating, meaning they come with an additional sheet of protective covers to add over your writing. This not only prevents the label from fading but also helps it withstand routine washing. Similar to other sticky labels, these clothing labels should be firmly adhered to your child’s clothes before they are tossed in the washer or dryer. Our favorite part of this pack is the daily use stickers, which can be used to label items like disposable snacks, drinks, or temporary items in your child’s daycare bag. Our only concern is the permanent and temporary labels could become mixed up if not stored carefully. We recommend storing the labels in their original packaging to avoid any confusion.
Price at time of publish: $20
Amount: 138 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: Multiple options | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: No
Best for Camp
Sticky Monkey Camp Labels Pack
Multiple sticker types included in pack
Can be split between multiple children
Must request split name packs after purchase
Going to camp can be one of the most exciting parts of summer for kids, so you want to set them up for success with reliable clothing labels that won’t fall off halfway through their day or stay. This Camp Labels Pack from Sticky Monkey comes with 45 waterproof name labels, plus 48 additional washer- and dryer-safe clothing labels. On top of being waterproof, Sticky Monkey claims their stickers are also tear-resistant, so they’re less likely to rip after continual exposure to water and dirt.
Their clothing labels are available in iron-on or peel-and-stick form, as well, and can be purchased as squares or circles. There’s also an option to purchase a larger number of clothing labels (up to 144) at an additional cost. Sticky Monkey allows 25 characters for a name and an additional line of up to 15 characters for a phone number or address. There’s also a separate contact label included in each pack listing phone numbers and emails of your choice. In addition, sticker packs can be split between multiple children upon request.
Price at time of publish: $34
Amount: Over 93 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: Multiple options | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Best for Nursing Homes
Label Land Seniors Savings Pack
Combination of iron-on and peel-and-stick labels
Space for name and extra information
Some users may require help with iron-on labels
Deciding to move a loved one into a nursing home is already a challenging decision, so making a smooth transition to that home is especially important. These labels by Label Land are designed with older users in mind, thanks to their rounded edges and high-grade, woven polyester finish. This pack comes with 50 iron-on and 40 “Stick-N-Wear” clothing labels, so you can find the label style that works best for your needs.
Additional multipurpose labels are also included to label personal belongings such as glasses cases, walkers, shoes, and more. Each label can include a name and a phone number or room number, depending on your needs. While we love the ease these labels create for anyone living in a nursing home, we wish they were more affordable. Some users may also need an extra set of hands when applying the iron-on labels. Despite these concerns, we still recommend these labels because of their high-quality and thorough design that stands out among other name-label packs.
Price at time of publish: $44
Amount: 126 labels | Dimensions: Varies | Shape: Varies | Color: White or blue | Waterproof: Yes | Customizable: Yes
Need to organize you or your child's belongings? Our top pick for clothing labels is the Name Bubbles School Labels Pack, which includes 89 waterproof, dishwasher-safe, and laundry-safe labels. We also love the number of customizable options that Name Bubbles offers for their label packs. If you’re looking for a more affordable clothing label solution, we recommend the Lil’ Labels Name Labels 1 Pack—a basic, stick-and-peel product that’s laundry safe.
What to Look for in a Clothing Label
Amount, Size, and Shape
When you’re searching for a clothing label pack, be sure to consider the size, amount, and shape of the labels offered, so that it works best for your purposes. If your child has a long first name or last name, be sure to look for labels with a large enough character count. The shape of the label can also impact the number of characters allowed if it's personalized online and may impact the label’s performance over time.
Rectangular or square labels with sharp corners may peel off after several washes. Look for clothing labels with rounded edges for this reason. You’ll also want to purchase enough labels to take care of all of your child’s belongings for school, camp, or daycare.
There are three main types of application methods for clothing labels: iron-on, peel-and-stick, and sew-in. Iron-on and sew-in clothing labels are the most permanent options because they are secured to the fabric. If you purchase sew-in labels, we recommend using a sewing machine for the most reliable stitching that won’t unwind or fray over time. Iron-on clothing labels can peel or shrink after multiple washes, as well. However, they're often more durable than peel-and-stick labels. In all cases, we recommend washing any clothes with labels in cold water to prevent the labels from wear and tear.
While peel-and-stick labels are convenient for their quick adhesive method, they are the most likely to fall off over time. Other options include stamps and fabric markers, which can fade after multiple washes and also apply ink directly to your clothes and belongings.
Many online retailers offer customization options, such as adding characters, selecting colors, and changing the font on the label. Customization options help your child easily identify their clothes or belongings from another's by looking for their favorite color, animal, or character. Some labels may offer customization options in the form of adding a name, phone number, or address.
You'll know a clothing label has a waterproof design if it's listed as dishwasher safe or laundry safe, or simply "waterproof." This factor makes the labels much easier to apply, maintain, and care for. It's key to look for a waterproof design if you want your labels to be durable and last a long time or if you hope to attach them to a water bottle or lunch box that may get wet. If you don't mind switching out labels for fresh ones often, then this may be less important for you.
What should be on a clothing label?
Clothing labels should include pertinent identifying information such as your child's name, your family's last name, a phone number, or an email address. Some parents prefer to include a house address, but you should consider how you're most comfortable being contacted if your child's item becomes lost, as well as what's required by your child's school, daycare, or summer camp.
How many types of clothing labels are there?
Aside from a brand's label tag, which is typically located at the nape of the neck on shirts and on the back of the waistband on pants, a care label is sewn into a side seam on most clothing items. While the placement of a clothing name label is mainly up to preference and comfort, we recommend placing a name label over the top of an existing tag, such as the brand's label tag. This ensures that it's easy to locate.
How do you remove sticky or iron-on labels from clothing?
Sticky labels can be removed using a washcloth and a small amount of rubbing alcohol but be wary that this may bleach darker-colored clothing. For any bright or dark-colored clothing, we recommend using a small amount of adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone, or a different brand that is also safe to use on clothing. Iron-on labels are easily removed by reheating them with an iron (Be sure to place a piece of parchment paper between the iron and label.) and using a pair of tweezers to gently peel off the label once it is warmed.
How do you make your own clothing labels?
You can easily make your own clothing label by writing directly on your child's clothing with a fabric marker. "For those that want to get more creative—fabric markers and paint pens can be used to write a child’s name on the inside of the item, or they can be used to decorate the outside to create a fun, personalized design," says Sweeney. "Using nontoxic paint pens is a creative way to decorate a sweatshirt, jean jacket, backpack, or lunch box. Of course, adult supervision is required for this activity, or crafty parents can decorate themselves."
If you're looking for a more "traditional" label approach, you could stitch your child's initials into small pieces of fabric and then sew them into your child's clothing. You can also write your information on blank peel-and-stick labels, such as the Lil' Labels Name Labels Pack or the Avery No Iron Kids Clothing Labels recommended in this roundup.
What is the best fabric for clothing labels?
"The best fabric for iron-on patches is denim, cotton, or woven fabrics," says Sweeney. "Paint and fabric pens also work well on denim, cotton, fleece, and knits." Additionally, we don't recommend putting clothing labels on any delicate fabrics, as they may damage the fabric.
We don't recommend using fabric markers on silk or sheer fabrics, as they may bleed. Sweeney also advises against using iron-on patches on polyester, nylon, or spandex to avoid melting the fabric. Most iron-on labels are made out of a polyester blend that's durable against washing and general wear.
Peel-and-stick labels will adhere to fabrics like polyester, linen, and cotton. That style may not adhere well to fuzzy clothing items such as jackets, scarves, gloves, or sweaters.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Emma Phelps is an updates writer for The Spruce and researched the products in this roundup, considering the design, functionality, and longevity of several clothing label styles and products. Emma has reviewed children’s products, including toys, craft items, and clothing, and has over 15 years of experience as an at-home seamstress working with a variety of clothing items and fabrics. She also previously wrote for Southern Living, covering fashion, lifestyle, and food content.
To learn more about clothing labels and how to best apply them and care for them, Emma chatted with Dina Sweeney, KIDPIK's chief merchandising officer, who provided added insight on the most compatible fabrics, the best clothing items to label, and creative alternatives to traditional clothing labels.