The 7 Best Clothing Labels to Buy in 2018

Keep track of your child's gear with smart tags

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Clothing labels come in handy lots of places: To help younger kids keep track of their clothing, help older ones find their sports or camp gear. Even for college kids or adults who go to an assisted living facility, having washable clothing labels can be key for sorting their laundry from everyone else’s. There are many options out there, from iron-on labels to markers to ones with decorations on them, and the ones that are best for you will be easy to use, won’t come off after many rounds through the laundry, and will appeal to the person whose clothing you’re labeling. Here, our picks for the best clothing labels for young kids, older ones and grownups, too.

  • 01 of 07

    Best Laundry Markers: Crafts 4 All Permanent Fabric Markers

    One of the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways to label clothing is by using a laundry marker. These dual-tipped pens have both a thin and thick side, so it’s just as easy to write big on a tag for little kids to read, or more discreetly on a care label with the thin-tipped side. Plus, this set comes with twelve colors, so you can give each family member a color to make finding their own gear even quicker, especially if you only want to use a last name instead of their whole name. Generally, it’s recommended to use laundry markers on care labels or along seams to make sure that the ink doesn’t bleed through to other parts of the fabric since it will be permanent. Also note that some clothing donation centers won’t take clothing with a name on it, so consider writing on a clothing care tag that you can cut off when your child has outgrown the garment.

  • 02 of 07

    Best Laundry Stamp: Trodat Personalized with your name Clothing Stamp

    If you’re anticipating labeling a LOT of clothing at once — or have a new child and see yourself beginning a lifetime of labeling — you might want to invest in a clothing label stamp. This personalized stamp is self-inking, non-toxic and guaranteed to stay permanent through up to 40 washings. Plus, it can include up to three short lines of text, so you could add an address, phone number or other information on the stamp in addition to the name. The printing size is small enough to stamp care tags, though you can also use it to stamp directly on the garment. This stamp comes with an additional ink pad, and more can be reordered if you get ​through them all.

  • 03 of 07

    Best Iron-On Labels: Label Land Iron-On Clothing Labels

    If you don’t want to print directly onto a piece of clothing, iron-on labels are the classic solution. These simple personalized labels are made with black ink printed ​on a white label and have rounded corners to prevent peeling (though they’re also thin enough that they can be sewn on). A few benefits of an iron-on label are that it’s easy to iron a new one on top of it when the next child comes along, you can mark out the name with a fabric marker later if you want to donate a garment your child has grown out of, and you don’t have the risk of the ink bleeding through the material if you’re labeling thinner or lighter fabrics.

    Ironing takes only a few seconds, so it’s easy to do a bunch at once, and because they’re pre-printed, you don’t have to take the time to write out their name over and over again. Iron-on labels stay adhered through clothing through many washes and the customized lettering won’t fade, either.

  • 04 of 07

    Best Overall Labels: Avery No-Iron Kids Clothing Labels

    If you’d rather not iron — or are working with a surface like a backpack or delicate fabric that may not do well with heat — check out an adhesive label, that you just peel and stick onto your clothing. This pack comes with three different shapes and sizes for different labeling needs, including smaller items like gloves and larger ones like jackets.

    For these, you write directly onto the label with permanent marker (it does not have to be fabric-specific as long as its permanent) and then adhere it to clothing. That gives you room to use your own markers to decorate the label, include as much information as you want, or include different information on one label than you would on another, for example a full name on a piece of clothing that’s frequently lost, or just initials on another if you’re only trying to keep it straight within your family.

    These labels work on any fabric surface, including clothing, baseball caps, the inside of shoes, bedding and more. This pack has more than 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon who appreciate how well they adhere and quick they are to use. They are also less expensive than personalized labels, making them an economical choice if you’re on a budget.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best Design Stick-On Labels: Minted Pop of Color Custom Name Labels

    pop of color custom name labels
    Courtesy of Minted

    Do you like stick-on labels for ease of use, but want something with a little more flair? Then try these super-cute labels created by an independent designer and sold through Minted, a site best known for its trend-forward stationery.

    With a cool and totally unique design like a rainbow (and 300 other design options for all ages and genders), your child will instantly be able to pick their clothing out from a crowd. As a bonus, these adhesive labels work just as well on other surfaces, like water bottles, food storage containers and toys, so you can use them on any of your child’s stuff that may leave the house. Your child will love having their favorite colors and motifs on the labels, which will hopefully make them less likely to lose them and can help children who can’t spell, identify their clothing more easily.

  • 06 of 07

    Best Sew-In Labels: Label Weavers Sew-On Name Tape

    If you want an option that will be removable once your child outgrows the garment, consider ordering name tape customized with your child’s name. For this label, the name is woven into the fabric of a narrow, ribbon-style length of tape, and you cut it down to sew it in place. While it may take a little longer to sew the tag into clothing than it does to peel and stick, it has a luxe feel and is also more durable than some other labels because it’s sewn in, instead of adhered, and because the name itself Is part of the fabric, so it won’t bleed or fade. When it’s time to pass on a garment — whether a child has outgrown it or it has gone out of style for an adult — you can just snip it out to donate it without worrying about a stranger finding your name.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Label Packs: Mable’s Labels Uniform Label Pack

    Uniform Label Pack
    Courtesy of Mabel's Labels

    If you see yourself labeling a whole suite of things — for example, if you’re stocking up on this year’s school uniform, or if you and your child have just returned from back-to-school shopping — consider buying a pack of labels that include ones for both garments and shoes, like this pack. Each comes with 42 tag-sized stick-on clothing labels to put directly onto care tags, as well as four larger round tags to go inside two pairs of shoes. But the most fun part is that these labels come in 80 kid-friendly designs and four fun (but still legible) fonts, so you can choose a style that your child will really love — and hopefully hold on to!