The differences between hot and cold paper cups

With Coating outside or not:

Coated paper vs Uncoated paper

The most important difference between hot paper cups and cold paper cups is the “Exterior Coating”. Can you simply recognize the difference between coated and uncoated paper above? The answer is "glossy", the paper which has been coated has a glossy surface; on the other hand, the other one is just like a normal paper.


“Coating” is important when it comes to food containers that are made of paper, it is used to avoid the liquid getting into the paper, so no matter cups are for hot drinks or cold drinks, there must be a coating lining inside the cups.


For hot cups, there is only a layer of internal coating inside the cups, no additional coating outside the hot cup; while cold paper cups must do the coating both inside and outside of the cups.


Then, why is there a layer of coating on the outside of the cold paper cups? Since there will be condensation water on the outer wall of the cups when holding cold drinks. If there is no coating outside to be a barrier between condensation water and the paper, the paper will absorb the condensation water, which can easily cause the cup body to soften, reduce its stiffness, and make the paper cup easy to deform.


GREENFUTURE provides a wide range of sizes for paper cups, and the coating material is also optional. We have launched water-based coating paper cups that include no plastic and have been tested home compostable, if you are interested in this kind of product, please click here to see details, or contact us directly.


Some of you may be curious about what will happen if we use hot cups to hold ice drinks. Let's do some experiments, pouring some liquid on the wall of the hot paper cup and cold paper cup.

what would happen if use hot cup to hold cold drink

Please look at the picture above, we can clearly distinguish which is the hot cup and which is the cold cup in the picture above now. The one with some water droplets on the paper wall is a cold cup that has a coating outside so that the water can’t get into the paper; while the other, which does not have the coating outside, absorbs the water and the paper turns out to be soft, which indicates that this is a hot cup, it is suitable for holding hot drinks instead of cold drink.


The weight of paper:

Regarding the single wall paper cups, the paper weight of hot paper cups is always heavier than cold paper cups in order to have a certain thickness and stiffness to increase the heat insulation and keep the construction of paper cups sturdy enough to hold hot drinks like coffee.