<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=216539877280951&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> What Is Blister Packaging and Why Is It Used? | DymaPak

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Consumers are likely unfamiliar with the term “blister packaging,” but it is used in a wide range of products and industries. Heavily adopted by the pharmaceutical industry in the 1960s, blister packaging is a classic choice for tablets and capsules.

In that industry, blister packs are favored for their durability, dose management, and tamper-proof construction. These qualities have made it valuable in many other sectors including commercial cannabis and vape products.

In the competitive world of brick-and-mortar business, this packaging style has ample space to add visual flair and branding to help brands potentially stand out.

Here’s all you need to know about blister packs and what sets this technology apart.

What Is Blister Packaging?

Blister packaging, or blister packs, are a type of plastic packaging molded to the shape of a specific product and sealed to a backing or lidding structure. The backing is traditionally made from paper, foil, or plastic.

Blister packaging was originally named for the appearance of the individual plastic bubbles that capsules were contained in. Since then, their usefulness and industrial application have expanded.

Other than pharmaceuticals, blister packaging can be a practical option for food, hardware, electronics, and writing tools to name a few.

Why Is Blister Packaging Used?

Blister packaging is extremely versatile and has usefulness in a wide range of industries. Food benefits from reduced air exposure, helping to maintain freshness and extend shelf life. Delicate objects such as electronics benefit from the sturdiness and tight fit of the packaging.

Cosmetics, sports equipment, toys, and tools are less likely to be lost or stolen because of the unusual shapes of objects packaged in this manner. Compared to boxed products, transparent blister packaging can showcases a product visually and increases shelf appeal.

What Are the Benefits of Blister Packaging?

Blister packs are popular for a reason. From tamper-evident perks to child-resistant packaging and pre-formed cavities, blister packing offers several potential benefits.

Here are the top benefits of this packaging technology.

Tamper Proof

The term “wrap rage” was coined to describe the difficulty of opening clamshell-style blister packaging. Whether the goal is theft deterrence or the safety of edible contents, blister packaging can help get it done.

Any damage to this type of packaging will show visible evidence. In the case of capsules, this could be the perforation of the backing foil, for a flashlight a tear in the plastic lidding structure. These tamper-evident features can increase customer confidence in the quality and safety of their purchase.

Child-Resistant Packaging

With products that present a possible risk of injury or accidental child poisoning, child-resistant packaging is not only a best practice but a must.

For instance, the colorful packaging and candy-like appearance of cannabis gummies or other edibles appeal to children. Accidental ingestion has led to tens of thousands of acute cannabis poisonings and a handful of child deaths in the last decade. Blister packaging could be a practical solution to these dangers and liabilities.

Push-through blister packaging prevents easy access to the contents. The sturdy plastic and stiff lids on clamshell packaging add an even stronger defense against child tampering, impenetrable without the use of an additional tool.

Supports Product Integrity

A blister pack protects its contents and helps to retain the product’s physical integrity and freshness. Superior barrier protection created by the heat-sealed plastic mold and backing reduces oxidation and limits water vapor transmission.

This reduced exposure to air reduces product waste and helps maintain the safety, freshness, and sterility of foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals. Compared to boxes, a blister pack’s sturdy plastic and unusual shape can discourage tampering and prevent damage.

Individual Dosing

The blister design allows for easy dose management. Typically, a single dose is contained in each blister. With sufficient space on the backing, each pocket can be labeled by day or numbered.

In the U.S, blister packs are used most often for over-the-counter drugs while in many other countries internationally, blister packaging is an industry standard for all prescription drugs. Unlike pill bottles, the blister pack makes for easier monitoring of how many pills have been taken, reducing potential risk.

Pre-Formed Cavities

Pre-formed cavities are used most frequently in food and pharmaceuticals. The organized grid of blisters or bubbles is ideal for separating out serving sizes.

The heat sealing that binds blister packaging helps to capture these products at their peak quality and increase shelf-life. Since safety is a primary concern with all products for human consumption, these tamper-evident cavities are ideal for protecting the consumer.

Product Molding

Developments in the thermoform process paved the way for more complex molds to be made. The ability to customize has led blister packaging to increase in popularity amongst an ever-widening field of producers.

You can find products as diverse as cell phones, bobbleheads, and persimmons on store shelves in blister packaging. Packaging can be transparent allowing consumers to inspect the product in advance or opaque to prevent light damage. Barrier protection from the molding blocks external contaminants to keep the clean, mint condition of a product.

Molds made to specification keep the product contained tightly to minimize damage all the way from production, through transport, to the end consumer.

What Are the Components of Blister Packaging?

Blister packages are made up of several distinct components, but the end result is greater than the sum of its parts. Here’s how it all comes together.

Forming Film

To create the final product that we see on the shelf, the process begins with a flat plastic sheet called a forming film. These massive rolls of plastic are stretched over a copper or aluminum mold built to customer specifications.

The forming film is heated and pressed into the mold. The application of heat makes the film malleable. As the film, cools it hardens into place and becomes more durable.

Lidding Structures

Depending on the application, lidding structures, also known as backings, can be made of paper, cardboard, foil, or plastic.

Capsules and tablets will have a paper or foil backing that the product can be pushed through to dispense a single dose. Electronics, tools, and other consumer goods come in clamshells that have a plastic lidding structure that is hinged with the top mold.

In the case of fresh fruits, the clamshell will have a hinge and buttons on the corner to snap the container shut.

Heat-Seal Coatings

The final step in the process is marrying all these parts together. Typically, the forming film and backing or lidding structures of blister packaging are heat-sealed together around the product.

This bond creates a stable barrier and controlled environment for the product. This superior barrier protection is valued for blocking oxygen, moisture, and physical contaminants, to name just a few of the main culprits that can cause product degradation and waste.


Blister packaging traditionally has a cardboard backing or insert inside. Beyond the functional purpose of holding packaging together, producers can utilize this space for increased visual impact. Colorful eye-catching designs, graphics, and logos can all help a product stand out from competitors.

In the case of pharmaceuticals or commercial cannabis, this space can be used to indicate the appropriate dose size or schedule. Any other relevant product details, company information, or advertising for other products can be printed here as well.

The Bottom Line

From their original intention of safe and consistent dose delivery to current uses, there are a few strong arguments for using blister packaging. But it’s not always the best approach. For forward-thinking, attractive, child-resistant packaging, look into Dymapak.

Secure Sacks take up less space during transport and offer food-grade packing in a reliable design. The superior barrier protection helps keep products clean and fresh, reducing airborne contaminants, so they arrive in pristine condition.


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