So you have decided thermal binding interests you...maybe because it's fast, or because of the premium wrap-around look, or maybe because you're tired of punching and binding. So now what?

Several different thermal binding manufacturers make their covers proprietary, meaning that each machine's brand will only be compatible with the same brand of covers. So before purchasing a machine based on price, ensure you check out the compatible cover selection to see if it works for you in the long run.

Three brands primarily hold the market share on thermal binding and are individually different. Even though the binding process is similar, the covers themselves differ in terms of appearance, available options, and the price. We wanted to briefly compare those top thermal binding brand covers in this post: Coverbind, Unibind and Southwest’s house brand.




Coverbind (known as Bindomatic in European countries) is the worldwide leader. One main reason is their unique strength of bind. So, what makes their binding mechanism different? Isn't it all thermal? Well, yes, they are all thermal that they require heat to bind. However, the pre-applied glue in the Coverbind covers is a unique composition of specialty EVA binding glue along with a strip of fabric. I know that sounds a bit weird, but the mesh within the glue works an anchor, pulling your pages deeper into the glue and holding them down.

Instead of poured, the glue is also placed into the covers; this slight difference also ensures perfectly consistent glue application from top to bottom and eliminates any possibility of the glue seeping out of the cover's ends when heated. That is why these special thermal binding covers are held the strongest in the business.

Coverbind offers a wide variety of cover solutions, including choices with clear covers, linen-textured fabric, and hardcovers in various styles.




Unibind is unique in the use of a steel spine. That is what activates their machines to work with the covers. Some users mentioned that they are not fans of this look or feel, removing some of the soft covers' flexibility. It also means that the spine's thickness is not as seamless with the pages bound, sticking out a bit more. With the spines being made of steel, they also require an extra step of crimping the book after it is bound. Unibind has 8 different colour options and they have three options for books: spines only, soft cover and hard cover.

Spines only allow you to use your own front and back covers and make them into a thermal bound book. This is an excellent option as you can customize your covers how ever you want for a fraction of the price of regular custom books.

Soft cover or Flex Cover comes with a clear cover on one side and a matte cover on the other. This means you can choose what kind of finish and look you want for the front of your book.

Hard cover books are made of high-quality material case wrapped over board. This is the most seamless look as the spines and the covers are all the same colour and made of the same material. These covers can also be customized with your name or the name of your proposal on the front cover in a metallic finish.




Southwest has been producing our own thermal covers for decades now. Available in any finish or colour your heart desires; any of our report covers can be made into a thermal cover as well as any vinyl option. Like Coverbind, the glue is a strip that is applied to the spine of the book. In fact, you can even buy the strips separately and make your own thermal cover books yourself simply by cutting down the glue sheets and applying them to your spine.

Southwest’s soft cover thermal bindings are also available with a clear or frosted front cover or with a die cut window to show off your front page.

In addition, Southwest now produces Hard cover books as well. Giving you the same look and feel as the Coverbind Hard covers but produced in Canada. We also are able to digitally print the hard covers making them the most customizable option out of any thermal cover supplier.



Have more questions about thermal covers? Call us at 1-877-285-7044 or e-mail us your questions and we would be happy to help you find the right solution for you.