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Press on Nails Vs Acrylics: Are Press On Nails Better Than Acrylic?

Are Press On Nails better than Acrylic? That’s a question that many people have, and it’s not an easy one to answer. There are pros and cons to both Press-on and acrylic nails, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Here we’ll take a look at the key differences between acrylic nails and press-on nails, so you can decide which is right for you.

What Are Press-on Nails?

Press-on nails are already made up of plastic. They are glued on your natural nails either by using nail glue, double-sided adhesive tape, or with the glue provided on the press-ons.

These, too, are available in various shapes, sizes, nail arts, designs, etc. This provides you the opportunity to choose the best suitable between numerous options. 

Also, you do not have to visit any nail salon to get these done. You can apply press on nails by yourself without anybody’s assistance. 

Though the application process is super easy, these last for only about one or two weeks.  Some press-on nails are reusable, whereas others get off your natural nail like a sticker. 

What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are preferred by those who want to add some length to their real nails. Nail technicians in the nail salon apply them. 

They are done by using a mixture of acrylic powder and acrylic liquid. The nail brush is dipped in an acrylic liquid to get an adequate quantity of it. Then the acrylic powder is collected in a bead-like shape by using the same nail brush. 

The acrylic mix is applied to the artificial nail tips to provide extra length. These long nails are then filled by using a nail file to achieve the desired nail shape. 

Acrylic nails require a fill-up session every two to three weeks, depending on the nail condition. 

Acrylics and gel extensions are a bit similar to each other.

The difference is that gel nails give a more natural-like finish and requires the application of more than one layer that is cured under either UV light or LED light. 

Also, they are less damaging compared to acrylics. 

Main Differences Between Press-on Nails vs Acrylic Nails

1. Application process

Press-on nails can be easily applied at home, but the acrylic application requires a trained nail technician and a proper set-up with all nail products required. Hence, acrylic nails are applied at nail salons. 

2. Cost 

Press-on nails cost so much less than acrylic nails. Acrylic nails require more nail products and hence always cost some extra bucks. Also, the re-filling sessions of acrylic nails are always costly. 

3. Durability

If we compare the two, acrylics are more durable than press-on nails. Acrylics form a protective covering on your natural nails and stay for longer durations. Whereas press-on nails lose their ability to stick after a week or two.

4. Removal process

Just like the application of press-on nails can be done at home, their removal, too, is very much convenient. On the other hand, acrylics have to be removed at nail salons by a professional nail technician only to avoid any damage. 

5. Availability

Press-on nails are easily available online or at local cosmetic stores. The same with acrylic nail products. If you want to do your acrylic nails by yourself, you may either get an acrylic kit or buy the products separately. 

Are Press-on Nails Better Than Acrylic?

Summarising all the facts, it can be said that press-on nails are better than acrylics. There are several plus points on the side of the press-on nail that can not be ignored. 

They are budget-friendly, easy to apply and remove, and available in numerous shapes, designs, and sizes. Whereas acrylics are costly, their application and removal are time-consuming and difficult. 

And since press-ons are not that expensive, you may change them every week, so easy to get new nail art on your pretty nails. 

Are Press-ons Healthier Than Acrylic?

Press-on nails are stuck on natural nails using nail glue or stick adhesive on their backside. They do not require any chemical to be used before their application or removal. 

Whereas many chemicals are included in the application and removal process of fake nails. 

When applied correctly, the glue or adhesive used in press-on manicures is non-damaging for your nail beds. 

Do Press-ons Last as Long as Acrylics?

Press-on nails are not as durable as acrylics are. They last up to a week or two, whereas fake nails last for two to three weeks. After this duration, they require a fill-up session that a nail tech will professionally do. 

Do Press-on Nails Damage Your Nails Like Acrylics?

The number of harsh chemicals used in press-on manicures is almost zero when compared to other fake nail manicures. Though these are stick-on nails, they look super amazing on your fingers. 

The nail glue can be air dried without UV light or an LED lamp. This manicure is neither harmful to your nail bed nor your cuticles. 

How to Apply Press on Nails Vs Acrylics Nails

Press-on nails Application:

1. Prep your nails first to provide a strong base to your press-on nails. Trim, buff, push cuticles back, cut off any excess skin and remove any dust or dirt present on your nails. 

2. Choose the size, shape, and other customizations accordingly. 

3. Check how resistant the glue on the press-on nail is. Depending on it, if needed, use nail glue or glue stripes available. 

4. Peel the protecting covering present on glue nails and carefully apply them to your natural nails. 

5. While sticking the nails, make sure that there are no air bubbles in between your nail bed and the press-on. Also, avoid contact with water for about two hours so that the nails can stick completely. 

6. You may add a top coat if you want to give your nails a more perfect finish. 

Acrylic-nail application:

1. The prep step remains the same for both manicures. 

2. Apply the nail primer. 

3. Apply nail tips and trim them according to your wish. You may also use a nail form for providing fake length. 

4. Pour acrylic liquid and acrylic powder into separate glass containers. Also, sit in a well-ventilated room.

5.  Dip the nail brush in liquid, remove excess liquid, and then dip the same in acrylic powder, avoiding air bubbles. 

6. Starting from the cuticle area, cover the entire nail with the acrylic mix. 

7. Cure your nails either under UV light or an LED lamp.

8. Shape them using a nail file and buff. Paint your nails using the nail polish of your choice and apply a top coat over them. 

9. After two to three weeks, when acrylics start wearing out, you may choose either to remove them or get a refilling session. 

Is Press-on Easier to Remove Than Acrylic?

Removing press-on nails is much easier than acrylic removal. They can be easily removed by soaking them in warm soapy water for a few minutes. 

After you soak your glue nails in the soap water, then use a cuticle pusher to push the press-on nails back slightly. 

Whereas acrylics are to be professionally removed at nail salons. They require the use of 100% pure acetone for the removal. Don’t forget to apply cuticle oil after any of the removal processes. 

Press on vs Acrylic Price

Press-on nails are generally much cheaper than acrylic manicures. 

A press-on nail set’s average price usually ranges between $20-$40. This price may increase depending on nail art, shape, size, and other factors. 

On the other hand, a basic set of acrylic nails ranges from $20-$25. This price, too, can increase if you wish to use high-quality products, nail art, or want to have nail charms that fit perfectly for your fingers. 


Whether you want to go for press-on nails or acrylic nails is completely your choice. This preference may depend upon several factors. But first, you must compare all the pros and cons of the manicures, as mentioned earlier. 

Though acrylics are more durable, a quality press can also look great on your nails if applied correctly by nail techs. 

Therefore, you can save some extra bucks and still have a great manicure look by going for press-on nails. 

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