Press on Nails vs Acrylic Nails: What are The Main Differences

A hand with press on nail is dipped in paint on paper.

Honestly, I never prefer to move outside with short nails, and long fingers will make you look more classy. That's why press-on or acrylic nails have always been the choice of sophisticated girls.

According to research in the USA, nail product sales increased 17.5% in 2019. Their demand is predicted to grow 4.5% from 2019 to 2024. In this fierce market for fake nails, you might be confused by the variety of press-on nails and acrylic nails in the store.

I'm a girl who loves beauty and in the first half of 2022 alone, I went to the nail salon almost 30 times. So in this article, you'll learn the difference between these two types of nails in detail.

Let's dive in!

What are Press on Nails?

Press on nails is an artificial nails usually made of acrylic resin. It comes in various shapes, designs, and sizes. Usually, they are considered single-use nails, but you can reuse them if you know a few clever tricks.

For their application, you need to put them on your nail surface and apply a little force to press them. Ultimately, they will stick onto your nail bed. All this is done in 5-10 minutes. You no longer need to rush to the salon in advance to show off your glamour at a big party or event.

Next, I'll also go for the nail glue or adhesive tapes for applying the press on nails to increase their longevity. So, you should also use some glue on the underside of the nail before applying.

Isn't that one of the quickest ways to dress up before a date? Of course, yes!

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are one of the hot trends in the fashion industry.

You can paint your acrylic nails with a combination of colors, shimmering powders, and baubles. When it dries, you have longer, more elegant nails. The acrylic coat stays for a pretty long time as compared to other false nails. That's why most women prefer them.

However, some people may not feel comfortable with acrylic nails. Because it requires more glue as opposed to pressing the nails, which can make your nails very weak. Always consult a nail technician to apply acrylic nails if you are a newbie. Otherwise, you will hurt your nails.

We will discuss with you the difference in detail in the following paragraphs.

Press-on Nails vs. Acrylic Nails on Appearance and Design

Press on nails offers you a variety of designs and sizes. Different brands offer you coffin, almond, square, or stiletto-shaped press on nails. You can adopt a look that suits your hands. Also, you can cut the nails into different forms according to your requirements.

When talking about the appearance of these nails, they are super cool. They are available in various designs so you can put them at multiple celebrations, like, St Patrick's Day, Christmas, Halloween, etc.

Acrylic nails need to be designed by you or going to a salon. You may choose different pigments and mix them to create adorable appearances. I often use beads or other small accessories to design my acrylics. They provide a pretty chic and modish look to my hands.

So, the main difference between both is that you can design the acrylics of your choice. The glue-on nails have to accept them as the manufacturers design them.

Press-on Nails vs. Acrylic Nails on Cost

Press-on nails are considered the cheapest false nails. The different brands demand different prices for their glue-on nails. Generally, the cost ranges from 6 to 20 dollars, hence you can easily afford them.

But, acrylics are way more expensive. According to research in the USA, the complete set of acrylics cost 46.1 dollars in 2019. Whereas, now, in 2022, some salons demand up to 100 dollars for it.

Press-on Nails vs. Acrylic Nails on Durability

Unfortunately, press-on nails don't offer much durability. There is a greater probability of popping off, or the tips may break if your hand strikes some hard surface. You can move with them for only two weeks if you take extra care of them.

Whereas acrylic nails are well-known for their remarkable durability. They offer you a hard overcoat due to its resin nature. If appropriately applied, it is almost impossible to experience popping off of the acrylics. Additionally, there are fewer chances of their breakage.

Press-on Nails vs. Acrylic Nails on Nail Damage

As far as nail damage is concerned, press on nails are less likely to damage your natural nails. Unless you roughly rip it off.

Mostly, it is common to experience dryness and brittleness after removing the press on nails. This is because we dip our nails in acetone for a more extended period and acetone dries our nails and skin.

When it comes to acrylic nails, they are pretty damaging, especially when reasonable care is not taken. So, you need to visit your nail technician after every two to three weeks for nail filling.

Otherwise, the gap between your natural nail and acrylic nail may suffer from severe fungal infection due to moisture. In addition, over-filing your nail bed can weaken your nails, causing pain and infection.

In short, glue-on nails are safer than acrylics.

Press-on Nails vs. Acrylic Nails on Time Consumed

As discussed earlier, press on nails don't spend much time on your nails. And for acrylic nails, whether you design them yourself or go to a nail salon, they take at least 1-2 hours. If you are a novice, it will take longer.

Press on Nails vs. Acrylic Nails on Removal Process

You can remove your press-on nails by following different methods. Here are two of them;

  1. Submerge your nails in warm soapy water for at least ten minutes until the adhesive loosens. Then pop off them carefully.

  2. Soak your nails in a bowl containing acetone for ten minutes; this will easily remove your press-on. However, I'll never recommend using this method as it dries your skin and nails. Moreover, you can't reuse your glue-on nails after using acetone as they are destroyed.

When talking about the removal of acrylic nails, it is pretty challenging. As they are hardly bonded to your natural nails, it requires more time for removal than press on nails. Here are the steps to be followed;

  1. Cut your acrylics to a short length. Then buff the surface of your fake nails and apply cuticle oil at the nail edges. Soak a cotton ball with acetone and place it over your nails. Finally, cover it with aluminum foil and rest for 20 minutes or more if needed.

  2. You may follow the same method for a non-acetone solution, but it will take almost 40 minutes.

    Where can Buy

    You can quickly get press-on nails from some nearby shopping stores. If not, you may order them from online stores, such as Amazon, Walmart, BTAartbox online store, etc.

    However, you can go for acrylics from some well-reputed salons. If you are professional and can apply acrylics at home, you can buy them from shopping stores.


    At last, you can decide which artificial nails are better. Me, I always admire press-on nails for their easy and safe use. They allow me to get rid of them easily after weekends for my college. Now, it's up to you to go for the one you like.
    Leave a comment
    Your Email Address Will Not Be Published. Required Fields Are Marked *