The Differences Between VFFS and HFFS – Which is the Best Packaging Solution for You?

flow wrapping machine (hffs) packing products


Horizontal form fill seal, or HFFS for short, is a popular packing process that’s chosen by all kinds of businesses. In this blog we’re explaining the difference between the HFFS and VFFS (vertical form fill seal) systems.


Horizontal form fill seal

As the name suggests, this method of packing operates horizontally. As products move along a conveyor belt, they are wrapped in plastic film which is then sealed at both ends. HFFS is very popular because up to 70 bags can be packed per minute as part of a highly efficient system.

HFFS is also known as flow wrapping and it’s perfect for solid items of the same shape and size, which could be anything from biscuits, snack bars and cakes to leaflets, tissues, toys, accessories and bundled products. If you have a high-volume packing project that requires between 2,500 and 50,000 bags or more, make sure to ask us about HFFS.


Vertical form fill seal

Vertical form fill seal is similar in a way, in that it is a continuous system for forming, filling and sealing packaging. However, the process is carried out vertically, with the sealing of one unit causing the formation of the next. As a result, time and materials are optimised, as the machinery vertically creates filled and sealed units with minimal waste.


Additional benefits of HFFS

HFFS comes with other benefits, such as keeping each bag’s contents protected through robust plastic film that restricts movement and provides an airtight finish. Horizontal filling can be combined with gas flushing to ensure that all oxygen is removed from the bag before being sealed, which is well suited to food items that need to remain fresh. On top of this, here are a few additional advantages:

  • Minimal material waste
  • A very cost-effective option for creating promotional items or samples
  • The packaging’s shape and construction lends itself to strong brand visibility when combined with our labelling service
  • HFFS bags typically weigh less than other packing methods, which can reduce transit costs
  • Bags are available in a range of sizes and can be square or rectangular


an image of a vertical form fill seal (vffs) machine

​The key differences between HFFS and VFFS

We’re here to help you understand how packing processes work, so here are a few other differences between HFFS and VFFS:

  • VFFS systems require less floor area due to the process being carried out vertically.
  • VFFS is perfect for sealed sachets and pouches, rather than units with other closures such as zips or nozzles.
  • VFFS can fit the vast majority of budgets due to it being a highly cost-effective system.
  • HFFS allows greater variety of packaging types and closures.
  • HFFS can be used for packing a wide range of products.
  • HFFS is better for heavier products, as they travel along a conveyor belt rather than being fed from a feeding spout.


Get in touch about HFFS and VFFS

If you’re interested in our flow wrapping or vertical form fill sealing services, we’d be delighted to answer your questions and help you to customise our offering to your exact requirements. To find out more, get in touch on 0115 852 9000 or fill in our contact form.


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