GVR Report cover Breathable Films Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Breathable Films Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Raw Material, By Product (Microporous, Non-porous), By Application (Packaging, Industrial Protective Apparel), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2025

  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-072-9
  • Number of Pages: 110
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Industry Insights

The global breathable films market size was valued at USD 16.1 billion in 2018 and is expected to register a CAGR of 6.0% from 2019 to 2025. Rising building and construction spending, especially in Asia Pacific coupled with high demand from sports and industrial protective apparels is anticipated to drive the growth. Increasing health consciousness and changing consumer trends are expected to further propel the growth. Furthermore, rising concerns pertaining to comfort of garments and growing application of breathable films in jackets, gloves, footwear, and helmet are anticipated to boost the product demand.

Rising requirement for baby disposables, women’s sanitation products, and adult incontinence products is projected to propel the product demand over the forecast period. A substantial portion of the market revenue is expected to be generated through the non-porous segment and this trend is anticipated to continue in the forthcoming years.

U.S. breathable films market

Increasing concerns pertaining to hygiene is expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period. Breathable films are widelyused in the hygiene and medical sector for the production of barrier gowns, medical sheets, patient gowns, operating cloth, wound dressing, examination gowns, drapes, under-pads, filtration, operation bed covers, diapers, napkins, wipes, sanitary towels, and incontinence pads. Rising disposable income and healthcare expenditure are anticipated to augment demand for breathable films from 2019 to 2025. Rise in the population of infant and old age population is projected to boost the demand for diapers.

However, emerging countries are expected to experience increasing demand for disposable baby diapers on account of growing disposable income. Asia Pacific is expected to experience a rapid growth in demand for disposable diapers in near future. Growing usage of disposable diapers over cloth diapers, westernization of lifestyle, and rise in the number of working women is expected to contribute to the regional demand for breathable films. Increasing demand for baby care hygienic and convenient products is also gaining significant prominence in the region.

Breathable Films Market Trends

 Increasing concerns related to hygiene are expected to fuel the demand for breathable films over the forecast period. Breathable films are used widely in the medical industry for the manufacture of sanitary towels, wipes, napkins, diapers, operation bed covers, barrier gowns, under-pads, filtration, drapes, examination gowns, wound dressing, operating cloth, patient gowns, medical sheets, napkins, and bladder control pads.

The increasing healthcare expenditures coupled with the rising disposable income in the developed and developing economies are anticipated to support the demand for breathable films. The high infant and old age population is projected to boost the demand for diapers in the breathable film market. Adult incontinence products are expected to grow higher than baby diapers due to declining birth rates. However, emerging economies are expected to witness increasing demand for disposable baby diapers due to increasing disposable income.

Growing concerns for comfort in the garments is anticipated to propel the breathable films in the apparel industry. Sweating during sports activities creates a micro-climate inside the garment. Sweat forms a wet layer upon trapping inside the garment, leaving an individual feeling hot and clammy while working hard, then becoming cold upon warming down. Breathable films absorb, dissipate sweat inside the garment, and control the micro-climate through the diffusion of water vapor molecules.

Various advantageous properties of breathable films such as lightweight, easy-care, durable, optimum moisture & heat regulation, soft & pleasant touch, and good air & water vapor permeability are projected to spur the demand for breathable films in the sports apparel industry.

Recent years have observed an increasing purchase of processed food items, ready-to-go meals, and convenience products. The growing processed food & beverage industry has led to high demand for sustainable and durable packaging solutions. Due to its cost-effectiveness, market players in the packaging industry have started shifting towards film-based flexible packaging for ready-to-eat food from rigid packaging. This is attributed to the recent advancements in high-barrier breathable film technology and the movement toward including lighter materials for packaging applications.

Breathable films are manufactured from polypropylene and polyethylene, which are derived from propylene and ethylene. Petrochemicals are the backbone for the products such as propylene, ethylene, benzene, and butadiene. Volatility in petrochemical prices can be seen further in its derived products, i.e., benzene, propylene, and ethylene. Thus, volatility in raw material prices has been acting as one of the significant barriers to the growth of the global breathable film market.

Raw Material Insights

Polyester segment led the breathable films market in 2018 and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 6.4% in terms of revenue over the forecast period. Growing usage of non-porous breathable films is expected to boost the demand. Extensive usage of polyethylene films in the hygiene and healthcare sector is anticipated to further propel the growth.

Polypropylene segment is also expected to witness a substantial growth over the forecast period. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications, such as packaging and labeling, stationery, plastic parts, reusable containers, and laboratory equipment. Breathable films manufactured by highly filled polypropylene form a part of this segment. Polypropylene used can be conventionally catalyzed PP or metallocene PP.

Product Insights

Non-porous segment held the largest market share in 2018 and is projected to expand at the highest CAGR through 2025. Increasing application in textiles, packaging materials, and medical products are expected to drive the growth. Non-porous films are dense and pinhole-free polymer membranes. These membranes are usually hydrophilic and they absorb water quickly. Non-porous films allow the transmission of water vapor through a process called active diffusion. This type of breathable film is often used in the packaging of clothes, electronic devices, disk drives, and in the logistics industry.

Application Insights

Packaging emerged as the largest application segment in 2018, followed by healthcare and hygiene. Breathable films are used for manufacturing packaging solutions, such as packaging pouches, rolls, and bags, which can be used for packing vegetables and fruits to maintain freshness and hygiene. These films are used in the food, fruit and vegetable packaging industry as they allow seal packaging, smoke permeation, cook-in of food products and keep fruits and vegetables dry, which increases the product shelf life.

Global breathable films market

Breathable films are also expected to witness a huge adoption in industrial protective apparel. It is used to provide personal protection from hazardous industrial environments, along with comfort and strength. They are used in the production of masks, suits, gloves, cleanroom clothing, footwear, chemical defending garments, radiation protection garments, flame retardant apparel, and other industrial protective apparels.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific dominated the overall market demand in 2015. Asia Pacific accounted for 36.63% of the global volume and is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2016 to 2024. The growth in this region is due to increase in consumption of packaging materials in the food & beverages, pharmaceutical, and personal care sector. China, Japan, Thailand, and India are projected to experience high growth followed by other Southeast Asian countries.

The hygiene market in China has shown substantial growth potential due to strong demand for general and feminine hygiene products. The growing awareness of hygiene practices for women has resulted in increased use of sanitary pads driving the need for feminine hygiene products. The increasing demand for hygiene products has encouraged foreign players set up breathable film manufacturing plants in the country. In May 2015, Germany-based RKW Group inaugurated its first hygiene film production facility in Guangzhou, China.

The government of China is focusing on constructing energy efficient buildings. The vigorous promotion of waterproof breathable films in China has led to the development of waterproof breathable film application in exterior building construction, sandwich panel roof, and pressure plate. Therefore, growth in construction activities in Asia Pacific is expected to drive the regional product demand. Growing production facilities in Europe is expected to further propel the growth in near future.

The increasing investments in advanced packaging technologies are expected to propel the demand for breathable films over the coming years in Europe. Moreover, the growing hygiene and health awareness supported by the increasing demand for premium hygiene products in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors in Europe is expected to boost the market growth for breathable films over the forecast period.

Germany is witnessing a strong demand for smaller packing in the personal care and food packaging industries. This is attributed to the single-person household trend, which drives the companies to package materials in smaller sizes to make them economical and faster rolling products. Since breathable films are used in food packaging applications, the strong demand for small-sized packages can positively impact the breathable films market in Germany. 

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is characterized by the presence of various well-established players, such as Argotec, LLC, Arkema, Clopay Plastics, Fatrs, a.s., and Nitto Denko Corporation. The competitive rivalry is expected to remain high over the upcoming years as the key players are extensively investing in expanding geographical presence. For instance, RKW North America, Inc. strengthened its position in the Southeast Asian market with strategic multi-million Euro investments in technology, infrastructure, and workplace safety.

Investments were made in a new printing line for multipack films, expansion of the total building area, and optimization of building technology at the Vietnam facility. RKW has strengthened its expansion in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Laos on the latest production technology for high-quality packaging solutions.

Breathable Films Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020


Revenue forecast in 2025


Growth rate

CAGR of %from 2020 to 2025

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2014 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2025

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD Million, Volume in Units & CAGR from 2020 to 2025

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Raw material, product, application, and region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Middle East and Africa; Central and South America

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; France; U.K.; Germany; China; Japan; India; Thailand; Malaysia; Indonesia; Brazil; Saudi Arabia

Key companies profiled

Argotec, LLC; Arkema; Clopay Plastics; Fatra, a.s.; Kimberley – Clark; Nitto Denko Corporation; Rahil Foam Pvt. Ltd.; RKW North America, Inc; SILON s.r.o; SKYMARK

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Segments Covered in the Report:

This report forecasts revenue and volume growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global breathable films market report on the basis of raw material, product, application, and region:

  • Raw Material Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Polyester

    • Polyethylene

    • Polypropylene

    • Others

  • Product Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Microporous

    • Micro void

    • Non-porous

  • Application Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Hygiene

    • Healthcare

    • Building & Construction

    • Industrial Protective Apparel

    • Packaging

    • Sports Apparel

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilotons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • France

      • U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • Thailand

      • Malaysia

      • Indonesia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • Saudi Arabia




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