Metalized films have a similar appearance to aluminum foil in their reflective silver surface. The metallic coating also reduces the permeability of the film to light, water and oxygen. The properties of the film remain, such as higher toughness, the ability to be heat sealed, and a lower density at a lower cost than an aluminum foil. This gives metalized films some advantages over aluminum foil and aluminum foil laminates.
Metalized films were first used for decorative purposes as Christmas tinsel, and continue to be used for items such as wrappers and ribbons. Many food items are also packaged using metalized films for appearance. These produce a package with greater sparkle when compared to competing products that use printed paper or polymer films.