Mailer Box VS Shipping Box: What’s the Difference?

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Explore the differences between mailer boxes and shipping boxes to understand how each type suits different shipping needs, from durability to design.

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Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Packoi Team

Shipping products isn’t as easy as putting them in a box and sending them to a shipping company for delivery. You need to carefully consider this so the product will reach the customer in perfect condition.

But with the way some boxes are handled and stacked on top of each other, how can you ensure the product won’t be compromised?

You need a reliable shipping carton. The question is, which carton will serve your product best?

Is it a mailer box? Or is it shipping boxes?

You’ll find the answer to that question in this article. You’ll read about the differences between the two boxes and how you can choose the right one for your products.

What Are Mailer Boxes?

Mailer box Vs shipping box

A mailer box is a type of packaging used to ship items. It’s small and sturdy. It’s made of corrugated material that can protect products as they’re being shipped to the customer.

These mailing boxes are designed to have small flaps that allow them to interlock and close the box without the need for tape. Some are even designed to have internal cushioning, eliminating the need for external packaging. It’ll help you save on packaging materials and costs.

Of course, if you’re shipping fragile items, you might need to add cushioning material so the product won’t get damaged while in transit.

Using cardboard material for your mailers means you can easily customize them. Patterns and intricate designs. Use bold or subdued colors. Feel free to add design elements that can represent your brand well.

What Are Shipping Boxes?

Shipping boxes

A shipping box is typically made of corrugated cardboard material. It’s one of the most popular options for shipping out products, especially if you want to ship bigger, heavier, and bulkier items.

What makes shipping boxes a clear favorite is the fact that they’re versatile and cost-efficient. You can put several items inside and ship them at the same time.

While it usually comes in brown, you can have it colored differently to align with your brand. You can have it in white or black, too.

You can also print your brand name to customize it. Just make sure you also print important information about the box’s contents. Like if it carries fragile or perishable items. It should also contain information about the box’s strength, so shippers will know if they can put other boxes on top of it.

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5 Questions to Help You Choose Between Shipping or Mailer Boxes

Mailer boxes

The packaging industry offers a variety of box options that can protect your product during delivery. Two of the most popular are mailers and shipping boxes.

Both of these are effective and can protect your product. These two can also be customized to reflect your brand.

How will you know which of the two suits your purpose and can meet your product’s shipping requirements?

Ask yourself five questions.

1. What Type of Protection Does the Product Need?

Shipping boxes

Shipping boxes are giant, so they’re ideal for shipping fragile items. It’s made of a corrugated cardboard material that allows it to provide external packaging protection. But apart from that, it’s big enough to accommodate more cushioning materials.

Mailer boxes, on the other hand, are ideal for smaller items. It’s still made of sturdy cardboard material. But it’s not as thick as what you can get from shipping boxes. It’s also too small. So if the bubble wrap isn’t enough to protect your product, choose a shipping box for your packaging.

2. What Is the Size and Weight of the Product?

Since shipping boxes are made of thicker corrugated board material, they can naturally hold bigger and heavier products. The corrugated material used by these boxes has three layers. One layer of rippled cardboard is sandwiched between 2 flat boards.

Three layers cardboard

Mailer boxes only have one flat cardboard to protect the product it holds. At the same time, it’s still very sturdy but can only protect small, lighter items.

3. What Is Your Budget?

Shipping companies and couriers charge based on the weight and space the box will occupy in the shipment. That means shipping boxes will cost you more than mailer boxes. You have to consider that as you choose between these two boxes.

But if your product is more significant, you can do nothing about it. You need to prioritize the protection of the product. You can always incorporate the shipping cost into the price of the product.

Of course, there are ways to minimize the shipping costs regardless of the type of box that you’ll choose. You must pick lightweight materials for shipping or mailer boxes – like cardboard. You should also use the right size – not too big or too small.

4. Is It a One-Time Shipment?

Mailer boxes aren’t designed to be used several times. It can be reused as something else – but not to ship another product.

Shipping boxes, on the other hand, are sturdy enough to be reused in shipment. As long as there’s no damage in the box, it can be reused and sealed for another shipment. This is ideal for companies that must send products from one storage facility to another.

5. What Unboxing Experience Do You Want to Achieve?

When choosing the suitable packaging to ship products to your customers, there’s one thing that you have to consider – the unboxing experience. The goal is to build anticipation so your customers will have a memorable experience as they open the package they got from you.

Custom corrugated mailer boxes are better at this than shipping boxes. It’s easier to design mailing boxes to look and feel unforgettable.

Although shipping boxes aren’t wrong – it’s easier to be more creative when you use mailers. That means there’s a higher chance of impressing customers as they open the package.

3 Tips When Using Custom Mailer Boxes

Based on the five questions, it’s easy to see that mailer boxes are ideal for smaller products. If you want to ship a small and lightweight product, you won’t need the big, bulky shipping box.

A mailer box would suffice. It’ll help you save money because it won’t cost as much as it would to ship a bigger box.

To maximize the benefits of using mailer boxes, here are some tips you should remember.

1. Choose the Right Size

Corrugated mailer boxes come in various sizes to fit multiple products. You must choose the one that can hold the product you want to send.

custom mailer box

There are small mailer boxes that can hold small items that weigh up to 6 pounds. Medium mailers can hold items that weigh up to 10 pounds.

The larger mailer boxes are considered to be heavy-duty ones. The maximum weight will depend on the shipping company you choose, so make sure you research before finalizing the size of your mailer box.

2. Provide Enough Cushion

Since a mailer box is smaller and doesn’t use thicker corrugated cardboard like shipping boxes, you might have to provide extra cushion to protect products.

The options include tissue paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, etc. Choose biodegradable materials to keep the corrugated boxes and cushioning materials eco-friendly.

3. Be Creative

It’s easier to create an immersive unboxing experience when using mailer boxes. So when designing one, ensure you don’t lose your creativity.

You can even use your imagination when it comes to the shapes. Just make sure you research the rules and regulations of the shipping company you’ll use to send your package. Your mailer box should comply.

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3 Tips When Using Custom Shipping Boxes

If your product is too big or heavy for a mailer box, you can choose a shipping box instead. While this is bulkier and will cost more to ship, it has a better chance of protecting your product. So it should be worth the cost if your customers will be impressed with it.

But before you use shipping boxes, there are a couple of things that you should remember.

1. Pick a Sturdy Material

A shipping box usually carries bigger and heavier items. So if you want to ensure that the product is protected during transit, choose corrugated boxes.

The 3-layer wall of corrugated shipping boxes will provide enough protection to keep your items from damage. It’s sturdy enough, so it won’t break even if other corrugated box designs are stacked on top of it.

Custom Shipping Boxes

2. Measure Its Strength

The material of shipping boxes may be strong enough to hold multiple products, but you still have to check the box’s strength.

There are ways to measure the burst strength and the edge crush test. This determines the pressure the shipping box can withstand before the corrugated board breaks or ruptures.

This has to be printed on the surface of the box so the shipping company will know how to handle your box.

3. Order in Bulk

Shipping boxes usually look alike. It’s not like mailer boxes that can be designed to look creative.

This means it makes more sense to order shipping boxes in bulk. Just put your brand name and logo on it and the strength rating of the box material. Then order a lot so you can save on the price per box.

This is a great idea, especially if you’re always shipping customer orders.

Are You Ready to Choose Between a Mailer and a Shipping Box? Packoi Printing Has Several Samples to Show.

Now that you know more about mailers and shipping boxes, it’s time to choose which one you’ll use. Of course, you can opt to use both for your business. It all depends on the products that you offer.

If you need help choosing a suitable box for shipping, Packoi Printing is here to help. We have several samples that we can show, so you’ll know what your options are.

Get in touch with us so we can talk about your requirements. Give us a call so we can get back to you with a fair quote as soon as possible.

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Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

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