Cardboard boxes come in all shapes and sizes - all designed to protect your products during the parcel delivery phase. For this reason, they hold an important purpose in the buying and selling of goods and shouldn’t be overlooked.

The vast range to choose from can be overwhelming, leaving you feeling lost and left wondering what type of box you actually need, especially if you’re just starting out.

But there is good news! Whilst researching the perfect box may seem a little complicated from the outset, it’s actually much simpler if you consider what it needs to achieve, let us explain.

Woman holding a parcel

What Types Are Available


Cardboard boxes usually come in three types of thickness:

  • Single Wall
  • Double Wall
  • Triple Wall

There are some exceptions for custom made boxes, but generally speaking these are the main options available. The difference is also very simple. Single wall cardboard contains one layer of a fluted paper sheet (those wiggly lines between the cardboard pieces). Whereas double walled contains two sheets of fluted paper and Triple Wall (you guessed it) contains three layers of flute paper.

The three different types mean they become sturdier, stronger and more solid as the flute paper increases. Due to its unique design, flute paper sheets create a layer of strength and utilise air pockets. This means should the worst happen, like the box getting dropped or it is subject to some impact, it will absorb the force and protect the contents.


Choosing the right type of box


You should begin by measuring your product and researching the most suitable box. Upon researching, you’ll want to consider quality, costs and sustainability.




Initially, you might assume you need a certain type of cardboard box and just purchase it; however it’s actually worth reviewing and getting samples of different boxes so you can road test their capability. This allows you to test qualities such as strength, size, robustness, thickness of the cardboard and whether it is suitable for your product. Once you have found the ideal cardboard box, you can then commit to ordering larger quantities. Ensuring your items are protected well will save you money in the long run - especially if you are selling high value items.




Bulk buying your cardboard boxes is usually most cost effective, as most companies will offer reduced rates. That means if you take the opportunity to buy 25 or 50 or even 100 boxes you’ll get a more favourable price per unit. This can make a big difference on your margins.




Sadly our packaging is only there to protect what we send. It offers no real value to our end customer who discard and recycle it once used. So ensuring you get your packaging for a good price is a must to keep costs down. That doesn’t mean find the cheapest, as the quality is more important. It just means you need to strike a balance between your costs and the packaging that protects the contents you send.

By choosing high-quality sustainable packaging options, you can ensure that the product arrives with the customer safely while offering recipients multiple alternatives to simply recycling once they are finished with the packaging. Packaging filler material can also be sustainable, with fillers like bubble wrap able to be re-used over and over again.


Different Styles of Cardboard boxes


When it comes to choosing a box fit for purpose it can feel like a bit of a minefield out there. There’s literally thousands of boxes in different sizes, shapes, styles and even colours

Let’s say you have a relatively small product, such as a book or DVD. Well you can get bespoke cardboard that wraps around the product to protect it during transit. Or let’s say you send posters for a living, well you can grab a cardboard tube that will fit perfectly too.

Things can become a bit more complicated when you aren’t sure what box type you need as there is literally a box for everything you could think of, such as:

  • Small, medium and large rectangle boxes
  • Heavy duty boxes – often triple wall to make them extra strong
  • Long or Tube Boxes – perfect for long narrow items and posters etc.
  • White cardboard boxes – an alternative to the traditional brown used
  • Insulated boxes – allowing goods to be kept a certain temperature for around 48 hours
  • Boxes with dividers – for products such as wine bottles or products that require assembly

The list goes on, this is only a small selection of what is available. Not to mention the fact you can also look to get custom made boxes. Perhaps you want your logo printed on the box or you’d like to put your website on there, there’s even options to have full colour designs from edge to edge. Most packaging suppliers offer something like this so if you really want to impress your customers this is a route worth exploring too.


Making your Cardboard Box Decision


Now you have a better understanding of the type of cardboard boxes available, you’re pretty much ready to make your decision. But before you do, remember one of our very first points, get samples.

Don’t be afraid to ask manufacturers for samples for free, after all you’ll likely place a big order when you are ready, to maximise those margins. If not you can always negotiate the cost of your samples off the total order value.

Once you have your samples to hand, test them. See how easy they are to make up, check how rigid they are and how strong they feel. Can you get your products in easy or do you require a smaller/bigger box. This is your chance to see what works for you and what ultimately protects what you’re sending. Then as a final test send it via a courier, like us, that way you’ll see how it ends up when it arrives at your recipient. Meaning you’ll have tested out the whole process and can really see how your packaging stacks up.