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Custom Boxes vs Mailers: What’s the Difference?

Published on: 13 Sep, 2022

For an E-commerce business, product packaging has become a significant debate, that which packaging material is ideal for shipping the goods to their designated destinations. There is a huge range of packaging boxes available in the market, each has distinctive features and attributes. This creates indecisiveness among the retailers that which packaging material would be appropriate for the packaging of their items. Among the versatile range, shipping boxes and mailers are the most popular ones. Both of these packaging types differentiate from each other in terms of shipping costs, affordability, quality of packaging, durability, etc. Retailers choose the type of packaging according to their requirements and investments. Both these packaging means have distinctive properties and provide greater versatility to their users.

Material Usage in Mailers vs Boxes

The material usage varies in the manufacturing of mailers and boxes. This material usage then directly influences their rates of affordability.

Mailers Require Less Material in their Preparation

Generally, mailers require less material in their making than shipping boxes. As mailers are manufactured by melting down the small pellets, they require less material in their production processes. Mailers also have two adhesive strips or tapes and can provide security and sustainability to the items on their own. On the other hand, shipping boxes are larger in size, they require more material in the manufacturing processes. Shipping boxes mostly lack interlocking flaps and wings and are required to be taped perfectly so the items stored inside them are not lost or harmed.

Storage Space Occupied by These Packaging Forms

Mailer Boxes usually take up less space than shipping boxes because of being smaller in size.  If a seller has limited space in its warehouse, mailers can be an ideal option but if retailers want to store their items in a larger space then they can also go for shipping boxes.    

Type of Material Utilized in Manufacturing

The material used in the manufacturing of mailers and boxes also differentiates. Boxes are generally manufactured from cardboard material, this is the strongest material and provides utmost stability to the items packaged in them. On the other hand, the type of material involved in the manufacturing of mailers varies. Usually, mailers are made from plastic film melted down into small plastic pellets. Although mailers are lightweight plastic bags, still they provide complete stability to the products packaged in them.

Affordability According to Investments

Boxes are larger in size and weigh heavier than the mailers which makes them slightly more expensive than the mailers. As shipping costs are decided by size and weight, mailers are way more economical to be shipped over larger distances because of being light in weight. So if a seller wants to opt for an economical means of packaging, mailers can be perfect.

Durability and Reliability

Mailers are used to store and ship the type of items that are generally fragile in nature. As the mailers take up less space than the shipment boxes because of being smaller in size, the items packaged in them are also delicate and little. On the other hand, shipping boxes are considered to be more sturdy and durable and can store larger-sized items very conveniently. So the choice between mailers and boxes depends upon the nature of items that either these items are smaller or larger in size.

Some packaging boxes prove to be extremely versatile and can ship and store an abundant range of items in them. Some packaging materials only offer services to traditional businesses, on the other hand, some packaging boxes can also be considered to prove appropriate for online businesses. Mailers provide a number of different features to their users as compared to traditional shipping boxes.


Conclusively, both of these packaging methods are very useful but can be opted for according to the investments and requirements of both sellers and buyers. If someone wants to package and ship relatively smaller items then mailers are a perfect choice but if the shipment of larger and sturdy products is required then the shipping boxes can be the perfect pick. The choice of these boxes is also dependent on the terms of affordability. If a retailer wants to invest a larger amount of funds in its business then he can easily go for shipping boxes but if a brand is in its developing stages and does not have much investment then mailers can be an ultimate solution for such businesses.

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