What is the Difference between Mailer Boxes and Shipping Boxes?

Mailer boxes and shipping boxes are both transporting boxes to provide extra protection to products.

Some people may confuse these two styles, thinking that these boxes are interchangeable.

Although they have a lot in common, they also have distinct differences. Understanding the difference could help you decide right packaging boxes quickly.

We will discuss the difference between mailer boxes and shipping boxes from four aspects: material, type,&structure, box size, and printing& finishing


The mailer boxes and shipping boxes are usually made from corrugated cardboard, which is a kind of ardboard composed of parperboard and fluting board .

The corrugated board comes in four types, single face(2 layers), single wall(3 layers, double wall (5 layers ), and triple wall(7 layers)

The corrugated cardboard used to make shipping boxes could be three-layer, five-layer, and even seven-layer cardboard depending on the weight of the goods transported. Whereas mailer boxes are often made of 2 layers and 3 layers of corrugated cardboard because this thin corrugated board is easier to fold and makes the box more elegant.

Type and Structure

A Mailer box is a kind of stylish delivery box and is an ideal packaging for retail gift boxes, subscription boxes, and E-commerce boxes.

The typical construction of the delivery box is self locking style with ” wings” on both sides, which can be assembled into a box without any tape.

The shipping box is a moving box with top and bottom openings. Thanks to this structure, it has strong stacking and durability.

Box Size

Most mailer box need to printing. It may be outside printing ,inside prining,or outside & inside printing, so the size of the mailer box is limited by its construction.

In general, mailer box should be less than 21 inches in length , not more than 17 inches in width and within 4 inches in height. and their maximum flat dimensions are limited to 37” in length and 46” in width.

If the box size is too large, it is not suitable to use the mailing box style.

The shipping box, however, has a much wider choice of the size than mailing box and it could meet most size of the requirements.

Printing & Finishing

There is a distinct difference in the choice of the printing methods between the mailer box and shipping box, In the article ” How to print on the corrugated box”, we introduced five common printing techniques used on the custom corrugated boxes.

Mailer boxes have a variety of the printing options, such as screen printing, offset printing, and digital printing . A variety of printing methods could create a lot of beautiful printed mailer boxes.

Furthermore ,there are more finishing options for mailing boxes, such as lamination, varnish, coating, hot foil, and so on.

Printed mailer boxes not only ensure a product’s safety in transit but also help it stand out and evaluate the boxing experience.

Compared with the printing flexibility of the mailing box, the printing method used on the transport box is screen printing, and the printing pattern is relatively simple.


Mailer boxes and shipping boxes are both widely used for transporting boxes. they are cost-effective, sustainable, and durable packaging. Contact better package to custom various sizes of the mailer boxes and shipping box right now.

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