Two methods come to mind when it comes time to send an item through mail courier services. A shipping box may be preferable if the item is bulky or fragile. 

Or if you are sending paper documents, a simple envelope might do.

But what if the items you are mailing are not big enough to warrant a more spacious and expensive shipping box? 

What if you still want protection for fragile items that a regular envelope cannot provide? 

In a case such as this, you will be glad to know that a third option between a shipping box and envelope is available, bubble mailers.

What Are Bubble Mailers?

Bubble mailers are a type of padded envelope made of paper or plastic and have a protective layer of bubble wrap lining the inside. 

Because they are smaller and more compact than a shipping box, they are a more cost-effective option!

However, it is worth noting that bubble mailers are a type of padded envelope, but not all padded envelopes are bubble mailers. 

Though padded envelopes and bubble mailers are commonly referred to interchangeably, a padded envelope can also have foam or paper lining, while a bubble mailer only has bubble wrap lining.

Example of bubble mailer
Source: PakFactory

Let us look at the e-commerce giant Amazon for example. 

Have you ever ordered an item from them? 

If yes, you may be familiar with their brown shipping boxes, recognizable by the upward-curving arrow logo that resembles a smile. 

But there is another method Amazon uses to ship your goods. 

You may also be familiar with the smaller, white padded envelopes with the blue Amazon Prime logo on the exterior and bubble wrap on the inside. 

Those are bubble mailers! 

Shipping Boxes vs. Shipping Mailers

There are a few essential factors to consider when deciding what method to ship your valuable items. 

Shipping boxes are versatile in that they are easily stackable, recyclable and durable. 

However, they are expensive and often require a lot of filler to prevent items inside from shifting during transport. 

Boxes are the best option if you have a heavy, large or fragile item to ship, but there is a better choice for smaller items.

Bubble mailers are a perfect, less expensive way for flat items like books, CDs or small valuables like jewelry and apparel to be shipped.

Though you can mail out some of the items mentioned above inside a regular envelope, studies found that packages experience as many as 27 drops or tosses on a one-way shipment. 

That’s a lot of rough handling for items you hope to get to their destination in one piece!

With added protection and a lower price, bubble mailers are a happy medium between shipping boxes and unprotected envelopes.

Where to Find the Ideal Mailer

Bubble mailers are available at office supply stores and your local post office. You can even order them online.

Most mailers can be bought in bulk for less than ten dollars and come in various sizes and colors. 

Carriers even have custom bubble mailers available. 

Using Amazon as an example again, Amazon’s bubble mailers have a custom blue Prime logo all over their bubble mailer packaging.

However, keep this in mind when determining the size of the mailer you wish to purchase: the exterior dimensions are larger than the interior dimensions.

Make sure your items can fit within the interior!

Packing Made Easier

Unlike shipping boxes which require you to fill any void spaces with packaging paper, foam peanuts or inflatables to prevent items from shifting, bubble mailers come ready with a protective layer of bubble wrap.

Simply place your item inside, and you’re finished!

Alternatively, if you are still concerned with your item’s safety, you may add additional protection by wrapping it with paper or more bubble wrap. 

But remember, extra packing comes with added weight which can increase your shipping costs.

Shipping Bubble Mailers

There are three easy steps to follow if you wish to know how to mail bubble mailers effectively. 

Once you have purchased your mailer, placed your item inside and are ready to ship it out: seal, label, and send.

With your item placed neatly inside the package, close the bubble mailer and seal it using the available adhesive on the flap. 

Example of bubble mailer
Source: PakFactory

Tightly seal the mailer, but avoid pressing too hard on the envelope, as this may cause the bubble wrap inside to pop. 

Once closed, double-check for holes or tears to ensure your items do not fall out during transport.

Next, label your mailer and attach it to the center of the package. 

In many cases, the carrier will create a label for you, and you can print it ahead of time or have it printed when you bring it to their office. 

You only need to provide the carrier with the delivery information by filling out a form on their website or in person; couriers can’t ship your package if they don’t know where it’s going!

Alternatively, if you write the label yourself, ensure that all necessary elements are present and legible with the delivery address in the center, the return address in the top left corner and postage in the top right.

Now, it’s finally time to send your package. 

You may schedule a pickup at your desired location or bring the mailer directly to your carrier of choice. 

Remember that each carrier has different prices depending on the weight and size of your mailer, but it will still be less expensive than using a box.

What are the Exact Costs?

Regarding the shipping of items, there is no definitive answer as to how much a package will cost. 

Variables such as weight, destination, carriers and desired delivery speed affect the price for shipping mailers as much as they do boxes.

However, simply using a bubble mailer instead of a box will save you money as they typically cost significantly less.

Bubble mailers are made even more appealing as a safe and cost-efficient option because they are much smaller and lighter than a shipping box. 

This factor alone will help decrease the shipping price by reducing the weight and space your package takes up during transportation while maintaining good protection.

Though boxes remain a solid choice to ship your valuable items, do not discount the bubble mailer. 

They offer more protection than a standard envelope, are cheaper to purchase than a shipping box and reduce shipping costs with their smaller size and weight.

Bubble mailers offer the best of both worlds in terms of protection and cost-efficiency, making them a great option to consider for your eCommerce business. 


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