Posted on January 27, 2022 by Michael Boik

Do I Need Corrugated or Paperboard Packaging?

While the question is simple, the answer may not always be clear to someone who is new to packaging. To best answer the question of corrugated vs. paperboard, we typically want to first know the following:

  1. What is your product?
  2. What is/are your packaging needs?

As we like to say, there typically are no one size fits all solutions in our industry. While your product may be similar to others in the market, it is ultimately unique, and your needs may be as well. Luckily, we are a custom packaging supplier. So our solutions are tailored to your needs.

When it comes to boxes, specifically, there are typically two main materials from which to start from. Corrugated board, and paperboard (sometimes called chipboard). There are a variety of custom solutions available with either option, but each are very different in their purpose/function. What follows is a brief description of both, as well as how each may be utilized for your specific needs.

What is Corrugated Board?

Corrugated refers to board that is made up of multiple layers of material, rather than a single layer. The layers include an outer and inner liner, as well as a medium in between known as “Fluting.” The fluting can vary in thickness to provide more strength to the board.


What is Paperboard?

Often a durable, single layer of paper-based material that is available in several different grades and thickness.  It is stronger than typical paper, and often made from a variety of recycled content.


I need a DTC shipping box

Solution: Corrugated

Because corrugated board is thicker and consists of multiple layers of heavy paper, it’s ideal to withstand the elements of shipping.

Examples: RSC boxes, die cut mailers

I need a retail display box

Solution: Paperboard

Paperboard allows for a variety of shapes and sizes, prints and finishes. Gloss, embossing, gold foil, spot UV are all possible with paperboard—all unique features you could not achieve printing direct onto corrugated. It’s a thin, single-layer material that when branded/printed, is attractive and ideal for presentation and display.

Examples: Hanging displays, folding cartons

I need to both ship and display my product

Solution: Paperboard and Corrugated

We do this practically every day. Sometimes the best solution is a combination of both, as seen in the example below. Whether it be a paperboard box and a corrugated mailer and insert for product protection. Or a corrugated mailer with paperboard components for added branding or presentation purposes.

Keep in mind a corrugated box does not need to be dull, plain or unattractive. Quite the opposite! Your shipping box is your first-impression to your customer. The possibilities are virtually limitless. Ask us how, below!

How can Salazar Packaging best help you? Please reach out to us via the contact links below and let us know your challenges/needs. Chances are, we’ve seen it before and can find a solution.


Please Contact Us Today

As always, if you have any questions on any of our products or services, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging options? Please call us at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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