Posted on May 9, 2018 by Michael Boik

Paper Tubes Vs. Paper Mailer Envelopes

It’s an age-old discussion. Paper tubes Vs. paper mailer envelopes. While cylinder tube packaging may make a lot of sense in some cosmetic, candle or food packaging applications in a retail space, they often are not the best solution in shipping, when compared to alternatives. At Salazar Packaging, we discontinued our paper tube packaging program years ago, in large part because of the high minimum associated with custom printing and the difficulties and challenges of handling, storing and shipping paper tubes. For clothing and soft goods packaging applications specifically, unpadded paper mailers have become a popular alternative option and preferred choice for many successful t-shirt/apparel brands.

Paper shipping tubes are often more expensive to ship (especially given dimensional weight pricing) because they tend to be bulky and heavier compared to paper mailer envelopes. They’re also awkward to carry or handle, and much more difficult to store in a warehouse or other facility, as they are not easily stackable and can take up a great amount of space. Paper mailer envelopes are flat, easily stored on shelves or within boxes, accessible and light enough to move in bulk.


Balancing Presentation and Protection in PackagingPaper Tubes Vs. Paper Mailer Envelopes

Branding and presentation have never been more important for ecommerce and subscription businesses. Shipping tubes, even when customized, don’t often achieve the goal of the personalized packaging feel. When the package arrives to the end customer/user, it can be a hassle to open with tape that has likely been applied heavily on both ends of the tube to prevent the package from opening during transit. Often the contents will have shifted within the package, and a t-shirt or clothing that has been rolled up to fit, making for a less than desirable presentation. Paper mailers require no tape (which means less packaging cost and time saved during fulfillment) or other closure and the entire package is 100% fully recyclable. Clothing can lay flat and with 25 available sizes, both flat and expandable, the envelopes can accommodate a wide variety of products without compromising presentation.


Custom Printing Available with a Low Minimum

Custom printed mailers are an affordable branded packaging option. While many custom printed packaging options require minimums of 1,000 or higher, (including paper tubes which are often a minimum of 2,500) our unpadded paper mailers can be customized for a low minimum of 1 case (200-500 mailers, depending on size).  They are ideal for new/start up companies who may still be considering different designs or logos, as print plates are always a flat fee of $125.00 per color used, per front and back side of the envelope, so rebranding does not mean having to spend four figures in new plate costs. The majority of designs are 1 color on 1 side, but 2 colors and printing both front and back are possible, as well as wraparound printing if ordering in quantities over 5,000.


Want to know more about paper tubes Vs. paper mailer envelopes? We’re happy to lead you to a packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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