Posted on October 25, 2019 by Michael Boik

Rigid Vs. Unpadded Paper Mailers

We have a saying at Salazar Packaging, “Sometimes the best box solution is not a box at all.” It may be unexpected coming from a company with a box in their logo, but a large number of our customers gravitate towards envelope solutions instead of boxes for a variety of products that may not need the added protection, bulk size or presentation of a box. We discuss that in great detail in this post here, but there still may need to be some clarity over what types of envelopes we offer and the differences between them (minimums, printing capabilities, materials) so that you can better decide which option is best for you.


Stock and Custom Rigid Mailer Envelopes

Often referred to as flat mailers, rigid mailers or chipboard mailers, these are best used for products that require protection, when a box would simply result in overpackaging. (More on right-sizing and avoiding overpackaging in this post). Documents, photographs, stationary, books and most commonly other paper items are often ideal for rigid mailers. And because they are thin and lightweight, they are easier to store and often cheaper to ship.

Available on our stock webstore, Globe Guard Products in 11 stock sizes for both white or kraft board, our rigid mailers are one of our greenest products, made from 100% recycled content, at least 35% post-consumer waste, and are 100% recyclable.

As a companion product, our rigid envelopes are also available as an expandable Fit Mailer, for bulkier items that require a little more space than a regular flat mailer. You can read more about that product here.

You can see from the pictures below, you don’t have to limit yourself in terms of graphics. Rigid Mailers can be customized at a 2,500 minimum, and because they are offset printed, just about any design, inks, colors, flood coats, or finishes are possible. Print plates and per unit pricing are almost always lower than boxes by comparison. Minimums and pricing will vary based on the design, board color and envelope size, but rigid mailers can truly be a beautiful way to present your brand and keep your items safe and protected during transit, while minimizing you and your customer’s shipping costs.


Stock and Custom Unpadded Paper Mailer Envelopes

By far our most popular product for t-shirts, swimwear, apparel, soft goods and most clothing applications, unpadded paper mailer envelopes are an ideal solution because of their low minimums, green materials and ability to hold up very well during transit. In over ten years of selling literally millions of mailers to hundreds of customers, we have only had one customer tell us about an envelope being damaged or torn during shipment. This was a rare case because the envelope had tire tracks across the front, meaning it was run over by a car or truck. Although no product is truly waterproof, our paper envelopes are weather resistant, and again, we have never had a claim of rain or other weather damaging the product.

A variety of sizes are available in both white and kraft on our online store, Globe Guard Products, including expandable mailers, ideal for hoodies, hats and bulkier clothing items. Also a very green product, unpadded paper mailers are 100% recyclable, made from a minimum 50% recycled content, biodegradable, compostable and printed with water based inks. They can be ordered by the case (200-500 envelopes) as both a stock, unprinted item, or as a custom item with 1 or 2 color front and/or back printing. When compared to boxes, printed paper envelopes might be as low as one tenth of the cost, and the low minimums mean you have the flexibility to print a variety of sizes or designs if desired.

One feature that both products have in common is that Rigid and unpadded mailers can also be customized with a 2-way resealable lip feature for customer returns, although higher prices, minimums and lead times may apply.


unpadded paper mailers


Please Contact Us Today

Still unsure which product is best for you and your needs? Have questions about which paper mailers may be right for you?

We’re happy to walk you through an initial consultation and find a custom 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. Want to know more about custom packaging? Please call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at



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