Corrugated vs. Cardboard Boxes Which is the Best Packaging Material

As the pandemic continues to persist for over a year, ‘stay home stay safe’ is the new buzz slogan to combat the situation.

In the eye of the present scenario, the ever-growing eCommerce industry saw a sudden upsurge. According to market forecasts, the number of digital buyers expected to reach 2.14 billion people in 2021.

It is the priority for every buyer to receive the purchased product in good condition. Hence, manufacturers are highly concerned about the choice of shipping materials more than ever before.

Most of the time, sellers are confused about choosing the right among the two most widely used packaging materials- corrugated and cardboard. Read this concise guide to find the best material for your packaging needs.

Corrugated vs. Cardboard- Key Differences

Design and Construction

While both corrugated packaging and cardboard boxes have almost the same colour, the design has much to do with their strength and durability.

Corrugated cartons are made of three layers of paperboard- thick plain paperboard sheets on the inner and outer liner containing a rippled/fluted sheet in the middle.

Cardboard is made of a single layer of heavy-duty and thick paperboard.


Corrugated cartons are lightweight compared to cardboard cartons. They are easy to fold to create custom boxes and much more.

Strength and Durability

The packaging material should be sturdy and durable enough to bear the strenuous transportation and logistics procedures. Corrugated board packaging is robust. It provides better protection from collision shocks, temperature changes, and harsh conditions. The material is a preferred option for packing medium to heavyweight products for shipment.

Made of a single sheet of paperboard cardboard packaging boxes can render the packed products from vulnerabilities such as extreme force, moisture contact, etc.


Corrugated sheets are the cheapest shipping material. However, the costs may differ depending on the thickness of the ripples and paperboard. Cardboard boxes are available in various price slabs. The thick high-grade material can be expensive.

Visual Appeal

Cardboard is made in varied thicknesses and rigidity depending on the type of packaging required. It is undoubtedly a soft material easy to crush or pierce through. However, these sheets are widely used across various industries for packaging purposes.

Needless to say, the sleek, even surfaces of cardboard boxes facilitate you to create various designs, prints, colours, and so much more. Cardboard is a preferred choice for making custom printed boxes in different shapes. The material is the chief option for consumer packaging.

Corrugated and Cardboard- Similarities

There are several similarities between these two packaging materials. Both of these materials are:

  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable
  • Eco-friendly
  • Not water-resistant

Corrugated or Cardboard- What is the Right Choice for You?

Both cardboard and corrugated boxes are popular packaging materials. They have varied uses in the packaging industry. If you are looking for cheap shipping material, corrugated is the preferable option. But if you want smooth finishes, custom prints, and a sophisticated feel for consumer goods packaging, we suggest using cardboard boxes.

Don’t know which packaging material is best for your product?

Work with professionals at HY Printing to find the best solution for your needs. With over 15 years in the packaging and printing industry, we can help you select the best suitable packaging material for your products.

Corrugated vs. Cardboard Box- Comparison

Corrugated Cardboard
Sturdy and durable Lacks hardiness
Triple layer construction Thick single sheet
Heavyweight shipping packaging Consumer product packaging
Lightweight resilient material Heavy paper stock material
Affordable Comparatively expensive

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