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When you look at the title of this article, you might think that this question can be answered in one paragraph. Obviously, double-walled boxes are thicker than single-walled ones, but this doesn’t always make them the better choice. The choice between single-wall and double-wall boxes is not always a simple one, so let’s examine the subject a little more closely.

A Clarification:

Before we go any further with this discussion, we should clarify something. In the context of this article, we are talking about corrugated cardboard boxes. By this, we mean cardboard that consists of two or more layers. Corrugated cardboard also contains channels called “flutes.” These act as air pockets, creating extra space and insulation.

We are not talking about single-ply cardboard, often called “cardstock.” While this type of cardboard is often used for packaging, it doesn’t make a good outer layer. Cardstock is just too flimsy for most applications, and so we will concentrate on single-walled corrugated cardboard and double-walled corrugated cardboard.

When To Use A Single-Walled Cardboard Box

Single-walled cardboard boxes are most commonly used as a low-cost alternative to the heavier boxes. These boxes are made from two layers of Kraft paper with a layer of fluting in between. This fluted piece is glued in place with a recurring “S” shape. By doing it this way, cardboard manufacturers can use a single piece of material and save time.

Although these boxes will save you some money, you will sacrifice a little bit of durability in the process. This kind of cardboard can be easily bent, making it a poor choice in the impact resistance department. It will also be easier for moisture to penetrate a single-walled box because there just isn’t as much distance between the surface and the inner layer.

Single-walled cardboard boxes are preferred for items that are both light and cheap. Because the cost of packaging should never be more than 10% of the total product cost, you might need some special solutions for those low-cost items. If you are selling items that cost only a dollar or two, it can be very hard to find a package cheap enough to stay under that 10% limit.

For these light and cheap items, there is a need to avoid adding any more weight than necessary. Ultra-light items are incredibly cheap to ship, and this is one of their main advantages. You don’t want to negate that advantage by using a box that is thicker and heavier than necessary.

When To Use A Double-Walled Cardboard Box

These boxes are made much like their single-walled cousins, but they have a middle layer of cardstock that provides extra strength. Double-walled cardboard boxes are the heavy-duty option. As such, they are the boxes to get when you need a little extra durability. There are many potential reasons that this might be important.

For instance, let’s say you are selling and shipping items that contain hazardous chemicals. For manufacturers of cleaning products, this is a very large area of concern. Naturally, you would never want to ship a potentially dangerous chemical in a single-walled box. Serious harm and damage can result if that box should fail, so you owe it to your customers (and anyone who handles the package) to use a thicker box for added safety.

These boxes are a little more expensive, but they are well worth their extra cost when you are boxing an expensive item. Electronics are one example of a product that should probably get a double-walled box. Unless you are talking about a very small electronic component, electronics should always be placed in a double-walled box. The same goes for large appliances.

That brings us to the factor of weight. Regardless of the item’s price, you always need to make sure that your box is strong enough to hold the contents. Even if the materials are not hazardous, you don’t want your merchandise to be broken in transit. Thus, double-walled boxes are always needed for heavier items. Bottles that contain a liquid, for instance, will nearly always be heavy enough to warrant the extra thickness.

The temperature might also be a factor. Medicines, edibles, and many other products might have to be kept at a certain temperature during shipping. If you are dealing with one of these cases, you will certainly need to use a double-walled box. The extra layer of cardstock adds better insulation, which will help to keep the hot stuff hot and the cold stuff cold.

The Price Differences

By taking a quick look at several online suppliers, we can see that double-walled boxes are at least twice as expensive as their single-walled equivalents. This is only a general measure, but it seems to be accurate. To be honest, no one should be surprised by this fact because these boxes use about twice the material.


As you can probably tell, this is mainly a question of price vs. durability. To determine whether you need single-walled or double-walled boxes, you will have to figure out which of these qualities is more important. If you are dealing with an item that is not particularly fragile, and you are on a tight budget, a single-walled box is an obvious choice. Likewise, any item that is fragile, heavy, or sensitive will certainly need to be put in the stronger boxes. If we have answered your questions fully, we hope that you will fill out the contact form below to learn even more.