Rigid mailers are rigid envelopes used for mailing important documents, photos, art, and other flat items. These rigid mailers prevent bending, crushing, or any other type of damage to your precious documents. Therefore, you can ship delicate items of different shapes using different kinds of rigid mailers such as padded envelopes or cardboard mailers. 

Advantages of Rigid Mailers

Your package will withstand different types of damage from tearing, warping, bending, or folding. Another factor that requires your attention when shopping for rigid mailers is the self-seal adhesive tabs that do not harm the packaged item and keep it safe. 

Traditionally, rigid mailers are made out of cardboard or laminated fiberboard. However, these products became an eco-friendly mailing option during the last few years.  Many padded rigid or cardboard mailers can be reused because they are made out of recycled materials. 

Rigid mailers are available in various sizes and colors and are sometimes customizable. You can find exclusive offers and sales campaigns that will help you save money. Although top-notch rigid mailers might cost extra, they are worth it because of their benefits.

When it comes to shipping price, you should know that, depending on the size, rigid mailers are considered parcels and priced as such.

How Thick Are the Rigid Mailers? 

When looking for rigid mailers such as envelopes, you may have encountered the term “GSM” when referring to thickness. That is because paper thickness is commonly expressed in GSM (grams per square meter) in the paper and pulp industry. Although the term refers to weight rather than thickness, it still represents a good starting point.  

This metric weight system, or GSM, uses grammage to reflect the actual weight of a piece of paper. For example, 70 to 90 GSM is the typical weight for printing paper, while 300 to 450 GSM is the weight of heavier cardstock from which business cards and some rigid mailers are made.

Another measurement used to determine the thickness of the paper is points. These points are measured with calipers, and a point represents 1/1000 of an inch. Commonly, rigid mailers are available from 18 pt thickness to 28 pt, but it depends on the country you live in.

Is a Bubble Mailer Rigid?

Bubble mailers represent an excellent option for shipping delicate items such as jewelry or small electronic items. Although bubble mailers can contain different shaped objects, they are not as rigid as padded envelopes or other types of rigid mailers.

Nevertheless, bubble mailers have many benefits compared to rigid mailers. Bubble mailers are water-resistant and can protect your items from weather damage because they are made of plastic materials. Moreover, the polyethylene material is puncture and tear-resistant, so you can rest assured that your product will be safely sent to its destination.

Many sellers have customer-creating options for their mailers, so you can easily customize them according to your requirements. Bubble mailers come in different sizes and colors, and you can brand them with your logo. The price is also appealing if you consider buying more than one item.

If you are concerned about the environment, most bubble mailers are eco-friendly and usually can be reused several times without any worries.

What is a Paperboard Envelope? 

Paperboard envelopes are flat cardboard mailers with peel and stick tabs specially designed to remain strong and rigid. Typically made from 350GSM boards, these envelopes offer much more solid protection and bend resistance on both sides of the envelope.

This type of rigid mailer is used to ship essential documents and items that cannot be bent, and they are widely used by large eCommerce operations, such as Amazon, to send some of their products.

An advantage of paperboard envelopes is that most sizes fit into the postal services’ letter standard, so you will save money by using them. 

The price is also affordable. Thus you can shop for paperboard envelopes of different sizes that meet your needs. Also, many manufacturers choose recycled materials to use eco-friendly products to ship their documents, photos, or artwork.


Is it cheaper to ship in a box or a padded envelope? 

Shipping in a padded envelope is far cheaper than sending a box in most cases. However, depending on the products you want to ship, a padded envelope might not be the right choice. If you want to ship multiple or valuable items, they are better packed in a box. 

Are bubble mailers considered flats? 

Thick envelopes, including bubble mailers and padded envelopes, are considered flats and have the same postal size restrictions as a flat package. A bubble mailer will be accepted as a package only if its thickness is ¾ of an inch or more. 

Can I send a small object in an envelope? 

Sending small objects in paper envelopes is not recommended. These envelopes can be easily ripped and the item inside damaged or lost. If you need to ship small objects, bubble mailers are a better option. The items will be protected against loss and deterioration from water damage and other problems. That makes them a better choice for everyone.