How to Choose between Poly Bags and Padded Mailers


Should You Choose Poly Bags or Padded Mailers for Your Product?

Determining the best way to package and ship your products is not always an easy task, but it’s an important one. Choosing the right packaging for shipments will affect everything from your shipping costs to whether your product arrives to your customers in one piece. It’s tough to turn a profit if you’re paying too much for packaging, but it’s also tough to build a customer base if your products are often damaged during shipping.

The question is, are poly bags or padded mailers better for sending your product? Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of both.


Poly bags

Also referred to as poly mailers or plastic mailing bags, poly bags are lightweight, malleable, and typically do not take up much space. They come in various sizes and styles that may include bubble wrap padding or are just simple plastic bags with a seal.

Here are the benefits of using poly bags to ship your product:

  • Low cost – Poly bags reduce the need for void fill and will usually have both a lower dimensional weight and lower actual weight than shipping the same product in boxes.
  • Quick packaging process – Poly mailers just require a two step packaging process, packing the item and sealing the bag or mailer. Other packaging materials involve more complex prep work, like building the boxes. Shortening this process makes your packaging process more efficient.
  • Moisture resistance – Many types of poly bags are waterproof, which will help prevent damage to your product.
  • Eye catching – You can include your brand colors and logo on the material as well as custom printed designs, boosting brand awareness.
  • Curbside recyclable – Most poly bags are made from recyclable materials can be placed in residential recycling bins, making it easy to reuse the material and avoid waste.

Here are some potential drawbacks to using poly bags:

  • Less durable – Poly bags will usually offer less protection than padded mailers, because they can be easily punctured or crushed between larger packages during shipment.
  • Recyclability limitations – most poly bags can be recycled, but some require store drop-off, similar to a grocery bag, and aren’t suitable for a regular municipal recycling stream.


Padded mailers

Padded mailers are one of the most common ways to ship products. They are mailers that include extra protection and more cushion than poly bags, in order to prevent damage during transit. The padding also allows the mailer to hold its shape, regardless of what it contains.

Here are the benefits of using a padded mailer to ship your product:

  • More strength than poly bags – Padded mailers are sturdier and offer a higher level of protection than bags, and they can usually handle larger, heavier products as well.
  • Lightweight and inexpensive compared to boxes – Although they offer more protection than poly bags, padded mailers are much lighter than corrugated boxes, making them less costly to ship.
  • Customizable – Padded mailers help you impress your customers by adding sharp looking colors and designs, your logo, and other branding.
  • Speed of packaging – Similar to poly bags, padded mailers are compatible with many types of automatic and semi automatic packaging machines, allowing you to fill and seal them very quickly.

Here are some potential drawbacks to using poly bags:

  • More difficult to ship – A poorly filled poly mailer with weak or flat spots can get caught in or misread by machinery, leading to errors, delays, damages, or even returns to the sender on the products you ship out.
  • More expensive than poly bags – Padded mailers are bulkier and made of more material than poly bags, making them more expensive, especially when shipping a large volume of products.


Poly bags vs. padded mailers? Pioneer can help you decide

At Pioneer we can analyze your product, budget, and other requirements to help you determine whether poly bags or padded mailers are your best choice. We offer a variety of both types of products, so you’ll have exactly what your business needs.

Contact Pioneer today to find the best packaging for your products.