In the world of packaging, many people are confused about all the different types of boxes and the interchangeable terms used to describe them – Folding Cartons, Rigid Boxes, Set-up Boxes, Cardboard Boxes, Corrugated Boxes, Paperboard Boxes etc.
Exhaustive articles could be written about this subject, but here I will try to simplify things for you.
There are basically three common types of boxes in packaging. All are made of paper pulp of varying thickness.
3 Common Types of Boxes
1. Folding Cartons
Folding cartons (paperboard cartons, or paperboard boxes) are some of the most common types of boxes that you will see at retail stores. Think of a typical cereal box – this is a folding carton.
2. Rigid Boxes
Rigid boxes (set-up boxes) are sturdier and do not fold or collapse as folding cartons do. They are often, but not always, used for higher end products where perceived value is important. They are also used when the product within is heavy and in need of extra support. An iPhone box is an example of a rigid box.
3. Corrugated Boxes
Corrugated boxes (also called corrugated board, corrugated fiberboard or combined board) are what you would commonly refer to as brown cardboard boxes that you would, for example, use to pack your belongings in when you move to a new house.
Corrugated fiberboard typically has three layers. A wavy or fluted layer sandwiched between two outer flat layers. The fluted layer is where the strength of this paper product lies.
Corrugated is also commonly used as primary retail packaging the same way a folding carton is used.
Corrugated fiberboard is also commonly used in stand-up or POP (POS) Displays.
To sum it all up:
These 3 common types of boxes are all made of paper pulp of varying thicknesses.
1. Folding Cartons AKA Paperboard Boxes AKA Paperboard Cartons (think “cereal box”)
2. Rigid Boxes AKA Set-Up Boxes (iPhone Box)
3. Corrugated Boxes AKA Corrugated Fiberboard AKA Shipper Boxes AKA Cardboard Boxes