There are 3 main stand up pouch styles:
1. Doyen (also called Round Bottom or Doypack)
3. Corner Bottom (also called Plow (Plough) Bottom or Folded Bottom)
With these 3 styles, the gusset or bottom of the bag is where the main differences lie.
Doyen is arguably the most common style of pouch bottom. The gusset is U-shaped (see diagram below).
The Doyen style enables light-weight products, which would otherwise fall over, to stand upright, using the bottom seal as “feet” for the pouch. This style is ideal when your product’s content weighs less than a pound (about 0.45 kg or less). If the product was too heavy the seal could crunch up under the weight of the product which would not look very pleasing. The Doyen style requires the added expense of a die to be custom-made in order to manufacture the pouch. Also, in our experience, this style allows for a larger amount of product near the bottom so that the pouch can be shorter in height.
This stand up pouch, pictured above. is transparent enabling us to see the Doyen seal very distinctly.
When your product weighs between 1-5 pounds (0.45 kg – 2.25 kg) the K-Seal style of pouch bottom is preferred (although this is really just a guideline and not a hard and fast rule). This style has seals that resemble the letter “K” (see diagram and image below).
There is generally no die required to manufacture this pouch. Again, in our experience, the bottom of K-Seal pouches expand less and so the same volume of product seems to require a slightly taller bag than the Doyen. I say “in our experience” because manufacturing machines and capabilities vary, as do manufacturing engineer’s opinions.
3. Corner Bottom or Plow (Plough) Bottom or Folded Bottom
The Corner Bottom style is recommended for heavy products above 5 pounds (2.3 kg and higher). There is no seal at the bottom and the product sits flush on the bottom of the pouch. But because the product is heavier, the pouch doesn’t need the seal to help it stand erect. So there are only seals on the side of the pouch (see diagram and image below).
As stated above, the weight recommendations are only guidelines and there are many products that weigh significantly less than 5 lbs and successfully use the Corner (Plow) bottom stand up pouch style. Here is an example of a bag of cranberries that only weighs 8oz (227g) (see image below) and is happily occupying a corner bottom stand up pouch.
I hope this gives you a little idea about the 3 main stand up pouch styles.
Manufacturers vary from one to the next and so do their capabilities. When all is said and done, what you really want is the least expensive and most attractive stand up pouch. Make sure a packaging designer, at the company you choose, custom designs a pouch with the exact dimensions to fit your product perfectly. Some manufacturers don’t have qualified people on staff that can do this, so make sure your stand up pouch isn’t being designed by some unpaid intern (I’ve seen it happen).