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What Size Mailing Bags Should I Buy?

Whether you are packing items regularly or occasionally, it is important that the packaging solution is cost effective. Kraft paper mailer bags are very lightweight and have been shown to help reduce mailing costs significantly. This is convenient for your budget and if you are a company it increases the likelihood of repeat business from your customers. High shipping costs are one of the main reasons why customers abandon purchases mid-transaction - reduce shipping costs and your business will benefit.


This guide will share with you tips on choosing the right size mailing bags and maximising your mailing space so that you and your customers can save on shipping costs.

Block Bottom Mailing Bag

Block Bottom Mailing Bag

What size mailing bag should I buy?

When determining the size of mailing bags you should buy, keep the following four points in mind.


1. Product size

You should consider the size of your product as an important aspect of your packaging choice. The size of the product will determine the type and size of mailing bags you will use.


However, not all products will fit into any size mailing bag. You should measure the item accurately to determine the mailing size. This will ensure that the size you end up buying is the closest to the size you need.


Regular shaped items are the easiest to measure. Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the length (longest side), width (shorter side) and depth (thickness) of the product.


For cylindrical and irregularly shaped objects, measure by the rectangle. For clothes and fabrics, you should fold them rather than roll them up.

E-commerce Paper Mailer With Gusset

E-commerce Paper Mailer With Gusset

2. Mailing size

Ideally, mailing bags should be large enough to completely wrap the product, while leaving enough room to properly seal the bag. If you use undersized mailing bags, your packaging may tear during handling or transport.


Note: Oversized mailers will increase your shipping costs due to the weight of their size.


A simple formula to help you determine the minimum length and width dimensions of your mailing bag.


Mailing Size = (L + H + 2") x (W + H + 1/2") where

L - length of the product

W - product width

H - product height / depth

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This formula will give you a rough estimate of the L × W you need for your mailing package.


Alternatively, you can use the size calculators from the major shipping labels (e.g. USPS, UPS and FedEx). In addition to the mailing size, these calculators correctly determine the chargeable weight by taking into account the total number of products and their volumetric weight.

Online Paper Mailing Bag

Online Paper Mailing Bag

3. Shipping specifications

Shipping companies set out specific size and weight guidelines in their manuals. Remember to adhere strictly to these guidelines as the courier will usually check all packages prior to dispatch.


It is often necessary to check for differences between the specified dimensions and your actual dimensions. This is a time consuming process and these checks often result in delays in product delivery.


If the dimensions of your product exceed the recommended dimensions, the weight class must be increased. This usually results in increased shipping costs. In addition, in some extreme cases, parcels may be returned, which increases the likelihood of delays.


4. Cushioning

Delicate and valuable items such as jewellery require a certain amount of cushioning to withstand the rigours of shipping.

Water Resistant Paper Mailing Bag

Water Resistant Paper Mailing Bag

When sizing a package, it is important to know that cushioning will significantly reduce the internal dimensions of the package. For example, 4-6 medium shirts will easily fit into a flat 10" x 13" mailer, but only about 3-4 will fit into a padded mailer. Therefore, adjust the size of the bag accordingly to the type of padding you will be using.


If small, fragile items require cushioning, we recommend that you use bubble mailers. Although bubble mailers pack fewer items than flat mailers, they are a convenient and environmentally friendly way to protect small, delicate products. They help reduce packaging waste, which in turn helps make your shipping methods more sustainable and environmentally friendly.


Designed for postal or courier shipping, OnlyMailer Packaging's kraft paper mailer bags are lightweight, waterproof and have a full adhesive strip. Fully biodegradable and kerbside recyclable, so environmentally friendly and sustainable, they are a great alternative to plastic mailing bags. With an external flat carry handle, it is easy to carry.


For the best prices on mailing bags printed with your own colour designs, please see our printed mailers service. Get instant access now.

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