9 Practical Tips on How to Buy Carton Boxes

Beverage carton packaging
Beverage carton packaging
Resource: https://resource.co

How do you buy carton boxes? This is a question that often pops up in the minds of many business owners, especially those who are just starting out. After all, cartons are becoming essential packaging materials. Not to mention, they can be quite daunting to buy if you don’t know where or what to look for. Check out this carton box-buying guide.

How to Buy Carton Boxes

Your packaging carton boxes mean a lot for your branding efforts and the products that you are selling. It is one of the first things that customers will see, so it has to be presentable and strong enough to hold your items securely.

There are a few things to consider when you want to purchase carton boxes for your business. These factors range from the type of product you are selling to the budget that you have available.

Here is a guide on how to buy carton boxes without feeling overwhelmed — we also included a few tips on how you can save money when purchasing these boxes.

Folding carton box used for retail packaging
Folding carton box used for retail packaging
Resource: https://www.packworld.com

1. Carton Type

The type of carton boxes that you will need will depend on the type of products that you are selling. For example, if you are selling fragile items, then you will need to get boxes that have reinforced sides and corners. If you’re selling liquid foods, then you will need cartons equipped with a liquid barrier. Here are your main options:

Folding Carton Boxes

These are the most common type of boxes used in packaging. They are made from paperboard that is cut, scored, printed, and glued at the appropriate sections. Folding carton boxes are easy to assemble, plus you can use them for a variety of products such as cosmetics, food, and small electronic devices.

Rigid Boxes

These are also known as set-up boxes because they come in a pre-assembled form. Rigid carton boxes are manufactured from a thick board made of several layers of recycled paper. They are sturdier than folding carton boxes and are often used for packaging high-end products such as jewelry, chocolates, and wine.

Micro-Fluted Cartons

If you need more strength and durability for your packaging or shipping carton boxes, then you should consider getting micro-flute cartons. They are made from fluted paperboard that is laminated with one or two linerboard. This type of box is ideal for shipping heavy and fragile items.

Aseptic Carton

If you are in the beverage industry, then you will need to get aseptic cartons. These are made from paperboard that is laminated with a plastic layer. Aseptic cartons are moisture and oxygen-resistant, so they are perfect for packaging and storing perishable goods such as milk, juice, and soup.

Kraft carton box
Kraft carton box
Resource: https://www.physicsforums.com

2. Carton Box Material

What do you want your carton boxes to be made of? Some carton box materials are studier than others, while some allow higher print qualities and other benefits such as being eco-friendly. Although different types of paperboard can make carton boxes, the three most popular materials to choose from are listed below.

Solid Bleached Sulfate (SBS)

This type of carton material is made from wood pulp that has been bleached with chemicals. It is a strong and stiff material that is often used for high-end products. It also produces white cartons, so you may want to consider this material if you want your boxes to have clean and sophisticated looks.

Clay Coated Newsback

This type of paperboard is made from recycled paper that is coated with clay. It has a smooth surface that makes it ideal for printing and laminating. A clay-coated box board is often used for packaging products such as cereals, snacks, and crackers.

Natural Kraft

This type of paperboard is made from wood pulp or recycled paper that has not been bleached or coated with any chemicals. It has a brown color and a rough surface. Natural Kraft is a strong material that is often used for heavy-duty cartons. It is also a popular choice for eco-friendly carton packaging since it is often made from recycled paper or virgin wood chips.

Small carton box
Small carton box
Resource: https://www.self.com

3. Box Size

Carton box size is a major factor when purchasing cartons: a box that is too small will not be able to fit your product, while a box that is too large will be a waste of paperboard and require a lot of packing material. While you can find “standard box” sizes at most packaging supply stores, you may need to get custom-size boxes for your product. Your choices will be:

  • Small carton box for small products or primary packaging
  • Medium-sized boxes for retail packaging needs
  • Big cartons for shipping or large product packaging purposes
Thick walled, flute carton box
Thick walled, flute carton box
Resource: https://www.pmq.com

4. Carton Box Thickness and Strength

The thickness strength of your carton boxes is important if you are going to be shipping heavy or fragile items. If you are not sure how strong your box needs to be, then you should ask your packaging supplier for advice. The main types of construction that affect carton box strength and thickness are:

  • The carton box construction: if it’s made using a single sheet, multilayered paper, or fluted material
  • The type of paperboard used to make the carton
  • The geometry of the carton: symmetrical boxes will show better load resistance
  • If the carton box is a full body or built with cutouts and other holes: Full designs are studier
Unique carton box design
Unique carton box design
Resource: https://www.bakemag.com

5. Carton Box Shape

Carton box manufacturers design the packaging boxes in many shapes to fulfill buyer expectations and the packaging needs of different products. These range from the very basic rectangular box to more complex designs such as pyramids to hexagonal shapes. Most of the time, though, you will want to buy carton boxes in the following designs:

Cube Carton Box

This is the most common type of carton box. It has six flat sides, all measuring the same length and width. A cube carton provides suits many types of products, from clothes to books.

Tall Carton Box

This type of carton box has a taller height than both the width and length. Tall carton boxes are often used for shipping tall products that are unfoldable, such as vases and bottles.

Long Carton Box

This type of carton box is longer than it is wide or high. The long carton box is best used for shipping products that are long and thin, such as pipes and tubes.

Glossy carton box wrapped in plastic film
Glossy carton box wrapped in plastic film
Resource: https://youtu.be/qafazXFc61I

6. Glossy or Matte Carton Box?

When looking to buy carton boxes, you will also need to choose between a glossy or matte finish for your carton box. A glossy finish will make your box look more sophisticated, while a matte finish will give it a more natural look.

We recommend choosing a glossy finish for your packaging carton box if you are shipping products that need to look high-end, such as cosmetics or jewelry. If you are shipping products that do not need to look luxurious, then a matte finish will suffice.

Blue carton box for packaging shoes
Blue carton box for packaging shoes
Resource: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr1Vit1ez4Q

7. Carton Box Color

Packaging carton boxes come in a wide range of colors, from the classic brown to more unusual shades such as pink and green. When choosing a color for your carton box, consider what will look best with your product.

For example, if you are shipping chocolates, then a brown carton box will complement them nicely. If you are shipping cosmetics, then a feminine colored carton box such as pink or white would be a good choice.

You also want to buy carton boxes whose color will not clash with the culture of your target market. For example, if you are selling products to Asian markets, then you should avoid using a white carton box as white is the color of death in some Asian cultures.

In this instance, you would be better off choosing a red or gold box as these are lucky colors in most countries in the region.

If shipping your products to a western market, then you have a wide range of carton box colors to choose from. Popular choices include white, blue, and black carton boxes.

Quality carton box is made from high quality paperboard
Quality carton box is made from high quality paperboard
Resource: https://www.scienceabc.com

8. Carton Box Quality

No one wants low-quality products. Be sure to buy carton boxes that are made from high-quality paperboard. The thickness of the paperboard is measured in microns (µm) and the higher the micron rating, the thicker and more durable the paperboard will be.

For most products, you will want to choose a carton box with a micron rating of at least 250gsm. If you are shipping heavier products, then you may want to choose a box with a higher micron rating.

A quality carton will also have good printing quality. The printing should be sharp and clear, and the colors should be bright and vibrant. Be sure to check and confirm that everything is sharp and clear and that there are no smudges or irregularities.

9. Carton Box Price

Different carton boxes will have different price tags. The price of the box will depend on the size, style, and finish of the box as well as the quality of the paperboard. When looking to buy carton boxes for the first time, we suggest that you compare prices from different suppliers.

It is also worth noting that you can save money by buying in bulk. Many carton companies offer discounts for larger orders, so be sure to ask about this when you are getting quotes.

Remember, also, that buying in bulk means that you will have a stock of carton boxes on hand, which can be useful if you need to package or ship products on short notice, in addition to saving you money.

When you have finally considered all these factors, the last step is to find a trustworthy carton box manufacturer or carton box supplier. Be sure to check the reviews and feedback of previous customers before you make your purchase


Buying carton boxes is a process that requires a careful approach, especially given that packaging boxes are also powerful branding and marketing tools. We hope that this guide has given you some insights into how to choose the right carton box for your product.

Use the guide as a starting point in your search for the perfect carton box and be sure to ask for quotes from several different suppliers to get the best deal. A good carton box manufacturer will have a wide range of boxes to choose from as well as competitive prices.

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