E-commerce shops predominantly use mailers bags to ship their products since they are lightweight and reusable. This often translates to cheaper shipping costs. This guide will share with you tips on choosing the right mailer bag size and maximizing the mailer space so you and your customers save on shipping costs.
What are the standard sizes of Mailer Bags
These bags come in a wide variety of sizes, which can make finding the correct bag size difficult. Across shopping and shipping platforms, the standard size for poly mailers is usually 10" x 13". However, other sizes such as 6" x 12" and 14.5" x 19" are available for smaller and bigger products.
What Size Mailer Bag Should I Buy?
Here are four (4) things to keep in mind when determining the size of mailer bags you should buy:
1. Size of the Product
While it may seem cliché, you should consider this an essential aspect of choosing your packaging. The size of the product will dictate the size and type of the mailer bag you will use.
However, not all products will fit just any mailer bag size. You should accurately measure the item to determine the mailer size. This will make sure the size you'll end up buying is the one closest to what you need.
Regular shaped items are the easiest to measure. Using a ruler or tape measure, measure the length (longest side), width (shorter side), and depth (thickness) of the product.
When it comes to cylindrical and irregularly shaped objects, measure them rectangularly. For clothes and fabrics, you should fold them rather than roll them. You can check our Eco-friendly Packaging Tips for Clothes guide for quick and efficient folding tips.
Check out this amazing packaging video from @colemanscrafts
2. Size of the Mailer
Ideally, the mailer should be larger to completely wrap the product while leaving enough room to seal the bag properly. If you use an undersized mailer bag, your packaging will likely tear and rip during handling or transit.
Note: An oversized mailer will increase your shipping costs due to its dimensional weight.
We have developed a simple formula to help you determine the minimum length and width sizes of mailer bags:
Mailer size = (L + H + 2") x (W + H + 1/2”) Where:
- L – Product length
- W – Product width
- H – Product height/depth
The formula will provide a rough estimate of the L × W of the mailer you need. You can use our size calculator for simple, quick, and accurate readings. The calculator's advantage is gauging how much space you can pack inside a biodegradable mailer. Multiply all the dimensions of your mailer (L × W × H) to get the volume in square inches.
Check out our mailer bag size calculator
Alternatively, you can use the dimensional calculators from major shipping labels such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Apart from the mailer size, these calculators correctly determine the billable weight by factoring in the total number of products and their dimensional weight.
Delicate and valuable items such as jewelry require some cushioning to withstand the rigors of shipping.
When determining the size of a mailer, it's essential to know that the cushioning will significantly reduce the internal dimensions of the mailer. For instance, 4-6 medium shirts will easily fit into a 10" x 13" flat mailer, but only about 3-4 will fit into a padded mailer. Consequently, adjust the size of your mailer bag accordingly based on the type of padding you will use.
If a small, fragile item requires cushioning, we recommend that you use a bubble mailer. While the bubble mailers pack fewer items than flat mailers, they are convenient and eco-friendly way of protecting small and delicate products. They help to reduce packaging waste, which helps in making your shipping method more sustainable and environment-friendly.
Check out this cool jewelry packaging video from @delroseco
Use the bubble mailer calculator to select check if your small, fragile items can fit into these protective bags.
4. Shipping Specifications
Shipping companies have specific size and weight guidelines prescribed in their manuals. Remember to adhere to these guidelines strictly, since the couriers usually verify all packages before shipping them out.
Discrepancies between dimensions specified, and your actual dimensions, will often need to be reviewed. It is a time-consuming process and these checks usually leads to delays in the delivery of the products.
In case, your product's dimensions go beyond what is recommended, the weight class will have to be increased. This often results in increased shipping costs. Also, in some extreme cases, the package might be returned, which increases the likelihood of delays.
What Items Can You Fit Into Poly Mailer Bags
Poly mailer bags are an ideal replacement for shipping boxes when packaging small, light items. Use a bubble mailer or paper wrap if the items are fragile and need extra protection. You can also use poly mailers to ship health and beauty products, provided they are in sturdy, rip-proof materials.
Let’s look at some of the products you can fit into the different sizes of a poly mailer. Remember, the quantity of the items you can fit in may vary depending on the product's thickness, material or other things that may affect its volume.
For 6 × 9” Mailer Bags
Here are the items you can possibly fit into 6 × 9” mailer bags:
- Baby Socks
- Small Art Prints
- Health supplements
- Small jewelry box
- Phone cases
- Deck of Cards
- Small Cosmetic Items
For 10×13” Polymailer Bags
What could you fit inside a 10 × 13” polymailer?
- 2-3 neatly folded t-shirts
- Children Sneakers
- A pair of jeans
- Books and magazines
- Toys (boxed)
- A yard of fabric
- Board games
For 14.5 × 19” bag
- Beddings – a blanker or set of sheets
- A hoods or jackets
- Adult shoebox
- 2-3 yards of fabric
- Art prints
Maximize the Packaging Space
Maximizing the space of your mailer ensures that your shipping costs stay within your budget. For maximum efficiency, pick the most suitable type of mailer, depending on the size and shape of your item. Or you can mount promos that encourage multiple purchases or orders.
Use flat mailers to ship light and less-fragile items such as clothing, bedding, fabrics, and print materials. Bubble mailers are ideal for delicate items such as crafts, jewelry, and small electronics.
It's crucial to accurately determine the dimensions of your product. Calculating the size of mailer bags is now easier with the availability of mailer bag size calculators.
For more information or help to choosing your mailer bag size, check out our mailer size calculator.