What is the Difference between Paperboard and Corrugated Boxes?

There is a wide range of packaging materials available in the market nowadays due to the varying requirements of the customers.

More and more companies are developing alternative packaging styles to bring sustainability and satisfy customer requirements.

However, it would not be wrong to say that paper-based materials are still the most popular type of packaging solution all over the world.

Whenever you think about packaging, your first thought is likely to be about paperboard or corrugated boxes.

Both of these packaging materials are part of cardboard boxes. Yet, there are some distinct differences between the paperboard and corrugated boxes.

Generally, corrugated boxes are thicker and sturdier, having multiple layers with heavy paper, whereas paperboard is available in both single and multi-ply.

Let’s discuss these differences and the application of these boxes in detail:


Ribbed centre, paper on both sides, and several layers are the distinct characteristics of a corrugated box.

These boxes are used for packaging a wide range of items, including heavy objects like furniture and electrical appliances.

On the other hand, paperboard is a single-layer cardboard box. Some of the common examples of

paperboard are cereal boxes, tissue boxes, and paper towel rolls.


Corrugated boxes are often used for secondary and tertiary packaging, especially due to the rapid rise of e-commerce platforms all over the world.

These boxes have a high strength-to-weight ratio, so they can be used to ship and transport medium-sized and large items as well.

e-Commerce giants like Lazada or Shopee have unique and reliable methods for packaging to provide the right kind of packaging style and provide a satisfying experience to the customers.

The usage of corrugated boxes is also wide-ranging because they come in various fluting designs and profiles so that companies deal with packages of various sizes, thicknesses, and load capacities.

Hence, the corrugated boxes provide versatile packaging solutions to meet a wide range of requirements.

On the other hand, paperboard also has a variety of applications as it can be used for printed marketing material, folding cartons, and many other items.

In addition, most companies take great benefit from the malleability of the paperboard to design it according to their own brand and creativity.

Furthermore, companies, especially stores, can also add decorative elements like coatings and inks to enhance the overall design and style of the packaging and make it appealing to the customers.

Generally, cardboard boxes are used in the packaging of small items like toys, smaller boxes, and food. It is much easier to bend a paperboard than a corrugated box.

You are likely to find a cardboard box in many different shapes to hold a wide range of items.

Merging Packaging Materials

Creative packaging businesses have blended the protective characteristics of corrugated boards with the aesthetic possibilities of paperboard to achieve the best of both worlds.

Chipboard, a durable corrugated substrate that is generally 2-3 millimetres thick, is used to make a simple setup box, which is then wrapped with attractive speciality paper.

A whole series DVD box set is a common example of merging packaging styles.

Importance of Differences

Generally, it is okay for people to think of corrugated boxes and paperboard as the same type of box packaging materials.

However, companies must know the differences to choose the right kind of packaging and save a significant amount of money and time by ensuring the products are being delivered to the customers in the best possible conditions.

If you’re sending goods or expensive objects, for example, you’ll need the appropriate sort of box.

This is particularly true if you have others pack your belongings for you.

If they use the improper sort of box, the items may be damaged or the shipping charges will be greater.

In situations like these, knowing the right type of box to choose from can save you time and money.

All In All

In short, both paperboard and corrugated boxes play an integral role in the way box packaging works.

They act as viable and cost-efficient packaging solutions for different types of products.

Companies should focus on using these traditional packaging in modern and attractive ways so that customers get maximum satisfaction from shopping and enjoy the unboxing experience.

Furthermore, packaging nowadays plays a critical role in the branding of a business, so companies should also focus on customizing the corrugated boxes and paperboard to ensure they are successfully marketing the business while using an affordable and reliable packaging solution.