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Designed Mailer or White Poly Mailer?

Designed Mailer or White Poly Mailer?

When you’re shipping something to your friend or family member, worrying about the look or style of your poly mailer isn’t that important. However, when you’re sending a product to a customer, board member, or potential client, the entire look and feel of the packaging makes a significant difference. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between designed and white poly mailer envelopes, as well as what to look for when selecting which one is best for your business.

 White poly mailer with a black and white striped journal inside. A smaller striped journal sits on top of the mailer.

Poly Mailer 101

While it may sound like a word you’ve never heard before, a poly mailer is a fairly standard mailing envelope. Poly mailers are typically used for shipping soft items such as t-shirts, bedding, or fabric, but can also be used as additional packaging to keep other things safe. If you’ve ever purchased an item from Old Navy, Amazon, or another chain retail store, chances are you’ve come across your fair share of poly mailer envelopes without even realizing it.


Poly mailer envelopes are a great choice because they protect your items from dirt, debris, moisture, and the elements. They’re also lightweight, available in a ton of sizes, and incredibly affordable. Plus, you can purchase them in a variety of designs, which we’ll talk more about later! When compared to traditional cardboard packaging boxes, poly mailer envelopes are lighter, easier to store at higher volumes and protect better against dirt, debris, and moisture than cardboard. If what you are mailing can fit within a poly mailer envelope without poking through the material or busting at the seams, a poly mailer may be just what you’re looking for.


Important Features of Poly Mailers

As we mentioned earlier, one of the primary reasons that people choose a poly mailer is because of its lightweight design. In instances where your shipping price is calculated by the weight of your item, selecting the appropriate style of packaging that will protect your product without adding unnecessary weight can save you more money than you might expect. Poly mailers are also great for saving money on packing tape and shipping supplies as a whole.


Some of the essential features for poly mailer envelopes are what make them our top choice when purchasing commercial shipping products. When shopping for poly mailers, look for the following features to save you time and money in the long run:

  • Easy-seal closure: Have you ever spent time struggling to rip packing tape off of a roll? Or fighting with a piece of tape once it’s been torn, but it happened to stick to something you didn’t want it to before you could attach it to the envelope you were trying to mail? Us too. This is why we are huge fans of an easy-seal closure. Remove the protective strip from the adhesive layer and push the flap onto the bag, closing the mouth of the poly mailer envelope. This easily, quickly, and efficiently seals the items inside without the need for packing tape or any additional fuss.
  • Appropriate thickness: If you’re mailing a sweater that costs $50, you may think you can save an additional amount by purchasing the cheaper poly mailer envelopes. Does a fraction of a millimeter matter in the long run? If you’re shipping something that is easily replaced or inexpensive, probably not. However, saving money should not be your primary concern when choosing the appropriate thickness for your poly mailer. If you choose a thinner poly mailer to save a few bucks and the package is somehow damaged because it needed a thicker layer of protection, you’re only saving a fraction of a penny on the cost of that poly mailer. Instead of cutting costs saving on the right thickness, think about the overall value you can save by switching to poly mailers!
  • Available in bulk: Another great money-saving feature of poly mailers is their small profile, meaning they don’t take up much space to store. This can allow companies to purchase them in bulk, saving time and money in the long run. For example, if you order cardboard packing materials once per month because that is all that will fit in your storage area, that’s 12 times per year. If it takes you an average of 30 minutes per order, that’s five and a half hours you could be saving if you only had to order packaging one time. Poly mailers are thin, lightweight, durable, and available in bulk. When choosing a packaging option for your commercial shipping needs that offers flexibility — literally and figuratively — poly mailers are a great option. 
  • Reusability: As more and more people are concerned with protecting the life of our planet, the reusability of poly mailers can be an essential factor to your customers. Believe it or not, the majority of poly mailers are recyclable. Although they typically can’t be placed in your curbside recycling, many large retail stores have added space to collect poly mailers to be recycled. To find the closest facility near you, click here and enter your zip code. There are also options for adding a second easy-seal strip to your poly mailer. This feature makes them available to be used for returns, or to mail something else in the future. Many companies are selecting this option as well as including information about how and where to recycle their products. 

 Pink envelope flat lay on a white background

Envelope Styles

There are tons of reasons to love poly mailer envelopes for commercial shipping, but one is the variety that they offer when it comes to envelope style. Whether you’re looking for a simple white poly mailer, something that offers additional padding and protection, or an option that makes your commercial shipping a bit more memorable, poly mailer envelopes have you covered. Here are three distinct styles we keep on hand for all of our commercial shipping needs.

  • White poly mailer envelopes: Your basic, run of the mill poly mailer, this option is great if you need to mail something generic. We like to use a white poly mailer to add another layer of protection for shipping things such as documents or certificates because it helps prevent damage from moisture. With an easy-close seal, a variety of sizes, and an affordable price, white poly mailers are some of our favorites.
  • Padded poly mailers: A padded envelope made out of traditional manila offers a fraction of the amount of protection supplied by a padded poly mailer. This is because while a manila envelope protects the items inside from being squished, bend, or folded, it doesn’t offer protection against punctures, rips, tears, or damage from things like water, rain, dirt, or mud. Padded poly mailers, on the other hand, blend the strength of a traditional poly mailer with the added durability of a padded manila envelope. For things such as photos, more delicate clothing, or even boxes of jewelry, padded poly mailers are a great way to provide durability and protection.
  • Design poly mailers: If you are looking to step up your commercial shipping game and really make a continued impact on your customers, board members, donors, and beyond, design poly mailer envelopes are a great choice. These mailers can be custom printed with your logo or a specific phrase, or you can choose from a variety of pre-printed options for every occasion. We love the smile that these mailers bring to our faces when we receive them in the mail. Whether it’s a simple “thank you” printed across the front and back or a pattern of pineapples on a bright pink background, these poly mailer envelopes offer a unique way to keep their recipients intrigued from the moment it reaches their hands.


Comparing Plain and Pretty

There are a few differences between a plain white poly envelope and its decorative counterpart. Let’s touch on the two most noticeable features that change between the commercial shipping options, and then we’ll look at what makes each one better for different situations you may encounter.

  • Sizing: If you’re looking for a wider variety in sizing, a white poly mailer is the way to go. Available in sizes ranging from an index card to a large poster, these envelopes can fit nearly every commercial shipping need you can imagine at different sizes. Design poly mailers are a bit more standard in sizing, especially if you’re looking to avoid the custom printing route. Although you can find printed poly mailers in a small variety of sizes, it’s nowhere near as expansive as its plain counterpart. For custom printed mailers, the options are a bit less restrictive because you’re paying for the customization. It’s just a matter of preference and the size of the typical item you plan on mailing.
  • Decorative features: It’s one thing to get snail mail. It’s another thing altogether to get fun snail mail. As we mentioned earlier, something wrapped in a bright and fun package can bring a smile to someone’s face. This can help a customer associate your brand with a variety of happy feelings, which is good for your image and probably your checking account. There is always the option to purchase white poly mailers and decorate them yourself with markers, labels, or even paint. If that’s not the route you’re looking to go, but you still want to pack a punch with your commercial shipping envelope’s first impressions, a decorative poly mailer is probably your best choice.


When mailing a document such as a contract or other standard professional piece of paperwork, the type of packaging that it arrives in isn’t a concern to most people as long as it gets the job done. But when you’re mailing things such as certificates of appreciation, gifts after a board meeting, or thank-you items to sponsors or donors, the type of commercial shipping envelope you select can genuinely enhance the experience for the recipient.


Taking the time and a few extra bucks to invest in purchasing a decorative poly mailer envelope to deliver a gift to a donor can make an impression that takes them from a one-time giver to a monthly donor and beyond. Cultivating these relationships is essential in many business fields, and the part that your commercial shipping products play in your overall success can be more significant than you first imagined.

 Clear poly bag with suffocation warning printed in black

Safety First 

Although not a typical need for most businesses, shipping products through the Amazon sellers program has a set of requirements that companies must follow to comply with safety regulations. One of the major requirements by Amazon relates to customer safety and suffocation. According to the Amazon Seller Central website, “Poly bags with a 5-inch opening or larger (measured when flat) must have a suffocation warning, either printed on the bag or attached as a label. Failure to apply a suffocation warning may lead to the items being re-bagged.” Regardless of whether or not you plan on selling through Amazon, adding a suffocation warning label to your bag can be an essential reminder to parents and pet owners alike. Rather than printing a warning directly on your bag, there are tons of sticker options available to ensure that you are considering safety in your commercial shipping practices.

In the end, it’s Up to You

Whether or not you select a standard decorative poly mailer, a custom printed mailer or a simple white poly bag is ultimately up to you. Thanks to the variety of designs available from Shop4Mailers, however, the choice doesn’t have to be one or the other. This is one of those situations where you can have your cake and eat it, too!

The affordability of poly mailers for commercial shipping, as well as their compact size during storage, means that you don’t have to pick just one style and stick to it. The versatility of poly mailers makes them perfect for any business, and we love keeping a few different sizes, styles, and designs on hand for whatever the moment requires. Whether you’re sending a thank you package to a donor, shipping a birthday gift to a customer, or mailing a contract to your accountant, there is a poly mailer that is perfect for you.

For all your commercial shipping needs, check out our various mailing options!

  • Dec 03, 2019
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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