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custom size box on table with lamp

What’s All the Buzz About Right-Size Packaging?

It’s picking up steam, isn’t it?

And rightfully so. Right-size packaging fulfills functional and protective needs to ensure your products reach your customers in the best shape.

We’re no strangers to the impact of custom packaging in building a positive brand perception. Packaging design plays a vital role in supporting that. However, we sometimes think of design only within the confines of aesthetics when it does not and should not stop at visual value.

Aesthetics, function, consumer convenience, and product integrity—all these should come together, like puzzle pieces falling into place.

Beam Dental is a digital-first dental insurance provider for small to mid-size businesses
across the country focused on ease of use and preventive care.

What is right-size packaging?

Today, several products in the market do not fit in standard-sized boxes, leaving many businesses to use padding and fillers to ensure product integrity. Right-size packaging minimizes and can even drop the need for extra packing materials.

So how do you make the switch? If you’re working with custom boxes, start by getting the correct measurements.

“Correct measurements assure you that products will fit correctly, the box itself will fit inside any secondary packaging, and you pay for the right shipping cost.”

Read more: How to Measure Custom Boxes

What does right-size packaging look like?

We’re glad you asked.

Let’s look at some amazing examples of right-size packaging from the Packola community. We’ll also highlight some benefits to better understand why fit-to-size boxes benefit your business and are convenient for your customers.

It's cost-efficient

Custom boxes that offer a snug fit for your products do not require packing fillers, reducing your packaging spend. That’s the clear advantage.

Take Creoworks, for instance. Their tabletop samples fit like a glove inside the box. No fillers needed, no wasted space. This brings us to our next point: right-size boxes allow you to save on shipping costs.

Creoworks makes custom spaces and products through its in-house
manufacturing capabilities in wood, steel, and other mixed media.

Shipping companies calculate their charges following different policies. If you look at UPS’ fees, they consider your package’s dimensional weight (calculated as length x width x height), which generally favors heavier products. But here’s the catch: heavier doesn’t necessarily mean bigger packaging and more expensive fees—at least not until 2015.

According to eFulfillment Service, “FedEx and UPS did not charge dimensional weight, which meant that packages, regardless of size, were only billed based on the actual weight.”

For example, a shipper puts a dozen marbles inside a 5-liter wine box, and will be billed based on the weight of the marbles, not the size of the box. So, there’s wasted space inside the box, and that box takes up valuable space inside the carrier’s vehicle.

By implementing the new rules, shipping companies can maximize the number of packages per vehicle per delivery when shippers optimize the size of their packaging based on its contents.

Other money-saving edge trickles down to storage and stock management. Custom box sizes give you control over your packaging inventory. You buy only what you need, and maybe a few extra pieces just in case. This works perfectly for your seasonal offers and limited-edition products.

It's sustainable

Sustainability plays right into the right-sizing wheelhouse as it lessens the need for excessive packaging.

Sure, adding fillers is unavoidable when shipping fragile items. Luckily, there are void-fill solutions like corrugated bubbles, honeycomb paper, and molded pulp to align with your sustainability efforts. But for products that do not need them, custom box sizes are the way to go.

Here’s a fantastic example from Natural Swim.

This eco-friendly brand walks the talk with custom-size mailer boxes, forgoing extraneous fillers, and simply channeling its creative flair toward the box design.

Natural Swim, now Nura & Sol, is a fully sustainable swimwear line
designed in the United States but made ethically in Bali, Indonesia.

Another great thing about right-size packaging is it enables you to create a culture of efficiency. You can pack orders faster, maximize every delivery trip, and most importantly, there is less trash for your customers to recycle or dispose of responsibly.

And that’s something you would want to consider. According to Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report, 67% of consumers are environmentally aware and consider sustainability when making purchasing decisions.

It improves customer experience

As for consumers’ packaging preferences, shipping tiny products in disproportionately large boxes doesn’t appeal to eco-conscious shoppers. You might as well kiss customer loyalty goodbye.

On the other hand, right-size packaging opens opportunities for your brand to connect with your clients and empathize with their environmental concerns. And that sets the stage for a memorable unboxing experience.

You know where this is going; another right-size packaging inspiration! This time, it’s from author Steve Brown and his mailer for his book on digital transformation for innovating businesses.

Steve Brown is an author, futurist, and founder of Possibility & Purpose LLC.
He’s also a strategic advisor with over 30 years of tech experience.

Steve’s custom box is a fantastic example of no-nonsense packaging. Without any void- fills, it’s lightweight, easy to pack, and generates less waste material.

The design reflects the quality of the product. It makes clever use of the inside print, underlining what the book is about and adding to the reader’s experience.

Got some right-size packaging inspiration you want to share with the #PackolaCommunity? Send it to us at