How to Choose Board for your Carton or Sleeve

Cartonboard Questionnaire for Cartons and Sleeves

Sheet of carton board

Your product’s carton has a lot of work to do! As well as visually presenting your product in the best possible light, it must also protect the product all through its journey from when it is first packed in your factory to right through to the end of its “life”, when the product is consumed and the carton or sleeve is placed in the recycling bin.

Guide to Choosing the Correct Board for your Carton or Sleeve

In this Guide, we will take you through what you information you need to give us for us to choose the correct cartonboard for your product.

Why is it important to know which cardboard (known as cartonboard or board) to use?

Not all boards are the same – different types of board have different properties that make some suitable for certain uses but unsuitable for other uses. For example, if your product is ice-cream, we will choose a board that has an inner wax coating to prevent moisture and cold from damaging the board. (A standard carton board would not work in this situation).

Therefore, the following are 4 very important reasons to get the choice of board right:

  1. Fit for Purpose – to make sure that your finished carton or sleeve is fit for purpose and sufficiently robust all through its life cycle, including being packed, transported, stored on retail shelves, in chill or freezer cabinets and finally during its time of use and recycling by the consumer.
  2. Cost Estimates – to get an accurate price quotation on your carton or sleeve, we need to know what type of board we will be using to manufacture it. Not all boards cost the same amount – the cost of board will depend on a number of factors such as the weight of the board, whether or not it has extra coatings or treatments, the popularity of the board etc
  3. Design – Your graphic designer may want to specify a particular colour or finish of board to be used in your carton/sleeve packaging. This is especially likely to happen if the design is perhaps black and white only or if it incorporates a lot of white background. It is extremely important that you talk to us at this point (before you sign-off on your artwork) so that we can check whether the board proposed by your graphic designer is suitable for use for the manufacture of your carton and that this type of board is readily available from the paper mills. You can read more about why it is so important to get your carton manufacturer involved at the beginning of the design process.  Read more here.
  4. Delivery Times – while we keep some frequently-used board in stock in our factory, some boards will need to be custom ordered from our board suppliers (also known as paper mills) This could mean that we need to factor in some extra time for the board to be delivered to us as many of the paper mills are based in mainland Europe.

Help! I don’t know what type of board to use!

The good news is that as a carton buyer, you don’t need an in-depth knowledge of cartonboard – all you need to do is to complete the following questionnaire about your planned carton or sleeve.

When we have this information, we will advise you of the board or range of boards that we think will suit your carton or sleeve best. If necessary, we can provide you with samples of the board so you can see how it looks. We will also explain to you why we have chosen this type of board.

Cartonboard Questionnaire

Customer Name and Contact Info



Product Name please fill in your full product name or reference codes



Type of Product what type of item is your product – food, drink, toy, breakable item etc? We use a range of boards (i.e. cardboards) to suit several types of item, – e.g. for wet, cold foods we will use a board with a waxed coating on the inside to prevent leakage.



Direct Contact Packaging will your product make direct contact with the inside of the carton or is the product wrapped in a protective layer before being packed into the carton? If your product is a food type that contains oil or grease and is in direct contact with the inside of the carton, we may need to use a grease kit board.



Weight of Product what weight is each unit of your product? (This will affect the weight and type of board that’s best for your product) For example, if your product is a bottle of wine or jar of relish, it may need a carrier board or laminated E Flute board.



Product Packing how will your product be packed, by machine or by hand? (If it is by machine, then you will need samples to test that your packaging runs through your packing machinery smoothly If it’s by hand, then you’ll need to test that your staff can easily open, insert the product and close the packaging.



Product Storage where will your product be stored at each stage of its lifecycle? (For example, if it’s stored in the freezer, then we’ll use a freezer-grade board. If it’s going to be stored or transported on ice, we’ll use a board that is waterproof and won’t disintegrate when in contact with ice.)



Product Stacking will your products be stacked on top of each other? This will affect what board we use.



Product Postage is your product going to be put in the post at any point in its expected life cycle?



Luxury Product If your product is a luxury product, you may want to use your carton or sleeve board to help convey this. Heavier boards or boards with a glossy finish may help convey a luxury feel.



Sustainability you may want to consider using some of our recycled or eco-friendly boards and film. If your carton contains a window patch, your carton can still be fully sustainable because at Dollard Packaging, we use an eco-film that is made from plant materials (unlike traditional film that are made from fossil-fuels) You can read more about this innovative eco-film here.


You can read another of our blogs about choosing the best board here.

Talk to us at Dollard Packaging if you need any help with any aspect of packaging Tel 01 847 0044