What Are Mailing Tubes? (2022 Guide)

What are mailing tubes? Mailing tubes are cylindrical cardboard containers used to protect rolled-up documents and other materials during shipping. They are often used in place of envelopes for items that cannot be folded, such as posters or blueprints. Mailing tubes are also sometimes used to ship fragile items, such as glassware or ceramic figurines.

Mailing tubes come in a variety of sizes, depending on the needs of the shipper. They can be sealed with tape or a plastic cap, and some types have a built-in carrying handle.

When selecting a mailing tube, it is important to consider the size and weight of the item to be shipped, as well as the shipping method (e.g., USPS, UPS, FedEx). Mailing tubes are typically made from corrugated cardboard, which is strong and durable but also lightweight.

Mailing tubes are a convenient and cost-effective way to ship rolled-up materials. They offer protection against bending or creasing and can be easily sealed for added security. Plus, they're easy to store and reuse, making them a great option for eco-conscious consumers.

cylindrical shipping tubes and square shipping tubes

Do Tubes that Ship by Mail Cost More to Ship?

When it comes to shipping costs, the shape of your container doesn't matter - at least not to the United States Postal Service. USPS treats mailing tubes the same as rectangular boxes when it comes to pricing. In other words, containers aren’t priced differently because of their shape.

In some cases, it may even be cheaper to mail using a tube, rather than a box, as tubes are made for long or cylindrical items. If you use a box, you’ll likely have to use one that’s bigger than you need in order to accommodate an item’s unique shape (a bigger box could mean more expensive shipping).

Therefore, a tube could end up being cheaper in the long run. So next time you're wondering whether to reach for a box or a tube, rest assured that both options will cost the same amount to ship.

What material is a mailing tube made of?

Mailing tubes are made out of different materials depending on the need. Cardboard is often the main component in these mailing tubes. However, other materials such as bubble wrap or foam can be reinforcing these tubes for added protection.

Also, you can customize your mailing tube to better match your needs. For example, The Packaging Company offers custom stickers and graphics that you can affix to your mailing tube. You could also use promotional brands and designs. In conclusion, many aspects including the material, size, and design of mailing tubes can be customized according to the needs of the customer.

Types of Mailing Tubes

What types of shipping mailing tubes are available?

End Cap Tubes

End cap tubes are the type of mailing tube you have probably come across before. These tubes are made of cardboard, but the ends are sealed with plastic caps that fit snugly. This design is ideal for items that need to be protected from moisture or dust, as the caps create a tight seal. In addition, end cap tubes are very strong and resistant to crushing.

As a result, they are perfect for mailing heavier items such as posters or blueprints. If you're looking for a mailing tube that will keep your items safe and sound, end cap tubes are the way to go.

Triangle Tubes

Triangle tubes are a type of shipping tube that is shaped like a triangular prism. They arrive flat, which you can then fold together to create a shipping container. Triangle tubes open along their sides. Some people find them easier to pack and ship than traditional mailing tubes as they are held together with locking tabs, eliminating the the need for adhesive to seal them.

Triangle tubes can be made from different materials, such as cardboard, plastic, or metal. They are often used for shipping posters, rolled-up maps, or other items that are too long to fit in a rectangular envelope. If you are looking for an alternative to traditional mailing tubes, triangle tubes may be the solution you need.

Snap Seal Tubes

Snap seal tube mailers are a versatile and convenient option for shipping and storing paper documents, artwork, posters,, and more. These tubes have fold-over ends that snap together to create a seal, eliminating the need for end caps. This makes them quick and easy to use, and also keeps contents securely in place during transit. In addition, snap seal tube mailers are often a more economical choice than traditional mailing tubes.

They are perfect for a wide range of applications, making them an ideal solution for both businesses and individuals. Whether you're sending out important documents or preserving precious artwork, snap seal tube mailers provide a safe and efficient way to get your items from Point A to Point B.

Square Tubes

When it comes to packaging and shipping, square mailing tubes are a great option. Their unique shape allows them to be easily stacked, making them ideal for storing or transporting multiple items at once. They also have locking tabs to keep the contents secure, and they can be opened on both ends for easy access.

In addition, because they are flat on all sides, they are less likely to roll off of surfaces than other types of mailing tubes. Whether you're sending documents, posters, or blueprints, square mailing tubes are a safe and convenient option.

Telescoping Tubes

Telescoping mailing tubes are an excellent option for those who need size flexibility for the items they intend to ship. These tubes expand and shrink to fit the size of your item, making them ideal for a variety of objects. In addition, telescoping tubes are made from sturdy materials that can withstand years of wear and tear.

As a result, they are an excellent investment for anyone who needs a reliable way to ship items of varying sizes. Whether you are sending a small package or a large piece of artwork, telescoping mailing tubes provide a safe and secure way to get your items to their destination.

Does the Post Office have mailing tubes?

At first glance, it might seem like the post office would be the last place to go for mailing tubes. However, the US Postal Service offers a variety of options for those looking to send documents or other items through the mail. For those who need a plain and simple tube, the post office has several options available for purchase.

For those who are looking for something a little more decorative, there are also several options available. In addition, the post office offers free Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail tubes for those who need them. Whether you're looking for a simple solution or something a little more elaborate, the post office is likely to have what you need.

Is it possible to ship a Priority Mail Tubes at a flat rate?

For businesses that need to send rolled materials like blueprints or posters, Priority Mail tubes from the United States Postal Service (USPS) are a convenient option. Unlike flat-rate boxes, which have a set price regardless of weight or destination, Priority Mail tubes are priced according to their weight and the ZIP code of their final destination.

This makes them a more cost-effective option for businesses that need to send items to multiple locations, as the price will be based on the actual weight and distance of each shipment.

In addition, Priority Mail tubes can hold up to 3.3 cubic feet of material, making them a versatile option for businesses with different shipping needs. Whether you're sending documents or posters, Priority Mail tubes can help you get your materials where they need to go.


Mailing tubes are a great option for those who need to send documents or other items through the mail. There are a variety of options available, from simple to decorative, and the US Postal Service offers free Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail tubes for those who need them.

In addition, mailing tubes are an economical choice for businesses that need to ship items to multiple locations, as the price will be based on the actual weight and distance of each shipment.

Whether you're looking for a simple solution or something a little more elaborate, mailing tubes are a great option for getting your materials where they need to go.

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author: patrick algrim
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Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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