When you hear the term “Cardboard Box“, what comes to mind?  Likely something similar to the image of the box pictured to the right. However, you may be surprised to discover that this image depicts a corrugated carton – not a cardboard box.

Packaging engineers have long bemoaned this common misconception. While cardboard and corrugated are both paper-based materials, they are two totally separate items. The differences between cardboard and corrugated can be explained as follows:

Corrugated vs Cardboard


Corrugated (or pleated) material is made up of three different layers of paper: an inside liner, an outside liner, and fluting which runs in between. This corrugated medium, also called containerboard, helps provide strength. The most typical applications of corrugated are in shipping boxes, retail displays, pizza delivery boxes, and even some retail packaging.


Cardboard is a heavy-duty paper stock known as paperboard. It’s rarely used in heavy-duty packaging. Typical applications are cereal boxes and other smaller consumer goods packages.

At Adil Enterprises, we still sometimes use the term “cardboard” when referencing our corrugated cartons to make it easier for our customers to search. So whether you’re looking for a corrugated carton, a cardboard box or a brown paper container to put stuff in, we can help you with all your packaging needs!


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