Is cardboard or plastic better for moving?

Is Cardboard or Plastic Better for Moving?

When it comes to moving, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to use cardboard boxes or plastic containers for packing your belongings. Both options have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh them carefully before making a choice. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of cardboard and plastic for moving to help you make an informed decision for your next move.

Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes have long been the go-to choice for packing and moving. They are affordable, readily available, and easy to stack and transport. Here are some of the advantages of using cardboard boxes:

  • Cost-effective: Cardboard boxes are generally cheaper than plastic containers, making them a budget-friendly option.
  • Eco-friendly: Cardboard boxes are made from recycled materials and can be easily recycled again after use, making them a more sustainable choice.
  • Easy to label: Cardboard boxes provide a large surface area for labeling, making it easier to identify the contents of each box.
  • Flexible sizes: Cardboard boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes, allowing you to choose the ones that best fit your items.

However, cardboard boxes also have some downsides. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Not waterproof: Cardboard boxes are not waterproof, so if they get wet during the moving process, your items may be damaged.
  • Less durable: Cardboard boxes are more prone to wear and tear, especially if they are reused multiple times.
  • Assembly required: Cardboard boxes need to be assembled before use, which can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large number of boxes.

Plastic Containers

Plastic containers, on the other hand, offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the benefits of using plastic containers for moving:

  • Durable: Plastic containers are more durable than cardboard boxes and can withstand rough handling, making them a good option for long-distance moves.
  • Waterproof: Unlike cardboard boxes, plastic containers are waterproof, protecting your belongings from any water damage.
  • Reusable: Plastic containers can be reused multiple times, making them a more sustainable choice in the long run.
  • Stackable: Plastic containers are designed to stack easily, maximizing space during the moving process.

However, plastic containers also have their drawbacks. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Costlier: Plastic containers are generally more expensive than cardboard boxes, which can increase your moving costs.
  • Less eco-friendly: Plastic containers are made from non-biodegradable materials and can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.
  • Difficult to label: Plastic containers have a smaller surface area for labeling, making it harder to identify the contents without opening each container.

Key Takeaways

When deciding between cardboard boxes and plastic containers for your move, here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Cardboard boxes are cost-effective, eco-friendly, and easy to label, but they are not waterproof and less durable.
  • Plastic containers are durable, waterproof, and reusable, but they are costlier, less eco-friendly, and harder to label.
  • Consider the nature of your move, your budget, and your sustainability goals when choosing between the two options.


Which option is better for fragile items?

If you have fragile items to pack and move, plastic containers may provide better protection due to their durability and waterproof properties. However, using proper packing materials, such as bubble wrap or packing paper, is essential regardless of the type of container you choose.

Can I use a combination of cardboard boxes and plastic containers?

Yes, you can use a combination of both cardboard boxes and plastic containers for your move. This allows you to take advantage of the benefits of each option. For example, you can use plastic containers for fragile or valuable items and cardboard boxes for everyday items.

Where can I find cardboard boxes or plastic containers for my move?

There are various options for obtaining cardboard boxes and plastic containers for your move:

  • Packing Materials: Visit this website to find a wide range of packing materials, including cardboard boxes and plastic containers.
  • Local stores: Many local stores, such as supermarkets or home improvement stores, may have cardboard boxes available for free or at a low cost.
  • Online marketplaces: Websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace often have listings for free or discounted moving boxes and containers.


Choosing between cardboard boxes and plastic containers for your move requires careful consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of each option. While cardboard boxes are cost-effective and eco-friendly, they are not waterproof and less durable. On the other hand, plastic containers are durable and waterproof but costlier and less eco-friendly. Assess your specific needs and priorities to make the best choice for your next move. Remember, the right packing materials can make all the difference in ensuring your belongings arrive safely at your new home.