Which is the Best Option For You; Cardboard Boxes or Plastic Crates?

  |   Posted In Commercial by Michelle Robshaw-Bryan

One of the questions we are often asked by our customers is which kind of moving box is best; plastic crates or cardboard boxes? The question is actually more difficult to answer than you might expect, as both of them have their own pros and cons.

Cardboard moving boxes London

In this article we’re going to take a look at some of the benefits and downsides of each type to help you decide on the right choice for your needs.

Cardboard Box Benefits

  • Our cardboard boxes are eco-friendly, in that they can be widely recycled after their use
  • Cardboard boxes are lightweight and don’t add much weight when fully packed
  • Cardboard boxes can be unassembled and stored flat
  • Cardboard boxes are cost effective
  • No packing labels needed, to label the contents a sharpie used right on the side of the box is all it takes to help you identify the contents

Cardboard Box Down Sides

  • Cardboard boxes do require assembly and will need packing tape to keep them closed
  • Cardboard boxes aren’t very strong, so you’ll need to be very mindful about what you pack into each cardboard box as weight will need to be kept to a minimum
  • Whilst cardboard boxes do offer some protection to the contents, they aren’t as robust as plastic crates

Cardboard boxes are Ideal for:

Home movers on a budget and those who will need to store the boxes in a small space prior to, or after using them. Our carboard moving boxes provide great value for money and are an affordable option for moving home.

See our range of cardboard boxes.

Plastic Crate Benefits

  • Plastic crates come in lots of different shapes and sizes
  • Plastic crates with lids can be easily stacked on top of the other to make use of any available space
  • The crates are sturdy and ridged, so there is less chance of the contents getting damaged
  • Plastic crates can be used over and over again (did you know we don’t just hire plastic moving crates, but we sell our crates too?)
  • There’s no need to use packing tape and no assembly is required before they can be used
  • Ideal for heavy items
  • Plastic crates have a much longer life than cardboard boxes, so if you are buying them, you’ll be able to use them time and time again, year after year
  • Flexible rental and buying options available

Plastic Crate Down Sides

  • Plastic crates can work out to be slightly more expensive depending on your needs

Plastic crates are ideal for:

Our plastic crates are highly versatile and a great option when moving home, but they are also ideal for office moves and commercial businesses. Plastic crates are often used by facilities managers, maintenance companies, libraries, retailers, popup shops and events, schools & universities, exhibitions, conferences and events, film and theatre production and businesses.

See our range of plastic crates.


In summary then, in terms of having the greatest number of pros and the fewest cons, plastic crates are a clear winner! Your decision to choose cardboard boxes or plastic crates however really depends on your usage requirements. Plastic crates are much more sturdy and stackable, so crate hire is particularly ideal for retailers, businesses and for events and exhibitions, whilst home owners on a budget may prefer the flexibility and ease of buying cardboard boxes.

If you are moving in the capital and require crate hire in London, you’ll find our handy hire service is easy to use.

Whether you are moving stock or office supplies or moving the entire contents of your home anywhere in the UK, we have the boxes, packagingcrates and crate handling equipment to help you move with ease!

About Michelle Robshaw-Bryan

I've been working in the crate hire and house moving industry for almost a decade and during that time I've learned everything there is to know about crates and have picked up many great moving tips! I use this knowledge to write about all things crate hire and moving related here on the Crate Hire UK blog. My life isn't all about crates though, I'm also a big fan of the outdoors and travel too and write for various different blogs.

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