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Folding Carton Styles Explained Comprehensive Guide by CrownPackages

Box manufacturing is a highly creative industry with an array of folding carton styles to choose from. For newcomers to the packaging world, the multitude of folding cartons can be overwhelming. From straight tuck boxes and reverse tuck boxes to auto-lock boxes and five-panel boxes, understanding which box suits your product best can be a challenge.

At CrownPackages, we aim to simplify this process by explaining the various folding carton styles and how each can be customized to best represent your brand.

Understanding Folding Cartons

Before diving into the different types of folding cartons, it’s essential to understand what they are and how they’re made.

What is a Folding Carton?

A folding carton is a box made from paperboard, a thick, paper-based material. These cartons are printed, cut, glued, and scored to create a flat piece that can be constructed into a box. Folding cartons are ideal for protecting and displaying products, making them a staple in retail packaging.

Folding Carton Styles-What is a Folding Carton

What is Paperboard?

Paperboard, or cardstock, is a heavy paper-based material used in the production of folding cartons. At CrownPackages, we offer various types of paperboard, including metallic options, to suit different packaging needs. Kraft paperboard, made from 100% recycled materials, is another popular choice for its eco-friendly properties.

Folding Carton Styles-What is Paperboard

What is a Cutting Die?

A cutting die is a metal tool used to cut out the shape of the box from printed paperboard, much like a cookie cutter. At CrownPackages, we have an extensive library of box dies and templates available for free, with the option to create custom dies for unique packaging designs.

Folding Carton Styles-What is a Cutting Die

Types of Folding Cartons

There are two main types of folding cartons: paperboard folding cartons and corrugated folding cartons. Each type serves different purposes, and CrownPackages specializes in both.

Paperboard Folding Cartons

Made from a single layer of paperboard, these cartons are commonly used for retail products. They are lightweight yet sturdy enough to protect items on store shelves.

Folding Carton Styles-Paperboard Folding Cartons

Corrugated Folding Cartons

Corrugated cartons consist of two layers of cardboard with a ridged inner layer for added strength. These are ideal for shipping and handling heavier items due to their superior durability.

Folding Carton Styles-Corrugated Folding Cartons

Folding Carton Styles

Different folding carton styles vary based on their closing mechanisms and how users interact with them. Here are the most common styles offered by CrownPackages:

Straight Tuck Boxes

Straight tuck boxes feature top and bottom closure panels attached to the same main panel, folding from front to back. They are perfect for lightweight to medium-weight products, offering easy assembly and secure closure with slit locks.

  • Features: Ideal for soaps, cosmetics, and small electronics.
  • Benefit: Compact storage and secure locking mechanism.

Folding Carton Styles-Straight Tuck Boxes

Reverse Tuck Boxes

Similar to straight tuck boxes, reverse tuck boxes have one closure panel attached to the back and the other to the front, folding in opposite directions. They are more cost-effective due to better nesting on the paper sheet.

  • Features: Suitable for a wide range of products including cosmetics and vape cartridges.
  • Benefit: Lower cost per piece and easy assembly.

Folding Carton Styles-Reverse Tuck Boxes

Lock Bottom Boxes

Also known as 1-2-3 bottom boxes, these are designed to hold heavier items with a sturdy bottom that locks into place. They are quick to assemble and provide a strong base for products like candles and glass jars.

  • Features: Ideal for heavy items.
  • Benefit: Extra strength and easy three-step assembly.

Folding Carton Styles-Lock Bottom Boxes

Crash Bottom Boxes

Crash bottom or auto-lock bottom boxes provide excellent support for heavy products. They come pre-glued for extra strength and require no assembly, just a simple pop to open.

  • Features: Perfect for heavy products like cosmetics and candles.
  • Benefit: Zero assembly and strong pre-glued bottom.

Folding Carton Styles-Crash Bottom Boxes

Tuck Top Boxes

These boxes offer extra strength with double side walls and a single top opening. They are versatile and ideal for displaying multiple items.

  • Features: Suitable for a wide range of products.
  • Benefit: Extra strength and easy assembly.

Folding Carton Styles-Tuck Top Boxes

Two-Piece Boxes

Comprising a tray and a lid, two-piece boxes offer an elegant solution for luxury items and product kits. Both components have a double-wall structure for added durability.

  • Features: Ideal for luxury products and sweet assortments.
  • Benefit: Elegant presentation and easy assembly.

Folding Carton Styles-Two-Piece Boxes

Holster Boxes

Holster boxes, or half boxes, have an open top, making them perfect for products that need visibility, like soap bars. They can be customized with unique top shapes and cutouts.

  • Features: Great for items requiring visibility.
  • Benefit: Customizable top openings and sturdy bottom closures.

Folding Carton Styles-Holster Boxes

Sleeve Packaging

Sleeves add another layer of customization and protection by wrapping around the product container. They are cost-effective and perfect for seasonal or targeted promotions.

  • Features: Ideal for upgrading blank boxes.
  • Benefit: Cost-effective and customizable.

Folding Carton Styles-Sleeve Packaging

Counter Display Boxes

These boxes serve dual purposes of packaging and displaying products. When opened, the lid becomes a promotional header, making them perfect for retail displays.

  • Features: Ideal for smaller, grab-and-go items.
  • Benefit: Dual functionality and easy assembly.

Folding Carton Styles-Counter Display Boxes

Five-Panel Hanger Boxes

These boxes have an extended hanger panel with a hole for retail display. They are perfect for lightweight products and can be fully customized.

  • Features: Suitable for lightweight items.
  • Benefit: Easy assembly and retail display-friendly.

Folding Carton Styles-Five-Panel Hanger Boxes

Customization Options of Folding Carton Styles

CrownPackages offers extensive customization for all folding carton styles. From inserts and cutouts to special coatings and foil stamping, the possibilities are endless. Custom dies can be created to fit your exact specifications, ensuring your packaging stands out.

Customization Options of Folding Carton Styles

A Peek Inside CrownPackages’ Folding Cartons Manufacturing Process

At CrownPackages, we take immense pride in meticulous craftsmanship. Here’s a glimpse into the remarkable journey your packaging takes:

  • Collaborative Design: Our team of experienced packaging specialists collaborates closely with you to bring your vision to life. We guide you through every step, from conceptualizing the design to selecting the ideal materials and finishes to perfectly embody your brand identity.
  • Precision Die-Line Creation: Based on your approved design, we create precise die-lines, which act as blueprints for the manufacturing process. These die-lines ensure consistent and accurate folding and assembly, guaranteeing a flawless final product.
  • Printing Expertise: Our cutting-edge printing presses utilize advanced technology to deliver exceptional results. We offer a variety of printing methods, including offset, digital, and flexographic printing, to cater to your specific requirements and budget.
  • Post-Press Finishing: Once the printing is complete, your packaging undergoes a series of post-press finishing techniques, such as die-cutting, folding, and gluing. We also offer a variety of special effects, such as embossing, hot stamping, and UV coating, to elevate the visual appeal and create a truly luxurious unboxing experience.
  • Rigorous Quality Control: We are unwavering in our commitment to quality. Every single packaging component undergoes a thorough inspection to ensure it meets our stringent standards for construction, printing, and overall aesthetics. This guarantees that your packaging consistently represents your brand with distinction.


Choosing the right folding carton style is crucial for effective packaging and brand representation. At CrownPackages, we provide a wide range of styles and customization options to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re packaging lightweight retail items or heavy-duty products, our expert team is ready to help you design the perfect box. Contact CrownPackages today to start creating your custom folding cartons.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of folding cartons?

There are several types of folding cartons, including straight tuck boxes, reverse tuck boxes, 1-2-3 auto-lock boxes, and 5-panel boxes. Each type serves different packaging needs based on product requirements. At CrownPackages, we help you select the best folding carton style to fit your product perfectly.

What are the different types of cartons?

Broadly, cartons can be categorized into:
3-ply cardboard cartons
5-ply cardboard cartons
Die-cut cartons
Custom printed corrugated cardboard boxes
White boxes
Multi-depth boxes
Each type offers unique benefits depending on the product being packaged.

What is a folding carton used for?

Folding cartons are extensively used in various industries, including:
Retail and accessories
Toys and games
Food and beverages
Cosmetics and personal care
Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies
Stationery and paper products
Home and décor
Folding cartons provide a versatile and customizable packaging solution for many products.

What is the difference between a mono carton and a folding carton?

Mono cartons, also known as folding cartons, are single-layer cardboard boxes. They offer a sleek and professional look, making them ideal for packaging products like cosmetics, toothpaste, and even specialty items like Japanese calligraphy styluses. Both terms are often used interchangeably.

What are the methods of closing cartons?

The four main methods for closing corrugated boxes are:
Each method ensures the box’s security and integrity during transport and storage.

What are the grades of folding carton board?

Different grades of paperboard used for folding cartons include:
CUK (Coated Unbleached Kraft): Made from 100% recyclable materials, typically used for natural kraft cartons.
SBS (Solid Bleached Sulfate): High-quality, white paperboard ideal for premium packaging.
CRB/CCNB (Clay-Coated News Back Board): Cost-effective and suitable for various applications.
FBB (Folding Box Board): Known for its stiffness and durability.
These grades offer varying levels of quality and suitability for different packaging needs.

What is the difference between a folding carton and a corrugated box?

Folding cartons are known for their smooth surface, which allows for high-quality printing and intricate designs. This makes them perfect for customized packaging with vibrant graphics and various finishes like matte, gloss, or metallic. On the other hand, corrugated boxes are thicker and more robust, providing better protection for heavier items, but they have limitations in print clarity and design intricacy.

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