Can You Use Poly Mailers For USPS? (+ Other Common FAQs)

USPS has a variety of different shipping containers available to help meet the various needs of consumers.

But can you ship something with USPS using a poly mailer? How much does it cost, and are there any additional rules to keep in mind? I’ve looked into it, and here’s what I found out!

Can You Use Poly Mailers For USPS?

USPS does allow you to ship items using poly mailers. Poly mailers are an alternative to standard packaging that is lightweight and sturdy plastic bags, perfect for shipping items like clothes. Shipping with a poly mailer is less expensive than shipping with cardboard boxes, and poly mailers come in various styles like bubble-padded and eco-friendly.

Poly mailers are becoming more and more popular because they’re cheap and easy, so be sure to keep reading to find out how you can ship using poly mailers with USPS!

What Is a Poly Mailer?

Poly mailers are a type of shipping container that are essentially lightweight, sturdy plastic bags.

That said, poly mailers are quickly gaining popularity as they offer a less expensive, easier, and more eco-friendly alternative to standard packaging.

Also, poly mailers are easier to pack, ship, and transport than typical boxes and packaging.

Moreover, there are various poly mailers to choose from, including:

  • Bubble padded
  • Standard poly mailers
  • Expansion poly mailer
  • Eco-friendly options

Of all the poly mailers, the standard poly mailers are the most cost-effective poly mailers as they have no padding at all, which cuts down on shipping costs.

Additionally, standard poly mailers are best suited to shipping items such as apparel or things already packaged in a sturdy box and don’t need any extra protection.

On the other hand, bubble-padded poly mailers are slightly more expensive to use. But bubble-padded poly mailers come with extra padding built in to help protect more delicate items.

With that, bubble-padded poly mailers are an ideal choice for items that need a little more protection from damage or scrapes that can happen in transit, such as wristwatches.

In addition to these two poly mailers, expansion poly mailers are another option that is far sturdier than typical poly mailers.

For example, expansion poly mailers are puncture, tamper, moisture, and tear-resistant, making them perfect for shipping heavier items such as books.

Finally, eco-friendly poly mailers are perfect for those looking to reduce their impact on the environment or support a brand initiative dealing with a smaller carbon footprint.

That said, companies make eco-friendly poly mailers from biodegradable or recyclable materials that are perfect for minimizing waste and maximizing the use of renewable energy.

What USPS Shipping Services Can You Use With Poly Mailers?

What USPS Shipping Services Can You Use With Poly Mailers?

The best USPS shipping services when shipping with poly mailers are First Class Mail, First Class Package, Priority Mail, or Media Mail.

With these services, your package is categorized as a “Thick Envelope” or “Package,” depending on the thickness.

Moreover, an envelope with a thickness of ¾” or more is defined as a “Thick Envelope.” On the other hand, any package thicker than 1.5″ is labeled a “Package.”

Also, USPS First Class Mail or USPS First Class Package is the best option for any poly mailer shipments weighing 16 ounces or less.

However, you can use USPS Priority Mail with any poly mailer weighing less than 70 lbs.

Finally, you can also use USPS Media Mail for any poly mailer weighing less than 70 lbs.

However, Media Mail restricts the content you can ship, like CDs, DVDs, books more than eight pages in length, and vinyl records.

On top of that, it’s important to note that when using USPS Media Mail, USPS is allowed to open your package to verify the contents of the shipment do indeed qualify for Media Mail.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship With USPS When Using Poly Mailers?

Shipping with USPS depends mainly on the size, dimensions, weight, and distance traveled of an item you’re shipping.

Because there are so many factors that go into determining the price of any given package, it’s difficult to say precisely what your price will be for shipping with a poly mailer.

That said, poly mailers are far lighter than traditional packaging materials, which means they’ll cost far less.

In addition to poly mailers being lighter in weight, poly mailers also help cut down on the dimensional size of shipments since it doesn’t add any bulk to the package, thereby reducing the price further.

So, if you’d like to get a more exact estimate of how much shipping your package with a poly mailer would cost, feel free to visit this page of the USPS website and plug in the requested information.

What Are the USPS Rules For Poly Mailers?

USPS is the most common shipper of poly mailers, so it has some rules and guidelines it expects you to follow when packages are shipped using poly mailers.

First, poly mailers need to be a certain thickness depending on the overall weight of the package, to help prevent tears and bursts.

For shipments up to five pounds, poly mailers must be at least 2″ thick, and for shipments up to ten pounds, poly mailers must be at least 4″ wide.

In addition, any overhang on shipments packaged using poly mailers must not exceed more than .5″ when a package is lying flat.

For example, there cannot be more than .5″ of space between the edge of the poly mailer and its contents.

To know more about USPS, you can also see our posts on whether or not you can use duct tape on USPS packages, USPS jewelry shipping, and if USPS ships to Canada.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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