The 16 Different Types of Moving Boxes

The 16 Different Types of Moving Boxes

During your move, the most important thing to have is the right moving supplies. And out of the entire supplies, moving boxes are the most vital item. Fortunately, various types of moving boxes are available in the market which can be used based on your requirement.

Do you know the kind of moving boxes you need? Getting the nearest cardboard box is not often the best idea, especially when you are packing some of your expensive items.

Here, we mentioned some of the different types of moving boxes available, so you can make sure you get the perfect one for your individual moving needs. Remember, there are special boxes for every household item and moving needs.

Packing up your belongings doesn’t have to be stressful. By knowing the moving boxes to use for certain items, you can easily and safely help your valuable items arrive at your new location. For a fast check on the various kinds of moving boxes, you should buy when moving to another home, see our detailed list below.

1. Large Cardboard Boxes (18 – 24 inches)

If you are relocating to a small apartment, you will need just a few large cardboard boxes. You must pack large, lightweight belongings like pillows, clothing, toilet paper, bedding, paper towels, blankets, and more in these boxes. If you pack heavy items in a large cardboard box, then you will find it hard to lift them during the moving process. Large cardboard boxes often measure 18 – 24 inches long.

2. Medium Cardboard Boxes (14 – 18 Inches)

When you are moving, these types of moving boxes have the highest demand. The reason is because of their popularity that they are ideal for packing and carrying household belongings like vases, stuffed toys, pots, picture frames, bed linens, books, pans, clothing, and many related items. The advantage of these boxes is that they are large to easily pack a wide range of items but also small enough to be loaded and transported in the moving truck in a stress-free manner. The majority of medium cardboard boxes often measure 14 – 18 inches long.

3. Small Cardboard Boxes (12 -14 inches)

When you are ordering moving supplies, ensure you buy many small cardboard boxes. We recommend that most of your moving boxes are of a small size. The reason is that smaller boxes can be loaded and carry easily during a move. They are also ideal for small, heavy belongings like books, kitchenware, appliances, pantry items, and more. These small boxes often measure 12 -14 inches long.

4. Wardrobe Boxes

These have a hanging bar at the top and can be perfect moving boxes for hauling clothing. Instead of folding each item in your closet, you can just transfer the clothing as it is on their hangers, right from your closet to the wardrobe box. Make sure you ask your movers in advance, as most will allow you to use 2-3 wardrobe boxes as part of your moving cost.

5. Mattress Boxes

In some cases, a mattress bag just doesn’t get it done when you want to properly protect your valuable bed accessory. If your mattress will be loaded into a moving truck and/or into storage for the long term, we strongly recommend getting a quality mattress box. These cardboard boxes assist in keeping the condition of mattresses the same all through the move.

6. Boxes for Files and Documents

From your vital documents, binders, folders, and pictures to papers and pens, all these materials should be transported in these boxes. The benefit of these cardboard boxes is that they feature lift-off lids and handles for convenient moving of the entire items. As these can be stacked, it becomes so convenient for you to arrange your belongings before and after your move at the end of the rental period.

7. Telescope Boxes

If you are transporting mirrors, artwork, or flat-screen TVs, we recommend getting many telescope boxes to hold your belongings. These cardboard boxes feature separate top and bottom pieces that match together to form a single box. You just slide the smaller item into the larger one until your belongings are protected by the box. These boxes are perfect for preventing damage and crack to delicate flat household items.

8. Dish and Glass Boxes

The sturdy carton for kitchenware is a bit strong, as it features a double-wall design. Thus, it is ideal for all your fragile items like crystal, glassware, china, dish, and other similar items. The cellular dividers within the carton offer extra protection to your items and also maximize the use of space within the box. A corrugated carton for the kitchen is highly important when you are packing your kitchen belongings. So, if you have hired professional movers, ask them to come with these types of boxes.

9. Plastic Bins

Air-tight plastic bins are the best option when you are packing seasonal clothing, electrical items, delicate items, cords, and more. These bins are also ideal for those who store items after the move. Considering that they are clear, you will be able to locate particular items faster when packing, using plastic bins. The waterproof material also protects items from rain and harsh weather during transit.

10. Picture Boxes

These skinny boxes are the perfect size for a painting or a large picture frame. Indicate the word “Glass” or “Fragile” on the front and back of the box. This enables the movers to know that something fragile is packed inside the moving box and that they need to handle it with great care. If you want to protect your family pictures or art when you are moving, these picture boxes will perform a great job.

11. Bankers Boxes

Are you moving your office? You need to move your file folders, binders, pens, and papers in bankers’ boxes for safety. These cardboard boxes feature handles and lift-off lids for convenient moving of all paper belongings. They can also be stacked, which makes it easy to arrange your office items at any stage of the move. It is essential for moving offices just as boxes fir files and documents are ideal for household moving.

12. Storage Bins

Plastic storage bins can work greatly as sturdy boxes for packing and you can get them in different sizes, types, and prices. Skinny plastic bins are ideal for handbags, shoes, and other belongings that you want to store in a closet or underneath your bed at your new home. When you store items in plastic bins, you may not have to quickly unpack them because they are resistant to pests and humidity. Wheeled bins are ideal for moving heavy belongings with ease. If you like, you can pick out transparent bins, so you can quickly sort your items at your new place.  

13. Lamp Boxes

Moving tall floor lamps can be tricky. They are not just susceptible to breaking, but they also are hard to pack due to their large size and unique shape. These cardboard lamp boxes are tall and narrow which enable you to pack and transport a floor lamp most easily and efficiently possible. Floor lamp boxes also help to make sure that your lamp base gets to the new destination safely and securely.

14. Mirror Cartons

These types of cartons are available in different sizes and work perfectly to shop fragile items like mirrors, glass tabletop covers, or picture frames. Take measurements of the items in your household to determine the number of mirror cartons you need. The pieces of the carton can be matched together so they become more flexible to hold different pieces.

15. Insulated Foam Containers

Moving refrigerated and/or frozen items? Together with a cooler, we recommend that you order many insulated foam containers to assist in carrying the load. These foam containers are placed in a cardboard box and are covered using a foam lid. They are built to control the temperature of items while moving.

16. Custom Crates

If you are transporting any delicate and large items like chandeliers, antiques, artwork, or any similar item, you need these rates so that you prevent any mistakes when moving. You can order these items based on your specifications. These crates protect the items. We advise that you take professional assistance because movers have the technical experience and knowledge to take care of such valuable items.

Need To Buy Moving Boxes and Packing Supplies?

If you also discover that you need assistance on your moving day for a long-distance move, Adams Van Lines is here to help you. All our moving teams are licensed and insured, so you don’t have to stress about who will be handling your goods.

Estimating the Number of Boxes you need for a Move

There are some ways to estimate the number of boxes for your packing and moving. You can either guess with the use of square footage with this rule: for every thousand square feet in your home, you will need around 40 moving boxes.

Get the boxes in different types and sizes, because carrying large moving boxes that are filled to the top can be hard and slow down the process. You also can make use of a calculator, such as the one from the moving supplies platform like Home Depot that enables you to supply the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and important details, and quantity of moving boxes you will need.

Moving boxes calculator revealed the basic insight of the number of boxes you might need depending on the size of your home below:

Estimating the Number of Boxes you need for a Move
Studio Apartment 2 to 3 bedroom house 4 to 5 bedroom house 6+ bedroom house
38 boxes 87 boxes 117 boxes 135 boxes

No matter the method you use to determine the quantity of moving boxes you will need for packing, it is important to know that the number of rooms in your home, together with your style play a vital role.

A minimalist will not need as many boxes as a collector with lots of items.

We also understand that the cost of moving boxes can increase fast. Find cheap moving boxes or ask around to gather free boxes to pack and move. With lots of planning and creativity, you could save a lot of money (and reduce waste) by re-using moving boxes. 


When you are moving, packing your items brings headaches, and it is unavoidable. However, things can turn so much easier if you have the perfect boxes to pack your items. The various types of moving boxes discussed here are all that you need to complete your packing process seamlessly.

Adam Palme - Author
Adam Palme

Adam grew up in military family, which meant he moved more than 20 times before he graduated high school. The experience taught him a lot about adaptability (and loading boxes), which he leveraged into a career in the moving and storage industry 7 years ago. He’s been working in sales and customer service management for 20 years, and he uses his own experiences to write content about moving, storage, leadership, and teamwork. Outside of work, Adam enjoys coaching youth football in Miami and enjoying some beach time with his dog. Go Dolphins!

Share This Post

More To Explore