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November 29, 2016

How Much Weight Can a Cardboard Box Hold?

Reviewed By: Benjamin Johnson, Sr. Director of Operations, Atlas Van Lines - 10+ Years in the Moving Industry

  • Tips and tricks
The answer could make the difference between a smooth moving experience and a pile of broken dishes.

If you’ve ever moved before, you’ve been there — looking at how many boxes you do or don’t have and wondering to yourself how much weight a cardboard box can hold. Cardboard box standards dictate how much weight a specific box can handle, so it depends on the box. But a standard 200# box measures 1.5 cubic feet and is built to hold up to 65 pounds, and the next level up (275#) can hold up to 95 pounds. For context, these numbers climb to 1300#, so just imagine the packing possibilities!

But remember, these numbers are just that — numbers. Any box’s strength can be compromised by a whole host of things like weather, time, damage to the box’s integrity or misuse. After all, they’re just corrugated cardboard. But the number one cause of breakage or damage during a move? Improper packing. That’s why it’s best to follow a few simple rules for packing to ensure your move goes smoothly and your possessions make it to their final destination in one easy-to-unpack piece.

The Basic Dos and Don’ts of Packing Cardboard Boxes

  • Always buy more packing materials than you think you’ll need. If you purchase from Atlas and their agents, you can always easily return what you don’t end up using.
  • Ensure that box bottoms are folded and closed properly and that they are secured firmly with strong packing tape.
  • When packing a box, place heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top. This keeps the box stable and helps to protect the more fragile items above.
  • Use plenty of filling materials, especially with fragile items. When in doubt, use more!
  • Even if a cardboard box says it can hold up to 60, 70, 80 or more pounds, it’s a best practice to keep the weight limit at 50 pounds or less. This makes boxes easier to maneuver and less likely to burst at their seams.


What Type of Cardboard Box do I Need?

You’ll want to make sure you choose the right box for the right item. At Atlas, we carry a wide variety of cardboard boxes crafted to carry everything you’ll need to pack, including:

  • 1.5 Cube Box – Small
    • Books, magazines, photo albums, tools or other heavy items.
  • 3 Cube Box – Medium
    • Small lampshades, small kitchen appliances, kitchenware, shoes and small breakables.
  • 4.5 Cube Box – Large
    • Medium lampshades and small or medium kitchen appliances.
  • 6 Cube Box – Extra Large
    • Large lampshades and other items too large to fit into 4.5 cube boxes.


We also carry many more specialty boxes for other common items like flatscreen TVs, mirrors, dishes and even mattresses!

But what if you don’t feel like packing? That’s where we come in. In addition to moving, Atlas and our agents also provide professional packing services to make sure that not only will your belongings arrive at your new home, but they’ll be packed properly for transit. Get in touch with at Atlas agent today in your area to learn how we can help make your move as seamless as possible.