How Many Stamps for a Bubble Mailer?

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May 31, 2023

Have you tried the bubble mailer? They’re a fast and safe way to pack and ship your items. They’ve been around for a long time but are still popular for their unique designs and protective qualities. 

When do you use a bubble mailer, and how do you determine its shipping cost? How many stamps do you need for a bubble mailer?

This article explains the practicality of bubble mailers. It also discusses shipping costs and how to calculate postage for mailing products using a bubble mailer.

Bubble mailers are helpful when you’re mailing fragile items because they provide extra protection and keep the contents of your package from shifting or tumbling during transit.

Applying the correct postage to your bubble mailer is just as important as any stamps on a letter or package. Stamps signify that a postal rate has been paid.

You can contact your local post office for more information about the different mailing methods, including shipping using a bubble mailer. You can check out FindPostOffice.org, a website that helps locate all 31,330 post offices in Austin, San Diego, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Columbus, and other cities in the United States. 

What’s a Bubble Mailer?

A bubble mailer is a type of package with a waterproof lining and adhesive. It’s best for light, small, and fragile items that need extra protection while in transit but not the full space and packaging of a shipping box.

People used to complain about the high cost of mailing packages that needed special packaging. But not anymore. 

Bubble mailers provide an excellent option for protecting the contents of your mail at a low cost. Now, bubble mailers are used for commercial, industrial, and personal reasons. 

The best place to buy your bubble mailer supplies is at the post office or the USPS website. You can also buy bubble mailer supplies at office supply stores.

Bubble Mailer: Envelope vs Package

The thickness of your bubble mailer determines whether you should use an envelope or a small package for shipping.

If your bubble mailer is under 3/4 inch thick, it’s an envelope. If the thickness of your bubble mailer is more than 3/4 inch, it will likely be classified as a package by the post office.

What Should You Mail in a Bubble Mailer?

Sometimes you only need to ship a small item or two. Bubble mailers are best for small, lightweight items that don’t need a lot of padding or protection.

You can ship flat items like CDs, books, photos, documents, and jewelry in a rectangular mailer. Additional packing paper or bubble wrap layers can protect your item from damage during shipping.

Determining the Cost of Mailing a Bubble Mailer: Here Are the Guidelines Set by the USPS to Help You Determine Costs

Generally, the smaller and lighter your mailer, the cheaper it is to ship it. Another factor to consider is the distance it needs to travel until it reaches its destination.

The Cost of Shipping a USPS Bubble Mailer Depends on Size, Weight, and Distance

These factors determine the cost of shipping a bubble mailer with USPS or any carrier:

  • Weight of the package
  • Size or dimensions of the package
  • The distance the package needs to travel  

It’s important to take note that the shorter distance your mail travels, the less it will cost to send it.

Bubble Mailer: Envelope

  1. For a bubble mailer less than 3/4 of an inch thick and weighing less than an ounce, you can pay the appropriate postage with one $0.63 stamp or one Forever Stamp.
  2. As of January 22, 2023, you must pay $0.24 for the price of each additional ounce over the one-ounce limit.

Bubble Mailer: Package

USPS considers a bubble mailer more than 3/4 of an inch thick to be a package and offers the following shipping options.

  1. Use USPS First-Class Service to ship items weighing up to 13 ounces.
  2. Use USPS Priority Mail if your bubble mailer weighs more than 16 ounces but less than 70 pounds. You can also use the Retail Ground option if you are an eCommerce business owner.

First-Class Mail Parcel

USPS always rounds up to the next lb or oz when determining package weight. For example, your package would be charged at the 3-lb rate if it weighed 2lbs and 4oz. 

If you have a First-Class Package Service-Retail weighing 6.2 oz, you must pay the rate for 7oz. This is true for all domestic and international classes of mail.

USPS First-Class Package Is the Cheapest USPS Service for Bubble Mailers Under 15.99oz (1lb)

One of the least expensive ways to send a lightweight bubble mailer is through the USPS First-Class Package service. 

USPS First-Class Package is one of the cheapest for packages weighing under 1lb or 15.99oz. For example, the cost of sending a parcel via First-Class Package is between $3 and $5.

Bubble mailers weighing over 1lb typically default to Priority Mail as the next cheapest option after First-Class.

Starting in 2022, the U.S. Postal Service has dramatically lowered the price of Parcel Select Ground service compared to Priority Mail.

For this reason, more shippers are using Parcel Select Ground to ship their packages. Rather than paying a steep price for faster delivery, they’ve chosen longer delivery times for less expensive rates.

It’s important to note that the weight limit for First-Class Package is 13 ounces for the post office and 15.99 ounces for the online discounted postage rate based on weight and zone.

How Many Stamps for a Bubble Mailer: A Guide

Generally, the cost of mailing a padded envelope or a bubble mailer depends on the weight and size. As previously stated, envelopes and packages have different rules.

Once you know whether your bubble mailer is an envelope or a package, you can use its weight to determine how much postage it requires. You should consider various factors when deciding how to apply for stamps.

Calculating How Many Stamps Needed for a Bubble Mailer

The following factors help determine how many stamps are needed to mail a package, including the total cost. The main difference is whether it is an envelope or a package.

A bubble mailer must weigh no more than an ounce to be considered an envelope. But if your bubble mailer is a package, consider the available options.

  • USPS First-Class
  • USPS Retail Ground
  • Priority Mail
  • Media Mail

Determine which shipping option is best for your mailing needs:

  1. You can use USPS First-Class Mail if you’re shipping a small, lightweight package weighing less than 16 ounces.
  2. You can use the USPS Retail Ground service for any retail package weighing less than 70 pounds.
  3. You can use USPS Priority Mail for non-retail packages weighing less than 70 pounds.
  4. For packages weighing less than 70 pounds, use USPS Media Mail if it contains books with at least eight pages. The package can also contain videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, CDs, vinyl records, or printed music.

Is the Bubble Mailer Considered an Envelope?

A bubble mailer less than 3/4 of an inch thick when packed qualifies as an envelope.

When the Bubble Mailer Is Considered a Specific Package

If your bubble mailer is thicker than 3/4 inch, it’s considered a package.

About the Forever Stamp, USPS Provides Some Significant Information

  • The first Forever stamp was issued in April 2007 and featured an image of the Liberty Bell. In 2011, USPS made all First-Class one-ounce stamps permanent except those in 500, 3,000, and 10,000 coil sheets.
  • You can use a Forever stamp to mail a one-ounce letter at any time, regardless of how prices may change.
  • Forever stamps equal in value to a regular First-Class mail stamp.
  • The Postal Service created Forever stamps to simplify consumers’ lives during price hikes. Forever Stamps are available at post offices, online (USPS.com), or by phone (1-800-782-6724). They are usually sold in sheets or books of 20.
  • Customers can use Forever Stamps for international mail. Still, they will need to pay a surcharge because all international mail prices have a higher rate than domestic ones.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the cheapest options for sending bubble mailers?

USPS First-Class Package service is one of the least expensive ways to send a light bubble mailer. It can take two to five business days to receive a shipment, and it costs only $4.75 for items weighing up to 13 ounces. 

Bubble mailers weighing more than one pound are usually sent by Priority Mail, the next least expensive option. However, in 2022, USPS significantly reduced the Parcel Select Ground rate compared to Priority Mail.

 As a result, Parcel Select Ground has become a popular choice among shippers who want to send packages even though the delivery time takes longer.

  1. Is a bubble mailer considered a flat?

Yes. Thick envelopes, including bubble mailers or padded envelopes, meet the same postal size restrictions as a flat package.

  1. When is a bubble mailer considered a flat?

A bubble mailer that is less than 3/4 of an inch thick and weighs less than an ounce qualifies as a flat.

  1. How do you ship a bubble mailer?

Bubble mailers are sent in the same manner as any other large envelope. 

You can put the item you want to mail inside the bubble mailer. Close the flap securely on the bubble mailer so it is attached to your envelope. 

Be gentle when pushing down on the package, and avoid popping any bubbles. Write the name and address of your recipient on the front center of the bubble mailer.

Write your name and address in the upper-left corner of the envelope. Put the bubble mailer on a kitchen scale to measure the weight in ounces. Write down the weight of the bubble mailer.

To find the cost of mailing an envelope:

  • Consult the United States Postal Service’s price list for large envelopes.
  • Insert the appropriate number of stamps into the upper-right corner of your bubble mailer.
  • Place the bubble mailer in a mailbox or bring it to a post office.
  1. How do I ship a small padded envelope?

As mentioned above, you can send your padded flat rate envelope as you would with a flat.

  1. Can you just put stamps on a bubble mailer?

Yes, you can place your stamps on a bubble mailer if it meets the letter or flat requirements. You have to use a shipping label when sending a package. Labels are available online and in most post offices. 

One of the perks of a bubble mailer package is that it comes with tracking. That way, you can watch its progress during transit.

  1. Will it cost more to mail a padded envelope?

The cost is computed based on the weight and size of your envelope or parcel and also the shipping option you use.

  1. Can you use two or more Forever stamps for extra mail?

Additional postage is required for any domestic mail piece weighing more than one ounce. You may purchase higher denomination postage stamps at the Post Office if you have a heavier package. 

Avoid using two Forever stamps on mail weighing more than 1oz. Additional ounces are much cheaper, only $0.24 for every ounce rather than 63 cents for a one-ounce letter. 

Adding two Forever stamps to a two-ounce letter means paying for an item that should set you back only 84 cents.

  1. Does USPS have free bubble mailers?

Bubble mailers are often known as padded envelopes. Yes, you can order them for free online by clicking here.

  1. Do bubble mailers need stamps?

Yes, bubble mailers need stamps like any other mail or parcel.

  1. Can I drop a bubble mailer in the mailbox?

Yes, you can drop your bubble mailer in the mailbox or at a nearby post office.

  1. How thick can an envelope be?

Flat mail cannot be more than 3/4 inches thick, 12 inches high, or 15 inches long. The total weight of all your flat items must not exceed 13 ounces. 

Packages exceeding these dimensions will be considered parcels and priced accordingly.

  1. How many stamps will it take to mail a bubble mailer that weighs 6.15 ounces?

Six ounces are equivalent to six Forever stamps, and seven ounces are equal to seven. You can opt to use seven Forever stamps to cover the 15 cents. 

However, if you want a more precise answer to your question, ask the post office how many stamps are necessary for your parcel.

  1. How much will it cost to mail a padded envelope?

The commercial pricing to ship a padded envelope costs $8.80 and $10.40 at the post office or the USPS website.

  1. How much would it cost to send a small padded envelope?

There is no fixed price for a small padded envelope. You can always ask your local post office if you want a clear envelope estimation.

  1. How many stamps should there be on a 9×12 bubble envelope?

You need two stamps to send a 9×12 bubble envelope weighing not more than one ounce. 

Reference

  1. Forever Stamp Fact Sheet
    https://about.usps.com/news/fact-sheets/forever-stamp-facts.htm
  2. What are the types of First Class Mail?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-are-the-Types-of-First-Class-Mail
  3. First-Class Mail
    https://www.usps.com/ship/first-class-mail.htm
  4. Priority Mail
    https://www.usps.com/ship/priority-mail.htm
  5. What is USPS Ground Retail Service
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-USPS-Retail-Ground-Service
  6. What are the Guidelines for Mailing Priority Mail
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-are-the-Guidelines-for-Mailing-Priority-Mail
  7. What is Media Mail?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Media-Mail-Book-Rate