The Buyer’s Guide to Envelope Sizes

So, you’re running a business or in charge of buying stationery, and you’re not sure which size of envelope is right for your needs. It’s actually not surprising, as there are several designs and dimensions to choose from – many of which have rather complicated sounding names. But don’t worry, as making the right choice isn’t too difficult if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Most envelopes sold in the UK are based on the standard ‘A’ sizes of paper. However, most envelopes are categorised by the letter ‘C’ instead. This is because envelopes obviously need to be a little larger than the paper being stuffed into them – nine percent larger to be exact. While most designs are rectangular, there are some square envelopes on the market too.


C4 envelopes

A C4 envelope is specifically designed for sending A4 documents that must remain unfolded. For instance, a glossy brochure or a legal contract will usually be placed into an envelope of this size. C4 envelopes are widely used in the business world as a result. They are predominantly available in white or brown, and with or without a window. You can also buy padded envelopes in this size if the contents need extra protection.

A word of warning: The Royal Mail recently reclassified the C4 size as a ‘large letter’, so standard first or second class postage will not be sufficient to get your envelope to its destination – and the recipient may have to pay the difference.

C5 envelopes

C5 envelopes are also widely used in the corporate world. They can be used for sending A5 documents and letters without folding them. They are more widely used for sending A4 documents that have been folded once, however. A big advantage associated with sending A4 letters with C5 envelopes is that they won’t be classed as a large letter’ by the Royal Mail. They are also available in a far larger range of colours than the C4 variety. But pay attention to the width and weight of the envelope, as a thickness of more than five millimetres or a weight of more than 100g will move it into ‘large letter’ territory.

DL envelopes

DL envelopes are also widely used in the business world, as well as for personal correspondence. They are designed to take A4 letters that have been folded into equal thirds. They are often the preferred choice for sending bills, remittance advices and invoices. These compact, functional envelopes measure 110 millimetres by 220 millimetres, and they can be bought in white, brown and with or without an address window.

Due to the cost and practical implications of sending mail these days, you will find that these three main sizes of envelope fulfil almost every need. However, there are several other sizes on the market should you need alternatives. Larger C3 and smaller C6 envelopes are available, as well as the D4 size. Indeed, it is usually possible to buy envelopes measuring anything from 98 millimetres to 444 millimetres in width.

Whether you need A3 envelopes or something larger, you can choose from a range of additional design elements, including reinforced options for the sending of photographs, padded envelopes and a range of sealing options. Whatever you’re sending, you can make sure it makes it to its destination in one piece by selecting the best envelope for the job.

Company Profile:

Ace-Envelopes is one of UK’s leading suppliers of envelopes, over 25 million envelopes in different sizes, colours and shapes available for next day delivery services to meet your needs.

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