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Can You Send A Padded Envelope With Stamps?

You may wonder if you can put stamps on a padded envelope and put it in the outgoing mail drop box. There could be regulations to doing this, and you don’t want the envelope coming back to you or, worse, getting lost.

USPS will accept stamps on padded envelopes provided the envelope is not too thick or heavy. This means it must be less than ¾ ths of an inch thick and weigh less than ten ounces. Weigh the stuffed envelope to determine how many stamps are needed.

Do you need to send something in a padded envelope? Are you wondering if you can use stamps to mail it? You have come to the right place. In this article, I will explain all you need to know and take you step by step through the process.


Is a Padded Envelope an Envelope or a Package?

The United States Postal Office considers padded envelopes an envelope provided it is less than ¾ of an inch in thickness when it is stuffed with the contents. These contents must be smooth and unbreakable.

You can use a padded envelope to send items through the mail as though it were a letter. So long as the contents are

  • Smooth
  • Weigh less than thirteen ounces
  • Envelope is 12 inches X 15 inches or less
  • Envelope is less than ¾ of an inch in thickness

You should have no problem putting stamps on the padded envelope and sending it through the mail.

These weight and measurement regulations are in place to ensure the envelope will fit through the processing procedures at post offices. Post offices use machines to separate mail into different categories.

If the envelope is too large to fit through a machine, the envelope, and the machine could be damaged.

Are Padded Envelopes the Same as Bubble Mailers?

There are differences between bubble mailers and padded envelopes. A padded envelope is a thick manilla envelope reinforced with extra paper or foam. A bubble mailer is made of flexible material and lined with bubble wrap.

These envelopes are often confused with each other, but there are differences. Knowing these differences can be important when shipping your packages. The most significant reason for this knowledge is the weight of the empty envelope.

While padded envelopes are made of paper and sometimes foam, they can weigh more than a bubble mailer. According to Ecoenclose, their eight-and-a-half inch by eleven-inch padded mailer weighs 2.2 ounces, while an eight-and-a-half by ten and three-quarter inch bubble mailer weighs 0.8 ounces.

That’s a pretty significant difference in the weight of the envelope. The extra weight of the padded envelope will cost twice as much to send through USPS.

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How Many Stamps Will I Need On a Padded Envelope?

The weight and measurements of the envelope will determine the number of stamps needed for a padded envelope. One stamp will send an envelope weighing up to one ounce.

Before you can determine how many stamps to place on your padded envelope package, you will need to know the measurements of the package and how much it weighs with the contents inside of it.

How Do You Measure a Padded Envelope?

To measure a padded envelope that is to be sent through the mail, use a ruler or tape measure, and measure the

  • Length
  • Width
  • Height

Take your padded envelope and put the contents you will be sending inside. Using a ruler or a tape measure, you will measure the envelope. USPS says that the length is always the longest side of the package, while the height and width are shorter than the length.

  • Place your ruler or tape measure against the long edge of your envelope. The number in inches is the length of your padded envelope.
  • Next, place your ruler along the shorter edge of your envelope. This will tell you the height of your envelope.
  • Lastly, place your envelope flat on a flat surface and measure the width of it in inches.

Remember, to send your padded envelope with stamps, it must be 12 inches by 15 inches by ¾ of an inch or smaller.

How Do You Weigh A Padded Envelope?

Use a scale to weigh a padded envelope. Make sure the scale is balanced and the weight display is in ounces. Place the stuffed, padded envelope on the scale, and read the display. This is how much your padded envelope package weighs.

You will need to know how much your padded envelope weighs before you can put the correct amount of stamps on it and send it. If you have a digital scale that weighs in ounces, this is a simple task.

Here’s how to weigh your padded envelope:

  • Grab your scale and set it on a flat surface. Depending on how large your padded envelope is compared to the scale, you may need to raise it up to view the actual weight.

To do this, use a lightweight item that will fit on the scale surface, such as a small plastic container.

  • Turn your scale on and make sure that it is zeroed, not showing any weight measured, and that the display is reading in ounces. If your scale shows weight on it, turn it off. Leaving the container on it, turn it back on.

This should zero your scale.

  • Place your padded envelope on top of the scale or balanced on top of the container if using one.
  • Read the digital display to see how much the padded envelope weighs.

Now that you have measured and weighed your padded envelope, you can figure out how many stamps you will need to send your package.

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How Much Do Stamps Cost?

The price of stamps is .63 cents for a first-class forever stamp as of January 22, 2023. However, those forever stamps purchased prior to the effective date of the price increase can be used without adding additional postage. When those stamps are gone, the price you pay for postage will be at the new rate.

As mentioned above, one first-class stamp will send a package weighing up to one ounce. A first-class stamp now costs .63 cents. If you have stamps on hand that you bought before January 22, 2023, you will not need to add extra postage to your package.

You Can Send A Padded Envelope With Stamps

Provided your stuffed padded envelope is under 13 ounces and does not measure larger than 12 inches x 15 inches x 3/4ths of an inch, you can send that package using stamps.

This makes it simple to put in your mailbox with the flag up for the postal carrier to take, or drop it into an outgoing blue mailbox. Just make sure you have sufficient postage on your package to ensure it does not get returned to you or lost in the mail.

For more, check out In Transit vs. Out for Delivery | What Do They Mean?