How Clamshell vs. Blister Packaging Compare

When it comes to product presentation, how you package it plays a crucial role in terms of protection and customer perception.

We are going to have a critical analysis of clamshell and blister packaging and how the two compare.

What is Clamshell Packaging?

We can describe it as a packaging structure in the form of a shell with two parts connected by a hinge. The two halves, commonly in plastic form, create a folded formation that encloses your product tightly.

Clamshell Packaging
Clamshell Packaging

You can apply this type of packaging mostly for electronic items, small hardware, toys, or similar products. Such products require a visual presence and protection at the same time.

What Is Blister Packaging

This is a packaging that requires a pre-formed plastic called a blister. The plastic is normally clear in nature and you have to place your product inside it in a tray-like manner.

The blister is sealed to a backing card made from paperboard, aluminum, or plastic. The most common areas of application for this form packaging are in pharmaceutical drug packaging and other small products such as toothbrushes.

Blister Packaging
Blister Packaging

How Clamshell Packaging Compares To Blister Packaging

You can opt for either of these two with remarkable results as packaging solutions for your merchandise.

However, you will find different characteristics in each of them because they serve different functions in the packaging of various industry products.

We can examine in detail how the two compare in all aspects and how you can tell one from the other. It will also set the stage for the best option that you can settle for as your packaging solution.

· Material

Clamshell Packaging: they are mostly found in form of either polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), or recycled thermoplastics. These materials are usually thicker and provide better protection. They also ensure that your product has full visibility.

Blister Packaging: you will find them in the form of either polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), or Polypropylene (PP).

For each material, you must choose a suitable machine for instance Alu-Alu blister packaging machine, Alu PVC blister packaging machine, blister card packaging machine, etc.

You also emboss additional information about your product on the backing card. The level of visibility and protection is moderate and less durable compared to clamshell.

· Protection

Clamshell Packaging: they have a highly developed physical build that offers very good protection against physical damage. With clamshell packaging is hard to tamper with and requires scissors or a sharp tool to open it for the first time. This discourages theft or any pilferages.

Blister Packaging: You will not get the type of product protection experienced with clamshell packaging though they are the best for small quantity products. Such products are not overly delicate or easily breakable. They are easier to open than clamshells with the incorporation of tamper-evident features possible.

· Environmental Impact

Clamshell Packaging: Concerns have been raised about its excessive of plastic that can be bad for the environment. In as much as you can recycle it, its rigid structure makes it a bit challenging to fully realize this.

Blister Packaging: it tends to use less plastic than clamshell packaging hence you can easily recycle if the blister and backing card are separable materials. There is an emerging trend of sustainable blister packaging solutions such as recycled plastics that are eco-friendly.

· Cost

Clamshell Packaging: you will find it at a slightly higher price than the blister packaging since it contains more plastic and complex production. This can be justified in situations where it is necessary to protect expensive items at all times.

Blister Packaging: you will find them cheaply compared to clamshell packaging because their tooling is more cost-effective, especially in large-scale production. Due to its relatively lower density of material and production expense, we recommend this for low to mid-price range product lines.

· Consumer Experience

Clamshell Packaging: they can provide you with a luxurious look that adds to the product’s appeal and makes the customer want to acquire them. In as much as it can give you “wrap rage” when trying to open it, you are at least assured of sound theft prevention and visibility.

Blister Packaging: with the light nature of blister packaging, you can easily open and access the product giving it a convenient usability. You can also find concise product descriptions and product branding on the backing card. You will commonly find them in commodities that do not need very strict measures as far as theft prevention is concerned.

· Advantages

Clamshell Packaging:

  • You get superior protection and quality
  • The product has excellent visibility that creates a good visual appeal
  • They come in a tamper-resistant design
  • They work well for expensive products or those that can be easily damaged when handling

Blister Packaging:

  • Cost-effective especially if you are dealing with large-scale production
  • You can easily open up the product therefore giving you a better consumer experience
  • It can accommodate various forms of depiction of the product details and company logos
  • it is more environmentally friendly when we compare it with clamshell packaging

· Disadvantages

Clamshell Packaging:

  • Increased strength means they come with a higher production and material cost
  • It may pose a challenge for you while opening the product
  • High amounts of plastic may lead to a higher negative impact on the environment

Blistering Package:

  • It is light and therefore offers less protection when we compare it with clamshell packaging
  • It can easily be tampered with therefore not guaranteeing your product sufficient security
  • Not suitable for high-value items such as electronics or jewelry. Additionally, you cannot use them to package fragile products
Blister Packaging Machine
Blister Packaging Machine


Clearly, you can see there is a clear difference between blister packaging and clamshell packaging.

Even as you weight between the two packaging methods, think of the value of your product, protective characteristics, customer experience, and the rate of ecological friendliness.

At JOCHAMP, we help you get the best packaging solution for your unique product requirements – talk to us now.


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