Did you know that on average, we spend roughly one-third of our lives sleeping? It’s true—a person that lives to 75 years old spends 25 of those years asleep! That’s a whole lot of time in bed. Speaking of beds: pillows, bed sheets, and linens, like most other items under the sun, are highly common items to be shipped. This guide is all about how to ship pillows and sheets, and what you’ll need to know about these type of packages’ dimensional weights before you buy any postage. Let’s dive in!
USPS is the Cheapest Option for Shipping Pillows and Bed Sheets
If you’re asking yourself which carrier you should use when shipping pillows or bed sheets, look no further than USPS. Generally speaking, the US Postal Service offers the best mix of affordable rates and quick delivery times out of all the major carriers. UPS is better for shipping larger, heavier packages, while FedEx specializes in overnight delivery.
When you buy discounted USPS postage online, the cheapest USPS service for shipping pillows will be Parcel Select Ground. This service will be named USPS Retail Ground if you’re visiting the Post Office…however, we don’t recommend that. Why visit the Post Office when it’s so much cheaper and quicker to ship using free online shipping software?
If you are just shipping bed sheets, you may be able to get away with using regular Priority Mail service if you can fold them and place them in a smaller box! Priority Mail is an even better option than Parcel Select Ground, since it only takes between 1-3 days for delivery and comes with $100 of built in insurance. Unfortunately, this strategy won’t really work for pillows, comforters, or duvets. You’ll be stuck with Parcel Select Ground for those types of packages.
Dimensional Weight Particularly Affects These Types of Packages
Unfortunately, packages containing pillows and sheets are some of the hardest hit packages when it comes to dimensional weight fees. By their nature, pillows, bed sheets and linens are large, lightweight materials. As a result, they need to be shipped in big boxes. This means that these packages will have higher dimensional weights than their actual weights. Therefore, no matter which shipping carrier you choose, the cost of shipping will be more expensive than usual.
How Dimensional Weight Works
Contrary to what some beginning shippers may think, dimensional weight (or DIM) has nothing to do with actual weight. DIM is what the shipping carriers use to determine how much physical space your package takes up on their trucks. All the major shipping carriers use the same volumetric divisor, 166, which factors into this equation to determine dimensional weight:
DIM = (Length x Width x Height)/166
So, let’s say you have a box of pillows that is 18x18x10″. The total volume of this box is 13 x 13 x 13 = 3240 cubic inches. 3240 / 166 = 19.52 lbs. The carriers always round up, so for this package, the dimensional weight comes out to 20 pounds. That means that even if your pillows weigh less than 20 pounds, your shipping carrier will charge you at the 20 pound rate to ship them. Considering that most pillows and sheets weigh much less than 20 pounds, this can get incredibly flabbergasting!
Properly Packaging Bed Sheets, Pillows, and Linens
While your package containing pillows or sheets will most certainly be hit with DIM fees, the good news is you won’t have to worry about using a whole lot of packing material! Bed sheets, pillows, and linens are not fragile materials by any means, so you can just throw them in a box without worrying about them being crushed or broken. No bubble wrap or packing peanuts necessary!
Keep in mind that Parcel Select Ground doesn’t include any built-in USPS insurance, as opposed to all Priority Mail services. There’s very little chance your bed sheets or pillows will undergo damage during transit, but you can always purchase shipping insurance just in case.