Wooden vs. plastic crates – what to choose?

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If you have a lot of items to store or to transport, you may be wondering what are the best containers for the purpose. When it comes to wooden vs. plastic crates, you have several considerations such as life span, the weight that they can allow, hygiene, etc. This is especially important if you are shipping your belongings overseas. The best approach is to contact one of the international moving companies NYC has on offer and ask them about recommendations. A lot depends on the type of items that you wish to pack. That being said, we are going to go over the pros and cons of each container type in this article. Once you finish reading, you will have a much better understanding of each container.

Wooden vs. plastic crates – how to choose the right option?

Here are all the things that you may need to consider:

  • The first thing to consider – Life span
  • Amount of weight that you can load
  • Which option is more hygienic?
  • Should you use wooden or plastic crates when moving?
  • Which option is better if you are preparing items for storage?
  • The most important factor – Price

There may be other considerations, as well, depending on your items. But if you exclude them from the comparison, the list above has all the necessary comparisons. Let’s say that you are moving from USA to Switzerland and that you are transporting liquids. The obvious choice here would be to go with plastic containers. But if you need to ship blankets, wooden crates might be the better option.

wooden crates, pilled up
Some wooden crates can last a really long time.

The first thing to consider – Life span

Wooden crates have a much shorter life span than plastic ones, that is a fact. However, even wooden crates last a long time. Therefore, if you are planning on never needing to replace crates, and you want to be using them constantly, plastic ones are the better choice. But if you are looking for sheer sturdiness, wooden crates can easily beat plastic in that regard. Most international moving services utilize both container types, depending on the situation. And for the most part, the life span is not something that most people would even consider. Both container types will last you quite a while, after all, and your decision may hinge on other factors. Another thing to note is that wooden crates can easily achieve longer lifespans if they are properly stored. But humidity influences them a lot more, too.

Wooden vs. plastic crates – Amount of weight that you can load

Next up in our comparison is the allowable weight that you can put inside these crates. Now, this depends significantly on the quality of the container. Top-quality wooden containers can carry tremendous weight, and so can the plastic ones. But let’s say that we are comparing commercial solutions. If so, the wooden crates can carry more weight than their plastic counterparts. Wood is simply much more suitable for enduring heavier loads. However, most household movers would rather use plastic crates for moving purposes. This is because the material is lighter and easier to handle. But if you need to shift items that weigh a lot, wooden crates are the better option.

male and female standing next to the van with moving boxes
When it comes to hygiene, plastic crates have the advantage.

Which option is more hygienic?

This is something that again depends on the quality of the container. Lacquered wood, for example, is quite hygienic but regular wood may not be. The fact of the matter is that regular wooden crates can leave splinters and attract insects, whereas plastic does not have that problem. But wood is an organic material where plastic is not, so your mileage may vary. All in all, both options are quite hygienic if you take good care of your crates. If not, plastic might be a bit better just because it requires far less maintenance. You can easily clean and sterilize plastic crates, where you can’t do the same with wooden ones. In this category, plastic wins.

Should you use wooden or plastic crates when moving?

When considering which type of container to use for moving purposes, you need to take a good look at what items you will be moving. Plastic crates are unbeatable when it comes to liquids of all types, and wooden ones can be more convenient to use for other items. It all comes down to personal preference, though, as both types will serve your purposes just fine. One thing to note is that plastic is a lighter material and it will be easier to handle. But wooden crates can be more durable and can withstand greater loads. And, if you have to relocate during a pandemic, you may want to go with plastic crates just because you can sanitize them easier.

two males unloading a van
Wooden vs. plastic crates – for storage purposes, both options are about the same.

Which option is better if you are preparing items for storage?

When considering these containers for storage purposes, plastic ones have a distinct advantage when it comes to regular storage units. Almost every storage unit will have some humidity inside of it, something that poses quite a bit of a problem for wood. Plastic does not have this limitation and is thus better in this regard. But if you are storing your belongings inside a climate-controlled storage unit, the difference is insignificant for both options. Either container type will do a good job here. Even wooden crates will last a very long time in storage units with low levels of humidity. Don’t think that they will significantly deteriorate over the night.

Wooden vs. plastic crates – The most important factor – Price

Lastly, perhaps the greatest consideration when it comes to wooden vs. plastic crates is the amount of money you need to spend on them. Wooden crates tend to be cheaper so they win in this regard. However, the difference can be minimal if you only need a few crates of regular size. It all depends on what your needs are, after all. But the facts are the facts. Wooden crates will cost less.

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