Plastic bottles come in all shapes, materials, and sizes. The packaging industry consistently uses the same names for common shapes, like a Boston round.
Boston round bottles feature a stable, rounded base and a short, rounded shoulder.
Cylinder round bottles have flat bases, straight walls, and straight shoulders. The cylinder round can be decorated more easily than other classic shapes due to the straight walls.
Imperial Round (Cosmo, Bullet)
Imperial round bottles have flat bases, rounded shoulders, and stand tall.
Royalty round bottles are a mixture between the boston round and imperial round bottle. The royalty round bottle combines the rounded shoulder of the boston round with the tall and slender look of the imperial round. The royalty round will have a slightly shorter height from the imperial round, so may be a good choice when heights are limited.
Modern round bottles are defined by a label panel (indent on the body of bottle) and angled shoulders. Modern rounds have a rounded base. Modern rounds are often molded in PET or HDPE, paired with a continuous thread closure, and used for personal care or medical packaging.
Evolution round bottles have flat bases and tall walls sloping into a narrow shoulder.
Wide mouth plastic bottles and jars have a large neck finish in relation to the outer diameter. They are typically blow molded from HDPE or PET, and will use a continuous thread closure. Some wide mouth bottles and jars may be straight walled, while some have a rounded shoulder. Wide mouth bottles are frequently used in the nutraceutical industry, for powders and supplements.
Narrow mouth, or narrow neck, bottles have neck sizes under 38mm and will usually be a continuous thread closure. Narrow mouth bottles are most often used for less viscous formulas that are more liquid, and may require a dispensing closure like a pump.
Packer / Pharma Round
Frequently referred to as pill packers, vitamin packers, or pharma rounds, these plastic bottles are HDPE or PET with a continuous thread or child resistant closure. They are designed with a rounded shoulder and wider mouth to accommodate supplement, pill, and capsule dispensing. Vitamin packer or pill packer may also be used to refer to oblong or oval bottles with wide mouths designed for dispensing supplements and capsules.
Square bottles offer maximization of packing, shelf, and ship space. Product marketers looking to gain shelf space or a distinct look may elect to use a square bottle. While more popular in the beverage industry, square bottles continue to gain popularity as brands work to develop eCommerce ready packaging that stands out.
Plastic bottles with an oval shaped base are called ovals. There are several different shapes of ovals: princess, drug, teardrop, vail, powell, capri, dropper, slim, tall. An oval bottle reserves decoration space for brands looking for a unique shape. The full front and back panel can be decorated, and the slim sides reduce shelf space or box space for shipping direct to customer. Plastic oval bottles are typically made of HDPE, LDPE, or PET.
Squat Boston Round
Squat boston round bottles have a reduced height, rounded shoulder, and flatter base than the classic boston round.
Plastic bottles with a rectangular base are called oblong. They provide greater decoration space on the front and back panels, and are a good solution for condensing shelf space or stock space for an e-commerce fulfillment center. Oblong bottles have typical neck sizes, so can be used with a wide array of closures, and are typically made of PET or HDPE. Rectangular bottles have maintained popularity for hand soaps and lotions, and are becoming increasing popular for men’s care brands.
A tottle may look like a tube, but it is manufactured using the same method as a plastic bottle. Tottle bottles are typically made from HDPE or PET, and are paired with dispensing closures like disc top caps. Tottles cannot stand on their base like most bottles, and instead they stand on the dispensing closure, neck side down. This allows the formula to be more easily dispensed, so tottles are typically used for hair care or a more viscous skin care product.
Handleware (F-Style, Jugs)
The term handleware is inclusive of all plastic bottles that have a handle, including F-Style bottles and jugs. Handleware is typically made from HDPE, but can be made from PET or PVC as well. The handle allows consumers to more easily carry and pour the product. Handleware bottles are typically used for bulk packaging and industrial cleaning or chemicals.
Custom / Specialty Shapes
Plastic bottles can be designed in many shapes and sizes, and not all have a designated name. Some, like trigger bottles or champagne bottles, are designated for specialty purposes. Some bottles you see on the shelf are custom built for a brand. If you don’t see a bottle shape that meets your needs, COMPAX is happy to help your product development team design a custom bottle for manufacturability.