Have you ever looked at a bunch of mailboxes like this selection of commercial mailboxes and wondered how they differ from residential mailboxes that you see on the street outside people’s homes?

While commercial mailboxes are obviously used for commerce (i.e. business) and residential mailboxes are obviously used for residents (i.e. private mail), there are many differences between these 2 types of mailbox that a lot of people don’t realize.

So, without further ado, here are some of the main ways that commercial mailboxes are different from residential ones!

Commercial mailboxes are more durable

Residential mailboxes don’t usually have to put up with much damage, whereas commercial mailboxes are used by a large number of people and USPS workers, all of whom can cause damage over time.

As a result, commercial mailboxes are built to be much stronger and more heavy-duty, making it easy to keep them in top form for many years.

Many commercial mailboxes are made from heavy-duty aluminum with welded seams and 360-degree wraparound steel hinges, so they’re very secure. It’s very rare that you would find anything that robust on a regular ol’ residential mailbox.

Commercial mailboxes are designed to be vandal proof – these mailboxes are more likely to be targeted and vandalized by criminals.

A lot of the information contained inside these commercial mailboxes may also be sensitive business data that could wreak havoc if it falls into the wrong hands – another reason to make these mailboxes ultra-strong.

Commercial mailboxes have more users

Usually, a residential mailbox is serving a single person or family, while a commercial mailbox is designed to serve a whole business, department, community, or building. As such, commercial mailboxes are much bigger and have multiple slots and lockers, while residential ones are much smaller and have only 1 or 2 slots for mail.

Because commercial mailboxes are so much bigger, they usually have enough space for large parcel lockers and outgoing mail slots, giving the tenants of these mailboxes more ways to interact with the mail. If you see a mailbox with multiple slots and lockers all over it, it’s most likely a commercial mailbox.

Residential mailboxes are smaller

Residential mailboxes are a lot smaller than their commercial counterparts on the whole, so it’s difficult to fit larger parcels and pieces of mail inside them. Even the largest residential mailboxes are relatively small in size, so larger packages and mail items may need to be left on the doorstep or delivered directly to a person inside the attached home.

On the flip side, commercial mailboxes are bigger in general, regardless of the amount of tenants using them. This means that they’re usually better equipped to accommodate large parcels and larger pieces of mail. If you leave a large parcel or large mail item in a commercial mailbox, it’s usually much safer than it is in a small, delicate residential mailbox.

Residential mailboxes have fewer mounting rules

If you have a commercial mailbox, there are strict rules enforced by the USPS regarding where you can and cannot mount the mailbox. This is due to security concerns, the size of the mailbox, and making work efficient for the USPS.

Commercial mailboxes can be:

  • Upon a pedestal or post outside
  • Into an outdoor enclosure or mail stand
  • Wall-mounted for rear access
  • Wall-mounted for front access
  • And more

On the other hand, residential mailboxes can be:

  • Wall-mounted
  • Through-wall mailbox (i.e. mail slot)
  • Column-mounted
  • Curbside post mounted
  • And more

Generally speaking, mounting rules are less strict with residential mailboxes.

I hope you enjoyed this guide to the main differences between commercial and residential mailboxes. Whatever your needs, be sure to pick the best mailbox for you!