4 Types Of Pallets and Their Pros and Cons

Discover 4 types of pallets you can get as well as the pros and cons and costs for each type of pallet. Get the right pallet for your project.
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stacks of pallets

Pallets are flat structures that provide a foundation for storing or transporting goods. They are made from a variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic.

Typically, pallets are flat and horizontal, which make them easier to stack, move and load. Often, the goods placed on these pallets are much heavier, which requires the use of machinery to move the pallets like forklifts and pallet jacks. The following is a list of the different types of pallets including the pros and cons of each.

1. Wood Pallets

Wood pallets are the most recognizable type of pallets. Typically, they are made of hardwood or softwood, which is best defined by the type of tree used and whether or not the tree loses its leaves annually. The most common type of hardwood used in pallets is oak and the most common softwood is pine.

Pros and Cons

Wood pallets are customizable, can be reused or resold, are great for both storage and transportation, they are normally light in weight and come in a variety of wood options.

Unfortunately, wood pallets can break under heavy loads, are more susceptible to bacterial or chemical contaminations, are damaged when wet, and can also suffer from bug infestations.


New wood pallets can cost up to $65 on average, depending on size and type of wood. Used pallets are cheaper and range from $5 to $30 depending on size and wood type.

Best Types of Projects

Wood pallets are best used for storing lighter, sealed, non-biodegradable materials. They can also be repurposed for wood furniture items like a coffee table or bed frame.

2. Metal Pallets

Although metal pallets are very sturdy and long lasting, they make up a small percentage of the pallet market. Steel and aluminum are the two most popular types of metal used for pallets.

Pros and Cons

Metal pallets are strong, stiff, sturdy, free of insects, recyclable, and more sanitary than other materials.

The disadvantages of metal include being higher in price, much heavier and susceptible to rusting, like steel.


Brand new metal pallets range from $60 to $120 depending on size and type of metal. Recyclable metal pallets can be found for far less, often about half the price of new ones.

Best Types of Projects

Steel metal pallets are great for closed environments that require durability and protection. One example of usage is with military ammunition.

Aluminum metal pallets are ideal for air-freight, outdoor or at-sea storage due to its ability to withstand corrosion and other weather-related effects.

3. Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are manufactured by a variety of different processes and often constructed of high-density polyethylene or recycled bottles.

Pros and Cons

Plastic pallets are weather resistant, do not rot or corrode. They are durable, easy to clean, odor resistant, lightweight, fire retardant and 100% recyclable.

These pallets are expensive, might break under heavy loads and are not easy to repair if cracked.


Plastic pallets are often costly on the pallet market. Recycled pallets tend to run $30 to $45 dollars on average. However, depending on the size and material, new plastic pallets can range from $60 to $200 per pallet.

Best Types of Projects

Plastic pallets are ideal for both indoor and outdoor climates. Additionally, they are great for storing biodegradable items and chemicals.

4. Paper Pallets

Paper pallets, also called eco pallets, are a wonderful option for storing and transporting items. This category also includes corrugated, honeycomb, and fiberboard pallets.

Pros and Cons

Paper pallets are much lighter than wood and metal pallets. They are easy to clean, dust free, have no nails or splinters, are recyclable and easy to dispose of.

The downside to paper pallets is that they do not hold heavier weight, susceptible to water or moisture damage, and are not durable.


Paper pallets are comparable in costs to wood pallets. Additionally, they also have a wide range of prices from $10 to $100 per pallet depending on material and size.

Best Types of Projects

Paper pallets are the preferred storing and transporting pallet for IKEA since they are easy to customize, have a low profile design, and reduce the costs of both storage and shipping.

The Right Pallet

Choosing the right pallet comes down to your needs and budget. Start by determining which general material is best for your storage and transportation needs. From there, choose a sub-material that ideally fits within your budget, load bearing and storage limitations.

Rod Coleman

Rod is the business owner of Pallet West. Rod eats, sleeps and drinks pallets. If you cannot find Rod on the shop floor then you will for sure find him behind the scenes running the logistics of his well-oiled business. When Rod does decide to leave his much loved business in either his colleagues or sons deserving hands, Rod can be found enjoying 18 holes on his local golf course or sat in his local brewery enjoying a cold, crisp pint. Rod strives himself on delivering first class results in every aspect of his business and can often be guilty of working too hard. Behind his stern business approach, Rod is a devoted family man and likes nothing more than spending time with his children.

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