Board book VS Hardcover VS Softcover: Which Is Better For Kids Books

Board book, hardcover and softcover are three popular types of binding on children's book printing. Between them, each has its own advantages. How to distinguish them and which is best for your book? Let us find it out.

What's board book

what's board book
Board book is a book that each page is made of two sheets of thicker cardboard and then self cover or hardcover are glued together to be a book. Board book usually designed for the children whose age between 0-4 years old. Board book is different from the normal children's books. The board book is thicker and more durable than them. This type of book is suitable for younger children or toddler to tear or bite and repeat reading.

What's hardcover

what's hardcover
Hardcover book, also known as , hardback, hardbound, etc. A hardcover book is usually with thick and durable material as the protective cover, like PU leather, cloth, special paper, etc. People are prefer hardcover are not paperback, because of hardcover book is more high-end and durable.

What's paperback

what's paperback
Paperback, also known as softcover, perfect bound, etc. Paperback includes staple binding, perfect binding (glue binding) and sew perfect binding. Staple binding is that binding all pages together with staple machine.Perfect binding is that all inner pages are glued together on a softcover. Sew perfect binding is that all inner pages are sewn together and then glued on a softcover to be a book. Paperback usually often used for the normal book printing, like catalog, magazine, novel, Lookbook, etc.

The difference between board book and hardcover

The main difference of between board book and hardcover is the printing paper and binding ways.
To make the board books more durable and bright, when custom board books often with thicker cardboard. Usually the thicker cardboard is coated one side (C1S) paper, the popular paper weight between 250-350gsm. And the binding is each page of two sheets paper are glued together and then self cover or hardcover are glued to be a board book. To make sure the book open easier, the inside spine is not glued together.
is not like has too much paper limited. When print a hardbound book, there have many paper options, like coated paper, offset paper, matte art paper, etc. And the binding is also different from board book binding. Hardcover binding is that inner pages are sewn together and then glued on end sheets and the hardcover. The spine can be glued or not glued together, which depends on the customer's needs.

The difference between hardcover and paperback

The main difference between hardcover and paperback is the cover. Hardcover with rigid cardboard and wrap with cloth, leather, special paper, etc. So that the hardcover book with a powerful protection, more durable, not easier to fold, bend, and wrinkle. While the paperback with a softcover (usually use normal paper as the cover), which is easy to fold, bend and wrinkle. If frequent use, it is more easy to damage.
Besides, the cost of a hardcover book is higher than paperback. Not just because of the cover material is expensive than paperback. Also, because the hardcover book pays more attention to the process. Usually, when printing hardcover books, often with one or several on the paper surface to form a special printing effect. Like lamination, foil stamping, spot UV, embossing and debossing, etc. That means the post-process more complex is, the cost is more higher. Because various of post-process are used in the hardcover book, makes it more high-end and popular by the people.

Which age of children is suitable for board book

The toddler who among 0-4 years old, just start reading. Board books are best for these ages of younger children. First, board books are durable and with the features of tear-resistant, bite-resistant. Most children at these ages with the habit of bite or tear off book. While parents selecting board book for them, they don't need to worry about their children bite or tear the book. Because board books are very hard to tear off. It is more suitable for repeat reading. Second, board book often with rounded corner and will not hurt young children's immature hands. Third, board books are printed with coated paper and then lamination on the surface, which makes the color more bright and will attract the children to read. Besides, to attract younger children to read. The design of board books usually with simple words or sentences and matches with bright color illustration.

Paperback VS hardcover: author need to know

If you plan to self-publish a children's book, below video about “paperback VS hardcover for children's book” will get you some guides.

Board book VS hardcover VS paperback: which is better?

From the view of reading age, printing board book is more suitable for the toddler. Because compared to hardcover and softcover, the board book is thicker and more durable. Board book is the best choice for parents who want a book to withstand repeated readings and chew on by the younger children and toddler. Besides, board book often design with simple words and sentence and match with color illustration. Simple, short and bright color contents are easy for children to read and understand.
From the view of economic to consider, paperback is the best choice. Because the cost of is cheaper. For some parents, paperback children's book is cheaper and easy to replace when it was damage. For some publishers, paperback is the most cost-effective way to print children's books, not only save time, also save much cost.
From the view of durable and profit, hardcover and board book is the best choice. For readers, hardcover and board book are more durable and high-end. Hardcover book and board book with strong binding, that means they won't fall out. The cover of hardcover book and board book, which cover is strong, not easier to fold, bend and wrinkle. Whether for repeat reading or collecting, hardcover book and board book are better. For publishers, although the cost of case bound books and board books is higher than paperback. But these two types of books are more durable and high-end, which can make them sell more high price and earn more profit.
From the view of book size and page count, hardcover has a more wide range of choice. Board book because of its feature, which is suitable for the book size between 4-10 inch and page counts between 8-40 pages. If the book is too thick or too large, it often not recommend for custom a board book. Paperback is suitable for the book between 32-200 pages, that depend on the paper types. Hardcover book is suitable for any book type you want to print as a hardcover. Page counts, size and paper have more options. The pages between 20-1000 pages all can do as a hardcover. But it also depends on the paper types.


Board book VS hardcover VS paperback? In fact, without which is better. It depends on your choice. When you plan to print your book, you can combine your book types, budget, reader group, page counts, etc. to consider, to find a best suitable one to apply on your own book.
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