Double Wall vs Ripple Wall: Which Paper Cup Type Is Best for Your Cafe?

double wall paper cups vs ripple wall paper cups

Choosing the right paper cup for your café goes beyond meeting customer needs. It’s also about making your café more efficient and reducing its impact on the environment. In our previous blog, we made comparisons on single wall vs double wall paper cups, looking at factors like insulation, durability, and eco-friendliness. In our detailed article, we’ll explore the differences between double wall paper cups and ripple wall paper cups, offering a thorough comparison to help you make an informed decision.

What are Double Wall Cups

Double wall coffee cups have become the preferred choice among discerning cafes due to their unique design and commendable attributes. These cups consist of two paper layers with an air gap in between, providing excellent insulation and maintaining the ideal temperature of beverages without the need for additional sleeves.


  • Heat retention: One of the main advantages is their exceptional ability to retain heat. The insulating air layer ensures that hot beverages stay warm and cold drinks remain refreshing, enhancing the overall drinking experience. Additionally, the exterior surface of the cup stays cool, eliminating the need for extra sleeves and minimizing waste.
  • Durability: Double wall coffee cups are known for their strength and durability. The dual-layer construction provides extra protection against deformities caused by various beverages, from hot coffee to chilled smoothies.


  • Higher cost: However, like any innovative product, double-wall coffee cups come with some considerations. The dual-layer structure increases the price compared to single-wall or ripple-wall cups, which may impact the overall operational costs of a cafe.
  • Perceptual challenge: Despite their excellent insulation, there is a potential challenge in perceiving the actual temperature of the beverage. Some customers may mistakenly judge the temperature based on the warmth they feel on the exterior, leading to potential dissatisfaction.
  • Environmental impact: Environmental concerns are important to address. While double-wall coffee cups use more material than single-wall cups, many are made from renewable resources and can be fully recycled. However, the recycling process requires careful separation of the two paper layers, adding complexity.
Double paper coffee cups

The appeal of double-wall coffee cups lies in their multifaceted benefits, combining functionality with sustainability. Despite potential drawbacks, their unique design continues to enhance the cafe experience, providing a stylish way for hot and cold beverage enthusiasts to enjoy their drinks.

What Are Ripple Wall Cups

Ripple paper cups, also known as triple wall cups, have become a popular choice for cafe owners who value both functionality and aesthetics. These cups are designed with an additional outer layer that creates a unique ‘rippled’ effect, providing excellent insulation and a pleasant tactile experience.


  • Heat insulation: One of the main advantages of ripple paper cups is their impressive heat insulation. The textured outer layer effectively traps air, creating a barrier that keeps the hand safe from the hot beverage, similar to double-wall cups.
  • Visual Appeal: Apart from their functional benefits, ripple paper cups add a distinctive visual and tactile dimension. The textured surface not only improves grip but also adds a touch of sophistication to the beverage service, enhancing the overall customer experience and strengthening the cafe’s brand image.


  • Higher cost: Like many innovative solutions, ripple paper cups come at a higher cost compared to single-wall cups due to the additional materials involved. This financial aspect should be considered in terms of the cafe’s overall operational costs.
  • Environmental impact: Another aspect to consider is the environmental impact. Recycling ripple paper cups may be more challenging compared to single or double-wall cups because of the diverse material composition of the outer layer. However, an increasing number of manufacturers are now producing ripple paper cups from fully recyclable and compostable materials, addressing these environmental concerns.
  • Perception issue: Additionally, the excellent insulation provided by the ripple design may lead to a common perception issue shared with double-wall cups. Some customers may mistakenly associate the warmth of the cup’s exterior with the actual temperature of the beverage, potentially leading to dissatisfaction.
ripple paper cups for coffee with kraft paper to choose

While ripple paper cups offer excellent insulation and a unique tactile experience, they come with a higher cost and potentially more complex recycling procedures. Cafe owners should carefully consider these factors and find the right balance between cost, customer satisfaction, and environmental impact to make an informed decision aligned with their needs and values.

Top 6 Factors to Consider Between Double Wall Paper Cups and Ripple Wall Paper Cups

When navigating the decision-making process between double wall and ripple wall cups for your cafe, it’s vital to consider several factors:

1. Insulation

  • Double Wall Cups

When examining insulation, Double Wall Cups excel. Crafted from two layers of paperboard (usually 210 gsm and above), these cups generate an insulating effect by trapping air between the layers. This construction guarantees exceptional insulation, perfect for serving piping hot beverages such as coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. It preserves the warmth of drinks for extended periods while providing a comfortable grip, shielding customers from the heat of the beverage.

  • Ripple Wall Cups

While not as insulating as double-walled cups, ripple wall cups incorporate a corrugated layer that offers a degree of insulation. This distinct design improves the cups’ capacity to protect against the beverage’s heat. Nonetheless, the corrugated surface might present visibility challenges for branding on ripple wall cups.

2. Appearance and Feel

  • Double Wall Cups

When analyzing Double Wall Cups, their sleek and refined appearance catches the eye instantly. The design often features printed graphics on the outer layer, boosting their visual appeal. These cups ensure a comfortable grip and protect customers from the intense heat of the beverages. Additionally, they offer increased stability while serving and carrying drinks, offering an economical alternative to using two single-walled cups for hot beverages.

  • Ripple Wall Cups

When analyzing Double Wall Cups, their sleek and refined appearance catches the eye instantly. The design often features printed graphics on the outer layer, boosting their visual appeal. These cups ensure a comfortable grip and protect customers from the intense heat of the beverages. Additionally, they offer increased stability while serving and carrying drinks, offering an economical alternative to using two single-walled cups for hot beverages.

3. Branding Opportunities

  • Double Wall Cups

The outer layer of double-wall cups showcases a smooth surface perfect for branding, enabling effortless printing of logos, messages, or promotional content, making them visually appealing. These cups are popular, cost-effective, and eco-friendly, using less paper and energy in production. Their lightweight design enables greater transport efficiency, consequently reducing emissions linked to transportation.

  • Ripple Wall Cups

Conversely, ripple cups, despite their textured surface, provide an area for branding, as many companies choose to imprint logos or messages on the smoother outer layer. However, the corrugated surface might present visibility challenges for any branding on ripple wall cups.

4. Environmental Impact

  • Double Wall Cups

The environmental impact of double wall cups is contingent upon the materials employed. Certain double-wall cups integrate a plastic layer for enhanced insulation, potentially compromising recyclability. Conventional paper cups face recycling challenges due to their plastic coating, impeding liquid seepage. Yet, emerging sustainable options, like plant-based materials, offer biodegradability and compostability.

  • Ripple Wall Cups

On the other hand, ripple wall cups, typically crafted from paper, tend to be more compostable or recyclable. It’s crucial to verify the cup’s specific materials and coatings. Although rare, paper cups may weaken, posing risks of crumbling and potential burns.

5. Cost

  • Double Wall Cups

The pricing of double wall cups fluctuates based on materials and manufacturing intricacies. Their production, requiring more materials and a complex process, results in higher costs. Despite this, they offer affordability compared to combining two single-walled cups. This makes them a preferred choice for cafes and eateries seeking enhanced insulation without a significant price hike or excessive material consumption.

  • Ripple Wall Cups

Conversely, ripple wall paper cups usually come with a slightly higher price compared to double wall cups. Nevertheless, their pricing can be competitive and may offer cost-effectiveness. The absence of a secondary smooth layer can contribute to reduced expenses.

6. Intended Use

  • Double Wall Cups

Double wall cups excel in serving hot beverages such as coffee or tea due to their exceptional insulation, which helps retain heat. Customers appreciate their comfortable grip, protecting them from the beverage’s heat, while also providing enhanced stability when serving and carrying drinks. Moreover, their cost-effectiveness outweighs the use of two single-walled cups for hot beverages.

  • Ripple Wall Cups

Conversely, ripple wall cups are suitable for hot beverages but may not offer the same level of insulation as double-wall cups. The ripple texture diminishes heat, decreasing the chances of spills.

Paper Cup Manufacturer – GMZ

Whether you prefer double wall paper cups or ripple wall cups, it is crucial to partner with a reliable and professional paper cup supplier. GMZ is a trusted name in the paper cup manufacturing industry, with nearly two decades of experience. They are known for producing high-quality paper cups made from food-grade paper that undergoes thorough testing for food contact materials. What’s more, their cups are PFAS-free, meaning no harmful substances are released when holding hot beverages.

GMZ offers a wide range of styles and sizes for both ripple and double paper cups. They have 4oz cups perfect for espresso, 8oz cups for regular coffee, and larger sizes ranging from 12-20oz for Americano or other iced coffee drinks. If you’re looking for personalized coffee cups, GMZ also provides a professional paper cup custom printing service, allowing you to have your logo flawlessly printed on the cups.

Ready to upgrade your coffee experience with top-quality paper cups? Get in touch with GMZ today!

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