Bottleology 101

 A quick reference for understanding the styles, types, materials and terms for Bottles

Bottles come in many different shapes and styles to fit your product’s unique application. On this page you will learn the different styles and types of bottles and for what they are commonly used. At any time, feel free to call 1-800-473-4144 to speak with an expert.

Canister | Cylinder | Dairy | F-style | French Square | Hex | Jar | Oval | Packer | Boston Round | Imperial/Bullet/Cosmo Round | Plastique/Diamond/Royal Round | Industrial Round | Modern Round | Sunset Round | Tub


The canister is typically made of plastic and has a wide mouth and equally wide base. It’s profile is straight and has a labeling panel. Common uses include: energy powders, health supplements, powdered beverages, cleaning cloths, candy/food storage, dried meats and more.



The cylinder is a tall bottle with straight shoulders, straight base, and a straight profile. The cylinder’s orifice is narrower than the circumference of the body. Common uses include: shampoos, conditioners, lotions, chemicals, travel-size personal care items, cleaners, sprayers, and more.



The dairy-style is made of thin yet durable plastic, is not round in shape and has a handle. The dairy-style containers often have textured surfaces around the handle to aid in gripping and holding the container. Common uses include: milk, juice, chemicals, cleaners, water, and other beverages.



The f-style family of containers are made of a heavy durable plastic. The most characteristic feature of the f-style is the large hollow handle on the top of the bottle next to the bottle orifice. Common uses include: industrial and automotive chemicals and cleaners, fertilizers, detergents, and weed killers.


French Square

The french square is an elegant container. The french square has four sides where all seams and corners both inside and out are rounded. This gives the bottle a heavy weight and creates a slight visual distortion of the product inside. Common uses include: soaps, lotions, bath salts, powders, beverages, and crafts.



The hex is a six-sided container typically made of glass. The hex, unlike the french square, has sharp-angled seams and gives the contained product a more prismic appearance. Common uses include: jams, jellies, sauces, salsas, food products, lotions, candles, gels, and creams.



Jars typically have wide mouths and can be plastic or glass. The single wall is made of a continuous piece of plastic. The double wall is hollow and has a shell around the inner piece. The thick or heavy wall, like the single wall, is made of a single piece of plastic, but uses more resin. Common uses include: personal care products, preserves, and jams.



The oval is a fairly broad group and can include really any treatment on the shoulders: rounded, square or otherwise. An oval is primarily defined by the elliptical base. If the bottle does not have a perfectly round base, it is considered to be an oval. Common uses include: personal care products.



The packer or “pill packer” is typically made of rigid plastic (PET, PS, HDPE) and typically has rounded shoulders and a relatively square base. It can come in clear, white, amber, blue, black, and more colors. Common uses include: pills, health supplements, capsules, lozenges and more.


Boston Round

The boston round is a style with broad appeal. The boston round has rounded shoulders and an almost equally rounded base. They are shorter and more squat in appearance. Common uses include: personal care products, industrial products, home care products, cleaners, cleansers, shampoos, lotions.


Imperial/Bullet/Cosmo Round

The imperial is an elegantly-shaped bottle. Characteristic to the imperial (sometimes called a bullet or cosmo) are the steep tapered shoulders, relatively square base, and the tall, slender profile. Common uses include: personal care, cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, creams, oils, room sprays.


Plastique/Diamond/Royal Round

The plastique (also called a diamond or royal) round is a style that sits in between the boston and imperial rounds. It is not as tall or slender as the imperial, neither is it as squat as the boston round. Common uses include: personal care, cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, creams, oils, room sprays.


Industrial Round

The defining characteristics of an industrial round are the handle and the labeling panel. The industrial round typically has a raised ring around the base of the bottle and the base of the handle. Common uses include: chemicals, cleaners, automobile products, anitfreeze, solvents, sauces (ketchup, mustard) and more.


Modern Round

The modern round has sharply angled shoulders and a label panel. The label panel is the indentation between the ring around the base and the ring around the shoulders. Common uses include: hydrogen peroxide containers, chemical containers, pharmaceuticals, solvents, acids and more.


Sunset Round

The sunset round is a unique container and is specifically designed for a special cap. The sunset has a shallow groove in the shoulders for the bottom skirt of a lid to rest. The result is a capsule-shaped container/closure combination. Common uses include: lotions, personal care products, creams and more.



The tub is a container with a large mouth-opening, tapered sides and a smaller base. This shape makes the container nestable. Tubs can be clear, natural, or white colored. Common uses include: butter containers, salsas, salads, ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, dairy products, jams, jellies, and more.

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