Types of CD Cases

By Dan Stone
CD cases come in more than just different colors.

There are over a dozen types of Compact Disc (CD) cases. The types of disc cases can be broken up into jewel, paper and plastic divisions. Case types are designed with visual, safety, space, and environmental-oriented uses in mind. In addition to the typical cases, there are countless other types of specifically-designed CD cases.

Jewel Cases

A standard CD jewel case

The jewel case is the standard case used for most CDs. The case consists of two hinged pieces of plastic and a disc tray insert. Slimline cases are jewel cases that have half the depth of a standard case. J cases are like slimline cases, but are molded to fit the disc instead of using an insert. A slim double case is like a standard jewel case, but has a thin piece of plastic in the middle that holds discs on both sides instead of an insert.

A chubby case takes up the space of two standard jewel cases and has two insert-side parts of a standard jewel case held together by a thick plastic divider that the insert-sides face when closing. Some chubby cases use the divider to store two additional discs. There are versions of the chubby case that use a series of plastic mounts to hold six or more discs. Jewel cases may also come with a cardboard sleeve that covers the outside.

Paper Cases

Paper CD sleeves are similar to paper record sleeves.

Paper cases are often used for retail CDs, but not as frequently as jewel cases. A Digipak is a paper-folding version of the standard jewel case with a plastic tray. FLPak cases are like Digipak cases, except they feature a plastic locking mechanism to hold the case closed. A DiscBox slider is a thin cardboard sleeve that uses a sliding piece of cardboard to close the case and slide the disc out when opened. A JakeBox case is a paper case that resembles a pop-up book. When the case is opened, the paper inside folds out and lifts the disc. Paper sleeves hold discs like envelopes and can feature a see-through plastic window to help view the disc inside.

Plastic Cases

Plastic cases are usually designed to protect CDs and are bought separately from the discs themselves. The clamshell case is a durable folding piece of plastic that is molded around the edges of a disc. Clamshell cases can extend just beyond the edge of the disc or have an extended edge. PolyBox cases are like plastic versions of the chubby-style jewel cases. A DiscSaver case is a single durable plastic case that is shaped like a slimline case, but the disc is inserted into a sleeve.

About the Author

Dan Stone started writing professionally in 2006, specializing in education, technology and music. He is a web developer for a communications company and previously worked in television. Stone received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master of Arts in communication studies from Northern Illinois University.