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Coming back to the hobby, you quickly realize not all sports cards are the same thickness as they primarily were during the junk wax era.
Now there are premium stock cards, patch autographs and others to consider, which begs the question: Which size toploader fits best for your sports cards to protect them sufficiently?
So here’s a post that will help you answer that question.
Choosing the Right Size Toploader
Sports card thickness is measured in ‘points’ or ‘pt’. One point (1pt) is equivalent to 0.001 inches or 0.025 millimeters. While the most common toploader size thickness is 20pt or 35pt (depending on what you collect primarily), there’s a wide selection of options.
Here is a guide to help you determine which one is a good fit for your specific card.
Most vintage sports cards would fit in a 20pt toploader with a thin sleeve. Trading Card games like Pokemon, Magic The Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh would also be a good fit.
This is a regular card holder and is suitable for most single cards (paper cards) with penny sleeves. Examples include: Bowman Baseball, Topps Baseball, NBA Hoops, Panini Contenders, and Upper Deck.
Known as a “thick holder,” the 55pt toploader is great for thicker single cards on premium or chromium stock. Examples include: Topps Chrome, Bowman Chrome, Panini Prizm/Select, and Donruss Optic.
This is an “extra thick holder,” designed for most jersey cards and patch sports cards. Some might feel tight with a sleeve. In that case, try the 100pt toploader mentioned next.
This is also an “extra thick holder” commonly used for game-used patch and jersey cards. Examples include: Panini Absolute, Topps Tribute, Panini Certified XR, and Obsidian.
For your more high-end sports cards such as National Treasures or Panini Flawless, go for the 120pt “real thick holder” toploader or the 130pt if the fit is a little snug with the sleeve.
Referred to as the “super thick holder,” the 180pt toploader is designed for extra-large patch cards and jersey cards. Think National Treasures and Panini Flawless cards with the embedded relic patches.
Hope this toploader size guide helps you better protect all the cards you want to keep in gem mint shape.
We provided some Amazon affiliate links in each heading to easily purchase your toploaders. But they are widely available at your local card stores.
There are several different brands but most of these toploaders are constructed using high-quality, 12mm thick clear PVC material. At the top of each toploader, there’s a convenient slit where your sports card can effortlessly slide in.