Choosing Your Perfect Card Sleeves

Trading card sleeves play a crucial role in keeping your collection safe and secure. They keep your cards from getting damaged as well as looking uniform and aesthetically pleasing.

But with so many options available, it can be difficult to know what you need. We've outline some helpful tips below!

Let's Get Started:

We'll be focusing on Japanese Size sleeves. These are made for Japanese sized cards - notably Yu-Gi-Oh! cards which are smaller than Standard Size trading cards (such as Pokémon or Magic The Gathering)

In terms of brands, there's plenty to choose from! We always recommend Dragon Shield - they're the best of the best! Tournament legal, fantastic quality and very, very good value.

Dragon Shield offer 3 sizes of Japanese Size sleeves: Inner, Regular and Outer.

Inner and Outer sleeves are for double-sleeving your cards, we'll touch on this later. For now, let's focus on Regular Japanese sleeves.

Regular Japanese Sleeves:

Regular Japanese sleeves are your go-to size. The fit your Japanese cards nicely, provide great protection and have a multitude of coloured backs/arts for your own preference.

Dragon Shield have 3 types of Regular Japanese Sleeves:

  • Matte
  • Dual Matte
  • Classic

Simply put, Matte and Dual Matte have a textured (slightly rough) back, while Classic have a smooth, glossy back. Classic are slippery, which is great for sliding your cards into a binder, whereas the Matte options have a much superior in-hand feel which is essential if you're handling your cards frequently. All feature the same clear, glossy front panel to see your cards through.

Matte vs Dual Matte is personal preference. Dual Matte feature a black interior while the interior on Matte sleeves match the colour on the back. The interior colour is what forms a border around your card which can be seen through the clear front panel.

Inner & Outer Japanese Sleeves:

Inner and Outer Japanese Sleeves are used for double-sleeving your cards. This is simply using two sleeves together to offer extra protection. Inner Sleeves fit underneath a Regular Japanese Sleeve, Outer Sleeves fit over the top of a Regular Japanese Sleeve.

Inner sleeves fit very, very snugly to your cards so you need to be gentle when applying. But, they're very sleek and you can change your Regular Japanese sleeves easily without worrying about your card being 'naked'.

Outer sleeves go over the top so aren't super snug, but do make your sleeved card larger which isn't ideal for those with smaller hands. Outer sleeves do protect your Japanese sleeve and any art that may be on the back - another bonus!

You don't need to double sleeve your cards by any means, but it's a great method for optimal protection so it's definitely recommended for higher value cards.

To summarize:

  • We Recommend Dragon Shields for your sleeves.
  • Japanese Size Sleeves are great for Yu-Gi-Oh! but too small for Pokémon.
  • Go for Matte if you play, consider Classic if you collect.
  • Double-sleeving isn't essential but it's a good idea.
  • Outer sleeves are a great, safe choice for doubling up.

All of the sleeves mentioned above are available at Gecko Cards! There's some handy links below:

Dragon Shield Japanese Regular Matte Sleeves

Dragon Shield Japanese Inner Sleeves

Dragon Shield Japanese Outer Sleeves