It’s no secret that Magic: the Gathering cards can be a real investment.
Not only are many of them costly, but most players spend years collecting them. Because of their importance to collectors, it’s equally critical to ensure they’re well-protected.
For this reason, many players double sleeve their cards. When you double sleeve, you use two protectors for each card: a snugly fitting inner sleeve, and then a larger out sleeve.
But there are so many sleeves out there, it can be hard to choose. That’s why we’ve written this guide about the best MTG sleeves for double sleeving.
This is what you’ll learn:
- Features to consider in sleeves
- Our picks for the best MTG sleeves to double sleeve with
- The pros and cons of each of our picks
Let’s check it out.
Features That You Should Consider
Different sleeves are best suited for specific purposes. To find the best ones for doubling up, you should consider features such as:
- PVC or Acid-free
If you get an inner sleeve that’s too large, it’s not going to fit beneath an outer sleeve.
So then your inner sleeve needs to be as snug as possible. That’s what “perfect fit” sleeves are for – they’re much smaller than standard sleeves.
As you look for prospective inner sleeves, check to see if they’re listed as perfect fit. If not, take a look at their size.
The standard size for Magic cards is approximately 2.5 x 3.5 inches, or 63 x 88 millimeters. Try to find a sleeve that’s as close to those measurements as possible for the best fit.
Unsurprisingly, it’s also important for an inner sleeve to be tough.
Since there’s going to be a sleeve outside of it, it may not necessarily need to be as durable as the outer one. However, if you plan on using the card to play instead of just storing it, your inner sleeve will need to withstand transport and shuffling.
You couldn’t use or display a card if you couldn’t even read what it said.
So then another factor to pay attention to is the clarity of an inner sleeve. If you’re planning on double sleeving, this is critical.
That’s because you’ll have two layers between you and the card. The less clear those layers are, the more you’ll struggle to see what’s actually on the card.
With high-clarity sleeves, your turns won’t be needlessly lengthened by having to fight to read the text on every card.
Chances are, you’ve seen sleeves everywhere that say “PVC-free” or “Acid-free.”
So what does this mean, and why does it matter?
In short, it’s an added precaution when it comes to protecting your cards.
Acids can seep into your card over time. As a result, some cards were yellowed or warped by sleeves containing acids or PVC.
While some would argue that MTG cards have grown more durable over time, it still doesn’t hurt to take this extra precaution.
Best MTG Sleeves for Double Sleeving
KMC Card Barrier
Perhaps the best thing about KMC’s card barriers is that they’re remarkably well-fitting. They measure at 64 x 89 mm, so they snugly wrap every single card.
Due to their precise measurements, you won’t have any issue fitting these in your favorite outer sleeves.
- Great fit, so you’ll be able to easily fit them into outer sleeves
- High clarity, so you can clearly see each card
- Strong enough to resist shuffling and handling
- More expensive
- Some of these sleeves occasionally vary slightly in size
Pro Support Penny Sleeves
Pro Support’s Penny sleeves have been a staple in many players’ homes. That’s because they’re incredibly sturdy, so you can rightfully expect them to protect your cards for a long time.
- Acid-free to protect cards from damage over time
- Can fit other card games, such as Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens
- Smooth and thin for easy shuffling
- Not as tight of a fit as KMC sleeves, so you may need slightly larger outer sleeves
Ultra Pro Clear Deck Protectors
These sleeves come from a classic manufacturer: Ultra Pro. They specialize in making extremely clear cases, and these are no exception – your cards will be crystal-clear in these inner sleeves.
- Extremely clear, so you’ll be able to see your cards without a problem.
- Inexpensive and great for bulk purchases to protect your entire collection
- These sleeves are acid-free to prevent cards from yellowing over time.
- On the larger side and may not fit as well under standard sleeves
Dragon Shield Sealable Inner Sleeves
You can safely anticipate top-notch quality when you get Dragon Shield. These inner sleeves are no exception to that rule – their thickness makes them extra sturdy for frequent shuffling.
- Measuring at 63 x 88 mm, these inner sleeves can comfortably fit inside other sleeves
- PVC and acid-free to preserve the integrity of your cards
- Extra durable for resistance to shuffling and bending
- As these are a little thicker, you may need bigger deck boxes to accommodate your double-sleeved decks.
Ultra Pro Pro-fit Side Loading Sleeves
If you’ve ever struggled to slide a card into the top of a sleeve, these are the ones for you. Ultra Pro’s pro-fit side-load sleeves allow you to slip each card into the side, making the process of sleeving an entire deck less of a hassle.
- Uniform sizes, so you can expect all sleeves to fit the same
- PVC and acid-free to protect your cards from hazardous acids
- Side opening simplifies sleeving, as it is easier to slip the card in
- Not as easy to shuffle as other sleeves
- A little bigger than other options, so you might need larger outer sleeves.
To begin with, we put these sleeves on the list because we’re pretty confident in their overall quality.
However, if we had to suggest one to you over all the others, we’d recommend the KMC Card Barriers. They do run on the expensive side, but players consistently report them as being some of the best inner sleeves money can buy.
They’re sturdy, clear, and some of the best-fitting ones on the market today.