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Top 5 Best Card Sleeves for Pokemon: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

best card sleeves for pokemon

Having your Pokemon cards sleeved is pretty much a must if you are a competitive player, an avid collector, and to keep your cards in mint condition. Card sleeves will also help keep them free from damage from the constant shuffling, moving, and storing whether you are battling an opponent or simply just collecting.

Card sleeves for Pokemon cards come in a variety of colors, styles, and brands which can make it difficult to choose the best quality sleeves for your money spent. There are a few sleeves on the market that simply outperform all the rest in terms of quality and functionality. The best card sleeve is the one that both protects your cards as well as provides maximum performance when in a Pokemon battle in competitive play.

In our comprehensive guide to the best Pokemon card sleeves, we’ll show you the best sleeves on the market for the money and give you some advice when it comes time to choose. Let’s get started.

IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR TOP PICKS…

NameOur RatingPrice

Top Pick: Dragon Shield
5/5
Click for Price
KMC Hyper Matte4.5/5
Click for Price
Ultra Pro Eclipse4/5
Click for Price

1- Dragon Shield

The first brand of card sleeves we will be taking a look at is our top pick, Dragon Shield. These sleeves are probably the most talked about sleeves on any forum. They are top of the line to many professional players. If you have played in the competitive Pokemon scene, then you have most likely heard or seen these sleeves, and for good reason. The quality, make, and color selection of these sleeves is pretty much unrivaled.

One of the first things that will stand out to you is the amount of different colors that these sleeves come in. You can literally have a separate color for every type of Pokemon theme deck you have, not really but pretty close to it.

Dragon Shields are not only for looks, but they are also very well known for their strength, and durability. They will efficiently protect your cards from the wear and tear from constant card shuffling and card handling.

You will also notice that your cards fit very snug, almost too snug, but it works well. Your cards will not clump at all while shuffling and you will have a nice buttery feel.

You will also not have to worry about the corners of your sleeves creasing or bending as these have an insane amount of durability which means your cards will look great for a longer period of time compared with other sleeves.

However, everything has flaws, and one thing to note with Dragon Shield sleeves is that they do tend to scratch easily. Other than the fact that certain colors will show scratches more easily than others, these sleeves will be a top pick in your arsenal for years to come.

What we like

  • Wide array of colors to choose from
  • Nice, snug fit
  • High quality/durability
  • Buttery feel when shuffling
  • Split resistant

What we don’t like

  • Pricey
  • Some colors will scratch easily

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


2- Ultra Pro Eclipse

Our number 3 pick is the Ultra PRO Eclipse sleeves. Ultra PRO is another big player in the trading card industry, and for good reason. They too create high quality, durable card sleeves for various different card games.

Ultra PRO is great for both the professional and beginner level gamers. Many will even consider the Eclipse series sleeves to be the best on the market. These sleeves are good enough to stand toe to toe with KMC and Dragon Shield.

Right out of the package, the feel of these sleeves are amazing. The main issue with these card sleeves is that feeling is cut short once the card sleeves are broken in. That sought after “feeling” is lost until you install a fresh set of sleeves. This brings on another issue with these sleeves which is the small tendency to clump during shuffling.

While this isn’t very apparent while the sleeves are brand new, they will slowly start to clump over time and during longer gaming sessions. These sleeves also split and scratch easier than other high tier sleeves on the market.

What we like

  • Great for beginners and pros
  • Decent price
  • Good color selection

What we don’t like

  • Tend to split and clump
  • The awesome brand new feel is short lived

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


3- KMC Hyper Matte

Our runner up is the KMC Hyper Mattes. There is a lot of heated debate on many different Pokemon forums stating that these are the best card sleeves. It all boils down to personal preference. Hyper Mats are made out of a high quality plastic material that is known for protection.

The only downside to this is that they actually had to reduce the texture and gloss of the material itself in order to add additional strength to the sleeve. Having a low gloss card helps keep cards from sticking which is great for that buttery feel that all players love when shuffling. The corners are also very resilient and will not show creases. However, these sleeves have a tendency to split of not taken care of.

The one main downside to using KMC Hyper Mats for your Pokemon cards is that they give your cards a slightly appearance. This is especially apparent with holographic or foil cards. If you don’t mind this flaw, and you don’t like Dragon Shields, then these sleeves will do you justice.

What we like

  • Great price
  • High quality plastic
  • Buttery feel when shuffling
  • Good color selection

What we don’t like

  • Slightly cloudy appearance
  • Prone to splitting

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


4- Ultra Pro-Matte

Another card sleeve by ULTRA PRO. These sleeves are a great alternative to the other sleeves if you are looking for a good matte backed card. These sleeves are definitely not top tier, but they are still great for normal use as well as card storage.

These sleeves are made out of a high quality plastic and feel great while shuffling. The main drawback to these card sleeves are that they add a foggy layer to your cards, similar to that of KMC Hyper Mattes.

What we like

  • Great feel when shuffling
  • Decent price
  • Matte backs
  • Split resistant

What we don’t like

  • Quality control
  • Gives the cards a dull look

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


5- Players Choice

Although not one of our favorites, we have decided to include Players Choice because these sleeves do have a small following of players that swear by these sleeves.

Players Choice is another card sleeve brand that is a great choice for your Pokemon cards. They look great and feel awesome right out of the box, similar to Ultra PRO. They are very shiny, smooth, and shuffling feels like butter which is exactly what we are looking for.

One of the main flaws of these card sleeves is that they tend to clump very badly from sweat. They also have a tendency to split and bend more easily than other top-tier brands of sleeves. If you are someone that has sweaty hands during play, then these would probably not be the best fit for you.

What we like

  • One of the best feeling sleeves when shuffling/handling
  • Decent color selection
  • High quality plastic

What we don’t like

  • High price point
  • Clump a lot with sweaty hands
  • Tend to split and bend easily

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


What to Look for in a Pokemon Card Sleeve

Quality

What’s the difference between high quality and low quality card sleeves? The most significant difference is that low quality card sleeves tend to stick to each other when you try to shuffle your cards. High quality card sleeves eliminate this issue and it actually makes your cards feel like butter in your hands while shuffling.

Low quality sleeves are also made with cheap materials. This causes the backing of the cards to rub off during excessive use.

Durability

Splitting is a common problem with poorly made card sleeves. All sleeves will differ slightly in terms of durability, but a high quality sleeve is less prone to splitting, scratching, and overall usability. A good high quality sleeve can also last you a lot longer than a low quality sleeve.

Size

Pokemon and Magic the Gathering cards both use “Standard” sized card sleeves while Yu-Gi-Oh cards use “Small” or “Mini” sized due to being smaller.

Color

If you go with Dragon Shield Sleeves, then you will not have to worry about color diversity as they have the largest selection. Selecting a color for your card sleeves are not only for looks, but also practicality.

Some card back colors tend to show scratches more easily than others. White card sleeve backs are common among many players as they look clean and tend to not show scratches as easily as colors like green or red.

Best Pokemon Card Sleeve Brands

Dragon Shield

Dragon Shield started back in the 1990’s by two Danish gamers. They dedicated most of their time creating a brand that many would refer to as the best of the best when it comes to competitive card sleeves for many trading card games.

It’s been history since then. Dragon Shield have been producing high quality gaming accessories ever since.

KMC

KMC was established in Japan. KMC USA is their direct importer. KMC has been around since the early 1990’s and have been producing high quality card sleeves specifically for players in the USA so they too, can benefit from a high quality sleeve.

Ultra Pro

Ultra PRO is probably the most well known brand when it comes to trading card accessories. I mean, they have been around since the early 1950’s which means they have experience in the industry. They are also a family-owned business which helps keep their customer satisfaction as a priority.

They making trading card accessories like card sleeves, binders, deck boxes, playmats, and more. Ultra PRO’s products are great for both beginners and professionals due to the quality, price, and accessibility. You can walk into almost any retailer that has a trading card section and find Ultra PRO products.

Players Choice

Players Choice is a brand that is well-known and not known at the same time. They have been around since 2008 and have dedicated themselves to manufacturing high quality card sleeves and other accessories for trading cards.

Their card sleeves are very light and the plastic wears down much more slowly than others which gives it a long life. The type of plastic used is also difficult to crease or tear which adds a few points to its durability.

Players Choice card sleeves are recommended by many professional players, but is also equally talked down upon by other professionals. Regardless, Players Choices have made a name for themselves in the trading card community by having very light and durable card sleeves that come in a nice variety of colors.

FAQs

What Are the Best Sleeves for Pokemon Cards?

The best card sleeves for Pokemon, and many other TCG’s, are Dragon Shield Mattes. They are superior when it comes to quality, color, design, and functionality. Dragon Shield card sleeves have been proven time and time again with thousands of players all over the world.

The only slight downside to using these card sleeves are that they cost quite a bit more than other brands of card sleeves. But, again, you are paying for the quality and structural integrity of

What Size Sleeves Do You Need for Pokemon Cards?

When searching for card sleeves, be sure to look for the “Standard” size sleeves. This is usually 66mm x 91mm. Some card sleeves will say “Small” or “Mini” and will most like be too small for Pokemon cards because they are actually made for the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game.

Final Thoughts

Dragon Shield Sleeves are our top pick, hands down. They offer supreme quality, shuffle ability, and are unrivaled in design. The colors are beautiful, vibrant, and really stand out. Dragon Shield Sleeves are so good that Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering players also rate them as one of the best on the market.

The number two sleeves are the KMC Hyper Matte Sleeves. These sleeves are also considered to be the best by some competitive players, but we believe it lacks the quality and durability of Dragon Shield Sleeves. The main drawback to KMC sleeves are that they have a slightly cloudy appearance which hides the beautiful artwork on foil cards. This is enough to knock it down from the number one spot.

Whichever card sleeves you choose for your Pokemon cards, we hope this guide has been helpful in your purchasing decision. Thanks for reading!

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