How to Choose the Best Minimalist Wallet

by Ankit Rawal on March 06, 2020

(Updated For 2020) 

With so many minimalist wallet choices available, there’s a lot to consider before you decide on one that you can trust to keep your cash and cards safe!

Before you hit the checkout with a new wallet, read our tips on how to choose the best minimalist wallet. 

1. Space for Cash and Cards 

You want to consider how many cards you’ll need space for and how much cash you carry on a regular basis. Think about how many cards you need to carry regularly like your ID and credit cards. Don’t forget that you might need some extra space for additional cards such as hotel key cards, gift cards, and membership cards.  

Many people think they have to compromise space when it comes to choosing a minimalist wallet, but that’s not true. There are plenty of slim wallets to choose from that have extra space for plenty of cards and cash.  

Even micro wallets (which are only 1.3 mm thick) have space for up to 8 cards and cash.


2. Materials and Durability

Are you looking for a wallet that will last a long time? What about protection from harsh conditions and rough-handling? 

Something many people don’t consider when choosing a minimalist wallet is how long the wallet will truly last. There are many wallets that look great but are made of cheap and weak material. They may seem minimalist but don’t last much longer than a year. 

Popular wallet materials include faux leather, leather, metal, and Tyvek®.  

Faux leather wallets are prone to flaking and cracking, similar to real leather. They aren’t very durable and tend to degrade in quality after just a few months of use. The benefits of faux leather are that it’s inexpensive, usually vegan, and can be produced a variety of designs and colors. 

On the other hand, real leather can last longer than faux leather, but it’s not as resilient to UV damage. Additionally, you need to take care of leather with special leather conditioning if you want it to last for years to come. Real leather isn’t water-resistant so you have to keep it away from water. Leather can also be bulky, so it’s maybe not the greatest choice if you’re looking for a slim wallet. 

Metal wallets and money clips are extremely durable and often designed with minimalism in mind. However, they aren’t practical for many people who want to keep their wallets in their front or back pockets. Metal wallets are bulky and you can feel them in your pockets while walking. They can be extremely uncomfortable to keep in your pockets while sitting. If the metal wallet has pointed edges, it can wear down the fabric inside of your pockets over time. However, if you aren’t going to keep your wallet in your pocket, metal wallets can be a great choice! 

Tyvek® material is a long-lasting, water-resistant, and extremely durable material that can last for years. It’s elastic yet thin and is available in a variety of designs. It becomes more flexible over time but doesn’t break down or fall apart at the seams. Tyvek® material can be printed in a variety of designs, so it’s a wonderful choice for anyone who doesn’t want to compromise between fashion and function.  

minimalist wallet

Shop Minimalist Tyvek® Wallets


3. Coin Pouches 

If you think it’s better to toss your spare change in your pocket instead of your wallet, think again! Not only is it easy to lose spare change in your pocket, but keeping coins in your pocket can wear down your pocket linings over time. 

If you carry cash, don’t forget about all the coins you’ll have to lug around too. You’ll either have to buy a separate coin pouch or a wallet that has a built-in coin compartment. 

Don’t underestimate how much one small coin pouch can hold! Paperwallet’s Magic Coin Pouch can fit up to 20 coins and folded bills.   


where to buy minimalist wallet


4. Security and RFID Protection 

You might have heard the term “RFID” thrown around a lot in recent years. In layman's terms, RFID wallet protection ensures your wallet contents are secured against electronic pickpockets. RFID scanners can potentially uncover your credit card and bank information from your cards inside your wallet. In a world where technology is advancing every day, many people opt for the extra protection of an RFID wallet. If you’re concerned about RFID scanners, then an RFID protected wallet can give you some peace of mind. 

If you have your eye on a wallet that doesn’t have RFID protection, you can buy an RFID shield that you can easily place in your wallet to provide protection against most readers. 

Other popular minimalist wallet choices include binder clips or rubber bands. While these are indeed minimal and likely items you already own, they don’t do much in terms of security. It’s easy for a rubber band to snap, leaving your valuables loose in your pocket or scattered on the ground. It’s also easy for a binder clip to come undone or for a card to slip out.    

If you’re set on having an ultra-minimal style, we’d recommend you go with a trusted money clip or micro wallet to protect your money. 


5. Pricing and Return Policies

How much you should spend on a wallet is another factor to consider. Higher prices do not always equal higher quality. When deciding how much you want to spend on a wallet take into account how long you think the wallet will last for. 

If you’re someone who prefers to switch up your wallet styles often, then you might want to consider a moderately priced wallet so you’re not spending hundreds of dollars on wallets every few months. 

Make sure you look at reviews and return policies from any companies you consider buying from. A free return or exchange policy is a good sign that the company stands behind the quality of their products.


6. Environmental Impact  

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of the products you buy, then you might want to choose a wallet that’s eco-friendly and recyclable. 

All wallets from Paperwallet are 100% recyclable. They’re made of Tyvek® which is made in part of already recycled material. Since Tyvek® is also long-lasting, it’s an ideal choice for anyone looking for wallets that fit in with a zero-waste or environmentally friendly lifestyle. 

Some people consider real leather more eco-friendly than faux leather because leather is made from animals hides from animals that were already processed for meat. Real leather can also last longer than faux leather when it’s properly cared for, leading to less manufacturing waste.

Faux leather is often made of PVC or polyurethane and cannot be recycled. However, some vegan leather is made of materials that are biodegradable and less harmful for the environment. Leah Thomas from The Good Trade wrote: 

“The most common leather alternatives on the market currently are made from plastics and require fossil fuel extraction, water waste, and sometimes toxic dyes; however, animals aren’t used or directly harmed in the process. If you’re opting for vegan leather, try plant-based fibers when you can to reduce your environmental impact.”


7. Comfort

If you’re someone who sticks their wallet in their pocket every day, comfort is a huge deal. If you’re a back pocket wallet fan, then you’ll want to avoid something big and bulky. Sitting down on a large wallet can cause back pain, so you either have to remove your wallet from your back pocket every time you sit down or just deal with the discomfort.  

To avoid these problems, look for a slim front pocket wallet or micro wallet. You’ll also want to avoid firm materials like metal or hard leather if you’re looking for a comfy pocket wallet. 

If you’re more apt to throw your wallet into a purse or bag, you don’t have to worry so much about comfort. It’s still something to keep in mind in case you ever do have to carry it in your pocket!  

8. Designs 

If you Google “Minimalist Wallets” you’ll likely see a variety of guides featuring popular minimalist wallet designs. Take a scroll through and you’ll quickly see that many minimalist wallets come in plain colors and designs. There’s nothing wrong with a classic wallet style, but just know that you do have more options!

You don’t have to sacrifice trendy designs for the sake of minimalism. There are plenty of minimalist wallets out there if you know where to look! 

Paperwallet features artwork from artists around the world, so there are always new designs for all of our wallets. 

In the market for a new minimalist wallet? Browse Paperwallet for some wallet-inspiration. With products ranging from slim wallets to clutch wallets, there’s something for everyone!   

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