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Review: Finding the Best Card Sleeves for The Story Engine Deck

One of the most common questions I got during The Story Engine deck Kickstarter was this: "Will the box fit cards with protective sleeves?"

Right after that came: "How do I even find sleeves to fit the square cards of The Story Engine?"

With the decks set to ship soon, I decided to answer both questions with one blog!

Sleeving your square cards

UPDATE Jan 31, 2021: Kickstarter backer Jason Sergeant tried some 76mm x 76mm square sleeves, and found that they fit the cards even better than the 80mm x 80mm sleeves I reviewed in this blog.

The 76mm x 76mm cards are only made by one manufacturer (Sleeve Kings), and so may be harder to find, but they sound like the best possible fit for the cards.

You can see Jason's sleeving and storage solution here on imgurAnd you can buy the sleeves from Sleeve Kings (best price) or from Team Board game (good backup option).


First up, yes, The Story Engine deck can fit the entire deck with even the thickest card sleeves on the market.

I worked through several iterations of the box design with the factory to make sure the card trays could take a sleeved deck in stack height. The main deck box can also accommodate an unsleeved main deck with all of the expansions and 2-4 boosters (depending on how tight you pack them in).

We also ensured that each tray was wide enough to fit the 80 mm x 80 mm plastic sleeves that fit nicely around the cards.

And to make things easier for you, I decided to order 4 different compatible sleeves and review them so you know what will work best for you and your deck!

Here's what I found!

Reviewing 4 square card sleeves

Mayday Games Premium Card Sleeves

SKU: MDG-7145

# per package: 50

Size: 80mm x 80mm

Summary: These feel premium and, in my opinion, are worth the extra cost.


  • These sleeves are heavy-duty, archival safe, acid-free, and contain no PVC
  • They are super satisfying to shuffle and grip nicely
  • They fit nicely in the interior card trays of the box
  • They are sturdy enough to hold up to abuse, and they truly feel like they’re protecting your cards


  • They are the most expensive of the sleeves I tested
  • If you like lighter sleeves, these may be bulky

Tip: Don’t get these confused with the 100-pack of non-premium sleeves from Mayday Games. They have very similar packaging.

Buy links:

  • Mayday Games (USA)
  • Atomic Empire (USA)
  • Spiral Galaxy Games (UK)
  • Zatu Games (UK)
  • A Muse n Games (Canada)
  • D6 Marketplace (Canada, currently out of stock)
  • (Canada)
  • Amazon (UK, Canada, USA

Sleeve Kings Medium Square Card Sleeves


SKU: SKS-8815

# per package: 110

Size: 80mm x 80mm

Summary: Slightly stronger than the average penny sleeves with good value on the dollar.


  • Archival quality, acid-free, no PVC.
  • A little lighter, but also less bulky than the Mayday Premiums
  • Still hold up quite nicely when shuffling, but a little slippery
  • Good pricing
  • A great pick for those who don’t like heavy sleeves


  • I feel like these might start to show wear and tear if used a lot
  • They have a little more slip than the Mayday Premiums

Buy links:

Mayday Games Card Sleeves 

SKU: MDG-7125

# per package: 100

Size: 80mm x 80mm

Summary: Pretty standard penny sleeves with good value on the dollar. They feel just a little bit flimsier than Sleeve Kings.


  • Acid-free, no PVC
  • Cheap and easy to find
  • A lightweight way to protect your cards


  • A little slippery
  • They feel fairly flimsy
  • I feel like these will start to show their wear and tear fairly quickly

Tip: These are a lighter version of the Mayday Premiums from the same maker. See above!

Buy links:

  • Mayday Games (USA)
  • Atomic Empire (USA)
  • Columbia Hobby (USA)
  • Zatu Games (UK)
  • BG Extras (UK)
  • A Muse n Games (Canada)
  • D6 Marketplace (Canada, currently out of stock)
  • Amazon (USA, UK, Canada)

Panasia Games Swan Sleeves

SKU: 4714398490928

# per package: 150

Size: 80mm x 80mm

Summary: I really didn't like these, but they are the cheapest, so there's that.


  • Acid-free, no PVC
  • Inexpensive
  • Very clear plastic


  • Super flimsy
  • Very slippery
  • So lightweight that they have trouble squaring up inside the trays

Buy links:

  • BG Extras (UK)
  • Smiling Monster (Germany)

Note: There seem to be a couple of locations selling a thicker version of this sleeve. I haven't sampled it and can't offer and specific information.

  • BG Extras (UK)
  • Swan Panasia Games (Site)
  • Meeples Boardgame Store (Malaysia)

And there you have it!

In the future, I'll do a blog about if it's worth sleeving your cards or not. (Spoiler: I do think it is for most people, but it depends on what works for you!)

Until then, I'm staying focused on keeping our shipping page up-to-date with the latest fulfilment news!

UPDATE Jan 24, 2021: Kickstarter backer Jason Sergeant has found that 76mm x 76mm sleeves fit The Story Engine Deck even more snugly than the sleeves listen above. He recommends the Sleeve Kings 76mm x 76mm sleeves that are 60 microns thick: