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Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset Pros And Cons: Key Factors You Need To Know

cardboard virtual reality (VR) headset is an affordable, lightweight, and scalable option that organizations may find fits their needs better than full-scale VR hardware. When purchasing these headsets, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of its use. 


  • Inexpensive
  • Scalable
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible Across iPhone And Android Devices


  • Limited To 3 Degrees of Freedom (DoF)
  • Lack Of Consistency By Device
  • Limited To Short Experiences
  • Cardboard Material With No Headstrap

Do you want to experience virtual reality (VR) training in an affordable way that meets your organization’s training needs? Well, you’re in luck because with a cardboard VR headset, you can experience immersive VR training for roughly $7! 

At Roundtable Learning, we develop VR training activities that align with an organization’s budget and the needs of their learners. We’ve found that cardboard VR headsets offer an affordable, accessible, and scalable option for organizations interested in providing immersive VR experiences to their workforce. 

This article will review what a cardboard VR headset is and the pros and cons that come with its use. 

What Is A Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset?

cardboard VR headset is a more affordable, lightweight, and scalable option than a standard VR headset. A cardboard VR headset is a great option for organizations that may not be ready to invest in full-scale VR hardware for their VR training program. In addition, these headsets may be a better fit for organizations with remote employees or for those who have large-scale training that happens all at once. 

Compatible with both Android and Apple devices, cardboard VR headsets can be easily bought in bulk and scaled across an organization. 

Read More: How To Access Virtual Reality Without A Headset: 3 Alternative Options

4 Simple Steps To Use A Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset

To set up a cardboard headset, learners should complete the following 4 steps: 

  • Assemble the headset
  • Launch the VR experience on your smartphone device
  • Place your device inside of the headset
  • Complete the VR training activity

For more detailed instructions regarding the assembly of a cardboard headset, check out our step-by-step guide on how to use a cardboard VR headset

Pros Of A Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset


Cardboard VR headsets make VR training attainable for all budgets. Cardboard headsets range from $7-$12 a set, which is significantly less expensive than other standard headsets, like an Oculus or HTC Vive

While your organization will still have to cover the cost to develop VR activities, your spending on equipment will be significantly less than a full-scale program because learners can use their own phones to access the learning content. 

Read More: Mitigate Virtual Reality Training Costs: 5 Ways To Save Money


Cardboard headsets are scalable as they can be conveniently shipped to various locations across the country. While standard headsets are heavier, bulkier, and more costly to ship, cardboard VR headsets are more compact and lightweight.

In addition, when shipped, cardboard VR headsets are protected by an outer sleeve that prevents damages to the headset itself. 

Read More: 5 Hurdles to Scaling Virtual Reality Training & How to Overcome Them


Cardboard is a lightweight material that provides learners with a convenient VR training experience through its gentle positioning on a learner’s face. The light weight of cardboard avoids potential side effects (e.g. headache and nausea) that learners may experience. 

Compatible Across iPhone And Android Devices

Cardboard headsets are compatible with both iPhone and Android devices, making VR training content accessible for learners with either device. By simply launching the training material on their device, then placing it inside of their headset, learners can access their VR training from anywhere at any time. 

Cons Of A Cardboard Virtual Reality Headset

Limited To 3 Degrees Of Freedom

With a cardboard headset, learners are limited to the capabilities of their mobile device and 3 degrees of freedom (DoF). With 3 DoF, learners have a fixed viewpoint from one location. They can look left and right, up and down, and pivot left and right, but they cannot physically move throughout the virtual space. 

While mobile phones have a gyroscope that enables learners to look around their environment, they can’t physically move within it. To interact with their VR environment, learners use gaze control and the button on top of their headset to make selections. 

Read More: When to level up from 360-degree video to 6DoF VR

Lack Of Consistency By Device

Something needs to be said about the inconsistent experience between phone manufacturers. This lack of consistency across devices may involve any of the following elements:

  • Screen size
  • Screen resolution
  • Internet connection

These inconsistencies across devices provide varying experiences for each user. In some cases, the VR experience may be unusable.

Limited To Short Experiences

The inability to adjust the optics and having to hold the device to your face means the VR experiences need to be short and impactful. This is a great way to introduce VR training to the organization and scale experiences, but those experiences need to be focused to 3 minutes or less.

Cardboard Material With No Headstrap

Cardboard isn’t as durable or adjustable as other headset materials and may easily tear or lose its shape. In addition, cardboard headsets typically don’t come with a head strap, so learners will have to physically hold the headset as they complete their activity. 

While this may be seen as a disadvantage, the cardboard material does come with benefits regarding the scalability and reusability of VR training. Once learners are done completing their VR activity, they can either keep the headset and reuse it, or recycle it. 

Effectively Scale Your Virtual Reality Training With Cardboard Headsets! 

As we’ve discussed, cardboard VR headsets are a great option for organizations looking for scalable and accessible VR training. While cardboard headsets come with their drawbacks, they’re an effective option for organizations looking to scale their VR training and provide an accessible, immersive learning experience to their workforce. 

Want to learn more about all things VR training? We’ve got you covered! Our team of experts is ready to help you explore your VR training options and consider whether or not VR is the right option for your organization’s needs.

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