Sandwich construction offers several advantages over monocoque and various discretely stiffened structures. These include greater load carrying ability, reduced weight, higher buckling loads and higher fundamental natural frequencies. The equations for the analysis and design of sandwich cylindrical shells subjected to beam type bending are presented herein. These equations are then manipulated to provide the face thickness, core depth, and core shear modulus to produce a minimum weight structure for a given load index and face material system. A factor of merit to select the best face material is also presented. As examples, Carbon/epoxy and E-glass/epoxy cross-ply composite faced sandwich shells are compared, as well as comparison with a monocoque cross-ply laminated shell.