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Should I Use Bubble Wrap or Foam?

Should I Use Bubble Wrap or Packing Foam? Grand Rapids, MI

Bubble wrap and packing foam are both commonly used to make sure items remain intact during shipping. But what’s the difference between them? Which product should you use to ensure your products arrive safely at their destination?

What Even Is Bubble Wrap?

Essentially, bubble wrap is a sheet of trapped air used to cushion items during shipping.

While bubble wrap is fun to pop (and can even reduce stress), it’s also perfect for shipping items long distances.

Depending on how frequently you ship items, you may want to buy bubble wrap rolls in bulk to save money and maintain enough stock so you never have to delay a shipment.

Is Bubble Wrap Durable?

Yes! When used properly, plastic bubble wrap is durable enough to last a cross-country trip. That means if you need to ship something from California to New York, bubble wrap has you covered.

The air bubbles keep items suspended during shipping so they arrive at their destinations intact. A good rule of thumb to know if you’ve used enough bubble wrap is if you can gently shake the box and not hear anything rattling inside.

Can Bubble Wrap Protect Heavy Items?

Yes! It is a misconception that bubble wrap can’t protect heavy items. If you have something heavy you need to ship, like a machine part, call us to determine what bubble wrap sizes you’ll need.

While small bubbles are great for preventing scratches and scrapes, you’ll want a much larger bubble size to prevent impact damage. We offer bubble thickness up to a half-inch so you can protect fragile items for shipping.

Many of our customers use more than on plastic bubble wrap size to keep items safe during shipping. For example, you may want to use an eighth-inch bubble to prevent a TV screen from getting scratched as well as a larger bubble size over top to protect it if the box is dropped or jostled during shipping.

What Is Packing Foam?

One common misconception is that packing foam and packing peanuts are the same thing. That’s not the case. However, we do offer a variety of foam packing products, including:

  • Foam sheets
  • Foam pouches
  • Foam tubing
  • Pink anti-static foam
  • Clear or printing film laminations

The items you want to ship will determine the type of packing foam you use. For example, if you ship mostly electronics, we highly recommend pink anti-static packing foam. As the name suggests, anti-static foam is designed to slowly and safely dissipate the electrostatic charge that can build up within a shipment of electronics.

Packing foam blocks, on the other hand, are great for buffering a box. Packing foam block molds work well when transporting specific, fragile items. A foam mold is the number one way to provide safety for a fragile item while shipping it.

What Are the Benefits of Packing Foam?

Packing foam material is used for a variety of industries, such as medical, automotive, and technical fields. Premier Protective Packaging can help you find the perfect custom foam that fits your needs.

Since foam sheets are thinner than bubble wrap, you’ll be able to fit more items per box. However, you’ll still need to exercise caution to prevent those items from colliding with each other.

If the items are in protective plastic cases, for example, you won’t have too much to worry about. But if your items are loose, such as bare electronic hard drives, you’ll want to take extra precautions.

A popular option is to have specific foam inserts for cases designed for your product so that fragile items aren’t jostled during shipping.

Ready to Start Shipping?

From packing foam to bubble wrap, our Grand Rapids, MI, protective packaging team is dedicated to helping you find the right packaging products for your business. Call Premier Protective Packaging today at (616) 791-7400, or contact us online to get a free quote on bubble wrap, packing foam, and other packaging materials.

This blog post has been updated.

What Can We do For You?

We supply our customers with high quality protective packaging products, on time delivery and total customer satisfaction. View our product brochure for more info.