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What Size Bubble Wrap Do I Need?

What Size Bubble Wrap Do I Need

Are you using the right size of bubble wrap for your business?

Choosing the wrong bubble wrap for packing can cost you both money and customer satisfaction. Not all bubble sizes are suited for every product. Finding the right size of bubble wrap will help you make sure your items arrive safely at their destinations.

What Sizes of Bubble Wrap Are There?

When deciding on the right size of bubble wrap, you should consider both the diameter of the bubble as well as the thickness of it. Typical bubble sizes include:

  • 1/8-inch thick: Good for smaller items
  • 3/16-inch thick, 3/8-inch diameter: Standard bubble size, good for medium weight products
  • 5/16-inch thick, 1-inch thick diameter: Medium-size bubble, good for filling voids and providing additional protection
  • 1/2-inch thick bubble, 1¼-inch diameter: Large-size bubble, good for filling larger voids and cushioning medium-weight items

Choosing the Right Bubble Wrap for Your Product

Best Size for Smaller Items: 1/8-inch Bubbles

Small bubbles are great for protecting items from being scratched or scraped during shipping. For example, many technology companies use 1/8-inch bubbles to protect screens for smartphones, tablets, and other lightweight devices.

If you are shipping electronics, you’ll also want to make sure to use anti-static bubble wrap. Anti-static bubble bags and sheets protect electronics from static electricity during shipping.

This pink bubble wrap is different from other types of packing material because it is designed to slowly and safely dissipate electrostatic discharge (ESD). ESD not only damages electrical components, but can also harm human workers.

As a bubble wrap supplier, we can help you choose not just the right size, but also the best type of protective packaging for your company’s supplies.

Best Sizes for Medium-Weight Items: 3/16-inch and 1/2-inch Bubbles

The larger the bubble size, the more protection you have against impact damage. That’s because there’s more air captured in larger bubbles to create a protective layer around your products. 3/16-inch and 1/2-inch bubbles in particular are great for cushioning any medium-weight items you may be shipping.

Best Sizes for Protecting Against Drops: 5/16-inch and 1/2-inch Bubbles

You’ll want to follow our recommendations above to provide basic cushioning for your products, but if you’re worried about protecting against drops, you’ll need some large bubble wrap sizes as well. Only larger bubble sizes, like the 5/16-inch and 1/2-inch bubbles, can adequately absorb any impact from drops.

Can You Combine Bubble Wrap Sizes? Yes!

Many of our customers use more than one plastic bubble wrap size to keep items safe during shipping. For example, you may want to use a 1/8-inch bubble to protect a TV screen from being scratched. It’s perfectly okay to also add a sheet of 1/2-inch bubbles over top to protect the TV against impact damage. We especially recommend using more than one bubble size if you need to ship something fragile and/or valuable.

How Much Bubble Wrap Do You Need?

Once you’ve packed your item, gently shake the box. You shouldn’t be able to hear the item moving inside the box if you’ve used enough bubble wrap packing material.

Bubble packing helps hold items in place during shipping and absorbs impact from being jostled or dropped. One of the most common mistakes is not using enough bubble wrap for packing. 

Find the Right Bubble Wrap for Your Shipping Needs

Still wondering what size bubble wrap to use? We are a Grand Rapids, MI, protective packaging manufacturer that’s dedicated to helping business owners just like you find the right bubble and foam packaging for their products. Call Premier Protective Packaging today at (616) 791-7400, or contact us online to buy bubble wrap for your business.

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.