Bubble Wrap for Safe Shipping and Moving

The lightweight, inexpensive way to look after your stuff.

Man using bubble wrap to protect items as moving.
Don’t let your stuff get damaged or dented—wrap it in bubble wrap.Pexels

Bubble wrap was something of an accidental invention when, back in 1957, two inventors were trying to create a 3D wallpaper and inadvertently came up with a packaging material that, thanks to its sensory properties and that popping sound, has become something of a cult product. Here’s what to look for when deciding which bubble wrap is right for you.

Official Sealed Air Bubble Wrap - American Bubble Boy (700' Small Bubble Wrap)

Pick Your Size

Produced with a blend of nylon to eliminate flat bubbles, roll is perforated every 12” for easy tearing, and is also available in different bubble sizes, including 5/16” and 1/2”.American Bubble Boy

Not all bubble wrap is created equal, in that some bubbles are bigger than others. Smaller sized bubbles—they tend to measure 3/16″—are among the most common and are ideal for smaller, lighter items, or for larger ones that need to be protected from scratches. Medium sized bubbles—around 5/16″—will also provide this sort of surface protection but are better at shock absorption and filling gaps in boxes. The largest bubbles are about half an inch, and while they’re probably too chunky for wrapping your china, are great at filling space in packing cases and ensuring what’s inside is well cushioned.

Fuxury Bubble Cushioning Wrap Roll Air Bubble Roll 2 Rolls 72 Feet Total,Perforated Every 12",Included 20 Fragile Sticker Labels for Packaging Moving Shipping Boxes Supplies

Choose Your Sheet Size

3/16” bubbles for protection of smaller items and furniture edges. Easy to tear into foot-long pieces and with comes adhesive tags to denote if something can break easily. Also available in a 16” width and in pink, or blue, which is an anti-static form.Fuxury

When you’re buying bubble wrap have a think about what it is you’re going to be wrapping as rolls tend to come in standard widths. While 12″ might be suitable if you’re mostly wrapping small items, you might want something wider if you’re regularly going to be packaging up larger items. Plus, if you’re bulk buying, think about the space that you might want to store the rolls and whether it might be easier for you to stash two 80-foot rolls, or one 160-foot one.

Duck Brand Bubble Wrap Roll, Original Bubble Cushioning, 12" x 175', Perforated Every 12" (286891)

Look For Perforations

With smaller sized bubbles more suited to smaller items, this easy-tear material also comes in larger multi-packs.Duck

If you don’t want to mess about with scissors, and have ever experienced quite how tricky it can be to tear bubble wrap in a straight line, you’ll want to look for a roll that is perforated. Most perforated products come with perforations every 12 inches and if you’ve got to pack up a lot of stuff, this will make it easier and quicker, although you may find yourself using more wrap than strictly necessary. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you cutting it with scissors between the perforations if you’re concerned about wastefulness.