Bubble Wrap vs. Cushion Foam: Which is Better?

Whether you’re moving into a new home, sending precious gifts overseas, shipping items you’ve sold online, or just need to put some seasonal items in the storage, it is but essential that you know the right way to protect and pack those items so that they’ll remain unscathed and in one piece once unwrapped.

Bubble wrap and cushioning foam are without a doubt the most popular materials used for shipping, moving, packing, and protecting many types of items, big and small. But come to think of it, choosing between the two is not much of a serious task, right? Because more often than not, people choose one over the other using the most basic criteria like personal preference, availability, or budget.

Now what if you’re given both, for free, no matter how much you of it you need, do you know which one you should really choose? Don’t panic just yet, because we’re here to help you out. Read on and in no time you’ll have a better understanding on which of the two is really better.


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Classic Bubble Wrap

Aside from the joy it gives kids (and even adults) when they pop those endless plastic circles, bubble wraps have been around for many decades because of the excellent protection it gives. This ‘plastic sheet of air bubbles’ keeps items secure by absorbing the shock and keeping the item suspended.

PROS

  • The evenly-distributed air-filled bubbles provide the ultimate protection against shocks and vibrations. It can event prevent a fragile item from breaking in case it’s accidentally dropped or toppled over.

  • Because of the air bubbles, it is thicker and heavy duty

  • The soft plastic material plus the air bubbles make it snugly to easily fit any shape.

  • It is lightweight and does not really that much weight to total shipment

  • Not as expensive as other wrapping materials

  • It is fun for everyone.

  • It is reusable.

CONS

  • It is bulky; takes up too much space - if you’re planning on saving on shipping boxes, that is

  • Not as delicate and presentable - especially when you’re shipping out products to customers

  • Will easily lose its purpose once the all the bubbles are popped or has developed holes over time

  • Not biodegradable


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Sleek Cushion Foam

Though technically thinner, that doesn’t automatically mean cushion foam pouches or sheets are less effective in protecting items. Instead of those larger poppable bubbles, foam sheets are made and filled with millions of tiny air cells, allowing for effective cushioning and protection without the bulk.

PROS

  • It’s soft and smooth--making it more gentle to the surfaces it protects. It won’t scratch or smudge the surfaces making it perfect for fine artwork, collectibles, and your most delicate belongings.

  • As it’s thinner, it wraps more closely around the item providing protection even against dust and dirt.

  • Takes up less space than other cushioning and padding materials--letting you save on moving boxes and packaging

  • Allows dishes and other regular-shaped items to be easily stacked or bundled together

  • Super lightweight but extremely resilient and durable

  • Can be reused for many home hacks, crafts and DIY projects

  • Provides excellent shock absorption

  • Gives thermal insulation to items that are sensitive to temperature

CONS:

  • Not as heavy duty to protect bigger appliances, auto parts, and heavy items

  • As it’s thinner it may be easily torn by sharp objects

  • Not biodegradable


The Verdict

As you may have guessed it, there’s really no winner. The key here is to determine what kind of cushioning and protection each item needs. For example, if you’re bringing with you your china collection to your new home, and you want all of them to stay in one box, then Cushion Moving Sheets or Pouches are your best bet. But if let’s say you’re shipping a large machine part, then you could go with the classic bubble wrap.

Now whichever between the two you think you really need, we just have one last piece of advice for you: see to it that you’re choosing a protective accessory or packaging supply of the best quality. Yes, budget is an important factor. But always go with the one you’re sure with when it comes to quality. You don’t want to settle in your new home only to find out your precious belongings are damaged or broken, right?