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Bubble or Foam – Which is Best for Packaging?

Here at Springpack we know the importance of protecting your goods during transit, so we’ve decided to explore the benefits of two of the most commonly used packaging materials; Bubble and Foam. Both are great for protecting products and holding them in place, and both do their job without adding unnecessary weight to the package, but which is better?


Making the right selection can have a significant impact on the efficiency of your operation. Here’s our guide on how to select the right material for your needs!


Bubble Wrap


How it works:

Bubble Wrap contains hundreds of small air pockets which are encased within layers of polyethylene. These bubbles of air suspend the product in the box, acting as a soft cushion barrier that absorbs shock in the event of unexpected movement and therefore prevents damage.


Main benefits:

It’s extremely lightweight which means it’s easy to use in the warehouse and can reduce shipping costs. Providing excellent all-round protection, the highly versatile Bubble Wrap is available in several different types, most commonly in rolls which are easy to cut to length and prevents excess material being wasted. Also available in an anti-static version, which is ideal for packaging electronics as it won’t produce electrostatic charges.


What it’s best for:

This material can be used for a number of applications depending on the thickness, for example, standard Bubble Wrap is great for protecting light to medium products and premium Bubble Wrap for packing fragile or very heavy items. Bubble Wrap is especially effective in the wrapping of fragile items, providing the soft cushioning that’s needed.


What it doesn’t work well for:

Bubble Wrap isn’t necessarily suitable for wrapping polished items as there is a risk of it leaving small cell marks that are difficult to remove. Items constructed using polished metal, glass or wood are all susceptible to this and so in these cases it may be best to select an alternative protective material.




How it works:

Foam consists of tiny air cells packed tightly together, which provide excellent cushioning and give the material bounce. It is both lighter and thinner than Bubble Wrap and also takes up less space on site and within cartons.


Main benefits:

For such a lightweight and thin material, Foam can provide astounding protection, particularly against rubbing and scuffing and is also lint and dust free. It can be reused as it is able to retain its bounce and protective qualities throughout several uses, which could save you time and money in your operation. As well as foam sheets, you can use foam corners and edge protectors to act as a buffer between the product and the box. Foam can be cut to size, is easily handled and is available in a variety of thicknesses.


What it’s best for:

Foam is entirely non-abrasive, which means it won’t scratch or leave any marks and this makes it perfect for wrapping polished and shiny items like metal, glass or polished wood. It also provides thermal insulation to protect items that are temperature sensitive and is less likely to build static electricity than Bubble Wrap, which means it’s better suited to packing general electrical equipment.


Why not combine them?

For the ultimate product protection, you can even combine these two materials to achieve the shock-absorbing cushion of bubble with the non-abrasive properties of foam!


Need more guidance on which materials you should choose for your packaging operation?


Get in touch with the Springpack team today on 01905 457 000 or email [email protected]

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