Packing paper vs bubble wrapIn addition to cardboard boxes, packing paper and bubble wrap are the packing supplies that are key to making sure your prized possessions arrive intact in your new home.

One thing is clear – no packing job is possible without the protective qualities of those three major packing materials.

To understand better how important they are for the task of packing your things for moving, here’s a head-to-head contest between packing paper and bubble wrap, competing for the BEST PACKING MATERIAL prize.

Packing paper vs Bubble wrap!!!

Want to take a wild guess at which packing, wrapping and padding material will take home that unique packing award? Read on to find out.

Packing paper: Advantages of using packing paper

There’s a reason why packing paper is considered possibly the best packing material for moving. As you’ll see below, there are multiple reasons for that distinction, so you should never doubt the great protective power of white clean wrapping paper.

In reality, the supremacy of packing paper as the ultimate wrapping and padding material can only be rivaled by bubble wrap – the polyethylene film with inflated air-filled bubbles inside that is primarily used for protecting extra-fragile and breakable items by forming a soft airy cushion around those delicate things.

  • Soft. Packing paper is soft which basically means that it is gentle on the surfaces that it gets into contact with. In fact, soft packing paper is the recommended packing material for the most delicate belongings in your home such as glass items, fine china, delicate artwork pieces, and even sensitive electronics. High-quality packing paper will not scratch delicate surfaces, or harm them in any other way, so it’s perfectly safe to use as an initial layer of protection.
  • Wraps tightly. One great quality of packing paper is that it wraps tightly around items, thus keeping them protected from dust, dirt, scratching and even moisture. In other words, wrapping paper is known to create nice bundles that offer maximum protection for your possessions.
  • Takes less space. One of the great advantages of packing paper is that it takes much less space than other more bulky packing supplies such as bubble wrap, towels and various pieces of clothing. This fact alone will enable you to save space in boxes, thus fitting more packed-up items in a single container.
  • How to pack with packing paper

    Yes, packing paper is THAT awesome.

    Strong. A single sheet of packing paper looks thin and not very durable, but when a few sheets are used together to make a firm bundle around a fragile item, then the overall strength of the protection is easily multiplied to offer extreme resilience.

  • Clean. High-quality packing paper is acid-free and ink-free which basically mean that it will not smudge or stain the surfaces of your more delicate items. Newspapers, on the other hand, can easily leave nasty ink stains on your prized possessions, so make a mental note to use newsprint only on outer layers or as a cushioning and space filling material.
  • Eco-friendly. Clean and white packing paper can be easily recycled. Also, it is biodegradable which makes it very environmentally friendly.
  • Affordable. One thing that gives an advantage of packing paper over bubble wrap is its affordability. The price of one big pack of clean, white, acid-free and ink-free wrapping paper (200 sheets) is around $10.

As you can see, packing paper has a number of great advantages that cannot be disputed. However, paper cannot compete with the heavy-duty protection of its closest rival – bubble wrap.

Sometimes packing paper can be torn away when it comes to contact with another object with sharper edges. Also, the cushioning effect created by the air-filed bubbles of the plastic wrap remains unmatched as far as raw protection is concerned.

Common packing mistakes to avoid

Bubble wrap: Advantages of using bubble wrap

By now you’re probably thinking that the Packing paper vs Bubble wrap contest has already been won by paper. NOT SO FAST!

Bubble wrap is considered by many to be the top packing material when it comes to sheer protection from adverse climatic conditions or from harmful physical forces that are likely to occur during a house move. See below for details.

  • Protects like nothing else. The evenly arranged air-filled bubble along the surface of the polyethylene film absorb any vibrations, shocks, and direct hits that the bundled fragile item inside can be subjected to. Even if that breakable item is accidentally dropped on the ground, the air inside the bubbles should be able to absorb the shock from the impact and keep whatever it is that it’s protecting from harm. During transportation, an item can come into contact with another one, which can lead to untimely damage. When bubble-wrapped, the possibility of that type of damage is practically zero.
  • Conforms to any shape. Bubble wrap sheets can fit snugly around any oddly-shaped items when packing simply because the plastic material is very pliable.
  • Forms sturdy bundles. When wrapped around super-fragile items, bubble wrap tends to form a protective bundle what covers the breakables entirely. When a double layer of bubble wrap is used, those protective bundles become almost indestructible – exactly the result you’re after, right?
  • Versatile. During the Bubble wrap vs Packing paper matchup, bubble wrap scores an extra point for versatility. The plastic material comes in different forms (sheets, envelopes, bags, etc.) and sizes (large size – air pockets of 1 inch in diameter, small size – air bubbles of 3/8’’ or even 1/8’’ in diameter.
  • How to pack with bubble wrap

    Bubble wrap is pretty awesome too!

    Anti-static. Whenever necessary, you can purchase special anti-static bubble wrap that is specifically designed to protect sensitive electronics such as computer components, computer monitors, etc. What that type of bubble wrap does is dissipate any accumulated static charge, thus keeping the super sensitive electronic chips from costly damage.

  • Lightweight. Bubble wrap is light which means that it will not add to the overall shipment weight. And that’s great news because when moving long distance, the moving cost will be calculated on the basis of weight.
  • Reusable. Bubble wrap is a durable material that can survive multiple packing and unpacking instances before it is rendered useless. Using your sheets of bubble wrap again and again for your packing needs will save you money and help reduce waste.
  • Fun. That’s right – bubble wrap wins an extra point for the great fun of popping the air bubbles – something that has a proven therapeutic effect as it calms the nerves and reduces any built-up stress.

Despite its numerous advantages, bubble wrap has a few drawbacks as well – it’s bulky (takes more space inside boxes), more expensive than packing paper (though reusable more times), and not as easily recycled as wrapping paper (unless it’s 100% recyclable like Enviro-Bubble).

10 Delicate tips for packing fragile items

Packing paper: When to use packing paper

Let’s say a few words about when you should use packing paper so that your items can stay well protected throughout the house move.

  • ALWAYS USE soft packing paper as the initial protective layer when packing delicate items. The soft and white wrapping paper will ensure that the surfaces of your fragile items are not damaged in any way – scratches, and stains.
  • USE packing paper to protect delicate things such as kitchen plates and dishes, glassware, various kitchen items, including knives, framed art (pictures, paintings, mirrors, etc.), glass items (tabletops, furniture shelves, cabinet doors, etc.), delicate figurines, furniture pieces with wood finish, and even books that are too valuable to be simply transferred into a cardboard without additional protection.
  • USE packing paper to fill in any empty spaces inside moving boxes with the purpose of immobilizing the things packed inside those containers. Nevertheless, consider using newspapers for that purpose simply because newsprint is practically free of charge.
  • USE crumpled wrapping paper to create a soft cushioning layer on the bottom of a box that will contain extra-fragile items. Again, it’ll be much cheaper if you choose to use newspapers here instead of sheets of clean packing paper.

The BEST packing tips for moving

Bubble wrap: When to use bubble wrap

While just about anything can be wrapped in bubble wrap, it’s important to bubble wrap those fragile items that make sense to be protected during the move.

  • CONSIDER using bubble wrap as the second layer of protection, right over the paper one. When placed directly over glass objects, the plastic film may stick to the smooth surface and leave marks, especially during hot weather.
  • When to use bubble wrap when packing for moving

    You’re packing the right way when you realize that you just can’t get enough of bubble wrap.

    USE bubble wrap on super-fragile items that can easily break during the relocation. Such breakables include but are not limited to stemmed glassware, chinaware, vases, lamps, cups, and so on.

  • USE bubble wrap on any oddly-shaped items simply because the air-filled plastic material can easily conform to any shape. Make sure all art pieces, protruding furniture pieces, complex toys (especially ones with multiple moving parts), delicate accessories and the such are all wrapped up in nice bubble wrap bundles before you transfer them into cardboard boxes.
  • USE anti-static bubble wrap on sensitive electronic components so that the static-induced electric charge cannot damage the ultra-sensitive electronic chips inside those gadgets.
  • USE pieces of bubble wrap to fill any empty spaces inside moving boxes or to pad the bottoms of those containers before packing them up. Considering the higher price of bubble wrap, use such sheets as filling or padding supplies only when you can’t use them for packing – for example, torn pieces or ones that are too small to cover the items you’re packing at that moment of time.

Where to find FREE packing materials

Packing paper vs Bubble wrap: And the winner is…

Not surprisingly, we have a double winner this time – packing paper AND bubble wrap win the contest for the best packing material for moving. The explanation for this is simple enough: the two protective materials are not actually competing with each other, they are complementing each other to offer maximum protection for your fragile items.

Here’s the packing formula for protecting your breakable items during a move: wrap your breakables in packing paper first, then add another layer of bubble wrap over it. Follow this wrapping formula and everything will be alright.

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