Bubble Cushioning vs. Air Pillows

Deciding on the correct protective packaging for your shipment depends on a variety of factors. You must consider the size of the shipment, weight, method of shipment and fragility factor of the product being shipped. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of bubble cushioning vs. air pillows and decide which method is right for you.

Bubble Cushioning

Bubble cushioning is one of the most widely used and economical forms of cushioning available. With the right amount of bubble, you can protect virtually any product. Bubble cushioning is strong enough to protect heavy, bulky products, yet flexible enough to protect the smallest, most delicate components. In general, use large size bubble (1/2”) to protect larger items, and smaller size bubble (3/16”) for smaller items. For smaller, delicate items you may even consider 3/16” tape-n-lip bubble bags instead of bubble rolls. Bubble cushioning is sized per height – not the diameter of the bubble, as sometimes misunderstood. Bubble rolls are available in 12”, 24” and 48” widths and are available perforated for easier tear off.

Bubble cushioning is appropriate for many applications because it’s resilient and flexible. However, if you use bubble, you need to ensure none of the air cells are compromised. If the cells are leaking air, the bubble will be useless during shipment. Check the condition of bubble that’s been sitting in stock for a long time for leaks, and don’t reuse old bubble. If you have long shipping and storage cycles or are shipping heavy items, consider using heavy duty barrier bubble. Heavy duty barrier bubble contains a layer of nylon offering consistent cushioning and superior air bubble retention with less air “creep”.

If you are shipping ESD sensitive items, consider antistatic bubble for cushioning. pink anti static bubbleAntistatic bubble cushioning helps prevents static discharge, effectively protecting sensitive electronic components from ESD damage during shipment. Choose from standard pink anti-static bubble or clear anti-static amine-free bubble cushioning. Clear anti-static bubble cushioning meets PPP-C-795C Class 2, is lot coded and features the ESD logo printed on the bubble. Static shielding cushioning wrap is also available as another method for wrapping ESD sensitive products.

Air Pillows

Inflatable air pillows are another lightweight void-fill option, but are not meant to wrap and cushion components like bubble wrap does. While bubble wrap has the ability to cover an item, air pillows are best used to block and brace items in shipping boxes. Air pillows have much larger air chambers than the cells found in bubble wrap.

Air pillows come in strings, typically cut off at the appropriate number of air pillows for air pillowsyour package. They are designed to keep products securely in place, preventing items from shifting or hitting the sides of the packaging container during transportation. You can use air pillows for any product, as long as you use enough pillows to adequately brace the component and protect it from damage.

Correct Products offers a variety of bubble products and air pillows for your convenience at competitive prices. Our bubble cushioning products and air pillows are available in custom sizes, and large orders qualify for quantity discounts. Whether you need bubble cushioning, air pillows or a combination of the two, we have your solution. Contact us online or call (800) 870-1199 for more information about protective packaging options or to make a custom order.

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