How to choose the right bubble cushion for your package

Invented in 1957 as a new type of textured wallpaper, bubble cushion flopped in interior design circles and was repurposed into the effective and inexpensive package cushioning we know today. Bubble cushion is hard to beat when it comes to packing items big and small, but many people don’t know that there are various bubble sizes and materials  to choose from. Wondering which type of bubble cushion  is perfect for your item? The answer is linked to how much protection you need, as well as the weight and size of the contents of your package.

What are the sizes of bubble cushion?

Bubble cushion comes in four standard sizes: 1/8” (super small), 3/16” (small), 5/16” (medium), ½” (large). These sizes refer “bubble profile,”  the height of each bubble contained in a sheet. Each bubble size has its own advantages and weaknesses depending on the items you plan to ship.

What size bubble cushion do I need?

Super Small Bubble: Measuring 1/8” in height, super small bubble cushion offers little protection for fragile items. Often used to prevent scratches and chips, this bubble profile is best used for small, sturdy items like jewelry. Super small bubbles don’t offer the protection and versatility associated with larger bubbles.

Standard  Small Bubble: Standard small bubble cushioning is low profile, with a bubble measuring 3/16”. This small bubble size is best for items that are small, lightweight and need just a bit of extra protection. It is often used to protect items from scraping against one another inside a package, as a layer between dishes or to cushion small toys, jewelry and other items.

PAC  offers standard bubble cushion rolls and standard bubble mailers. Our PAC AirJacket is a poly bubble mailer that offers a standard 3/16” bubble for a little more cushion than a simple poly envelope. Moisture resistant, it’s ideal for items such as cosmetics, DVDs, lightweight books, toys, jewelry and pharmaceuticals. For another inexpensive option, explore our kraft bubble mailers. These padded envelopes  add more protection to your shipment than a standard paper envelope.

Medium Bubble: At 5/16”, medium profile bubble cushion offers slightly more protection than a standard bubble, though its benefits aren’t substantially different from the standard small bubble. For exceptional protection, select a large bubble size.

Large Bubble: If you are planning to package large or heavy items, opt for  a large size bubble. Typically ½” and up, large bubble cushion protects both fragile and heavy objects from damage during shipment. Remember, the more air in the bubble, the better protection and cushioning you can expect. Large bubble rolls are ideal void fill  and provide extra cushioning for large or heavy items such as picture frames and televisions.

PAC carries roll stock  and mailers with large bubble cushion from 1/2” to 1.5”. Ultra-thick poly mailers with large bubbles, such as the Jumbojacket offer a high 1.5” bubble profile. These durable mailers are ideal for items like hard cover books, tablets, PCs, cell phones and electronics.

Want to learn more about the types of bubbles on PAC products? Here is a link to our stock sizes and the bubble profiles of each of our stock mailer products: