Bubble wrap closeup

Packing Paper vs Bubble Wrap: It’s a Showdown

Part of packing a moving box like a pro is knowing how to protect your fragile items. You really have two options for ensuring your belongings remain in tact: packing paper or bubble wrap. Both of these moving supplies have their strong points but win out in different categories. Before we begin the match, we should be clear that newspaper as a third contestant loses immediately due to being messy, tearing easily, and getting ink all over hands and belongings. Saving a bit of money in the short term by using newspaper doesn’t hold out to the long term costs of broken items and time spent scrubbing all of your belongings clean.

First Round: Protecting Surfaces

While both bubble wrap and packing paper will protect surfaces of mirrors, dishes, and picture frames, packing paper is the winner here. Packing paper will take up less space than bubble wrap, and you will need to use less of it to wrap your fragile items. It will also enable you to stack or bundle things like dishes, after they’ve been wrapped. That said, bubble wrap isn’t going down in this category without a fight. Placing a sheet of bubble wrap between heavy fragile items (that have been wrapped in packing paper) will give your belongings the extra cushion they need to survive the moving process safely.

Second Round: Protecting Large Items

When it comes to protecting your large items from being damaged or broken, bubble wrap takes the lead as a heavy hitter. Appliances and items such as lamps really need that heavy duty protection during the moving process. Bubble wrap will protect all of your belongings from impact damage, which is why it is the clear winner for protecting larger items. Packing paper doesn’t have the weight or air-filled cushioning power of bubble wrap. Plus, wrapping your large items in layers and layers of packing paper is wasteful and time-consuming, and won’t give you the strong cushioning you truly need anyway.

Third Round: Electronics

Once again, bubble wrap comes out strong. Electronics contain multiple fragile parts that need special cushioning and protection during the moving process. Sharp corners and plugs can perforate packing paper, but will have a much harder time puncturing a thick layer of air-filled plastic. Packing paper throws one good punch in this round, though— wrapping small electronics that have few parts in packing paper first will allow you to bundle a few of them together before covering them in bubble wrap.

Bonus Round: The Environment

Packing paper makes a come back! While many companies, like Boxbee, offer 100% recyclable bubble wrap, packing paper ultimately takes less time to break down during the recycling process. Energy and resources are required to make both of these moving supplies, but less energy is used to make packing paper than bubble wrap. Either way, be sure to order your packing supplies from a company like Boxbee that is committed to being as eco-friendly as possible. Your planet will thank you for it.

The Takeaway: And The Winner Is….

Both! Packing paper is the clear winner for wrapping fragile items and saving you space, and also for protecting surfaces from getting scratched. But bubble wrap wins out in protecting valuables and fragile items from breaking during the moving process. When compiling your moving supplies, use both packing paper and bubble wrap. If you use these packing supplies correctly— first wrapping items in packing paper and then cushioning with bubble wrap— all of your belongings should survive the moving process in one piece. Got an upcoming move? Check out Boxbee’s affordable prices for bubble wrap and packing paper!