Best Bubble Wrap Rolls

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
102 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best bubble wrap rolls

Last Updated October 2019

If you ship, store, or move fragile items, such as glassware, electronics, and photographs, you know how important it is to secure them against breakage. A roll of bubble wrap is often your best bet in these circumstances.

The Sealed Air Corporation invented bubble wrap and trademarked this now widely used term in 1957. These plastic sheets studded with air bubbles have become the go-to packaging material for breakable items. It is more secure and offers better protection than either crumpled paper or loose fill. It’s also lightweight, so bubble wrap won’t add significantly to shipping costs. (And as a stress aid, some swear by the satisfaction gained by popping bubble wrap, one bubble at a time.)

While you may think that all bubble wrap is the same, this guide will show you that there are several considerations to think about when shopping for a roll. From size and clarity to quality and perforations, you’ll find a variety of options to choose from. We also examine the price range and offer a variety of rolls that we feel represent the best quality and price currently on the market.

For the best hold, the tape used to secure items in bubble wrap should be wrapped completely around the item, not just along the edges.

Key considerations

Why rolls?

If you ship items infrequently or only occasionally use bubble wrap for storing items, you may wonder why you need to buy an entire roll of it. A roll is the obvious choice if you’re going to be moving or you often ship fragile items, but even casual users of bubble wrap can benefit from buying it in bulk. For one, it’s cheaper to buy a large roll than individual sheets, and a large roll is usually easier to use and store than other bubble wrap products. More importantly, rolls are how bubble wrap is mostly packaged and sold. While you can find other bubble wrap options, such as mailers, pouches, and specialty packaging like wine bottle protectors, most of the time when you search for “bubble wrap,” you’ll find rolls of various sizes.

Quality

It stands to reason that bubble wrap that is more durable will offer more protection for your breakable items. It should be constructed from a quality plastic that resists ripping while also being soft enough that it won’t scratch whatever you’re wrapping. Durable bubble wrap also lasts a long time, so you can reuse it over and over, saving you money in the long run.

If you’re concerned about plastic in the environment, search for bubble wrap made of biodegradable materials. While you may end up spending a bit more, this type of bubble wrap will break down over time and not take up space in a landfill.

EXPERT TIP

If shipping or moving a flat-screen TV, mirror, or picture frame, wrap the item in bubble wrap and put it in a special box called a “mirror carton.”


Staff  | BestReviews

Bubble wrap roll features

Size

Roll: One of your biggest choices when shopping for a roll of bubble wrap is size, especially length. While the width is fairly standard on most rolls, usually 1 or 2 feet, the length varies greatly from 30 to 175 feet, with 60 to 72 feet being the most common.

To realize the best value, figure out the square footage of the roll (length times width), and divide the price by that number. This will give you the price per square foot. Generally speaking, if you use bubble wrap at lot, go with a larger roll to save money.

Bubbles: The size of the bubbles can vary from roll to roll, and bubble size can be important. In general, smaller bubbles offer more protection against scratching, while larger bubbles offer more cushioning against breakage. The bubbles should be durable and hold up to pressure or other stresses without popping. Bubbles of 3/16 inch are fairly standard, and this size bubble offers a decent thickness and cushioning for most applications.

Color

While some bubble wrap rolls come in colors such as blue, red, or green, most are clear. This provides one important and obvious role: you can more easily identify wrapped objects. You might feel that a colored wrap would be either fun or provide a useful function; otherwise, you’ll find the most options when shopping for clear bubble wrap.

Perforations

Most, but not all, bubble wrap rolls are perforated at set intervals, usually every 12 inches. With perforations, you can easily tear off lengths of the roll without the need for scissors or a box cutter. This makes a roll easier to use and results in less waste because you just rip off as much as you need.

Extras

Box: Some bubble wrap rolls ship in a box that can be useful for storing the wrap and easily dispensing it. If your choices come down to two similar rolls and one offers a storage box, opt for the box.

Stickers: Some bubble wrap rolls also include a collection of “Fragile” stickers that you can use to highlight items that are especially susceptible to breaking.

The Sealed Air Corporation created bubble wrap and trademarked the term in 1957.

Bubble wrap roll prices

Because of the various sizes, it can be difficult to judge whether you’re spending too much on a roll of bubble wrap. Rolls start at less than $10 for a short roll (such as 36 feet), and go up to $20 or higher for longer rolls or multiple rolls. Most of these fall somewhere between $10 and $20. You will pay a bit more for some factors, such as quality. You can also expect to pay more for eco-friendly, biodegradable bubble wrap rolls or rolls that incorporate special features such as anti-static protection. Figure out the price per square foot to have a better idea of overall value.

Tips

  • Protect screens from bubble wrap. If you’re using bubble wrap to protect a TV or monitor, place a layer of paper between the bubble wrap and the screen. Bubble wrap (or any plastic) can leave marks on screens, particularly at high temperatures.
  • Wrap items correctly. One layer of bubble wrap won’t do the job. To keep your fragile items safe, wrap them in several layers before securing with tape. For the most protection, position the bubble wrap with the bubbles facing inward toward the item you’re trying to protect. The flat side is easier to write on and works better with packing tape. For the greatest protection when moving or shipping items, use bubble wrap around each object and then pack the wrapped items in crumpled packing paper.
  • Use bubble wrap for insulation. The air pockets in bubble wrap are effective at protecting against changes in temperature. As such, bubble wrap can be used as an effective insulation for a greenhouse or windows in general.
  • Keep bubble wrap away from young children. It poses a suffocation hazard.
  • Use scissors to unwrap bubble wrap. Trying to rip open the wrap could damage the fragile item you’re trying to protect. 
EXPERT TIP

Bubble wrap that ships in two rolls of smaller diameter can be easier to store and use than one very large roll.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

We researched a wide range of bubble wrap rolls while pulling this guide together and want to mention a few more that stood out for us for one reason or another. The pink Duck Brand Bubble Wrap (100 square feet) is a bit more expensive, but its anti-static properties make it a perfect fit for shipping or storing electronics. For those who go through a lot of bubble wrap, consider the USPACKSHOP Bubble Cushioning Wrap, which offers a whopping 700 square feet in the roll. And to break up the monotony, Uboxes Bubble Cushioning Wrap has a blue tint (other colors are also available) and ships in a variety of sizes.

Bubble wrap gained popularity in the 1960s when IBM began using it to securely ship computer components.

FAQ

Q. Will the bubbles in the bubble wrap lose air over time?
A.
If you buy a low-quality bubble wrap, you may run up against this, but generally, no. The bubbles in most of these wraps are individually sealed. So long as you don’t pop them, they should remain inflated indefinitely.

Q. Is bubble wrap biodegradable?
A.
As most bubble wrap is made of plastic, it’s generally not biodegradable. However, you can purchase eco-friendly wrap, which will break down in a landfill. Bubble wrap in general can be either reused or recycled, however, which can shrink its overall ecological footprint.

Q. Can I use bubble wrap with electronics?
A.
You should be careful using regular bubble wrap to protect electronics such as computers. Bubble wrap can produce a static charge, which can damage some electronics. If you need to protect electronics during shipping, moving, or storage, look for anti-static bubble wrap.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Rich
    Rich
    Writer

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