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Which Bubble Wrap is Best?

Bubble wrap was actually created by accident in 1957. Two inventors, Marc Chavannes and Alfred Fielding were trying to create their own concept of three-dimensional plastic wallpaper.

It turned out to be a complete failure, but what resulted was the discovery of the bubble wrap that we use today.

It is known by a number of names including air bubble packing, bubble paper, bubble pack, aeroplast, and bubble wrapping.

Bubble wrap has become one of the most popular methods to use for the protection of items in shipping or transition and is referred to as a ‘cushioning material’.

We all love to pop the bubbles because they make cool-sounding noises. Some bubble wrap makes small pops and others are quite loud.

Bubble wrap is actually layers of plastic with locations that are filled with air. There is bubble wrap made of thin layers and small air pockets, while others are thicker layers of plastic and larger air pockets.

Bubble wrap is also made in a variety of shapes, some are shaped like envelopes with overlapping flaps and others can even be in the shape of hearts. Manufacturers now offer companies the ability to create ‘custom’ shapes for specific types of products.

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Facts for Kids

The purpose of bubble wrap is to offer the ultimate protection to an item for shipping or moving.

Electronic equipment often requires an extra level of protection and therefore there is special bubble wrap created so that it is made of anti-static plastic. Static electricity can harm or destroy the sensitive parts of electronic equipment.

Did you ever wonder why bubble wrap is made in so many bubble sizes and types of plastic?

Are all these varieties just another way to get people to spend extra money or is there really a rational reason for the sizes and layers? Or did they create these differences just to give us more fun when we are popping them?

The types of layers as well as the air pockets themselves are supposed to be designed to offer different types of protection. When they are wrapped around objects certain sizes and materials are claimed to be better than others.

Which size bubble wrap do you think would be better at protecting a picture that contained glass in the shipment? Would it be the thick plastic with big bubbles or the thinner plastic with small bubbles?

If you are interested in doing an easy experiment to prove your theory correct, download the worksheet.