Protective Packaging

Protective packaging: Choosing the best solution for your product

7 mins

As the effects of COVID-19 and rise in ecommerce packaging continue, the importance of protective packaging will continue to grow alongside it. Deliveries are becoming more important by the day, and protective packaging is responsible for the successfulness of your shipment.

In today’s world, the growth of your business relies on a suitable protective packaging solution.

In order to tackle this effectively, it’s beneficial to know what packaging types are available and which is best for your requirements.

Therefore, we’ve made things easier for you by exploring exactly this below.

The types of protective packaging

When it comes to protective packaging, there’re several categories a product could fall under. These include:

Within these categories, there are various types of protective packaging that can be further refined. For instance, take the category ‘Voidfill’ and the types of packaging that sit beneath:


  1. Paper voidfill
  2. Air bags
  3. Foam-in-place
  4. Loosefill

With that covered, let’s explore each protective packaging type further.


Voidfill is designed to eliminate damage during transit by filling the space between the given product and package. This can be achieved with the use certain paper padding, air bags, foam-in-place, or loosefill.

1. Paper Voidfill

Paper voidfill is a fantastic way to protect both your product and the environment. As an eco-friendly alternative to other protective packaging solutions, paper voidfill is popular amongst many businesses and continues to be a cost-effective solution.

With colour choices in standard kraft brown, black, white and many othersthis voidfill option is also a great way to present your products neatly and professionally by matching brand colours. Paper voidfill is available in three styles, all catering to various packaging requirements. But what are these styles and which is best for your packaging requirements?

Papillon style

Optimal protection for small to medium sized goods. Due to the patterned shape the Papillon system creates, the paper cushioning offers all-round protection when wrapped around goods.

Chevron style

Need to maximise the fill of your boxes using the least amount of material? The Chevron style is perfect for you. The Chevron paper voidfill system produces a crinkled paper tube that offers outstanding shock absorption. Very little paper, maximum protection.

Track style

An extremely high-speed solution for fast-paced packaging operations. The sturdy Track style padding can deliver both optimum protection and optimum packing speeds.

2. Air bags

Air bags use air pressure to secure and ‘brace’ a product inside the package. They offer great shock resistance and generally use less material than bubble wrap. They can be inflated on site, offering fantastic versatility and effective storage usage.

Where air bags may not be suitable though is in extreme climate conditions. This can affect the pressure inside of the bags, therefore lowering the effectiveness of the protection.

3. Foam-in-place

Convenient and timesaving, protective foam-in-place can be activated from anywhere with no additional equipment. Each packet takes just seconds to expand and forms a custom-fit cushion around your product. Similar to air bags, foam-in-place offers effective use of storage for efficient warehouse operations.

4. Loosefill

Loosefill comes in a variety of types and is an easy way to ensure the safety of your packed goods. Simply poured into the package, loosefill closes the free space between the package and product to eliminate harsh movements during transit. A few examples of Loosefill packaging include:

Bubble wrap

Originally used as wallpaper, bubble wrap has been a fan favourite packaging product amongst businesses since the 1960s. Aside from its therapeutic ‘bubble popping’ benefits, bubble wrap provides a versatile cushioning with high shock absorbing qualities.

The most appealing trait bubble wrap holds is the wide use for protecting both different sized and shaped products. It’s also clean and lightweight. But let’s take a look at various bubble wrap packaging products.

1. Bubble bags

A quick and efficient way to package your product with bubble protection. Bubble bags can be complete with a self-sealing adhesive strip, allowing for fast-paced packing operations to take place.

Looking to ship products sensitive to static charge? No problem. Antistatic bubble bags can be used to protect your valuable electronics. Simply place the product inside, use the self seal closure and you’re good to go.

Bubble bags can be purchased in an extensive range of sizes to suit all product requirements. Check out our bubble bag offering from Swiftpak today.

2. Bubble wrap on roll

Bubble wrap has advanced since the 1960s. With variations like premium bubble wrap, large bubble wrap, small bubble wrap, and antistatic bubble wrap, there’s a bubble wrap solution for everyone.

Which bubble wrap do I need? Well, it’s fairly straight forward. For valuable items, premium bubble wrap is recommended. It retains air and protection for longer, meaning you won’t be losing a fortune on damaged returns.

For fragile items prone to breakages, small bubble wrap is ideal. It’s extremely lightweight and flexible, meaning it can be used to separate several products within a package.

Antistatic bubble wrap doesn’t produce any static charges when being handled. This makes for a great way to protect electronic goods sensitive to static discharge.

If bubble wrap isn’t something you’re too keen on and would like to explore a more sustainable alternative, try embossed paper rolls. This paper packaging product offers similar functions to bubble wrap and is 100% recyclable.  

3. Furniguard

As a similar product to regular bubble wrap, Furniguard is used to cushion products and is extremely flexible. It offers a more environmentally friendly solution than traditional bubble wrap as well as increased strength and puncture resistance. If you’re looking for a stronger and greener solution to bubble wrap, Furniguard is for you.

Edge guards

Edge guards offer protection for your products prone to corner and edge protection.

Solid board edge guards are used externally to prevent damage to pallets under tight stretch film or strapping. The edge guards are placed on each corner for all round protection.

Where solid board edge guards are used to protect the packaging, plastic and paper corner guards are used to prevent damage at product level. With closed, open, and expandable corner guard options, you have the flexibility needed to ensure maximum protection. Corner guards are extremely useful for protecting materials such as, aluminium, plastic, and soft wood.


As an extremely lightweight and compact solution, polystyrene can be used in many packaging scenarios to prevent damage during transit. Polystyrene sheets can be cut down to fill empty carton ends, or can be customised to fit the shape of your product perfectly.


Polyethylene can be used in the form of ‘L’, ‘O’ and ‘U’ shaped profiles, or as standard rolls in varying thicknesses.

1. Polyethylene foam profiles

Foam profiles provide quick application and are perfect for protecting furniture, shelving, glass, worktops and other similar products during transit. They’re re-usable, easily cut to desired size, and offer high impact protection.

2. Polyethylene foam rolls

Foam rolls are 100% recyclable, soft and strong. They offer perfect cushioning for delicate surfaces, and can be positioned to prevent scratches and abrasion during transit. Available in thicknesses of 1mm, 1.5mm, 2.5mm, and 4mm, discover our polyethylene foam roll products from Swiftpak today.


A low cost, closed cell polyethylene foam. Stratocell packaging products offer an alternative to heavier polyurethanes. Available as standard sheets, or with self adhesive backing, stratocell can be placed securely in areas needed for optimal product protection.

Where stratocell is extremely effective though is with bespoke stratocell inserts. When cut to size, they provide custom interior cushioning at a low cost – perfect for shipping multiple products in the same package.

Protective packaging from Swiftpak

As you can tell, there’s an abundance of protective packaging products on the market – and that’s not even all of them.

Your optimal protective packaging solution will depend on your product’s shape and size, shipping requirements, warehouse operations, budget, and lot’s more. So don’t panic if you’re still not sure. That’s what we’re here for. If you’re looking for protective packaging advice, speak to our experts today. You’d be surprised at how far protective packaging can bring your business.