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Bubble wrap: bubbles in or bubbles out?
November 29, 2004 8:39 PM   Subscribe

Bubble wrap: bubbles in or bubbles out?

My instincts say bubbles in (towards the item they're protecting) but plenty packages I get have the bubbles out.
posted by TiredStarling to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Seems to me like "out" would distribute the forces pressuring the object more evenly.
posted by interrobang at 8:45 PM on November 29, 2004


I would say in....but I don't know why. I suspect we have the same instincts.

Although I think the more appropriate answer would be "It don't matter, baby!"
posted by bob sarabia at 8:48 PM on November 29, 2004


In, because the bubbled side can adapt to snugly fit the surface of whatever object is inside. You'll also noticed that the non-bubbled side is the more durable side, suggesting it goes out.
posted by scarabic at 8:52 PM on November 29, 2004


Soundsmith's packing instructions:

When you wrap with bubble wrap, make sure the bubble side faces towards the machine, smooth side of the wrap faces out.

and a Mercury News column:

Big bubble wrap should be used for larger items and small bubble wrap for smaller items. Wrap with the bubble side in, flat side out. Don't pop the bubbles until after the package arrives.
posted by jayCampbell at 8:56 PM on November 29, 2004


bubbled side can adapt to snugly fit the surface of whatever object is inside

Agreed. Bubbles definitely in.
posted by BradNelson at 8:57 PM on November 29, 2004


Joe seems to favor the "in" method.
posted by azul at 8:59 PM on November 29, 2004


In because it's easier seal the wrapped object with tape. In because the surface doesn't look all warty and gross. In because innies are better than outies.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:01 PM on November 29, 2004


Definitely bubbles facing because less easy to burst if you knock them. Also the bubbles are less easy to reach just in case the postie has an addiction for popping the bubbles like me :D
posted by floanna at 12:40 AM on November 30, 2004


In. (and me too, floanna)
posted by amberglow at 6:00 AM on November 30, 2004


This may be my favorite AskMe question ever, for bringing up an absorbing question I had never thought of, and then a string of excellent answers, each more brilliantly commonsensical than the last.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:30 AM on November 30, 2004


Two scenarios:

1) Single package, the package you are wrapping, you want it to protect itself: in.

2) Multiple packages, the package you are wrapping, you want it to protect other packages when coming in contact with it: out (like wrapping trophy packed next to a bowl).
posted by omidius at 6:50 AM on November 30, 2004 [1 favorite]


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