5 Types of Protective Packaging

When you hear about protective packaging, what do you think of? You are probably thinking bubble wrap® or packing peanuts. So, what is protective packaging? Protective packaging materials is so much more than that – especially with the latest innovations.


Protective packaging materials are important when you are shipping products in smaller quantities – they allow the product to arrive at the final destination safely, securely, and with no damage.


Protective packaging materials come in all different shapes and forms – quite literally!  

Some of the most common types of protective packaging are:



What is Paper Fill Packaging?


Paper protective packaging products are the industry standard for environmentally friendly, recyclable, and compostable void fill solutions. Paper void fill material is easily managed by hand or can be used in an automated packaging machine for increased speed and efficiency. Paper protective packaging is rigid so when the product is packed.


Paper protective packaging can come in different forms but still serve the same result – protected products! Paper protective packaging can come on a roll with manual tear, pre-cut pieces, pre-crinkled pieces, and more.

What are Protective Mailers?


Protective packaging, especially mailers, typically fall under the large umbrella of shipping materials – partially due to the fact that mailers are often used as packaging materials for shipping. As one of Ontario’s leading distributors of wholesale protective packaging shipping supplies, we pride ourselves in having one of the widest selections in the region.


Protective mailers are envelopes that have some type of protective bubble packaging in them to reduce damage. Protective packaging mailers come in many different sizes and have the option of being eco friendly packaging.


What is Bubble Packaging vs Air Pillow?

Bubble packaging and air pillows, also known as air cushion protective packaging, are known for having superior packaging protection, and being cost effective. Air cushion protective packaging comes in many different shapes and forms – it’s most known as bubble wrap. Air filled packaging products are some of the most popular and versatile protective packaging products on the market today.

Air cushion protective packaging is available in both pre-filled and on-demand options – these products offer superior protection.


Bubble wrap is a roll of small air cushions to provide protection to the product being shipping. It is typically shipped flat, stored flat, and then inflated when needed for packaging a product for the end user. Air pillow protective packaging is a sheet of rectangular inflatable pillows.

What is Foam Packaging?

Foam packing materials for shipping can come in a few different types depending on what you are looking to packaging – there is EPS foam packaging as well as Instapak foam in place packaging.


EPS Foam, also known as packing peanuts or loose fill, has been around for decades. Made from Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), the same raw material as a foam coffee cups, these foam chips have filled void spaces and protected products for years. This lightweight void fill packaging material is a durable, effective and recyclable protective packaging solution.


Instapak foam packaging systems provide custom engineered, foam in placed packaging at the tip of your fingers. Each Instapak system produces a custom fit foam solution for products of any shape and size through a chemical reaction. This protective foam packaging fully covers and protects the product to ensure it doesn’t move or shift in transport.

Protect-it-Right Program

The Protect-it-Right program works with clients to audit and review their existing protective packaging practices, materials, and equipment. The program will identify areas of inefficiency and offer improvements to increase productivity and reduce per pack costs. The Protect-it-Right program has helped a wide variety of clients from e-commerce fulfillment centers to aircraft parts manufacturers. Through the Protect It Right program, clients have discovered ways to reduce their protective packaging costs by up to 30%.

Our Packaging Specialists perform an in-depth review and audit of your existing protective packaging solution and procedures. This audit identifies areas that can be optimized to increase packaging speeds, reduce product damage, and improve pack standards

Not sure where to start? That’s okay.

Talk to a Crawford Packaging Specialist today and get access to a personalized solution that addresses your needs – Contact Us!