If you've ever had the need to mail out fragile things like precious photographs or that special CD, then you've probably used these bubble mailers before. We know that you're looking for the best ways to send out those fragile items so we've looked into bubble mailers and how protective it is for shipping.
Bubble mailers are protective shipping envelopes that have padding inside to protect the items. The carriers do not purposely bend the mail, but there is a possibility for your bubble mailers to do so during transit. The issue is with the item inside—it should be rigid enough not to get bent easily.
We know it's a little bit too technical for a simple bubble mailer, and this is the reason why we've looked into all the information you will need. Keep reading to know more about what bubble mailers are best used for and if there are any other options you can use for shipping your items.
Do Bubble Mailers Get Bent?
Bubble mailers are thick, padded envelopes that typically look like the traditional yellow or manila envelopes used for mailing. You can generally use these mailers for small, fragile items that can be laid flat like photos, books, jewelry, or CDs.
These bubble mailers are padded with bubble wrap (hence the name) making it a premium choice for those who are looking to protect their small items during transit. Like most packages sent through the mail, there is a worry if bubble mailers get bent and if it damages the contents inside.
Technically, bubble mailers can bend since they are still pliable, but because of their thick padding, it becomes a little harder to do so, especially with the contents in it. Mail carriers do not purposely bend the mail, but there is enough movement and force during transit for bending to happen.
One of the things that you should consider the most are the contents of your package. Your items should be rigid enough that it doesn't bend easily if a little force is exerted during transit. A bubble mailer can only protect your item from bumps and drops that are typical during transit.
However, you can still prevent this bending by adding extra protection inside your mailers. To make your bubble mailers more rigid, place a solid backing inside the mailer before adding your items. You can also add other protective materials like another layer of bubble wrap to secure them further.
Are Bubble Mailers Considered Packages?
Generally speaking, bubble mailers are envelopes. If you are sending an item placed inside a bubble mailer through the USPS, it is considered a "flat envelope". They will then suggest sending it out by using the standard stamps for First Class Mail.
However, if your bubble mailer and its contents measure a total thickness of 3/4 of an inch or more, then the USPS will already consider it as a package. A popular way to send out bubble mailer packages is through the USPS First Class Package Service.
Are Bubble Mailers Different From Padded Envelopes?
Most of the time, bubble mailers and padded envelopes are used interchangeably because they technically do the same thing—provide protective packaging material for your items. However, they are very different and we've listed down the reasons.
Padded envelopes or mailers are made of thick, durable kraft material that makes them look like your standard mailing envelope. They are generally self-sealing which makes it easy for you to mail your important documents and files using these envelopes.
These mailers do not have bubble wrap inside. Instead, padded envelopes are typically reinforced with more paper or often a thin layer of foam as cushioning for the contents.
Bubble mailers are also padded, but instead of foam lining the insides, you should find a layer of bubble wrap as cushioning. They are also made of the same durable kraft material used in standard envelopes. The mailers are also self-sealing and are typically tamper-resistant, perfect for sending private mail.
These mailers are perfect for sending out fragile items that need extra cushioning and protection but are too small for boxes. When choosing bubble mailers, pick out ones that have bigger bubbles to cushion your items better.
Poly Bubble Mailers
Poly bubble mailers are upgraded versions of the bubble mailers, simply because of the material used for their exterior. Unlike their classic counterpart, poly mailers use plastic for their exterior surface. This makes poly bubble mailers hold up better against water and weather conditions.
The polymer exteriors of this bubble mailer also provide more color options for this envelope. You will typically find poly mailers in different colors or designs. If you are looking to send something special to family and friends, make it even better by sending out your package using a cute poly bubble mailer.
What Are The Sizes of Bubble Mailers?
Choosing the size for your bubble mailers isn't as simple as it usually is with standard envelopes. Bubble mailers have two dimensions that you have to consider when choosing the best size for your items. This is what we call the exterior versus usable size for bubble mailers.
When mailing your bubble mailers, you should consider the usable size of the mailer if it will fit the intended item that you will send. The cost of your shipping will usually depend on how big the outer dimensions (exterior size) of your envelope are.
Pick the right size for your bubble mailer by making sure that your item has enough room to fit inside snugly. It shouldn't have too much space though, because it will most likely slip and slide around during shipping. Bubble mailers have many different sizes, but here are some of the standard sizes:
Extra Small (4 in. x 8 in.)
The usable size of an extra small bubble mailer is 4 in. x 7 in. This size is perfect for mailing very small items such as jewelry, writing utensils, and other small loose items.
Small (6 in. x 10 in.)
A small bubble mailer has a usable size of 6 in. x 9 in. These mailers are the perfect size for mailing small breakables like CDs or Blu Ray discs, or bendable contents like photos.
Medium (7.5 in. x 11 in.)
Medium bubble mailers have a usable size of 7.5 in x 10 in. These bubble mailers are big enough for books and DVDs, or bigger photos you might need to send.
Large (8.5 in. x 12 in.)
These large bubble mailers have a usable size of 8.5 in. x 11 in. This is perfect to use for mailing documents, journals, magazines, or big items like hardcover books.
Extra Large (12.5 in. x 18 in.)
This is one of the biggest sizes of bubble mailers available and it has a usable size of 12.5 in. x 17 in. You can fit larger, thicker items in it like blown-up photos, clothing, magazines, textbooks, and stationery. You can also fit multiple items inside an extra-large bubble mailer.
Bubble mailers are great for sending out items you'd like to send with extra protection. They don't easily get bent and the bubble wrap helps cushion your items. These bubble mailers will definitely keep your sent parcels cushioned and protected, giving you less things to worry about your mail.