The Best Packing Materials for Fragile Items

Bubble wrap, tape and boxes with text "the best packing materials for fragile items"

Maybe you are moving your fragile items to a new location. Or maybe you are packing them up to put them in our self-storage facility in Pittsburgh. Whatever your reasons, you’ll want to ensure that your fragile items are safe every second they are packed up. The key to this is to use the right packing materials. So when it comes to your precious keepsakes, what’s the best option? Should you go with paper, plastic, bubble wrap, or boxes? Our team has seen the best and the worst when it comes to packing up fragile keepsakes and we have tips on how to do it right.

Which Packing Materials to Use With Fragile Items

Tissue Paper

When it comes to fragile items, tissue paper probably isn’t going to do you much good, but it has its uses. Tissue paper is probably too thin to provide much cushion or shock absorption, but it’s a useful thing to wrap around metal fixtures to keep them from rubbing against wood or glass while they are in storage. Wrap a bit of tissue paper around knobs, zippers, or other metal pieces before doing the rest of your packing. Don’t forget that tissue paper is great for packing up your clothing for storage, too!

Packing Paper

Packaging paper is better for fragile items, though it shouldn’t be the only packaging that you use. This is useful stuff if you need to fill up a box that has some extra room in it; this will prevent the fragile item from moving around inside the too-large box. Thicker packing paper can be used for layering plates and china, too, although it doesn’t provide as much shock absorption as other items.


It’s cheap and plentiful, but in general, we’d encourage you to avoid using newspaper to wrap up your fragile items. That’s because the ink on the paper’s surface can end up transferring to your fragile pieces, especially if the paper happens to get wet. If you just need a little extra padding and don’t want to shell out the money for packing paper, you can use newspaper to fill up your boxes or as an outside layer to an item that’s already been wrapped.

Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap is a lifesaver when it comes to moving fragile items. While it’s true that is doesn’t provide a great deal of shock absorption, it’s perfect for keeping items in place while the piece is in transit. Take, for instance, a fragile antique china cabinet. Plastic wrap can go around the cabinet and hold all of the doors, drawers, and windows in place while the piece is in transit. That prevents anything from moving and reduces the risk of pieces being damaged.

Bonus tip: if you are moving, wrap plastic wrap around individual drawers in your dresser. You won’t have to pack the contents separately and unpacking is as easy as unwrapping the drawer!

Bubble Wrap

This is hands down our top recommended packing material for fragile items. You can buy it in bulk to save money but the price you pay is worth every penny. Bubble wrap provides plenty of shock absorption, reducing the risk of your fragile items being damaged if they are jostled or dropped. It’s great for layering between plates and china, too. Plus, when you unwrap your items, you’ll have entertainment for you and the whole family as you pop all those individual bubbles.


Cardboard Boxes vs. Plastic Tubs

Cardboard boxes are great for temporary storage and transporting items from point A to point B. When it comes to long-term storage, though, we highly recommend plastic tubs and bins with lids. They provide more protecting against crushing damage than a cardboard box would, and they allow you to get a peek inside without having to open up and retape a box. Plus, they are better for stacking, which is especially great if you are storing a lot of stuff.

The Best Self-Storage for Fragile Items Once They Are Packed

Looking for a safe place to store your fragile items? EZ Storage is the place for you. Our self-storage facility in Pittsburgh is ideal for storing fragile pieces. It’s secure, climate controlled, and affordable. Come visit our self-storage facility for yourself and find a storage space that’s the perfect size for your fragile items!