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How to Use Packing Foam When Shipping Fragile Packages

When shipping breakable items, proper packaging is crucial to ensure that your precious goods arrive at their destination intact. Packing foam is one of the most effective materials for cushioning and protecting fragile items during transit.

Packing Foam for Shipping Breakable Items

At FoamOrder, we offer packing foam options in stock to protect packages for shipping that can be cut in custom shapes to fit your shipping needs or order our standard shapes to cut yourself. In this guide, we will explore the type of packing foam we offer, provide step-by-step instructions on how to use them to safeguard your delicate belongings and offer additional tips and insights to make your shipping experience successful.

Choosing the Right Packing Foam

The first step in shipping breakable items is selecting the right type of packing foam. Different types of packing foam offer various levels of protection and customization options. Here are the options we offer:

Y37ch Foam

Y37ch Foam, a reliable and cost-effective choice, boasts medium firmness in a dark grey hue, weighing approximately 1.2 lbs./ft³. Its durability and cushioning properties make it ideal for safeguarding delicate items during transit.

Rebond Foam

Rebond foam is a resilient material crafted from compressed recycled foam, known for its exceptional firmness and remarkable resistance to compression, making it the perfect choice for safeguarding exceptionally heavy items weighing over 100 pounds. This high-density foam comes in a multicolor palette. It boasts a density of 8.0 lbs./ft³, and an impressive 90 Indentation Load Deflection (ILD) rating, ensuring reliable protection and support for your heaviest shipments.

When choosing the right packing foam, consider the fragility, size and weight of the items you intend to ship. For custom orders, determine the size and shape of the packing foam you need and we will provide you with a price quote on a range of qualities. Each foam type has its unique properties, and selecting the most suitable one is crucial for providing adequate protection. Feel free to check out our clearance section for discounted packing foam sheets in stock.

Keep in mind that our packing foam is guaranteed to be cut to plus or minus 1/4" (6.4 mm). We do not accept cancellations or returns for packing foam once production begins. Please take the time to carefully review the warnings regarding our packing foam during checkout and make an informed decision. It’s important to note that our packing foam is provided without warranty, and we cannot guarantee that it will perform exactly as intended. Your careful consideration ensures a well-informed choice.

Assess Your Packaging Needs

Before you start packing your breakable items, closely examine the item you want to ship. Assess its fragility, size and weight to determine the level of protection required. Consider the following factors:


Some items, like glassware or porcelain, are more fragile and require extra care.


The item’s dimensions will dictate how much packing foam you need.


Heavier items may require additional support to prevent shifting during transit.


Irregularly shaped items may need custom-cut foam for a snug fit.

Understanding your packaging needs will help you make informed decisions about the type and amount of packing foam.

A cardboard box with red and white fragile stickers

Prepare Your Packing Materials

Once you’ve chosen the right packing foam, gather all the necessary packing materials. You’ll need your selected packing foam, a sturdy shipping box, packing tape and additional cushioning materials like bubble wrap or packing paper. Ensure your workspace is clean and organized to avoid accidental damage to your items during the packing process.

Use Foam to Create a Protective Barrier

Now it’s time to use your chosen packing foam to create a protective barrier around your item. Follow these steps:

Measure and Cut the Foam

If you didn’t order custom-cut packing foam, measure the dimensions of your item and cut the packing foam accordingly. Ensure that you have enough foam to cover all sides and edges of the item. If you’re using sheets or rolls of foam, use a sharp foam cutter or scissors to make clean and precise cuts.

Wrap the Item

Place the item in the center of a foam sheet or on a layer of foam padding. Then, wrap the foam around the item, ensuring that the sides and edges are adequately covered. Use packing tape to secure the foam in place. The foam should fit snugly around the item but not too tight, as excessive pressure can cause damage.

Create Layers

For added protection, consider using multiple layers of foam. Place the foam-wrapped item inside a larger sheet of foam or additional foam padding. This layering technique helps distribute the force of impact more effectively, minimizing the risk of damage during transit.

Choose the Right Shipping Box

Select a sturdy shipping box that is large enough to comfortably accommodate your foam-wrapped item. Make sure there is enough space inside the box to add additional cushioning material, such as packing peanuts or air pillows. These materials help fill any remaining voids within the box and protect your item from moving during transit.

Secure and Seal the Box

Ensure your item is positioned securely within the box and cannot shift during transit. Close the box and secure it with packing tape. Pay special attention to reinforcing the corners and seams of the box to prevent it from opening during shipping.

A person sealing a cardboard box with packing tape

Label and Address the Package

Clearly label the box as “Fragile” or “Handle with Care” to alert handlers to the delicate nature of the contents. Make sure that the shipping label is attached securely and displays the correct address and contact information for both the sender and recipient.

Choose the Right Shipping Carrier

Select a reputable shipping carrier with a track record of handling fragile items carefully. Different carriers offer various service levels, so choose one that aligns with your shipping needs. Consider purchasing insurance for high-value items to protect against loss or damage during transit.

Track Your Shipment

Once your package is on its way, use the tracking information provided by the shipping carrier to monitor its progress. This lets you stay informed about the delivery status and estimated arrival time. For added security, consider requesting signature confirmation upon delivery. This ensures that the intended recipient receives your package and reduces the risk of theft or mishandling.

In conclusion, packing foam is an invaluable tool for safely shipping breakable items. By choosing the right type of foam, assessing your packaging needs and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your fragile items during transit. Some packing foams, most wedge, back bolster shapes and cylinders may take 14 days to ship, so keep this in mind before ordering foam for your breakable items. If you have any questions about our packing foam or shipping, please contact us directly.

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