· Bright Ideas · How To Quickly And Easily Insulate Your Drafty Windows

How To Quickly And Easily Insulate Your Drafty Windows

This is the time of year when drafty windows start to become very apparent, right? And sure, buying new windows that are better insulated is the obvious solution, but replacing windows can be REALLY expensive! Sometimes you just need an easy solution to get you through the cold months ahead. And that’s what I want to share with you today!

You can find reasonably priced window insulation kits online , with a clear film to place over your drafty window. The film doesn’t obscure your view, which is nice, but it can be tricky to apply. You need to use a hair dryer or other heat source to shrink the film for it to work properly. Another drawback is that it’s not reusable – once you remove it, you’ll have to start again with a new piece of film. It also leaves behind a sticky residue that’s tough to remove!


If you’re looking for something that’s affordable and reusable to insulate your windows (and doesn’t leave any stickiness behind,) look no further than the most entertaining of office supplies – bubble wrap. Bubble wrap makes a great choice for an insulator, because it keeps a layer of air as a buffer between the drafty window and the inside of your home. It also lets a surprising amount of light shine through the windows, so you don’t have to worry about sentencing yourself to total darkness. And best of all, you’ll be able to put it up and take it down as often as you please.

Here’s how you can insulate your windows with bubble wrap!

Insulate Drafty Windows With Bubble Wrap

How to Insulate Drafty Windows with Bubble Wrap

You’ll need:

*There are many sizes of bubble wrap to choose from. Choosing one with larger bubbles will make it a bit easier to see through your window. Smaller bubbles will make it harder to see outside, but they will insulate a little better than larger bubbles.



Measure the dimensions of your window, and cut enough pieces of bubble wrap to cover the window.


Take your spray bottle and spray the surface of your window, using the mist setting, if the bottle has one.


Press the flat side of the bubble wrap up against the window.


The water should keep the bubble wrap adhered to the glass.

If you’re having company over and want the windows looking nice, just peel the bubble wrap away from the pane. Clean the surface with a bit of windex, and voila! You can reapply the bubble wrap as often as you want.

Or if you’re insulating drafty basement windows that don’t get seen very often, just leave the bubble wrap up there until the warmer weather comes along.

While this isn’t a PERMANENT fix, if you have single-glass windows, bubble-wrap can certainly help. For just pennies per window, it is a tremendous bang for your buck!

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Bright Ideas

  • I’ve been using bubble wrap for a few years now and I can tell you – it works! However, I put the bubble wrap between the window and storm window, or screen, and fill the entire area so drafts can’t go through.

    • I tend to doubt it as the bubble wrap is working to keep out drafts. Possibly, if all your windows are closed and you have an air conditioner running…it just might do the trick by keeping the cool air in. If you’ve tried it, please let me know.

  • Buy skinny foam cushioning and stitch the froth material to the rear of the prevailing curtains. If you would like the curtain look from outside place a tension rod with sheers on the within.

  • Your bubble wrap idea was a great idea thank you. I went on amazon the next day and got the bubble wrap, I put it on all my windows now my house is very warm ,my furnace don,t come on as often .i told my friends about it also & thank you again.

  • You can also use heavy duty clear pvc shower curtains taped to the edges of the window with simple clear packing tape. Heavier than the kits, and see-thru.

  • great to put in the lower half of a bathroom window if even for privacy or in the kids window for privacy, you know how they can get undressed at night and forget to pull the shade .

  • will it work on a screened porch? It would open a up a big room for thanksgiving, and we could use a heater to heat. Make things lot less crowded in the house.

    • Just stick the bubbles straight onto the window, underneath the blinds. :-) You can make this work for any size window, just cut the bubble wrap to the correct shape.

  • To remove the sticky residue from the windows if you use the film you mentioned earlier. To remove it you could try Rubbing Alcohol, WD 40 or Acetone. Acetone come in a small can or large jug depending on you needs. Spray or Rub a liberal amount over the area and use a plastic paint scraper to help remove the residue. WD40 also works on sticker that are left on glass/walls, furniture, just use the plastic paint scraper it works.

  • I did last winter on my windows. It works! It does let the light through which is nice. Once you spray the water on and stick the bubble wrap on, it’s there until you take it off. I did nothing else all winter to it. A good, cheap fix!

  • The bubble wrap only covers the glass part of the windows, correct?
    Any way I could extend the bubble wrap to the window frame? We live in a 80’s rental house and the landlord doesn’t concern himself with it. Even though we live in the South, we MUST insulate the windows.
    I am going through throughout this, maybe covering the windows will be enough.

  • This is a great idea and I intend to try it out for some elderly folks I know for they are scared of high heating bills I am so glad of this I have pinned it and a big thank you for sharing this kind regards

  • I live in Colorado where the temperature goes up and down all winter so did not want to cover windows so I would not be able to open them.
    Last year I used bubble wrap in my drafty bedroom window – and I actually let it hang over the edges where I could feel the wind coming in – and it was terrific! The room was a lot warmer.
    And when it warmed up again I pulled it off the one window so I could get some fresh air inside.

  • This sounds like a GREAT idea. I have a picture of a rose that you just use water under it to hold it and it’s been up for 10 years, I just wash around it, but never thought about bubble wrap. Thanks for all of your great ideas.

  • What a wonderful idea thank you. I’m wondering if this would work in extremely hot weather (115-120) My mom has an old home single pane window, it gets old keeping all her curtains closed most of the summer.

  • AWESOME IDEA!! We have an octagonal window in the ‘water closet’ in our master bath. This will work perfectly to 1) keep that tiny room from being so cold in winter 2) diffuse the light so it is not so bright in there in the daytime and 3) since hubby likes to look at the weather and if it is raining or snowing, etc outside in the morning, I can apply it such that the upper part is against the glass so he can lift the bottom to peek outside.
    What a win-win-win!! Thanks Jillee, as this little window has been driving me nuts and hubby does not want me to put up one of those octagonal gathered window sheer curtains that fit into the frame as it won’t allow him to see outside. ;-D

  • This is cool. Very clever. We got new windows several years ago. There good windows, but when the extreme cold hits I can feel a draft in my room. I might have to try this one.

  • I did this last year. In the spring, I took them all down except the one on the bathroom window. I like the privacy it pro, without closing the curtains. Let’s in a lot more light.

  • I have windows with 3/4″ deep wooden panes, so one large sheet of bubble wrap wouldn’t lay flat. It would be ideal if the panes would fit into the creases between large bubbles, but that likelihood may be slim. I cannot imagine cutting 16 small pieces for each window… any suggestions? Thanks!

  • The head of our bed used to be under a big window and with the cold draft in winter I used to wear a warm neck scarf to bed. Then I discovered that film and it made an immediate difference. Not only was the room warmer but I could stop wearing the scarf and didn’t get any more colds. We’re in a different house now, but I could use the bubble wrap idea for our front entry porch, which needs obscure glass anyway. Thanks for a brilliant tip!

  • I have done this for several years now to my patio door. The difference is I was told the bubble side goes against the window, not the flat side. EITher way, it really makes a difference.

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