A simple device for the improvement of freeze-drying efficiency is described. The device is an aluminum foil bag which contains a small amount of glycerin. The device can be either reusable or disposable. When placed on a freeze-drying tray the liquid is about 1 mm thick. When vials are placed on the device it conforms to the shape of the vial bottoms. Since both the aluminum foil and the glycerin are better heat conductors than a vacuum, the device improves heat transfer from the shelf to the vial. Drying times obtained with and without the device are compared for different sizes as well as different types of vials. In most cases the use of the device reduces the drying time by nearly a factor of two. The use of the device also increases vial-to-vial uniformity and minimizes the effect of spillage.