Microencapsulated phase change material (MEPCM) was successfully prepared by using paraffin as the core material and PMMA as shell material. Both raw materials are innocuous, cheap and rich in resource. The influences of the key factors (i.e. emulsifier, stabilizer, concentration of the oil phase) on synthesis reaction were systematically evaluated. Conditions of synthesis reaction were also optimized. The relevant research results indicate that the prepared microcapsules are regular spheres with smooth and compact surface. The diameter of these spheres ranges from 1 to 2 mm. No obvious overcooling or overheating phenomena can be observed even when the content of paraffin of MEPCM reaches approximately 50 wt%. TGA analyses indicate that the heat resistance of the microcapsule increases by 10 °C compared to the pure paraffin. Accelerated thermal cycling tests also verify that the MEPCM displays good thermal reliability. The MEPCMs synthesized in the current study have potentials for thermal energy storage purposes such as PCM slurries, textiles and building materials.