Cellulose vs Fiberglass Insulation: Which Is Best?

June 29, 2020


When it comes to insulation, people always ask the difference between fiberglass and cellulose insulation. This article serves as the answer to the frequently asked question.

You may love your older home in the Wynnewood area, but chances are if it was built before the 1960s, there’s little or no insulation in the walls. Not only does that impact comfort, but it’s also potentially more expensive to control the climate indoors.

However, by making an investment in insulation, you can avoid overworking your furnace and air conditioner. But there is more than one type of insulation on the market – so how do you choose between cellulose vs. fiberglass?

Read on to find out the advantages of both, and which type is more suitable for your home.

Cellulose vs. Fiberglass: A Comparison

Fiberglass has been around for a long time, and is used for many applications including home insulation in Wynnewood. But while it has a long history, it doesn’t mean it’s the superior product.

Let’s compare the features of both:


This is a popular measure of insulation’s thermal resistance. The idea is that the higher the number, the more effective the insulation is.

Both cellulose insulation and fiberglass insulation have a similar R-value, which is around 3.5 to 3.7 per inch depending on the brand. However, while R-value is often the deciding factor for many homeowners, it is not the only measure of effectiveness.

Air Flow Is a Factor

There are other factors to consider, such as the quality of the installation. While the product may have a superior R-value according to the rating on the package, it can be affected by how densely it is packed and the amount of airflow is allowed.

Tightly-packed cellulose has the advantage in this latter category when installed by an experienced company. It helps to prevent heated air from moving inside to outside in winter, and the opposite during the summer.

Environmental Concerns

When it comes to which product is more friendly to the environment, cellulose seems to be the winner as well.

Cellulose is apparently made from up to 80 percent recycled materials, which is usually newspapers. In comparison, fiberglass insulation usually has around 20 percent recycled content (and it can be made into other products such as commercial board.)

Aside from re-using materials, it also requires a lot less energy than fiberglass to produce – up to 8 times less.

Safety Considerations

While cellulose is essentially made of paper, it’s fire-resistant thanks to a chemical coating (often boric acid and borate.) The tight packing of cellulose also means it may be more difficult for a fire to spread in a wall cavity, as it chokes out combustion air.

This same chemical coating makes it resistant to other hazards such as insects, which can cause a lot of damage in a building.

Is Cellulose Better Than Fiberglass?

The answer to who is the winner between cellulose vs. fiberglass partly comes down to the quality of the material and installer, as well as the costs of installation.

However, in terms of airflow resistance, as well as being a “greener” choice, cellulose seems to be the clear winner.

If you have any questions or concerns about roofing, contact Bailey’s Roofing in Wynnewood.

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