Denim Insulation vs Fiberglass Insulation: Which is better

We have all thought about having insulation for our homes, and frankly, it is a very good investment as it maintains the ambiance one’s home has. It also lies closely with nature as it helps to drive down energy costs and is mostly made up of recyclable materials.

The only problem with that is the abundance of options for picking an insulation solution for your home. There are countless products and combinations of products available in the market, enough to make anyone overwhelmed about the choices they have to make.

In this article, we will be discussing two of the most used insulation solutions in the industry, namely, denim insulation and fiberglass insulation. We will also look into the detailed analysis and differences between each of them to help you make an informed decision about which to buy for your home.

Denim Insulation vs Fiberglass Insulation

Differences Between Denim Insulation and Fiberglass Insulation

Denim insulation and fiberglass insulation are perfect candidates for attic insulation and wall insulation, and they have been used extensively in the industry due to their versatility and quality. Both denim insulation and fiberglass insulations are effective insulators. Still, there are key differences in many aspects, including the material, the method of installation, the level of insulation provided, the cost of installation, and much more.

Listed below are the key differences between denim insulation and fiberglass insulation.

Denim Insulation

Fiberglass Insulation

Denim insulation has an NRC rating of 1.13, and the STC rating is 45

NRC rating of fiberglass is 0.9, whereas the STC rating is 39

The R-Value of denim insulation is about 3.5/inch and is very good for insulators.

Fiberglass insulation has a R-value of 2.5/inch

The cost of installation of denim insulation is higher and is less economical.

The cost of fiberglass insulation is about half of that of denim insulation and is more economical of the two.

Denim insulation is denser and can provide much more insulation for the same volume of material.

Fiberglass insulation is less dense and may need layers to provide the same level of result as denim insulation.

Both denim and fiberglass insulation have their advantages compared to the other. This provides the informed user with a lot of freedom to use them to select the perfect insulation for their home. On the one hand, Denim insulation has higher insulation properties inherently but costs more than fiberglass insulation, making it an expensive option.

Denim Insulation

Denim Insulation
Image: Michelle Arconti/Dreamstime.com

Denim insulation is  made up of old recycled cotton and denim fabrics. It is a practical, recycled, eco-friendly approach towards insulation and can be used almost anywhere, including wall cavities, floors, attic insulation, wall insulation, etc.

Before it reaches the market, the insulation is treated with boric acid, which makes it resistant to fire, molds, etc. This is evident because it has a class A fire rating. Denim insulation also has a high R-value, STC rating, and NRC value, making it an ideal solution for your home insulation projects.

Let us closely analyze the pros and cons of denim insulation.

Pros

  • Denim insulation is fire resistant.
  • It can also withstand/prevent the growth of mold and mildew due to boric acid treatment.
  • Denim insulation has a high R-value of 3.5/inch
  • It has a high STC rating of about 45
  • It doesn’t contain any volatile organic compound in it.
  • It is not known to have any side effects for the users and is safe for kids.
  • It has high density and can provide amazing insulation to your home.

Cons

  • In most use cases, the thickness of denim insulation can be lower than their claims and can affect the R-value of the material.
  • If it is compressed at any point in time, it can be hard to be fluffed up again, and this can, in turn, affect the R-value and the insulation properties of the material.
  • It isn’t water-resistant.
  • It is costlier than fiberglass insulation.
  • It can trap dust in them and may need maintenance.

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass Insulation
Image: Christina Richards/Dreamstime.com

As the name suggests, fiberglass insulation contains fine threads of glass, and it can drastically reduce energy consumption by providing proper insulation to your home. It is also an environment-friendly product as the main constituent of the material is recycled glass.

In addition to thermal insulation, fiberglass is an amazing soundproofing material, providing the user with multiple utilities.

Many varieties and combinations of fiberglass insulation are available in the market, including faced insulation, unfaced insulation, blown-in insulation, batt insulation, etc. These vary in insulation properties and can be chosen according to insulation requirements and budget.

Let us look at the pros and cons of fiberglass insulation.

Pros

  • It is economical.
  • It is lightweight and hence won’t exert much stress on the wall.
  • It is fire-resistant.
  • Available in different forms such as faced insulation, unfaced insulation, blown-in insulation, batt insulation, etc., and can be used according to one’s requirement.
  • Has excellent R-values, NRC value, and STC rating.

Cons

  • It has a lot of volumes, as it is fluffy.
  • The R-value of fiberglass insulation can vary according to the shape and thickness of the material.
  • It is comparatively less dense than denim insulation.
  • It can cause itchiness in some users at the time of installation.
  • It is not water-resistant.

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Denim Insulation vs Fiberglass Insulation: Head-to-Head Comparison

Types

Denim Insulation: Denim Insulation is somewhat saturated in this area, and there are not many varieties of denim insulation available in the market.

Fiberglass Insulation: There are many types of fiberglass insulation in the market, including blown-in insulation, faced insulation, unfaced insulation, and much more. These provide the customer with options to select from and thus make intelligent decisions.

R-Values

Denim Insulation: As we have mentioned above, the R-value of denim insulation is 3.5/ inch in ideal cases. However, it is to be noted that the R-value of denim insulation depends on the shape of the insulation. If the material is disfigured, it can negatively affect the insulation properties of the material.

Fiberglass Insulation: Fiberglass insulation has an R-value of about 2.5/inch, which is also subject to its shape and thickness.

Life Expectancy

Denim Insulation: Denim insulation has a fairly long life expectancy and can last as long as your home if properly maintained. It is usually a one-time investment, but it is prone to water leaks, natural disasters, etc.

Fiberglass Insulation: Fiberglass insulation has a life expectancy of about 100 years if taken care of, and it has low maintenance and can last as long as your home.

Cost

Denim Insulation: Denim insulation is comparatively costlier than fiberglass insulation, and this is because the R-values, NRC value, and STC rating of denim insulation are higher.

Fiberglass Insulation: Fiberglass insulation is one of the cheapest insulation methods, and it is economical and costs about half the price of the installation of denim insulation.

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When to Use Denim Insulation?

Denim insulation is best suited for wall insulation and attic insulation and can provide much need thermal stability in your home. It can drive down the energy costs and be used in fresh construction projects with exposed walls or retrofitting in existing buildings. However, it is recommended to use denim insulation for dedicated insulation during fresh construction projects.

The only limiting factors for denim insulation are the cost of installation and the level of insulation you require.

When to Use Fiberglass Insulation?

Fiberglass insulation is a go-to insulation solution for most people because it is economical, cost-effective, and efficient. It can be used for both fresh construction and existing buildings alike. It is highly versatile and is available in many forms that can be used for different insulation levels.

Blown-in insulation is a relatively new form of fiberglass insulation and can be installed just by drilling a hole and filling up the cavity with loose fiberglass material. This is unlike other conventional methods such as batts panels and is highly effective.

What is cheaper, Denim Insulation or Fiberglass Insulation?

The short answer is fiberglass insulation is much cheaper than denim insulation. To put it into perspective, fiberglass insulation costs about half the price of denim insulation. This is dependent on many factors, including the density of the material, its properties, the cost of creating the fabric, the mode of installation, etc.

However, both insulation methods are cost-effective and provide good value for money. But when considering only the costs, fiberglass insulation is more economical than fiberglass insulation.

What Is Better Denim Insulation or Fiberglass Insulation? The Verdict

Both denim insulation and fiberglass insulation are versatile insulation solutions to protect your home from outside temperature variations and drive down energy bills. There will be less need to use heaters and air conditioners.

  • Denim Insulation is a long-lasting (above 30 years operable life), versatile insulation made of recycled denim fabric. It is a highly effective, cost-efficient solution and can be used for fresh and existing building projects. It has a high R-value and has amazing insulation properties.
  • Fiberglass insulation is one of the most popular insulation methods in prevalence, and it can last up to 100 years if taken care of. They cost just half of the denim insulation and are an economical solution. However, the R-value and insulation properties, in general, are lesser than that of denim insulation.

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In this article, we have seen two of the most used insulation materials in the field: denim insulation and fiberglass insulation. We have learned about the merits and demerits of each one of them and also analyzed the key differences between them.