Cellulose Insulation vs Fiberglass: Which Is Better for Your Home?

Are you looking for ways to improve the value of your home? Does the task seem daunting, giving you no place to start? These are some of the questions new and non-handy homeowners ask when thinking about each and every home improvement project.

cellulose vs fiberglass insulation

One project that’s often overlooked is installing insulation in your home. You might not have much of an idea of where to start.

You might be asking questions like, “What are the best types of insulation?” or “What are some good resources to help me understand the importance of insulation?”

First, look into cellulose and fiberglass insulation. As two of the most inexpensive products on the market today for residential homes. Many contractors and do-it-yourself individuals love how easy fiberglass is to install in their home. Read on to get a feel for the similarities and differences, while weighing the pros and cons of each material.

Where Are the Top Places to Insulate?

Some places that need the most insulation include interior and exterior walls, box sills and the attic. Foundation walls need to be insulated, but also need an addition of foam at exposed areas. Foam will help limit issues with mold and condensation.

For the box sill, insulation can be added, but a foam spray will be helpful with filling in the cracks and crevasses. The denser you can fill with insulation, the better these areas will be protected from negative air flow in and out of your home.

For a normal wall, densely packed insulation helps with energy savings that’ll keep money in your wallet. Lastly, the attic needs to be insulated to. Fiberglass is great for attics if you’re looking to keep the ceiling from caving in on itself because this material is so light.

Also, living in Chicago, you know that there are really hot summers. Fiberglass insulation will be great to keep your attic as cool as possible.

Insulation Similarities

blown in insulation

Home maintenance projects can be quite expensive. That’s why it’s nice to know that both fiberglass and cellulose won’t break the bank. Both materials are charged in feet and inches, making them the best bang for your buck.

Depending on the contractor you choose will determine the extent of how much the project will cost.

Both fiberglass and cellulose are very easy to install. If installed properly, contractors don’t need a lot of experience or extra equipment for these two insulation types. However, insulation that’s not installed properly could lead to it not being as effective in your home.

If you’re familiar with R-value, then you know the higher number means there’s greater resistance for heat to flow through the insulation and outside your walls. In terms of cellulose and fiberglass, the R-value ranges from 3.5 to 3.7 in every inch.

Of course, environmental factors can change the R-value when it comes to the wind and temperatures, but on average, cellulose can;t hold a candle to fiberglass. Furthermore, heat stays in very well with these two materials, but fiberglass is the superior option.

Finding the Differences

At first glance, cellulose and fiberglass look different in contrast. The fiberglass material is a pink product, while cellulose is a gray material that’s fluffy like a cloud in the sky. Physical differences are definitely the first thing that people see, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

Do you need to install insulation in your attic? Fiberglass not only comes packaged for insulation, but can also be used as a blown-in insulation. This is perfect for the tough to reach places and allows for deeper insulation in big areas like the attic or crawl space.

Early Times provides the best and most efficient blown-in attic insulation in all of Chicagoland – get a free quote now.


In terms of flammability, cellulose and fiberglass are very different. Since fiberglass is essentially glass that is spun, it won’t burn. If the flame gets too hot, the insulation will melt, but not cause a huge fire.

On the other hand, cellulose is much more flammable than fiberglass. A few decades ago, this was a habitual problem that gave cellulose a bad name. More and more patents have come out to the relieve this issue, but the problem continues to persist.


The installation process for these two materials is also very different. Fiberglass insulation can easily be cut around light switches and outlets. Then, you can staple your work to the near stud in a room. Or, you can have it blown-in which is perfect for attics and hard to reach places.

Cellulose, on the other hand, isn’t as forgiving. If you do a bad job with the cellulose installation, your whole project could go wrong. Usually, cellulose needs special equipment to fill every vacant space. If you don’t feel comfortable using this type of equipment, then cellulose might not be for you.

Cellulose Insulation vs Fiberglass: What’s Best?

At the end of the day, fiberglass is the best pick overall. It offers great insulated material that’s not flammable, very easy to install and cost effective.

This product comes in easy-to-roll packaging or can be blown-in for a fast and painless installation. Rest assured that fiberglass will work for you and keep your home insulated.

If you’re in need of new attic insulation, you can count on Early Times for the best service in the Chicagoland area. For over 30 years, we’ve dedicated our services to keeping homes cleaner and safer – get a free quote now.

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