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The Home Depot

Advantages of Cotton Insulation

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Insulation > Advantages of Cotton Insulation
Advantages of Cotton Insulation

It’s not a perfect solution. There are only two disadvantages but they are somewhat minor. One shortcoming to using cotton batting is that it takes a long time to dry if it gets wet. The other is that you’ve got to know what you’re doing when you cut it to fit. If you don’t have any leaks, you won’t need to worry about drying times. Cutting it: Well, practice makes perfect.

  1. 1.Green Product

    The best thing about cotton insulation is that it is environmentally-friendly. Unlike fiberglass, it takes much less energy to make and it’s a renewable resource. Let’s say you’re not environmentally-bent. Cotton insulation is easier to install than fiberglass insulation. It’s also a great sound deadener.


    Not only is cotton insulation something which naturally grows, it can be made from recycled materials. If you decide to use this method of keeping the elements from inside your house, there’s a good chance the material came from someone’s old denim jeans. That’s why quite a bit of cotton insulation is blue in color.


    If you use cotton denim insulation, be assured that before you buy it, the raw product is cleaned and torn into fibers. It’s also treated with a flame retardant.

  2. 2.Safety

    The best thing about cotton insulation is that it is environmentally-friendly. Unlike fiberglass, it takes much less energy to make and it’s a renewable resource.

    From the standpoint of safety, you are not exposed to the same risks as fiberglass. Because of that, there’s no need to don a surgical mask when you install it.


    Then there are the fumes which could come from burning cotton insulation. Unlike fiberglass, if it catches fire, the output is non-toxic. Cotton insulation is much denser than fiberglass, so it adds structural support to the areas where it’s used. Add that to the fact that it cuts down on the amount of oxygen in the wall’s cavity. Fire thrives on oxygen. The less there is, the more it reduces the chance of fire spreading to the wood in the wall itself.

  3. 3.R-Value

    What’s an R-Value? That’s the insulation's resistance to heat flow. A high R-value means that the substance has a better chance to keep the elements where they belong, outside. The R-value for cotton insulation is almost the same as fiberglass. That means you have a choice without having to change any of your building plans. When you consider that it’s easier to work with than traditional fiberglass, some contractors pass that advantage on to you in the form of a discount on installation.

  4. 4.Features And Benefits


    To summarize, cotton insulation has quite a few features and benefits over fiberglass:


    • It does not irritate your skin, causing you to itch or get a rash

    • Cotton is much easier to handle

    • It has a very high R-value

    • Each fiber has been treated with a boron-based fire retardant

    • Made from cotton fibers, it’s great for areas where you need an acoustical solution to a noise problem

    • Cotton insulation does not contain any chemical irritants

    • It does not require a carcinogenic warning label (unlike most other forms of insulation)

    • It’s composed with an EPA-registered fungal inhibitor. That means you won’t have to worry all-that-much about bacteria, mold or fungus


    There is only one complication in what seems like a near perfect building material. Because of the demand, the availability is not as prevalent as fiberglass. Most Big Box hardware stores treat this substance as a “special order.”


    Just make sure you plan ahead. But, if you’re thinking cotton insulation, it may be well worth the wait.

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