Top 10 Attic Insulation Materials — Cut Your Energy Bill at One Time!

Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: August 10, 2021
Wise Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Cold/hot climate may prove to be quite a challenge to deal with. In the cold, you need to invest in products that keep you warm. These include clothes, gloves, and boots while you are outdoors. However you need a little more comfort indoors, and that calls for you to take off jackets, socks, sweaters and the likes.

Nevertheless, you don’t leave the cold air outside. The cold will get into your house through ventilation, windows, and doors. You could get frostbite right in your living room. The best insulation for attic will help deal with this problem once and for all.

As you well know, hot air rises and escapes through the roof, leaving you to deal with the cold aftermath. Buying more heaters would be expensive and raise the power utility bills significantly. Instead, you could insulate your attic and end up saving your money all the while getting the heat you require. In warm weather, heat in your home may become unbearable. Also a problem you can deal with by insulating your attic rather than ramping up your AC. The process of installing the insulation is often quite simple, and most people end up doing it themselves.

Selecting the insulation product to use may even be more difficult. You need to know how the insulation was made inclusive of component materials, prices to expect, safety features, R-value, etc. If you are unfamiliar with R-value, it means resistance to heat flow. Having checked out all these factors, we came up with the prospects list below, in-depth reviews of each product, and the buying guide, which will help you make the right choice. This is after surfing manufacturer’s sites, checking product reviews by different consumers, and comparing the various items with each other. Picking the best insulation for attic after reading this should, therefore, be a piece of cake.

Top 10 Insulation Materials for Attic Review 2021


RadiantGUARD Ultima Radiant BarrierEditor's Choice

  • Type: Radiant barrier
  • Material: 99.9% pure aluminum
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, fiber-free
  • Dimensions: 1000 square feet (4ʹʹ x 250ʹ)
  • Weight: 29 pounds

When buying this product, you can choose one of two options: the 500 or the 1000 square foot option. Both come with a width of about 48”. Aluminum is the significant component material, and both sides of the insulation are reflective. This means that heat coming from the sun will be reflected, and neither will the heat rising up from your home be allowed to escape. Also, you can choose to go with the breathable option, which includes tiny holes on the surface or the one without any air pores.

The Ultima Radiant Barrier is class A fire rated so while it is combustible, it has a lower flame spread than other options. If you are looking to install this on your own, the only equipment you need is a staple gun and some utility scissors. Despite being very thin totaling 0.0065 inches, the aluminum sheet is tear resistant. After installation, you can practically leave it maintenance free. As a precaution, try keeping it in a clean and dry environment before installation.

Why are we impressed?

  • Provides an uninhabitable surface for insects and rodents
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy installation
  • Reduces utility bills
  • Tear-proof
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Unaffected by moisture
RELATED: Best Radiant Barriers: Keep Your Home Cool When It’s Hot, and Warm When It’s Cold!


US Energy Products Diamond Radiant BarrierThe Most Lightweight Radiant Barrier

  • Type: Radiant barrier
  • Material: Two-sided reflecting metalized film with polyester scrim reinforcement
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, fiber-free
  • Dimensions: 2000 square feet (2 rolls)
  • Weight: 33 pounds

In terms of features, the Diamond Radiant Barrier is quite similar to the RadiantGuard Barrier. The perforated option is ideal for situations where you want to eliminate condensation. The attic is one such example where temperature differences on each side may bring about a buildup of liquids, and that may end up damaging wooden installations. The two top insulators on our list also have the same combustibility rating.

Where differences are concerned, this one is lighter than its predecessor for the same size of the material. However, this one is shipped in sizes of 2000 square feet. The double-sided metalized film, which makes up the bulk of the material is reinforced with polyester scrim fabric. As such, it is very durable, and you can expect it to do its job of maintaining temperatures in a reasonable range quite well.

What do we love it for?

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Perforated and non-perforated options to choose from
  • Can also be used in basements and saunas for temperature regulation

  • Type: Radiant barrier
  • Material: 99.9% pure aluminum
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, fiber-free
  • Dimensions: 100 square feet (24ʹʹ x 50ʹ)
  • Weight: 1 pounds

DIYers are in luck with this product. While some of the other mentioned products come in limited square foot sizes, this one has different sizes offered for DIYers and professionals alike. As such, it minimizes the need to cut the material into usable sizes. The product is double sided with a 96% reflective efficacy. On the inside, there are two other layers of heavy gauge polyethylene bubbles making this one of our thicker options. In total, the thickness of the product stands at 5/16 of an inch.

Besides the attic, there are a few other applications that you can use this product for. Among them are water heater insulation, wall insulation, and animal confinement quarters, among others. As such, you can use leftover material with a few other projects in the house. Depending on the installation and use the insulator can have an R-value of up to 14.3.

What do we love it for?

  • Various available sizes
  • Variable uses
  • Durable, multiple layering
  • Vapor barrier
  • Non-toxic composition
  • Lightweight
  • Easy installation

What were we disappointed with?

  • Requires users take accurate

  • Type: Radiant barrier
  • Material: Two-sided metalized film
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), non-toxic, non-carcinogenic
  • Dimensions: 1000 square feet (48ʹʹ x 250ʹ)
  • Weight: 16.9 pounds

Next up is another class A fire rated offering by SES products. You buy this product in sizes of about 1000 square feet, and you can then cut it down to size depending on your needs. The product is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic, so at the very least you don’t need protective clothing if you are a DIYer. Also, it is compliant with a few fire codes, including the ASTM E84 and the E2599.

The insulation is mostly catered to a residential market and as such is perfect for your home.

Also anything this thin has got to be lightweight and easy to cut. The polyester scrim reinforcement ensures that there is no delamination or cracking on the surface of the foil. You can thus expect this product to last long.

What stands out?

  • Easy installation
  • Lightweight
  • Low maintenance
  • Non-carcinogenic

What cons did we manage to find?

  • Product can be fragile if mishandled.


Insulation Market Place LLC Reflective Insulation ShieldBest Polyethylene Foam Insulation for Attic

  • Type: Radiant barrier
  • Material: 3 mm closed cell polyethylene foam sandwiched between pure aluminum
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), non-toxic, non-carcinogenic
  • Dimensions: 200 square feet (48ʹʹ x 50ʹ)
  • Weight: 6.75 pounds

The design on this one consists of polyethylene foam which is fitted between two sheets of aluminum. The foam is 3mm in total while the aluminum sheets are almost too thin to notice. As a result of the overall thinness of the product, it is easy to cut, and therefore, installation is also quite easy. Despite the size, the product is almost tear proof, and you can buy it in the various sizes available.

Like several other products mentioned on our list, this insulator is class A fire rated. The manufacturer was very keen to eliminate all allergens from the final product. There are also no toxic components. This makes it ideal for installation without using protective gear. In addition to reflecting about 97% of heat, whether back up through the roof or back down to your house, the insulation works well under humid conditions without taking damage.

The fact that it is mold resistant may also prove to be of benefit. Perhaps one of the key selling points of the product is that it is soundproof. Given that you can use it both indoors and outdoors, there are bound to be a few other applications you can use it for apart from the attic.

Why is it special?

  • Soundproof
  • Moisture resistant
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Non-allergic

What are the flaws?

  • You need accurate measurements of your intended installation point before making the purchase.


Houseables Radiant BarrierBest Double-Sided

  • Type: Radiant barrier
  • Material: 99.9% pure aluminum
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), non-toxic, non-carcinogenic
  • Dimensions: 1000 square feet (48ʹʹ x 250ʹ)
  • Weight: 28.4 pounds

This is 4 feet by 250 feet sheet, which is more or less 1000 square feet in total. The fact that it is just a single sheet of aluminum foil means that you can use any of the two sides of the product and end up saving as much as 10% of your usual heating and cooling costs. There are other perks to using this product. Notable is that it doesn’t support insect and rodent nesting so your attic will be void of creepy crawlies.

Due to the product’s resistance to humidity, moisture, weather changes, and other external factors you need only install it once. After that, you will need to do very little maintenance. This foil sheet also cuts easily with utility scissors and staples easily. As you can see, the manufacturer is pulling no stops when it comes to letting you do the installation on your own.

With regards to building codes, this aluminum sheet remains compliant with its current fire rating all the while being non-toxic. You can use it in your attic, but there are no rules against installation in your garage or storage unit.

What are its best features?

  • Lightweight
  • Easy installation
  • Versatile
  • Tear resistant
  • Little maintenance

What could be improved?

  • Works better in hot conditions than in cold climate
RELATED: Best Radiant Barriers: Keep Your Home Cool When It’s Hot, and Warm When It’s Cold!


NASA TECH Radiant BarrierMost Cost-Effective

  • Type: radiant barrier
  • Material: aluminum
  • Safety: ASTM-Е86 and ASTM 96-00 certified, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, fiber-free
  • Dimensions: 500 sq.ft. (4×125 ft)
  • Weight: 14 lbs.

Other features: R3-21, reflects 97% radiant heat, reduces residential attic temperatures up to 40 degrees

The NASA TECH Radiant Barrier is one option you can pick as a means of reducing the utility bills. If you get the barrier’s installation right, you will be looking at a 10-50% reduction in what you would typically pay for heating.

This NASA TECH Radiant Barrier will turn 97% of radiant heat that would typically escape back into the house. It also has the effect of reducing temperatures in your attic by a substantial amount.

Also, the rolled radiant barrier is made out of aluminum. You might think that since the sheet is so thin, it would be an easy matter to poke holes into it. You would be wrong. In fact, the barrier is rated as both puncture and tear-resistant.

Another thing barrier buyers should be privy to is the ASTM-Е86 and ASTM 96-00 certification of the product. This serves as a stamp of quality. The insulation is also toxin-free as a bonus.

What makes it stand out?

  • The aluminum insulation is durable
  • Comes with ASTM-Е86 and ASTM 96-00 certification
  • Non-toxic and non-carcinogenic

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • None


LO/MIT-II MAX Attic Heat BarrierBest Blown-in Insulation Material for Attic

  • Type: Radiant barrier paint
  • Material: Water-based, 100% silicone binder
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), RIMA-I certified
  • Dimensions: 5 gallons
  • Weight: 50 pounds

If handling a staple gun isn’t for you, there are insulators you can spray in your attic. However, they generally require a little more work than foil options. For one, you have to wear protective clothing before you get to work. If you are not a veteran DIYer, the overalls may be an additional expense. If you are, then you probably have the overalls tucked away in a suitcase somewhere in your house.

You also need to cover your nose and eyes, so the spray doesn’t get into your body. Once set up, you need to know how to spray the insulator to cover the whole of your attic adequately. This particular can comes with 5 gallons, which should cover approximately 2000 square feet. However, it is heavier than most and may present a challenge carrying up into the attic. For those unwilling to use a sprayer, the application may be done using a roller.

Why is it special?

  • A single pail covers a large area
  • Mold resistant

What are the flaws?

  • Complicated installation
  • Strong smell on initial application.


Owens-Corning Attics insulation Best Fiberglass Insulation for Attic

  • Type: Corning insulation material
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), Class 1 (ASTM C665)
  • Dimensions: 15ʹʹ x 25ʹ
  • Weight: 14 pounds

Coming into contact with fiberglass can often have hazardous results. They include irritation to skin and internal organs once it becomes airborne and breathed in. As a precaution, you can wear protective clothing, including masks, goggles, and gloves. However, the manufacturer claims this product to be safe to touch.

The fiberglass insulation is pink in color and has an extremely low dust count. This is important, especially where inhabitants of the house may be suffering from bronchitis or asthma as that would cause breathing problems if inhaled. As a bonus, the insulation is soundproof.

Once you have, it extended it measures about 31.25 square feet, and if you need to use it on your attic, you might have to buy several of these.

What stands out?

  • Soundproof
  • Low dust count

What cons did we manage to find?

  • May need protective gear during installation.
  • More expensive


JOHNS MANVILLE INTL 90003720 Series Kraft-Faced RollBest for Additional Insulation

  • Type: Corning insulation material
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Safety: Class A / Class 1 (ASTM E-84), Class 1 (ASTM C665)
  • Dimensions: 26 ʹʹ x 19 ʹʹ x 23.5 ʹʹ
  • Weight: 19.5 pounds

Another fiberglass option is the R-10 by Kraft-Faced. There are a few differences between this and the Owens-Corning option despite both coming in rolls. The most notable one from afar is, of course, the color. Single rolls are priced quite cheap but given that you need more than a few rolls to cover an area the cost might be driven up significantly.

This one is also lighter, but that might be because the dimensions are smaller, meaning it covers less surface area. Overall it is still a reliable product and one that might serve your needs well.

Why did it make our list?

  • Single rolls are cheap
  • Effective at insulation for both cold and warm weather

What is not ideal about it?

  • Covers a rather small area

Things to Consider

Buying attic insulation has many potential benefits. You get to save on energy costs all the while being comfortable in your home. As such, the buying process should be taken with all the seriousness it deserves. You should have a comparison table highlighting the pros and cons of each option you have.

Things to keep in mind while choosing insulation for attic

Here are some critical considerations.


Top 10 Attic Insulation Materials — Cut Your Energy Bill at One Time!This is, of course, the climate around your residential area. Is it cold all year round or does the weather change often? If cold is the prominent factor, you might need one-sided insulation which retains the heat in your house. If heat is what you experience the most you can use a double reflective surface like the RadiantGUARD Ultima Radiant Barrier where heat inside the home doesn’t dissipate and heat outside the house doesn’t directly affect temperatures inside the building.

Attic size

The products mentioned above come in different sizes, and so do attics. If you are unaware of your attic size in terms of square footage, you might buy something too small or too bulky for your needs. This would either cost you a trip back to the store or leave you with excess insulation. To avoid this, take some time to measure the various dimensions of your attic.

Safety of insulation material

Is it fiberglass or aluminum film? Do you have to spray it? What safety gear do you need to handle the insulation? Answering these questions will ensure you don’t need to make a trip to the doctor’s office later on. Generally, insulation materials made of aluminum and metalized film tend to be safer and easier to handle. Those with fiberglass components with examples such as the JOHNS MANVILLE INTL Kraft-Faced Roll need you to take some precautions before you handle them.

Also, there are those that require the use of a sprayer like the LO/MIT-II MAX Attic Heat Barrier. It is imperative that you don’t breathe them in. They might cause or aggravate existing health issues. Also, you can opt to engage the services of a professional if need be.


Top 10 Attic Insulation Materials — Cut Your Energy Bill at One Time!The prices are also different with each product we have mentioned. It is essential that you buy one within your budget range. However, there is often a notable difference between products with high pricing and those with low pricing in terms of quality.

Customer Reviews

Your neighbors probably already have attic insulation installed. Their experiences with various products are probably different and will give you valuable insight as to which insulation is best suited to your needs. Also, once you have received a positive opinion on a product check online to see if other people feel the same way.

Installation tips

  • Always ensure to measure the space to be insulated beforehand.
  • Avoid covering vents with any insulation as they supply air in your house.
  • Wear protective clothing if fiberglass is what you are using or if you need to spray the insulation.
  • Work around the fixtures in your attic.
  • Ensure there are no exposed wires before beginning your work; otherwise, you risk electrocuting yourself.
  • If you don’t know how to install attic insulation, consult a professional.


The most common types of insulation materials include metalized film, cellulose aluminum, and fiberglass.

Reflective materials are generally better for hot climate while fiberglass is a better performer for colder areas.

Check the descriptions for most of the products, and you will see terms like non-carcinogenic, non-toxic, class A fire rating. These descriptions tell you how safe it is to use the product. In terms of fiberglass and spray-able insulators, you shouldn’t take chances while handling them. Put on that overall or better yet hire someone to do the installation for you.

Our Verdict

RadiantGUARD Ultima is our first pick for several reasons. For one it covers a sufficiently large surface area. The ease of installation cuts down on initial cost as you don’t have to hire anyone. It does the job of regulating temperatures quite well with a heat reflective efficacy of 97%. It does its job with almost zero downsides.

The second option goes to US Energy Products Diamond Radiant Barrier, which, despite being of different construction, offers similar benefits to our first pick. However, you get more value for money as this one comes in a 2000 square foot package. A solid choice if your attic is bigger than most.

Our third favorite option the Reflectix is mostly there for the balance it strikes between features and affordability. That way consumers won’t have to sacrifice too much on what they want because prices aren’t friendly. You can pick out a favorite from the remaining options if you so wish. After all, only you know your needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *