Low-Irritant Home Insulation: Because Sometimes Fibreglass Insulation Isn't the Best Choice

11 April 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

While the concept of insulation for your home might be rather general, it should not be thought that all types of insulation are the same. Certainly they should all achieve the same result, but if you're building a new home or wish to replace your existing insulation, you will need to decide upon the best type of insulation for you and your family. This is highly pertinent if you or any members of your family suffer from any type of respiratory ailment. In this instance, some types of traditional insulation can be unwise. But why is this the case? And which types of insulation might be more appropriate?

Traditional Fibreglass Insulation

You probably already know what fibreglass insulation looks like. While those gigantic pink puffs of insulation will be effective when they're installed, they might not be the best option for your home. It's certainly not hazardous in the same way that asbestos insulation is, and yet there can be some similarities. The insulation is made up of numerous strands of fibreglass that have been bound together, and some of them will detach from the bales during the installation process.

These have the potential to cause respiratory distress in some people, and this can be the case if anyone in the household has a sensitive respiratory system or a diagnosed respiratory issue. Trace amounts of these fibres can remain in your living space after installation has been completed, and while this is not a permanent issue, it's an issue that can be avoided. It's also something that will happen again if your home needs to undergo any kind of maintenance work that requires the walls to be opened, exposing the bales of insulation. So what are some low-irritant options when it comes to insulating your home?


Cotton can be a cost-effective and efficient form of insulation without posing the risk of causing respiratory distress. Recycled garments are shredded and compacted into bales which are then installed in your walls. When researching cotton insulation, you might see that many of the bales have a blue tint. This is because a number of companies offer cotton insulation made largely from recycled denim. So you might end up having old jeans inside your walls!


This form of insulation is made of wool that is shredded and compacted. It really only poses a risk of irritation if someone in your home has a wool allergy.


This option is effective (although you will pay for the privilege). It's a foam that is sprayed inside the wall before being sealed behind plasterboard. There are a numerous types of insulation foam that will get the job done, and yet a number of foams are marketed as being non-toxic with minimal off gassing, making them low-irritant. Have a word with your insulation supplier about your options when it comes to spray-on foams.

There are a number of options when it comes to low-irritant insulation for your home, since for some families traditional fibreglass insulation really isn't the best choice.