Mineral wool is one of the most popular materials used in domestic and industrial insulation applications.

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According to AMA Research, in 2016 it accounted for around 30% of the insulation product market’s overall value.

This is huge!

Mineral wool and glass wool products are popular among building contractors and DIY enthusiasts for many reasons, including their lightweight, low-density build, ease of installation and fire protection performance.

Installing glass wool loft roll

Naturally, with increased popularity comes occasional reduced availability.

So, what alternatives to mineral wool insulation are available?

And which provides the best value for money and performance?

Table of contents:

Sheep’s wool insulation

A woman fitting loft insulation roll in a roof

Sheep’s wool insulation is an excellent alternative to glass wool.

With the increased focus in recent years on environmental issues and the recycling of materials, natural insulation has come to the forefront of the market.

One of the most popular examples is sheep’s wool, a material that has been used for centuries in textiles and other applications. Sheep’s wool does not cause itching, so it is easy and completely safe to install with no personal protective equipment.

Sheep’s wool insulation supplies a range of high-performance, superior quality, natural insulation products based on pure new sheep’s wool. Their products are effective in helping to reduce heat loss and sound transfer in a wide variety of applications.

Aisling MacDonald from SheepWool Insulation explains that the main benefit of sheep’s wool is its breathability. “SheepWool Insulation is the only range on the market to use only 100% pure sheep’s wool. Pure wool is completely breathable, which ensures that you have ‘healthy’ insulation in your home,” she says.

“Because of its ability to breathe, it will absorb moisture and therefore protect surrounding timbers, especially in older buildings.”

MacDonald adds, “Many other ‘natural insulation’ solutions will feature added elements such as polyester, which makes it less effective long-term. Our pure sheep’s wool is completely natural, breathable, and lasts a lifetime.

It will also engage in air purification and provide high acoustic insulation performance. SheepWool Insulation is healthy for the building and healthy for those living in the building.”

Other mineral wool alternatives

A collection from the SuperFOIL insulation range

There are several other common alternatives to glass and wool substitute options.

Here’s the scoop:

A relatively recent addition to the natural insulation category is recycled polyester, which is available from SupaSoft and YBS. Recycled polyester insulation is made from post-consumer plastic bottles or other recycled polyester materials. Environmentally friendly, these long-lasting rolls are also safe to install without the use of PPE equipment and dust masks.

Other natural solutions include wood fibre and hemp insulation.

For a more traditional approach, insulation boards are available in PIR, expanded polystyrene (EPS)extruded polystyrene (XPS) and more. A tried-and-tested, reliable wool substitute, insulation boards boast excellent thermal boards and come in a variety of thicknesses for greater convenience.

But wait! There’s more:

Multifoil insulation from SuperFOIL, TLX and others offers top thermal insulation performance. Consisting of multiple layers of sheets, foils and insulating materials, it’s one of the thinnest insulation products available on the market, making it an outstanding alternative to glass where space is at a premium.

A tradesman fitting insulation board on a roof

Final thoughts

When choosing a wool substitute or alternative to glass wool, it’s important to consider factors such as insulation performance, cost, environmental impact, ease of installation and suitability for your specific needs.

Consulting with insulation professionals and considering local building codes and regulations can help in making an informed decision.

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