Best Insulation for Tiny House: Hot and Cold Weather

best insulation for tiny house

Insulation has various benefits. Having it on your walls, roof, or floor is the best way to save energy, keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also plays a major role in reducing noises from the outside and makes you feel as relax as possible when staying inside. Besides, there are a lot of tiny house insulation options, and most of them are very cheap.

Nevertheless, not many people know how to choose an appropriate insulation for their house and end up with wasting money. Therefore, I am writing this article to show you how to choose the best insulation for tiny house. If you are having problems with picking a proper material, this article can help you.

What are Some Standard Criteria for Choosing Tiny House Insulation Options?

You can find numerous types of insulation being sold on the market, but there are still general rules for them. Basing on them and you will find yours.

  • Resist heat value

R-Value, which is the capacity of material to withstand the heat flow, is the first thing to consider. Many people say that just choose a type of insulation with high R-Value because the higher it is, the more insulating it can be.

However, in my opinion, it depends on where your tiny house takes place. For example, in cold places like Dakota, Wyoming, or Minnesota, R-Value should be low to reserve the heat and prevent cold wind flow. But in places having high humidity, such as New Orleans, Houston, or Orlando, it should be higher to keep the house fresh and dry.

  • Protect your home from vapor

It’s paramount to check if a type of insulation can prevent moisture. Particularly, if your tiny house is made of wood, it would be massively damaged when your insulation has a poorly hygroscopic feature. Therefore, make sure you know or measure the moisture in the atmosphere before purchasing insulation.

  • Consider allergens

Although injection foam, fiberglass, or rock wool is the most popular materials for insulation, they still contain some risks of causing allergies. Foam insulation, for instance, is often sprayed directly onto walls and floors, which can cause respiratory issues if not done properly. To reduce these risks, many opt for spray foam insulation.

If you have children, you should be aware of this fact because those materials can release toxic gasses and tiny fibers. Kid’s skin is usually very sensitive, so they can make him itch or get a rash.

Moreover, they will create an unhealthy environment for you and your family to live in and are the reasons for long-term illnesses. Try to look for an eco-friendly insulation alternative that will not harm people in any way. I will share with you some helpful and safe material to protect your family’s health in the next parts.

How to Choose Floor/Subfloor Insulation?

tiny house floor insulation tiny house insulation options

Floor insulation is usually more expensive than attic or walls. And in concrete houses, because it’s usually difficult to install floor insulation than others, it is layered under the floor during the building process. That is similar to a tiny house. Therefore, you should consider carefully before buying.

Appropriate R-Value:

Temperature Roof insulation R-Value
85 – 900 F (29-320 C) R13
62.3 – 77.10 F ( 16.8-250 C) R13
50.8 – 72.20 F (10.44-22.330 C) R25
47.4 – 660 F (8.5-4.18.80 C) R25-R30
45.7 – 63.3 0 F (7.61-17.40 C) R25-R30
32.7 – 58.30 F (0.39-14.610 C) R25-R30
0.1  – 18.40 F (-17.72- -7.560 C) R25-R30

Suitable materials:

  • For hot climate: Sheep wool, Hemp, Recycled plastic bottles, Polystyrene
  • For cold climate: Glass wool, Rockwool, Multi-cell foil, Concertina foil

How to Choose Roof/Attic Insulation?

tiny house roof insulation

The roof is the highest place in the house and also the receiving end of all types of weather conditions or phenomena. Therefore, it should be stable, waterproof, moisture-proof, and well-made thermostat.

Experts usually choose asphalt shingle, cedar shingle, and fiberglass material to make roofs for almost all of the tiny houses they build. They are rustic, durable, which can last more than 20 years, light-weight, and easy to install.

Besides, you will feel very comfortable when layering them with some types of insulation I will mention later in this part.

Appropriate R-Value:


Roof insulation R-Value

85 – 900 F (29-320 C) R30 – R49
62.3 – 77.10 F ( 16.8-250 C) R30 – R60
50.8 – 72.20 F (10.44-22.330 C) R30 – R60
47.4 – 660 F (8.5-4.18.80 C) zone 4 R38 – R60
45.7 – 63.3 0 F (7.61-17.40 C) zone 5 R49 – R60
32.7 – 58.30 F (0.39-14.610 C) zone 6 R49 – R60
0.1  – 18.40 F (-17.72- -7.560 C) zone 7 R49 – R60

Suitable materials:

  • For hot climate: Fiberglass, Cellulose, Cotton, Plastics
  • For cold weather: Fiberglass, Glass wool, Rockwool, Reflective foil laminate

How to Choose Wall Insulation?

Tiny house Wall Insulation

The last part we need to consider is the walls. They support your entire tiny house, so they should be solid and made from durable materials. I love tiny houses made from wood because they vary in many shapes and size, and I can change the design or fix it whenever I want.

Plywood is the most trustworthy material to build the walls. And it is also appropriate to most of the climate, which is a great condition for any type of insulation.

Appropriate R-Value:

Temperature Wall insulation R-Value
2*4 2*6
85 – 900 F (29-320 C) R13 – R15 R19 – R21
62.3 – 77.10 F ( 16.8-250 C) R13 – R15 R19 – R21
50.8 – 72.20 F (10.44-22.330 C) R13 – R15 R19 – R21
47.4 – 660 F (8.5-4.18.80 C) zone 4 R13 – R15 R19 – R21
45.7 – 63.3 0 F (7.61-17.40 C) zone 5 R13 – R15 R19 – R21
32.7 – 58.30 F (0.39-14.610 C) zone 6 R13 – R15 R19 – R21
0.2  – 18.40 F (-17.72- -7.560 C) zone 7 R13 – R15 R19 – R21

Suitable materials:

  • For hot climate: Plastics, Polystyrene, Fiberglass, Plastic fibers, Natural fibers, Cellulose, Rigid phenolic.
  • For cold climate: Reflective foil laminate, Multi-cell foil, Concertina foil, Glass wool, Rockwool, Fiberglass.


What is the most efficient insulation material?

In terms of efficiency, the most efficient insulation material is often considered to be cellulose insulation. Cellulose has a high R-value rating and is made from recycled materials such as newspaper and cardboard, making it an environmentally friendly option. It also excels at air sealing, which can help reduce energy costs by preventing warm air from escaping and cold air from entering your home. Additionally, cellulose is relatively cheap and easy to install, making it an attractive option for many homeowners.

I hope my article has provided you with sufficient information about tiny house insulation options. The best insulation for tiny house will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and the climate of your area.

Regardless, thank you for reading my writing, and I will surely see you again in my subsequent articles. Goodbye.

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