Spray Foam Insulation vs. Cellulose Insulation

Home insulation is an investment in your comfort, efficiency, and indoor health, which is why it’s important to find the best option for your specific needs. However, choosing the right insulation can be a challenge. Two of the most popular types of insulation to consider are spray foam insulation and cellulose insulation, but which is the better option? 

ARC Insulation is a high-performance energy and insulation contractor in Chicagoland with over 31 years of experience. We install both spray foam insulation and cellulose insulation in a wide variety of homes in the area and always use building science in our work. Here’s our professional opinion on the pros and cons of cellulose vs foam insulation.

Spray Foam vs Cellulose

Spray foam insulation and cellulose insulation are both great options, but you need to decide which one will best meet your home’s needs. ARC Insulation starts every installation with an in-home assessment. This gives our team the opportunity to get to know your home and energy goals. From there, we’ll propose a personalized solution and let you know if cellulose vs spray foam is right for you. 

Both spray foam and cellulose insulation offer a high R-value, can be a good choice for attics or basements, and are eligible for incentives. But let’s dive into their differences. 

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation is a cellular polyurethane foam that is spray-applied throughout your home. When first applied, spray foam doesn’t look like much, but it quickly expands up to 60 times its original size, making it great for insulating tight areas. As one of the most common types of insulation, spray foam also creates a barrier that is air-tight and protected from the outside elements.


  • Air seals & insulates
  • Long-lasting
  • Improves home structure
  • Moisture protection
  • Promotes healthy indoor air quality
  • Air, vapor, and radiant barrier


  • Requires fire-resistant barrier
  • More expensive
  • Not as sound-resistant as cellulose
  • Need greater access behind walls—more drywall demo

Cellulose Insulation

Cellulose insulation is a loose-fill product made up of shredded newsprint and contains boric acid to increase its resistance to fire, mold growth, and pests. Cellulose is blown-in to insulate both open and tight spaces in your home. Also thought to be one of the environmentally conscious choices for insulation, cellulose can protect your home from heat transfer.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Noise-dampening
  • Fire, insect, and mold resistant 
  • Cost-effective


  • Shorter lifespan than spray foam
  • Will settle over time
  • May require additional air sealing

Find the Best Insulation for Your Home with ARC Insulation

Since 1993, we’ve been helping homeowners find reliable and long-lasting solutions to solve common problems in Chicagoland, like ice dams and high energy costs. Your home is our top priority and our customized services have built a reputation for exceeding expectations. Plus, the ARC Insulation team is always thorough, clean, and polite. If you’re interested in improving your home comfort, lowering your utility cost, and breathing easier with healthy indoor air, reach out to ARC Insulation today.

Get started with a free insulation estimate. Call 815-293-1250 or contact us online for more information.