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Double Bubble Insulation: Bubble wrap vs. Prodex Total

metal roof with Prodex Total Insulation

What's The Difference Between Double Bubble Insulation and Prodex Total?

        Foil Only               Single Bubble        Double bubble         Prodex Total

Foil Only Radiant Barriersingle bubble - radiant bubble foilDouble bubble insulationProdex Total Insulation cross sections

Click to enlarge

Bubble Insulation and Prodex Total are both suitable for metal buildings, pole barns, homes, attics, roofs, walls, crawlspaces, garages and more - Both insulation products provide R-value, a radiant heat barrier and vapor barrier protection. That's where the similarities end...

Take a look at the photos above. Even if you didn't know anything about bubble insulation or Prodex Total, which one would you choose? The obvious choice is Prodex Total. It has a high quality core that keeps its shape when exposed to forces. Prodex Total has a nominal thickness of 5mm (13/64 inch) closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .0012 (00.03mm) aluminum foil facing. Under pressure, the Prodex micro-cells do not collapse -- With a pressure of 6 PSI Prodex compresses just 6%. When the load is relieved it takes back its initial shape. The density of the foam is between 1.25 lb/ft (sq) - 1.87 lb/ft (sq). This gives the material real body. 

Because bubble foil insulation has a core composed of air rather than closed cell polyethylene foam, it lacks the long-term consistency in performance of Prodex Total Insulation.

What is the Difference between Single Bubble and Double Bubble Insulation?

Bubble insulation is composed of either one (single bubble) or two (double) layers of air bubbles sandwiched between two metalized surfaces. Once either is punctured, it collapses. Single bubble has a nominal thickness of 5/32 inch. Double bubble measures 5/16 inch. These measurements bear little resemblance to the effective measurement of the products (photos above).

Which Bubble Insulation is the Best Value - Single of Double Bubble?

We see little difference between the performance of single and double bubble insulation. The latter simply has a second layer of air bubbles (A balloon with more air). Although we strongly recommend Prodex Total over either, if your budget doesn't allow you to purchase the quality of Prodex, we suggest you order a single bubble insulation rather than a double bubble. You'll get virtually all the benefits of the double bubble while saving money.

We do not offer double bubble because we aren't able to justify its pricing relative to Prodex Total or single bubble.

Prodex Total Insulation = Insulation R-value 16 + Radiant Barrier Vapor Barrier All in One Product. One solution to Cold, Heat and Condensation - You'll be warm in winter, cool in summer and dry all the time.

prodex insulation cross section

 13/64 inch (approx. 3/16") - 5mm closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .0012 inch (0.03mm) aluminum foil facing

Prodex Total Insulation Difference vs. Bubble Insulation

  • Superior core
  • Surrounds core with aluminum instead of metalized film 


Technical Brochure 

Prodex Total Insulation Solves Condensation, Heat and Cold Challenges

Prodex Total Eliminates Condensation

Prodex eliminates the moisture and ice dams from forming on roof and walls. When the heat or cold from outside comes through the sheathing it hits the outside aluminum facing of Prodex and is reflected back upwards through the underside of the sheathing. This process keeps the sheathing temperature consistent on both sides. In addition, the inside layer of aluminum in Prodex reflects away the heat (heater) or cold (air-conditioning) from inside the building, from getting to the sheathing. This also helps in preventing condensation. 

Prodex Total Prevents Radiant Heat Transfer

How Foil Insulation Keeps home cool and warm

Prodex Total reflects 97% of the radiant energy (primary source of heat flow) that strikes it. Prodex also reflects back the heat inside your building or home. Each unit of radiant heat energy that is reflected away from your building or home in the summer, and each unit that is reflected back during the winter, means less operation of your heating and air conditioning system - Less wear and tear on your equipment - Less money you pay in utility costs. Fiberglass and spray foam insulation do not prevent radiant heat transfer.

Prodex Total Keeps You Warm

The Prodex Total R-value is not affected by humidity. This feature cannot be over emphasized. There is humidity in every location.  Your insulation must work in these conditions.

Benefits of Prodex Total Insulation

  • R-value 16 unaffected by humidity
  • Prevents 97% of radiant heat transfer
  • Vapor barrier
  • Prevents condensation
  • 19dba contact noise reduction
  • 90 degree Celsius (194 Fahrenheit) contact temperature rating
  • UV resistance
  • Does not promote mold or mildew
  • Does not provide for nesting of rodents, bugs or birds
  • Seals around nails (no leak)
  • Made with 100% recyclable virgin raw materials

Larkin Palmer: Sunday, October 25, 2009

We are so glad you recommended we use your Prodex Total Insulation with adhesive in 2 layers for our steel RV garage. You were right about the quantity of 11 rolls that it would take to cover our building. We love it. It not only insulated well but it also works as a great sound barrier. We also love the reflective tape you sold us but we are short 2 rolls to complete our building as we liked how well it seals and also how much better the insulation looks to cover every seem.

For independent reviews visit Site Jabber.

Comparison Chart: Bubble Wrap Insulation and Foil Only to Prodex Total

chart comparing Prodex Foil Insulation to Bubble

Foil Only Products Are Not Insulation

Foil only products are typically perforated and composed of two metalized surfaces with a mesh woven in for strength. It is not a vapor barrier, it has no R-value - It is not insulation per se. It's a thin layer of reflective low emissivity film installed with an airspace to block radiant heat transfer between a surface that radiates heat. We refer to these products as foil only radiant barriers.

Prodex Total Insulation - Unlike foil only products (no inner substance), This insulation protects against the energy transferred via conduction and convection. Prodex is a radiant barrierreflective insulation + Vapor Barrier. More than just a radiant barrier, Prodex Total is one solution for Heat, Cold, and Water. Prodex prevents condensation, heat from coming in and heat from getting out of your building!

Install Instructions for Bubble Insulation or Prodex Total

It's a lot easier and less expensive to install a 5mm roll of Prodex, or bubble insulation than a bulky 6 inch roll of fiberglass or spray foam. Pinching 6 inches fiberglass between the framing and sheathing is not easy. It's really tough having to use a wire mesh to hold fiberglass in place on an existing building. Spray foam is not DIY friendly.

Prodex Total or bubble insulation can be installed before or after your sheathing.

Installation methods 

More benefits of Prodex Total Insulation

Protects Content From Vapor

Prodex is a class 1 vapor barrier. A vapor barrier (moisture barrier) refers to any material that prevents moisture from passing through the walls or roof of a building. This material can be plastic or better yet, Prodex Total Insulation - 13/64 inch, 5mm closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .0012-inch (00.03mm) aluminum foil facing. Prodex Total Insulation (Vapor Barrier, Class 1. perm<0.1 ).

Prodex Insulation Prevents Rodents, Bugs and Birds from Nesting

Unlike fiberglass insulation, Prodex does not provide for the nesting of rodents, bugs and birds. Rodents, bugs and birds aren't able to digest the aluminum.

Prodex Total Deadens Sound of Rain and Hail

Metal skin on a building can exaggerate the sound of rain and hail. Prodex has an excellent 19db sound deadening. 

Increased Lighting Efficiency

Prodex provides a bright, attractive finish to your building. It reflects the light, making it easier to light the building interior.

How do I know this is a great product?

Prodex Total is ICC-ES recognized. BBB link bottom right of every page. Real-time customer comments on every product page. Independent reviews (bottom right of every page).

prodex insulation cross sectionProdex Total Insulation Roll sizes

48 Inch (4 ft. x 175 ft., 700 sq. ft.) 
72 Inch (6 ft. x 100 ft., 600 sq. ft.)
24 Inch (Two rolls of 2 ft. x 175 ft., 700 sq. ft.)  
16 Inch (Three rolls of 16 in. x 175 ft., 700 sq. ft.)

Want White Facing?

foil fiberglass vinyl insulation cross sectionFoil Fiberglass Vinyl (Not A Prodex Product) R 10.7. The performance level of this product is slightly less than Prodex Total primarily because it only has one reflective surface. 4 ft. x 125 ft. and 6 ft. x 125.Ideal for commercial or residential applications where white facing is preferred. Radiant barrier composed of 1/4 inch fiberglass core bonded to one layer of aluminum foil facing and one layer of durable white scrim-reinforced facing material. Fiberglass is encapsulated.

5 Reasons To Buy Prodex Total Insulation

  1. Independent reviews at Site Jabber. Site Jabber is the leading community of online business reviewers. The community helps consumers find great online business and avoid scams. The community has grown to over 850,000 members and has reviewed over 58,000 online businesses. Site Jabber was developed in part with a grant from the National Science Foundation.
  2. BBB report. For over 100 years, BBB has set the standard for ethical business behavior. We're proud to maintain an "A to A+" rating. This rating takes into account a company's size in its relation to complaints. We're proud to maintain an "A to A+" rating. We've been accredited since March 15, 2004
  3. Prodex Insulation Reviews on every product page
  4. ICC-ES Recognized - ICC-ES is an evaluation service that takes independent test data for a variety of products and analyses it against a uniform Acceptance Criteria that is recognized internationally.
  5. Over 3 billion square feet sold worldwide.

Reviews - What to Believe 


Bubble Insulation lacks the quality core and aluminum surface of Prodex Total.

It takes more than metalized film and air to make a quality insulation. If you only have metalized film and a mesh than you don't have insulation. If your product is composed of air bubbles it's subject to collapse in time or lose effectiveness when punctured. It requires a quality core of foam and aluminum to make a great insulation.

Prodex Total Insulation = Insulation + Radiant barrier + Vapor barrier.


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Updated July 21, 2016

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