Comparing Foil Insulation

Differences In Foil Insulation - Single Bubble, Double Bubble and Prodex Total Foil Insulation

Foil Only                      Single Bubble Foil Insulation   Double bubble Foil Insulation      Prodex Total

Foil insulation - foil foil, single bubble, double bubble and Prodex

Take a look at the photos above. Even if you didn't know anything about foil insulation, you would likely select the correct product - Prodex Total Foil Insulation. 

Foil Insulation Should Have a Quality Core 

Prodex Total 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. Prodex seals around nails - That's important - Most installation methods require stapling, nailing or screwing the foil insulation to a surface.

chart comparing foil insulation

Prodex Total, Single Bubble and Double Bubble foil insulations, are all suitable for metal buildings, pole barns, homes, attics, roofs, walls, crawl spaces, garages etc - Providing R-value, and a radiant heat barrier. Foil only products are not recommended for these applications. 

Double Bubble and Single Bubble Foil Insulation - Balloons That Burst

Double bubble and single bubble foil insulation are composed of either one (single bubble) or two (double bubble) layers of air bubbles sandwiched between two metalized surfaces. The rows of air bubbles play the important role of separating the reflective foils. These products are more than just a radiant barrier, they're considered foil insulation.  Unfortunately, air is not as effective a separator as closed cell foam; therefore, long-term performance can be a concern.

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 (see photos below). We see little difference between the performance of single and double bubble foil insulation. The latter simply has a second layer of air bubbles (A balloon with more air). Once either is punctured, it collapses. Although we strongly suggest you order Prodex Total, if your budget doesn't allow you to purchase the quality of Prodex, we suggest you order a single bubble foil insulation rather than a double bubble. You'll get virtually all the benefits of the double bubble foil insulation while saving money. We do not offer double bubble foil insulation because we aren't able to justify its pricing relative to Prodex Total or single bubble foil insulation.

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.

Quality Core Surrounded by Reflective Foil Facing = Quality Foil Insulation

Prodex Total Foil Insulation - Unlike foil only products (no inner substance), This foil insulation protects against the energy transferred via conduction and convection. Prodex is a radiant barrierreflective insulation (R-value 16) + 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!

Unlike bubble foil insulations, Prodex total micro-cells don't collapse in time. Rippled surface promotes air-flow. Increased lighting efficiency. Because the Prodex core is closed cell foam instead of only air bubbles, it also seals around nails, provides 19dB contact sound reduction, Class 1 vapor barrier with a perm<0.1., ICC-ES recognized. It is composed of 13/64 inch, 5mm closed-cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with .0012-inch (00.03mm) aluminum foil facing).  

Want White Facing on Foil Insulation?

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.

Prodex Difference:  R 16 unaffected by humidity : Prevents condensation : Prevents 97% of radiant heat transfer : Vapor barrier : Core sealed on both 175' side with flange : Elastic : 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) : Reflective aluminum foil on each side of 5mm (13/64) closed-cell polyethylene foam center : Keeps its shape over time (doesn't collapse) : Rippled surface increases airflow : ICC-ES Recognized : Member of US Green Building Council - Made with 100% recyclable virgin raw materials : Over 3 billion square feet sold worldwide

Prodex Total 48 Inch, Fast Action, Perforated, 72 Inch, 24 Inch, 16 Inch

List of All our Foil insulations

Installation Instructions and Uses

Prodex Total 48 Inch Insulation 4 ft x 175 ft (700 sq. ft. total): 

Customer Reviews
Jimmy Trout: Monday, August 17, 2009

We have had the contractor install the Prodex on our roof and even over the screen porch on our new construction little cottage in the mountains. We are very happy with it. We already “feel” it will make a big difference in energy savings. I ordered a sample to show some builder friends.

For independent reviews visit site Jabber

foil insulation picture of roll, foam and aluminum

 5 Reasons To Buy Prodex Total Foil 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 4 billion square feet sold worldwide.

Reviews - What to Believe


It takes more than foil and air to make a foil insulation. If you only have foil 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 good foil insulation.


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