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Bubble Insulation, Foil Only Radiant Barriers and Prodex Total - What's the difference?


  1. Foil Only Radiant barriers vs. Bubble Insulation
  2. Double Bubble Insulation compared to Single Bubble
  3. Prodex Total vs. Bubble Wrap Insulation
  4. Prodex Total Difference

Foil Only Radiant Barriers vs. Bubble Insulation

Foil Only radiant barriers are typically perforated and composed of two metalized surfaces with a mesh woven in for strength. It is not a vapor barrier - It is not insulation. Because foil only products have no membrane (substance between the layers of reflective material) transference of heat and or cold can occur. Bubble insulation solves the issue of heat and cold transference by using air bubbles between the reflective surfaces. Bubble insulation provides a radiant barrier, a vapor barrier and thermal protection. Bubble insulation is superior to foil only radiant barriers because it has an inner substance.

We recommend a bubble insulation over a foil only product.

What Is the Difference between Single and Double Bubble Insulation?

A Bubble insulation is composed of either one (single bubble) or two (double bubble) 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 insulation measures 5/16 inch. These measurements bear little resemblance to the effective measurement of the products (photos below).  

Single vs. Double Bubble Wrap Insulation - Which is the Best Value ?

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 wrap insulation. You'll get virtually all the benefits of the double bubble insulation while saving money.

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

Prodex Total Insulation vs. Bubble Insulation

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...

Click to enlarge

Foil Only               Single Bubble               Double bubble          Prodex Total

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

Take a look at the photos above. Even if you didn't know anything about double 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 5M plus has a nominal thickness of 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reflective reinforced 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 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.

Prodex Difference: 

  • Reflective reinforced foil on each side of closed-cell polyethylene foam center
  • Seals around nails (no leak)
  • Keeps its shape over time (doesn't collapse)
  • Rippled surface increases airflow
  • Green Product
  • Passes stringent fire tests


New Prodex Total 5m PlusR 17, Increased Tearing Resistance, Flame Spread 0. 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reinforced reflective foil.prodex insulation cross section

Prodex Total 10M New TagNew Prodex Total 10M Plus: R22. Twice as thick as regular Prodex Total. 10mm (0.4") closed cell polyethylene foam covered on both sides with reinforced reflective foil.

Any metal building  or pole barn that uses fiberglass insulation rather than Prodex Total will have moisture issues (typically hidden behind facing), Loss of R-value (consequence of the moisture) and heat gain. 

prodex insulation cross section

New White Prodex Total 5M PlusR15.3. 5mm (0.2") closed cell polyethylene foam with reflective reinforced foil on one side and plastic white finish film on the other side. 



Roll Sizes  

Foil Double Bubble Insulation compared to Prodex Total

Compare Prodex to other Insulation Types

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 4 billion square feet sold worldwide.


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