Batt vs Roll Insulation: What Are They and How Are They Different

When you are choosing the best insulation system you will come across two main ones and the decision can be quite difficult to make if you don’t have any experience. Keep reading to find everything you need to know about insulation batts and insulation rolls and make the best decision for your home.

The main differences between batt and roll insulation are in their installation and the size they come in. Batt insulation comes in batts with fixed sizes whereas roll insulations come rolled. Batts are easier to install but rolls are more effective in filling any gaps than batts. Also, the materials used to make batt insulation is usually thicker than the one for roll insulation.

To know more about batt and roll insulations, continue reading;

What is batt insulation?

Batt insulation is a very common type of insulation and it comes already pre-cut. The main material used for batt insulation is fiberglass but you can find it made out of foam and even wool and rock. This type of product comes in different sizes and, as long as you take your measurements the right way, you will not have to adjust them at all. You will also find batt insulation with different R-values and they can be added in layers for extra protection too. 

An example of batt insulation

You can count on this type of insulation for your attic, basement, walls or other ceilings in your house. Batt insulation is fairly easy to install but you will have to make sure you don’t leave any gaps in order to enjoy a proper insulation. 

What is roll insulation?

Unlike batt insulation, roll insulation is a flexible product that you can manipulate just the way you want to add a layer of protection to your home. Thanks to their flexibility, you can use these rolls of insulation in any room of your house, including your basement and attic as well as any other walls and ceilings. The materials used to create roll insulation are usually foam and fiberglass but you can find them made of wool as well. Insulation rolls come in all kinds of R-values and they are easy to install in layers for even more protection. 

An example of roll insulation

In terms of sizes, roll insulation products don’t come pre-cut so you will have to set them on the dimensions that you want for your surface. However, cutting these rolls is fairly easy as they are lightweight and easy to move. Some of them require protective clothes during installation because the particles such as fiberglass particles could irritate your skin. 

The difference between batt and roll insulation

Now that we defined these two types of insulation, you most likely want to find out what are the differences between them. The truth is that both roll insulation and batt insulation are fairly similar, but you will definitely find aspects that set them apart and make your choice even easier. 


One of the most significant differences between batt insulation and roll insulation is the installation process. Since the batt insulation comes pre-cut, you will have few to no options when it comes to adjusting them to a different size. So, you will have to purchase the correct size and the exact number of parts to cover your entire surface. This can be inconvenient for many homeowners who choose to do the installation by themselves, with no other professional help. However, good measurements can save you in this aspect. 

On the other hand, roll insulation is much easier to manipulate and install even for people with no experience in this matter. You can shape and cut these rolls into the exact sizes that you want and all you have to do is follow the instructions with which they came from the manufacturer. An aspect to keep in mind is that roll insulation tends to be made of thinner material, in order to be easy to manage, but it can also tear easier as well. So, always try to purchase an extra roll just to be sure that you are covered in case such an accident happens during the installation process. 

Sizes and shapes

The way batt insulation and roll insulation come is quite different as well. The first one is wrapped in blocks of insulation that are pre-sized and they don’t have any flexibility so you can’t reshape them or resize them as you need. The roll insulation, however, comes in rolls that you can cut and shape to match your surface perfectly. Since you can’t modify the size of your batt insulation, you might need to purchase them in different sizes to make sure they cover your entire surface perfectly and leave no space for gaps. 


At first sight, both types of insulation are made of similar materials but there is a significant difference we need to mention. The market tendency is to create batt insulation from thicker materials than roll insulation since these products don’t need to be as flexible. So, you can find batt insulation made of rock or slag as well as the thicker types of wool and different types of fiberglass and natural fibers or plastic fibers. When it comes to roll insulation, you can find products made of the same materials only that in a thinner version. 

However, this difference remains relative as there are different types of products on the market and the variety keeps increasing as time goes by in order to satisfy more clients. The important aspect you have to consider is the R-value, and not the thickness of the material. 

Which one is better: Batt vs Roll insulation?

The general rule says both batt insulation and roll insulation are just as efficient as long as you install them the right way. Even so, the specialists in this field will recommend you to choose roll insulation if your surface is straight for the most part and with little to no obstacles. For surfaces that come with pipes attached to them or cables, batt rolls tend to be a better choice. Batt insulation will also save you time when you set it up since it is a lot easier to install, compared to roll insulation. 

Also, if you choose to install batt insulation and you don’t do it correctly, you take the risk of having gaps in your insulation layer. But this can be easily avoided by following the instructions and using high-quality products. So, ultimately, the final choice is up to your preferences. 

You can even combine these two types of insulation, which is an option especially for homes that are situated in very cold climates. If you choose to do that, install the batt insulation first and complete it with a layer or more of roll insulation. For this type of mix insulation you don’t need to choose the same R-value for both batt and roll insulation either. So, go for what seems to suit your house best and accommodate you with the best temperature during the cold months of the year!

Final thoughts

If you are not sure which one to choose when it comes to roll insulation and batt insulation, rest assured knowing that both of them can satisfy your needs and expectations just the same. Take into account the type of surface you want to insulate as well as the R-value that you need and you will not be disappointed in your choice. Most of these products come with clear instructions so you should be able to set them up by yourself. But if you can get a professional to do it, you will eliminate the risk of gaps or poor coverage which are common mistakes in DIY projects. 

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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