How to Use Newspaper as Insulation

How to Use Newspaper as Insulation

How to Use Newspaper as Insulation

Why Use Newspaper as Insulation?

Using newspaper as insulation can be a cheap, eco-friendly way to insulate your home or protect items from temperature changes. Here are some of the benefits of using newspaper insulation:

  • Cost effective – Newspaper is very inexpensive and often free if you use old newspapers. This can save money compared to buying traditional insulation materials.

  • Easily accessible – Most people have access to old newspapers, making newspaper a convenient insulation option. You don’t have to go out and purchase insulation.

  • Environmentally friendly – Recycling old newspapers as insulation keeps them out of landfills. It’s a good way to reuse and repurpose.

  • Effective insulator – Stacked, crumpled newspaper can act as an effective insulator against heat, cold, noise, and vibrations. The trapped air pockets between pages slow temperature transfer.

How to Insulate with Newspaper

Using newspaper for insulation is simple. Here are some tips on how to properly use newspaper as insulation:

Attics and Walls

  • Crumple up full sheets of newspaper to make loose balls of insulation. Loosely pack the crumpled newspaper balls into the space.

  • Ensure there are no gaps between the newspaper balls where air pockets could form. The denser the better.

  • Install the newspaper in layers 2-6 inches thick. Work in small sections for easier installation.

  • Caution: avoid packing newspaper too densely as this can cause it to mold or mildew. Allow for air circulation.


  • For an added layer of insulation on windows, moisten newspaper sheets slightly and adhere them directly onto the windows with spray adhesive.

  • This creates an insulating barrier to prevent drafts from coming through.

  • For window air conditioners, crumple newspaper balls and loosely pack them into the open window gaps around the air conditioner to seal any air leaks.

Pipes and Ducts

  • To insulate pipes or ducts, wrap crumpled newspaper sheets around them, using tape to hold the newspaper in place if needed.

  • Make sure the newspaper completely surrounds the pipe or ductwork to act as insulation.

Shipping Boxes

  • When packing items in boxes for shipping, crumple up newspaper sheets and pack them around the items for insulation.

  • This helps cushion the items and protects them from temperature changes during shipping.

Tips for Effective Use

Here are some tips to ensure newspaper insulation is effective:

  • Use a lot of crumpled newspaper and pack it densely enough to form a thick insulating barrier.

  • Avoid gaps where air pockets could form, reducing the insulation’s effectiveness.

  • Check newspaper insulation periodically and add more if any settlement occurs.

  • Be sure to keep newspaper insulation dry, as moisture can cause it to compress and lose insulation value.

  • Newspaper insulation works best when combined with proper air sealing techniques for maximum energy efficiency.

Alternatives to Newspaper Insulation

While newspaper can work for some applications, for certain situations, traditional insulation may be more effective:

  • Fiberglass – Better for extensive wall and attic insulation.

  • Foam boards – For exterior wall sheathing and insulating basement walls.

  • Spray foam – Seals cracks and penetrations that reduce insulation performance.

  • Insulation batts – Fits tightly between studs, rafters, and joists.

Talk to an insulation contractor about the best insulation solutions for your specific needs. Often a combination of different insulation types is optimal.


Newspaper insulation is an innovative green option that repurposes paper waste into an effective insulating material. When used properly, newspaper can be a cost-effective insulation method for certain applications. Pay close attention to proper installation and moisture control for best results. Evaluate if newspaper or traditional insulation is the right solution for your particular insulation needs. With some creativity, newspaper can help improve energy efficiency.