Insulating Your Shipping Container for All Seasons
Jan 2022

Insulating Your Shipping Container for All Seasons

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The best part about shipping containers is that they’re multi-functional, relatively low-cost, and durable enough to last throughout the years. However, insulating your shipping container for each season is another issue that requires your careful attention.

Insulation should be considered the backbone of your shipping container space. After all, it’s a necessary component in any building or home that helps to retain heat and coolness inside the space. That means if you are planning on transforming your shipping container into a usable living area or shop, you will need proper insulation that factors in both your desired use and the surrounding climate.

In general, shipping containers can be an interesting way to live out your dreams of owning a tiny home or opening a small business. In this article, you will learn how to insulate your shipping container properly and efficiently so that you can make those dreams a reality.

Why should you insulate your shipping container?

With the proper insulation, you may benefit from lower heating and cooling costs, as your heat or air conditioning unit won’t be working as hard. The main purpose of insulation in shipping containers is to keep it dry and warm or cool by retaining heat or cold within, and allowing the container to remain at a comfortable temperature.

Depending on how you intend to use the shipping container, you should insulate it according to your desired function. For instance, many people will use their shipping containers either as a living space or a workplace. As a home, it is important to ensure that the indoor area is properly heated during the winter and cooled down during the summer. Your comfort is your top priority, which means you need to ensure that the living conditions within your shipping container are suitable and worthwhile.

When adding insulation to your shipping container, therefore, you should also consider the type of climate that you are placing it in. Cold climates will need insulation with a higher R-value, or the ability to reduce heat flow. Warmer climates, on the other hand, should look at insulation with a lower R-value.

Choosing the most suitable insulation involves looking at different types, and deciding which one fits your intended criteria.

Top 5 Types of Shipping Container Insulation

1. Spray foam

One of the most common types of insulation for shipping container users, spray foam is a great insulation for wet and cold climates. This is due to its ability to prevent condensation from forming, thus keeping everything inside dry and warm.

Spray foam is also great for first-time shipping container buyers, as it is quick and easy to install, as well as durable. That being said, spray foam may be a little pricier than other types of insulation, but the quality you receive out of it may be worth the extra cost.

2. Glass wool insulation blanket

There are two types of glass wool insulation blankets: fiberglass and mineral wool. This type of insulation is also very common, but much more affordable. You may choose between glass wool insulation blankets in rolls or pre-cut batts; both come with their own benefits. Rolls will allow you to cut the blanket according to your specific needs, while the pre-cut batts might be more beneficial for box-shaped shipping containers. Apply two layers of insulation blanket for best results.

3. Styrofoam panels

A budget-friendly and simple way of adding basic insulation to your shipping container, styrofoam panels can be installed by glueing them directly onto the walls of the container. Moreover, styrofoam panels have a low R-value of 4, which means that it would work best in a shipper container used mainly for storage. The best part about using styrofoam panels as insulation is that they have a relatively long lifespan, meaning that they can easily last more than 50 years if taken care of.

4. Batt insulation

Batt insulation is the classic pink cotton-candy-like insulation that you’ve likely seen before in attics, unfinished basements, or any home or building under construction. As the industry standard for office and residential areas, shipping container users will usually use batt insulation if they are planning on making their container into a home or office space. Batt insulation is ideal for its superior quality and ability to significantly lower heating and cooling costs, as well as its extended longevity of 100 years or more.

5. Organic materials

If you are looking for the most eco-friendly insulation type for your shipping container, organic materials should be your go-to. This can include recycled materials such as cellulose, denim, and recycled plastic. However, note that cellulose, or shredded newspaper, can attract less attractive things into your shipping container, including bugs and mould.

Recycled materials may be a good idea for those looking for insulation that is affordable and environmentally-friendly. Still, they do have many downsides that one should consider before trying them. Organic materials are mainly efficient in regulating temperatures in your shipping container, meaning that they work best in climates with warmer weather or for short-term projects due to their likely-short lifespan.

Getting Started on Insulating Your Shipping Container

Kickstarting your journey by insulating your shipping container should be easy and affordable if you follow the right steps and advice. After you decide which type of insulation would best fit your needs, you are ready to install the insulation and reap the benefits of a well-heated or well-cooled shipping container that can provide you with a charming tiny home, storage space, business area, or anything your heart desires.

At Sigma Container, we are dedicated to getting you a shipping container that does just that, so that either you can feel comfortable, or the goods inside your container are safe and undamaged. Whenever you are ready to purchase your first container, Sigma Container has your best intentions in mind.

If you would like to learn more about shipping container modifications and getting the perfect fit for your next DIY project, call us toll-free at 1-877-225-7762 or send an email to

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at