Air compressors can be excellent tools to have in your garage. However, if you find yourself reaching for them again and again, you’ll quickly notice how loud they can be. If you’re not able to get a quieter model for whatever reason, your next best bet will be to quiet it with other means. One of the best ways to lessen the amount of noise your air compressor makes is to get anti-vibration pads for it.
Anti-vibration pads are actually a great option for many machines we use in workshops. Large air compressors, air conditioners, dishwashers, washing machines, and other comparable appliances are all similarly loud.
Before I get into the reviews of the best products currently on the market, we have to figure out what kind of noise air compressors make. After we have a firm grasp of that, I’ll explain everything you need to know about finding the right pads for your machine. Finally, I’ll also give you a few tips that will help you set up your air compressor so that you can use it without worrying about disturbing the whole neighborhood.
Air Compressors Vibrate and Make Noise
We know that strong air compressors tend to shake more than the smaller units I recommended in my recent reviews. Most of the quiet compressors I recommended only make about 65–70 decibels of noise, anyway.
However, even that upper threshold can get uncomfortable if you’re going to be working for a while. Imagine having to vacuum for hours on end. That’s about the same level of noise you can expect from some of the quieter air compressors.
Naturally, most compressors are much worse, as they can even be louder than 80 decibels. That’s about twice as loud as 70 decibels — which can actually damage your hearing. And that’s only the airborne noise that reaches your ears. But that’s not all, is it?
If a machine is strong enough to vibrate while it’s operating, it’s probably strong enough to shake the ground you’re standing on as well. If you have cement or wooden floors in your workshop, the impact noise will easily travel through it. And just think of the havoc it might wreck if it manages to shake your tools off the shelves.
Fortunately, anti-vibration pads should be able to prevent most of the noise. As always, you cannot hope to achieve total silence without finding a way to completely close off the air compressor. However, a bit of rubber would be just the thing you need if you wanted to reduce the vibrations, at least.
How to Find the Right Anti-Vibration Pads for Your Air Compressor
You should keep in mind that some air compressors already come with what are essentially anti-vibration feet. Smaller ones have rubber feet like these Sorbothane pads I recommended in my article on anti-vibration products for washing machines. So you’ll likely find that your compressor either already has that kind of protection or doesn’t need it at all.
On the other hand, some models just have metal feet, which can definitely worsen the vibration transfer. In that case, I recommend getting some kind of anti-vibration pads. So here’s what you need to know about them before you go shopping.
Most anti-vibration pads are made of rubber for one simple reason: rubber is great at absorbing vibrations. In fact, due to the density and the weight of the material, it’s a good choice for most soundproofing projects.
Another thing that makes it perfect for insulating workshop machinery is the fact that it is also extremely heat-resistant. As you can imagine, that is important when you’re working with devices that may overheat from time to time.
Aside from rubber, many anti-vibration pads are also made of vinyl. If you’ve been following some of my other articles, you’ll know that I frequently recommend mass-loaded vinyl for all of your soundproofing needs. So, if you have a piece of it lying around, you could actually just use that to quiet your compressor as well.
Rubber and vinyl products come in all shapes and sizes, some of them are solid while others are softer. Personally, I’ve found that foam rubber products work slightly better than the solid rubber ones. The more malleable foam seems to be better at absorbing the vibrations and staying in place than firm materials, which can sometimes cause even more noise by squeaking.
Size and Quantity
I found many anti-vibration pads that come in various sizes, thicknesses, and quantities. They can come in 2, 3, 4, 6, or 9-inch squares and can be 3/4 or 7/8 inches thick. Some of them are even an inch.
You’ll also find that most pads come in packs of 4, 6, 8, or more pieces. So if your compressor has legs, you can slip a pad under each of them or stack several of them on top of each other. But be careful — the construction should still be sturdy enough to hold the machine when you power it on.
Where to Buy
Believe it or not, anti-vibration pads are actually pretty easy to find. You can get rubber in most sizes and thicknesses in most hardware stores. However, if you want something a bit more specific, or even if you want the convenience of ordering online, you’ll have to go to Amazon.
8 Best Anti-Vibration Pads for Air Compressors
Now that you know what to look for when buying anti-vibration pads for air compressors, let’s see some examples.
1. LBG Products Rubber Anti-vibration Isolator Pads
This roundup will begin with one of the most basic anti-vibration pads you can find on the market. However basic it might be, this LBG Products model is also at the very top when it comes to effectiveness.
For starters, the package contains 4 pads, each of which has three separate layers. The top and the bottom layers are made of sturdy rubber, while the middle consists of blue EVA material. As such, the pads are much more effective than those made of solid rubber.
Moreover, the pads are incredibly durable and have a great weight capacity. Namely, a single pad can support up to 960 pounds, and combining them increases the capacity significantly.
Besides air compressors, these pads are also suitable for all types of heavy-duty machinery and appliances, including harvesters, generators, stereo equipment, mini heat pumps, and so on.
The model linked comes in dimensions of 4 x 4 x 7/8 inches, which is enough for most regular air compressors. However, they are also available in three other sizes.
Finally, these mats are easy to clean. The rubber is highly resistant to oil and most chemicals, so just wiping it with a damp cloth will be enough to remove any dirt or debris that accumulates.
- 4 x 4 x 7/8 inches
- Made of EVA materials and rubber
- Easy to clean
- The package contains 4 identical pads
2. PneumaticPlus Rubber/Cork Anti-vibration Pads
This pack of 4 mats is one of the most affordable options you can come across. The standard 4 x 4 x 7/8 inches pads only cost a few bucks per item, an excellent bargain if your budget is a bit tighter.
With a capacity of 50 pounds per square inch, the pads are suitable for most air compressors, washers, dryers, and all HVAC equipment. The rubber layers are 100% non-slip due to their ribbed design, so your air compressor will remain firmly in place while it works.
The alternating rubber ribs also offer extra vibration insulation, as the waves have to travel through even more layers than with other 3-part mats. In addition, the middle is made of cork, which is one of the most efficient and cost-effective sound and vibration insulation materials.
Due to the sturdiness of the source materials, these pads are suitable for indoor and outdoor use alike. In addition, you can easily clean them with wet wipes or a simple damp rag.
- 4 x 4 x 7/8 inches
- Made of rubber and cork
- Come in a package of 4 pads
3. Forestchill Heavy-Duty Anti-vibration Rubber Pads
Forestchill always offers quality sound insulation products, and these waffle air compressor pads are no exception. The rubber base offers excellent chemical resistance, and the overall design prevents any skidding and slipping.
The pads have a capacity of 60 pounds per square inch, meaning that they’re a good choice for heavy machinery. Plus, the mats are only 3/4 of an inch thick, making them barely noticeable beneath your air compressor.
Just like most products made of rubber, these pads have a recognizable smell. So, if you’re planning to use them inside and the scent bothers you, the manufacturer advises leaving the mats outside for a day or two first. This amount of time will be more than enough to air out the smell.
Although aesthetics aren’t an essential factor when it comes to air compressor pads, this model looks quite classy. As its name suggests, it resembles the surface of a waffle, and it comes in shiny black that fits neatly into any room.
- 4 x 4 x 3/4 inches
- Made of rubber
- The package contains 4 pads
- The waffle surface ensures even better sound insulation
4. Medium Anti-vibration Isolation Pads for Heavy Machinery
Made of solid rubber, these 3-inch industrial pads come with 5/8-inch holes in the middle. As such, they allow you to safely anchor your air compressor’s legs, ensuring everything remains firmly in place.
Like some of the other models covered, these pads also come with an alternating rib design. The ribs are extremely effective sound insulators, and they add to the non-slip feature of the pads.
The only potential problem with these pads is that not all compressor legs may fit inside the holes. So, before you decide to buy them, measure your compressor to see if the mats are a good fit.
Although it might seem small, each pad can support over 900 pounds without showing any tear. So, the pads are a suitable choice for even the largest air compressors on the market.
Lastly, these products are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The rubber is extremely durable, so it won’t get damaged by the elements at all.
- 3 x 3 x 1 inch
- Come with ⅝-inch holes in the middle
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Easy to clean
- Excellent weight capacity
5. GCGOODS Heavy-Duty Ribbed Rubber Isolation Pads
These sound insulation pads also come with 3/8-inch holes drilled in the middle. However, they are made of a combination of rubber and EVA material, making them more effective in reducing both noise and vibrations than the previous models.
The pads are ductless, meaning that you just place them on your floor and slip them under your air compressor. Thanks to the ribbed design, the pads will stay in place, ensuring your compressor never moves.
Similarly to most regular models, these pads come in standard 4 x 4 x 7/8 inches dimensions. A single pad can support up to 960 pounds or 60 pounds per square inch.
Besides heavy-duty machinery, you can also use the pads to secure outdoor and indoor furniture. The rubber and EVA material are equally durable and light, and you can easily clean them with a damp cloth.
And finally, these pads come directly from the manufacturer’s factory. As such, they will have a strong rubber odor. So, make sure to air them out for a day if you’re planning on using them inside your home.
- 4 x 4 x 7/8 inches
- A combination of rubber and EVA
- 4 pads support up to 3,800 pounds
- Durable pads
6. JEACENT Shock Absorber Anti-vibration Pads
If you’re looking for pads that aren’t rectangular, this JEACENT 4-mat package is an excellent choice. The mats come in a horseshoe shape, and they are suitable for anything from split system heat pump units to air compressors.
The pads are made of a combination of composite material and solid rubber. In addition, the manufacturer has ensured the mats can reduce up to 70% of sound coming from your machine by using cutting-edge polymer technology.
Furthermore, these pads support dynamic performance and stability, especially due to their uneven surface. Besides reducing noise, they also shield your floor from any structural damage and scratching.
To protect the mats during shipping, the manufacturer coats them using an oily substance. As useful as it is, it does give off a distinct odor that can be overwhelming in smaller rooms. So, it’s a good idea to leave the pads to air before bringing them inside.
Last but not least, the pads are super easy to maintain. The composite and rubber combo requires little to no cleaning, and it is highly resistant to chemicals, liquids, and oils.
- 2.75 x 2.75 x 3/8 inches
- Made of composite material and rubber
- No slipping and skidding
- Solid black color
7. KCHEX Anti-vibration Pads for Air Compressor
As you can tell from the products listed, most EVA-rubber pads come in a blue and black combination. Luckily, this model will check all your boxes in case you want fully black pads for aesthetic reasons.
The only problem is that the pads come in groups of 3 pads. So, if your compressor needs more support, you might have to get two mat packages instead of just one. Still, the price is quite accessible, so this probably won’t be too big of an issue.
The mats are equally suitable for regular and oil compressors, meaning that you won’t have to worry about damage or cleaning. The ribbed design also ensures that your appliance doesn’t slip.
Aside from air compressors, the pads are excellent for washers, air conditioners, and treadmills. The pads’ capacity is 60 pounds per square inch, so they can hold up a combined 2,850 pounds.
- 4 x 4 x 1 inches
- Reduce noise by up to 60%
- Made of rubber and EVA
8. MyLifeUNIT Shock Absorbing Pads
Do you need more than the standard 4 pads that most companies offer? If so, MyLifeUNIT has you covered with this 8-pad package. Each pad is 3.9 inches long and 3.9 inches wide, making them perfect for the vast majority of air compressors.
The unique combination of EVA materials ensures that the pads reduce up to 70% of noise. This fact makes them suitable for a lot more than just your usual home or garage appliances.
Although the pads are not ribbed, the material won’t slide across your floor. So, your air compressor won’t skid or move even when it’s running. In addition, the pads won’t get damaged or worn, as a single one can support up to 1,000 pounds.
Besides noise, the pads do an excellent job of reducing air compressor vibrations. This ability comes from the fact that they’re made solely of EVA materials and contain no rubber. In fact, when it comes to absorbing vibrations, this model is definitely the best you can come across.
Appearance-wise, the pads are sleek and shiny black, so they can be pretty much invisible when you place them under your compressor.
- 3.94 x 3.94 x 0.8 inches
- Made of 100% EVA
- Excellent at absorbing vibrations
- Square shape
How to Use Anti-Vibration Pads to Quiet Air Compressors
Finally, let’s talk about how we could use anti-vibration pads to quiet our air compressors. These are some of the tried-and-true methods I found when I was researching tips on how to quiet noisy generators, so they should apply here as well. The first method is as simple as they come.
Put Them Under the Machine
The first thing we ought to do is try the obvious route: putting the pads under the compressor feet. As I have already mentioned, some compressors already have those hard rubber feet. Others at least have rubber padding, like the one you see on this Campbell Hausfeld compressor. Still, if you find that’s just not enough to eliminate all the noise, you can either set the whole thing down on a large anti-vibration mat or put the anti-vibration tiles I told you about under each foot.
On the other hand, if you have a huge 60-gallon compressor, you’ll have to screw its feet into the ground. However, if you want to create some space between the floor and the machine, I recommend using the oil-resistant pads.
You can even stack two of those tiles on top of each other. But, you’ll have to pre-drill a hole in them before putting them under each compressor foot and drilling the unit into the ground. You can also use rubber grommets between the metal pieces that move against each other when the compressor is on.
But really, if you have one of those huge air compressors, you’ll need more than a bit of floor padding if you want to keep it quiet.
Combine With a Blanket
There are several ways you could use a blanket to help you soundproof your air compressor. If you’re dealing with a smaller model, you can use any old blanket to provide the padding you need.
You can even use a blanket instead of a rubber mat. However, you’d need to be sure that the compressor in question doesn’t have a tendency to overheat. If your compressor heats up easily, you can still use a blanket — just put a rubber pad over it.
Furthermore, you don’t have to limit yourself to regular blankets. Soundproof blankets can also be very useful for these kinds of situations. You can drape one over your compressor or wrap it around if you have a large unit. In fact, you can even use them to create a room divider or a partition. Simply keep the compressor on the other side of the acoustic barrier.
There are many ways to make good use of blankets during soundproofing projects, as I’ve already explained. However, I’d advise against keeping them in your workshop if you frequently work with anything that emits fumes.
Extra Tip: Build a Soundproof Box
Lastly, if your compressor is really loud, you can also build a soundproof box. If the instructions I gave in the article I’ve linked to are too complicated, you could simplify the process a bit. For example, instead of fiberglass insulation, you can line the inside of the box with MLV, rubber, and regular blankets.
However, the article above is supposed to help you make a box for your generator. So either way, you’ll have to make some other adjustments for your compressor.
Hopefully, this article will serve as a guide if you ever find yourself having to quiet your air compressor. Even though most small devices already have rubber feet, you can still use a thick rubber mat or foam tiles. Still, in my opinion, simple pads are the ultimate winners here.
Aside from using the anti-vibration pads under the compressor feet, you can also cover the compressor with blankets. Additionally, you can make a partition or build a soundproof box.
But of course, those aren’t the only acceptable solutions to the problem of noisy compressors. In fact, I’m sure you can come up with better ones — so go get creative.