Installing sound deadening materials in your vehicle will completely change your life. However, if you’ve never considered doing that, getting into it can be a bit overwhelming. What are some of the best automotive sound deadening materials on the market? Which brands should you use or avoid?
I’ll admit it, when I started looking for ways to make my life quieter, I initially neglected to think about my car. But can you blame me? Like many other people, I didn’t really know why someone would need to soundproof their vehicle or even what that would look like.
Well, if you’re like I was all that time ago, you’re in luck. Today, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions people have about sound deadening products for cars:
- Which types of products are out there and what are their uses?
- What are some of the features you should be looking for when you shop?
- Which tools do you need to apply them?
And, of course, I’m going to review 10 of the best automotive sound deadening materials as well. But first, let’s start at the very beginning — the types of products you can expect to find.
Types of Sound Deadening Materials for Cars
As you may be aware, soundproofing materials on the whole serve one of two purposes. They’re either sound blockers — so they prevent noise from going in and coming out of a space — or they’re sound absorbers. The latter type of products actually softens the sound within a space. If you have acoustic foam in your home, you know exactly what types of effects you can expect from these products.
Well, automotive sound deadening materials serve slightly different purposes. Actually, many of them act as both blockers and absorbers. But they also need to be able to prevent the rattling of metal parts within the vehicle. So let’s discuss what types of products we can use to improve the sound quality inside a car.
Sound Deadening Mats
Dampening mats are the things most people think about when they think of automotive soundproofing materials. They usually have one foil side and one side that’s usually dark grey. That side usually has some type of adhesive properties, so that’s what attaches the mat to the sheet metal. Additionally, that layer also has most of the sound and vibration dampening properties.
These types of products can come in rolls or in kits that are specifically meant to be used on the hood or on the floor. Obviously, hood liners are meant to prevent engine noise from getting too loud, and floor dampening pads ought to absorb much of the vibrations the vehicle is producing. However, there are other options for floor vibration absorption.
Woven Fiber and Foam Insulation Products
These two types of insulation products are other options you might use underneath the carpet and the floor mats of your vehicle. The fiber insulation is essentially the same stuff we use in our homes. But it’s harder to find waterproof fiber insulation than it is to find waterproof foam insulation.
When you think about it, the floor of your car is often the first to go if you have a leak. So you don’t want to use materials that are going to hold onto that water and keep the area damp.
Sound Deadening Sprays
Liquid soundproofing products are applied with spray guns (although some do come in pressurized cans). These products do make a significant difference in your car if you apply them evenly. However, since sprays are a newer invention than mats, most people still go the traditional route.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to focus on mats and the various types of deadening pads. Fortunately, I’ve prepared a whole list focusing on the best products in each category. But before we dive into it, let’s talk about some of the universal properties you’ll want your sound deadeners to have.
What to Look for in a Sound Deadening Material
At this point, you probably know a bit more about the various types of sound deadening materials than you have ever expected to. But we’re about to go even more in-depth. All of these different materials have various properties you’ll want to pay attention to when you’re shopping.
I’ll point out some of the specific features of the products from various brands in my reviews. But for now, we can talk about how the effectiveness of a product relates to its thickness and base material. Additionally, we’ll see how the base material affects any odor and the heat resistance of a product.
As I’ve explained on numerous previous occasions, the effectiveness of a sound deadening material has to do with several different factors. I’ve already suggested in this article that deadening mats have a better reputation than, say, deadening sprays. But why is that?
Ultimately, deadening mats have just been around for much longer so we’re more familiar with the way they work. However, mats are undoubtedly harder to apply than sprays, as we’ll see in a minute. Essentially, you can choose whichever material appeals to you, as long as you’re aware of one thing. In any case, the effectiveness of the product will likely be determined by its thickness.
The thickness of a deadening mat is expressed in mils or thousandths of an inch. In my reviews, I’ll be reviewing the thickest available version of the product, but I’ll also mention any thinner versions that exist. Overall, people usually prefer thicker mats, as they tend to perform better. However, they also tend to be somewhat difficult to work with when it comes to the installation process.
Of course, with sprays, the user can determine the thickness of the product. A single coating can get you about 20 mils of product, but you can apply as many coats as you want. Typically, 2 or 3 layers would be enough. But there’s another trait of sound deadening materials that affects the way they perform — the base material.
The base material of these products determines not only their effectiveness but also some of their other features. For example, in deadening mats, there’s often a correlation between the base material and the mat’s heat resistance and its odor. As you can imagine, these factors are pretty important to consider in a material that’s going to be installed in an enclosed space.
I’ve actually already written about the base material debate. So if you’re interested in knowing more about how butyl and asphalt sound deadening mats compare, you can check out that article.
However, there’s also something to be said for the base material of liquid deadeners. As far as I know, spray deadeners are either ceramic insulators or rubber-based ones. Overall, these two should be equally as effective. However, as I’ve already noted, asphalt and rubber-based materials do have a major disadvantage.
The first major disadvantage I’ll mention is heat resistance. Simply said, asphalt materials tend to be worse off in higher temperatures. Conversely, butyl materials and ceramic insulation will be able to withstand temperatures up to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Since cars tend to produce quite a bit of heat on their own, you can see how poor performance in high temperatures can be a problem.
Still, you may be able to get away with it if you live in a particularly cold area. However, if you have hot summers, or if the weather is hot year-round, you’ll want to steer clear from these products. Not only could heat cause asphalt to melt, but both asphalt and rubber could emit a certain odor.
The first step of any soundproofing process, whether you’re using a mat or a spray, is to clear the way. Here, that means getting to the sheet metal you’ll be working on.
So get the seats out if you want to spray or lay down deadening mats on the floor. If you want to fully soundproof your car cabin, you should open up the doors and take down the headliner as well. Essentially, you’ll have the easiest time working on the hood of the car — since it doesn’t have a top layer you’ll need to take off.
From there on, you’ll have to cut your deadening mat, if that’s what you’re working with. Some products are more difficult to cut than others for whatever reason. Naturally, smaller pieces are much easier to work with. But however you decide to cut the mat, I recommend doing it on top of a protected surface with a utility knife or at least getting a very sharp pair of scissors.
Conversely, if you’re working with a spray, you’re going to need a spraying kit. The liquid insulation will probably come in a bucket you’ll need to mix with a drill and a special mixing bit. Then you’ll be able to pour some of the mixture into a spray gun and evenly cover the surface.
Whether you’re working with mats or liquid insulation, you should prepare yourself for a full day’s work. On average, deadening mats are going to take longer to cut and apply than sprays. However, the curing time between layers of the deadening spray is also fairly long. So expect to spend about the same amount of time on both types of soundproofing (although you’ll likely put more effort into installing the mats).
Sound deadening mats for cars can have multiple uses. Not only are they good for sound isolation but they also keep the temperature cool/warm in the car. They are quite affordable, lightweight, and easy to install as well, which are additional benefits.
10 Best Sound Deadening Materials for Cars
These products are listed according to their popularity and reputation. So I will start with the one people have the most good things to say about. But we’ll see if it can be beaten by one of the other products on my list.
Still, you should keep in mind that all of these sound deadening materials are on this list for a good reason. With that being said, let’s just dive into these reviews.
1. Dynamat Sound Deadener
Dynamat is definitely the most famous sound deadening mat brand on the market. But, before you start thinking that they don’t deserve that reputation, allow me to explain why this company’s products have long been considered the most effective automotive soundproofing materials around.
In fact, Dynamat might be the original aluminum-front, butyl-back product. It offers a great reduction in sound and vibrations. And since it’s a butyl material, it’s also particularly heat-resistant and odorless. Not to mention that it’s pretty easy to apply, at least when you know what you’re doing.
The one criticism Dynamat customers have for the company seems to be its pricing. I’ll admit it, I’ve harped on this point in the past. However, I’ve also admitted to the fact that the price may be justified, when you think about the advantages of using Dynamat. Still, I can’t say that I’m not pleased with the fact that it’s no longer the only automotive sound deadening product on the market.
The 67 mil Dynamat Xtreme is probably one of the most effective products in the company’s lineup. According to the company, this product is actually lighter than the original version of Dynamat and 4 times as effective. Apparently, you’d need heat to apply the original Dynamat. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore.
Nowadays, the brand has several versions of the product available, including some that are specifically made for rear decks, cabin or trunk floors, or doors. There are even different weights of the product, as you can see from the Dynamat SuperLite bulk pack. Although this thinner version of the product may sacrifice a bit on efficiency, it’s much easier to install than regular Dynamat.
In addition to the Dynamat sound deadening mats, there are also several other products you might use in your car.
The company released separate products for each part of your car in order to increase the overall success of their products’ performance. Each of these products can be used together in order to achieve maximum efficiency. There are Dynapads (for floors and trunks), Dynaliners (for headliners), and Dynamat Hood liners (for the hood). As far as vibration, sound, and heat reduction is concerned, they are second to none.
Dynamat Xtreme – Main Features:
- The most famous brand on the market
- A lot of happy customers
- Excellent sound, vibration, and heat deadening material
- Quite easy to install
- High Price
Dynaliner and Dynapad
Dynaliner and Dynapad are both Dynamat products that have their own purposes. For example, the primary purpose of Dynaliner is to improve your car’s heat-resistance and deaden the sound.
While Dynamat can be used anywhere around the car, this synthetic rubber foam material is usually confined to the doors or under the hood. After all, these are the usual areas we usually worry about letting heat in. So if you’ve had issues with that before — or you frequently find yourself leaving your car out in the sun — something like this might come in handy.
The material comes in several thicknesses, with the thinnest 0.12-inch one being the only one to be able to fit inside a door. On the other hand, Dynapad is about as thick as the thickest version of Dynaliner, at about 0.45 inches.
Unlike Dynaliner, this product is waterproof — as it should be, if it’s going to go on the floor of the car. Also, unlike Dynaliner and Dynamat, Dynapad isn’t self-adhesive. Since it’s going to go under the carpet, you can just put it on the floor, cover it with the carpet, and forget about it.
I’ve already written about the differences between these products before, so you can check that out if you’re curious to know more.
There is really nothing bad to say about Dynamat, except for the price, which is pretty steep. However, it’s a known fact that this is a popular brand name and so it might be a bit more expensive, but it definitely delivers.
But now, let’s talk about a brand that’s built their reputation as the more budget-friendly version of Dynamat.
2. Noico Sound Deadening Mat
Ever since people started figuring out that Noico products can get them results that are similar to the ones Dynamat gives them but at a lower price, this brand has been gaining in popularity. In fact, I’ve even written a more in-depth comparison of the two before.
Long story short, while Dynamat is technically the purer butyl product, Noico gives you nearly the same quality at a lower price. Besides, if the brand that comes out with the thickest deadening mat wins the match, then Noico’s 80 mil mat is the clear victor here.
That version of the product comes in a pack that can cover a surface of 36 square feet. However, there are also smaller coverage packs, of about 10 or 18 square feet. Additionally, if you’re concerned with the appearance of your vehicle in the places where the foil top layer of the mat will be visible, you can rest easy. Noico also makes a black version of this product.
There are also various other thicknesses available for those who don’t need that much coverage, such as the 50 mil Noico mat. And, their other products can be even thicker than 80 mils.
Noico 80 Mil – Main Features:
- Butyl-based material with asphalt undercoating
- It works great with any car surface
- Thicker than Dynamat
- The overall installation is user-friendly
- Rubbery scent
Noico Red Liner
The Noico Red liner is Noico’s answer to Dynamat’s Dynaliner. The 150 mil sheets come in 18 square foot packs. This product is actually closed-cell polyethylene foam that serves as both heat and sound insulation. It will easily withstand temperatures up to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you shouldn’t use it as a heat shield.
These liners are meant to block the noise and heat/cold from entering your car. Additionally, the fact that this material is water, oil, and petrol-resistant is also pretty great.
3. Kilmat Automotive Sound Deadening Mat
Although Kilmat isn’t the most talked-about name on this list, it’s definitely one of the best sound deadening materials on the market. It manages to stay within the same price range as some of the budget-oriented alternatives out there while still performing good.
The 80 mil foil and butyl mat absolutely deserves a mention because of its excellent handling of engine noise, loose metal rattling, vibrations, and outside noise. So, you could say that it’s a bit universal in that regard.
However, even though this material will be able to handle any noise that comes its way — you may not want to handle it. According to some users, the material has had a tendency to be a bit unwieldy. But since that’s also been said about Dynamat, I’m not too worried.
Besides, this product comes in precut 9.8 by 15.7-inch sheets, with a single pack covering 36 square feet. If anything, that leaves you less work than you’d have if you were working with a roll of butyl deadener. You can find the full review here.
Kilmat – Main Features:
- A universal sound dampening material that equally eliminates indoor and outdoor noises
- 80 mil thick, weights 0.5 lbs/1sqft
- Butyl and foil sound deadener
- It requires a steady hand and a lot of patience when installing
4. Siless Car Sound Deadening Material
In one of my previous articles, I talked about where you can skimp with your sound deadening car products. While I was looking for the most effective and cheapest mats on the market, Siless is a brand that kept popping up. In fact, it’s probably the cheapest option available, at least of the ones that are actually any good.
As it turns out, I can see several similarities between this deadener and the Noico mat. Both are 80 mil butyl mats. Also, both cover the same surface area of 36 square feet. They’re even both textured, to make it easier for you to see which parts have been buffed into the metal when you install them.
Despite being decently thick and effective, this mat seems to be flexible enough to adhere to the contours of a vehicle. User reviews are also overwhelmingly positive. So I’d say that Siless is another winner on the list.
In addition to the Siless sound deadening mat, I was also impressed with the Siless liner. The 157 mils thick foam liner comes in a 36 square foot roll. It does have a self-adhesive back, although it may not be necessary if you’re planning to use it underneath the carpets.
On the other hand, if you need it to soundproof your trunk, the hood, or the doors, you’ll be thankful for the adhesive layer. However, I should mention that you may find it pretty difficult to get a material that’s as thick as this one inside the holes in the doors. Still, you’ll definitely be able to use it under the hood and in the drunk as well.
5. HushMat Ultra Black Foil Dampening Pad
Hushmat is another automotive sound deadener that might be a great alternative to Dynamat. In fact, it definitely came out on top when I compared the two in a previous article. This sound deadening mat is definitely less expensive than Dynamat, and perhaps even easier to install.
Furthermore, due to Hushmat being another butyl material, you can expect the same kind of performance out of it. So it’ll significantly reduce road noise, improve the interior sound quality, as well as provide padding for loose metal parts to hit.
Additionally, since this mat is a butyl-based product, you needn’t worry about the heat damaging it or stinking up your car. In fact, Hushmat will reduce the heat for up to 40 percent. And it’s able to withstand temperatures from minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hushmat is also one of the more unique-looking products on this list. Unlike most of the silver foil topped sound deadeners I’ve mentioned, this one comes in a black foil finish. So if you like your car to look a certain way, that’s an option you might use.
Hushmat – Main Features:
- Greatly reduces road noise in the car interior
- It can withstand high temperatures
- There aren’t enough sheets in one package to cover the entire car, but there are also larger coverages available
6. FatMat Sound Deadener
In the article I’ve linked to in the previous section, you’ll have seen that I had Fatmat facing off against Dynamat and Hushmat. In retrospect, it might have been slightly unfair to add this asphalt-based material into that competition.
Still, this material is such a crowd-favorite that I felt like I had to include it today. Besides, Fatmat has really improved since I’ve written that comparison article. For one, the 50 mil version is no longer the thickest one.
Now, there’s an 80 mil roll that seems to be performing pretty well according to users. The 80 mil deadener is available in various surface coverages, including 25, 50, 75, and up to 200 square feet.
However, I’d assume that this material still has some of the drawbacks I’ve told you asphalt is prone to. Namely, that it’s not as game-changing in the noise reduction department as some of the butyl products I’ve listed. And then, there’s the peculiar smell — though I’m told that it goes away after a while.
Fatmat 80 Mil – Main Features:
- Asphalt-based material
- It does not require additional adhesives (the rolls are self-adhesive)
- There is enough material to cover the entire surface of your vehicle
- The material is difficult to cut and can gum up your utensil
Fatmat Sound Deadening Hood and Floor Liner
In addition to the run-of-the-mill deadening mat we just talked about, there are also many other products in Fatmat’s lineup. For example, their self-adhesive hood liner seems to be a great way to quiet the sound of your engine. It’s essentially a 0.75-inch thick foam product with adhesive on one side and foil on the other. The aluminum foil front faces the engine, which protects the paint on top from peeling from the heat.
Additionally, Fatmat also makes a 0.25-inch vinyl and foam floor liner as well. This product is supposed to block road noise from getting inside the cabin. Unlike some of the other floor liners we’ve seen on this list, this one is self-adhesive. So it won’t budge once you set it up.
7. SoundQubed Q-Mat Sound Deadening Mat
The SoundQubed Q-Mat is an 86.6 mils butyl deadener looks pretty unique in comparison to some of the other products I’ve reviewed. Rather than have a silver foil front, this product has a black foil with its green logo plastered all over it.
The way this product works is pretty standard, though. The adhesive butyl at the back reduces the vibrations of the vehicle as well as the rattling of loose metal parts. Additionally, it also decreases road noise and improves the internal audio quality inside the cabin.
This is all to be expected of the materials on this list. However, the one thing this deadening mat has over the more famous ones on this list is the price. But if you’re really concerned with the price, I’ll point you to the article I linked to in one of previous reviews.
As of right now, the material comes in 16 square foot rolls, though 40 square foot ones also come into stock from time to time. Those just tend to sell out more quickly, so you should keep an eye out if you’re trying to snag one. Or you can just get several smaller rolls.
SoundQubed – Main Features:
- The material is quite sticky due to its butyl component
- It is a pretty good soundproofing material (reduces the noise from the outside)
- You might need to apply more layers to achieve the aforementioned effects
8. Thermo-Tec Heat and Sound Suppressor
As its name suggests, this material aims to work as both sound and heat insulator. Unfortunately, it partially succeeds in that regard. Even though it reduces the sound that comes from the outside as well as the inside of the vehicle, it does not fare well against high temperatures.
Its polyethylene surface offers protection from the outside radiant heat sources, but there is a possibility of it ungluing during such conditions. The reason for this is that the bond between the material and the adhesive is not resistant enough. If we put this aside, it is a generally good sound absorber, especially when installing in areas such as firewalls, floorboards, and doors.
Thermo-Tec – Main Features:
- It’s good for areas such as doors, firewalls, and floorboards
- The material itself reduces radiant heat effectively
- The glue can’t handle the heat, and it starts to melt
9. B-Quiet Viscoelastic Sound Deadener
The B-Quiet Viscoelastic Sound Deadener is just what it says it is. Not only is this product incredibly flexible but it also has all of the great properties of butyl deadeners. So it’s heat-resistant and odorless as well.
The 60 mil material comes in foot-wide 12 or 50 square foot rolls. The material’s flexibility will certainly make it very easy to install. However, it doesn’t come with any additional products to help with the installation process.
This material actually works by converting the vibrations of the car as well as the vibrations the other impact noise we’re surrounded with when we’re driving into thermal energy. As such, this material is the perfect protection against most types of noise.
Still, the manufacturer also recommends combining some of their products by topping the B-Quiet Extreme or Ultimate mats with their Vcomp composite noise barriers. That’s pretty much unnecessary in my opinion, so you can simply use the Ultimate deadening mats without any additional products. A single deadener would surely be easier to install than layering several products would be.
B-Quiet – Features:
- It’s extremely flexible and can be installed anywhere
- The material effectively converts vibrations into thermal energy
- It does not come with additional equipment
- Sound deadening is partial in some cases
10. Uxcell Car Noise Sound Deadener
I wanted to mention the Uxcell Car Noise Deadener because it’s pretty different from a lot of the other products I’ve shown you. However, it’s also very effective. Why is that?
Well, it could have something to do with the fact that this mat is 394 mils thick. At this point, we shouldn’t even be talking about mils, but inches. The 0.39-inch, 10mm, liner is obviously very thick. Apparently, the mat could actually fit wherever you need it to be, though I suspect that getting it inside of doors might prove to be a challenge.
Once in place, the mat might even block heat from coming into the vehicle, as well as sound. What’s more, the thick material is even waterproof. It applies in the same way you’d apply other mats, and it even has a self-adhesive back. However, because of its thickness, it may add to the overall rigidity of the car.
The thickness of the material may be its downfall as well. Although it can only mean good things when it comes to soundproofing, it will certainly make the application more difficult. Many people have a bit of trouble cutting thicker mats. Still, going on a distraction-free, silent drive may be worth the longer application process.
Uxcell – Main Features:
- It’s scratch resistant
- This material is a good heat insulator
- Not suitable for larger surfaces
- The thickness makes the application more difficult
Sound Deadener Installation Tools
If you’re looking to apply all of these deadening mats properly, you’ll need some way to buff them into the metal. Some of them, like Noico, even have textured surfaces that flatten out when you buff them in. So the product will actually tell you when you’ve applied it well.
While many people buff these materials in with the round handle of a screwdriver or any other round tool they have lying around, the manufacturers of these materials want you to use a special roller.
Now, whether or not these rollers make the application process better or easier is still up in the air. However, if you’re learning about automotive sound deadening materials, you might as well learn about rollers too. Additionally, I’ll also tell you about soundproofing tape you can use to attach the materials that don’t have self-adhesive backs. But before I get to that, let’s talk about these rollers some more.
As you know, you need to apply some pressure in order for the self-adhesive back of the mats to stick to the sheet metal of the car. If you’re working somewhere that’s easy to reach, like the roof of the car, you could even use your hands. That is, if you have gloves on — remember, this stuff is very sticky. However, if you’re trying to reach inside of the doors, for example, you will probably need some type of tool.
The brands I’ve mentioned have come up with a solution to this problem in the form of application rollers. Essentially, these things have short handles with a cylinder roller on top. Sometimes, the rollers are ribbed, like the one Noico makes, and sometimes they’re flat, like the ones Dynamat and Uxcell produce.
They all look pretty similar and they’re made of similar materials as well, with wood being a popular choice for the handle. The rollers themselves are usually made of metal or rubber. All of these products also tend to fall into the same price category as well so you’ll pay somewhere between $5 and $20 for them. Sometimes, the manufacturers even sell the mats with a roller.
Ultimately, the whole point of using a roller is to get as smooth of an application as possible. If you’re particularly concerned with the way your deadening mats will look, you can get an almost completely smooth surface.
Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the look of things. After all, you’ll be covering the material inside of the cabin. And you won’t see the stuff under the hood or in the trunk very often. But if you’d still like to have your car looking perfect, by all means, use a roller.
In addition to wanting their sound deadening mats to lay completely flat and smooth against the sheet metal, some people also want to cover the entire surface they’re working on. Although that’s not exactly necessary — even covering half of the space would get you amazing results — you can do so with finishing tapes.
Like with the rollers, many sound deadening companies I’ve already reviewed make their own sealing tapes. Noico has a waterproof one that’s supposed to seal the joints between pieces of the mat you installed. The tape actually uses water-resistant non-acrylic glue and has a silver foil finish to match the Noico mats.
Even Dynamat has their Dynatape to aid in the application of their products. Although, obviously, the tape isn’t thick enough to be an effective soundproofing measure on its own. It’s only 2 mils thick.
In my opinion, you don’t really need to top your deadening mat with sealing tapes. The mats should be effective enough on their own. However, the tapes may come in handy in different ways, if you ever need a waterproof tape.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for good and reliable sound deadening mats for your car, I’d stick to Dynamat or Noico. However, Noico is definitely the more affordable and even the thicker option — it’s definitely the fan favorite. And if you’re looking for a more in-depth comparison of the two products, you can read the article I linked to in my reviews.
Of course, that’s not to say that the liquid insulation and the other materials you can use to reduce the noise in your car are in any way bad. Still, we definitely know more about the effects of sound deadening mats than we do about any of the other materials I’ve mentioned. So at least when you get Noico, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.
Hopefully, this article has helped you be more informed on the subject of automotive sound deadening materials. No matter which of these materials you end up choosing, your driving experience is sure to improve once you have them put it.
Do you agree with this list? If not, you can tell in the comments what you would have listed differently as your favorite brand or specific product?
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