Best Dynamat Alternative: Is It Hushmat, Fatmat, or Another Brand?
When people first start looking into automotive sound deadening materials, Dynamat is usually the brand that pops up first. But is it really the best choice? Well, there are certainly plenty of Dynamat alternatives available for those who aren’t the biggest fans of this admittedly pricey brand. Today, I’m going to be sharing some of the most effective ones, which include HushMat, Fatmat, Kilmat, and Noico.
It comes as no surprise that I’m someone who really appreciates Dynamat products. After all, I’ve sung their praises many times — so those of you who aren’t familiar with the original Dynamat product can check out one of my previous articles about it. However, it should be said that even I’m not too keen on spending a lot of money to soundproof my vehicle.
Still, when I’m looking for a decent Dynamat alternative, I’m not only searching for a cheap product. Instead, I’ll be comparing all of these products based on the following criteria:
- How effective is the material?
- Is it difficult to install?
- What is the mat’s base material and how does it affect its odor?
- Is the mat heat resistant?
- Where can the mat be installed?
Of course, as I’m presenting the Dynamat alternatives I’ve found to be the best match, I’ll also tell you how Dynamat compares to them. So let’s start with the pick of the litter. In fact, if you’ve followed my articles for a while, you might have guessed it!
The Best Dynamat Alternative: Noico
In my opinion, Noico is by far the best sound deadening mat on the market, especially if you take into account the questions I’ve just laid out. Although Dynamat might perform slightly better, the difference in effectiveness is really abysmal.
When it comes to the effectiveness of the sound deadening mat, it’s basically a tie. However, the ease of installation definitely put Noico in the lead. Even though Dynamat is only 67 mils thick, as opposed to the 80-mil Noico, I’ve definitely seen more people complaining about Dynamat being hard to cut than about Noico.
In fact, Noico seems fairly easy to install, or at least as easy as any of these materials could be. If you’d like to know more about why I think of Noico as the best Dynamat alternative, I’ve written a much more detailed comparison in this article:
Best of all, Noico is much more budget-friendly than Dynamat, at only $2 per square foot, while Dynamat is $5 per square foot. That places Noico right in the sweet spot of the price-to-quality intersection — which is why I’ve also featured the product in my article about cheap automotive sound deadening products.
Other Popular Alternatives: Dynamat vs. Hushmat, Fatmat & Kilmat
Now that I’ve declared the winner of this competition, let’s talk about the runner-ups. In this segment, I’m going to compare several sound deadening mats based on the questions I posed earlier. I’ll start with Dynamat, then I’ll talk about the three other alternatives I’ve selected:
- HushMat Ultra Black Foil Door Kit with Damping Pad
- Kilmat 80 mil Car Sound Deadening Mat
- Fatmat Self-Adhesive RattleTrap 80 mil Sound Deadener
1. Effectiveness (Sound Deadening)
When it comes to effectiveness, Dynamat is a tough one to beat. However, that’s not to say that the three Dynamat alternatives I’ve chosen to feature aren’t great in their own ways. In order to see how they compare, I’m going to talk about Dynamat’s performance in all of the categories before I review each of the materials.
Without a doubt, Dynamat is the most famous brand in the world of automotive sound deadening products. Most of their products are incredibly effective, but the original Dynamat is definitely a sight to see. To the best of my knowledge, this foil-backed butyl-based material is the first of its kind.
The thick and dense butyl is actually capable of reducing road noise by 9 to 18 decibels. But if you really want to reduce the amount of noise you get inside the cabin, you’ll need to completely cover the insides of the doors, roof, and floor. As you can imagine, getting enough Dynamat to do that would cost an arm and a leg. This all to say that Dynamat is:
- Very effective
- Thick (67 mils) and dense
- Capable of cutting noise by half
Like Noico, HushMat is a true Dynamat alternative. It’s another butyl-based sound deadening material, so you definitely won’t be disappointed with the results it gives you.
However, although the base material is great, I should note that this material is somewhat thinner than Dynamat. As such, it will probably be a less effective substitute. Still, it’s pretty convenient, since it comes in different kits for doors and floors, and it can even be purchased in bulk. Basically, HushMat is:
- Slightly less effective than Dynamat
- Thinner than Dynamat
- Great at reducing vibrations and excess noise
Even though Kilmat isn’t the most familiar brand on this list, it’s still a passable Dynamat replacement. Like Noico, this is an 80-mil foil and butyl sound deadening mat. So it should perform similarly, lessening road noise and internal vibrations as well.
Unfortunately, for all of its strengths, Kilmat is also similar to Dynamat because of its tendency to be a bit troublesome during the installation process. But I’ll cover that later. For now, I’ll just say that this material is:
- Almost as effective as Dynamat
- As thick as Noico (80 mils)
- A lesser-known brand
Truth be told, Fatmat fades in comparison to Dynamat or even the other products on this list. Unlike the others, Fatmat is asphalt-based which is a huge disadvantage. If you’d like to know exactly what makes asphalt mats different than butyl ones, I’ve answered that question in a previous article. Still, it’s cheap and effective enough to forgive its flaws.
Despite its deficiencies, I’ve decided to include it on my list of Dynamat alternatives simply because it’s an incredibly popular choice among users. They have an 80-mil version of the product which is obviously just as thick as Noico and thicker than Dynamat. The material comes in 18-inch wide rolls — the length varies based on the square footage you’re looking for. Overall, Fatmat is:
- Less effective than the others
- As thick as Noico (80 mils)
- Very popular among users
2. Heat Resistance and Odor
Before I continue listing out the advantages and disadvantages of each of these Dynamat alternatives, let’s briefly touch on what the base materials bring to the table. I’ve already linked to my article on the difference between butyl and asphalt mats where I went into more detail on this. But really, it all boils down to their heat resistance and the odor they emit.
On this list, the butyl materials are Noico, Kilmat, and Hushmat — and of course Dynamat. These products are incredibly good at handling high heat, unlike Fatmat, which has an asphalt base. Because asphalt reacts poorly to high temperatures, it has a tendency to release a strange, rubbery odor when it gets hot.
In fact, most users agree that the smell is present even in cool weather, although to a lesser degree. In any case, the odor should become less noticeable over time. Still, the butyl-based products I’ve listed are all capable of withstanding more than 240℉. So if you live in hotter climates, you may want to go for one of those instead of an asphalt mat.
3. Installation Process
If you’re going to be installing your car sound deadening mats yourself, you’ll want to get materials that are going to be easy to cut and apply. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for all of the products I’ve been talking about. So let’s see who got the short straw in this round.
Right off the bat, things aren’t looking good for Dynamat. Although it’s probably the most effective material of the bunch, it’s definitely not a breeze to install. The 67-mil butyl isn’t the thickest one on the list, but it does seem to be the hardest one to cut. In fact, this is one of the only criticisms people have about the brand — in addition to their prices, which I’ll talk about later.
However, they have attempted to address this issue without putting out a lower-quality product. The original Dynamat can come in pre-cut kits for the doors, floor, headliner, trunk, and hood. That reduces the amount of cutting you’ll need to do, but it’s still not ideal.
Even though HushMat is technically thicker than Dynamat, I haven’t seen anyone complain about it being difficult to install. Not only is it easier to cut into than Dynamat but it’s also fairly easy to remove, should you want to apply another sound deadening mat.
However, some people have also noted that the fact that HushMat is so easy to remove isn’t necessarily a good thing. Apparently, it has been known to fall off during rough rides. Personally, I can’t see how that would happen, so it wouldn’t be much of a concern to me. Now, if you’re interested in learning how to apply HushMat to the interior of the car cabin, you can check out this video:
I’ve already mentioned that Kilmat can be a bit unwieldy during the installation process, but I wouldn’t be too concerned. After all, Dynamat has the same problem, and people are still buying it. If anything, this trait makes Kilmat the perfect Dynamat alternative, because it’s everything Dynamat is but at a much lower price.
It also comes in pre-cut 9.8 by 15.7-inch sheets, so you won’t even have to do that much cutting. Just know that you’ll need to position it with intention — once you attach it to the sheet metal it won’t budge.
Finally, Fatmat should be fairly easy to cut. However, the application itself is bound to be a bit messy. Since asphalt can’t handle high temperatures, it will leak if you overheat it or even if you’re installing it in a hot room. Since you actually need to apply heat to get Fatmat to stick, that might get really annoying. But once it’s on, it’s on — so make sure not to miss your target area.
4. Usage Review
Most automotive sound deadening materials are meant to reduce noise and vibrations in the car and make it better at handling the heat. In fact, you can also use them for larger vehicles, such as RVs. Additionally, some of them can also absorb the vibrations some household appliances produce. These types of mats can even be great for insulating computer equipment if you have a problem with overheating or loud computer.
Since I’m using Dynamat as the standard here, let’s start by seeing where you can use this product. As it turns out, the butyl mat is pretty versatile. You can use it all over your vehicles and around the home as well. As I’ve previously mentioned, Dynamat actually has kits for different areas around the car.
However, many people use it to soundproof their home theaters. But really, if you want more practical tips for soundproofing those kinds of spaces, you’ll find them in my home guides.
HushMat is another material you can use for both automotive and home soundproofing projects. In addition to kits for ordinary passenger cars, this company also makes them for heavy vehicles like fire trucks, pickups, and RVs. Additionally, they offer solutions for boats and ships as well. Still, I’d say that their most popular product is the universal kit, which can be useful for household applications too.
The 80-mil Kilmat is mostly marketed as an automotive sound deadener. However, since this product is a butyl mat like the previous two I’ve mentioned, I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be great at absorbing vibrations on any sheet metal. So you could probably put it on the inside of your computer if you wanted to. But really, its greatest advantage is probably its price — which I’ll get to in a minute.
If Fatmat works for you, that’s great. However, I wouldn’t test my luck trying to use an asphalt material on just any surface. I envision having a big mess on my hands.
However, many people use Fatmat to solve all sorts of problems. As usual, you can use it in your vehicle, or even on boats and to control engine noise as well. In fact, some people even use it on home appliances and hardware.
5. Price Comparison
As I’ve previously mentioned, one of the biggest drawbacks of using Dynamat is its cost. Now, although we’ve established that Noico is the most cost-effective Dynamat alternative, we have yet to see how the rest compare.
Despite Dynamat’s stellar reputation and the admittedly great results you’d get if you decide to use it, it’s definitely the most expensive material on the market. However, if you have the budget for it, I don’t see why you wouldn’t spend $5 per square foot. Also, if you plan to have someone else install it, you should add that to the expense before choosing this product.
Kilmat is actually the cheapest of all of these products, coming in at just over $1.65 per square foot. You’ll only need 36 square feet to cover the average-sized car, so Kilmat might be the cheapest 80-mil butyl material on my list. When you add all of the other advantages of using Kilmat, you’ll see why it’s a great choice for a lot of people.
Fatmat is relatively cheap but it’s still more expensive than some of the other options I’ve mentioned. At about $1.5–$2 per square foot of material, it’s really neither here nor there. Still, if you’re willing to spend more than the bare minimum, I recommend going for Noico. In my opinion, that’s the golden standard for people who are looking for excellent quality at a good price.
More on Finding a Good Dynamat Alternative
So now that we’ve explained all of that, let’s sum it up. Obviously, when it comes to effectiveness, none of these materials can quite match Dynamat. However, in my opinion, Noico is the second best choice anyone could make. The material is essentially a Dynamat duplicate — except that it’s thicker and cheaper. So there’s no downside to getting it.
However, there are certainly cheaper options out there, with Hushmat and Kilmat being two of the better ones. And if you’ve had great experiences with asphalt mats before, then Fatmat is another Dynamat alternative worth checking out. Hopefully this article has been able to help you reach a decision.
Once you purchase the sound deadening mat of your choice, all you’ll need to do is set it up. I know — that’s easier said than done. Fortunately, there are several articles in my backlog that might help:
- My full guide to car soundproofing explains some general tips
- My step-by-step instructions to soundproofing car doors will help you find your way around the particularly tricky areas
- Even my article about applying sound deadening mats under the hood is helpful if you want to regulate engine noise and temperature
All of these informative guides and reviews are available in the automotive soundproofing section above!