When my daughter was born, my wife and I had to go to great lengths to make sure our regular activities wouldn’t disturb her sleep. Like any newborn baby, she would sleep through most of the day. However, her sleep was very delicate, and if she happened to wake up, it would take us a long time to get her back to sleep. The problem was that the baby room was just between our living room and the hallway, both of which were major sources of noise.
For a couple of months, we tried to cope with this situation the best we could. We believed that over time we would get used to constantly having to take care not to make noise. At one point, we decided we simply had to think of a more sustainable and permanent solution. But just what options did we have with our limited budget?
Soundproof Blankets – An Affordable Solution
The answer came to me in the form of soundproof blankets. These blankets were supposedly good at blocking sound and reducing echo. In all honesty, I did not have much faith in the results, but I was open to the idea of experimenting. So, I wasted no time and got a soundproof blanket off the Internet, which I simply tacked over the baby room door. The difference was astounding. For the first time in months, our daily routines stopped disturbing our baby daughter’s naps.
Naturally, these blankets were no miracle device which could block the sound 100%, but they worked way better than we had anticipated. We felt incredible relief, knowing just how important sleep is for a newborn baby’s growth. In fact, we were much better-rested and happier ourselves because of that.
With that said, the reason why I want to share my experience is that I feel it could truly help others in my position. I don’t even think that they are only useful to new parents. In fact, I believe soundproof blankets offer everyone an easy and affordable way to significantly reduce the levels of noise in their home. That is why I recommend checking out this guide.
Soundproof Blankets and Moving Blankets
When I searched the Internet for soundproof blankets, I initially noticed that people often mention them together with moving blankets. That seemed very confusing at first. These two functions did not appear to have much in common. However, the truth is we can thank moving blankets for how people first came up with the idea of using blankets for soundproofing.
Namely, moving blankets are generally used by professional movers to wrap up furniture to save it from damage during transportation. That is why they consist of heavy layers of dense materials, such as woven cotton, polyester, fiberglass, and mineral wool.
However, thanks to that type of structure, these blankets also prevent air from passing through their fibers. Since air is a major transmitter of noise, that also allows them to have potent acoustic properties.
It didn’t take long for manufacturers of soundproofing products to catch up with the trend of using moving blankets for soundproofing. Many people started employing this technique because it was saving them a lot of money. Professional soundproofing gear is used in recording studios and offices, which means it is often beyond the price range of a typical consumer. Blankets, on the other hand, were affordable and easy to set up.
Once the designers caught up with the fad, we got the first real soundproof blankets meant for studio use. Those were much more efficient at blocking sound than regular blankets or similar items. For instance, their outer layers are specifically made to absorb sound, rather than reflect it. What’s more, they are stuffed with the same materials used for professional soundproofing equipment. They even come with grommets which allow us to hook them up quickly.
Now let’s get into the details of how soundproof blankets work.
Do Soundproof Blankets Block and/or Absorb Sound?
When I started browsing for soundproof blankets, I felt somewhat annoyed at first. What bothered me was the impression that I needed to know something about the science behind these products to avoid wasting my money. Although I was a complete layman when it comes to physics, I ended up skimming through a number of pages on acoustics and sound insulation.
Ultimately, I felt like the research paid off since now I find it way easier to find the right item for my home since I know what to expect from it. To save you the effort of deciphering such texts, I will share the simplest and most important bits about soundproofing blankets.
In simple terms, a sound is a vibration of particles which our ears can register. That vibration needs to travel across the right medium to reach us. Some sounds are transferred through solid surfaces, such as the sound of footsteps from the floor above. However, most of the noise in our daily lives is transmitted through the air.
What that means is that a soundproof blanket which prevents the passage of air also prevents the passage of sound waves. In reality, of course, it is impossible to completely isolate a room with a sound blanket. Air will still manage to pass through the blanket and little gaps of space around it, and some noise will be heard.
However, what an average person needs is not perfect, 100% sound insulation. Instead, we usually long for just the right amount of peace to help us remain focused and relaxed. That is what makes soundproof blankets a complete pay-off in practical terms.
Other than the area they cover, another important aspect of soundproof blankets is their heavy-weight and thickness. The thicker an heavier the blanket is, the more sound will be blocked. The reason why that matters is that some of the noise will attempt to pass through the solid surface of the blanket. However, thanks to their smart design, these blankets trap most of sound vibrations inside the fibers of their stuffing, making sure we remain unbothered by the noise.
In conclusion, a soundproof blanket will not turn your room into a recording studio, but it will make a noticeable difference in the amount of noise that gets to you.
Another important and often overlooked aspect of soundproofing is sound absorption. Now, how exactly does that differ from blocking sound? To answer that question, let’s take a look at their composition.
As it was already mentioned, soundproof blankets are thick and heavy. However, their surface is still softer than for example the surfaces of walls, doors, or other building elements. So what happens with soundproof blankets is that they don’t just block the sound by reflecting it back from where it came.
A specific soft and porous structure allows soundproof blankets to capture sound waves that reach them into the fibers of their stuffing. This stops the sound from bouncing off the surface, effectively killing off reverberation and echoes that might occur. In physical terms, the sonic energy of the sound wave is transformed into heat – and as a result, your home is now echo-free.
While soundproof blankets are not capable of perfectly blocking sound, they are excellent when it comes to absorbing it. Once they are in place, the reduction of echo is drastic and instantly noticeable. All things considered, the sound absorbing properties are just another reason to get soundproof blankets.
Some of the Best Soundproof Blankets
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best soundproof blankets on the market. This is a list I made according to my own experiences. We will review a few products from each of the five best brands out there.
1. US Cargo Control Moving Blankets
US Cargo Control offers, among other things, two very affordable and effective moving blankets. Now, those were not made exclusively for soundproofing, so they do not come with grommets. Both models have a simple black-and-white design and sturdy construction.
The Supreme Mover Blanket is made from a premium blend of cotton and polyester. Because of that, a single blanket weighs an entire 7.5 lbs. It comes in the standard 72″ X 80″ size. This blanket is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a washable moving blanket which is heavy and dense enough to absorb a great deal of noise.
However, those looking for a lighter alternative should instead look into the Econo Mover Blankets. This product comes in the same size as the Supreme Mover but weighs much less – only 4.5 pounds. It is compact and made of sturdy, non-woven fabric stitched in a zigzag pattern. Although it is cheaper than the Supreme Mover, the Econo does not block as much sound. Moreover, it is not machine-washable.
2. Cheap Cheap Moving Boxes Blankets
Cheap Cheap Moving Boxes produces the following moving blankets: Deluxe Moving Blankets, Supreme Moving Blankets, and Textile Moving Blankets. They do not have grommets.
Despite the name, this brand charges slightly more than US Cargo Control. However, they are still on the cheap side. The first two blankets are polyester, while the Textile Moving Blanket is cotton.
Moreover, the Deluxe Blankets weigh 45 lbs per dozen blankets, as opposed to the Supreme Blankets, weighing 65 lbs per dozen. That means that the Supreme Blankets offer better soundproofing options, although they are significantly more expensive.
On the other hand, the Textile Blankets are smaller and lighter (23 lbs per dozen), but since they are made of compressed cotton, they can still help with blocking noise.
3. Sure-Max Soundproofing Blankets
Sure-Max produces Ultra Thick and Pro Economy Blankets. Both come in the same size (80″ x 72″), but the Ultra Thick is almost twice as heavy as the other model. Namely, the Ultra Thick weighs 65 lbs/dz, as opposed to the Pro Economy, with 35 lbs/dz. That means both of these products are in the medium range, weight-wise.
Neither of these blankets comes with grommets. Still, their padded virgin cotton batting with a polyester binding makes them great for soundproofing. The zig-zag stitching pattern holds the padding in place for maximum effectiveness. What’s more, they are incredibly cheap, which makes them a viable tool for any kind of quick soundproofing work.
This company makes Heavy Moving Blankets which they sell in 3-pack sets. These blankets are very affordable, although they are smaller than the other models we reviewed (72″ x 45″). The colors are neutral teal and black. Moreover, they are covered in dense non-woven polyester, which is a great material for soundproofing. However, they are not grommeted.
Inside, they are stuffed with heavy recycled cotton. This blanket is a great choice for soundproofing a living area, where a cheaper and lighter blanket is preferable to a heavy and expensive one. Besides, it is possible to improve their effectiveness by putting them up in layers since they come in packs of 3.
5. Big Boxer Grommeted Soundproof Blanket
Big Boxer produces the Grommeted Industrial Blanket with soundproofing in mind, which makes this blanket very effective in that area. As the name indicates, it is grommeted with reinforced metal hoops, and therefore very practical to set up. On top of that, the size – 78″ x 72″ – is large enough for most people’s needs.
The outside of this blanket is non-woven polyester, while the stuffing is a blend of polyester and cotton. Besides, it definitely falls in the heavy category, and the materials are appropriately dense for soundproofing. Moreover, it is washable in any standard laundry machine. Given the fact that this blanket is also relatively cheap, it is one of the favorite tools for any instant soundproofing work.
Key Features to Look For When Shopping
Here are the main criteria to keep in mind when shopping for soundproof blankets.
Weight, Density & Thickness
The density, thickness, and weight of a soundproof blanket are all essential factors to consider as they determine how effective a blanket is. There is a simple rule to follow: “the more, the better!” In other words, a thicker and denser blanket will stop more sound, as the sound will have a harder time traveling through the blanket and reaching your room.
TIP: For better results, you can double or even triple the layers of blankets.
What makes these blankets heavy and dense is the type and amount of the material they contain – the best bet are those that contain extra fibers in the blanket material. Also, an added plus is the fact that these materials act as great insulation, so they can keep you warm in the winter, and refreshed in the summer
Regarding materials you can find, they differentiate from blanket to blanket. However, most of the blankets are made out of polyester, cotton, or a combination of both.
The size of a soundproof blanket should fit the space it should cover. Even a small amount of empty space can allow a great deal of sound to pass through. That is why the ideal solution is to find a blanket which completely covers the target area. As you’ll see, most of blankets come in a standard size of 80 x 72 inches; however, you can find smaller ones too.
As mentioned before, grommets are there to make it easier to hang up a blanket on a rod or a wall. Some blankets made for the purpose of soundproofing come with existing grommets. However, most of them do not have them, and that especially applies to cheaper moving blankets.
If a blanket lacks grommets, it is possible to install them manually. It’s best to use tough iron grommets which can sustain the weight of the blanket. However, keep an eye out for blankets with grommets to save yourself the effort.
There are some very different designs of soundproof blankets to keep in mind.
On the one hand, some are very heavy and thick. Those usually have the ability to isolate both sound and temperature. With that in mind, insulating an office or a similar area which requires a lot of quiet calls for one of those large, dense blankets.
On the other hand, those who are looking to soundproof their home do not necessarily need the largest, most expensive models. Even a simple moving blanket can make some difference when it comes to reducing noise levels.
Another thing to keep in mind is the appearance. Most soundproof blankets have simple, neutral design meant to fit into any area. However, some people like to make sure they pick the one which looks good in their room.
Although blankets are cheaper than most other soundproofing equipment, the cheapest models aren’t likely to be very useful. In most cases, the more expensive a blanket is, the better it does its job. However, the ideal option is to look out for good deals which allow you to get an effective blanket for a decent price.
Quick Tips for Using Sound Blankets
Putting up some soundproof blankets is easy, especially if they come with grommets like many of them do nowadays. However, the tricky part is figuring out where exactly to put them for maximum efficiency. It’s important to locate the main sources of noise and position the blankets in a way that does not disrupt any daily activities.
In my case, I used soundproof blankets to insulate the baby room. However, they are very practical in all kinds of spaces, including the following:
- Studies and home offices
Peace and quiet are especially important for people doing work at home.
Those living in households with multiple members know the value of privacy in their bedrooms.
If the general sound insulation in a building is bad, bathrooms can create a lot of noise.
- Laundry rooms and garages
Both of those spaces can emit large amounts of unwanted noise.
- Music rooms and studios
These rooms usually require a lot of soundproofing work, but blankets are a great way to start.
- Rooms lacking furniture
While in most rooms furniture manages to block a great deal of noise, emptier rooms can be real problem-makers, especially when it comes to echo.
But what exactly are the best spots for soundproof blankets inside those rooms? Here are a few examples.
Doorways and Windows
For most people, windows and doorways are the primary targets for any kind of soundproofing work.
Windows are the points which allow a lot of the noise from the outside to enter the home. Even if they have double panels, that is still way too thin to block sound properly. Setting up soundproof blankets over windows is bound to make a great difference.
While windows are an obvious risk area, doors are less apparent than that. However, the greatest percentage of the outside noise manages to get in through a door. That happens because most entries aren’t constructed with soundproofing in mind. Not only do their materials transmit sound, but they are also surrounded by gaps. Even a tiny gap between the door and the wall can allow a great deal of noise to enter.
While buying a soundproof door is an option, those are usually on the expensive side. Setting up soundproof blankets in the doorway achieves the same effect for less money.
Walls, Floors, and Ceilings
Once the doors and windows are soundproof, the next thing on the agenda should be the walls, floors, and the ceilings.
When I was soundproofing my baby’s room, I first only set up a blanket over the doorway. However, I soon realized that a lot of the noise was traveling through the walls. That is how I discovered that noise can travel through all kinds of surfaces. Luckily, as soon as I put up blankets on all the walls of the baby room, the noise subsided.
Around the Room
The best thing about soundproof blankets is the fact that they can be placed anywhere. For example, if I wanted to separate a room into different areas for the sake of privacy, I could easily do that by hanging up a soundproof blanket in the middle area.
As I mentioned before, furniture has a subtle, but significant effect on noise levels. A simple way to improve their effectiveness is to cover them with these blankets. They may affect the appearance of the room or the usefulness of the furniture, but it’s definitely something to consider.
Noisy appliances can easily be quieted down with the help of soundproof blankets. For example, laundry machines, air conditioners, and dishwashers all tend to greatly add up to the total noise levels in the house. By either covering or surrounding them with soundproof blankets, it is easy to dampen the sounds they produce.
Final Thoughts: Should You Try Soundproof Blankets?
The amount of sound you can reduce depends on the exact type of noise that troubles you. However, sometimes a little help goes a long way. Even something as simple as a blanket can change your everyday life for the better if used the right way.
My personal experience has shown that soundproofing blankets can really change the atmosphere in any household. Everyone deserves to live without the stress of incessant noise, and as my example has shown, even new parents don’t necessarily have to suffer countless sleepless nights. All it takes to make an improvement is a little creativity and a tactful approach.
If you are considering getting any type of soundproofing work, or you are just curious about adding a few soundproof elements to your home, I strongly suggest trying out these blankets. They are cheap enough to make it worth experimenting, while at the same time, I am sure you will feel and appreciate the results.