When it comes to the art of soundproofing, the language used can be a bit misleading. The only way to truly soundproof something is to spend a ridiculous amount of money.
For most situations, the more appropriate description is sound dampening or sound deadening. Although you might not be able to fully block all sound, there are plenty of relatively affordable tools to help you dampen sound. One of these tools is a soundproofing blanket.
Here I will be talking about affordable acoustic blankets like this one You might be wondering, do they actually work?
Do Soundproofing Blankets Really Work?
Yes! That is, a soundproofing blanket definitely works when you’re talking about dampening the sound. If you’re looking for something that will completely block 100% of the sound, you’ll be disappointed.
These special blankets are made from materials that act as sound absorbers. The thickness of the blanket is also often key. Even the way the blanket is stitched can help to deaden the sound.
When to Use a Soundproofing Blanket
There are several situations where a soundproofing blanket will be a really effective tool for minimizing the amount of noise in your home or workspace.
These blankets are great for rooms where there are a lot of hard surfaces without much furniture. When sound is able to freely bounce around from floor to walls to ceiling and back, the sound is amplified by quite a lot.
Adding a soundproofing blanket to at least one of these hard surfaces will be almost like a speedbump for the sound. It will slow it down by ensuring that it can’t bounce around and get louder.
Soundproofing blankets can be used on:
- on doors
- on windows
- on walls
- on the floor
- on the ceiling
- on or around appliances
- in bedrooms
- in bathrooms
- in rooms without much furniture
- in laundry rooms
- in garages
- in recording studios
- in music rooms
- in industrial spaces with loud machinery
The best and most fully effective soundproofing solution will involve some construction.
When you are in a situation where you cannot do any such construction, like in a rental, a soundproofing blanket is non-construction solution. It won’t block the sound 100% but you can expect your sound-absorbing blanket to reduce the sound by 30-80%.
How to Choose a High-Quality Soundproofing Blanket
Before purchasing a soundproofing blanket, it’s helpful to understand how they are made. The exterior of a soundproofing blanket is typically a woven fabric.
More specifically, it’s generally made from an acoustically transparent material.
This basically means that the sound waves will be able to pass through the outer layer to reach the sound absorbent interior layers.
You might be more familiar with the word breathable when it comes to fabric.
Type of Fabric
These terms are certainly related. A breathable fabric will generally also be acoustically transparent. You can tell if a fabric is breathable by blowing through it. If you feel the air get through to the other side, the fabric is both breathable and acoustically transparent.
The inner layer or layers is what does the work of absorbing and deadening the sound. These layers are made from dense materials like fiberglass, mineral wool, recycled cotton, cellulose and mass loaded vinyl.
This material is the opposite of acoustically transparent. Sound waves don’t continue on through this material but are instead stopped and trapped by the material.
One other component you’ll see on soundproofing blankets is a grommet. This has nothing to do with the sound absorption but it does make it extra easy to hang up.
You will find soundproofing blankets at a huge range of price points. At the higher end, you can expect high-quality materials and often, a bit of extra thickness.
The Singer Safety Double Faced Quilted Fiberglass Panel is one example of a quality blanket. It features 2″ thickness and relies on fiberglass to absorb the sound. Fiberglass is one of the best materials for sound absorption.
It has grommets for easy hanging. It’s nice and large at four feet wide and eight feet tall. A lot of soundproofing blankets are pretty ugly but this one actually looks pretty nice, especially if you appreciate a modern aesthetic.
The affordable option: moving blankets
If you don’t have all that much to spend, I’d suggest you invest in a moving blanket rather than a blanket specifically designed for soundproofing.
The blankets that professional movers use for wrapping around furniture to prevent scratches can add some important density and act as sound absorbers.
As a bonus, they are also much less expensive. Some moving blankets will have grommets for hanging but many will not. Moving blankets are much less effective at deadening sound than true acoustic soundproofing blankets but they will soak up a decent amount of noise.
The thicker the moving blanket, the happier you will be with its sound reduction properties.
An example of a good moving blanket that can help deaden the sound in a loud room is the US Cargo Control Moving Blanket. It does have grommets for convenience.
This is one the small side, at only 72″ x 80″ so you might want to invest in more than one. Luckily, the price point is quite reasonable.
The reason this blanket does a good job at blocking some sound is the thickness. Made from woven cotton and polyester, it also features zigzag stitching which can surprisingly also aid in soundproofing.
At this price, you can’t expect to totally block out all sound but I’ve been very impressed by just how much of a deadening effect this moving blanket can have.
Finding a way to dampen some sound can make a pretty big difference when it comes to quality of life.
Soundproofing can be especially helpful for musicians, podcasters, anyone who works from home and regularly has to participate in conference calls, and parents but I think just about anyone can benefit from soundproofing at least one location.
When you don’t have a ton to spend or you’re not interested in taking on a big construction or remodeling project, a soundproofing blanket can help you quiet the noise.
Soundproofing blankets are relatively affordable tools that act as sound absorbers. By absorbing the sound waves, the overall noise is deadened to a reasonable level.
Do soundproofing blankets really work? Yes! That said, it’s important to have realistic expectations and know that a soundproofing blanket won’t be able to block out sound altogether.
5 thoughts on “Soundproofing Blankets: Do They Really Work?”
Thanks for this! I have questions for you but unfortunately they have to be prefaced with the following details. I’d like to know what the most effective method of blankets-installation might be for a closed-in hallway slash closet with high ceilings and no windows. It’s an old house with very few closets so it would have to be here.
There’s a skinny hallway that takes you from the entry straight through to a room at the back of the house from which you can exit a couple of different ways (lots of doors in this house!). This hallway has 3 doors to it: the one to entryway; the one that enters into the back room; and one just before that that turns into the living room. I believe it was meant to be used as an optional coat closet and or a hallway . We use the front end of said hallway as a sort of closet with tall shoe rack and all our shoes. The back portion is where one enter from living room to turn into breakfast room.
I’d like to – for now – keep the closet-like space for shoes up front, separating it with an acoustic blanket, and close off the back portion’s access to the back room via another blanket (plus blankets on walls and ceiling). This would leave only one door to get in and out of what would become a ridiculous sound studio.
And now we’ve reached the questions!! I know these blankets have grommets. Can you suggest the best way to hang them with these details in mind including the tall ceiling? Should I be installing PVC piping just to give it something to hang onto, or just use hooks to screw directly into my walls? The makeshift PVC recording spaces I’ve seen online with blankets all have their blankets attached firmly, creating no spaces it seems. Is it fair to assume that the blankets won’t deaden sound as well if they’re just sorta hung there, not attaching to each other snugly? Could I use an additional one of these blankets on the hardwood floor? Would it be wiser to purchase one of those blankets that parts/has opening, or should I just buy those foam squares to attach to the door? If not the foam squares or the blanket for door, what product do you recommend to make the door as soundproof as possible? LASTLY (whew!), how does one best get rid of the sound of a computer’s fan while recording? Can I put the laptop outside the closet-y room, have a cable running from it into the room which would then be attached to a monitor, and then use a wireless keyboard/mouse to control the recording software? What method would you suggest?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read aaaaall this!
You can put the computer outside the room and control it with an iPad or iPhone (if you’re using logic), however in most cases you should be able to isolate against fan noise with mic placement. There’s a misconception about soundproofing and acoustic treatment. Soundproofing really means isolating the space you’re in against external sounds, whereas acoustic treating the space you’re in improves the sound quality of that space. I doubt if you’ll be able to soundproof your space very much without doing construction but you can drastically improve the sound quality by hanging foam and/or blankets. Cover about 70% – 85% of surfaces and make sure to cover the ceiling and the walls behind and/on the sides of your speakers first and foremost. Usually covering the floor is not desired or necessary, so if you cover all other surfaces that gets you about 85% total coverage. All blankets and foams absorb different amounts and different frequencies so do research and look at the absorbtion curves of the product you’re buying.
Amazon sells 90 lb rated moving blankets 80”x72”. If I were to make a frame out of 1 x 2 ‘s wrapping the blanket around the frame, then perhaps wrap a white or solid bed sheet and secure the frames to ceiling and walls… living room 20’ x 20”……4 kinda centered on the ceiling to stifle the stomping and stamping from above and centering 2 frames on the common wall of the guy that likes to blast his sob woofer between 3 am & 6 am….. would this idea have a impact some noise reduction that I am looking……your opinion will be greatly appreciated… I bought the place because the view is priceless, I have clueless neighbors from hell, above & on one side
Hi . I have a 36 cubic meter room and want to protect thunder sound inside the room. will it work? How many blanket will i need and aprox how much to spend thanks Gareth
I agree with you