Are you frustrated by the noise on the other side of your doors, walls, or windows?
Perhaps you’re trying to record a podcast in your home recording studio. Or reduce noise inside your dog’s crate.
No matter your situation, soundproof blankets are one of the easiest and most inexpensive options to soundproof your space.
The only problem?
There’s a ton of misinformation out there.
We have seen people recommending moving blankets for sound isolation. The truth is that moving blankets are great for mild echo or reverb correction but do not block sound.
Thankfully, we dug deep into the rabbit hole and consulted with a couple of acoustical engineers to bring you the absolute best soundproof blanket for every situation.
Let’s dive right into it!
- The Best Soundproof Blanket For Doors, Walls, and Windows (With Grommets): Audimute isolé
- Runner Up: Big Boxer Industrial Blanket (With Grommets)
- The Best Moving Blanket for Soundproofing: US Cargo Control Supreme
- Budget Moving Blanket for Soundproofing: Sure-Max 4
- Also Great: Cheap Cheap Moving Boxes Deluxe
- Buying Guide: How We Test
- What Do You Want to Use it For?
- Density, Weight, and Thickness
- Type of Fabric and Material: What Kind of Fabric is Suitable for Soundproofing?
- Grommets: How Easy it is to Use and Install?
- Looks and Design: How Aesthetically Appealing Do You Need it to Be?
- How Much Do Sound Blankets Reduce Noise?
- Are Acoustic Panels Better Than Blankets?
- Soundproof Blankets Vs Curtains: Which is better?
- Acoustic Blankets Vs Moving Blankets: Which is Better?
- Can Blankets Soundproof a Door?
- Are Moving Blankets Good for Soundproofing?
- How Do I Hang/Attach a Moving Blanket for Soundproofing?
- Can I Use a Weighted Blanket for Soundproofing?
- Any Tips for Improving the Effectiveness of Acoustic Blankets?
- Stellar sound isolation
- Grommets for easy installation
- Highly durable
Not So Good
- Not machine washable
If you’re looking to put up a soundproof blanket on your door, wall, or windows, the Audimute Isolé is our top recommendation.
It measures 82″ x 34.5″ and weighs approximately 20 lbs. Audimute claims it comes with a 3.2mm peacemaker to help block out the noise. Of course, we aren’t the one to fall for a manufacturer’s marketing speak, so we dug to find out what actually it is and how well it can block sound. It turns out that peacemaker is made of 80% recycled rubber.
During anecdotal tests, it seems like the Isole blocks an additional ~12dB of noise. This might not sound like much, but remember that the decibel noise scale is logarithmic, not linear. In simple terms, it means that for every 10dB of noise reduced, the perceived noise is cut by 50%. This means it successfully blocked more than half of the sound. Pretty impressive.
The packaging also includes the hardware to hang the sheets from the metal grommets. While we like grommets for easy installation, it might make sense to install them using heavy-duty industrial-sized hooks in some cases. Ensure that you use a stud finder to locate the studs and screw them directly into it.
We like that it comes in four colors: white, black, bone, and steel; aesthetics are important if you’re putting it up in the living room.
If you’re using it to soundproof your door, we recommend you pair it with Audimute’s soundproofing acoustic door seal kit. This helps ensure that all the gaps around the door are blocked.
Since the pacemaker is made of rubber, it might emit a strange odor. Not everyone experiences it, but you may find it unpleasant if you’re extremely sensitive to smell. It’s hardly a deal-breaker, as this issue can be mitigated with room fresheners.
Also, since this heavy sheet is not machine washable, we recommend you vacuum or lightly brush it to prevent dust buildup.
Despite the minor flaws, the Isolé is hands-down the best soundproof blanket you can buy right now.
Runner Up: Big Boxer Industrial Blanket (With Grommets)
- Great sound blocking
- Wide coverage
- Industrial use cases
Not So Good
- Strange factory chemical smell
The generically-named grommet industrial blanket is a solid contender to the Audimute Isolé, and we recommend using this for sound isolation.
It is made of non-woven polyester cotton with re-inforced metal grommets every 9 inches, so you can hang it easily.
Unlike the Audimute, this one only comes in standard black and grey. It is a bit shorter in length than the Isolé, but it more than makes up for that with its massive 72″ width. It measures 78″ x 72″ in dimensions, so it’s a bit cheaper per sq. feet.
As its name suggests, it seems like it was originally made for dampening noise and vibration in warehouses and has industrial use-cases. This is apparent from its double-stitched, which seems sturdy and durable. However, you can use this to block noise for dog crates, recording studios—and pretty much anything.
The packaging appears to have a mild plastic smell for some people but quickly airs out in a day or two. We recommend spraying it with Febreze or Lysol if it still doesn’t.
As you’d expect, it works well for sounds on most frequencies except the very high-frequency ones like whistles or sirens.
The Best Moving Blanket for Soundproofing: US Cargo Control Supreme
- Premium cotton blend
- Available in 24-pack set
- Machine Washable
Not So Good
- Dye odor
If you want an appealing look from your soundproofing blanket, then go for Supreme Mover Moving Blankets.
These blankets come in the standard dimension, i.e. 80″x72.” These are thickly woven blankets having premium cotton and poly-blend. The thickness and 7.5 lbs weight make them a perfect sound absorber. The zig-zag stitch pattern makes the quilt highly durable.
These blankets come in a black and white shade, which looks excellent when nailed to the wall. The manufacturer provides an option to choose from single, four-pack, 12-pack and 24-pack sets. Therefore you have the freedom to buy only what you need.
Another advantage you will get with these blankets is their compatibility with machine wash. Most moving blankets are damaged and spoiled after cleaning, but these blankets can be washed more than ten times.
On the downside, you might find the dye odor irritating, but you can get rid of it quickly by washing and drying the blanket. One important thing to note is that it lacks grommets.
In short, Supreme Mover Moving Blankets will provide you with adequate sound dampening at an affordable price.
Budget Moving Blanket for Soundproofing: Sure-Max 4
- Cotton quilting
- Good echo correction
Not So Good
- Dye odor
If you are on a tight budget for your soundproofing project, then you can consider buying Sure-max Blankets.
These blankets are thickly woven and have cotton quilting with a polyester coating. The zig-zag stitch holds the quilt evenly and ensures durability.
It comes with dimensions 80″ X 72″. This is larger than most of the soundproofing blankets available on the market. You can easily install two blankets side-by-side to cover your whole wall.
If you want to record sound, these blankets will help you dampen the high-frequency echoes. Such noise is generally generated while using electrical appliances. You can also use them to provide sound isolation to your musical instruments, such as a piano.
Some users have reported scratches. Although if used delicately, it’s unlikely to happen. It is recommended not to wash these blankets to prevent any damage.
Before using these blankets, dry them out in sunlight for a day. This will help eliminate the strong dye odor it carries.
The Sure-Max moving blankets are a worthy investment for their price and effectiveness. If you don’t mind putting up with a stench, it can act as an excellent soundproof barrier at an affordable price.
Also Great: Cheap Cheap Moving Boxes Deluxe
- Good for absorbing sound
- Dense for a moving blanket
Not So Good
- No grommets
If you want to use your blanket for multiple purposes, go for Deluxe Moving Blankets by Cheap Cheap Moving Boxes.
The primary purpose of moving blankets is to protect your furniture from getting damaged while moving. Anyway, it’s always better if it can serve multiple purposes.
These blankets come in the standard dimension of 72″ x 80″. They weigh almost 4 pounds. With a quarter-inch thickness, they can absorb up to 25% of the incoming sound.
These blankets are non-woven and have a polyester binding. Double-stitched edges compensate for the not-so-strong hold throughout the fabric. The polyester cover makes it sustainable to fire damage; using it away from the fireplace and stove is expected.
Most moving blankets are made for one-time use only, but you can use these blankets multiple times by washing them if necessary.
If you plan to use them in your studio, don’t think twice because they provide a pleasant acoustic effect for your music.
The only downside I found with these blankets is the lack of grommets. You can hang or nail them on your wall. You can also attach cup hooks to the walls, put grommets in the blankets, and hang them up.
Overall, Cheap Cheap moving boxes and deluxe blankets work for soundproofing your room. They can also be used for more extended periods.
Buying Guide: How We Test
What Do You Want to Use it For?
Whenever someone has a noise problem, their first instinct is often to search the web for “soundproofing”. This leads them down the rabbit hole, and they often purchase the wrong product.
So, ask yourself:
What Do You Actually Need it For Soundproofing or Sound Absorbing?
Do you want the sound to stay inside your space, or do you want to prevent the sound from entering the room?
This might seem the same at first glance, but there’s a significant difference when considering getting a soundproof blanket.
In general, there are two different kinds of soundproof blankets:
- Sound Blocking Blankets: They’re typically made from a thin dense membrane like the Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) or fiberglass batting insulation (usually 2″). This membrane also goes by the name of “dB-Bloc” and is the primary reason why the blanket blocks the noise. They are designed to attack the source of the sound and physically block the sound from entering the room.
- Sound Absorbing Blankets: These light and fluffy blankets can help reduce the echo by absorbing the sounds in a room. Since they aren’t dense, getting one might not make sense if you’re looking to reduce the noise entering your room. However, if you’re tired of hearing echoes reverberate off every wall in your home recording studio, the plush fabric like velvet or velour in moving blankets should help.
There’s a third type of sound blanket—depending on who you ask:
Composite sound blocking blanket. They can do both—block and absorb sound. In addition to the dense MLV, the core padding fiberglass helps absorb the energy blocked by the core density.
When we were researching for this article, we came across this great analogy from the guys at Acoustical Surfaces:
Imagine you are building an aquarium to hold water. Would you use glass panels or sponges for the walls of the tank? This is a ridiculous question, but it paints a picture of simple physics that applies here. Sound acts very similar to water when you are trying to control it. If you used sponges as the walls, they would absorb the water but quickly let all of it seep through to the other side. Glass and good seals block the water and keep it in place. Acoustical materials made from soft, squishy things like sponges will absorb. Dense, heavy, air-tight materials will block.
Here’s why all this matters:
If you’re looking for a noise blanket to reduce reverb for your band room or a makeshift recording studio, getting a sound-blocking blanket will be cost-prohibitive.
Conversely, if you get a sound-absorbing moving blanket to try and prevent the noise from entering your room—it wouldn’t be effective, and you will just end up burning money.
Now that we have sufficiently ranted about it… (apologies, it was necessary!)
Here are some places where you can use a soundproof blanket:
- Recording Studio: If you’re looking to start your own YouTube channel or record your very first podcast, you will need to get crisp and clear audio recordings. This is also quintessential if you’re a studio professional or a vocalist. If you’re a musician who beats drums all day—the chances are that you will need to soundproof your room to reduce the noise going out of your space. Acoustic treatment in studios requires significant enough blankets to cover enough places. Depending on your situation, you might need a blanket that can do both—sound absorbing and blocking. Acoustic panels can be pretty expensive. While moving blankets have a relatively low Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) (read: less effective), they still provide excellent coverage for dampening sound in studios.
- Doors: If outside noise seeps into your room from the doorway, we recommend you buy a sound-blocking blanket, not a moving/absorbing blanket. A great densely-packed blanket should block 21-25 bB of noise. Most sound-blocking blankets come with a grommet at the top for easy installation. Some models come with a velcro or magnet perimeter seal. Residential Acoustics claims that choosing a perimeter seal with their AcoustiDoor can improve the blocking of sound by 15-20%. In theory, it should help, but since we haven’t been able to test this number independently, we aren’t making this recommendation for now.
- Walls and Windows: Our advice for walls and windows is the same as for the doors above.
- On and Around Appliances: It’s not uncommon to hear loud noises from various home appliances such as dishwashers and air-conditioners. You can place these sound quilts around these appliances as a sound barrier. It not only helps dampen the noise but can also help reduce your energy bills by providing extra insulation around your air conditioning unit.
In general, sound blankets can soundproof nearly everything—from reducing noise in your home recording studio to insulating appliances and everything in between.
But in our experience, they work best in a room that has lots of hard surfaces with little to no furniture. Surfaces such as hardwood floors let sound bounce off between the ceiling, walls and the floor—resulting in a loud noise. You can also use a sound blanket in laundry rooms, garages, gyms, warehouses, construction sites or industrial spaces with loud machinery.
So you might be wondering, are there instances where you should not use a sound blanket?
We don’t recommend getting a soundproofing blanket if you want to attenuate sound from the ceiling or floors.
Don’t get us wrong—it’s certainly possible to do so, but nailing them can be challenging. Plus, there are more effective ways to reduce the noise from floors and ceilings than draping a blanket.
Density, Weight, and Thickness
When it comes to density, weight, or thickness of soundproof blankets, follow a simple rule:
“The more, the better!”
Since mass is the main soundproofing principle, the blankets must be at least 1 Pound per Square Foot. Note that this applies only to sound-blocking blankets, not moving blankets.
To compare them, you can simply divide the mass/weight by volume/size/area to get the weight per square or cubic inch.
Obviously, the thicker the blanket, the more layers sound has to pass through to escape to the other side.
Also, we recommend you measure the space where you plan to hang these blankets before purchasing the blanket.
Since the sound blankets are made of thick materials, they can be extremely hard to cut and might even damage the blanket. Therefore, I would suggest that you measure and decide on the perfect size beforehand and buy a blanket based on this decision.
Sound Transmission Class (STC) Rating: How Much Sound Can it Block?
If you’re looking to block sound, you should look into STC.
The Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating is a single number rating of how good a material is at blocking airborne noise.
“What’s airborne noise?” I hear you ask.
Well, airborne sound is transmitted through the air, like human speech or dogs barking. The higher the STC rating, the better the blanket will block external noises.
Naturally, the next question is:
What’s a good STC rating for soundproofing?
At STC 45, you cannot hear loud speech, although you still might be able to hear heavy traffic. At STC 50, loud sounds are faint and should be good enough for most people. At STC 60+, you will hands-down get the absolute best soundproofing.
|STC Rating||What you can hear at this level|
|25||Soft speech can be heard and understood|
|30||Normal speech can be heard and understood|
|35||Loud speech can be heard and understood|
|40||Loud speech can be heard, but not understood|
|45||The threshold at which privacy begins|
|50||Loud sounds can be heard, but are very faint|
|60+||At this level, good soundproofing begins. Neighbors generally are not disturbed by very loud speech from inside.|
The International Building Code (IBC) requires lab-tested STC 50 for newly-constructed walls, floors, and ceilings.
While considering the STC rating for a soundproof blanket is essential, we don’t recommend entirely relying on this single measurement. Here’s why:
The STC only considers frequencies in the 125-4000 Hz range. This can be misleading as plenty of real-life noise sources are below this level. Some noise sources below 125Hz include heavy traffic noise from airplanes, musical instruments like guitars and drums, and machinery such as power transformers.
So if either you or your neighbor plays the drums, the STC rating is less useful.
Also, the ASTM test methods change every few years significantly. Hence, when assessing a manufacturer-provided STC rating, it’s also helpful to consider the year in which the lab test was performed. Remember, recent is better.
Despite the downsides, we highly recommend checking the STC rating of a soundproofing blanket. We also dig through the manufacturer-provided manuals to list it wherever possible.
NRC Rating: How Much Sound Can it Absorb?
If you’re only trying to reduce echo and reverb, you should be more concerned with NRC.
A Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is a single-number rating of how much sound material can absorb. It ranges from 0 to 1, with higher being better. For example, if a moving blanket is rated NRC 0.50, it will absorb 50% of the sound and reflect the rest 50%.
A product like marble is rated NRC 0—meaning it doesn’t absorb anything but reflects all the sound waves, whereas Fiberglass, 3-1/2″ batt rated at 0.95 NRC absorbs a vast majority (95%) of the sound.
NRC ratings vary depending on the type of material, thickness, and density.
Most soundproof blankets have inner layers that are made of fiberglass, mass loaded vinyl, and polyester. This is where the magic happens—the density of these materials is what absorbs and deadens the sound.
So naturally, the next thing you’re wondering is:
What’s a good NRC rating?
This is a bit trickier to answer because the amount of material also matters alongside the NRC rating. For instance, carpets can considerably sound deaden a room despite low NRC (0.10 — 0.30) because they can cover entire floors.
If you’re recording a podcast or a YouTube video, we’d recommend getting one with an NRC rating of 0.65 or above.
As with STC, the NRC or Sound Absorption Average (SAA) rating is imperfect. This is because it doesn’t include low frequencies (200Hz) or high frequencies (2,500 Hz)—which is the type of noise you’d typically hear in an industrial building with loud machines.
Despite the downsides, we highly recommend checking the NRC or SAA rating of a soundproofing blanket. We also dig through the manufacturer-provided manuals to list them wherever possible.
|Brick||.00 – .05|
|Carpet over concrete||.20 – .30|
|Carpet with foam pad||.30 – .50|
|Concrete (smooth)||.00 – .20|
|Gypsum Wall Board||.05|
|Plywood||.10 – .15|
|Polyurethane Foam (1″ thick)||.30|
Type of Fabric and Material: What Kind of Fabric is Suitable for Soundproofing?
As discussed above, the inner layer of a soundproof blanket is what blocks the majority of the sound. If you’re looking to block sound from entering inside, look for a blanket made of dense materials such as Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV).
In addition to blocking sound, the fiberglass batting insulation (dB-Bloc) helps absorb sound in composite hybrid blankets. Sometimes you might also find mineral wool, foam or cellulose for sound absorption.
Mineral wool insulation has superior sound-deadening properties to fiberglass. It has a 1.7 pounds per cubic foot density, whereas fiberglass has 0.5 to 1.0. As a result, mineral wool can cost 25 to 40% more than fiberglass. If you live in an area with persistent high moisture (hello, Jacksonville!), we recommend getting mineral wool since it doesn’t absorb moisture and rot or corrode.
If you’re looking at sound-absorbing blankets (like moving blankets), look for one with a plush fabric like velvet or velour. These materials help reduce echoes and reverberations by absorbing them.
Avoid using lighter weave fabrics which are acoustically transparent. While not absolutely critical, selecting a blanket with an outer heavy-weave cotton can still be helpful.
Grommets: How Easy it is to Use and Install?
Depending on where you want to use the acoustic blankets, there are several ways of hanging/installing them.
- Hang on Your Wall Using Rods: A grommet is a ring or edge strip typically used to hang the curtains over a window or a door. Besides adding a modern finish to your blankets or curtains, it’s also useful to hang sound blankets on walls and rods. If you buy a blanket without grommets, you can still install these items with some DIY trickery. But, if you’re someone who enjoys the hassle-free installation and prefers something that works out of the box, I recommend you buy a blanket with grommets.
- Use a Curtail Rail: Not all blankets will come with grommets, especially the inexpensive moving blankets. You can always make appropriate-sized holes and fit the curtain rings into them.
- Use a Glue: Use industrial glue to affirm the blankets against the surface. If you’re applying it to a wall, be warned that it might rip off the wallpaper. Alternatively, you can also nail it to the wall.
You can simply drape the blanket to the door if the blanket is large enough.
Looks and Design: How Aesthetically Appealing Do You Need it to Be?
The design aspect of a blanket is essential not just for mere aesthetics but also for its functionality and effectiveness. The design should be tailored to the location that you want to place it.
When you’re out in the market to buy a sound blanket, you will also notice that there’s one more design option: quilted design.
A blanket with a quilted design helps in absorbing high temperature along with the usual sound absorption. As you might have guessed, they are a little pricier than non-quilted ones, but if you work in a cold room without a heating system, we think it’s worth the extra investment.
Soundproofing your apartment requires you to work patiently because a minor inaccuracy may lead to significant ineffectiveness. The same goes for the price of a soundproofing blanket.
Expensive blankets come with dense materials like MLV, providing better soundproofing. However, we understand not everyone can afford to splurge—so we have also covered inexpensive moving blankets. If you opt for a cheaper one, it’s better to use them in layers.
How Much Do Sound Blankets Reduce Noise?
Soundproof blankets can reduce 30% to 80% noise; a solid 12-18 dB drop is realistic for most machine noise. Note that just a 10dB drop is a 50% reduction in perceived noise.
Are Acoustic Panels Better Than Blankets?
Acoustic panels are designed to absorb sound, while certain soundproof blankets can both—absorb and block noise.
Soundproof Blankets Vs Curtains: Which is better?
Soundproof blankets are usually made of denser materials than curtains, thus making them more effective at blocking sound than curtains.
Acoustic Blankets Vs Moving Blankets: Which is Better?
Acoustic blankets can absorb and block noise, whereas moving blankets are helpful for mild echo correction and sound absorption. Acoustic blankets are made of dense Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) to help block incoming sound, while most moving blankets are made of velvet or velour.
Can Blankets Soundproof a Door?
Yes, you can soundproof a door using blankets. Since you’ll need to use the door, you should hang the blanket using a curtain rail with the grommets.
Are Moving Blankets Good for Soundproofing?
Yes, moving blankets are an easy and inexpensive to absorb sound inside your space. Note that if you’re looking to block incoming sounds, consider choosing a soundproof blanket over a moving blanket.
How Do I Hang/Attach a Moving Blanket for Soundproofing?
- You can use spring clamps to hold the blankets to overhead joists. Get a grommet installation kit and some paracord. Put three grommets on one edge of each blanket. Use a large cutter and wood to get a right-sized hole for the grommet.
- Place the grommet that goes through the hole on the bottom anvil and then place that under the blanket through the hole. Place the other half of the grommet on top with the curved side up.
- Use the punch head and a hammer to round over the center part of the grommet, crimping the two halves tightly together.
- Once the grommets are in place, cut the rope into nine-inch long segments and seal the ends. Loop the rope through the grommets.
- The loops of rope can now slip over the studs on the spring clamps. You can now hang the blanket where ever the clamps can be placed.
Can I Use a Weighted Blanket for Soundproofing?
No. Weighted blankets are constructed using the same regular bed blankets but are heavier because of the added glass granules. Soundproofing blankets are actually built differently, using dense Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) that helps block sound.
Any Tips for Improving the Effectiveness of Acoustic Blankets?
- Leave a gap of 3-4 Inches between the blankets and the wall. This will virtually create an additional layer of soundproofing since the sound reverberates within the gap and thus further loses energy.
- If you feel the soundproofing is still insufficient, try installing two or more layers of blankets. This will increase the overall thickness of the soundproofing material that the sound has to pass through.
- If you still want to kill more bass, you may have to look into purchasing some good bass traps.