Soundproof curtains may seem like an easy and inexpensive solution for deadening outside noise. They’re marketed as noise reducing window drapes and promise endless relaxation. The question is, do they work?
While many companies use the term “soundproof” when selling products, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The reality is that it’s virtually impossible to soundproof a room without physically altering the infrastructure of a room. Most recording studios use what’s known as the “room within a room” technique to achieve a 100% soundproof room.
Despite that harsh reality, sound deadening curtains can still provide value to your bedroom! While your room won’t be soundproof from those outside of it, you will be able to deaden the noises coming from outside and make your room less reverberant.
Who are sound deadening curtains best for?
These types of curtains aren’t for everyone. If you’re interested in totally soundproofing a room, you’re going to be unhappy with the results.
- Those who live in a very busy metropolitan area – Cars, pedestrians, and heavy construction can keep you up at night, especially on the weekends.
- People who live near freeways – Cars traveling on nearby highways can cause a lot of unwanted noise. This is why you’ll often see big barriers or man-made berms next to freeways.
- Anyone located in heavy construction areas – While construction is usually temporary, sound deadening curtains can provide quick relief to those dealing with loud machinery both late and early in the morning.
- Aspiring bedroom music producers – If you make music then you know how hard it can be to get the mix correct. Soundproof curtains can make your room tighter and help you achieve cleaner mixes. Your studio monitors will be more accurate to your ears. Acoustic treatment is expensive and this is a great way to break in without hurting your wallet.
Do soundproof curtains work or are they all hype?
Yes, soundproof curtains are effective. They will not give you complete isolation, as this requires re-construction of the room, but will dampen the noise and reverberations in the room. If you want to go one step further, you can consider installing soundproof windows. Soundproof curtains aren’t the end all be all, but definitely help. Let me explain.
If your room is barren with just paint on the walls, try standing in the center of the room and clap your hands. Be sure to listen to the room. You should hear the sound of your hands ringing all around the room. This is known as natural reverberation and can be extremely obnoxious. Now move over to your closet and begin clapping next to your clothing. You should notice an incredible difference in the sound. You should notice that the sound is both quieter and should sound much better to your ears.
Soundproof curtains will act just as the clothes do in your closet. Reverberations will be lessened, the natural decay of sound will be quicker, and overall sound will be more pleasing to the ear.
Other benefits of soundproof curtains
Sound deadening curtains offer more things than just decibel reduction.
- Some curtains are also marketed as blackout curtains – In addition to noise reduction, reducing light leak in the early mornings can help you sleep better. You’ll get two birds with one stone. If you work a late job, sleeping during the day can be very difficult.
- Some curtains offer a small amount of insulation – Blocking the heat during the summer months and keeping a room nice and cozy during the winter could be an added benefit. Your energy bill will also be lower, as well as the effect on the environment. According to InnuWindow, 10-25% of thermal energy loss is from windows. Some studies claim that you could see a 25% reduction in energy costs over a year.
- Added privacy at home – As we mentioned before, soundproof curtains often double as blackout curtains. This means added personal privacy at home, as well.
Things to consider when looking to purchasing sound deadening curtains
When buying soundproof curtains it’s important to think about size, weight, materials and other important factors. You can either spend cheap or go big with your purchase. Here are some things to look for.
The size and measurements of the curtains
This one should be obvious. Usually, when buying regular curtains, the size is measured by the size of the window. However, you need to account for sound absorption. Soundproof curtains need to extend further on both sides of the window.
They also need to be from ceiling to floor for maximum effect. Be sure to measure accurately to avoid walking on your curtains.
The weight of your curtains and its infrastructure
One thing’s for sure: heavy curtains are needed for sound dampening. That’s why you need to be sure your walls can support this type of weight.
In general, the heavier your curtains are, the better the sound reduction will be. Lower frequencies from things like big trucks and heavy construction will be better absorbed from thicker and heavier materials.
You can always double-up your curtains for more effect if you still have issues. Be sure you have a heavy-duty curtain rod when considering this.
Look for curtains marketed with extra fibers. Curtains that are made of suede or velvet are usually great choices. Characteristics that are good to see are heavy, ceiling to floor, tightly woven, insulated, thermaweave, thermalayer. All of these terms are good characteristics of noise absorption. The curtains will keep the energy bill lower, reduce noise, and keep cold and heat out of the house depending on the season. Extra layers aid tremendously. Other curtain types that apply include blackout, curtain liners, blackout liners, and window liners.
Alternatives to soundproof curtains
If the curtains aren’t cutting it for you, there are other alternatives you can consider. Acoustic foam is one of these options. While these types of panels won’t cover up your window, you can use it in combination with the curtains for a more dramatic effect. Acoustic panels are used everywhere from recording studios to amateur YouTube creator’s setups.
Have you tried using soundproof curtains to improve the sound of your room and reduce outside noise? Let us know in the comments below. If you feel we missed anything or got something wrong, be sure to contact us and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading.