Blackout and soundproof curtains are both popular choices for enhancing the comfort and privacy of indoor spaces. But a lot of people get them mixed up and think they serve the same purpose.
But are blackout curtains the same as soundproof curtains
Blackout curtains won’t block sound but are effective in blocking light from penetrating your room. They are made of a denser material, complemented by a lining on the backside. This design effectively blocks the penetration of both natural sunlight and artificial light sources like street lamps, ensuring a darker room.
On the other hand, while blackout curtains will only block light and not sound, soundproof curtains offer many more benefits. Soundproof curtains double as blackout curtains due to their solid inner lining. This feature allows them to completely obstruct light, particularly when complemented with a Velcro perimeter seal. Essentially, they serve the dual purpose of sound insulation and light blocking.
How Does Blackout Curtains Work?
Blackout curtain’s primary function is to stop sunlight and artificial light, such as from passing vehicles or streetlamps, from entering a room. They can be used alongside blinds, offering an additional barrier as blinds often have small openings that let light seep in.
These curtains are beneficial for creating a dark sleeping environment at any hour. This is particularly beneficial for those residing in cities where light pollution is common. With blackout curtains, you can enjoy a nearly completely dark room, day or night.
Blackout curtains are widely used in bedrooms to minimize exposure to early morning sunlight and other light sources. The body produces the hormone melatonin in darkness, which plays a crucial role in regulating our natural sleep-wake cycle. By blocking out light, blackout curtains help maintain the production of melatonin, making it easier to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep for longer periods.
This practice of using blackout curtains to enhance sleep is common worldwide. For instance, a study involving Norwegian adults revealed that 63.3% of them use blackout curtains. The usage is exceptionally high among people under 30 years of age and tends to decrease slightly as people get older.
How Does Soundproof Curtains Work?
Soundproofing curtains, also known as acoustic curtains or drapes, sound blankets, sound screens, or acoustic barriers, are designed with specific materials for effective sound control. These curtains work primarily by absorbing sound, reducing the amount of reflected noise within a space. Additionally, they act as sound barriers, effectively diminishing external noise from entering an area.
The effectiveness of acoustic curtains in blocking sound can be significant, with some reducing sound transmission by up to 29 decibels. However, this level of performance can vary depending on the quality of materials and how the curtains are used. They are particularly beneficial in settings such as theaters, churches, and offices or for encasing loud industrial machinery, where noise reduction is crucial.
Acoustic curtains vary in construction based on their intended environment. Typically, they are 1 to 4 inches thick and are made from acoustic-grade quilted fiberglass absorbers. These may be layered and come with a diamond-stitched sewn facing.
Some curtains also include a sound barrier material weighing between ½ to 2 pounds, which can be either reinforced or non-reinforced. The edges of these blankets are usually bound with industrial-grade Velcro and have grommets at the top for hanging. The effectiveness of these curtains in noise reduction is largely due to their thickness and the heavy materials used in their construction.
Will Blackout Curtains Reduce Noise?
Blackout curtains can provide some degree of noise reduction, but they are primarily designed for light blocking rather than soundproofing. The thicker fabric and layers used in blackout curtains can help absorb and dampen some sound, leading to a slight reduction in external noise. However, their effectiveness in noise reduction is limited compared to specialized soundproof or acoustic curtains.
However, it’s important to note that not all blackout curtains can block noise. The reason blackout curtains are not highly effective in blocking sound is that they are solely made of fabric, typically a thick, dark velour material. While this kind of fabric is excellent for blocking light, its porous nature means that sound can still permeate through it.
Although blackout curtains are not designed to block sound transfer between different areas, they can help diminish noise within a room. This is particularly beneficial if your home has echoes, often caused by hard surfaces and a lack of soft furnishings like carpets, pillows, or curtains. The thick velour material used in blackout curtains is sufficient to absorb echoes effectively, thereby reducing the overall noise level generated within the space.
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Best Blackout Soundproof Curtain Options
When looking for the best blackout soundproof curtain options, go for ones that blend the qualities of both sound insulation and light blocking. But before diving into some of my recommended blackout soundproofing curtains, let’s first look at some of the factors to keep in mind when shopping.
- Material Quality: Look for heavy, dense fabrics like velvet, polyester, or specially designed acoustic materials. The weight and thickness of the fabric contribute significantly to its soundproofing and light-blocking abilities.
- Size and Coverage: Ensure that the curtains are large enough to cover your window completely. Curtains that can overlap at the center and extend beyond the window frame at the sides and bottom will provide better sound insulation and light blocking.
- Layers: Curtains with multiple layers tend to be more effective. A combination of a dense outer layer with a lighter inner layer or lining can enhance both soundproofing and blackout capabilities.
1. Nicetown Custom 2 Layers 100% Blackout Curtain
I recently purchased these blackout curtains and have been thoroughly impressed with their performance. They are, without a doubt, the real deal when it comes to creating a completely dark environment.
The sewn-in black liner backing is highly effective, blocking out 100% of sunlight and UV rays. This feature has been a game-changer for my sleep quality, especially during the day, as it provides a genuinely dark space.
Another notable aspect is their noise-reducing capability. These curtains are not just thick but also have a good drape, which seals the window effectively, offering a significant soundproofing effect. They are particularly effective in absorbing noise, being twice as efficient as ordinary single-layer curtains. This has dramatically reduced the disturbance from external noises at any time.
The design of these curtains is also worth mentioning. Constructed with dual layers of triple-weave blackout fabric, they not only insulate against heat in summer and chill in winter but also ensure privacy. The absence of any chemical coating and formaldehyde makes them an eco-friendly choice, adding to the overall appeal.
In terms of maintenance, they are easy to care for, though it’s important to note that they are not suitable for water washing and should be dry-cleaned only. They only require low-temperature ironing, but be cautious to avoid scratching the curtains with sharp objects.
Overall, these blackout curtains are an excellent investment for anyone looking to improve their sleep quality and reduce noise in their home. They are not only functional but also environmentally friendly and easy to maintain.
2. CUCRAF 100% Blackout Window Curtains for Bedroom
The curtains in question come as a set of two panels, each with dimensions of 52 inches in width and 95 inches in length. They are crafted from a thick, durable material that is slightly heavier than what you find in standard blackout curtains.
Each panel features eight silver grommets with an inner diameter of 1.6 inches, ensuring ease of installation and smooth sliding on a curtain rod.
One of the key features of these curtains is their 100% blackout capability. They are made from faux linen with a grey coating on the backside. The innovative triple-woven texture of the fabric completely blocks out all light and UV rays, ensuring total darkness in the room.
They provide a solid drape that effectively seals the window, aiding in soundproofing. As confirmed by authoritative laboratory tests, these curtains not only shield you from external noise but also ensure complete privacy. This combination of light-blocking and sound-insulating properties makes these curtains a practical choice for enhancing comfort in any living space.
So, Are Blackout Curtains the Same as Soundproof Curtains?
No, blackout curtains and soundproof curtains are not the same, though they may share some features.
Blackout curtains are specifically designed to block out light. They typically consist of thick, dense fabric with a light-blocking lining. Their primary function is to create darkness in a room by preventing external light sources, such as sunlight or streetlights, from entering.
Soundproof curtains, on the other hand, are designed to reduce noise. They are usually made from heavy, dense materials that can absorb and dampen sound, helping to lessen the intrusion of external noise into a room. While soundproof curtains can also block out light, especially if they have a solid lining, their primary purpose is noise reduction, not light blocking.
In summary, while both types of curtains can provide light-blocking benefits, their primary functions differ blackout curtains for light control and soundproof curtains for noise reduction.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.