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Soundproof blankets are a great deal in blocking noise from entering or leaving a space. If you’ve been experiencing noise coming through the door or windows, then it’s time to take action and deal with the noise problem once and for all.
If you’re constantly bothered by the noise from your next-door neighbors, soundproofing blankets may be what you need to help reduce sound transmission.
According to CDC, continuous noise exposure can result in anxiety, stress, depression, heart diseases, increased blood pressure and put you at increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss. (Source)
In this guide, I shall take you through the different types of soundproofing blankets, how they work, as well how to use them in your home.
What is a Soundproof Blanket?
True to its name, a soundproof blanket is a piece of materials used to deaden sound/ block sound from leaving and entering a space. They also dampen and absorb sound. They are also known as sound absorption blankets, sound blankets, or sound dampening blankets.
Sound blankets are made of several layers of materials. The outer layer is made from woven fabric, and the inner layer is made of insulation materials or mass-loaded vinyl. As you’ve seen in my previous posts, mass-loaded vinyl and sound insulating materials effectively block unwanted noises outside.
Soundproof Blankets vs. Acoustic Blankets
Sound blankets are designed the same, so it’s important to understand what type will work best for you before purchase.
There is a difference between soundproofing and acoustics/ noise absorption. If you need to block sound from leaking in or outside space, you need a soundproof blanket. Your goal should be to create a barrier that prevents sound transmission.
On the other hand, acoustic comes in handy if you need to improve the quality of sound in a room. For example, if you need to improve sound quality in a recording studio, you will need acoustic blankets. They absorb echoes and reverberations as sounds often get reflected in rooms with hard surfaces.
Soundproof blankets are used to create a barrier that blocks sound. In most cases, they are used to create an enclosure or wall. You’ve probably seen some in some industrial setups where heavy and loud equipment’s are involved. They are often a requirement used to meet local ordinances.
The blankets achieve sound-blocking abilities as they are made using a dense layer of mass-loaded vinyl (blocking sound) and fiberglass face (vinyl coated) for extra sound absorption.
They are measured by NRC and STC ratings. Sound Transmission Class is used to measure the amount of noise a material stops from transmitting. Higher STC ratings often reflecting better soundproofing properties.
Soundproof blankets can be attached to the structures like chain links or your fence to create a barrier. They can also be used as a soundproof generator and other loud machineries.
As mentioned earlier, acoustic blankets are specifically designed to absorb echoes and reverb and not block sound.
If you have these, you should consider using them with some barriers to help them block sound.
When selecting an acoustic blanket, the Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is the most important factor to consider.
NRC is used to measure a material’s ability to absorb noise at different frequencies. If you’re looking to improve the acoustic of your home, you can get some good acoustic blankets at a bargain price.
Make sure that the blanket you want is rated for sound absorption. Don’t fall into the trap of some bloggers recommending moving blankets as alternatives.
In fact, you will get acoustic blankets that are actually cheaper than the suggested moving blankets. If you’re convinced that moving blankets actually work, then make sure that they have an NRC rating; otherwise, they won’t get the job done.
Do Soundproofing Blankets Really Work?
Yes, soundproofing blankets work. You should expect significant noise reduction because they have a layer of mass loaded vinyl and vinyl coat of fiberglass insulation.
Soundproofing blankets are so popular that they’ve been adopted by big brands. For example, the Boeing Corporation uses soundproofing blankets to deal with noise problems in their testing facilities.
Additionally, Dynamic Testing Equipment effectively helps deal with noise control issues using sound blankets.
They are also popular in construction sites that use loud machineries. By using them in such jobsites, the contractor helps protect those living around and at the same time meets local ordinances requirements.
I understand that sometimes you may find some folks recommending moving blankets for your soundproofing purposes. Moving blankets are a failure, and you’ll be disappointed.
If you genuinely want significant noise reduction results, I would highly suggest soundproofing blankets. If you can’t get find them locally, use mass-loaded vinyl instead of moving or acoustic blankets.
Soundproof Blanket for Door, Garage, and Jobsites
Doors and windows are the main culprits in transmitting noise in or outside a room. They are hard to soundproof, thanks to the gaps and spaces between the frames they are mounted on. Fortunately, soundproofing blankets are ideal in helping reduce noise that leaks through the door and windows.
Additionally, you can use these blankets as a noise abatement fence around your property to help get rid of reduce neighbors’ noise leaking into your house. Below are some of my most recommended soundproofing blankets.
ISOTEX dB Heavy Duty Soundproofing Blankets
If you’re truly serious about soundproofing, then you should consider the ISOTEX dB soundproofing blankets. They offer industrial-grade noise reduction and are great for outdoor and indoor applications.
They muffle the sounds of heavy machinery, motor & gear housings, and more thanks to their improved Sound Transmission Class (STC 33). I love these panels because they are waterproof and ultra violet resistant, which makes them great for quieting your outdoor equipment.
They use a patented design which makes the installation seamless using magnetic anchors. They are mounted on a stainless-steel frame that’s fitted with magnetic anchors. This allows the panelized blankets to be installed and removed easily without drilling.
The manufacturer allows for custom design to help perfectly fit the shapes of geometrically uneven equipment for maximum efficiency.
|ISOTEX dB Soundproof Blanket||Values|
|Sound Transmission Class (STC)||33|
|Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)||0.72|
|Environmental||Waterproof, (Temperatures- ISOTEX dB soundproofing blankets.)|
|Thickness||(4″) 100 mm (50 mm (2″) available)|
|Density||2.4 lbs/sqft / 16.1 kg/m²|
The ISOTEX dB soundproofing blankets have four layers that contribute to massive sound blocking.
- An outer fabric layer with durable fasteners and bands prevents noise leakage. The fabric layer also makes it UV resistant and waterproof.
- A second layer composed of mass-loaded vinyl/polymer for sound blocking
- A third layer is composed of mineral fiber to help absorb sound
- The four-layer is a silicone impregnated fabric layer that gives the panels industrial-strength when exposed to different contaminants and temperatures.
Isolé® Sound Barrier Sheets
With the Isole Sound Barrier Sheets, you get both sound absorption and sound blocking. One side of the sheet is fitted with a 0.75 NRC sound absorption panel that helps absorb sound reflections and reverberation in a room.
The opposite side of the sound blanket is a thick and dense layer of the Audimute Peacemaker Sound Barrier (3.2mm), which helps block sound from passing through.
This combination makes the material ideal for sound blocking and absorbing, making it perfect for soundproofing windows, doors, vents, and other weak points in your house.
If you operate a recording studio or a drum room, getting the Isole Sound Barrier Sheets will go a long way in ensuring that you get improved sound quality and block noise from leaking outside.
|Isolé® Sound Barrier Sheets|
|Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)||0.75|
|Dimensions||34.5″ wide x 82″ long|
|Installation||3 metal grommets|
|Sound Blocking||Audimute Peacemaker® Sound Barrier (3.2 mm)|
It’s important to note that this product isn’t designed for soundproofing a wall or ceiling. This is because soundproofing involves the containment of air, mass, and density of the surfaces around you. The Isole is highly effective when used over windows and doors or as a partition.
It’s important to note that the Isole blanket contains a layer of Peacemaker Sound Barrier, a durable and environmentally friendly material containing 80% recycled rubber.
Like most rubbers, it’ll emit a low-level rubber odor that will go away with time. If you have increased sensitivity to smells, you may find the odor unpleasant. Therefore, it’s recommended you keep it in a ventilated room for a day or two before installation.
Quiet Quilt™ Soundproof Blanket
Another excellent option for serious soundproofing is the Quiet Quilt™ Soundproof Blanket sold by Second Skin Audio.
Second Skin Audio is one of the leading manufacturers of car/automotive sound deadening materials on the market. It’s a great competitor to one of the Dynamat, also a leading brand.
|Quiet Quilt™ Soundproof Blanket||Values|
|Sound Transmission Class (STC)||32|
|Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)||0.85|
|Temperature Range:||-20°F to 180°F (-6°C to 82°C)|
|MLV Barrier Density||1 lb. / sq ft|
|Weight||1.5 lbs per sq ft|
Unlike the ISOTEX dB blankets above, this unit is both industrial and residential, and the price tag won’t break the bank. The blankets are commonly used to soundproof HVAC units create soundproof fences on construction sites to help meet local noise ordinances.
Their design makes them friendly for use at home as they closely resemble soundproofing curtains. Additionally, they come in tan, grey, white or black colors allowing you to pick one that matches the decors of your home.
With a Sound Transmission Class of 32 and a Noise Reduction Coefficient of 0.32, you’re guaranteed the best sound blocking and absorption whenever you install them.
They feature grommets which makes it easier to install. Even though the standard size for the blanket sheet is 54”x8ft, you can order a custom size of up to 54” width x 20 inches length.
QBS Soundproof Blankets
The QBS fire-rated sound blocking blankets are great in blocking directional noise. They can be used in various soundproofing applications, including soundproofing a computer rack, loud factory, and soundproofing apartment walls. They can as well be used as soundproofing curtains or room divider curtains.
Additionally, they can be used to wrap around pipes or ductwork to reduce noise generated from air, noise generated by liquid flowing through pipe, etc.
They are also ideal for soundproofing woodworking tools, garages, and offices in busy factories.
|Sound Transmission Class (STC)||29||33|
|Noise Reduction Class (NRC)||0.75||0.75|
|Temperature range||-20° to +180° F||-20° to +180° F|
|Thickness||2.00 inch||2.00 inch|
|Weight||1.5 lb. psf||2.5 lb psf|
|Roll length||25’ long||25’ long|
|Standard width||48” wide||48” wide|
|ASTM E84||Class A||Class A|
What I love about this QBS brand is that you can place custom orders for your different soundproofing projects.
For example, if you need to soundproof a noisy machine like a generator, which cannot be fully or partially enclosed, the blankets can be customized to suspend from a floor mounted on a frame or ceiling.
Whether you need to soundproof an HVAC, generator, air compressor, or garage, I’m definitely certain that NetWell Noise Control will get you sorted.
Insul-Quilts Sound Blocker Blanket
The Insul-Quilts dubs itself as an influential brand in providing Hollywood with sound control blankets in all major sound and filming studio stages.
Well, I’m not so sure about that since I haven’t been to a major Hollywood filming. However, I know that they sell a bunch of fantastic sound control blankets, including the Insul-Quilt Quilted Sound Blocker Blanket.
|IQ-21 Quilted Sound Blocker Blanket||IQ-27 Quilted Sound Blocker Blanket||IQ-29 Quilted Sound Blocker Blanket|
|Thickness||2.0″ thick||Two inch thick||2.0″ thick|
|ASTM E84-18b||Class B||Rated Class B||Class B|
|Noise Reduction Levels||21 db||27 decibels||29 decibels|
This blanket is made using high-quality materials that won’t be affected by chemical, sun, or dirty environments. Additionally, it possesses high tensile and tear strength and is easy to install.
Available in a different version, the Insul-Quilts blankets block noise between 21-29 decibels and have an STC rating of 21-29. The standard color is gray, but it’s possible to place custom colors.
ENC’s Acoustical Barrier Blanket
The ENC’s barrier blanket is a product of the Environmental Noise Control Brand headquartered in California, but with branches in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Canada, West Coast, and Northern California.
These sound blankets are available in a variety of colors and are designed to block and absorb unwanted noise. They have been tested by an independent sound control lab per ASTM E-413 and ASTM E-90 and have a verified STC rating.
These acoustical blocking blankets are made with a polyvinyl-chloride outer layer of sound blocking and noise absorbing materials.
With an STC-25, these soundproof blankets are designed for set up close to the noise source. They can be used for indoor as well as outdoor applications and hung from any support structure for maximum noise reduction.
SCC-12 Sound Absorbing & Blocking Material
The SCC-12 is a 1” thick fiberglass material with a long-lasting vinyl-coated material over the fiberglass fabric that’s sewn on the front.
The blankets are usually constructed as curtains, with grommets on the top and Velcro on the sides. The blanket sheet is hemmed on all four sides.
- NRC rating 0.70
- Rated class A for Flammability test- ASTM E84
- STC rating 27
- Thickness 1.1 inches
- Weight 1.2 lb./sqft
The best part with the SCC-12 sound blanket is that it resists grease, oils, mild acids, moisture, dirt, alkalis, and salt atmospheres.
A-List of Acoustic Blankets (Sound Absorbing Blankets)
If you’re looking to eliminate echoes and reverbs in your recording studio, home theater, or any other room, then you’re better off with acoustic blankets. Unlike soundproofing blankets, acoustical blankets are affordable and will effectively get rid of echoes, improving a room’s acoustics.
Audimute Sound Absorption Blankets
Audimute is an American soundproofing brand based in Ohio. They manufacture a wide range of soundproofing products, and one of the popular ones is the Audimute Sound Absorption Blanket.
As its name suggests, these sheets absorb sound; they don’t block. In the end, you get improved sound quality in a room due to reduced reverberations and echoes.
The popular uses for this sound-absorbing blanket include home studios, vocal booth construction, band practices, and many other areas requiring sound absorption materials.
|Audimute Sound Absorption Blankets||Values|
|Size &||96″ x 48″ (8′ x 4′)|
|Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)||0.85|
|Weight||weighs approx. 10 pounds|
|Sound Absorption Average||0.87|
— Audimute (@Audimute) December 3, 2021
US Cargo Control Large Sound Blanket
If you are on a budget and find yourself faced with a noise problem that puts you in a life and death situation, then US Cargo Control Large Sound Blanket is something you should consider.
NB: This product doesn’t block sound; it only eliminates echoes and reverbs.
Unless you’re some YouTuber or a drummer looking to improve the acoustic qualities of your recording room, these aren’t worth your time and money.
First of all, the gas off, you’ll probably get rid of them the same day you install them. The reason why I wouldn’t recommend them is the fact that you can get some fantastic echo/reverb elimination products that are cheaper and much effective.
Lastly, the manufacturer doesn’t provide any NRC test results. Just because the product name suggests it works doesn’t mean it does. Independent lab results are much important in verifying the credibility of a soundproofing/absorption blanket.
How to Install Soundproof Blankets
Establishing a barrier with no gaps is the most important thing when installing soundproof blankets. Use the grommets to hang them and the Velcro edges to attach the soundproofing blankets to each other.
Ensure that you create a gapless seam that stretches all the way to the ground to create an airtight seal. If you’re able to place the soundproof blankets near the source, the better. This is because it’s easier to block sound near the source than far from the source.
Additionally, hang the soundproof blankets high enough to break the line of sight of the source of the noise. Ideally, ensure that the barrier is 50% higher from the breaking line of sight- typically 8-10 ft above where the line-of-sight ends.
If you follow these instructions to the latter, assuming everything is done right, you should expect up to 15 decibels in noise reduction.
How to Install Acoustic Blankets
Unlike soundproofing blankets, acoustic blankets require a combination of a dense barrier like drywall, wood, brick, or concrete. It’s impossible to use acoustic blankets to block sound on its own.
However, they effectively reduce echo reverb and improves an existing barrier’s performance.
Make sure you cover the hard surfaces (reflecting sound) for better results. Below is a detailed guide on calculating the number of acoustic blankets you require for your room.
Follow the 40% rule- to qualify for this rule, your room must meet the following conditions.
- It must be a standard ceiling height- ideally 8ft
- The room shouldn’t be too big- not recommended for rooms larger than 400 sqft.
- The room shouldn’t have multiple walls made of metal or glass
Calculating the number of acoustic blankets.
Measure the square footage of your room
- Length x Width= (Area in Sqft)
Multiply the area obtained above by 40% to determine the number of sqft panels you require.
- Area in sqft x 40%= Panels square footage
Calculate the total number of soundproof panels you require
- Panels square footage/ (divide by) size per sheet= the number of acoustic panels needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Blankets Work for Soundproofing?
Only soundproof blankets work for soundproofing. They are made up of sound blocking and sound-absorbing materials that block and absorb noises.
Acoustic blankets don’t soundproof. However, they are effective in absorbing sound and improving the effectiveness of an existing sound barrier.
How Much Do Soundproof Blankets Cost?
Soundproof blankets are as cheap as $120 per sheet and expensive as $12000 per sheet. This depends on the brand, material construction, STC & NRC ratings. Some soundproof blankets are available for hire, making them cost-effective for those looking for temporary soundproofing solutions.
Do Soundproof Blankets for Doors Work?
Yes, soundproof blankets are effective in soundproofing doors and windows. They create a barrier between the inside room and the outside world.
Do Heavy Blankets Absorb Sound?
To some extent, heavy blankets may absorb some sounds. However, they are not effective as those fitted with sound-absorbing materials. If you’re planning to sound dampen a room with those heavy blankets stored in the storage room, ensure that it’s just a temporary solution.
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.