Did you know that you could use blankets as soundproofing material? That’s right; it is possible to effectively use even a regular blanket to control the echo in a large room. And if the blanket is dense and thick, it can be used to absorb noise easily. Considering that blankets are one of the cheapest materials available, they are typically utilized in residential soundproofing. There are special types of soundproof blankets created solely for soundproofing purposes.
Soundproofing isn’t an easy task, as it requires several materials and tools that are expensive. Additionally, there isn’t any assurance that you get 100% soundproofing after the process. The precision and craftsmanship involved need to be accurate, and the materials used need to be of high quality. Every home is different, and the best soundproofing project is one that takes into account the right level of analysis, planning, and execution.
If you were to ask anyone on the street to name cheap soundproofing materials, they are likely to bring up egg cartons and foam. However, another inexpensive but lesser-known soundproofing option: a soundproofing blanket can be used to control noise.
This article will discover everything there is to know about a soundproofing blanket, if it works, and how it can be used to provide precise sound control and noise reduction.
Do soundproof blankets work?
Yes, soundproof blankets do work. However, they do work on the condition that you need to select the right sound blanket. The truth is not all blankets that have been marketed to block noise or reduce noise do so.
Very few high-quality blankets can help improve the acoustics and sound quality of a room while completely blocking the noise. The density and thickness of the blanket are two very important properties that help determine if a blanket has the sound dampening properties that can block and absorb noise.
Acoustic blankets have better soundproofing qualities than moving blankets; however, they can be expensive. These are the actual soundproofing blankets used to treat studios, rooms, and recording booths for improved sound enhancement. Individuals serious about using blankets to soundproof a space typically go with acoustic soundproof blankets.
Is a moving blanket better than a sound blanket?
People tend to get confused when trying to select a soundproof blanket. The confusion typically stems from the fact that two types of blankets could be used for soundproofing. As earlier stated, when it comes to soundproofing materials, blankets are the cheapest ones. A quick search online will bring up moving blankets and sound blankets. What are they exactly, and how do they differ?
What are sound blankets?
Sound blankets is the term given to blankets that have been created for soundproofing purposes. They are constructed from industrial-grade materials that have been scientifically tested for soundproof applications. They also make a great sound barrier.
Manufacturers sometimes blur the lines between an acoustic blanket and a regular moving blanket. These blankets are just regular moving blanket options with sound blanket properties that may be used to soundproof a room.
Most soundproof moving blankets constructed from mass-loaded vinyl and fiberglass panels can be considered an excellent fit for acoustical and soundproofing treatments and can block out outside noise.
What are moving blankets?
Moving blankets, as their name state, are used for carrying items. Typically, these blankets are used to move heavy items such as furniture. They are used for packing heavy pieces of furniture, ensuring that it doesn’t receive too much damage while being transferred.
Moving blankets are constructed from sturdy and thick materials. When it comes to soundproofing, just about any heavy and dense material can be used to block, absorb, and reduce noise. Since the connection between the properties of a moving blanket and its potential soundproofing qualities has increased, more people have been using moving blankets to soundproof their spaces.
Can moving blankets block out noise?
This question cannot be answered directly, as moving blankets have not been scientifically tested for soundproof applications. However, a heavy and thick moving blanket can seamlessly reduce and absorb noise. Certain products are good enough to block about 80% of the noise created while nullifying echo problems.
Which is better?
When it comes to determining which blanket is better, you have to consider your soundproofing goals. For instance, if you want to improve your room’s acoustics, then you can go for moving blankets. They are constructed using breathable materials to absorb echo noise and improve speech clarity.
If your soundproofing goal is to block out external noise, you will want to consider sound blankets. Certain sound blankets can be regarded as noise blockers and noise absorbers.
The most effective way to achieve proper soundproofing is to use a combination of both blankets.
How to use soundproof blankets
There are several use cases for soundproof blankets in many fields since they can be easy to install and are inexpensive. As a result, here is a list of their applications:
Outdoor soundproofing is typically used to cut down the extent of sound coming into a room outside. Things such as a generator in your garden or a loud dog in a neighbor’s yard count as outdoor noise.
Some outdoor noises can’t be controlled or soundproofed, especially if the origin of said noise is far away. However, it is possible to soundproof outdoor spaces within your reach. A couple of the spaces and noises created are:
- Road noise
- Dog/animal noise
- Outdoor appliances like generators, pumps, and engines
Residential soundproofing is the most required soundproofing application after commercial soundproofing. Soundproofing can be used in the following areas:
- Study rooms
- Home office
- Home studio
- Laundry rooms
- Home recording rooms
This section of the article talks about how you can soundproof a home using blankets. Residential rooms are typically soundproofed using sound blankets. Apart from using sound blankets to soundproof the rooms highlighted above, they can also be used to acoustically treat furniture, home appliances, doors, windows, and walls.
Sound blankets can be extremely helpful in controlling noise amplification and reducing echo in home offices, recording rooms, and home studios.
The application of soundproof in the industrial field varies. Specifically, industrial areas are pretty noisy as many heavy activities happen there, be it a manufacturing plant or a testing plant. For instance, if you operate a manufacturing plant and require office space, you will utilize industrial-grade soundproof blankets to soundproof your environment.
A few of the common uses are:
Offices, gyms, hospitals, schools, and other commercial structures utilize soundproofing blankets. Gyms use them on the floor to reduce the sound of gym equipment and footsteps. The walls of the gyms are then treated to contain the loud noise within the gym, thereby improving acoustics.
Hospitals use soundproofing so patients can have a peaceful environment to recover quickly. Generally, ICUs are soundproofed using soundproof blankets. Likewise, other commercial spaces use sound blankets to reduce external noise and soundproof the spaces.
How do you choose a soundproof blanket? – Features to consider
There are specific properties and features of a soundproof blanket that you need to know before purchasing. While we have already highlighted that some blankets block sound while others absorb it, there are two essential features always to consider when selecting the best soundproof blanket.
You have to consider what your particular requirements are. For instance, you might be interested in soundproofing a home studio or perhaps want to seal out external noise from outside the home. These two applications will require different soundproofing materials and blankets.
Design of the material and its composition
When it comes to soundproofing, the materials used to create soundproof blankets are essential. They need to be made from high-density woven layers of fiberglass or fabrics. Polymers and polyester are also common materials used. Certain companies even enlist cotton to act as a filler while also increasing the thickness of the blanket.
Ideally, you should always go with a soundproof blanket constructed from high-density material such as fiberglass and polyester. To this end, for improved sound absorption, you should go with quilted soundproof blankets, with the best typically made from quilted fiberglass. One thing to note in this is that you should steer clear of soundproof blankets constructed using harsh chemicals that smell and cause irritations.
Typically, both soundproof blankets and moving blankets are painted black. You can also purchase soundproof blankets with decorative arts and colors on them. If you are searching for a blanket that matches your home décor, then you should take the time to search for a blanket company that offers soundproof blankets in various colors.
Price can be a factor, especially as soundproof blankets come in various price tiers. You should search for soundproof blankets that are cheaper but perform great. This category of soundproof blankets can be hard to find as not all inexpensive soundproof blankets are of excellent quality.
Quality tends to go hand in hand with the price, so if you are not looking to spend too much on your soundproof blanket, then you might want to consider blankets that are a little cheaper but perform well. With this, you should never compromise on quality simply because the soundproof blanket is cheaper.
Weight, size, and thickness
At this point, you should understand how important a role thickness plays for soundproofing material. Heaviness and thickness go hand in hand. The heavier the material, the thicker it is. Thick blankets are made with numerous layers of fabric which absorb the noise. This is because noise finds it challenging to pass through the layers. When hung over the window, a thick blanket dampens external noise before it enters the room.
When it comes to soundproof blankets, 72 inches by 80 inches is the standard size. Before you purchase, you need to measure the space you intend to put the soundproof blankets. The appropriate measurement covers the space without any gaps. The success of your project is determined by the lack of gaps in the protected space. If the space is not adequately covered, sound can escape.
When it comes to a soundproof blanket’s standard weight, you can expect it to be about 7 to 7 and a half pounds. With this, you can expect some soundproof blankets to weigh more or less than this standard. However, to get the very best out of your soundproof blankets, they need to consider about 7 pounds or more. As stated earlier, the heavier the blanket is, the better it is at blocking noise.
The STC rating or Sound Transmission control rating is another factor to consider. This rating measures the soundproofing properties of a particular material. When searching for a soundproof blanket, always select one that has a higher STC rating number.
For instance, finding a soundproof blanket with an STC rating of at least 25 is a good deal. This is because it is capable of blocking noise more effectively.
Since most soundproof blankets don’t always display the STC rating, it might be a great idea to speak with the seller or the manufacturer about the material’s STC rating.
Soundproof blankets that don’t have moisture resistance properties are likely to become smelly. Maintenance can become an issue if you don’t have a blanket capable of resisting moisture. To this end, you should search for soundproof blankets that aren’t made from sponge, cotton, or any similar material prone to absorbing moisture. And while the presence or lack of this property doesn’t affect the soundproofing benefits of the blanket, it is recommended to have a water-resistant one.
Just as with soundproof curtains, soundproof blankets typically have grommets to make hanging easier. For easy installation, it is always best to go with soundproof blankets with grommets. The blankets you choose need to have grommets that are sturdy and strong enough to withstand the weight of the heavy soundproof blankets.
Most companies don’t provide grommets for their soundproof blankets, so you must purchase third-party grommets. It is best to get grommet tool kits when purchasing grommets, particularly if you have ample space and are looking to soundproof more than just one place.