Using soundproof curtains has always been a subject of debate. Some people say they work well in soundproofing recording studios, theaters, and bedrooms while others say it’s not as effective as other soundproofing solutions.
Many curtain companies use the word “soundproof” when selling products, however, the term used with the product doesn’t mean it works like soundproof panels or some other soundproofing solutions.
Actually, it’s impossible to fully soundproof a room by using curtains and other soundproofing materials, unless you alter the infrastructure of the room by using the “room within a room” concept.
That’s the only way to fully soundproof a room. However, we cannot deny the usability of soundproof curtains in lowering down the external noise, so using them helps you manage the noise to the extent.
Should you use soundproof curtains or not?
Well, Don’t worry, this ultimate guide will answer all your questions regarding soundproof curtains, including,
- What is it?
- How does it work?
- How it’s made?
- How to choose the best ones for your room?
- How effective a soundproof curtain is?
- Advantages and disadvantages, FAQ, and the best soundproof curtains list.
So, if you want to know all the details about soundproof curtains before buying a set for your room, then you must read this guide till the end.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommended. Read more about Affiliate disclosure here.
Well, without wasting any more time, let’s start this ultimate guide to soundproof curtains.
What is a Soundproof Curtain?
Soundproof curtains are the special type of curtains that are used to reduce the noise and make the room quiet.
These types of curtains are usually used in recording studios, theaters, and bedrooms to reduce the outside noise.
There are special materials used to make soundproof or acoustic curtains. You will read about those materials in this article later.
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Soundproof curtains are usually thicker and weigh more compared to normal curtains. As I have used these curtains in my recording studio, I can say that they are very effective for sound deadening applications, but not so good in sound blockers.
That means, they are good at canceling the room echo, but they cannot the intensity of the sound as per the decibel level.
That’s why soundproof curtains are used in bedrooms to the large extent.
Well, if you use these curtains with a combination of other things such as acoustic panels, doors, etc, then you can achieve a decent level of soundproofing.
Now, let us discuss the noise – The property of sound that we have to reduce to achieve a good soundproof level.
What is Noise and How it’s different from Sound?
According to Wikipedia, Noise is the unwanted sound considered unpleasant, loud, or disruptive to hearing. Mixed with the original sound, noise makes the overall experience of the sound unpleasant.
As you know, one of the main works in a sound recording is reducing the noise before recording the sound frequency. Because once it’s recorded in the recording medium, it’s very tough to reduce the noise in the sound frequency.
That’s why recordists want a clean recording. It’s only possible by the acoustic treatment of the recording studio. The same principle is applicable in theaters and even bedrooms where we want a quiet atmosphere.
The second question is, how noise is different from the original sound?
I think I have already answered this question above.
According to Music ability lessons, the disordered form of a sound wave is called noise while music or anything that is pleasant to listen to is the ordered form of the sound wave.
The difference between noise and sound that I have described is also shown in the below image.
Pic credit: Music Ability Lessons
Well, I will not go deeper inside, If you want some more detailed guide on noise then you can head over to this article – The difference between noise and music/sound.
Now let me show you how soundproof curtains work?
How do soundproof curtains work?
First off let’s discuss the difference between soundproof or blackout curtains and normal curtains. After then I will show you how these curtains work.
There are several big differences between soundproof curtains and normal curtains.
- Size of curtains: Soundproof curtains are much bigger than normal ones. These curtains come in full size and almost touch the floor. The width of soundproof curtains is much more than the size of the window or door. To lower the room noise you must cover the whole open area of the window or door otherwise you will get a large part of noise come inside the room. Experts say that if 2-3% of the open area remains uncovered, you will get up to 50% of outside sound in the room. That’s why soundproof curtains come in bigger sizes.
- Soundproof curtains are made of very thick and dense material: the thicker and denser a material, the less sound energy transfers from it, cause reducing the volume of the sound. Note: soundproof curtains are not as effective in reducing the dB, but they can work well with acoustic panels and other materials.
- Soundproof curtains are rough, porous, and have very deep pleating: Rough and porous surface also helps in reducing the noise and volume of a sound wave. So, the surface of soundproof curtains is rough, porous. Deep pleating also traps the sound inside so you see this in soundproof curtains.
Above, you’ve seen how soundproof curtains are different from normal curtains. The combination of bigger size, dense and thick material, and rough surface with deep peating make these curtains act as sound absorbers.
Well, are you wondering, what materials soundproof curtains are made of?
Let’s find out…
What are soundproof curtains made of?
Several different things are used for making soundproof curtains. I have listed here some of them.
- Mass Loaded Vinyl Core: In high-quality soundproof curtains, a high-density vinyl core is used which is very effective against incoming noise.
- PVC polymer blends: Along with the high-density vinyl core, PVC polymer blends are used to stop outside noise to enter the room.
- Crushed Limestone: Another ingredient that is used in making soundproof curtains is crushed limestone.
The mixture of the above materials is very effective against the noise so they are broadly used in various company’s soundproof curtains.
Materials used in low-cost soundproof curtains.
- Recycled Polyester Fiber: High-density polyester fiber is also a good soundproof material hence used in soundproof curtains.
- Velvet: Velvet is a common material found in low-cost soundproof curtains. However, it’s not as effective as other materials, you can use this if you don’t have enough budget.
- Suede: Another very common soundproof curtain material is Suede, it gives the same effect as Velvet and Polyester.
How to choose the best soundproof curtains?
Above we have discussed the materials used in soundproof curtains. Now it’s time to choose the best ones according to size, weight, curtain rails, layers, and materials.
As we have discussed earlier, curtain size is one of the most important factors in soundproofing, you should always choose a bigger curtain that is bigger than your door or window for whichever you are going to use.
So, if you are going to use a soundproofing curtain for a 6’X4′ size window then you should buy a curtain of at least 10-15 feet wide and 5-6 feet in depth.
For theaters or home studios, floor-to-ceiling curtains are the best option. As much you cover the room walls with these curtains, quieter will be your home studio.
Always, buy a curtain that can cover the whole window. Otherwise, you already know that 2%-3% open area is sufficient to enter 50% of noise inside the room.
Now come to the ideal weight of a soundproof curtain.
Soundproof curtains are much heavier than normal curtains. The more weight of the curtain helps absorb the noise more efficiently than lighter ones.
Especially, heavier curtains effectively absorb low-frequency sounds that are quite annoying when you are sleeping. So for bedrooms, soundproof curtains work the best.
So choosing heavier soundproof curtains is the best solution for your recording studio, theaters, or bedroom.
As soundproof curtains are 2-3 times heavier than normal ones, you should install curtain rails and rods that can support the weight of heavier curtains.
Soundproof curtains are generally weighed 8 pounds or more, compared to about 2 pounds for traditional curtains.
That’s why you should use durable curtains rails that will work with them.
Another thing you should look into curtain rails for soundproof curtains is choosing a wraparound curtain rod. This type of rod attaches to the wall at a curve that allows the curtain to provide a more complete sound barrier, hence more effective at blocking noise.
Multilayer curtains are more effective in blocking noise than single-layer curtains. Sure, multi-layer curtains are costly than others. BUT, they work much better than single-layer curtains.
There are several multi-layer curtains available in the market however the popular one comes with the 3 layers of Mass Loaded Vinyl Core, PVC polymer blends, and Crushed Limestone.
In the single-layer curtains, you can find out Recycled Polyester Fiber, Velvet, or Suede materials.
I would suggest you buy a multilayered curtain if you are searching for a more effective sound barrier.
I have already described the popular materials used in the making of soundproof curtains above.
Although all the materials impact differently on the noise and reflections, I would suggest here which are the best ones to choose.
Mass Loaded Vinyl Core, PVC polymer blends, and Crushed Limestone are the top materials used in soundproof curtains. So, I would suggest buying one that is made of these materials.
Other options are Recycled Polyester Fiber, Velvet, or Suede materials. However, they are not as effective as the first ones, if you have a low budget then you can go with them.
Acoustic Curtain VS Acoustic Panels
Now let us discuss the difference between acoustic curtains and Acoustic panels.
Most people think that after installing acoustic curtains in their recording studio, they don’t need to install acoustic panels, diffusers, and other things.
They think that acoustic curtains are sufficient to block external noise and trap room reflections.
But, this is not true.
the role of acoustic curtains and acoustic panels are different in soundproofing. Here is the difference between acoustic curtains and panels.
Acoustic panels are specially used in recording studios to trap the echo so that you would listen to the original sound and mix your audio without the interference of reflections. While Soundproofing curtains are used to block external noise, however, they can be used as an additional option in studios to trap the echo as well.
Soundproofing panels are used in recording studios where acoustic curtains are used in theaters and bedrooms to make them quiet.
Sound absorbing panels are made of acoustic foam, while acoustic curtains are made of Mass Loaded Vinyl Core, PVC polymer blends, and Crushed Limestone, etc.
Soundproofing curtains are not so effective in sound absorption compared to sound-absorbing panels. The reason is simple, when it comes to sound absorption, thick materials work much better than thin materials.
So if you are searching for a professional solution to soundproof your recording studio, I would suggest using soundproof curtains along with sound-absorbing panels to get optimum results.
Pro and Cons of Soundproof Curtains
There are some advantages and disadvantages of soundproof curtains. Let us see them.
- Soundproof curtains are easy to use as compared to other soundproof solutions.
- It is used for various applications including theater, recording studios, and bedrooms.
- It’s a cheap solution to soundproof as compared to other options.
- It is used for soundproofing as well as cover the outside light.
- Not as effective as other soundproofing options.
- Needs rods and clips to hang on the wall.
- As it’s made of fabric so needs extra care.
- Not ideal soundproofing solution for recording studios.
How to Choose Right Hardware for Soundproof Curtains?
Curtains need some hardware to set up. Hardware such as rods, clips, hangers, etc is the main accessories that you want to hang on the wall.
In this part of the guide, we’ll discuss how to choose the right accessories for soundproof curtains.
- Rods: As soundproof curtains are weighed 2-3 times higher than normal curtains you should choose high-quality rods that can hold the curtain without bending.
- Clips: The same principle applies to the clips. You should choose high-quality and durable clips to hang the curtains. Otherwise, it will be broken due to the high weight of the curtain.
- Hangers: Although there are rings used in soundproof curtains to avoid the gaps, if you are using the hangers then it should be durable enough to hold the curtain.
Note: Always drill the wall and use high-quality screws in place of nails. Screws hold the attachment more tightly than nails. Better if you hire someone to install the curtain.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Do Acoustic curtains really work?
This is the most common question people ask me seeing acoustic curtains in my studio. The answer is “YES”, they work but not as much as other solutions such as acoustic panels and diffusers. So, you should use them in combination with others.
Is a Soundproof Curtain acts as a sound absorber?
Soundproof curtain manufacturers advertise them as a total sound-absorbing solution, however, it’s not true. As you know, thickness is the most important feature in sound absorption, they can not absorb 100% outside sound. They are made of a thin layer of fabric that is unable to absorb the whole sound. But, they work to some extent.
What materials can block out sound?
Various types of materials are used to block out sound. But the most effective ones are acoustic foam and glass wool. Materials used in soundproof curtains are Mass Loaded Vinyl Core, PVC polymer blends, Crushed Limestone, Recycled Polyester Fiber, etc.
What makes a good soundproof curtain?
A curtain made with multilayers of Mass Loaded Vinyl Core, PVC polymer blends, and Crushed Limestone, thicker, and bigger in size of the window or door makes it a good soundproof curtain.
How can I soundproof my door with Soundproof curtains?
First scale the size of the door then buy a multi-layered curtain made of the above materials of size 2-3 times wider than the door and at least one foot more than the door’s height. Hang with durable curtain hanging accessories and you will get the full benefit of your soundproof curtain.
9 Best Soundproof Curtains For Home, Office, and Recording Studios
Now we have all the information regarding soundproof curtains, we are now able to choose the best ones. In this part of the guide, I have introduced to you the top 9 soundproof curtains available online.
The first one is,
1. LEMOMO Blackout Curtains
Lemomo Blackout curtains come in different sizes. Because it’s made of 100% Polyester it’s a budget soundproof curtain.
However, the polyester used in this curtain is of high quality that helps soundproofing to some more extent.
This curtain has preinstalled rings so you just need to install the rod and clips and you will be able to fit this inside your room.
Along with soundproofing, Lemomo brand curtains are also used protected from light and UV rays up to 85%-99%. These are energy-saving curtains hence your roo will be warm in winters.
|Size||52 x 84 inch|
|Fabric Type||100% Polyester|
2. NICETOWN Lower PM2.5 Particles Full Shading Curtains
Nicetown full shading curtains are specially made to act as a sound barrier. This curtain is made of 2 layers of triple weave fabric and 1 layer of detachable felt fabric liner all made of polyester.
The detachable felt fabric liner used in the middle of the layer helps in absorbing sound 2.5 times higher than the ordinary curtains.
Not just soundproofing, this curtain is as effective in 100% blocking of SUNLIGHT and UV RAY. That means it turns your room day into night.
However, the price is costly than other blackout curtains, it’s a good choice if you want your room out of noise, light, and UV rays.
|Material||Polyester & Polyester Blend|
|Size||W52 x L95|
3. RYB HOME Acoustic Curtains
Made with Felt Liner+blackout Fabric this blackout curtain is an ideal soundproof curtain for bedrooms and home studios.
1 layer in front (navy blue), 1 layer in the back(navy blue) & 1 detachable felt fabric lining in the middle make it a good noise canceling curtain. Non-Toxic & formaldehyde are used to make RYB curtains.
The detachable felt fabric used liner is in the middle of the 3 layers helps in absorbing annoying noise. However, the company says these curtains are not 100$ soundproof but reduce the noise to an extent.
Along with the soundproofing effect, the 3 layers of fabric makes it possible to completely keep out the harsh light and UV ray.
|Size||W 52″ x L 84″ | Pair|
|Fabric Type||Felt Liner+blackout Fabric|
4. NICETOWN Dust Isolate Sound Barrier curtains
Nicetown dust isolate curtains are made of polyester. There are 4 layers used to make this curtain, the front is pure white, the back is grayish-white, 1 detachable felt fabric lining & 1 melt-blown cloth in the middle.
The detachable felt fabric liner in the middle helps it absorb sound 2.5 times higher than the ordinary curtains.
This curtain is thick enough to completely keep out the 100% SUNLIGHT and UV RAY.
It also helps to balance the room temperature in winters.
|Material||Polyester & Polyester Blend|
|Size||W52 x L84|
5. BGment 100% Blackout Curtains
This curtain is made of fabric but still works in soundproofing. It comes with 6 grommets that can fit with all types of rods.
The heavyweight double layer curtain panels are very effective in absorbing sound 2 times higher than ordinary 1-layer curtains, which is a great arrangement to protect you from disturbing by outside traffic noise.
The two layers of fabric make it 80%-90% effective against sunlight and UV rays. As well as this insulated curtain helps you balance your room temperature by preventing summer heat or winter cold.
|Size||42W x 63L|
6. Moondream 3-in-1 Sound Insulation Curtain
This curtain is 100% made of polyester. This is the 3in1 solution for your 3 problems Soundproof, Blackout, and Thermal insulation.
This curtain is the patent of Moondream. According to test laboratories, this curtain reduces the sound energy to 4 times levels up to 7dB.
The 3 layers: 1st layer: 100% polyester / 2nd layer: 99.99% polyester, 0.01% aluminium / 3rd layer: 100% cotton.
The company doesn’t reveal the actual technology of soundproofing in the websites, because of piracy. But, this curtain is the most effective one of all the curtains I’ve introduced till now.
It not just cancel the outside traffic noise but also dampen the inner sound reflections, hence one of the great acoustic treatment option in home studios.
|Color||Beige – Pelican Mc8220|
|Size||57″W x 108″L|
|Fabric Type||100% Polyester|
|Item Weight||6.9 Pounds|
7. HLC.ME Soundproof Long Window Curtain
HLC.ME curtains are made of a double layer of polyester. This double-layer polyester makes it a good sound-absorbing curtain.
Along with sound absorption, it’s good in blocking external light and heat. These are great thermal curtains for winters.
If you want a cheap solution to block sound, light, and UV rays as well as good thermal insulation then you can buy this one.
|Size||52 W x 96 L|
|Fabric Type||100% Polyester|
8. H.VERSAILTEX Blackout Patio Curtains
These curtains are also made of 100% polyester. The magic thermal insulated grommet curtain panel will block out 99% sunlight and prevent 100% UV rays,
With ECO-friendly material which is a safe environment to the room, it’s also a good sound absorber.
That’s why you can use it as sound-deadening material. This readymade can be used in recording studios, bedrooms, and theaters without so much hassle. Just install the rod and clips and hang the curtain.
|Size||100″W x 108″L|
|Fabric Type||100% Polyester|
9. Audimute isolé Soundproof curtains sheets (Editor’s Choice)
Audimute isolé is one of the best soundproof curtains in the world. It’s my favorite soundproof curtain on this list. The NRC rating for this curtain is 0.75 which is very lower hence it gives an absolutely quiet environment if used with other soundproofing solutions.
This curtain is made of a blend of recycled cotton and cellulose fibers called eco-C-tex as well as Peacemaker 3.2mm (“Green” material included in each sheet to block sound) that’s the reason why it’s so quiet.
You can use isolé for absorbing and blocking sound reflect and escape through doors, windows, vents, etc. It’s ideal for all types of acoustic treatments.
The Final Verdict
Soundproofing is not a simple game. You need several types of soundproofing materials and great planning to soundproof your room.
A soundproof curtain is just one ingredient of the whole soundproofing process. However, if you need is not big, you can use them.
BUT, if you need is big like soundproofing a vocal cabin or acoustic treatment of your recording studio control room then you should go with planning and use these curtains as just one ingredient of the plan.
Well, if you ask me which one I like on the above list, as a studio owner I always go with the last one, Audimute isolé. This is the true soundproofing curtain that can be used in a recording studio.
Other’s are also good but not the ideal solution for recording studios, however, you can use them in your bedroom, home theater, etc.
So, how was the whole guide about soundproof curtains? Let me know in the comments. Also, share this ultimate guide to soundproof curtains with others on social media.
All the best…
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