Today we’ve got a pretty big topic to cover (pun intended) and we’re going to be discussing certain issues and suspicious sayings in it as well! We’ll be incorporating physics (it will be simple, we promise), engineering, fashion, and architecture… You guessed it: we’re talking about the best noise reducing curtains, read reviews and find out is it really help to soundproof your windows.
Why would you want to soundproof a room with Curtain?
For one reason or another, people suddenly decide that they don’t want a lot of noise to be leaving or entering their room/house/apartment. There are various reasons to think so and we don’t judge.
Some people know that they are pretty loud and want to be good humans and spare their neighbors of the horrible noise! Some people play instruments (maybe they’re just beginning and want to be merciful to those who are not interested into weird violin sounds), some people sing and do opera, some people have a bunch of buzzing going on…
There are a bunch of things that can cause noise and you should always be aware of the amount you’re creating. We all know that there are some people, though, that doesn’t give a single damn about the noise they are creating.
This can result in sleepless nights, annoying fights and even police interventions. Sadly, we have heard a bunch of horror stories about neglecting neighbors: most problems cannot be solved by having a „civilized conversation” (some people don’t seem to know what one is).
After a bunch of fights, you surely decide that you’re going to drape your apartment/room/house. Sadly, it’s the only choice sometimes.
Some people work with music, audio producing and they have a studio. You don’t want random street noise, boring neighbors and people moving stuff around on the floor above you to impact your tape. Some ASMRtists (Google ASMR if you’re not familiar) share their bloopers where it shows how annoying people can be when you need a quiet place to work in.
Soundproofing a room isn’t that hard. It’s a process that takes a bit of time, you will probably have to invest quite a bit of cash, but it’s a „do it once – be peaceful forever“ type of a thing, so it’s basically a win-win situation. The equipment will pay itself out!
Whether you want to stop the noise from coming out of your room or stop it from entering the room, we got your back. The process is the same for both mentioned „intentions”. Let’s get into the physics of sound and let you know what we’re doing.
The physics of sound
You have probably heard of the term „wave“.Sadly, we’re not talking about those Malibu beach waves or those gold hair waves you get in a professional salon. We’re talking about waves in their stripped form: a disturbance moving through a matter, spreading energy while moving.
If you know anything about physics, you should be familiar with oscillation. Oscillation is a certain movement that happens in a pattern: certain molecules of matter move around one point (up-down or left-right in ideal cases).
How do waves connect with oscillation? Well, waves are just a bunch of oscillation molecules of matter. The medium the wave is spreading through contains a bunch of little „dots“ that oscillate and therefore when the first one starts oscillating (thanks to certain energy that has been put into it „by force“), it spreads the energy to the one next to it and it’s a chain reaction that creates waves.
There are two types of waves: mechanical waves and electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves are waves such as light, the ultraviolet rays, the X-rays and Gamma rays. These waves don’t need a medium to go through, so we’re not interested in them today.
Mechanical waves, on the other hand, are our thing today. Why? Because sound is a mechanical wave. Sound needs a medium to go through and it’s usually air, but it can be other things as well. What you need to know (without much complicating) is that sound waves act differently in different mediums.
Many people are confused: why do we even heard sounds everywhere if there are so many things around us? How doesn’t a wave just „bump“ into something and then loose intensity or something?
A popular question we’ve been getting sounds like this: If I have two rooms in my house: a kitchen and a living room, and a window are open in my kitchen (but it’s really not that big), how can I hear the sound while I’m in my living room? Isn’t the wave supposed to zoom through the window like a ray and then reflect on whatever is there and… Stop?
Well, it’s really not like that. First of all, waves don’t act like „rays”. That’s probably the number one cause of many interesting things waves do like interference, diffraction, polarisation… There is this thing called the Huygen’s principle.
It says that a wave is spreading everywhere (like a peacock’s tail) rather than being a ray. When sound encounters a small hole (let’s say that you have a paper and a hole in it), the hole itself is made from particles and therefore each one of those particles become a new little wave. Each of the little waves continues spreading and their wavefronts become a bunch of new waves…
If you wish, you can just Google the „Huygen’s principle“ and a few pictures will explain the phenomenon very well. Long story short: the wave doesn’t only spread forward, it also spreads in other dimensions.
The fact that a mechanical wave works by the Huygen’s principle also brings out other important (previously mentioned) phenomenons and one of them is diffraction. Diffraction explains why you can hear someone who is in another room talking. The wave can „change directions” and „avoid“ obstacles by moving around them.
Okay, now we’ve covered „the boring part” and can continue to talk a bit about soundproofing in general. The thing is, you have to understand the basic concepts behind the physics of waves in order to understand what soundproofing does.
How does Curtains Soundproofing work?
Soundproofing is nothing more than „tricking the wave” so that it cannot do its regular job of spreading. We obviously went over some phenomenons and now know that placing obstacles isn’t the smartest thing because the wave can just bypass them.
However, there are certain materials that can really help with sound movement when they are put in your room: they need to create a large surface, though.
Sound, just like other mechanical waves, has a property called „intensity”. Intensity is related to energy and to the amplitude of a wave, but that’s way too much information. What we want you to know that big masses can reduce the intensity of waves.
What do we want to do to the wave? We want to limit it. Decrease its intensity and make the „area of spreading“ smaller. This will be done by inserting things of great density and audio isolating properties on big surfaces. This will stop the sound movement!
Also, you can reduce your refrigerator noise easy.
We’re looking for:
– something that is large
– something that is dense
– something that has these acoustic properties (science, again)
– something that isn’t too expensive
There are a bunch of solutions out there: sound isolating pads, sound isolating platforms, sound isolating foams, sound isolating clips… Some of them are pretty cheap and they work great! The issue? Well, you can’t really glue black foam to all of your kitchen walls, can you?
Some people have been working on soundproofing elements for years and it took them a bit of time to realize that not everyone is going to soundproof a studio, some people want to create a barrier in their living room or bathroom.
Noise reducing curtains solved that issue. When they were first created, people were really happy to hear that they can now actually put something visually appealing in use. Most of them already have curtains and they just needed to replace them.
Noise reducing curtains – do they really work?
However, just like everything that becomes popular, noise reducing curtains were soon seen as a „lie”. Many people were skeptical about these and they didn’t understand why would fabric make such a great impact on sound and why wouldn’t your regular curtains do that.
Let’s do a small experiment. Call someone over and have them yell your name. Now put a blanket over your head and have them call your name again, in the same way. Is the sound quieter? Of course, it is because there was something dense between you and the sound.
Dampening curtains are not dense. It’s usually a tiny bit of fabric and that’s it. Even dense materials sometimes don’t do a great job, but that’s what the science of sound is for. Believe it or not, there are people out there that are „investigating” these properties and they are trying to find the right way to create a fabric that won’t let sound through.
You will never be able to block the sound 100%, let us tell you that. Sound won’t suddenly stop spreading. Physics is mighty and it always finds a way to trick us, but we can at least do the things we know work in order to minimize the effect.
There are materials that absorb sounds really well and these are usually thick and heavy. 1 square meter can weigh up to 6 kilograms. We won’t be talking about the in-depth explanation of sound absorbing because it contains some principles of quantum physics, so we’re hoping you believe us.
What you’re essentially doing is you’re creating a sound barrier and you’re stopping the sound. It’s no magic involved, just physics (although physics can look like magic sometimes).
Best Noise Reducing Curtains of 2020
Now that we’ve done all the possible rambling that could be done about this topic, we are going to present to you the products we find really good for their price. We’ll talk about the pros and cons, so you don’t have to investigate too much yourself.
We do suggest that you check out the reviews as well because the best way to see if something works for you is to see if it works for others with similar intentions… Let’s begin. You just click the name of the product and it’ll lead you to Amazon’s page where you can get me
1. Flamingo P White Curtains
This is your typical budget option, it’s a good choice if you’re buying your first noise reducing curtains and don’t want to be investing too much cash into them. It’s a microfiber blackout fabric that creates a natural blackout effect. You will notice that they regulate heat-loss as well!
You are getting 2 panels per package, which is something most people go for. They are 52-inch curtains with 8 grommets top. You can see more about the grommet diameter on the page.
The material blocks 99% of sunlight and 100% of UV lights, which means that you’re safe from all of the harmful rays that may be entering your household. No harmful ingredients, so don’t worry about those who have low immunity, they’ll be fine as well.
These will protect you from 70% of the outside sound, as well as keeping 70% of yours in. You can wash these in a machine, which is a good thing for most of us who don’t want to spend a bunch of time washing them by hand.
They come in a bunch of colors, including blue, white, black, red, pink, beige, grey, violet…
2. Full Light Blocking Lined Curtains
This is also a pair set of blackout fabric curtains. They come in many colors and there are even striped ones! If you’re worried about the dimensions, these are 52″ in width and 84″ in length. They have 8 classic nickel grommets.
What’s special about these is that they’re made of two layers: faux silk satin and blacked with white natural blackout liner. This gives you a really good result because you are getting two different textures, two different densities combined!
These block out only 8% of sunlight and UV rays and are therefore a good choice for rooms that need to be bright: kitchens, living rooms, maybe even bathrooms?
They look very fashionable and are for sure a good choice for those who care about a bright, simple, elegant aesthetic. They can be washed in a washing machine, which means that you’ll save some time as well. You will need to iron them on low heat!
3. NICETOWN Three Pass Microfiber
These are Amazon’s best choice, the favorite noise reducing curtain pair there is. These have over 6400 customer reviews! Yes, you have heard us right, and they still have 4.5 stars!
They are made from 100% polyester, which makes them a bit easier to iron! They are 42“ wide and 84“ long. They have 6 grommets on top, each one.
These do a great job at reducing the sunlight and UV light: 85%-99% won’t pass through. They will keep the warm temperature in your house during winter and make your energy bill smaller!
You won’t believe us, but these are wrinkle-free and they can be washed in a washing machine, but you need to use cold water!
There are several dimensions to choose from and over 15 colors to explore! They are probably Amazon’s cheapest option, but still one of the best ones! Make sure to check out the reviews and you’ll see why.
4. NICETOWN Blackout Curtain
These are from the same manufacturer as the previous ones (also one of the most popular manufacturers of soundproof curtains on Amazon), and they are the cheapest option there is, with over 883 reviews!
You can get two dimensions and 13 wonderful colors! These are a bit more dynamic than the previous ones, though! The curtains are made from polyester and they look pretty elegant. The standard size is 42″ in width and 84″ in length.
Many people like the design on these because they have silve4r matte grommets! They have the same power as ones we have previously talked about: 85%-99%.
They will protect you from UV rays and make your bills smaller! Isn’t that nice? They are machine washable as well and won’t be a pain to iron because of the percentage of polyester that’s in them.
5. H. VERSAILTEX 100% Blackout Curtains for Bedroom
Why are these so special? Well, as you have seen in the title, these provide a 100% blackout! No UV rays or bright sunlight enter the room! If you’re looking for something to help you isolate yourself in your bedroom while sleeping, these are the way to go!
We haven’t told you but, less sunlight equals better furniture over time. No color fading! These are linen curtain panels and they will easily help you with your noise issue since they are pretty wide and big. They can be washed in a washing machine and are great for households with babies since they are anti-bacterial.
The basic size is 52″ of width and 96″ of length, but you can switch it up on Amazona and also choose amongst the beautiful colors offered! Just be sure to notice the pattern they have!
6. Flamingo P 100% Blackout Curtains
If you’re looking for something that looks luxury but doesn’t cost a fortune, these would be the way to go. They are double layer curtains (a set of 2, actually), that you can buy in various sizes. They have 937 reviews and are rated at 4.5 stars! That seems like a nice ratio to us, what about you?
They are also made from 100% blackout fabric and they will get rid off all of the UV rays that fall on your window. The two layers are different: the front is silky while the back is thick and made from blackout fabric. It’s an eco-friendly duo that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals! The two layers are here because of aesthetics: the front looks luxurious because of the silky material, yet the back portion does the job.
They are also machine washable and you can’t use chlorine bleach with these! Iron as needed.
7. Blackout Bedroom Energy Efficient Curtains
Finally, noise reducing curtains that don’t look like noise reducing curtains! These are made from a material that has a wonderful pattern on it and it will make your living room/bedroom a much more dynamic place!
You can get all sorts of patterns on these (stripes, zig-zag, geometrical) and choose dimensions. The standard size is 52″ in width and 108″ in length.
These curtains are made from microfiber polyester and they block out 90% of sunlight while preventing all of the UV rays from entering the room. This is a pretty nice combination, especially if you don’t want your room to be very dark, but want to maintain your health.
These curtains are environment-friendly and they do a great job at energy saving as well! They are machine washable but don’t use chlorine bleach with them.
8. NICETOWN Extra Wide Patio Door Curtain
Once again, we’re talking about the most popular brand in the „noise reducing curtains“ category. The difference is that we’re looking at one piece and it’s a really wide one. It’s perfect for balconies and big windows!
These are made of polyester and the material itself looks pretty elegant. There are 14 grommets on the top, which is normal for a curtain of this size.
The only issue is that these don’t say anything about the percentage of light that they’re blocking, so you’ll have to check out some customer reviews to see if you like what you’re seeing or not.
They can be machine washed, but only below 86 Fahrenheit. You’ll notice your bills getting smaller when you get these as well since they regulate temperature. Make sure to check out all of the colors and the dimensions.
9. LinenZone Roberta
These curtains are a great choice for everyone who wishes to put a bit of a „chic touch“ to their room. They are not plain, like the rest of the curtains on the list are, and they also come in many different colors.
You are getting two panels and you get to choose the dimensions yourself: the standard size is 37# in width and 96″ in length. The curtains are of big density and therefore provide you with great durability and they block 100% of extra sunlight and UV rays.
You will see that each panel has 6 grommets and they are in a gunmetal color. They will help you with your energy bills and are easy to clean: just make sure to use cold water in the washing machine and you’re good to go.
10. Deconovo Solid
If you’re looking for something to put in your children’s room, but you haven’t yet found the right thing yet, check these out!
They are simple, but the star design they have is a must-have for any children’s room. The basic size they come is in 38 by 63 inches and you are getting a pair of curtains as well.
They block out most sunlight, but the percentage isn’t disclosed. You will notice that the grommets are also simple and this makes the curtains elegant.
The curtains are made from high-quality polyester and are perfect because you can wash them in a washing machine. Just make sure to use cold water
Soundproof curtains – questions and answers
We have been thinking about how we could combine all of the information there is about soundproof curtains in one place without repeating ourselves and being boring, so we came up with this Q&A sort of a thing. You can read the question and see if it interests you: if it does, you read the answer, if it doesn’t, you skip it and move on to the next question.
Let’s get this party started.
- What are soundproof curtains made of?
– They are made of various materials, but it’s mostly polyester. There are some made from faux linen blackout fabric.
- How much sound can they absorb?
– This is a pretty subjective question so it cannot be easily answered. We have already said that no curtains will absorb 100% of the incoming/leaving sound, and you have to deal with it the way it is.
- Why do they often block out the sunlight?
– These dampening curtains are made from a really dense material because that’s the only way for them to absorb the sound. Because they are dense, they usually completely block out the sunlight entering. If this bothers you, you can find a few models that don’t, but they won’t absorb the sound as well as dark ones do.
- How big do these get?
– As big as you want, really. There are many dimensions and, in the end, you can buy the fabric alone and have someone sew the curtains for you. However, the density of the fabric will probably annoy the person very much and therefore we’re not really advising you to do that because they may charge you quite a bit of cash. So yeah, you can put these on balcony doors and big windows, you just have to find the right model.
- Why do they also regulate temperature?
– Same answer as the sunlight one: density.
- Is there a cheap option?
– My friend, if there is anything that we have learned while using the internet for years and years on, it’s that there is always a cheap option. A bit of searching may be required, though. We will present some models in the next paragraphs and then you can see which ones may be the right choice for you.
- Do these curtains protect you from the UV rays?
– UV rays are electromagnetic waves that can be harmful to people, so it’s always good to keep them away from you. The answer is: yes, there are some curtains that do that. The real answer: you have to read the description of each model to see. Lucky for you, we will do that part of the job.
- Are all of these ugly? Not trying to be rude…
– We get your question, usually products with „special properties“ seem to be less aesthetically pleasing. These curtains are really nice, though. Most of them give the room an expensive feeling because of the fact that they’re really heavy. So, no, not all of them are ugly. It mostly comes down to color preference, though.
- Do these really help the TV screens to be more enjoyable?
– Yeah, but mostly because they block out any extra light and make the TV one seem brighter and clearer. It’s an illusion, nothing happened to the TV.
- Do these help with echo?
– Yes, they do! Echo can be a big issue, especially for those who are into professional work… These curtains absorb the echo as well, so you can easily forget about those kinds of problems.
- Should I get them in regular sizing, according to my window?–
No. This is very important: you should always get larger curtains. We have already mentioned how important the size of the surface is, and we are talking about it again now. You should get curtains three times wider than your window and at least 10 inches long. This will help a lot and create a significant difference. Many people reach out to us saying that „sound reducing curtains don’t work”. Well, of course, they don’t, you haven’t read this manual! The best thing to do would be to buy curtains that go from ceiling to floor, but this is a bit pricey for some people.
- I can’t get heavy curtains, is this an issue?
– The heavier, the better. If you can’t get heavy curtains, that’s fine. There are some models out there that aren’t as heavy, but they don’t do a perfect job at noise reducing.
- Should I get new curtain rods?
– Well, if the ones you have currently can hold the weight of your new curtains, then you don’t need to. You can also use double rods if you want to get two pairs of thin curtains. This will get you the same effect without the extra weight bothering the installation.
- What material is the best for noise reducing?
– If you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your money, or you’re giving a professional the textile in order to sew the curtains, you need to know which material works the best. Materials labeled as insulated, thermal layer (anything with the word „thermal”, really), suede or velvet will work well.
- Is it worth paying extra cash to get a better curtain?
– Depends on which models you are choosing between. If the properties are not very different, you don’t have to spend an extra $20 on the better one. However, there are a lot of similar products being sold under very different price tags, so watch out.
- Is color important for sound reducing?
– No, color is up to your personal preference. The material matters.
- How do I wash these?
– Some of these curtains can be washed in washing machines, and some of them need to be washed by hand. Watch out for the description so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Washing these can be an issue, especially if you go for a large piece.
Phew! This was a long journey. We talked about soundproofing, about waves, about the curtains and we even gave you our favorites to check out. We really tried to cover all of the questions, but if there are any that we have missed, make sure to let us know.
Let’s do a little recap.
The sound is a mechanical wave that has a property called intensity (which gets smaller when the wave hits something of high density) and it can bypass objects (and that’s why curtains are perfect, they have a large surface).
We’re looking for something that is large, dense and elegant-looking. You can use these curtains to reduce noise, to block sunlight, to block harmful UV lights, to keep your room warm and make your electricity bills smaller… There are a bunch of uses, really.
Make sure to read each review we have written and checked the Amazon reviews as well! We advise you not to use bleach with these and to wash them in cold water only! Most of them can be washed in a machine so you don’t have to worry about that!
Make sure to measure your windows and get a larger curtain because you don’t want the sound wave to bypass your curtain! Invest in the right pair and you’ll be happy for a long period of time.
Let us know if there are any questions and remember: always choose products with good customer rating. You never know what’s hidden behind the wonderful picture on Amazon’s page.