Soundproof Curtains – What Types Work Best?

Somehow it got to your head that heavyweight curtains are going to soundproof your home. More often than not, this is entirely true. As not all soundproof are created equal, you should learn a thing or two about them before buying.

How much noise can you take?

Is there too much traffic noise going on in your living room? You’re able to hear every time a car runs past your home and breaks?

Are you trying to relax and all the noises and lights from the outside make it impossible? If any of these scenarios are familiar to you, you may have to step up your game. It’s time to soundproof your home and the easiest way to do it is to install some noise cancellation curtains.

What’s the best way to find soundproofing curtains?

Even if it’s not mission impossible to find the perfect noise cancelling curtains for your home, you still need to do due diligence about it. you may find the perfect curtains online, as long as you know which type you need. Heavy blackout curtains and heavy winter ones, for instance, are readily available and may be shipped to you in no time. you don’t need customization either!

To improve the noise reduction, you should choose the right width and length for the curtains. The last thing you want is for your soundproof curtains to be too short, allowing noise to get inside the room.

What is Noise Reduction Coefficient by SAE Insititute

SAE is an international music school and the musicians do know a lot about noise and how to eliminate it efficiently. SAE gives us a chart of the Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) for drapes. This number informs you how much a specific material is going to reduce noise.

When you’re taking a closer look at the NRC coefficient for drapes, you’re noticing that you can lower the noise when doing two specific things:

  • You install curtains that are heavyweight. If this isn’t enough of a reason for you, here’s what you should know: you’re going to obtain up to 3 times the noise reduction with drapes twice as heavy.
  • Pleated curtains are always more effective. They can double and triple the noise reduction, as opposed to the flat curtains of the same weight.

In a nutshell, when you’re using curtains that are twice as heavy and wider than you need (resulting into a “pleated” or “full” effect), you’re going to obtain up to 9 times the noise reduction. This means 9times less noise from outside. Isn’t this info awakening?

Why does the “pleat”/”fullness” reduce the noise?

We’re not going to talk about the details of the “pleat”. Here’s how the pleat can help with the noise reduction:

  • The pleat is increasing the thickness of the curtain. This way, the sound has to pass through multiple layers (2 most of the time) of the curtain for coming out on the other side
  • The pleat is going to create “wedges” in the curtain. They’re going to make the sound reflect off of the wedges. It’s going to invade unevenly on curtain’s surfaces, getting absorbed. This effect alone reduces noise.

What types of curtains are ready to use for home noise reduction?

The diversity of noise reduction curtains is impressive and you should be careful when selecting.

Some of the best options out there are longer so that you may “pleat” them. The “fuller” effect is going to improve their performance.

Here are the best types of soundproof curtains to look for your home:

  • Thermal insulating curtains/Energy efficient – They’re also known as a heavy curtain for winter. They keep the room warm when it’s cold outside. They’re reliable in the summer too as they prevent the room to get too hot too fast. This type of curtains is heavier weight as they need more mass for not allowing heat to get into the room. They also have to prevent heat escape out.
  • Blackout curtains- To block out light from the outside, this type of curtains has to present a specific thickness. They are going to block up to 99% of direct sunlight, keeping the light away from your room. They’re made with thick material which adds some weight.

Is the width also important for efficiency?

If you want to get the best out of the soundproof curtains, you should also pay attention to the width. It has to be twice the width of the window for a regular curtain, which gives you the “normal pleat” effect. However, for the “super pleat” effect that is going to reduce noise, you need to buy 2.5-3 times the width of the window.

As a matter of fact, three times the width of the window as total curtain width is the best width for your noise cancelling curtains. When you have no worries about the noise, two times the width of the window is going to be enough. In the case of soundproof curtains, three times is going to ensure their efficiency, nevertheless.

Don’t forget about the importance of pleating, which is going to improve the blackout effect. This is important for the lighter-coloured blackout curtains. Suffice it to say, they’re less able to black out light (when compared to the dark-coloured curtains), made of the same materials.

You need to extend the curtains beyond the window edge on both the left and right side. Go 10-15inches on every side- it possible.

If you’re buying curtain panels for a normal size window, you need to go with 4 panels and not the typical two for increasing the noise absorption effect.

Don’t forget about the length of the curtains!

Remember that you’re going to block both light and noise a lot better when you extend the curtains bellow and above the window. Longer lengths are always a better choice.

Take a look at the velvet/suede type materials for your curtains!

Some think that the most efficient materials for absorbing sound are suede and velvet. They’re heavy by nature, ensuring sound absorption in and of itself. Besides, the microfibers sticking out of the base are going to make the sound waves reflect within the curtain. This is why the microfibers in velvet and suede curtains are increasing the noise absorption abilities of the curtains.

  • What width should they have?

The pleated effect is going to improve the sound absorption of the velvet and suede-type curtains. Curtains that are pleated are going to be more effective for reducing the noise. Sound absorption is going to be twice better.

It’s really easy to create a pleat effect with this type of curtains. You only need to buy the total width of the curtains of double/triple the width of the windows in the room. It’s best that you combine the width of the curtain panels to be 2.5x-3x the width of your windows. Once the curtains are closed, they’re not going to be flat anymore. By contrary, they’re going to be “full”, “super wavy” or “super pleated”. This is going to improve the sound/noise reduction, which is always a good thing for your comfort. A super pleated look is also going to give the curtains a rich and luxurious feeling- that’s quite the bonus!

Going back to the numbers, it’s always better to buy 4 and not two curtain panels for a regular size window/door.

  • Double check the height too

Should you have the opportunity, you need to install curtains that go from ceiling to floor. This is going to ensure maximum noise blocking. If that’s not possible, 10-15 inches beyond the edges of the window (above and below) will do too.