Soundproof curtains can be a cheap, quick and effective soundproofing solution.
By simply switching your existing curtains to curtains designed to dampen sound you can save considerable time and money.
An effective pair of soundproofing curtains will be extra thick and well insulated to reduce sound transfer into your room.
However before you get over excited with dreams of turning your noisy city centre apartment into a soundproof box simply by hanging some fabric over your windows it is important to be honest about the impact that curtains can have on reducing sound.
Strictly speaking ‘soundproof curtains’ don’t exist, however acoustic curtains, designed to absorb sound and improve the acoustics of a room, do exist.
The purpose of acoustic curtains is to reduce echo rather than to stop sound coming into a room.
Yes, they do!
A well-insulated curtain can reduce sound coming through your window by a few decibels.
However, curtains alone are never going to completely soundproof a window because they are not sealed and air can pass through and around them with ease but they can make a difference.
Curtains are good at deflecting sound, if you have an echoey room and you want to reduce the echo then using insulated curtains is an excellent way to achieve that.
If you buy a good quality acoustic curtain and do everything you can to install it in a way which covers your window as effectively as possible then they can make a difference, particularly with airborne background noises.
If you live above a nightclub or next to a live music venue then soundproof curtains are unfortunately unlikely to make a noticeable difference, you should instead consider installing soundproof glass or soundproofing your window.
If you are still looking for a curtain which will help make those background noises in your home fade away a bit then have a look through some of our reviews of the best ones below.
Many of the best soundproof curtains are sold on their ability to block light and trap heat in your room.
You will not find many curtains being sold as ‘soundproofing curtains’ but there are plenty that are listed as ‘insulated curtains’ or ‘blackout curtains’.
Fortunately, curtains that are good at blocking sound, light and heat all share the same properties.
They are thick and very dense, they are oversized so that the window is amply covered and so that the curtain has pleats (which help deaden sound) and they are usually made from a material like velvet which helps block sound, light and heat.
There are numerous different types of pleats that curtains can have, including box pleats which can use up to 3 or 4 times the amount of fabric as a flat curtain. This is referred to as 'fullness', for the purposes of sound deadening we recommend you get a curtain with at least 100% fullness. The more fullness your curtian has the greater the sound deadening impact will be, you can even get curtains with up to 200% fullness!
For more information on pleats and fullness read this article by Rose Brand.
Density blocks sound, unsurprisingly dense materials will weigh a lot!
Heavy curtains with lots of pleats in will block sound far more effectively than lighter flatter curtains. This is because they are far denser and are made from much more material meaning they have far more fibres to absorb and reflect sound.
Heavy curtains are often sold as insulated curtains which is why they are much thicker. Insulated curtains are particularly good at reducing low-frequency sounds such as the sound of passing traffic.
The weight of a curtain is largely dependant on its size, however for a standard-sized curtain, a sufficient weight to block sound would be above 0.9kg / 2lb.
When installing a heavy curtain you will need to make sure that you have a strong curtain rail which is secured well to the wall.
A good thick curtain can also be used as an effective soundproof room divider by fitting a curtain rail to your ceiling so that the curtain can divide up the room.
A truly soundproof curtain is something that doesn’t really exist, however, sound dampening or sound absorbing curtains do exist.
While they won’t block out sound completely they will reduce reverberation and help minimise sound transfer.
Curtains which are best at doing this are made from materials which trap small pockets of air inside them.
The best materials for soundproof / sound- damping / sound-absorbing (or whatever you want to call them!) curtains are:
Curtain size is important for dampening sound.
Bigger is always better with curtains.
As a rough guide, you should aim to get curtains which are up to 30cm (10 inches) longer than your window.
This will allow them to drape on the floor which will help to prevent sound from travelling through the air underneath your curtain.
If possible you should get curtains which are long enough to hang from the ceiling down to the floor, this will trap more sound.
Your curtains should be wide, very wide!
The recommended width for a curtain is at least three times the width of your window.
This seems extreme however the width will allow your curtains to have lots of pleats in the curtains which will help to trap and absorb sound waves.
It is very important to get the right curtain rods to help maximise the sound blocking potential of your curtains.
Your curtain rods should do two vital things: Be able to support the weight of your heavy curtains.
Allow the curtain to get as close to the wall as possible so that there are minimal gaps.
The best type of curtain rails are wrap-around rails.
Instead of being one straight these wrap around the window which means you can pull your curtains closed right up to the wall.
Most rods (with the exception of cheap plastic rods) will be able to support the weight of even the heaviest of curtains.
It is vital that the rod is installed securely with deep screws and wall plugs to prevent it pulling away from the wall.
When installing your curtain rail make sure that you install it at least 10cm above the top of your window (or higher if possible) to help capture as much sound as possible.
The last thing you want to do when choosing a pair of sound dampening curtains is realise that they have absolutely no impact on sound or light after you have bought them. To save you the stress of spending money on a useless product we have put together the list below of 9 of the best performing sound blocking curtains, all of which are available to buy from Amazon.
We have also put together a table of the top 4 below:
With over 243 Amazon reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars, this is a popular curtain.
It is sold as a blackout curtain so the important question is; is it any good at soundproofing?
At almost 3 metres tall (9 feet) it is amply sized to cover most windows from floor to ceiling and with a width of 2.6 metres (8.5 feet) these curtains have plenty of room to cover most windows with the exception of large bay windows.
They are heavily thermally insulated to give total blackout privacy, they promise to block out 99% of sunlight. Any curtain which can do that has to be well insulated so will be a good option when it comes to reducing sound.
Made from thick microfiber cloth with is triple weaved not only will this curtain help reduce sound but it will also darken your room and improve your energy efficiency.
The density of this curtain means that it weighs in at a hefty 2kg (almost 4.5lbs) so make sure you get a sturdy curtain rail!
Each curtain is fitted with 16 grommets making it easy to attach to your rail.
Available in a wide range of colours including beige, navy blue, orange, burgundy red, grey, turquoise and plum there are plenty to choose from to match your room whatever your colour scheme is.
H.Versailtex are well known on Amazon for their long classic style curtain drapes, and these curtains tick all the boxes yet again.
At 1.3 metres wide (just over 4 feet) they are ideal for smaller bedroom windows but at 2.7 metres tall (9 feet) they will easily provide stylish floor to ceiling coverage that helps block out light and trap sound.
This curtain is available in a range of heights including 1.6 metres (5ft), 2.13cm (7ft), 2.44m (8ft) and 2.74m (9ft). For most homes the 7 or 8 feet curtains should be adequate to fully cover and insulate the window.
Weighing in at a solid 1.5kg (3.3lbs) these curtains are made of a similar material to the previous H.Versailtex curtain we reviewed on this page, it weighs less simply because it is smaller.
Fitted with antique style copper grommets this is a classy looking curtain which is available in the sophisticated muted colours of cocoa brown, ivory white and taupe grey.
In fact these curtains are so smart that they are often bought to go in hotels!
Made from a hard wearing thick insulated faux linen this curtain is designed to block out light so is perfect for night shift workers and will also help insulate your window from passing sound.
If this curtain isn’t hard wearing enough for you don’t worry as it comes with an 8-year warranty which covers accidental damage and will allow you to get them replaced for free.
These Deconovo curtains (why do very few curtain manufacturers use easy to pronounce names?) are made from thermally insulated polyester.
Polyester may seem like a strange choice for a sound deadening curtain as it is very lightweight and lacks density however polyester is very good at trapping air.
As the specially made hollow polyester fibres create thousands of very tiny air pockets with the curtain allowing it to absorb and deflect sound.
One additional benefit to having polyester curtains is that they do not attract dust or mites as most other curtains materials do, so these curtains are a great choice for anyone who suffers from allergies.
Available in two different sizes of 2.54 metres (8.3 feet) wide x 2.13 metres (7 feet) tall and 2.54 metres (8.3 feet) wide x 2.41 metres (almost 8 feet) tall two of these could easily cover a big bay window and one will be more than sufficient for a normal sized bedroom window.
The Deconovo curtain weighs in at 1.75kg and comes in a wide range of different colours including; beige, pink, navy blue, greyish white, chocolate, green and dark red.
With thousands of positive reviews on Amazon, these are clearly a good choice for anyone with allergies who is looking for affordable sound dampening curtains.
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If you’re looking for something that is affordable on a very tight budget then the Qinuo Home Alaska is a great choice.
This curtain is popular with students looking for a bit more privacy in their dorm rooms at a very reasonable price. The manufacturers claim that this curtain will reduce outside noise by 40%.
Not bad for a curtain which is primarily designed to block out the light.
Made from 100% polyester (great for trapping air and absorbing sound) the Qinuo can also stop around 90% of light and ultraviolet light getting into your room.
The manufacturers state that the material is durable enough to last over ten years, which isn’t bad at all at this price.
These curtains come as a two-panel set with each panel measuring 1.37 metres (4.5 feet) wide x 2.29 metres (7.5 feet) tall. Plenty of size to effectively cover windows of up to 2.4 metres in width - though if your window is this wide you are probably best off opting for a wider curtain as we recommend that your curtain is three times the width of your window to allow plenty of pleats to form which will help trap and absorb sound.
They can easily be attached to any preexisting curtain rail using the 12 inbuilt grommets which each curtain panel has.
These curtains come with two matching tie backs at no extra cost.
The Absolute Zero curtains get their name because they claim to let absolutely zero light through, a pretty bold claim right!
These curtains are very similar to the type of curtains you typically get in theatres and cinemas, they are designed to block all light and quite a bit of sound too when they are closed so that the audience has no way of seeing or hearing what is happening behind the curtain.
They are made from Velvet which is one of the best sound dampening materials due to the way it traps air inside allowing it to effectively absorb and deflect sound.
They are also very easy to take care of, you can simply throw them in the washing machine, tumble dry them, possibly give them a quick iron (if they need it) and then hang them straight back up!
The Absolute Zero is available in the following sizes:
And the following colours:
For most small windows a couple of panels should sufficiently cover them, for larger bay windows 3 or 4 panels may be required for maximum sound dampening.
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Moondream is one of the few brands that are trying hard to make curtains which are specifically designed to reduce background sound, they have put a lot into researching and developing curtains which perform very well.
Moondream have come up with a method of layering multiple fabrics to increase the density and weight of the curtains and help prevent sound from coming through.
Layering many layers together rather than having one thick layer means there are several layers acting as a barrier to sound which also creates small pockets of air which further helps reduce sound transfer while improving opacity and thermal protection.
Their layers are:
In their tests, Moondream found that a sound reduction of up to 7 decibels was achieved with this curtain.
For example, if your window was letting through 70dB of sound and you then added the Moondream soundproof curtain the amount of sound let in would be reduced to 63dB.
Not a massive reduction but every little helps.
This curtain is sold in individual panels measuring 1.45 metres (4.8 feet) x 2.6 metres (8.5 feet), plenty big enough for even the tallest of windows.
Just don’t forget to buy two or three panels for bigger windows.
Remember the golden rule - your curtain should be three times the width of your window to allow for plenty of pleats to help minimize sound passing through.
Nicetown use triple weaved microfiber polyester sheets to create an affordable curtain which filters out 90% of light and helps to reduce background noise.
Weighing in at 1.0kg and measuring 1.6 metres (5.2 feet) tall and 1.06m (3.5 feet) wide this single panel curtain is suitable for small windows which don't require floor to ceiling curtains.
For most windows we recommend getting at least a couple of panels to give a maximum number of pleats.
Nicetown are very low maintenance curtains which can be machine washed and dried regularly without fading or falling to bits.
These particular curtains come in grey with a simple look which is ideal for a bedroom with a clean whitewashed look or a hotel room.
Nicetown’s key selling point is that these curtains are designed specifically with heat retention in mind.
Their multilayered microfibre fabric is great at keeping the cold out and the heat in. They’re so confident in their curtains ability to insulate your windows that they suggest it could reduce your heating spend by up to 25%...it has to be said the if heat loss from your windows is a big concern then you should invest in new windows first and foremost as this will make by far the biggest difference!
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The Beautissu Amelie’s elegant name reflects it's attractive yet highly functional simplicity.
Available in a vast array of stylish colours including:
The Beautissu Amelie is made from easy-care polyester which can be washed at a low temperature of 30°C and ironed (also at a low temperature) to keep it looking pristine.
This curtain is good at blocking light and absorbing sound because it features an additional thick opaque fleece layer which is stitched into the back of the curtain.
The fleece absorbs light, heat and some sound.
Each curtain panel comes with 8 chrome, rustproof metallic eyelets to thread the curtain onto the rail.
These eyelets have a diameter of 4 cm which is big enough to fit on pretty much any pre-existing curtain rail you may have.
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The Qinuo is a highly rated thermal curtain which comes with two panels.
The curtain panels are available in the following sizes:
We strongly recommend that you get the biggest size you can (at least three times as wide as your window) to have the biggest sound reducing impact.
This curtain is made from 100% durable polyester microfiber which traps air and prevents light shining through.
Available in Grey, Navy, Stone, Green and Silver this curtain comes with two matching tie backs at no extra charge.
While this curtain perhaps isn’t the very best performer when it comes to sound reduction it is great value for money at this price point as so long as you don’t expect sound reduction miracles from it then you can’t go wrong with buying a Qinuo.
We hope you found our article useful, please remember though don’t expect sound reduction miracles from your curtain. At best you may reduce sound by up to 10dB, even then the difference will barely be noticeable.
If you have a serious sound problem you should first focus on properly soundproofing your windows, doors and even walls so that your home is properly sealed to prevent airborne noise getting in and steps have been taken to dampen noise transfer via vibrations.