Best Noise Reducing Curtains: Buying Guide
Ask any city mouse what the worst thing about living in a metropolitan area is, and they’ll undoubtedly answer, “The noise.” This is quite understandable – the sounds of honking vehicles, shouting street vendors, pigeons fighting and mating, and the giggles of young children. These eardrum-destroying noises are enough to make any city-loving person want to settle down in the middle of nowhere.
But what if we told you that there’s a way to reduce the amount of sound seeping into your homes/apartments/rooms without having to resort to drastic measures like yelling at said children to shut up? Well, there’s a way that’s cheap, effective, and won’t get the cops called on you: noise-reducing curtains.
Noise-reducing curtains, a.k.a. soundproof curtains or blackout curtains are pieces of cloth that can absorb a huge portion of sounds trying to find their ways into your homes. Some curtains are said to block as much as 80% of noises coming from outside. Imagine waking up in the morning without having to hear the annoying chirpings of birds outside your home. With a noise-reducing curtain, your dream can become a reality.
How do noise-reducing curtains work?
Noise-reducing curtains are nothing like the curtains you use to block sunlight from entering your home through windows. They’re thick, heavy, and mount to the outside of your doors and windows. It’s the materials (polyester, suede, even velvet) that block sound from seeping in.
Do they really work?
Noise-reducing curtains work amazingly well. Who’da thunk that a solution as simple as placing a thick curtain over your door or window could significantly reduce the amount of noise pollution from creeping into our homes? It truly is an amazing thing to have, especially in rooms where peace and quiet is necessary to improve productivity.
However, know that placing a noise-reducing curtain over your home or room’s doors or windows won’t be able to block out 100% of the noise. In order to reach absolute silence, you’ll need to invest in a number of other soundproofing materials and devices such as an automatic door bottom, sound-absorbing paint, foam tiles, gap-sealing caulk, and so on. A noise-reducing is a good place to start, though.
Noise-Reducing Curtains Buying Guide
So we’ve established that noise-reducing curtains actually work. However, it’s not every curtain that can absorb sound effectively, so it’s important that you spend some time researching what makes a good noise-reducing curtain. The following section contains some of the most important factors to take into account when purchasing these curtains.
The first thing you need to consider is the overall size of the curtains. This requires you to measure your doors, windows, and anything else that you want to cover with these curtains.
Many noise-reducing curtains are sold pre-made to the most common sizes, so if your window or door is oddly shaped or a unique dimension, you’ll most likely need to get a curtain custom-made. This, unfortunately, means spending a bit more money to get one made to your home’s exact specifications, but it’s actually worth it. Remember that just because these curtains serve to absorb sound doesn’t mean they can’t look good and fit with your home’s interior design.
Once again, noise-reducing curtains don’t have to an eye-sore. It’s a good idea to find one that matches with the interior theme of your home.
This means taking a look at the hanging system (more on this later), the heading style (rod pockets, rings, eyelets), and whether you want to give the top of your curtain pelmets and valances.
Density and Thickness
Noise-reducing curtains are naturally dense and thick in order to block sound from entering your homes uninvited. Thick curtains will also do well at blocking annoying sun rays from blinding you in the morning.
Certain materials used to make noise-reducing curtains (more on materials later) are thicker than others, so you need to consider the thickness very carefully. In addition to being more effective at blocking noises, thicker materials are better at keeping heat in your homes. During the cold seasons, thicker curtains can reduce energy costs to keep your homes toasty, but during summertime and springtime, you’ll be drowning in your own sweat.
Once again, we recommend finding a nice looking noise-reducing curtain for your home; one that matches the color scheme of your home. The color of the curtain plays a role in maintaining the central theme of the interior of your home.
Curtains are also heat-management systems. What we mean is that they can reflect heat away from your home or absorb it, making your home warmer as an effect. As you undoubtedly already know, lighter colors work better at keeping the sun’s rays from piercing through the cloth and heating your homes, whereas darker colors absorb heat and increase your home’s temperature.
The hanging system used to keep your curtains in place serves two purposes. The first is to keep your noise-reducing curtains from falling to the floor. Since noise-reducing curtains are thicker and heavier than non-noise-reducing curtains, you’ll need a hanging system that can keep the cloth in place. You also need curtain rods that won’t jump off the hook when you pull the curtains open and closed.
The second purpose of these curtain rods is to add a touch of style to your home. The two most popular hanging systems are curtain rods and curtain tracks. Whichever style you decide to go with or already have in your home, be sure that your curtains can slide/hook to the rod/track without any issues. However, due to the heavier weight of noise-reducing curtains, you’ll most likely need to invest in a more durable hanging system then you might already have at home.
One of the unsung heroes of the rod hanging system is finials – those decorative, knob-like end-pieces placed on the ends of your curtain rods. They don’t have to be decorative, but they need to keep the curtain from slipping off either end of the rod, potentially causing the rod to come crashing down to the floor.
The most popular types of materials used to make noise-reducing curtains are a combination of plush fabrics and mass loaded vinyl, quilted fiberglass or layers of rockwool, suede, and velvet. You may have seen some of these materials in your lifetime, such as in theaters, large factories, or nurseries.
Each of these materials works well, but residential-grade noise-reducing curtains are commonly made of plush fabrics that sandwich mass loaded vinyl. Suede and velvet are also great for home use, but they can be a bit on the expensive side.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen; an effective way to keep the happy cheers of children from entering your home through your windows and doors. The right noise-reducing curtain, in terms of size, materials, and thickness, can absorb as much as 80% of the noise trying to get into your homes. To further soundproof your homes, consider investing in other soundproofing systems like automatic door bottoms, soundproof doors, and acoustic tiles.