Do Soundproof Curtains Really Reduce Noise? – A Review of Their Effectiveness

Soundproof curtains hanging over a bedroom window.

Soundproof curtains have only been around for the past couple of decades. Still, even in that short amount of time, they’ve become some of the most important pieces of the soundproofing puzzle.

What’s not to love about them? Not only do they look great, but they’re also versatile and can hang over windows, doors, and even along walls. The only thing left to do is to determine whether they really reduce outside noise. And if they do — how we can recognize the good ones from the bad.

What Are Soundproof Curtains

Essentially, soundproof curtains are just thicker, heavier versions of regular curtains. As such, they ought to be able to absorb noise better than their regular counterparts. You definitely wouldn’t expect a flimsy transparent curtain to absorb much of anything, now, would you?

Well, when you install soundproof curtains properly — and by properly, I do mean that you should hang them from the ceiling and brushing or pooling against the floor — they ought to be as effective as any soundproof material. However, even within the range of soundproof curtains, some products are more effective than others. So let’s see what sorts of features distinguish the good soundproof curtains from the bad.

The Properties of Effective Soundproof Curtains

Let’s start by mentioning some of the features you should keep an eye on. When it comes to soundproof curtains, use the following criteria:

  • Curtain size
  • Material
  • Density, thickness, and weight
  • Curtain rod/installation

Today, I want to focus on the first three points. There are many ways you can go around installing soundproof curtains, but none of them improve the effectiveness of the product. However, the first three points really are the things that make a soundproof curtain great. So let’s break them down, starting with the size.

As I have mentioned earlier, a big part of a curtain’s soundproofing effectiveness is the installation. Having a curtain that completely covers the window, door, or wall, from the top of the wall to the floor is always preferable. Especially when we’re talking about walls or doors, the extra pooling of the material ensures that no sound can pass underneath the product.

For windows, you may not have to get floor-length curtains. As long as they’re completely covering the window, you should be fine. But what you really need to pay attention to are the material density and thickness, as well as the overall weight of the curtain.

Soundproof curtains can come in various material colors and textures. In fact, they can be polyester, cotton, velvet, or suede. Based on the simple laws of soundproofing, softer textures should be able to absorb sound better.

Additionally, these materials are thicker and more densely woven so as to trap the sounds and prevent them from passing through. They’re also much heavier than normal curtains. As you probably know, mass and density are some of the most important ingredients for soundproofing.

How Soundproof Curtains Work

Here’s how soundproof curtains will help you reduce the noise in your home. Sound waves traveling towards your wall would have either bounced or passed through it. However, if you have a dense, heavy, and soft fabric in front of the wall, the sound will dissipate before hitting the hard, flat surface of the wall. The same goes for if your curtains are on the window or over the door, except they’re serving to keep noise out as well.

Long story short: Soundproof curtains do indeed work. And actually, soundproof curtains and room dividers don’t just help to absorb sound and block some of the noise.

Like soundproof blankets, soundproof curtains have a higher-density build to prevent air, sound, and even light from passing through them. They’re also dense enough to be blackout curtains for your windows or fence off a sleeping area in an open-concept home.

Soundproof Curtains: The Verdict

Soundproof curtains can be a great soundproofing tool to use on their own or in combination with some other soundproofing methods. For example, that can be the combined application of a window plug and soundproof curtains. Or, it could be having MLV on the wall and covering it with curtains.

Soundproofing a room is all about improvisation and using what you have. Sometimes, that’ll mean shuffling furniture around, and sometimes, it’ll mean arranging soundproof curtains. Either way, the final decision is entirely up to the homeowner, which is one of my favorite things about home improvement projects.

However you decide to bring quiet into your home, it will certainly be better than suffering through various noises. Still, there aren’t many materials that are as effective and as attractive as soundproof curtains. This type of dual-purpose is always good to have when you’re dealing with the visible parts of your home, such as the living room.

I hope that this article has managed to shed some light on what kind of performance you can expect to get from soundproof curtains and similar products. So if you know someone who needs this knowledge, you can feel free to pass this article along.