We all want to keep our soundproofing costs at a minimum and still block the bothersome noise sufficiently. Blankets can help us achieve that when soundproofing rooms.
However, I want to make it clear from the get-go. There are more effective ways to soundproof a room than simply covering the place with blankets. Installing mineral wool batts inside the walls for example is more efficient than hanging blankets on the wall because it improves structural insulation.
So don’t expect complete soundproofing from using only blankets. But what you can expect is a significant muffling of the noise coming in the room and escaping from the room. Furthermore, you can expect a significant reduction in echo, as well as improved acoustics in the room. Especially if you cover a significant portion of the room or the entire room.
It goes without saying that you should use really thick blankets. The thicker they are the better sound insulation they’ll provide. You can increase the thickness by hanging more blankets on the same spot so that each layer provides additional insulation.
The best blankets for soundproofing are thick and heavy moving blankets. Amazon has a great selection of thick moving blankets for an affordable price. So having said that all that, how to effectively soundproof a room with blankets?
1. Tack them on the door
Doors are often the most vulnerable area, letting too much noise in and out of the room. This is especially the case with hollow interior doors. So you can reduce the noise by tacking a thick moving blanket on it.
Alternatively, you can install a curtain rod or hooks with anchors above the door and hang a blanket with grommets. Either option is fine, but tacking the blanket directly on the door (and possibly more than one to get more mass) will provide better results.
Speaking of doors, also make sure to cover any gaps under it with a door sweep. Covering the gap between the door and the door frame can also help. To do that, cover the frame with weatherstripping tape where the gap is. There should be a seal when the door is closed. Both of these methods are inexpensive but they make a real difference.
2. Hang a blanket in front of the window
Windows are another thin barrier that a lot of sound falls through easily. However, I don’t suggest installing the blanket directly on the window. Simply because it will render it useless and it will permanently block any sunlight and the perhaps pleasant view of the waves crashing against the shore. Instead of doing that, hang the blankets in front of the window so that you can pull them up or to the side whenever you want.
A good alternative way to reduce the noise coming through windows are noise-blocking curtains. They’re also made of fairly thick material and they look really good. There are many noise-blocking curtains to choose from. One thing to have in mind is their size though. They should cover as much space as possible. So it’s better to get those that go from the rod all the way down to the floor, rather than those that cover only the window.
An easy way to make blankets or curtains more effective for sound and thermal insulation is to hang them on a double curtain rod. This rod is designed to support two layers of hanging material. By doubling the thickness, you’ll get double results. You can learn more about this method in this article.
3. Cover the walls with blankets
There are a few different ways to cover walls with blankets. You can nail them or screw them to the wall. Or you can use a spray adhesive so that they really stick. Or you can use hooks with anchors to hang them in front of the wall. Or even well placed curtain rods.
It’s up to you. Either option will work fine for insulating the room. You can place the blankets on the ceiling as well. In that case I suggest nailing/screwing them up there or using a regular spray adhesive.
4. Cover the floor?
While you can cover the floor with thick blankets to get decent results, I personally don’t think it’s the best idea. There are many other affordable solutions for floor insulation that work just fine.
Carpeting, thick rugs and rubber mats are all excellent choices for an additional floor barrier. And they’ll look more natural on the floor than a moving blanket.
5. Cover the furniture
While having more furniture in the room is advised for reducing echo and sound absorption, that’s only true for the soft furniture like sofas and large teddy bears.
A large wooden closet for example is a hard surface that will reflect sound waves and produce echo.
Covering these hard surfaces in the room with moving blankets can drastically reduce this echo. It’s not the prettiest idea, but it works.
6. Muffle the noise from appliances
Have a loud washing machine or a drying machine? Or perhaps a noisy generator? Whichever appliance you’re using, you can reduce the noise by covering it with a thick fabric that absorbs sound.
Cotton, polyester and fiberglass moving blankets can do a great job in this regard. However, make sure that there’s still some open spaces left so that the motor doesn’t overheat. Especially if you use blankets to soundproof a generator.
7. Focus on weak points and major sources of noise
You don’t have to cover the entire room with moving blankets necessarily to get good results. Determine from which direction most of the noise is coming from. Or in which direction you want to stop the noise from escaping the room. Then focus on soundproofing that part of the room.
And if you have a decent budget to work with, add more layers to get even better results instead of spreading the blankets around the room without any strategy. This way you’ll save time and money AND be more satisfied with the outcome.
But if you’re simply surrounded by noise from all sides or need all-around privacy in the room then cover it entirely with blankets. That’s the optimal solution after all.
8. Purchase the right blankets for soundproofing
As I already mentioned, thicker and heavier blankets are always better. They simply have more mass, and more mass absorbs more sound. The really good moving blankets have more than one layer. This is what makes most of the difference, as the sound has to move through multiple layers.
I also advise getting blankets that already have grommets or eyelets. They’re more convenient. Plus it will look nicer than if you were to cut holes in the fabric by yourself or installed metal grommets manually.
The price of moving blankets is typically between $30-$100, depending on thickness and size. And sometimes they are sold as a pack, so make sure to pay attention when buying.
9. Measure the surface
Before buying, measure the surface and compare it with the size of the blankets.
There’s nothing worse than realizing you don’t have enough material to get the job done. So make sure you order enough blankets to do it properly.
Actually there are worse things than that, but you get the point. In the words of Jordan Peterson: “Measure your room, bucko!”
Can you actually soundproof a room with blankets?
Soundproofing is a loaded term that means different things to different people. It’s used too lightly in my opinion but there’s no changing that trend at this point.
What soundproofing technically means is to COMPLETELY block any sounds from entering or leaving the room.
So can blankets block all sounds? The answer is – definitely not. But they’re great for REDUCING those common noises we all face such as traffic noise and loud neighbors.
They can improve the peace and quiet in our homes, and protect our privacy from prying ears. And the thicker the blankets are or the more layers you use, the better this noise reduction will be.
Technically speaking, if you placed enough blankets between yourself and the source of the noise, you could definitely block out the noise entirely.
But since most of us are going to use only one, or in rare cases two layers of blankets, these are the results to expect – significant reduction in noise, and the noise reduction increases the thicker the blankets are or the more layers you use.
I’ve recently ordered the Supreme Mover blanket. Not for soundproofing but because I was moving stuff to my new office and wanted to make sure that nothing would break.
After this short episode I decided to tack the blanket on my office door, and I must say that I’m impressed with the overall quality. It’s pretty heavy, weighing 7.5 lbs, looks nice and is soft to the touch.
Unlike the Industrial blanket which has a chemical odor according to some customers, this one doesn’t have any smell either.
The noise reduction is pretty impressive as well. I don’t hear my colleagues 90% of the time and they can’t hear anything I’m doing inside my office either. Two birds with one stone.. ehem.. with one moving blanket! Anyway, just wanted to give you the update.
Soundproofing with blankets is the most affordable way to do it. Thick blankets provide sound and thermal insulation, while also reducing sound reverberation (echo).
They can be used to soundproof any area of the home or office.
I’ve layed out a good strategy that you can follow to properly utilize them to soundproof a regular room in your home, office or studio.
I also said I would show a little extra in this article. So before you go, check out this video to see how well thick blankets perform in action: