Moving Blankets For Soundproofing? Here’s a Reality Check.
Soundproofing treatment for a whole room can be quite expensive.
This is why many people are asking around – do moving blankets work for soundproofing?
Well, a short answer is – NO
If it were that cheap to soundproof entire walls effectively, professional soundproofing materials would not be needed at all.
The long answer is – it depends
Moving blankets can ABSORB some of the sound.
They’re okay at absorbing higher frequency sounds. Lower frequencies? Not so much.
But if you want to SOUNDPROOF a room, so that noise is drastically reduced, and acoustics in the room are also drastically improved, moving blankets are not the solution you’re looking for.
So can they work for you anyway?
Moving blankets are okay if you have realistic expectations, and those expectations are not too high to begin with.
They can absorb around 25% of the sound (a rough estimate from what I’ve seen) and it can be okay for amateur bands or podcasters who are just looking for a moderate upgrade to their acoustics.
The reason why they improve acoustics is mainly due to reduced sound reverberation.
Instead of the sound hitting against a hard surface like the wall, it hits against the soft blanket and thus the echo is lessened.
This dude shows you how he set them up to get this effect:
The sound absorption you get from the blankets will also depend on 2 other major factors – doors and windows.
So I suggest that you also add density to your doors and windows, because they are usually not sealed properly around the frame, and they are thinner than walls.
I’m on a tight budget and still want to use moving blankets. So help a brother out!
Fine, I get it. You don’t want to spend a heap load of cash on real soundproofing foam panels.
If you’re that persistent, here are a few great tips that will maximize your moving blankets capabilities.
1. Hang them 2-4 inches away from the wall
Instead of placing the blankets directly on the wall, hang them a few inches away from the wall.
I’m well aware that in most situations this is not practical, especially if the room is very small to begin with.
But it can be extremely helpful if you’re using the room as a recording studio and need just a small amount of space.
It will maximize sound absorption and reduce the echo by a lot, because the sound first hits the blanket and then it has to travel again to the wall. Once it reaches the wall it reverberates against the blanket again before reaching you.
The easiest way to hang them away from the wall is to use two boom stands (link to Amazon) extended in a “T” shape, and drape the blankets over them.
You’ll get a blanketed “V” shape that works really well for vocals.
2. Get thick and large blankets
You want to cover as much of the area as possible with dense material, so don’t buy paper-thin blankets.
They will only work if they’re at least somewhat thick, and I suggest buying larger blankets because it’s easier to hang them or place on the wall. Plus, larger blankets look better as well.
Home Depot usually has these kinds of moving blankets.
You can also get them on Amazon.
Based on size and thickness, these Heavy Duty Blankets are the best ones.
These Sure Max Blankets are a bit lighter and come at close second.
3. Use a thick carpet instead of blankets
Placing the blanket directly on the wall is the most common way to do it.
But a better option is to use a thick carpet instead of a blanket.
A thick carpet that also has more texture than the smooth fabric of the moving blanket will make a bigger difference.
This is the sort of carpet that would work really well on a wall.
Should you place moving blankets on the ceiling?
Believe it or not, this is one of the more controversial questions within the soundproofing community.
Some experts claim that all the hard surfaces need to be covered with soft material, including the ceiling.
Others claim that ceiling and the floor can be left as they are.
I fall more into this second category. Sure, the more soft and dense material you can place inside the room, the better your acoustics and sound absorption will be. There’s no question about it.
But is it NECESSARY?
In my experience, if you’ve covered the walls, you can leave either the ceiling or the floor untouched. One hard surface point will not make much of a difference.
And even if you leave both the floor and the ceiling as they are, but do a good job with the walls, it’s not a big deal.
The time when you should definitely cover the ceiling or the floor is when you want to soundproof the noise coming from or coming out from that particular space.
So if you don’t want to hear your upstairs neighbours or you don’t want them to hear you, then you should work on the ceiling. And if it’s the downstairs neighbours, then take care of the floor.
But as far as reducing sound reverberation in the room is concerned, and that’s our main aim with moving blankets, it’s not necessary.
Moving blankets are the most affordable items for improving acoustics and reducing sound reverberation.
But they’re definitely not as good as soundproof foam panels.
If you’re on a tight budget or looking for a temporary solution, they can do an okay job, but don’t expect miracles to happen.
I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions or tips for other readers, leave them in the comment section below. Thanks. – Luka Baron