My friend had just moved into a new apartment and I was visiting to see it. It was early on a Sunday morning, and everything was still mostly quiet as we sat in the living room to have a conversation. Suddenly, a loud, low-pitched hum began reverberating through the entire apartment, followed shortly by a repetitive banging. At first, we had no idea what the sound was, but quickly realized it was the upstairs neighbor’s washing machine.
Especially in apartments, it’s important to mitigate the amount of noise made by such loud appliances. Luckily, anti-vibration pads and mats exist to dampen that vibration and stop it from transferring to your neighbors. In this article, we’re going to discuss how they work, and which ones we think do the best job of reducing sound transmission from your washer and dryer.
Do you know why your washer is so loud in the first place? We’re going to discuss the things that are making your washer louder than it needs to be. Moreover, we’re going to discuss some common solutions to those problems so you can bring a little peace to your neighbor’s lives, as well as your own.
Quick Links to Top Picks for Best Anti-Vibration Pads and Mats for Washing Machines and Dryers in 2019
- XCEL Acoustic Damper Pads
- INTUITIVE DESIGNS Anti-Vibration Stabilizer
- STEADY-PAD Anti-Vibration and Anti-Walk Washer and Dryer Pads
- VIBRAFIX Anti-Vibration Rubber Pads
- Vibration Solution Anti-Walk Silent Feet
- Knivel Washing Machine Foot Pads
- Casa Pura Anti-Vibration Pad
- RevTime Anti Vibration Mat
- Rubber-Calanti Vibration Matting
- IncStores Anti-Vibration Mat
- Shop Fox W1322 Neoprene Anti-Vibration Pad
Clicking the links above take you to further information, customer reviews and current prices on Amazon.[toc]
Why Do You Need Anti-Vibration Pads and Mats?
Most people know that there are laws in place to limit the amount of noise that you can make. These ordinances are meant to keep us from disturbing our neighbors too much. However, many are unaware that a standard washing machine can be as many as 13 decibels over that sound limit!
This is part of the reason why many apartments don’t have washers and dryers in the unit, instead opting for a central laundry room set away from any resident’s living area. Even in a home, the laundry room is often built away from other rooms where they may be a nuisance. Still, many people can find the noise to be annoying since it tends to travel through the floor, amplifying the original sound.
Installing anti-vibration pads for washing machines underneath your washer and dryer can be a very effective method of curtailing the vibration. But what is making these appliances vibrate so much to begin with?
Causes of Washing Machine Vibration
No matter what, washers and dryers are going to vibrate to some degree. They’re spinning loads of clothing around at high speeds, and this is never going to be silent. That said, many things can be making the problem worse, and in this section, we’re going to take a look at what those things are.
Type of Machine
Some types of washers create less vibration than others by their design. Front-load washer vibration is generally worse than top load washing machine vibration. Modern machines also make less noise than older models since they employ new technology that’s designed to vibrate less.
High-efficiency washers no longer use the harsh agitation of models past to clean clothes. Instead, this new generation of appliances utilizes a gentle tumbling action that’s easier on clothes and creates less noise and vibration.
Floor and Washer/Dryer Leveling
These large appliances are set on feet that can either be adjusted individually to make it stand level, or they are self-leveling as is the case with most newer washers and dryers. If the feet are not level, the vibration caused by normal operation will start to shake the whole washer. The lowest foot will lift from the floor and bang into it with each revolution of the basket inside.
Even if you get the feet level initially, an uneven floor can cause the same problem. If it migrates a little from normal washer vibration, the feet may reach a low or high spot in the floor that allows enough movement to amplify the vibration.
Many people haphazardly throw their dirty laundry into the washing machine without really giving it any thought. I used to be one of these people as well until I realized how much louder this makes the machine. If you look closely at the instructions under the lid, most likely, they will tell you to disperse the load around the basket evenly.
Once I started following this simple instruction, my washer quieted down immediately. It’s obvious once you think about it. If the weight is unevenly placed in the basket, it’s going to throw off the rotation and create extra vibration, which always results in extra noise. This principle only applies to top-loading washing machines.
Poor Floor Bracing
Washers and dryers are very heavy appliances. However, the floor beneath them probably doesn’t have any extra bracing to help handle the extra weight. If the floor has some give from weak bracing, then any washing machine vibration will be exacerbated.
If your washer and dryer are located on a floor where you can easily access the ceiling beneath, it may be worthwhile to add some extra bracing. This will solidify the floor and minimize the vibrations you’re experiencing. Of course, this is quite a lot of work. As a simpler alternative, you can add a thick piece of plywood beneath these large appliances, which can have a similar effect.
Stacking Kit Issues
Stackable washer/dryer combos are notorious for being loud and creating extra vibration. Often, this can be attributed to a poorly installed stacking kit.
The stacking kit is what is used to connect the washer and dryer together. If it’s not installed properly, alignment issues will present themselves. Naturally, a misalignment in the connection is going to worsen any vibration that’s already present.
How Do Anti Vibration Pads & Mats Work?
So, how do anti-vibration mats work? Well, vibration noise is transmitted mainly through contact. The sound waves created by the vibration travel along the hard surface, transmitting sound in all directions.
One of the most effective methods of reducing the transfer is by putting something in between the source of the vibration and any hard surfaces. It can’t be just anything though, it needs to be something very absorptive. This will allow it to absorb and nullify much of the vibration, which is called dampening.
An anti-vibration pad dampens the vibration created by a washing machine or dryer, effectively stopping most of the sound waves from reaching the hard floor beneath. By the time any sound wave makes it to the floor, most of its energy has been absorbed by the anti-vibration pad.
What Is the Best Vibration Isolation Materials?
Anti-vibration mats can be made out of several different materials. While they’re all going to reduce the amount of vibration that transfers to the floor beneath, each material will do so to a different extent. Let’s take a look at each of the common materials that vibration pads made of.
Hard rubber is an effective material for absorbing vibration. More importantly, it’s very cheap. This makes it very appealing to most consumers as a great budget option for reducing the vibration created by your washer or dryer.
Rubber molecules are very elastic, which means that at rest, they’re in an unstretched state with a lot of potentials to expand. This allows the rubber molecules to store energy for longer than other materials, releasing it slowly over a longer period of time, creating the dampening effect.
Hard rubber is generally cheaper than softer rubbers, so it’s often used for budget anti-vibration mats. However, softer rubber has even greater dampening ability.
Sorbothane rubber is a special type of rubber that’s designed to have a very high damping coefficient. This means it can absorb much more energy than other rubbers, allowing it to have improved vibration dampening.
Sorbothane is one of the more expensive rubbers out there, but it’s a superior material when it comes to absorbing vibration. In fact, it makes the best anti-vibration pads for washing machines. Part of this due to its longevity since it’s expected to keep its dampening properties longer than other types of rubber.
Closed-Cell Foam Rubber
Closed-cell foam rubber is a very soft and spongy type of rubber. It’s made by forcing gas through the rubber during production, which leaves sealed air pockets throughout the rubber. This is great for shock-absorbing and helps to dampen vibrations drastically. That said, it has reduced longevity compared to Sorbothane rubber.
What to Consider When Buying Anti Vibration Pads and Mats?
Before we start reviewing the top anti-vibration pads available today, it’s important to understand what makes an anti-vibration pad good or bad. In this section, we’re going to briefly discuss which factors to consider and keep in mind when deciding on which pad you’ll choose to be your vibration solution.
Types of Vibration Isolation Products
Anti-vibration products for your washer and dryer come in several different forms. While each of these can be very effective in their own right, by nature, some will perform better than others.
One type of anti-vibration pad for your washing machine is small, round discs that will fit on the bottom of each foot of your washer or dryer. These are generally anywhere from 0.5” to 1.25” tall. Usually, this type of vibration pad also has an anti-walking texture on the bottom to prevent your machines from migrating when a heavy spin cycle kicks in.
They can be made from hard rubber or soft rubber, like Sorbothane. The hard rubber ones are cheaper, durable, but not as great for absorbing vibration. Sorbothane versions are far more expensive, not as tall, and more effective at reducing noise and vibration.
Anti-vibration mats are also available. These are usually just a single mat that might be 24” x24” or larger. Some of these mats are large enough to set your machine on and it will cover all four feet. Others will need to be cut into four squares that can be placed under each foot individually.
A larger mat that covers the entire area beneath your washer will be more effective at reducing noise transfer. The extra rubber can help absorb the sound waves created by the running of the motor and not just the vibration that’s transferring through the feet.
Materials and Thickness
Two things will have the greatest impact on how effective your anti-vibration mat is, what type of rubber it’s made from and how thick it is. Naturally, the thicker a pad is, the more vibration and noise it can absorb. If they’re both made from the same material, a ¾” thick piece will be far more effective than a ¼” thick piece.
Likewise, softer rubber will also be better at dampening vibration than harder rubbers. Of course, hard rubbers are cheaper and easier to produce, so you’ll find them used in many of the cheaper pads.
For maximum noise and sound reduction, your best bet is to go with the thickest pad made of the softest rubber. The tradeoff is that it will probably cost more and be less durable than a hard rubber solution. The hard rubber won’t be anywhere near as effective at noise reduction though, so they’re not a better value in the end, despite the lower price tag.
For me, the most important metric will always be performance. How well does it do the job you purchased it for? If you want to stop the noise and vibration from your washing machine but the pad you got only manages to prevent it from walking, then was it a good purchase?
With anti vibration pads, my number one concern is how much of the sound and vibration it absorbs and stops from reaching the floor beneath. If the mat can make the washing machine quiet, then it’s a worthwhile purchase in my book.
I also look at the performance when it comes to anti-slip, which prevents your machines from walking during the heaviest parts of operation like the spin cycle. For my money, I want the product that absorbs the most sound and vibration while also keeping my machines right in the place where they should be.
The price can vary drastically from the cheaper pads to the most expensive ones. Often, you get what you pay for, but that’s not a hard and fast rule to follow. In this case, the mats tended to be the best value overall since they were the thickest, softest rubber and were still affordable for some of them.
The pads that fit on each foot individually were much more expensive for the effective soft rubber versions. Granted, these are excellent sound and vibration absorbers with great anti-skid properties as well. But thicker pads of rubber that are also very soft can be purchased for similar prices.
Best Anti Vibration Pads for Washing Machines and Dryers Reviews
1. XCEL Antivibration, Acoustic Damper Pads
XCEL Acoustic Damper Pads are some of the best anti-vibration pads for washing machines since they’re so easy to install on top of being very effective. The closed-cell foam rubber they’re made from is very absorptive.
Four sizes are available from 3” squares to 12” squares. This makes it very easy to aim the feet of your washer and dryer onto each square. Unfortunately, it also means the entire underside of your appliances won’t be covered. The important part, the feet, will be though.
You can get these in ⅛” up to ⅜” thickness. Naturally, the thicker the better when it comes to reducing vibration. They also come in 4, 8, and 16 piece packs, suitable for one to four appliances. Of course, the 8 pack is ideal for a washer and dryer, while the 4 pack is great for a stackable unit.
2. INTUITIVE DESIGNS Anti-Vibration Washer and Dryer Stabilizer
INTUITIVE DESIGNS Anti-Vibration Stabilizer is an easy to install washing machine vibration solution. Since they’re so wide, 3” to be exact, getting the feet on them is simple and can be done by a single person.
Aside from being so wide, these pads are also 1.25” high, giving plenty of shock-absorbing rubber beneath each foot of your washer and dryer. Be aware, this also means that your appliances will sit much higher, so if you’re working with a cramped area, these may not be the best solution for your situation.
These vibration isolation pads are made from a hard rubber, which isn’t the most effective for absorbing vibrations. Their extra thickness makes up for it though, combining the durability of hard rubber with improved vibration dampening.
Each pack contains four pads, enough for one appliance. Plan ahead and purchase two packs if you plan to do both machines, but be aware of the extra expense.
3. STEADY-PAD Anti-Vibration and Anti-Walk Pads
If you’re experiencing problems with your washer or dryer walking from all the vibration, then the STEADY-PAD anti-vibration and anti-walk washer and dryer pads are an option you should consider. These pads have an exceptional grip on the bottom that prevents the appliance from being able to move.
Of course, they do a lot more than stop your washing machine from migrating. Most importantly, they absorb the vibration and prevent it from transferring to the floor where it can travel uninhibited. Since these pads are 1.25” thick, they have plenty of material to absorb even heavy vibrations.
These pads provided great value overall. Four are included in a package to dampen one appliance. They will raise your machine about an inch, so be aware that they will be taller now.
4. VIBRAFIX Washer Anti-Vibration and Anti-Walk Pads
VIBRAFIX anti-vibration rubber pads will help reduce vibration as well as stop your washer and dryer from walking. Their high friction design will make sure your appliances stay put. At 1.25” thick, they offer plenty of dampening material between the feet of your machine and the floor.
These didn’t seem to provide any more value than similar competing products. Overall, I didn’t feel they were one of the better deals since they don’t do anything special and they’re made from a hard durometer rubber that’s less ideal for absorbing vibrations. I prefer something with a softer rubber, but that’s a more expensive route.
5. Vibration Solution Anti-Vibration Pads for Washing Machines and Dryers
For the ultimate washing machine sound absorber, the anti-walk silent feet from The Vibration Solution eliminate 94.7% of vibration and noise. That’s because they’re made from Sorbothane rubber, unlike most of the other washing machine vibration pads on this list.
These pads are very easy to install and don’t require any tools. Impressively, they include a 10-year warranty guaranteeing their longevity.
Since they’re made from Sorbothane rubber, they don’t have to be as thick to offer superior vibration dampening. These will only raise your washer and dryer by ⅝”.
For preventing walking from your appliances, these feet are excellent. The soft compound grips the floor well and stops them from moving anywhere. Overall, these are some of the best anti-vibration pads around, and I recommend going with Sorbothane products like this one if you can.
6. Anti-Walk Silent Feet
Thanks to the Sorbothane rubber used in their construction, these anti-walk silent feet are very effective at reducing vibration. Thanks to the soft rubber and the grippy bottom, these feet almost completely prevent any walking from occurring, even when your washer hits the spin cycle. They’re still very easy to install with no tools.
Overall, I’d say these vibration isolation pads are a more effective vibration solution than any of the rubber options. They’re also much shorter, only lifting your washer and dryer up ⅝”. In the end, they’re one of my favorite pads for washing machines.
7. Washing Machine Foot Pads for Anti-vibration and Anti-Walk
These Washing Machine Foot Pads were one of the cheapest solutions I found for curbing noise. These were quite effective at reducing vibration, though they weren’t very effective at stopping the walking of my washer. They seemed to make it worse by sliding around.
They come in a set of four to cover one appliance. Unlike other hard rubber feet, these are only about ½” tall. Unfortunately, this also means they absorb less vibration than some of the thicker models. In the end, these are only a good choice if the vibration your machines are creating is minimal.
Best Anti Vibration Mats
8. casa pura Anti-Vibration Pad
This anti-vibration pad from Casa Pura provides excellent performance. It’s one of the best anti-vibration pads for washers, even though it also provides better value than many similar competing products.
This pad is available in ¼” thickness, but for maximum effectiveness, I’d recommend going with the ¾-inch thick mat instead. It comes in a 24” x24” square that can be cut down into four separate pads that are 12” x12” each to fit under each foot individually. If you’re lucky and have a very small washer or dryer, the pad may reach across all four feet as is.
Thanks to the soft rubber compound used in this mat and the ¾” thickness it’s available in, it can absorb copious amounts of vibration. As a plus, it’s also naturally anti-slip, so it will help stop your machines from walking as well. Overall, it’s one of the most effective solutions for stopping the washing machine vibration that I’ve found.
9. RevTime Anti-Vibration Mats
This drier and washing machine anti vibration mat from RevTime is several inches larger than many similar competitors at 28” x28”. This means it’s more likely to fit under all your feet without needing to be cut. At ⅝” thick, this one isn’t quite as effective at absorbing sound as thicker offerings.
Since it doesn’t need to be cut, the RevTime mat is very easy to install. All you have to do is slide your washer or dryer out, set the mat down, and move the appliance on top of the mat. Done. Easy as can be.
I felt that the anti-vibration mats like the RevTime that covered the entire underside of the washer did the most to absorb the vibration and noise. This was one of the most effective solutions altogether, noticeably reducing the amount of noise made by both machines. The difference between this one and the Casa Pura mat at a fraction of the cost was minimal.
10. Rubber-Cal Anti-Vibration Washing Machine Mat
This anti vibration matting from Rubber-Cal is one of the largest on this list by a long shot. At 4 ft wide and 10 ft long, this mat is large enough to cut to size and stack several on top of each other for a truly soundproof mat for washing machine.
At ⅜” thick, this is already a very functional product. When you double-layer it, you’ll have ¾” of vibration-absorbing rubber beneath your machines. A third layer will give you more than an inch of noise-reducing anti vibration pad under your washer and dryer, essentially eliminating all noise transmission.
If you can afford it, this is probably the most effective way to go. It may be overkill, but there’s no question that a few layers of this mat will provide some incredible vibration dampening.
11. IncStores Anti-Vibration Washer/Dryer Rubber Mats
At 28” x34”, IncStores anti-vibration mat was a strange size. It’s not quite big enough to stretch under the washer or dryer together, but it’s long enough to stick out about 8” when turned the other direction, so it feels like you’re paying for lots of material you’re not even using.
For some reason, a carrying handle is cut into the mat. Once installed, you shouldn’t need to carry it anywhere, so this feels like a gimmick. At ½” thick, it did provide excellent vibration dampening, though a second layer would improve it greatly.
More than just a vibration reducer, this mat was great at stopping our appliances from migrating. The anti-skid rubber prevented the washer from budging, even during a heavy spin cycle. The mat is also mold and mildew resistant, thanks to the rubber being non-porous.
I don’t think this provides the best value overall, though it was still effective at reducing vibration and stopping my washer from walking. I just think some of the other options provided a much better bang for your buck.
12. Shop Fox W1322 Anti-Vibration Mat
Shop Fox W1322 neoprene anti-vibration pad is an easy vibration solution for halting washing machine vibration as well as many other tools. It’s very thin so that it can be easily installed under anything to curb vibration noise without getting in the way of operation. That said, for absorbing vibrations from a large appliance like a washing machine, a bit more material will be necessary.
A single layer of this mat will not be enough to solve your vibration issues at just ⅛” thick. It’s 24” x 36” in size, so there’s not enough to cut into multiple layers. Of course, you could purchase several layers of this for less than many of the other options we’ve taken a look at so far.
Compared to the hard and soft rubbers we’ve looked at in the products before this one, the neoprene used in the shop fox mat is very soft and absorptive while still being durable.
In the end, I don’t think it’s quite thick enough to stop washing machine vibration without several layers. It would take four layers to equal ½” of vibration dampening rubber, so you’re much better off just purchasing one of the thicker mats instead.
How to Install Vibration Dampers
Anti-vibration pads must be individually installed under each foot. Don’t worry though, this is very simple.
First, tilt the machine forward so you that you can get to the back feet. It helps if you have someone with you who can tilt the machine while you access the feet. Once they’re off the ground, you can place a pad under each foot before setting it back down.
While many of these pads are designed to be set under the appliance and held by weight, others have adhesives included. To install these, add the adhesive to the pad before placing it under the foot of the washer or dryer.
Anti-vibration mats are very easy to install. If yours won’t reach across all four feet of your machine, then your first step is to cut it into four equal sections. Then you place one square under each foot of your washer and dryer.
If your mat spans the full distance across all four feet of your machine, then you’ll need to pull the appliance out of the way. Set the mat down in the place where you just removed the machine from. Then move your washer and dryer back on top of the mat and you’re done! Your home will now be much quieter, and even your neighbors will thank you!
Tips on How to Stop Washing Machine from Vibrating
Placing anti-vibration materials under your washer and dryer isn’t the only way to curtail their excessive vibration and noise. Before we close out, let’s briefly discuss a few very cheap and simple tactics you can employ right now to help your washer and dryer be as quiet as they can be.
Balance Your Loads
If you’re like I used to be, you throw your dirty laundry into the basket of the washer with no regard to how it falls in. Once I realized what an effect this has on the noise your machine makes, I started being a bit more careful.
The ideal approach is to disperse your clothing around the basket evenly. This makes sure there are no heavy spots that will throw the rotation off. If this happens, the machine will be noticeably louder and create much more vibration.
Level the Floor and Machine
One of the most common culprits of a noisy washer or dryer is feet that aren’t level. Luckily, this is a very simple fix. For older style feet, you’ll have to get on the floor and manually twist them to either extend or shorten each one until it’s the appropriate length.
Newer appliances often employ a self-leveling feature. If you lift one side of your machine and place it back down, the feet should level themselves. Then repeat for the other side.
Check Your Stacking Kit
Stackable washer and dryer combinations are known for being noisy. Often this can be attributed to a poor install of the stacking kit that connects the two appliances. Check yours to see if it’s perfectly level or not. It’s possible yours needs to be reinstalled properly or replaced. Either way, it’s not a very expensive repair, but it could make quite a bit of difference in how loud your washer and dryer are.
In this article, we’ve discussed what causes excess vibration from your washer and dryer as well as how to solve it. We covered which traits you should look for in an anti-vibration mat, and we even reviewed and compared some of the best ones available.
If you have any questions or comments, I’ll be sure to answer them if you leave them in the comments box below. Feel free to share this article if you found it helpful in any way. I’d like for it to help as many people as possible, and your share helps it do that.
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