Soundproof Blankets for Windows

As with most things soundproofing, using blankets to soundproof your windows is quite often not a simple choice. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to keep the sound in? Or keep the noise out? Or both? Hanging almost any type of curtain or drape over the window will attenuate the sound somewhat. (Shear drapes maybe not so much.) But for decent soundproofing you will need something more substantial. Following you will find some suggestions for soundproof blankets to use on your windows.

Using blankets to soundproof your windows has advantages. They are quick, and fairly easy to install. They can also be removed fairly easily if you change your mind. Or you need to move. And you can protect your belongings while moving and then put them up at the new place. If you are renting, or live in a condo with a control-happy board; they may be one of the only viable solutions available without the hassle of getting permission. They are way less expensive than changing windows to triple glazed laminate. 

The biggest downside is color choice. Most of the blankets have a very limited range of color options. Black is the predominant color, although some manufacturers offer blue, white, grey, and a few others. Your color choices will depend on which company you choose to buy from. I suggest you get the best blanket for your needs deal with room color after it is up.

 

5 Inexpensive Soundproofing Blankets

Magic! That is what it is. Every time you Google soundproofing blankets, they are magically transformed into moving, or packing, blankets. This is because of the manufacturing process used. Some manufacturers are now making more specialized soundproofing blankets along with their regular products. Moving blankets are thick and heavy and many contain very good sound absorbing, and/or sound deadening, material such as mineral wool, cotton, fiberglass, or polyester.

Blankets block the sound wave vibrations. The also stop the reverberation and echoes because the porous material traps sound waves and converts them to heat–which is dissipated inside the blanket. Although thicker is better, giving you more mass to absorb sound, they are not good at blocking low frequency sounds. 

1) US Cargo Control Large Sound Blankets

  • Manufactured by US Cargo Control
  • Very large, heavy blanket (80″ x 96″)
  • Machine washable–will need a big machine
  • Polyester exterior/cotton filling
  • Black only
  • Grommets on one side only
  • Some reviews suggest that the fire retardant may off-gas for quite some time. Others say that washing it before use will eliminate the problem.

US Cargo Control Preferred Mover Moving Blankets - 80 Inches Long By 72 Inches Wide - Strong and Durable Black Polyester Material - Protect Your Valuables During A Move Or While In Storage - 4 Pack

2) Sure-Max Moving and Packing Blankets

  • Manufactured by Sure-Max Industries
  • Large, heavy blanket (72″ x 80″) weighing 6.25 pounds
  • Machine washable
  • Polyester exterior/virgin cotton filling
  • One side green/one side blue or black
  • No grommets

Sure-Max 6 Moving & Packing Blankets - Heavy Duty Pro - 80

 

 

3) Wen Heavy-Duty Blankets

  • Imported by Wen
  • Large, medium weight blanket (72″ x 80″) weighing 3.8 pounds
  • Machine washable
  • 100% recycled mixed fiber filling
  • One side black polypropylene/one side blaze orange polyester
  • No grommets

WEN 272406 72-Inch by 40-Inch Heavy Duty Padded Moving Blankets, 6-Pack

4) Stalwart Medium Weight Blankets

  • Imported by Stalwart Industries
  • Large, medium weight blanket (72″ x 80″) weight 3.5 pounds
  • Not machine washable
  • Polyester exterior/recycled cotton filling
  • One side black/one side blue
  • No Grommets

Moving Blanket for Protecting Furniture- Heavy Duty Recycled Cotton Padded Tarp, Multi Purpose- Pets, Camping, Hunting, Picnics and More by Stalwart

 

5) Haul Master

  • Manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools.
  • Available in 3 different sizes (40″ x 50″ black, 40″ x 72″ grey/white, 72″ x 80″ blue and camouflage pattern)
  • Very inexpensive
  • Polyester filling
  • No grommets

 

Installation Methods and Products

Now that they have arrived, you have to put them up. And decide how you want to do that. Do you want, or need, to make some modifications? For instance, my office window is 54″ x 40″. None of the above products will fit perfectly ‘out of the box’. So I have some choices to make. (Probably should have made them before ordering.)

  1. Do I cut the blanket to size and sew the edges so nothing falls out?
  2. Do I just put it up and cover as much wall as necessary? And do I really want most of that wall black?
  3. Do I double it up as, and how, required to make it fit?
  4. Is it permanent? Or do I need to take it off occasionally?
  5. Do I want to be able to allow light and air into the room?
  6. How am I going to attach it?

If you are not just going to cover the whole wall with the blanket, I think the optimal choice is to cut it to size and sew it–or convince your wife or mother to sew it. The ideal size is about 4 inches bigger than the window opening in each direction. The blanket should be tight to the wall. (Sound is like water. It will flow through any available gap.) Many of these products come with grommets along one edge for hanging on hooks. It should, or could, hang fairly tight to the wall. But I would use either Velcro, or double sided tape along the sides and bottom to make sure all of the gaps are taken care of. If you do not have a grommeted blanket, you can also use Velcro or tape across the top. (This will make one-person installation a little more difficult.)

Command Large Utility Hooks, 7 Hooks, 12 Strips, Organize Damage-Free

VELCRO Brand 5 Ft x 3/4 In | White Tape Roll with Adhesive | Cut Strips to Length | Sticky Back Hook and Loop Fasteners | Perfect for Home, Office or Classroom

EZlifego Double Sided Tape Heavy Duty(16.5FT/5M)´╝îMultipurpose Wall Tape Adhesive Strips Removable Mounting Tape,Washable Strong Sticky Transparent Tape Gel Poster Carpet Tape for Paste Items,Household

Folding the blanket to get it to the size you want will give you more mass over the window and better soundproofing. But the chances of just being able to fold it in half, or ever quarters to achieve the perfect fit are probably slim to none. If aesthetics are not high on your list of needs, you can hang it over the window opening and just fold it up out of the way and safety pin it to itself. 

Otylzto 22PCS 3Inch Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Safety Pins for Blankets,No Rust

Also, if aesthetics and wall damage are not as important as ‘getting it up’, nails are quick. Or drywall anchors with washers. This should be so low on your list of options that I do not need to add any more. Other than to say that if you want to completely remove it occasionally, nails and/or screws will not be your friends. (Note: Get the type of wall anchors that can be removed. Some of those spreading anchors (although they work very well) cannot be removed without leaving a hole the size of a mandarin orange.)

Ansoon Zinc Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors with Screws Kit, 50 Pieces All Together

The most efficient method of allowing access to the window for light and ventilation is to add grommets to the bottom; with Velcro or tape on the sides only. If you buy a grommet kit, you can install as many grommets into the blanket wherever, and whenever, you need them. (Note: I would spend the extra money on the one-step punch type. The cheaper kits seem to require too many hands. And the ability to use a hammer effectively.) Once you have the grommets along the bottom of the blanket, it is quite simple to raise it and hook the bottom grommets onto the hooks giving you light from half the window; and access for opening and closing.

LACUISINE Grommet Hand Press Kit Handheld Hole Punch Pliers Portable Grommet Machine Tool Manual Puncher w/ 500pcs Silver Grommets of 3/8 Inch (10mm)

 

3 Purpose-Made Soundproofing Blankets

1) Audimute Absorption Sheets

  • Manufactured by Audimute Soundproofing. These are one of the best all around choices for soundproofing blankets. The company was started by a drummer frustrated at not being able to find proper acoustic material.
  • Long, but a little narrow (54″ x 95″) weighs over 10 pounds
  • Not machine washable
  • Recycled cotton and cellulose filling
  • Six colors – bone, steel, snow, black, green screen, navy blue
  • Three grommets at top, and three grommets at bottom (54″ sides)

Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet - Sound Dampening Blanket - Soundproofing Sheet (Bone)

 

2) AudioSeal Combination Sound Blanket

  • Manufactured by Acoustical Solutions
  • Long, but a little narrow (48″ x 96″) Custom lengths available. Can be overlapped for widths greater than 48″. (Use Velcro to seal overlaps.)
  • Not machine washable
  • Vinyl coated fiberglass cloth exterior, fiberglass filling
  • Four colors – black, grey, off-white, tan
  • Grommets at top (48″ width), Velcro seals available for the sides
  • NRC rating of 0.75

AudioSeal® Combination Blanket ABSC-25 Window Panel

3) Producer’s Choice Acoustic Sound Absorption Blankets

  • Manufactured by Movers Supplies
  • Large acoustical blanket (80″ x 80″) with custom sizes available
  • Not machine washable
  • Pure cotton filler
  • Black on both sides or black one side/white one side
  • Grommets available
  • NRC rating of 0.80 if installed flat. NRC rating of 0.95 if installed pleated.

4) Acoustical Shutters

Manufactured by Acoustical Shutters. These are not a blanket. Although they also cover , and soundproof your window. They just happen to be one of my favorite soundproofing products. Very effective. Custom made. Choices of style and color. Easy to open and close to allow access to the window for light and air. A permanent solution.

Bi-Fold Shutters Open

 

Final Thoughts

I have used NRC ratings for some of the products suggested; so I am providing a little more information about what it means.

Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)

NRC measures how well materials stop sound from reflecting back into the room, and/or how much sound they absorb. It has a range of 0.0 – 1.0. For example an NRC rating of 0.4 means that the material absorbs 40% of the sound waves hitting it. It is not a perfect scale because some product ratings can be higher than  For more information on Noise Reduction Coefficient, please check out this article written in language even I can understand.

 

Short Personal Rant

In the world of windows (the type with glass) and doors, where I have spent most of my life–measurements are always expressed as width first, height second. Having checked out the measurements of soundproof blankets, I know there is no consistency in the way sizes are expressed. Knowing which way the thing is meant to be used (specially those with grommets) affects what, and how, a person orders. Get it together. At least indicate which number is width and which number is height (or length, if you prefer). I know it is only a blanket, and can usually be turned around, but it is still annoying to get a product you have to modify because the seller does not provide information the same way every time.

 


Terry Schutz

I have worked as a contractor, sales person, and business owner in the construction industry for over three decades--mostly in home renovations and also as a home builder. I have been married to the same wife for 46 years. We have 3 children and 4 granddaughters. I have also been writing semi-professionally for about 20 years--construction articles, personal stories, and politically incorrect social commentary.


2 thoughts on “Soundproof Blankets for Windows”

  1. Terry,

    I wanted to know what your thoughts were on a hybrid electric water heater – that is very noisy. We have just remodeled and we have put the new water heater in the basement on concrete. We have a bi level home. According to you article- I am not sure what product to purchase. We need to calm that noise down! It reverberates into the upstairs and throughout the basement. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you Michelle

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      I think I would be calling the people who installed it before I did anything that might cause warranty issues. These things are supposed to operate between 45 and 65 decibels. 60 decibels is the sound of normal conversation. If you have a decibel meter you can check the noise it is making.

      Sounds like you have a serious vibration problem that is being amplified throughout the house. Try setting it on anti-vibration pads or an anti-vibration mat (BXI Anti Vibration Pads or Goodhoily Anti Vibration Mat–both available at Amazon). I think that should calm it down quite a bit.

      Before hanging blankets or building soundproof walls, remember that the heater needs at least 1000 cubic feet of air around it to operate properly. That is a room 10′ x 10′ x 10′. If it is in too small a space, it could be making noise trying to operate with an inadequate amount of air.

      Terry

      Reply

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