For some, hanging blankets on the walls or windows of your room might be a silly idea. But the fact is, soundproof/moving blankets can greatly influence the sound quality in a room.
Moving blankets can block about 30% to 45% of noise coming in or going out of a room. They are inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to install. They’re definitely good at reducing noise reflections, reverberations, and echoes due to their absorptive surface. So, they can act as a cheap alternative to sound-absorbing panels.
The best thing about soundproofing with moving blankets is that you can always layer it up and increase its sound-absorbing potential. A single, lightweight layer of moving blankets will cancel basic noise out, and a heavy-duty moving blanket on top of that can cut almost 88% of the incoming noise.
What Are Moving Blankets?
Before we move on to how moving blankets block noise or can they even do so, we must discuss a basic definition first.
Moving blankets are basically made to be wrapped around fragile objects. They’re also called moving pads or furniture pads. You can use them to wrap furniture items when moving them to save them from damage.
They have layers of dense material that can trap air and noise inside them. They include polyester, woven cotton, mineral wool, vinyl, or fiberglass. These blankets mainly just block the air that tries to pass through the fibers. And since air is one of the mediums through which sound energy travels, moving blankets block their transmission.
Moving blankets are quilted or weaved to add more texture that can trap sound waves. The synthetic materials inside are more effective for low-frequency sound waves as compared to high-frequency waves. But if you layer them up, you can still block a good amount of high-frequency sounds as well.
Do Moving Blankets Block Or Absorb Sound?
Sound blocking and sound absorption are two completely different phenomena. The former means entirely restricting the entrance of sound waves inside a room and the latter refers to letting some sound waves pass through while absorbing the others.
Sound absorption is aimed at improving the acoustics of a room by eliminating or absorbing echoes and reflected waves from the room. On the other hand, soundproofing means blocking all the entry points for sound waves.
Now since moving blankets are made of materials that can trap air and prevent their transmission, they can be great at sound blocking. However, in reality, it’s not quite practical to completely block sound with just a blanket as it’s not stuck or clung to the wall. Air somehow manages to pass in or out from the small gaps or space around it.
Moving blankets have a lot of mass and density. The thicker and heavier your blanket is, the better it will be at soundproofing. Moving blankets have a porous and soft structure on one side that works to capture sound waves and direct them to the fibers at the core.
Simply put, moving blankets can work both as a sound-absorbing as well as a soundproofing solution.
The main principle behind the working of both is sound absorption. A single moving blanket will only absorb reflections and echoes from the room. If you add more layers (mass) and increase its thickness and density, it will trap more air inside and block noise from entering or escaping.
Hence, a moving blanket is a versatile product that can be used for both sound absorption and soundproofing.
Features Of A Good Moving Blanket For Soundproofing
There are certain criteria and some things to consider when buying a moving blanket. Some key features to look for in moving blankets are:
Density, Thickness, And Weight
The amount and type of material stuffed into the blanket affect these three factors. Extra fibers in materials like fiber wool, mineral wool, or Rockwool make great cores for absorbing sound.
Grommets help the blanket hang on a wall or a rod. You can get tough iron grommets that will bear the blanket’s heavyweight.
Make sure that the blanket you get has a lot of fiber-y texture on the side facing your room. Moving blankets for soundproofing work due to the ups and downs created from quilts or fibers of different lengths.
The size of your moving blanket should be bigger than your space and shouldn’t leave any space around or below it for air to pass through. You can also hang them like curtains with tons of folds to trap more air.
In conclusion, soundproofing with moving blankets is a great idea. It is one of the cheapest ways of soundproofing space.
Moving blankets have absorptive surfaces and despite what they’re originally made for, you can use them to control noise in your room. Get the thickest and heaviest one you can find and improve both, sound and insulation.