The Best Sound Deadening Materials for Car or Van

Not being able to hear your favorite hip-hop music due to the agitating engine noise can be a massive turn-off. Whether you are a regular commuter or the adventurous type that loves hitting the road every few weeks, everyone deserves quiet and peaceful rides. 

If you always see yourself battling with wind turbulence and penetrating engine noises just to enjoy a stress-free driving experience, automotive sound-deadening materials are your only way forward. 

This special insulation makes your car’s cabin soundproof to external road noise, eliminating all noisy distractions. Put an end to your driving frustrations with the best sound-deadening materials for your car or RV. 

The best sound-deadening materials for a car or van include; Kilmat sound-deadening sheets, anti-rattle Siless liner, and Dynamat noise-deadener. If you are on a budget, you can apply mass-loaded vinyl sheets as a DIY sound-deadening material for cars. Attach Uxcell heat-resistant pads for the best heat and sound insulation for cars.

Sound Deadening Material – What It Means for a Car?

As the name suggests, sound-deadening materials absorb or dampen incoming sound waves transmitted through a structure. Unlike sound blockers that impede noise transmission, these materials soften the sound within a space through absorption. 

Sound-deadening materials act as a barrier that filters high-frequency sound waves as they pass through, limiting loud noises to silent hums. They use synthetic rubber sheets that are flexible enough to dampen noise. Some versions also feature an aluminum coating that provides thermal insulation. 

Although sound deadening insulation was initially meant to soundproof homes and workspaces, the increase in noise-related accidents has made it a viable and necessary component of automobiles as well.

In terms of cars or RV trucks, sound-deadening materials serve an all-round purpose. While they keep the car’s interior soundproof from outside noise, insulation mats also help mitigate the rattling parts, acting as sound blockers and absorbers simultaneously. 

Types of Sound Deadening Insulation

Not all sound-deadening materials offer the same soundproofing effects. While some are designed to muffle the rattling components, others are better suited to buffer sound waves as they pass through the barrier. Read on to figure out what might work best in soundproofing your vehicle and what each type of sound-deadening insulation actually offers. 

Sound Deadening Mats

Sound-deadening car mats are perhaps the most popular and effective way to insulate a car from external noise. They are made from synthetic rubber or vinyl with a self-adhesive layer on one side, supporting hassle-free installation on the hood or the floor. 

The high-density flexible rubber carries sound and vibration-dampening properties that suppress any noise entering the cabin. Some sound-deadening mats are backed with an aluminum foil layer that provides thermal insulation by retaining the internal temperature.

Woven Fiber or Foam Insulation

While foam is mainly polystyrene or polyurethane, woven fiber use intertwined natural and synthetic fibers, creating an effective acoustic material. The polystyrene foam is great at dampening vibrations from the wheelbase, offering a seamless ride.

This insulation is stuffed underneath the carpets and floor mats, serving as an effective sound blocker. Woven fibers and foam insulation usually go hand-in-hand with sound-deadening vinyl mats to maximize car soundproofing. 

Noise Blocking Sprays

Noise can leak in from everywhere. While sound-deadening mats and woven fibers clad up the car hood and the floor, they can’t cover the nooks and crannies as effectively, and that’s where noise-blocking sprays come in. 

Sound-deadening sprays use a liquified soundproofing formula that turns into a solid polyurethane foam upon drying. Since they come in spray guns and pressurized cans, noise-blocking sprays are easier to apply in tight spots. The self-adhesion keeps it adhered to any structure as soon as it dries off.  

Given the high costs and combustible properties of noise-blocking sprays, most people prefer the traditional route with sound-deadening mats. This article mainly focuses on vinyl mats, pads, and fabrics that are more user-friendly and safe. 

The Best Sound Deadening Materials for Car or Van

Unless you drive a luxury S-class sedan, the rattling engine and turbulence from the wheelbase will always be a hassle. Road noise is a prevalent issue in most cars when driving on highways, and RV trucks are no different. Besides, if you are building an RV camper truck, you’ll need to revamp the entire insulation from scratch.  

With the overwhelming range of automotive sound-deadening materials on the market, finding ones that offer effective insulation takes time and effort. Before you make a risky purchase, here are the six best sound-deadening materials you can buy for your car or RV. 

Kilmat Sound Deadening Sheets 

Despite their affordable price, Kilmat sound-deadening mats line up alongside famous car insulation brands like Dynamat and Fatmat. The Kilmat pads are relatively thin, but the high density makes them easier to cut through and carve into shapes during installation. 

The flexible butyl does not form sharp edges or emit foul smells when cut. Unlike other insulation materials, these sound-deadening mats – with 80 mils thickness, seamlessly align with the uneven surface of the car floor and doors. While the added density muffles vibrations from the wheels and engine, Kilmat pads don’t exhibit the same results when it comes to noise.

Since their price is minimal, most car owners use Kilmat pads in combination with other sound-deadening materials to achieve better soundproofing. 

Dynamat Noise Deadener 

You don’t have to be a car soundproofing expert to be familiar with Dynamat sound-deadening pads because they are just that popular. This dual-layer noise deadener features an aluminum front with a butyl backing, keeping your vehicle soundproof, vibration-free, and thermally insulated.

The noise deadener comes with a self-adhesive backing, allowing easy installation on different surfaces. Since the butyl layer has high heat resistance, you don’t have to worry even if your car is parked in the sun. Dynamat doesn’t feature any one-size-fits-all. In fact, you can find specially crafted soundproofing pads for the trunk, cabin, and deck floor. 

If you think the thin sheet doesn’t cut it when it comes to dampening the engine rattle or buffering the road noise, the Dynamat Xtreme would be an even bigger surprise. Despite being only 67 mils thick, the Dynamat Xtreme is lightweight and provides four times better soundproofing than the original version. 

Anti-Rattle Siless Liner 

Unlike other DIY projects, making your vehicle soundproof and vibration-free can be expensive, mainly due to the high prices of sound-deadening materials. If you are looking to skimp with automotive sound-deadening materials, the Siless anti-rattle liners could be the cheapest option available. 

Apart from being 80 mils thick, the anti-vibration liners can buffer an area of 36 square feet. The advanced Vibro damping material that functions just like a closed-cell polyethylene foam, makes them a viable product for cars and RVs. 

The thin pliable material is easier to stuff into metal ridges and tight corners without making frequent cuts. With the self-adhesive backing, peel and place the liner on the dedicated spot. 

Mass Loaded Vinyl MLV

While mass-loaded vinyl is primarily geared toward home renovation projects, many car owners have found it effective in buffering vehicle road noise. If you are working on a DIY campervan conversion project, infusing MLV sheets beneath the floor might be an efficient way to make the interior cabin soundproof. 

Like butyl sound-deadening pads, mass-loaded vinyl sheets feature high-density padding that is generally a few mm thin. Thanks to the flexible texture, vinyl sheets can absorb vibrations and sound waves that travel through the vehicle’s floor thanks to the flexible texture. 

Although you can maximize the sound-deadening effect by infusing MLV sheets layer-by-layer for more mass, the added weight can disturb the vehicle’s performance. Make sure you infuse the padding appropriately or combine it with noise-blocking mats. 

Thermo-Tec Sound Suppressor

When it comes to protecting the vehicle from forceful vibrations and external temperature, you might not find a better fit than Thermo-Tec sound suppressors. These noise-dampening pads are explicitly designed for car floor and trunk, but you can also infuse them inside rattling doors. 

This peculiar sound suppressor works like a bumper sticker; simply peel off the back and stick it down to any surface you want. 

With effective cooling and quieting effects, the Thermo-Tec sound deadener has become quite popular in RVs and long-haul trucks that are renovated into camping homes. Although it’s fire-proof, it cannot handle high temperatures and might start to melt off. Therefore, don’t install them too close to the engine. 

Uxcell Heat Insulation Pads

Whether you want to insulate the basement to set up a cozy bedroom, keep the heat in the attic, or buffer the engine noise, Uxcell heat insulation pads are a one-stop-shop solution. These insulation pads use fiberglass sheets that block out the exhaust fumes or heat radiations from the engine from reaching the car’s cabin. 

But when it comes to blocking or absorbing the noise, Uxcell heat insulation pads can only do so much. Unlike other sound-deadening pads, these fiberglass sheets can only cut out quieter noises due to spacy pores. The lack of density and thickness allows high-intensity soundwaves to smuggle through. To ensure quality soundproofing, prefer using them alongside other noise-deadeners. 

Buying Automotive Sound Deadening Pads – What to Keep In Mind?

While we have laid out the best automotive sound-deadening materials to insulate a car or van, you are free to try your luck with other noise dampeners. But before you go out shopping, make sure the materials you purchase, constitute the following properties:

Prioritize Thickness and Density 

Thickness and density are two decisive factors that indicate the effectiveness of car sound-deadening materials. The thicker and denser a noise-dampening material is, the more efficient it is in insulating an interior space from external noise and temperature. 

Thickness is measured in thousandths of an inch, with the most high-quality sound-deadening pads ranging between 60 and 80 mils. These synthetic sheets are usually denser as well. If you are applying noise-dampening pads layer-by-layer to increase thickness, keep the density in check, so it doesn’t undermine the vehicle’s performance. 

The More Sheets, The Better

The rule is simple; the higher the density of a material, the more difficult it is for sound and heat waves to transmit through. That said, infusing more sheets on the car floor and doors will eventually improve the sound and thermal insulation. 

The high-end sound-deadening sheets already exhibit high-density ratios, offering ample soundproofing as a single layer, but they are costly. Since average automotive insulation sheets are thin, you can clad them on the surface in layers of 5s and 10s. But refrain from overstuffing, or you might tire out the engine.

Base Material Matters

The type of material used to make sound-deadening mats determines the level of soundproofing and thermal insulation. Most automotive soundproofing mats use butyl, mass-loaded vinyl, or woven fabric. 

While the sound-dampening capabilities of the materials are more or less the same, their heat resistance varies. Spray deadeners, on the other hand, use ceramic or rubber-based insulators that function well when applied away from the engine. 

Ensure Safety With High-Temperature Rating

While some sound-deadening materials have built-in thermal insulation allowing them to function as heat shields, most can’t survive high temperatures. Such sound dampeners have a risk of melting or fusing when placed too close to the engine or under direct sunlight. 

Even if the synthetic rubber bears off the high temperature, the adhesive might start running off, emitting a burning smell. So, if you live in a region with a warm climate or want to deaden the engine’s noise, buy materials with a higher temperature rating. 

People Also Asked

We discussed different sound-deadening materials in the above paragraphs. But before we conclude, here are the answers to a few common questions:

How much does automotive sound-deadening material cost?

The most effective automotive sound-deadening materials cost between $100 – $150 for the entire car. But if you are renovating a camper van, be prepared to spend up to $400.

Are sound-deadening materials necessary for cars?

If you are dealing with a rattling engine or extreme road noise, especially when driving on a highway, your car probably needs sound-deadening materials. They also help keep vibrations to a minimum and insulate the external temperature. 

What is the correct way to deaden the noise from a car hood?

Apply the sound-deadening material’s base layer on the hood’s internal lining and top it off with hood padding to make it soundproof.