Tell me, does it sound like you?
- You struggle with noise in the apartment. You practically have no quality of life because of it.
- You have no budget to hire someone to soundproof your room professionally.
- Someone told you that you could soundproof with moving blankets. You’re wondering whether it’s true.
If so, then you’re in the right place.
In this article, you’ll discover whether it is possible to soundproof a room with moving blankets, when to use them, and how.
What exactly are moving blankets?
Moving blankets (also called furniture pads or moving pads) are a special kind of blanket made to be wrapped around fragile items and provide an extra layer of support as you move them from one place to another.
Their sole purpose is to protect whatever item you wrapped with them and ensure that it gets to its new destination not only in one piece but without any scratches or other damages.
That’s why moving blankets are so thick and heavy. They need to be to protect what you’ve put inside them.
That’s also why, unlike traditional blankets, moving blankets are not made just with cotton. They either use polyester fiber or a combination of polyester and cotton (or other non-synthetic fabrics.)
(This is your first hint about whether moving blankets are good for soundproofing, by the way. )
You see, polyester fiber has a strong high tensile strength. That’s good because it means that it can serve as an excellent sound-absorbing material.
Unfortunately, there is also a “but…”
I’ll explain while answering the main question.
Could you use moving blankets for soundproofing?
The short answer is yes, technically, you could.
That said, the results would, most likely, not be what you’d expect.
Let me explain.
Soundproof blankets (or moving blankets) have certain sound-absorbing qualities. So, they can dampen the sound, deaden it, or even absorb some of it and reduce its volume or energy.
However, that’s mainly true when you’re trying to improve the acoustics of the room.
(That’s the “but…” we’ve talked about earlier.)
And so, if your goal is to cancel noise in a room, then no, moving blankets wouldn’t provide sufficient noise canceling.
To soundproof, these blankets would have to either absorb sound waves as they try to pass them or block their travel completely.
Unfortunately, moving blankets do not have such qualities.
What moving blankets help with is reducing noise reflection, sound reverberations, and echo through sound absorption.
In short, they work very much like acoustic blankets or acoustic foam panels and help improve the acoustics in a room.
Because of that, they are a perfect solution if you want to deaden or dampen the sound in a room, a home recording studio, a podcast room, etc. Or if you want to reduce the reverb and echo in your music listening room and finally hear the sound clearly but have no budget for professional soundproofing panels.
In those cases, you could just hang your moving blankets on the walls and soundproof the room in the process.
(Later in this guide, I’ll show you other ways to improve acoustics in a room with moving blankets.)
Why, then, everyone says that you could soundproof a room with moving blankets?
The reason is that those blankets look and feel as if they had soundproofing qualities.
For one, moving blankets are thick and heavy. That’s why we use them to protect furniture and other items when moving them from one place to another.
But their weight and thickness also make moving blankets feel as if they were able to block sound.
Granted, moving blankets can absorb some of the sound waves. Because of that, they can reduce the amount of noise in a room. As you’ll shortly see, you can use them in a room to prevent some of the noise from coming in.
But they aren’t able to block the sound completely.
When to use moving blankets for soundproofing, then?
In spite of all that we’ve discussed above, there are several situations where moving blankets could help or assist your soundproofing efforts.
#1. Block outside noise coming through the window
It’s an unfortunate fact that when it comes to soundproofing, windows are often the weakest point. They provide only a thin barrier between your room and the outside world, yet they often take a large portion of the wall. And that means plenty of space for the outside noise to get in.
One of the simplest ways to soundproof a window is by hanging a sound-absorbing material in front of it. Its purpose is to deflect any outside noise that’s trying to disturb your peace.
Typically, we use acoustic or soundproofing curtains for that. However, if you’re on a budget, you can also use moving blankets to soundproof the window this way.
(Moving blankets can help deflect the sounds coming through the window from the outside.)
#2. Soundproof doors
Doors offer weak resistance to sound. After all, most doors in the house are either hollow inside or have large gaps between them and the door frame. And that’s plenty of opportunity for the noise to either come in or leave the room.
So, another way you could use moving blankets for soundproofing is by covering the door when you need it.
This, naturally, wouldn’t be an ideal permanent solution.
But when you’re studying or need that quiet time for yourself and need to temporarily block the noise from coming into your room, then hanging moving blankets on the doors might just provide you with that.
(Moving blankets can increase the soundproofing of your doors and reduce the noise disturbing you.)
#3. Spread them on noisy wooden floors to minimize sound transmission
Then, there’s the issue of noisy floors upstairs. Particularly if you’re living in a house and sometimes want to sit in quiet downstairs while others rumble about in the room upstairs.
You can hear their footsteps. You can hear kids playing with their toys on the floor, etc.
Laying out a solid, thick carpet would solve the problem, of course. But a.) you may not want to have carpets upstairs or b.) you can’t afford them right now.
This is another situation where covering a noisy area with a moving blanket would provide a solution.
Remember, moving blankets are thick and heavy. They will absorb a lot of the impact noise, helping to soundproof the floor.
What about using moving blankets to soundproof a ceiling, then?
This is another thing you may have heard about moving blankets – That hanging them on the ceiling will help soundproof it.
Now, although I have never tried this method, I don’t think that using moving blankets on the ceiling would make any difference.
First of all, you know already that moving blankets do not offer much resistance to sound coming in through the wall. The same would be true for ceilings.
And looking at it from the room acoustics point of view, if you’ve already covered walls with moving blankets or acoustic panels, then there really is no need to treat the ceiling in the same way. Your wall treatment will reduce much of the sound reverberations anyway.
What to look for when selecting a moving blanket for soundproofing?
You already know that moving blankets wouldn’t be able to block much sound from coming in through a wall. But you also know that you could use them to
- reduce the amount of outside noise coming in through windows or doors,
- Deaden the noisy floor upstairs, and
- Reduce sound reverberations and improve the room’s acoustics.
So, to close this guide, let me share with you a list of qualities you should consider when selecting a moving blanket for these objectives above.
Density and thickness
From the soundproofing point of view, the thicker and denser the moving blanket is, the greater its sound-absorbing capacity. Also, if you can find moving blankets made not only with polyester fiber but also containing fiber wool, mineral wool, or Rockwool, then these materials would only add to the blanket’s soundproofing capacity.
Similarly, the best moving blankets for soundproofing are those that have a very fiber-y texture on the side that’s going to be facing the source of the sound.
Naturally, the bigger the blanket, the greater area of the wall it will cover. Ideally, it should be bigger than the space you’re covering so that there is no space around it for the sound to come through.
To wrap it up…
(No pun intended, by the way)
- Moving blankets are thick and heavy polyester or polyester/cotton-based blankets used to protect items and furniture as you move them from one place to another.
- Although moving blankets look and feel like solid soundproofing materials, their ability to block sound from coming in is limited. In most cases, they wouldn’t prevent you from hearing neighbors through the wall, for example.
- However, these blankets offer great sound-absorbing qualities and help improve the acoustics in a room.
- Similarly, because they can absorb sound, you can use them to soundproof windows and doors and reduce the amount of impact noise from the floor upstairs.
And that’s is…
Now you know whether you can use moving blankets for soundproofing, when to use them, and how.
Good luck with your soundproofing projects!