A common question is how much noise can actually be reduced by soundproof curtains. Before we can answer this however we must look at a term used to rate soundproofing materials like curtains, drywall, and windows. STC or also known as Sound Transmission Class is a rating of how well airborne sound is eliminated by the object in question. In other words, it can approximately tell you how much decibel reduction in noise you will get. We’re going to dive into a bit more detail than we normally would in this post so just be warned it may not make as much sense the first time through.
Quick decibel levels comparison
20dB – Watch Ticking
30dB – Whisper
60dB – Normal Conversation
70dB – Busy Street
90dB – Lawn mower
Drywall, windows, and noises
While in your house a typical layer of drywall with no insulation you’re looking around an STC of 30. This is also known as a paper thin walls because a person on the other side of the wall can hear you talking. So take a normal conversation decibel level of 60dB minus STC of 30 which you’re left with 30dB. Note that different frequencies can affect how much noise is actually reduced. As for windows a single-pane glass window will have an STC of between 20-25 which is doesn’t provide as much sound reduction as one would hope.
The top of the line industrial strength soundproof curtains can have a STC rating of up to 35. Unless you’re looking to really stop the noise and spend the money you unfortunately will have to settle for living room curtains which won’t provide as great of an STC rating. A really good set of curtains will probably have a STC rating of up to 15 while you’re most likely going to get between 5-10. Now this may not seem a lot at first but your perception of increases or decreases in decibel levels can weigh in on how much noise is actually being reduced. Plus of course the more layers of noise reduction materials you setup between you and the problem the decibel levels can only go down.
Looking at a quick example of a noisy street, having 70dB can be reduced on average by 20 by a window and then again by 10 by curtains. You’ve reduced the noise down to almost a whisper which is more enjoyable to sleep to though you can reduce it even more with foam, double-pane windows, and an additional set of curtains.
Decor Innovation loves making curtains and it shows in the set we are reviewing today. These are specifically made to help reduce noise and cooling costs and look to be a great buy for anyone looking to get a nice set of curtains.
Here are the benefits and features these curtains bring:
- Blackout – 99% Blackout to allow you to control how much or how little light you want any time of the day. No problems at all of light sneaking its way through on even the brightest day.
- Well priced – Currently with shipping you’re looking to be spending a decent bit for the entire set but its not too bad. It’s a set and not a panel so no worries about needing to spend an additional amount for another panel.
- High quality – The quality in these curtains really show and when they said Hotel quality curtains they weren’t kidding.
- Insulating – Specifically made to help insulate from heat and cold helping you reduce heating and cooling costs. You will make some of your investment back with these curtains.
- Noise reduction – Does reduce noise by at least 30%!
- 4 lovely elegant looking colors to choose from: Navy, Gold, Burgundy, and Beige. There are also other similar variations to this set that have several more colors to choose from too.
- Machine washable! In cold water of course.
Overall these are a wonderful set of curtains if you want to keep the light out any time of the day. With the specific design to help insulate you can keep the room at comfortable temperatures. An additional and most important benefit in my mind is the noise reduction. These will help quiet down busy areas and make sleep time far more enjoyable! Also almost forgot to include that these curtains look amazing and really standout well.
While you can buy these currently at Decor Innovation’s own site you get to save at least 5 dollars by buying through Amazon.
Amazon: Energy Saving Insulated Blackout Curtain Set by Decor Innovation
In this review we are going over a Beacon Looms set of curtains. These curtains aren’t specifically made to block out noise but still helps out a little bit. So if you are looking to keep the room a little bit quieter and darker these are the curtains for you.
Lets review the benefits and features these curtains bring:
- Blackout – While stated as blackout, these do let some light in during the day but not too bad.
- Decent priced – The price per panel doesn’t go above the typical price of curtains even with shipping. Some variations sell for what would be classified as cheap but the most wanted colors will set you around a standard curtain price before shipping.
- High durability – With the curtains being 100% polyester these should last you a while.
- Insulating – These are specific thermal curtains to help insulate against the hot summers and cold winters.
- Light weight – Two panels will be easily supported under a 3/4th-inch diameter rod set.
- Noise reduction – While stated to reduce noise it would be recommended for a fairly quiet street.
- Extra wide – Comparable to a lot of other curtain panels these are wider and cover a bigger distance.
- 7 Various colors to choose from!
The not so good features:
- NOT Machine washable – Will need to be dry cleaned.
Overall these are a good set of curtains if you’re looking to help keep the light out and room at comfortable temperatures. These are a solid quality set of curtains but not close to soundproof curtains. So if you are looking for noise reduction while on a busy street you will need to pair up with another set.
You can buy them straight from amazon and is even eligible for free shipping for Amazon Prime members!
These are panels so you will need to buy two if covering a larger window.
Amazon: Beacon Looms Austin 56-inch-by-84-inch Single Blackout Panel
Here we are reviewing an Eclipse set of curtains that are highly recommended everywhere. While it’s not close to the thickest set of curtains you can find on the market they significantly help reduce noise. Eclipse themselves say the curtains block out 40% of noise which means a much better sleep. If you live on a busy street these will make your room a lot quieter at night. If you are looking for something that keeps it really quiet you may wish to search for another set of curtains.
Lets look at the benefits and features these curtains bring:
- Blackout – Since these are 99% blackout panels, you get that sleep at night without worrying about the moonlight keeping you up.
- Cheap – The price per panel is normal for curtains of this style even with shipping. Some variations sell for quite cheap without losing quality so a good deal.
- High durability – With the curtains being 100% polyester these should easily last you a while.
- Energy saving – These curtains help keep the cool air out reducing heating costs.
- High quality – Eclipse really knows curtains and it’s seen with these set of curtains.
- Light weight – Two panels will be easily supported under a 3/4th-inch diameter rod set.
- Noise reduction – Eclipse made the effort in making sure these really help reduce noise coming in.
- Machine washable!
- 3 Lovely colors Black, Chocolate, and Gold!
Overall these are a nice set of curtains if you’re looking to help block out some noise and have a better night sleep. Even if you decide you don’t like them after purchase their decent low price won’t make you feel you have burned a hole in your wallet. However you won’t regret purchasing these!
You can buy them straight from amazon and is even eligible for free shipping with Amazon Prime members!
Remember you are only purchasing one panel so make sure to get a second one if covering a bigger window.
Amazon: Eclipse Suede 40-Inch by 84-Inch Thermaback Blackout Panel
The number one mistake in curtain selection is based on price. Just because it’s high priced or says it has good quality doesn’t really mean much. Getting a really pricey set of curtains that look nice may end up to be almost as thin as a piece of paper. This doesn’t block out any sound what so ever and now you may have a several hundred dollar set of curtains that might as well be taken down the second you put them up if you actually wish to block out some noise. Not to also mention that thin curtains usually don’t block out any sun or moonlight which if they did could lower your heating and cooling costs.
Here are some quick general tips on what to avoid if you are looking for curtains to help keep the noise low:
- One type of material to avoid and while it maybe obvious is silk. Most of the time anything that deals with silk is going to be very light and not what you are looking for even though silk curtains do look nice.
- Any kind of curtain or drape that doesn’t block out the entire window. You will want at least 4 to 6 inches below the window sill covered.
- Watch out for curtains that have huge openings near the curtain rod. Some of these can be ignored if the curtain rod is placed high enough or covered with a valance, however a curtain that has no holes lets in a lot less sound.
- Curtains that allow sunlight through them even if a little bit. If light is able to get through that means sound easily can too which is why blackout curtains work so well.
- The word thin.
Just remember when you are making a selection to think about how can the sound get in and where the sound is coming from. If there is a hole anywhere the sound will find its way through.