The 9 Best Soundproof Curtains Stifle Noises, Not Style
Choose from our style director’s top picks.
Published Feb 15, 2022 1:00 AM
Depending on where you live and who you share your home with, noise can be a welcome hum or a major distraction. Either way, a respite from all the racket is just what we need to focus, reset, and catch up on work or some much-needed downtime. This is where the best soundproof curtains come into play. These functional accessories help reduce reverb in a room, and unlike blinds or other types of curtains, they’re designed to deaden sounds coming from outside your house or from other areas within your residence. The idea? They’ll give you instant zen without having to arrange travel to a silent retreat.
And not to worry: these hard-working window coverings won’t stifle your aesthetic along with the sound. Domino’s style director Naomi deManana assures us that you can have the best of both worlds: Here is her favorite of, of-the-moment picks.
- Best cotton canvas: Pottery Barn Quincy Noise Reducing Blackout Curtain
- Best white grommet: No. 918 Billie Noise Reducing Curtain
- Best wool felt: Amore Beaute Double Layer Wool Felt Curtains
- Best cotton velvet: CB2 Velvet Copper Curtain
- Best textured linen: Shop Decorator Conner Drapery
- Best pattern for kids: Urban Habitat Cloud Cotton Total Blackout Curtain
- Best linen: West Elm European Flax Linen Curtain with Blackout Lining
- Best brocade: Emdee Mariah Room Darkening Curtain
Best Cotton Canvas: Pottery Barn Quincy Noise Reducing Blackout Curtain
Available Sizes: 44-by-84 inches, 44-by-96 inches | Fabric Type: Cotton canvas | Machine-Washable: No
What we like:
- 2-in-1 curtain top design
- Sustainably sourced
- Blackout lining
- Only available in 44-inch width
- Limited color palette
Why we chose it: Sleek, neutral curtains with versatile hanging options.
Add an element of serenity and sophistication to your space with these neutrally-hued soundproof curtains. The design includes belt loops or clip rings, allowing you to choose the way the fabric drapes. “It’s a nice, simple fair trade cotton that’s lined, which gives it a crisp clean look that can work well in a bright, airy space, but will still reduce some of the sounds,” says deManana.
Choose from a simple lineup that includes all solid neutrals: blush, navy, gray, and white. The sizes only come in one width (44 inches), so consider purchasing additional panels to ensure ample coverage and to help block out as much external noise as possible.
Best White Grommet: No. 918 Billie Noise Reducing Curtain
Available Sizes: 99.6-by-84 inches, 99.6-by-96 inches, 120-by-96 inches, 120-by-108 inches, 180-by-96 inches, 180-by-108 inches | Fabric Type: Polyester | Machine-Washable: Yes
What we like:
- Large grommets
- Weighty material
- Earthy, solid colors
- Only wide widths
Why we chose it: We like this well-constructed window covering’s minimalist feel.
Add some soundproofing to a workspace with these sleek curtains, which deManana suggests based on their hefty material and metal grommets. “They’re more of an industrial style curtain with noise reduction that’s suitable for a studio or office,” she says. Then there’s the earthy, all-solid color palette, which includes charcoal grey, grey, pearl, stone, and white. The combination of noise-reducing curtains and calm, peace-inducing color options? Dreamy workspace setup, for the win!
Based on the size selection, these curtains could also work in rooms with wider windows like the living room, dining room, or bedrooms. Given the weighty fabric, make sure to purchase hardware that’s compatible with the metal grommets, which allows for rods up to 1.5 inches.
Best Wool Felt: Amore Beaute Double Layer Wool Felt Curtains
Available Sizes: Customizable | Fabric Type: Wool Felt | Machine-Washable: No
What we like:
- Wide range of custom options
- Lining contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Price only includes one panel
Why we chose it: There’s a wide range of customizable options made from high-quality wool fabric.
These made-to-order panels can be customized up and down: double-layered wool helps drown out sounds, they come with a matching complimentary tie, and choose from custom color options for the front and reverse sides. “These are perfect for a cozy, warm space,” deManana says. “They could fit in well with any hygge style decor.” Choose from multiple curtain heading styles, including a hook tape back, single pleat, wool tab, leather tab, or eyelet. The price only includes a single panel, but we love that there are a lot of opportunities to experiment with the customizable features to create a curtain with plenty of personalities. For instance, go for a subtle-colored outer layer then add a pop of color to the lining in Fuschia, red, or emerald green.
Best Cotton Velvet: CB2 Velvet Copper Curtain
Available Sizes: 48-by-84 inches, 48-by-96 inches, 48-by-108 inches, 48-by-120 inches | Fabric Type: Cotton | Machine-Washable: No
What we like:
- Two hanging options
- Bold color palette
- 100-percent cotton
- Dry-clean only
Why we chose it: These richly-hued panels have a luxurious feel.
Elegance, texture, and yes, soundproofing, are the standout qualities of these chic window treatments. “If you’re someone with an upscale aesthetic who wants soundproofing curtains,” says deManana, then these panels are ideal. Choose from two hanging options: Either slide the rod through the back tab for a look that conceals the hardware or uses curtain rings with clips. The rod and clips are sold separately, just add them to your order for that finishing touch.
If you plan on frequently opening these eye-catching curtains, bear in mind that hanging them through the back tab makes the movement more difficult. And send them to the dry-cleaners once or twice a year so they retain their gorgeous color, pleats, and overall quality.
Best Textured Linen: Shop Decorator Conner Drapery
Available Sizes: 50-by-84 inches, 50-by-96 inches, 50-by-108 inches| Fabric Type: Jacquard Weave | Machine-Washable: Yes
What we like:
- Insulated with triple thermal layers
- Ethically sourced and constructed
- Reasonably priced
- Limited color palette
- Not lined
Why we chose it: A heavy, modern panel provides noise and thermal insulation.
This pick ranks among the best soundproof curtains thanks to its thick, durable fabric. The color options, while limited, consist of stylish, calming neutrals: light blue, gray, and navy blue. “It’s a pretty, neutral texture that’s not going to really change the room,” deManana offers. “They’re suitable for someone who has a minimalist style but still wants curtains that add presence without grabbing too much attention.”
The hand-washable material allows for nice draping and wrinkle reduction, although you can iron it on low heat to smooth things out. The curtains’ thermal insulation also helps to reduce sound. We also love that a portion of the proceeds goes to Habitat for Humanity.
Best Pattern For Kids: Urban Habitat Kids Cloud Cotton Total Blackout Curtain
Available Sizes: 50-by-63 inches, 50-by-84 inches | Fabric Type: Cotton | Machine-Washable: Yes
What we like:
- Easy-to-maintain fabric
- Heavyweight liner
- Colorful palette
- Only available in one color
Why we chose it: A vivid pattern adds a dose of whimsy to these functional panels.
These curtains may keep a room quiet, but their playful, geometric pattern will speak to any fun and free-spirited child. Outfitted with a sturdy three-layer total blackout liner that efficiently prevents noise intrusion, these cheerful window treatments also offer light-blocking and privacy.
While there’s only one color scheme to choose from, the design features splashes of pink, blue, gray, and red. You’ll need a pair of panels to get full coverage on a single window, but their sound-minimizing capabilities make this choice a hard one to pass up. Also, don’t worry about the kids having too much fun with these curtains (can you blame them?): you can easily toss this cotton covering in the wash.
Available Sizes: Customizable | Fabric Type: European flax | Machine-Washable: No
What we like:
- A number of sizing options
- 2-in-1 top style
- Sewn-in liner
- Limited color palette
Why we chose it: Custom sizing is a cinch with this pure linen choice.
If natural fabric follows soundproof on your list of curtain design priorities, this simple yet stylish West Elm offering fits the bill. Made of 100-percent European flax linen with a sewn-in, polyester blackout lining, each panel features a dual top design, allowing you to either hang curtains with the hidden tab or use the 4.25-inch pole pockets (but hardware is sold separately). The solid, versatile neutral is complemented with a light textural element, which deManana loves. “Flax always gives you that sort of organic, unbleached look,” she adds. We especially appreciate the broad range of sizing that’s on offer: This particular pick comes with 27 width options and 157 length options. But no tossing in the washer at home: You’ll want to professionally clean these beauties.
Best Brocade: Emdee Mariah Room Darkening Curtain
Available Sizes: 50-by-96 inches, 50-by-108 inches, 50-by-118 inches | Fabric Type: Polyester | Machine-Washable: No
What we like:
- Eye-catching abstract pattern
- Cotton liner included
- Good colors
- Dry-clean only
- Only three sizes available
- Only one hanging option
Why we chose it: A jewel-toned panel that sufficiently blocks sound.
It’d be really tempting to click ‘add to cart’ on these curtains solely based on appearance, but their looks aren’t the only reason to pluck off the proverbial shelf. Each noise-reducing panel comes fully lined with off-white cotton, eliminating the need to make a separate purchase or try to add the liner yourself. If you’re flexible about header styles and prefer to have your hardware mostly concealed, then you won’t mind that this pick only comes with one available hanging option: a 3-inch rod pocket. And while the recommended cleaning method is dry-cleaned only, you can still iron these curtains (just be careful with the heat settings). deManana suggests them for the “maximalist who wants a luxurious feeling,” and we couldn’t agree more. The distinctive design comes in five dazzling shades named for precious stones.
How We Chose These Products
We expect a lot from soundproof curtains (silencing, decorating—we want it all), and according to deManana, you can have it all: both silencing and decorating. For these choices, we zeroed in on bulkier fabrics, which tend to be the best sound-proofers. In some instances, we prioritized style in the form of lighter materials which would require you to add some layers to achieve extra sound-blocking. All in all, deManana’s expert picks cover a lot of ground, from fabric quality and customization options to various styles, sizing, multiple price ranges, and obviously, noise-reducing capabilities.
Our Shopping Checklist
Materials & Design
Heavier fabrics are naturally more efficient at sound-proofing a room. Focus on fabrics like velvet, wool, suede, or even thicker weave cotton with a heavy liner, or materials that come with insulating layers. When it comes to curtain styles, pleated panels weigh more, allowing them to block out more sound.
Additionally, you don’t have to settle for a neutral color if that’s not your aesthetic choice. As deManana’s picks show, soundproof curtains come in a range of shades and standout patterns that can stifle noise while amping up your decor style. Oh, and don’t forget about size! If you can find a curtain that comes in a wide range of sizes or, even better, a retailer that offers custom sizing, go for it. The more wall coverage you get (above, below, and on both sides of the window), the less sound can come through. The best soundproof curtains measure up to three times your window width and hang at least 10 inches long. (You can always have longer panels hemmed if the floor-draping look isn’t your style.)
Care & Maintenance
As with any other curtain type, the amount of care will largely depend on the fabric. deManana suggests looking at the material guidelines before purchasing so you’ll know whether to shop for fabrics like cotton that require minimal care (machine- or hand-washable, with spot-cleaning) or material like wool that’s best maintained by professionals.
Installation & Hardware
Hanging heavier fabrics requires a rod or heavy-duty curtain tracks that can handle the weight. “If you plan on installing multiple layers, there are double- and triple-rods that come with extra bars that allow you to hang each layer separately,” deManana says.
Also, to ensure that you minimize as much noise as possible, consider ceiling-mounted brackets for a high-coverage, floor-to-ceiling installation.
Sound & Privacy
You can expect a decent amount of privacy from soundproof curtains simply because of the way they’re constructed. In addition to being heavy, most come with a thermal backing (made of cotton, polyester, or even vinyl). This enhances the level of visual and aural privacy, deManana notes. “Any soundproof curtain provides visual privacy because they’re all thick,” she says. “The only ones that don’t are sheer, and then you could just add layers to address that issue.”
Q: Can I soundproof regular curtains?
Yes, you can soundproof regular curtains by hand-sewing a liner, purchasing a ready-made one, or even creating an extra layer by doubling up panels. Remember, though, that the quality of the handiwork (yours and the retailer’s) and fabric choice impact the covering’s ability to block out noises. To ensure the best outcome, choose from thick, weighty fabrics like suede or velvet. Also, tightly woven fabrics like brocade and Jacquard are also equally effective. Make sure your current set of curtains is long enough to provide sufficient wall coverage.
Q: Do soundproof curtains block out 100 percent of noise?
While they are certainly capable of minimizing sounds, other factors play into the amount of sound you can detect inside your home. This includes wall material, thickness, and insulation, as well as the condition of your windows (are they tightly sealed and double- or triple-paned?)and doors (are they weather-stripped and/or made of heavy, solid material?). Typically, soundproof curtains aren’t responsible for silencing every creak and pop you hear inside or outside your house, but they absolutely can help create a quieter home environment.
Q: Are soundproof curtains energy efficient?
Some soundproof curtains lower energy consumption numbers (hello, cheaper electricity bill), thanks to heavy, insulated fabrics that regulate the amount of heat that enters or leaves a room.
Q: Can I substitute blackout curtains for soundproof curtains?
Some soundproof curtains do come with similar liners as their blackout counterparts, but panels that are specifically engineered to block out the sound are generally made from thicker materials than those that are designed to darken a room. Blackouts allow sound to pass through, whereas sound-proof curtains are made from solid, flexible materials that deflect sound.
If you’re specifically looking to reduce noise, just keep in mind that substituting blackout curtains won’t automatically drown out the sound of say, your neighbor’s lawnmower, or a TV playing in the next room.
The Last Word
These stealthy panels will help keep the peace in and around your home. Start your shopping with accurate window measurements and keep in mind that the best soundproof curtains are cut from thick cloth, mounted in a way that stifles extra sound, and hang (beautifully) from hardware that can handle the bulk.
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