Moving blankets may not be the miracle substitute for proper, sound cancelling noise-proofing that we might be looking for in home studios or recording booths, but given the right pick, they can be quite effective, and not to mention, affordable. If you practice music at home, are looking to go into video-recording from a studio in your room or basement, or simply like listening to music with the volume up but don’t want to trouble the neighbors, moving blankets might be a simple, low-cost solution to improve the acoustics just so for your chosen space.
So which moving or sound blankets should you be considering? Here are our top picks.
Moving Boxes Deluxe Moving Blankets
A four-pack of moving blankets perfect for stringing together as a curtain you can put up and take down depending on your needs, these options serve for pretty functional soundproofing for rehearsing or listening to music at home without getting on your neighbor’s nerves. While these non-woven, polyester-bound blankets aren’t going to block out sound completely – remember that their primary use is as extra buffering to keep your furniture and other household items intact when moving – they can adequately muffle sound by up to 5 decibels, a significant difference to human ears.
Easy to put up, a handful of brass grommets are all you will need to fasten these curtains into place. Layering a couple of them over one another can also serve as an alternative to professional soundproofing, practical enough to let you keep noise out when you’re recording, or the sound in when you are practicing or playing music. The blankets are machine-washable, and feature a double-lock, zigzagging stitch pattern for maximum durability.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Milwaukee Hand Trucks 37280 Moving Pads
These versatile moving pads are suitable not just for safely transporting your furniture or electronic items when you are moving, but also to moderate the sound leaking out of practice rooms or areas. Though these pads will not completely cancel out noise, their 50% cotton and 50% polyester construction adequately absorbs enough of the sound to keep your neighbors (or family members residing in the same home) from filing a noise complaint. Just thick enough to prevent sound reflection and lower the likelihood of echoes, you get to record crisp, more distinct audio without any discernible background noise. The quilted pattern of the blankets feature reinforced edges and a double-locking, zigzag stitch pattern, making them resilient pads which will endure quite a bit of wear and tear.
US Cargo Control Supreme Mover
Recycled cotton padded into two quilted layers along with a cotton-polyester blend for the structure of these blankets improve their efficiency in absorbing sound, working excellently in small or medium sized spaces to prevent echo or sound reflection. With zigzag stitching detail to improve the durability of these blankets, these sleek, professional looking moving blankets are often favored by professional movers for their incredible rugged durability as well as their sleek finish.
Available in either black or white, and as singles or in sets of 4, 12 and 24, these heavy-duty, 8 pound blankets may not completely block sound, but can dampen them quite satisfactorily. Hanging them up can keep a bunch of background noise at bay, as well as preventing sound distorting as it reflects off your walls so you get better clarity in audio-recording.
US Cargo Control Heavy Duty Sound Absorbing Moving Blanket
If you are looking for heavy-duty, fail-safe soundproofing, and not simply moving blanket alternatives which at most dampen out high frequency sounds but not lower ones, this is the option for you. Designed specifically to absorb sound, as the name suggests, this set of six blankets comes with straight stitching rather than the traditional zigzag pattern of most quilt overlays. This is because straight stitching allows the blanket more flexibility in expanding or contracting, thus making them more absorptive of a wider range of the sound spectrum.
The blanket comes filled with recycled cotton and constructed out of a highly absorptive and durable cotton-polyester blend, fitted with brass grommets that make them easy to hook up and take down. Designed to minimize noise distortions and cut down the likelihood of noises bouncing off walls, hook these blankets up to record sounds and music with perfect clarity, without picking up any background noise or troubling anyone else.
Choosing the Best Moving Blankets for Soundproofing
When going into the business of soundproofing, it’s important to remember that the basic use of moving blankets is, in the end, to safely move bulky items like furniture without the risk of scrapes or scratches. In other words, they can’t be expected to have the same efficacy as more expensive acoustic foam and soundproofing treatment. Nonetheless, choosing the right options can help you significantly cut down the amount of sound distortion or background noise you might otherwise experience when audio or video recording, especially the issue of sound bouncing back off the walls and echoing.
Blankets stuffed with cotton, and preferably made of a cotton and polyester blend, enhance the sound absorbing power of these items, while the traditional zigzag stitching and quilted patterns of blankets ensure endurance against wear and tear over time. Blankets which come decked out with brass grommets are also a great option to look out for, doing away with the need for you to invest in a grommet kit and making it a simple matter of hanging up and taking off your blankets, which just as easily double as noise-dampening curtains.
If you are looking for more thorough soundproofing though, a moving blanket specifically designed to double as a sound-dampening curtain is recommended. These often feature straight stitching rather than the zigzag stitching detail of most blankets – the straight stitching allows for the blanket to have more room to absorb soundwaves by expanding and contracting, not only keeping sounds from bouncing off walls but also muffling a wider frequency range of sounds to keep them from leaking out.
Working both ways to cancel out the sound leaving your home studio or recording booth, and keeping the cacophony of traffic and noisy neighbors out, moving blankets make for an inexpensive, practical alternative to decking out your interiors with professional-grade soundproofing that, most likely, isn’t covered in your tenancy agreement.