You want to deaden some sounds in your home or apartment, but you don’t have any acoustic blankets. What you do have are moving blankets. Would these work to quieten the noises in a room or would you have to try another way?
Moving blankets are an inexpensive, quick, easy way to soundproof a room. They work in much the same way acoustic blankets do, reducing noise reflection, sound reverberations, and echoes through absorption.
Are you ready to see what your moving blankets can do for you? In this article, I’ll guide you in getting the most out of these blankets.
What Are Moving Blankets?
Okay, first, let’s start with a basic but necessary definition. What are moving blankets? Sometimes also called furniture pads or moving pads, moving blankets are made to be wrapped around fragile items. You cradle the item with the blanket, so it gets to your new home in one piece.
Moving blankets are not all one and the same. Some are stitched entirely from polyester while others have only some polyester (the other materials used are cotton or sometimes non-synthetic fabrics). You want the former for longevity. Polyester moving blankets also tend to have a woven chevron pattern that adds to their durability. If yours doesn’t, it’s worth upgrading to better-quality blankets.
You also want to pay particular attention to the corners and binding of the blanket. If these aren’t square-shaped, they won’t hold up as long. The weight is another important consideration. While you don’t want an excessively heavy blanket, a moving blanket should have some bulk to it. This will also help when it comes to using the moving blanket for soundproofing.
Finally, what goes inside the moving blanket matters, too. What most brands use is called batting, which is kind of like foam but thinner. If you feel around the blanket by hand, ideally the batting should be all one piece. This again increases durability.
Do Moving Blankets Work for Soundproofing?
As I mentioned in the intro, moving blankets are an adequate means of deadening sounds around your home. The thicker and heavier the moving blankets are, the better. These weightier blankets are more adept at cutting down on noise reflection, reverberations, and echoes in a room by absorbing them.
What if you only have old, thin moving blankets? They can still dampen sound, but probably not as effectively. You could always try layering a few together to see if you get the same effect.
Where do you put the moving blankets for soundproofing? There are plenty of rooms and spaces throughout the home you can adhere to these. Here are 7 Little-known FACTS to use Moving Blankets for Soundproofing!
1. Furniture: By covering your furniture with a moving blanket, you’re reducing any hard surfaces in the room. That means soundwaves cannot travel as well. Rather than couches or chairs, think coffee tables, dining room sets, and the like.
2. Appliances: If your appliances are the noisemakers in your house or apartment, you can drape a moving blanket or two over them. This is not recommended for all appliances, as covering some could be a fire hazard. Your refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher can be covered without incident, most of the time. Other appliances? Not so much. If you have questions or concerns, I recommend you read your owner’s manual or contact your appliance manufacturer.
3. Floors: Can you hear your neighbors below you in your apartment? Try placing a few thick moving blankets on the floor. These are also good if you have hardwood instead of carpeted surfaces. Remember that hard surfaces let soundwaves bounce around, creating more noise.
4. Ceilings: While foam panels will adhere to your ceiling better, nothing is stopping you from putting moving blankets on your ceiling for less noise. This is great if you have noisy neighbors who stomp around above you in your apartment. Just make sure you don’t use any nails if that goes against your lease.
5. Windows: Do you live on a busy street and always hear traffic? Moving blankets will eliminate some of that noise. Adhere them curtain-like to your windows via grommets or any other means you prefer. It’s best to block out the whole window if possible, or at least most of it.
6. Doors: The small openings around the sides, top, and bottom of your door let noise and air right in. While moving blankets can deaden this noise, you have to be careful about how you soundproof your door. Putting a curtain holder over your doorway and hanging the blanket can work. Gluing or nailing the blanket to your door is better but could violate some apartment lease terms.
7. Walls: Finally, you can adhere your moving blankets to your walls if they’re paper-thin. Again, a curtain rod can come in handy here. Otherwise, you could use adhesive tape, putty, glue, or nails (if you’re allowed to).
Where Can You Get Moving Blankets?
What if you don’t have any moving blankets lying around, but you’d like to use them for soundproofing your home or apartment? Amazon is one such online retailer you can use. Click here for current Amazon prices.
The Home Depot and Walmart are other options.
You can also visit your closest U-Haul or any other moving company and ask about buying these pads. Now that you know what the highest-quality moving blankets look and feel like, you can go into these stores (or shop online) smartly and efficiently.
What Are Other Soundproofing Materials Cheap Like Moving Blankets?
If you want to soundproof your home or apartment on the cheap, you have several other options besides moving blankets. You can also try any of the following:
1. Caulk: If your noise issue is caused by sounds coming in through gaps in windows or doors, then caulk is a viable solution. You only have to apply it where the gaps are, let it dry, and then enjoy fewer disruptive sounds. Every few years (or sooner), you may have to re-caulk these areas.
2. Green Glue: No, this isn’t just regular glue, but rather an eco-friendly noise-proofing glue. Green Glue is meant to go on plywood, cement board, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), orient strand board (OSB), or drywall. You should apply at least half an inch of the stuff for best results. That means Green Glue isn’t an option if you have an apartment. If you’re renting a home or don’t want to take your walls apart, then you might also pass on this product.
3. Acoustic Curtains: If using your moving blanket in place of curtains, then try outfitting the windows in your home with a set of acoustic curtains. These curtains look so good you’ll almost forget they have sound-deadening properties. TheAcousticCurtain comes with hooks, so you don’t ruin your walls installing it (which is great for apartment renters). If those hooks don’t hold the curtain up, you can also use nails.
Are Moving Blankets as Good as Acoustic Blankets?
The last point I wanted to touch on is acoustic blankets. Throughout this article, I’ve referred to using moving blankets the same way one would use acoustic blankets. That said, moving and acoustic blankets are not interchangeable.
Acoustic blankets are made for deadening and even muting sounds, and thus they do it better than moving blankets can. This is because of their very design. They’re professional-grade, and many feature several grommets stitched into the blanket for superior sound-blocking. They’re also thicker and weightier than moving blankets.
Moving blankets are not necessarily meant for soundproofing. It’s just a cool bonus effect that they’re adept at it. They’re intended for moving furniture and fragile items.
That’s not to say you can’t use moving blankets if you have them handy. For the best, most consistent results, though, you might want to consider upgrading to acoustic blankets at some point. This is especially true if your moving blankets aren’t blocking out all that annoying sound.
Although you might not have expected it, good, moving blankets can deaden sound through absorption. While cheaper, thinner moving blankets will have to be augmented by several other layers; if you have a nice thick blanket, you should notice a reasonable rate of sound reduction.
Try hanging up your moving blankets on the floor, ceiling (if you can get up there), windows, doors, walls, and just about anywhere else you hear annoying sounds. While moving blankets are not recommended over professional-grade options like acoustic blankets, don’t be discouraged. If you need peace and quiet in a pinch or you’re tight on money, moving blankets can help soundproof a room just fine.