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How to Decide if Soundproof Curtains Are the Best Product for You

Installing soundproofing materials can be a disruptive process, requiring changes to the walls, windows, or ceiling. Soundproofing curtains are becoming an increasingly popular alternative, but are they the best choice for you?

If you haven’t considered soundproofing curtains before, there are a few things you should know before purchasing. We’re going to break down how they work, their advantages and disadvantages, and an alternative solution, so you can make the best choice for your home.

bedroom with window curtains and indow inserts installed for soundproofing in san francisco

What Are Soundproof Curtains?

Soundproof curtains can also be known as sound-absorbing curtains, sound deadening curtains, acoustic curtains, and sound dampening curtains depending on the manufacturer you purchase from and the type of soundproofing you are trying to accomplish.

Regardless of the name, these curtains are made of heavy, thick materials like polyester, velvet, or suede that you hang above your window frame. They usually have a porous surface that allows them to absorb sound waves in order to make a room quieter.

A truly effective and high-quality soundproof curtain will be heavy, tightly woven, and run from ceiling to floor with several inches of fabric going past each side of the window. It’s essential they cover as much area around the window as possible so that the folds of the curtains can create a seal around the sides.

However, though many manufacturers market curtains as soundproof, they are usually ineffective.

woman and child in home with window with curtains and indow inserts for street noise reduction

Do Soundproof Curtains Work?

To answer this question, you need to know about the types of soundproofing.

There are two main types of soundproofing: sound reduction and sound absorption. Sound reduction stops or blocks sound from entering a space; using sound reduction will help keep your space free from outside noises such as weather, outdoor conversations, and traffic. Sound absorption, also called sound deadening, stops sound already inside a space from echoing and reverberating.

According to a wide array of reviews, soundproof curtains are incredibly effective for sound deadening applications, but they are not useful as sound reduction. What does that mean? Sound deadening materials work by reducing vibrations to reduce echoes in a room, but they will not reduce the decibel level of sounds entering the room.

Soundproof curtains are a simple additive to lessen the problem of overwhelming sounds, but they are not perfect problem solvers.

The Advantages of Soundproof Curtains

Soundproof curtains do contribute to noise reduction, keep a room from echoing, and provide a small amount of thermal insulation. While soundproof curtains should not be used to completely replace standard insulation in your walls and windows, they do contribute to added insulation for a warmer room in the winter and a cooler room in the summer.

Because these types of curtains are made from heavy material, they are often thick and opaque, so if you are looking for increased privacy, they can be a decent solution. They are also fairly inexpensive, running around $50-100 per window for good quality curtains.

The Disadvantages of Soundproof Curtains

Soundproof curtains have several disadvantages as well.

They are not as effective as other noise reduction solutions, such as soundproof windows or noise reduction window inserts. Their thick, heavy nature makes them difficult to transport, hard to install, and challenging to wash and maintain.

They can also make main living spaces too dark for comfort, limiting the number of rooms where they can be installed unless you are willing to pay increased electric bills and have a reduction in the amount of natural light.

This is especially disadvantageous for people trying to soundproof during the day. If you need quiet in your office but want all of the benefits of natural light (such as increased productivity, better moods, etc.), a soundproof curtain won’t be able to work as effectively unless it’s completely closed, blocking out all of the light.

man installing window insert to block noise without blocking natural light

An Alternative: Indow Solutions That Can Help

Indow offers window insert solutions that are a perfect alternative to soundproof curtains, with a lower price point, easier installation, and an overall more comfortable experience.

Just press custom-made Indow inserts into your window frames — with no mounting hardware or permanent damage — and enjoy your increased quiet. You’ll sleep better, feel better, and enjoy your space more. Noise-reducing windows have never been so easy to obtain.

Our acrylic glazing edged in our patented silicone compression tubing creates a tight seal and dead air space between the insert and your window. This dead air is essential to noise reduction because anywhere air gets in, noise can too. To keep the noise outside, we ensure a precise, snug fit by custom making each acoustic window insert using our laser measuring system.

Every grade of Indow window inserts reduces outside noise by 50% for single-pane windows and our Acoustic Grade does an even better job, reducing noise by 70%*. Indow inserts are very easy to install and remove, with no damage to your window frames. They not only block outside noise but also prevent inside noise from bothering your neighbors.

And you don’t have to sacrifice natural light to get the sound reduction you want. However, if you want both sound reduction AND reduced light (say you get chronic migraines or you want better sleep quality), you can choose Indow Sleep Panels instead, which block 100% of light and offer superior soundproofing. The best part? You can choose which windows you want light-blocking panels and which you want just noise blocking for a truly custom experience.

While soundproof curtains may be less expensive and easy, they provide minimal performance and cut out all natural light while soundproofing is occurring. If you want high-quality soundproofing without sacrificing natural light, you want Indow inserts.

Interested in learning more about Indow window inserts? Check out all the insert collections offered by Indow as a great soundproof curtain alternative, and then get a free estimate using our instant price calculator.

*We want to ensure our inserts help solve your noise problem. Overall noise reduction depends on the amount of noise coming through your walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and existing windows. Noise reduction will be less when placed over double-pane windows. Read our full Noise Reduction Sheet to learn more.

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Customer Reviews

Excellent

4.49 Average 1477 Reviews

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Matthew L

Indow inserts were easy to measure, order and install. They've provided great insulation for old single-pane and stained glass windows in an antique home. We can significantly feel how much better the home holds heat.

Posted 2 days ago

Ellis W

I ordered two Indow inserts for my home. They are doing a great job, entirely happy with them and the ordering process.

Posted 1 week ago

Elizabeth W

I can't say enough good things about this product and company. Our house is 101 years old and the sidelites next to our front door are single pane ancient wavy glass which means when it gets very cold (Chicago temps) we can have an inch of frost covering the INSIDE of our windows. I was desperately searching for a solution so our front vestibule was not so cold and a friend recommended Indow. The process could not have been simpler and the temperature difference it has made is off the charts.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Austin T

I have several historic single pane gridwork mullion windows. They're beautiful but have almost no thermal protection. Indows proved to be the perfect solution to preserve these windows while getting the thermal comfort we need. They were easy to install and work perfectly!

Posted 3 weeks ago

Kathryn M

Amazingly easy to install even the safety chain holders. I. Noticed an immediate sound level difference and the room atmosphere became more solid feeling and pleasant. They also gave an insulating feature to the window drafts are non existent! The house is 50ft off a State highway that is heavily traveled in warmer months I'm confident the indows will handle it. I'm very pleased!

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

We ordered the acoustic inserts to help with road noise, and we've been sleeping so much better with them!

Posted 1 month ago

Sienna K

We used the windows inserts in our skylight. They are great! They the horrible drafts and noise out and were cost efficient. My only comment would be to provide better measurement and installation instructions for skylights specifically. It took us a lot of guessing and research to measure and install because skylight directions were not provided and the windows install guide doesn't always apply to skylights. Other than that though great product and I would buy again!

Posted 1 month ago

ted t

Our home was built in the late 1800s and we have spent a lot of money over the last 20+years restoring it.We did not want to replace the windows with modern windows because of the cost and originality. But the single pane windows come with a price also. the main reason we purchased the Indow window inserts is because of the condensation on the inside of the windows.We would literally have a take a towel and wipe them down every morning in the winter. There would be a puddle on the sill,and wood and water dont get along to well. SO we looked into the best solution to our problem and found Indow. Was reluctant to spend that much money but am super glad we did!! They have been installed now for over two months and our condensation problem has been virtually eliminated.!!! AND our furnace does not run as much as it did before. Over all it was money well spent!! The process was a little scary at first but they have a simple formula. And our contact person,Reed was awesome. Answered any questions i had and was always available.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Used to block interior side of a garden window in the the kitchen. Without insert, cold air literally poured into the kitchen making a winter jacket almost mandatory when preparing meals or washing dishes

Posted 1 month ago

Rob S

Highly recommend! The team (Brian) took time to help me figure out the best solution. They were made and delivered faster than expected. It was very rewarding to install them because I could feel the cold air get squeezed out as they went flush against the single pane of glass. Solid quality and great fit.

Posted 1 month ago

Alexa L

My inserts fit beautifully into my 125 year old windows - many of which were 5 feet tall. Easy to unwrap and install. Great product and even better service! I liked the process of measuring the windows with a laser measuring tool which was easy to use and precise. The product came in good condition after shipping across country and was well marked. The customer support was excellent.

Posted 1 month ago

Sarah D

Received our Indow Windows and can tell they are blocking a lot of the noise we could hear. Right now the weather is mild, but hoping to notice a big difference when the summer heats up. Our house is in a historic district and we cannot change our windows. They are very drafty and thin glass. We only ordered two, but we are in the process of ordering for four more. Love that we don’t need to drill holes or anything and they just pop right in.

Posted 1 month ago

Allan F

Every thing arrived in perfect condition, thanks to the very secure packaging. Windows fit as expected, although quite tight. After installation we noticed that the cold drafts were gone and the room felt a lot warmer. We are very satisfied with the product and the result.

Posted 1 month ago

Adriana W

Great customer service! Super satisfied with our windows.

Posted 1 month ago

Thomas M

Indow service and product is good. Reduced outside noise considerably.

Posted 2 months ago