Blackout vs. Soundproofing Curtains

blackout soundproofing curtains

We get a lot of questions from potential customers about different types of curtains, so they can figure out which product is right for them.

  • What’s the difference between blackout curtains and soundproofing curtains?
  • Can blackout curtains also function as soundproof curtains?
  • Can soundproof curtains also function as blackout curtains?

These are the questions we’re answering for you today.

Blackout Curtains Aren’t Always Soundproof

If you are in the market to buy new acoustic curtains, make sure you’re buying a product that can truly block sound. Remember – just because a curtains are labeled “blackout and soundproofing”, it doesn’t mean that they truly do both. Do some research on the type of material the curtains are made from, because that will make all the difference.

For an extended explanation on this, see our in-depth look at Different Types of Sound Curtains.

Do Blackout Curtains Block Sound?

Blackout curtains do not always block sound as well as light. These curtains are made mostly for blocking light from entering your room. Blackout curtains are simply thicker fabric with a liner on the back to keep sunlight or artificial light (such as street lights) from coming through.

sound blocking infographic

Sound waves pass through and are absorbed by normal blackout curtains, but are deflected by soundproofing curtains.

Of course it can nice to wake up naturally with the sun, some people are on alternate schedules and do need to sleep during the day. Black-out curtains can also be used to save energy since they are thermal, so by keeping sunlight out you also keep out excess heat.

While this type of curtain is not suitable to block sound, they can help to absorb echo. So this means if you were to hang up blackout curtains hoping to block traffic noise from coming in through your windows, they wouldn’t be very effective. You would want to use the thicker blackout curtains in your home if you had a lot of echo in your room. Echo in you home may likely be cause by tile floors, and little to no carpeting and furniture.

Blackout curtains are normally sold at the same stores where you could purchase standard curtains.

Soundproofing Curtains

If you’re looking for a curtain that will reduce the amount of noise coming through your windows and doors, then you will want to buy a soundproof curtain. These curtains are made specifically to reduce the amount of noise coming into your home by using a thicker material than black-out curtains.

Soundproof curtains are made with a solid, but flexible material that is able to actually deflect sound waves. Because the material is not porous, like fabric, it is much harder for the sound waves to transmit through it.

If you are doing your research on soundproof curtains but aren’t sure if the ones you’re looking at will really block sound, ask the company if their curtains have an STC Rating. Basically, if a product has an STC rating, it is proven to be a sound blocking material.

Soundproof curtains also act as blackout curtains because the inner lining is solid. They essentially block out all light, especially when the velcro perimeter seal is also being used. So, while blackout curtains are not always sound blocking, most soundproofing curtains made using mass loaded vinyl will also act as blackout curtains.

Blackout Soundproof Curtains

If your curtains are letting in light, the chances are very high that they’re also letting in sound. Blackout curtains are thick enough to filter out most light, but if they don’t have and STC rating and aren’t made using sound blocking material, they won’t reduce outside noise.

Blackout Soundproof Curtain Options

A couple of options for blackout soundproofing curtains are:

  • AcousticCurtain
  • AcoustiTrac

Both have the same sound and light blocking abilities, but they differ in ease of use (how easily they open and close based on curtain size). The AcousticCurtain rolls up or down and is held up with straps. It also get harder to roll up the wider and taller you need it to be. We suggest your AcousticCurtain max out at 4 feet wide, otherwise you may need someone to help you roll it up.

Once your curtain needs to be wider than 4 feet, you should look into the AcoustiTrac. This product opens left to right on a track system and is much easier to use, especially for wider curtains because then you have the option to get a split panel curtain.

Some of the best applications for soundproofing curtains are for blocking traffic noise, barking dogs, noisy neighbors, train noise and much more. However, keep in mind that lower frequency, vibrational sounds will be nearly impossible to block with even the most durable curtain. In that situation, you’d need to soundproof the wall itself.

Blackout vs. Soundproofing Curtains

We hope this article answered any questions you had about blackout and soundproofing curtains.

 Bottom Line: Blackout curtains can block light, but if you’re looking for soundproofing or heat and cold insulation, choose soundproof curtains.