Last updated: October 28, 2020 at 11:46 am
Soundproof blinds are a great way to add a little more soundproofing to your windows. They’re especially useful when a room looks onto a noisy area, for example, a road or park.
You will never achieve complete silence with soundproof blinds, but they will reduce airborne noise. The reduction amount will depend on the type of blinds and how you pair them with other soundproofing techniques, which I’ll cover in this article.
The first port of call for soundproofing is traditionally double or even triple-glazing and in tests, it has been shown to block out a lot of external noise. If you’re unable to fit new windows, however, or if you already have and would like to top up the effect even more then soundproof blinds may be worth considering.
Features of Good Soundproof Blinds
The first type of soundproof blind is made from having a thick, insulating layer between the outer fabric. This is designed to dampen sound and prevent it from travelling through to the other side. It can help reduce sound by up to 50%
The second type has a series of hexagonal tubes inside it that resemble a bee’s honeycomb. They expand when the blind is closed and fill with air. Sound is caused by the vibration of particles and the air in the tubes minimises this vibration and therefore the sound. As with insulated blinds, they will reduce the noise coming in by a maximum of 50%.
Both the honeycomb blinds and insulated blinds can double the R rate of your windows. The R rate is a measurement of heat transference. This means as well as blocking out noise they will keep heat in. This will help your house stay warm in the winter by reflecting heat from your fire or central heating back in. Windows are where houses lose a lot of heat from so this is a plus.
The flip side to the point above! Because the insulation within your blinds does not transfer heat well it will also reflect the sun in the summer helping to keep your rooms at a more comfortable temperature.
Any type of barrier that will block out some of the noise from outside will also block out light. In fact, the insulated type of soundproof blind is usually marketed as a blackout blind. This is particularly useful in the bedroom as increased darkness has been proven to lead to longer, more restful sleep.
One slight drawback is that to be effective these blinds have to be one solid piece. There are no slats so your blinds will either be open or closed. If you want some privacy through the day but still want to let in sunlight you may have to pair them with vertical or Venetian blinds.
Honeycomb blinds tend to be sold with cords that break easily if something gets caught in them. This is important if you have children and/or pets as dangling cords can be a major hazard.
Do Soundproof Blinds Work?
As explained in the introduction, yes they do work. If you’re expecting to be able to hear a pin drop though I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. If you have a well-made set of soundproof blinds fitted you will definitely notice a reduction in the noise coming into your home. Whether you go for honeycomb or insulated the maximum benefit you’re likely to receive when used alone is about 50%.
If you’re using single-glazed windows and your fit double glazing at the same time you will notice much more of a difference. This is very expensive though.
If your windows are already double-glazed and the blinds don’t prove to be enough then soundproof curtains would help to deaden the sound further.
Are They Worth the Money?
This is a pretty subjective question! It very much depends on how much it costs you to have them installed and whether you think a 50% reduction in sound will be enough. If you live opposite a noisy pub for example and are regularly woken at closing time then 50% may be too little.
If you’re thinking of fitting them as an alternative to paying for double glazing you might find that you end up having to get the double glazing anyway. The money spent on the blinds, in this case, wouldn’t be a complete waste as paired with the new windows you’ll likely get the maximum benefit possible. If money is tight though it might be a false economy.
If you already have a well-insulated house and the noise is just a little too loud through the night then soundproof blinds seem like a good idea. You don’t necessarily need to fit them in every room so it may not be prohibitively expensive to get a better night’s sleep. It’s certainly worth getting a quote.
Always get at least 3 quotes for any job you need doing to ensure you know what a good price looks like.
Finally, if you’re already in the market for new blinds for your house then it’s definitely worth looking into soundproof blinds. They will be more expensive than plain roller blinds, but if they can also reduce light and retain heat in your house they may not be as expensive in the long run. It’s best to do your math before deciding.
What to Use Alongside Soundproof Blinds
If you need your soundproofing to be more robust, there are ways you can add further soundproofing alongside soundproof blinds. Soundproof curtains can be used, which are thick (and usually blackout) to prevent any further noise getting in or out.
Acoustic calk can be used to fill and holes or gaps which is letting in noise. If caulk doesn’t cut it, window plugs can be used as a temporary measure to cover the existing frame. These are usually foam inserts which are used to soundproof when needed.
If you’d like to learn more, we have a full article on soundproofing windows which would be worth a look!
Now you understand more about soundproof blinds let’s sum up! They generally come in 2 types – insulated or honeycomb. Both of these types will reduce sound by up to half depending on the quality of the blinds and how much of a gap there is around them. They will not reduce sound as much as good quality double or triple glazing.
They are more expensive than buying basic roller blinds but this may not be the whole story as you could save some money on your heating bills as they will help keep heat in your home too. Hopefully, all these facts have helped you weigh up your options and make a decision about whether they’re worth it to you.