Split a bedroom in several sections, or add a private corner in a living room. Installing a soundproof room divider curtain might be the solution you’re looking for. This is ideal especially if you are renting a place and cannot afford to perform heavy duty construction.
But I have to warn you, a soundproof curtain is something that doesn’t exist! A curtain cannot entirely block incoming noise. However, it can help to reduce sounds. Let’s dig into it!
Top 5 Soundproof Room Dividers
1. Top Pick: RYB HOME Soundproof Curtains Blackout
If I put the soundproofing criteria on top of my priority list, this curtain from RYB Home is my favorite choice. It’s because this curtain has so many layers!
This is a thick and heavy curtain, composed of 3 layers.
The 2 external layers use the triple weave manufacturing method.
The central layer uses a polyester felt lining. This is what adds this extra sound absorbing efficiency to this curtain. A lot of reviewers expressed how satisfied they were with the muffling sound effect.
It is also effective in blocking the light as one of the external layers uses blackout technology. You can count on the thick composition for effective thermal insulation.
Last but not least, you can machine wash it. I remember as a kid, my parents used to hand wash the curtains in cold water. I guess that’s why today they only have machine wash curtains.
The product is only available in 5 colors (beige, red, grey, navy, and white).
Alas, this product comes with one main limitation. Even if one purchase comes with 2 panels, each panel’s width is 52″, which might be short. This is because this product’s main focus is on door windows installation. If the size is an issue for you, you can sew each panel together.
Yet, these curtains have all the qualities to be our top pick for the best soundproof room divider curtains.
2. NICETOWN 3-in-1 Dampen Noise Blackout Curtains
The NICETOWN 3-in-1 curtains offer exactly the same experience as the RYB Home Soundproof curtains (review above).
It is composed of 3 layers: 2 triple-weave polyester and one central layer of felt lining. It’s a blackout and machine washable.
You might wonder which one to choose between the NICETOWN and RYB soundproof curtains.
Soundproof-wise, they’re identical. The only difference with NICETOWN curtains is that they have different available colors: beige, black, grey, navy, and white.
3. RYB HOME Room Divider Curtains
This other product from RYB is cheaper. It is more intended for a room dividing purpose. Thus, all the sizes available range from 8.3 ft x 7 ft to 15 ft x 9 ft. I mentioned above how important it is to cover any gaps for sound insulation. The large option of sizes allows you to install your room divider curtains from floor to ceiling.
14 choices of colors are available. With this large range, you should find your fit.
A lot of reviewers are satisfied with the quality of the fabric. It is a triple-weave polyester fabric. It includes blackout technology. So it is effective in blocking light, and for thermal insulation.
Be careful though, if you give importance to blocking light, the darker the color the more effective. So if you pick a bright color, your curtain won’t filter as much sunlight.
It is compatible with machine wash since it is 100% polyester.
As far as the reviewers’ expectations were not to soundproof their room completely, they were satisfied by the sound attenuation.
Of course, if you read the review above, compared to the previous product, there are fewer layers. It is less heavy and less thick so it won’t perform as much.
Having said that, this curtain is still thick and heavy compared to ordinary curtains. As long as you install it correctly (no gap above and under the room divider), you might be surprised at the amount of sound it can muffle.
4. NICETOWN Room Divider Curtains
This product has a very similar quality to the RYB Room Divider Curtains. It is mainly due to the fabrication method. A triple-weave layer including blackout technology. Effective to block the light, and for thermal insulation.
Again, if blocking light is important to you, you might consider a darker color. It works best at blocking light.
Most users show satisfaction with the quality of fabric and its softness. It shows to be heavy and thick. Also, reviewers reported how effective it was at blocking thermal exchanges between 2 rooms.
Once again some complained about the soundproof performance. As long as your expectation is not blocking but reducing sound, you should notice the curtain’s effectiveness.
This curtain is also compatible with machine wash.
There are fewer colors available (8 choices) and fewer sizes available. The available sizes should be enough to ensure you install your curtains from floor to ceiling. This is essential for your room divider curtains to soundproof effectively.
There’s almost no difference in prices with competitors. This curtain is as performant as the previous reviewed but offers fewer colors and sizes.
5. H.VERSAILTEX Wide Blackout Curtain
H. VERSAILTEX offers their room divider with exactly the same fabric technology. Thus, its proposed features are the same as RYB and NICETOWN soundproof room dividers (cf. review above).
Reviewers showed similar satisfaction with its competitors’ products, regarding the features (quality of fabric, light-blocking, thermal insulation, and noise reduction).
Where this product differentiates itself, is the size available and the colors. 11 colors are available. But only 3 available sizes with a set width of 100 in. (8.5 ft)
What usage ?
You might be reading these lines for one of the following reasons. But there are additional reasons you might have not considered. To pick the best soundproof room divider curtain, it’s important to define all usage it can have.
It can be used to split a large room into smaller spaces with different purposes. For instance, separate the dining room with the living room, create an office space within a living space, or hide a storage room from the rest of the house. Using room dividers as partition walls is a good way to add more privacy to specific spaces.
A curtain cannot soundproof two rooms like a concrete wall would. But effective room divider curtains are heavy and quite thick compared to “traditional” curtains. Those characteristics help the curtain to act as a sound barrier. The more layers in the curtains, the better the sound absorption. It’s frequent to find 3 to 4 layers of fabric in room divider curtains.
It means that on the other side of the curtain, sound is perceived more faint. Your room won’t be sound tight, but curtains will definitely improve privacy in your new space.
The video below will give you an overview of how a room divider curtain reduces sound from another room.
Improve Acoustic in a Room
Sound in an empty room will reflect on the walls. That’s what we call reverberation (echo sound). If your home theater is deprived of sound-absorbing elements, it can ruin the experience. Sound absorption reduces the effect of sound waves bouncing on walls. It does so by converting the energy of the sound waves into heat.
By nature, a curtain possesses better sound absorption properties than hard materials used in walls. The absorption property is quantified via the NRC rating (Noise Reduction Coefficient). Not only curtains, but your furniture has these properties as well. The higher the material’s NRC rating, the more the absorption, the less it reflects sounds.
In theaters, for example, walls come with soft dampening materials for a guaranteed immersive effect. If you want to improve the acoustics of a living space, consider installing a room divider curtain.
It can reduce heat loss. By installing a curtain in your room, you will add a layer with a thermal insulation characteristic called thermal resistance. The thermal resistance quantifies the amount of heat that can be conducted through the curtain. Depending on its material, layers, and thickness, a curtain will provide better thermal insulation.
Curtains can be used to insulate from the heat (keep cool) by blocking sun rays. Color plays a vital role. The lighter the color, the more light reflection, the more effective in insulating from the outside heat. Curtains can also keep the warmth inside a room.
Control a Room’s Brightness
Depending on where you position your room divider, it will affect the brightness of the room. Whether you want your room dark or bright, it depends on your needs. Make sure you strategically position your curtains to optimize the natural light you want to let through.
At this point, the purpose of our soundproof room dividers is clear. Let’s review the key points that, sound-wise, will make it more effective.
What to Look in a Soundproof Room Divider Curtain?
To me, the material is the most important point to look at. Not only is it important for the appearance and the touch, but it’s also defining the sound and thermal insulation of the curtain. Soundproof-wise, we want a heavy, and thick curtain to be effective as a sound barrier. The resilient nature of the fabric will also give it its sound-absorbing property.
In the following, a list of the most common material terms used to advertise soundproof room divider curtains. I recommend you to look out for these short explanations to understand better :
- How manufacturers build their curtains
- How the build affects their (acoustic) performance
Polyester: Most of the curtains on the market are made of polyester, because it is inexpensive, durable, and washing-machine compatible. Although polyester is not a dense fabric, curtains use several interwoven layers which contribute to weight and thickness. “Triple-weave” is one of the methods used to interweave 3 layers of fabric. This gives very good results in keeping the light out, and insulate (thermally and acoustically wise)
Velvet: You might see curtains advertised as velvet made. They are actually made of polyester for most of them. Velvet is not a material in itself. It is a type of fabric construction giving density, softness, and an elegant finish.
Blackout: Blackout curtains were initially designed to block the light. They can virtually block 100% of the incoming light. It consists of coating a piece of fabric with layers of foam. The result is a heavy and thick curtain that blocks the light and shows good sound dampening qualities.
It’s time to grab your measuring tape! Collect the dimensions of height and width you want to cover. Make sure you measure from ceiling to floor. Don’t fear to oversize when picking your curtain. An installed curtain that is too wide in dimensions will be wavy. This is better for sound insulation. Also, you want to avoid leaving a gap between the floor and the bottom of the curtain. I would recommend leaving a few inches of the curtain on the floor.
What you want is to reduce the openings to the minimum. In soundproofing, a very small opening can drastically reduce the effectiveness of a sound barrier. This is one of the reasons why soundproof room dividers (the one free-standing, like this one) are not that effective at blocking sound. Curtains do a better job at acting as a soundproof screen as it covers more surface and leaves fewer openings.
Installing a room divider curtain is as easy as installing a window curtain. You have 3 main options to hang your curtains:
1 – Use a Ceiling Curtain Rod
The rod can be hung by brackets installed on the ceiling. First, install the bracket, then slip the curtain’s grommet into the rod. Finally, install the curtain rod onto the bracket. Brackets like this are easy to find in retail or on the Internet.
2 – Use a Tension Rod.
Curtain rods are equipped with a spring inside of the structure. The rod will push against the wall to maintain its position. Here no need for brackets. As far as your rod is not too lengthy, this is easy to install alone. Many sizes are available until 150” (12.5 ft)… You can check available sizes here.
3 – Install a Ceiling Track.
Set hooks in the rail of the ceiling track. Then hook the curtain’s grommets on the hooks. I consider it as a better option because it offers less gap between the curtain and the ceiling. You can use one like this.
To optimize the sound insulation, make sure you leave the least space between the top of your soundproof curtains and the ceiling. For that, you can set the length of the rod brackets to its minimum for example.
Make sure the rod is stiff enough or that the ceiling track can support the weight of your curtain.
The price will mainly depend on the surface you need to cover. For an effective room divider curtain, you should count around 0,55 to 0.75 $ per ft².
For example :
- To cover 15 ft width x 9 ft height (135 ft²), it will cost you around 70 – 100 $
- To cover 10 ft width x 9 ft height (90 ft²), it will cost you around 50 – 70 $
- To cover 8 ft width x 7 ft height (56 ft²), it will cost you around 30 – 45 $
On top of the curtain, you’ll need some essentials for installation. Depending on your choice between a rod or ceiling track, you should plan to spend between 30 – 100$.
Verdict: The Best Soundproof Room dividers
Now that you know almost everything about picking the right room divider curtain. And now that you unveiled the misconception about soundproofing curtains, you’re all set to transform your room into two beautiful zen and cozy spaces.
So don’t forget, there are no such things as a sound-blocking room divider curtain. The best a curtain can do is reduce noise.
Personally, my preference goes to the RYB Soundproof curtains blackout. It offers the best noise reduction performance, however, the limitations in size can be a turndown for some people. If that’s the case, I would recommend the RYB HOME Room Divider as it offers a wider range of sizes and colors while keeping a fair noise reduction performance.
Thank you for reading,
Peace & Zen-up!