As more people live and work in busy urban centres, it’s reasonable to expect that the amount of street noise is also on the rise.

Many see the symphony consisting of honking horns, screeching tires, and foot traffic as a necessary burden of life in the city. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are many different ways to dampen the noise, perhaps the most surprising solution lies in the type of window coverings you choose.

Cellular Shades

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These types of shades are often extolled for their ability to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature thanks to a design that traps air between the layers, creating a barrier of separation between the outside and inside of a home.

Since noise relies on air to carrier the sound waves, the multiple layers of fabric and empty space help to muffle unwanted sounds.

Roman Shades

Since roman shades tend to be made from a variety of different fabrics, they too can be just as effective at muffling sound as they are blocking the sun’s rays.

Add a blackout liner to further enhance the noise cancelling qualities of these stylish window coverings. As one might expect, the thicker the material is, the greater its noise-canceling properties will be.


Nice-Long-Curtains-for-Living-Room Noise Cancelling Smart Window Treatments

When it comes to cancelling out noise pollution, think of drapes as an additional line of defense from the outside world. Like roman shades, the thicker the material, the better they will be at absorbing sound.

Drapes can be paired with cellular or roman shades as well, allowing the homeowner to add to a room’s aesthetic, while reducing outdoor noise at the same time.

Pleated Shades

Stylistically speaking, pleated shades most commonly resemble cellular shades. Like cellular shades, the pleated shape design helps to insulate against the sun and some street noise, but the lack of “cells” means that they simply aren’t as effective at blocking out noise as other options.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean that their noise cancelling abilities should be overlooked, but rather, they are perhaps most effectively used in rooms located on a higher floor, where proximity to the street noise is reduced.

Things to Take Away

It can be difficult to find the best window covering solution, particularly when you have a number of different goals in mind. Having said that, there are a few things to remember before making that all-important buying decision.

  • If noise cancellation is a priority, stay away from cheap metal blinds and other hard materials. Wooden slats will impede noise pollution, but won’t absorb as much as a heavy, dense fabric.
  • When fabrics are marketed as “noise cancelling”, they’re often given a sound transmission class (STC) rating that will allow you to gauge their efficacy. For example, a fabric with an STC of 20-25 muffles sound, whereas a rating of 60 means loud sounds can barely be heard.

If you live on a busy street and are tired of the consistently high levels of noise pollution, it doesn’t mean you need to start searching for a new place to live — it could simply mean that you need to upgrade to a different type of window covering that’s up to the challenge of returning your home to the sanctuary it should be.

It’s also important to remember that window coverings will not likely block out all unwanted noise, but they are a cost-effective way to reduce it considerably. For help finding the right window coverings for your needs, consult an Elite Window Fashions sales associate.