LAST UPDATED: October 24, 2019
Best Automotive Sound Deadening Insulation: Aim for a Quiet Ride
Everyone deserves a quiet ride, whether you’re driving a luxury or economy car
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PUBLISHED ON October 24, 2019
Whether you’re a road warrior or an occasional driver, there’s nothing more distracting than road noise. It may require you to turn up your car’s audio and even cause excess vibration on critical parts in your car. It might be time to think about upgrading your car by installing quality insulation. This buying guide breaks features the best automotive sound deadening insulation options on the market.
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Benefits of Sound Deadening Insulation
- Reduces road noise. If you are often driving on roads that are gravelly, or going down noisy highways, sound insulation can give you added comfort. It will reduce the noise of the road and of other drivers. This will give you a calmer drive and you have the additional benefit of hearing your media better.
- Enhances music. Using sound insulation will make your radio clearer. You will no longer have to turn it up higher and higher over the noise of traffic. Not only will it help music, but audio books and phone calls will also sound better.
- Improves privacy. If you don’t want others on the road to hear what you are listening to, sound deadening insulation prevents noise from escaping. So whether you are jamming out to a guilty pleasure or having an important phone call over Bluetooth, the insulation will help.
Types of Sound Deadening Insulation
Peel and Stick
Peel and stick types of sound deadening insulation are, thankfully, more common on the market today. These are incredibly easy to install. All you do is cut your desired shape, peel off the back, and stick the insulation where you want it. These can be virtually anywhere in your car. Using your hand or a roller helps the insulation stick properly to the surface, so it will require some basic elbow grease.
Less commonly, car sound insulation may require an adhesive material to stick to your vehicle. These are more labor intensive, but can sometimes give you better flexibility to work around tight corners or oddly-shaped spaces. The product will most likely come with its own adhesive. You will need to apply it liberally to the surface and then stick the insulation on. This is, of course, after you cut it yourself.
Automotive Sound Deadening Insulation Pricing
- $8-$20: This will cover an area the size of a license plate.
- $60-$130: Depending on the kit, this will cover anywhere from two standard vehicle doors to the vehicle floor.
- $200 and up: This is the price you’ll pay to cover larger areas.
FatMat is a well-known brand in car sound deadening insulation. They have a variety of specifics in their products, from rattle minimizers to the Mega Mat for large projects. Based out of Ohio, FatMat has been around for several years and is known for their high quality of product. Consider the FatMat Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener Kit.
Dynamat has our top pick for products, and it is little wonder, since they have been making these since 1989. Also located in Ohio, they make products specifically for sound and thermal insulation. Not only do they make automotive products, but also products for homes and commercial buildings. Consider this bulk pack for your vehicle.
One of the best features sound deadening insulation can have is versatility. The type of insulation that just goes on your car door is great, but what if you have more specific needs? Look for a product that can be used in the trunk, on the floor, and even under the hood. Do you have other projects needing sound control? Look for ones that also can be used on boats, RVs, and even at home.
These are going to be visible, so you don’t want it to look like you rolled up some foil and stuck it on the floor of your car. The best car sound deadening insulation will have a sleek and stylish, but simple look. It should easily blend in to the rest of the features of your car and not draw attention to itself.
- Thermal Insulation. Do you have problems with the heat or cold in your car? Seeking insulation that also doubles as thermal insulation is your best bet. It may not be 100 percent effective at drowning out noise, but you will get two features for the price of one. This is particularly useful for overheating engines.
- Size Coverage. How much space do you need covered? This will really factor into the cost you’re looking at. If it’s only your car doors, then it is worth it to get more expensive insulation. But if you want to cover a whole trailer, then the cost per square foot will really add up. Seek cheaper insulation then.
Best Car Sound Deadening Insulation Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Dynamat is a leader in the sound deadening world, and this bulk pack will meet all of your insulation needs. It is .067 inch thick, and each mat is 18 by 32 inches. This bulk pack comes in a set of nine, so you won’t have to worry about running out of insulation. Overall, it covers 36 square feet. It has a fairly attractive look, but it is not subtle. This insulation is top of the line when it comes to sound clarity, privacy, and keeping out unwanted noises.
There are next to no reported issues of tearing, durability, or overall quality. It will boost and enhance your sound while minimizing annoying traffic and road noise.
While this is not a cheap brand, you do get what you pay for. If you are looking for even thicker insulation, the price will continue to rise. It will not easily blend into your car, as it has a very distinct design on it.
Noico strikes an excellent deal with this insulation. At a much cheaper price than other competitors’ products, you get 36 square feet of insulation that is 80 millimeters thick. It comes down to a mere $1.77 per square foot. It is a self-adhesive butyl product, so all you need to do is cut, peel, and stick. You will, of course, need to press down afterwards to smooth out any bubbles and ensure it is stuck tight.
To ensure that it is installed correctly, Noico has fashioned it with embossing. If it is fully stuck, the embossing will be smooth. It can be used all over your car, even in the wheel wells, which is a great perk.
However, it looks like foil, so there may be issues with sunlight reflection. It will stand out against other features of your car. While this will not block out sound 100 percent, it does an incredible job for the value.
This bulk pack from the well-known brand FatMat is a great buy to minimize the general rattling of your car. It comes in around the mid-range of price for the market, so you can get a good deal without breaking the bank. It is 80 millimeters thick and the pack itself covers 50 square feet. That is pretty exceptional for the price. You can get it either with or without the FatMat decal. It also has a heat-resistant aluminium coating, keeping it from being damaged in harsh sunlight. It is very pliable and simple to cut and install, not needing much effort from you. It is perfect for reducing vibrations and making your car quieter and music better.
However, it doesn’t have that nice of an appearance. The bright silver, either with or without the brand name on it, doesn’t blend in with your car. For certain surfaces, you may need a hair dryer to ensure it sticks properly to your car. While it is not 100 percent effective at blocking rattling, it is a superior product that will make a huge difference.
This 80 millimeter 5-square-foot sound deadening mat by Siless is designed with car enthusiasts in mind. The primary material is Bmastic, a fairly new technology geared towards sound deadening. Compared to other products on the market, this is highly affordable at only $1.53 per square foot. Extremely simple to install, there is no need for special adhesives. All you do is cut, peel, and stick. You will also need a hand roll or similar item to ensure the pieces are firmly stuck in place and any “bubbles” are out. Each sheet size is 23.6 x 15.94 inches. It is fairly light, as well, with the sheets only weighing about 5 pounds apiece.
These can be installed anywhere on your car, including the wheel wells, hood, and roof. It’s designed to be an industrial sound dampening material for the highest quality jobs.
You must be careful when cutting this, though, as the aluminum can have sharp edges. While it may not deaden sound as well as other competitors’ products, it is also much less expensive.
This sound deadening mat from Vibro is 80 millimeters thick and is excellent for high-quality noise insulation. The box itself comes with 20 mats and overall this product covers about 20 square feet. They are made of embossed black foil butyl material. They are self-adhesive, so all you have to do is cut, peel, and stick. Vibro is a well-known brand within the automotive industry, recognized and used by top manufacturers. It is excellent for sound dampening, simple to install, stylish, and overall does exactly what you purchased it for. The company also advertises that their products are 100 percent made in the USA.
This can be used for other items beyond just your vehicle, although that is its primary focus. Its versatility and sleek, simple design make it fit in with various noise projects.
However, this is not a cheap product, costing nearly $80 for the whole box. This is best used for serious, large-scale projects of sound deadening and not a casual project for slightly reduced noise levels.
Another excellent product from FatMat, this sound deadener kit is good for smaller projects. The roll encompasses 10 square feet and has a thickness of 50 millimeters. It can also be purchased in larger sizes for higher prices. It falls into the mid-range of price for this 10 square foot roll, making it affordable for your car projects.
The kit itself comes with instructions, a roller, knife, and a company decal. Versatile beyond just cars, it can also be used for homes, campers, and boats with its excellent ability to absorb vibrations, rattles, and noises. In cars, it is best used on floors, doors, and in the trunk. It is also heat-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about parking your car in the sun. Overall, it works well for sound deadening based on the price and is easy to install.
When it comes to appearance though, it is not subtle or stylish. It has a foil look with the brand logo all over it. It is made of rubberized asphalt and does have a certain smell to it that lingers over time. This is a break from similar products made from butyl.
This waterproof insulation is 80 millimeters thick and comes in rolls of 36 square feet. It is made from butyl and foil. It is about $1.60 per square foot, falling in about the mid-range of price for these products. It is highly temperature-resistant, giving you peace of mind that leaving your car out in the cold or the heat will not damage your insulation. The mat is self-adhesive, so you just need to cut, peel, and stick. The pack itself comes in nine sheets, covering a total of 36 square feet. This is good for any type or size of car, but could also be used on other projects outside of vehicles. It does excellent in blocking out noise.
The main downside that sets it apart from other competitors’ products is its slightly higher price. Also, it has a plain black look, so it’s not super stylish.
This sound deadening mat from Uxcell is an astounding 394 millimeters thick. It comes in a roll that covers more than 16 square feet, but you can also buy larger sizes. It is fairly cheap compared to similar products. It is able to save fuel by reducing heat and keeping your engine and the interior of your car well-insulated. It is also designed to keep the cold out in the winter. It is made from fiberglass and needs adhesive tape to stick on. It all comes in one roll, so you will need to cut the dimensions yourself.
The largest problem is that it isn’t as effective at noise control as other products. It is marketed as sound deadening insulation, but that quality is very minor compared to its thermal insulation. But with its thickness, it cannot really be layered to help insulate sound more. It has a foil look to it, so it is not very attractive or subtle. It is also highly flammable, so you need to keep that in mind depending on where you choose to install it.
- Not all sound-deadening insulation materials come with all the necessary accessories for installation. In some cases, you’ll need a roller, which may need to be purchased separately. Always check the full list of components for a successful install.
- If you live in warmer climates, always check to confirm that the material you’re considering purchasing is rated to work properly in higher temperatures. Not all materials are designed to function properly in the heat. Some can even degrade, emit noxious odors, and ultimately fail to block noise.
- Some insulation is easier to install than to remove. If you think there’s a chance that you might need to replace insulation after a period of time, always check to confirm the complexity of the removal process.
Q: I want to insulate a part of my car where mats and pads might not work. What should I do?
A: There are a variety of options when it comes to materials for sound deadening insulation. If you’re attempting to insulate an area where mats or woven fibers aren’t ideal, consider using a sound dampening spray. Just note that sprays can be more complex to apply because they require using a compressor accessory.
Q: What thickness should I consider when buying sound-deadening materials?
A: Thicker is better. Sound-deadening materials like mats and woven products are measured in millimeters. At a minimum, look for items that are at least 50 millimeters thick. But if you’re hoping to replicate that luxury experience, opt for higher thickness. Products that are at least 80 millimeters will be ideal. You can also purchase materials that are thicker than 100 millimeters.
Q: How much sound deadening material do I need to purchase to insulate my car?
A: This will depend on the level of noise reduction you’re hoping to achieve. If you’re only trying to reduce the faint sound of road-noise, you won’t need as much insulation as you would if your car sounds like the windows are always down. However, you should take into account that you will need to insulate common areas on your car such as the floor, roof, trunk, doors, and firewall. Always measure these areas prior to purchasing any materials to ensure you’ve bought enough to complete the process.
For the absolute best in automotive sound-deadening insulation, consider our Best Overall option, the Dynamat Thick Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener with Xtreme Bulk Pack. While pricier than our other selections, this brand has a well-deserved name in the industry for sound dampening that not only blocks road noise and minimizes rattling but helps to improve sound quality from your car’s stereo system.
If your budget doesn’t allow for Dynamat, our Best Value selection, the Noico 80 mil 36 sqft car Sound deadening mat, is a smart option. You’ll still enjoy 80 millimeters of sound deadening thickness for a superior and more comfortable ride at a fraction of Dynamat’s price.