If you are in the market for soundproofing your car, check out our top picks. It will be much easier for you to find the most appropriate sound deadening material for your car
A typical sign of old cars is excessive noise. Some cars are simply built that way, especially low-cost ones, while others started making such noise over time. Sadly, rattling usually comes from , so we are actually facing at least two problems. The bright side is that there is a resource that can help with both.
Sound deadening material has a straightforward function: it isolates the car’s cabin, so you do not have to hear outside noise. Automakers do that in a global way; they can build the car in a way to minimize noise. When it comes to us, drivers, it is possible to supplement their work through the use of specific items.
Key features of sound deadening
This operation is all about adding sheets of material to important regions in the cabin. The first characteristic to deserve your attention is its nominal thickness. Regular sheets measure 80 mil while high-end models go up to 400 mil. The thicker the sound deadening sheet, the better will be its result.
You have to keep in mind the cabin’s size as well. The best effect comes from covering the entire room in soundproofing sheets, so be prepared to make the necessary investment. You can think of 50 square feet for a full-size SUV and less for urban car models. It also depends on how many layers you want to apply.
Last, but not least, there is weight addition. Your car will get heavier as you add sound deadening sheets, whether as one thick layer or several thinner ones. Any extra weight harms the car’s fuel consumption and dynamic behavior. Extreme cases might also accelerate the wear of suspension items, brakes, and tires.
Top Picks in Sound Deadening Materials 2023
Now that you have learned the basics about soundproofing sheets, it is finally time to check what models we recommend! The following table compiles our ten options according to key characteristics so you can take a first look. After that, we list all of them with individual reviews including our own pros and cons.
|0.067″||36 sq ft|
|0.08″||50 sq ft|
|N/A||40 sq ft|
|0.05″||50 sq ft|
|0.08″||36 sq ft|
|N/A||36 sq ft|
|0.04″||40 sq ft|
|0.08″||36 sq ft|
|0.07″||15 sq ft|
|0.04″||16.4 sq ft|
Keep in mind that the topics below are overviews of the ten soundproofing materials we recommend. We do not go into details so as not to make the article excessively long. If you are really interested in some of those options, our suggestion is that you visit the website of their manufacturers for further information.
We can say that this is the best option for beginners at soundproofing your car. The 10455 Self-Adhesive Sound Deadener manages to filter noise in any way you install it, even if it you do not worry about cutting them in an optimal shape. The total area of 36 square feet makes one package suitable for many drivers.
The biggest drawback is the price, one of the highest here. It becomes worse when we learn that this type of sound deadening material is also one of the thinnest, at 67 mm. Besides that, it is only great at average insulation of road noise. Anything more specific, such as tire-chain rattling, will still penetrate the cabin.
- No need for precise cuts to make the sheets work appropriately
- Perfect for people who want good results without working hard
- One package offers enough soundproofing sheets for most cars
Pros and cons
- Easy and simple installation
- Great results without precise cutting
- Enough material to suit most cars
- One of the most expensive
- Does not filter specific types of noise
- No options of smaller sheet count
Compared to the DynaMat, this soundproofing material aims to reward effort. It pairs low price and great results, but there is more to it. It uses a special material that copies the original surface’s geometry, which keeps noise sources to a minimum. Besides that, one roll is enough to cover an entire small car’s cabin.
Now, what would that effort be? First of all, it takes more work to properly install the FatMat RT50. Not by much, but it may be harder for beginners. Speaking of which, this sound deadening material comes with aluminum edges which are sharper than we think at the first look. You can get cut if you are not careful.
- One roll is enough for a small car or a pickup truck’s entire floor
- Awesome combination of competitive price and high effectiveness
- Capable of conforming to every crevice on the surface’s geometry
Pros and cons
- Affordable price with good result
- Adapts to the base surface’s shape
- One roll has more than enough material
- Rather difficult to install in the cabin
- Sharp aluminum edges are dangerous
- Single sheet requires cutting work
The beauty of analyzing multiple options of a product is observing their specialties. Yes, in case you were thinking that all sound deadening materials were the same, you are wrong. Not only does the HushMat aim to reduce rattling noise inside the car, but it also manages to improve the audio system’s bass effect.
Such characteristics make it a niche option. Instead of deeming it good or bad, we are going to say that it is recommendable for audiophiles. If your car already has low rattling noise, having better bass will be an interesting effect. Now, if you are looking for a well-rounded soundproofing material, look elsewhere.
- Improves the bass effect of the car’s audio system
- Flexible material makes it easy to apply with a roller
- Interesting option for audiophile car owners
Pros and cons
- Average price compared to the others
- Easy and simple to install in the cabin
- Helps the stereo in low frequencies
- Does not filter rattling noise so much
- Not suitable for general purposes
Following the train of thought above, this can be considered the value pick. It is said that the same money that covers your car’s floor with DynaMat or FatMat is enough for the whole cabin with KilMat. Parallel to the low cost, you will also find that it is easy to cut its sheets, even if you have nothing but home scissors.
The biggest issue with this sound deadening material is that it is simply not so effective. The reason why it is easy to cut is that it is thin. Sadly, that also explains why it could do its job better. Those characteristics make it suitable for situations where the initial rattling is not so high, or when you are on a tight budget.
- Does not leave a bad smell after it is installed
- Low cost makes it the value pick of this list
- Easy to cut with no need for special tools
Pros and cons
- One of the cheapest options here
- Thin layer makes it very easy to cut
- It conforms to the surface’s geometry
- Does not filter much outside noise
- Thin material may tear quite easily
This is another option that catches the eye mostly thanks to its low price. Noico’s soundproofing material can look suspicious at first, but the truth is that it is one of the top performers. It is easy to cut and install, and it keeps outside vibration to a minimum. The latter contributes to make your ride smooth and silent.
Sadly, little money can only go so far. The low thickness makes this sound deadening material do worse than some of its competitors. It also takes a long time to be installed, despite being easy, and it can leave a bad smell afterwards. Make sure to pay close attention when installing it because it may cut your skin.
- Great sound deadening effect for its price
- Thin enough to be easy and simple to install
- Will not make your car excessively heavier
Pros and cons
- One of the lowest prices on this list
- Quite good performance for its price
- Easy and simple to cut and install
- Installation usually takes a long time
- Leaves an unpleasant smell at first
- The edges of the sheet can cut your skin
You know how most products try to cover all criteria, and end up being truly good at none? Pyle manages to do the opposite. If you apply this soundproofing material at the necessary areas of your car’s cabin, it will reduce outside noise quite well. And it will improve the quality of your audio system. But that is all.
This product has the sharpest aluminum edges in this list, which means it is the easiest to cut your skin. Its adhesive is weak enough to make the whole product last only a few months. And the rolls of material are shipped with wildly irregular dimensions; you literally have no way to know what exact size you will get.
- Effectively does the main job of filtering out road noise
Pros and cons
- Great sound deadening effect
- Improves the audio system’s quality
- Razor-sharp aluminum edges
- Irregular dimensions with each roll
- Weak adhesive melts after a short time
Luxury cars are known for their high-quality insulation. This sound deadening material wants to bring that feeling to your car by offering both heat and noise protection. Since it is made of butyl, you will not get a tar-like smell after installing it. However, the truth is that this material falls short of such high promises.
The soundproofing effect is not as high as one would expect because the sheets are thin. While there is no tar smell, it does leave a zinc-like smell that lasts a few days. As if that was not enough, the aluminum layer brings sharp edges that can easily cut your skin if you are not careful when installing the sheets.
- Provides some heat insulation besides sound deadening
- Reduces vibrations and improves the audio perception
- Does not leave a tar-like smell in the cabin in the first days
Pros and cons
- Provides heat and noise insulation
- Makes the audio system work better
- No asphalt smell after installation
- Leaves a strong metallic smell instead
- Thin material does not help much
- Aluminum layer has dangerous edges
Stinger’s initial sales pitch is to offer a value package with a large quantity of soundproofing material that suits most cars. However, there are more advantages to enjoy once you install it. It provides a significant insulation with only 25% of coverage, and it is not based on asphalt – no weird smells after installing it!
There are two catches, though. One is that such wonderful coverage requires you to install the sheets on the inner shell, which implies more work. The other is that this is a sound deadening material: it only does a good job at high and low frequencies. Wind noise and tire crunch, for example, are left undisturbed.
- One package has enough material for most cars
- Special composition does not leave asphalt smell
- Great soundproofing effect with a small coverage
Pros and cons
- One-size-fits-all package has good value
- No worries about an asphalt smell
- Adequate effect even with low coverage
- Difficult installation for the best effect
- Only works at high and low frequencies
- Mid-range frequencies are unaffected
This soundproofing material is different from the others. It is actually designed for surfaces in general, not only cars, and manages to protect against heat as well. And installation is a piece of cake: you just have to peel it off and adhere to the surface you want. In terms of road vehicles, it can be useful in RVs as well.
There will be a smell of asphalt afterwards, but that is usual among these products. The biggest downside is that its adhesive requires attention in terms of heat. It handles ambient heat without any problems, but sticking it right next to an engine will melt the glue. Fortunately, that is not the case with urban cars.
- Protects the room against heat, not only noise
- As easy to install as literally any regular sticker
- Adequate performance at room temperature
Pros and cons
- Heat insulation is an unexpected plus
- Even beginners will have no difficulties
- Perfect for the urban car application
- Glue does not handle high temperatures
- Noticeable asphalt smell at first
The high thickness is the main difference in this soundproofing material. It is made of fiberglass and uses a foam layer. The Uxcell also presents heat insulation and can be used on many surface types, including pipes and ceilings. You will also find out that it is quite easy to cut and install despite the higher thickness.
The negative side of being a jack of all trades is that it does not excel at anything. This sound deadening material seems to work better against heat than typical car-cabin rattling noise. The thick layer also makes it difficult to adhere to the target surface, not to mention that it represents a sizable weight increase.
- Fiberglass offers excellent heat insulation as well
- Versatile enough even for some house applications
- Easy to cut and install despite the high thickness
Pros and cons
- Offers heat and noise insulation
- No problems to cut the sheet
- You can use it in your house too
- Too thick to conform to the surface
- Fiberglass works better against heat
- Thickness implies large weight addition
Installation tips for soundproofing
We know, of course, that recommending a list of options is not enough. Any sound deadening material of that selection can work beautifully or not depending on how you install it. Now that you have seen those recommendations, it is time for us to give you tips of what deserves your attention in their installation.
The first one is intuitive: manufacturer requirements. Some models only require you to peel the sheet off of an adhesive layer and stick it to the target surface. Others can be loosely placed on top of it because they will conform under pressure. And there are others that require a roller, which means a harder job.
It is also important to see if the soundproofing material is rolled or pre-cut. Small sheets skip one step of the process, but they may not fit the target surface properly. Buying as a roll allows you to cut the shapes you need, but that requires attention. Those variables can significantly change the necessary work time.
The temperature rating is another important point. Some soundproofing materials protect against heat as well, but that is not general. They all have a certain temperature limit, so you have to keep that in mind in case the sheet is exposed to sunlight or is placed next to the engine. Otherwise, it may melt over time.
Speaking of practical usage leads us to dirt resistance. No matter where you install the sound deadening materials, they will be exposed to road dust, dirt, mud and oil. All sheets need to be replaced eventually, sure, but that frequency will become much better if you choose a model that properly suits your needs.
As we mentioned, soundproofing materials only last so long, so removal requirements are important to keep in mind as well. Some sheets are much harder to remove because of the adhesive material they use. Once again, the best action you can take is to carefully read the manufacturer’s technical information.
After reviewing those sound deadening materials, we can repeat what we said earlier: they are definitely not the same. They have key differences in terms of material, availability, and practicality, not to mention price. That is why we are not going to establish one winner, but a shortlist of our top recommendations.
- is the easiest to use, which makes it ideal for beginners or people who cannot invest much time in installation.
- offers the best value because it has great soundproofing performance that comes at a reasonable price.
- offers good heat insulation without harming its sound deadening capacity, which makes it the most versatile option.
Last, but not least, the HushMat 10200 is our honorable mention among sound deadening materials. As we have said, it is not better nor worse than the others. It has a lower soundproofing capacity but it also manages to boost the audio system’s bass effect. It is the best option for the niche of audiophile drivers.
Frequently asked questions
According to our list, there are three models with 80-mil thickness: the , the , and the .
In practice, yes. While the soundproofing material per se is usually non-flammable, especially in terms of car cabins, it comes with layers of adhesive and other materials. In practice, it is necessary to read the manufacturer’s information in order to stay on the safe side.
All the products on our come with their respective Amazon links. You can click on them from the product’s picture or from the table above the list.
Some of them are derived from asphalt, which is why they leave a strong tar smell when installed. Others are made of butyl, which does not cause that problem. There are rare cases made of fiberglass, which gives the soundproofing material different properties.
Joe Stewart is a 35-year-old automotive enthusiast born in Miami, Florida. He is a part-time collaborator in AutomoBible and specializes at making car passion accessible to readers thanks to his product curations of all types.
Stewart worked in the automotive industry for several years especially in the field of accessories. He executed projects for several automakers whether to improve existing solutions or to design new ones according to their needs.
Nowadays, Stewart is expressing his passion for cars on AutomoBible. He is always looking for exciting new products and he tests them whenever he can, whether on his own 2020 Dodge Charger or on his friends's cars.