Soundproofing a Vehicle is something that anyone who doesn’t own a luxury car should consider doing.
There’s a reason why luxury cars are so silent. This is because of more than one reason, not just better sound insulation, but the soundproofing in those cars is definitely a lot better than in most.
Luckily, this is something that you can do yourself in just a couple of hours and without even needing to spend that much on soundproofing materials.
In this article I will tell you what the best sound deadening materials for cars are.
Since there are so many different ones which vary quite a lot in price and quality, I will also tell you which ones I think are the most Cost-efficient right at the end so you don’t waste any money.
Table of Contents
- The Three Ways to Stop Noise Transmission
- What to look for in a Sound Deadening Material
- Best Car Sound Deadening Materials
- How cheap is too cheap?
- Where to Apply the Sound Deadening Materials
- The Most Cost-Efficient Options
The Three Ways to Stop Noise Transmission
Before you start to soundproof your vehicle, you should know that noise will be generated in a few different ways, which means that you won’t be using just one material and one method, but rather a couple, depending on how the sound is transmitted.
Stop panels from resonating
Usually the biggest culprit when it comes to any of the noises generated inside a car are the large and thin sheets of metal.
This is because they reverberate which will not only transmit the noises, but even amplify them, just like a gong would.
There are materials which can be adhered to these metal panels, like on the inside of the doors, which will drastically reduce the rattling noises generated from these metal parts.
In order to block sound, you are going to want to use some thick and dense material like Mass Loaded Vinyl or Soundproofing Floor Mats which should reduce outside noises and road noise transmission.
Absorb air-borne noise
To absorb air-borne noise you will need to install some sound absorbing materials or anything that can make the soundwaves die out faster.
Most of the sound deadening materials used in cars do both; they block sound and also absorb it.
If you’ve ever been to a recording studio or rehearsal room, then you’ve probably seen the acoustic panels hanging on the walls.
These are used to absorb sound, which make the soundwaves die out quicker, making the room feel more silent.
The sound absorbing materials you install in your car can do the exact same thing.
What to look for in a Sound Deadening Material
There are a couple things you should be keeping in mind before buying;
The Type of Material
The two most common materials used are butyl- and asphalt- based sound deadeners.
Butyl is a much better material since it’s odorless and can withstand higher temperatures, but there are some really good asphalt based ones, or even some sound deadeners which use a combination of both.
Types of insulation
Some materials are designed to block sound while some others are designed to absorb it.
Acoustic panels, like the ones you see in music studios, are designed to absorb sound. In short, they reduce the room’s echo.
The materials used to soundproof a car tend to do a bit of both, but mostly they block the sound as well as reducing the vibrations generated by the thick metal sheets like doors, trunk floor, etc. which can create rattling noises.
This concept is fairly simple to understand; the thicker the material, the better it will block sound, in general.
Best Car Sound Deadening Materials
Let me say that all of the materials on this list are good, they will all help soundproof your car to some extent, but some are better than others, but probably more expensive.
There will be a list later in the post where I’ll tell you which my favorite materials are from a cost-efficiency standpoint.
Dynamat is bar far the best-known sound deadening material for cars currently available on the market.
It has an aluminum front and butyl back which not only excels at blocking sound, but is also extremely heat-resistant and even odorless.
Dynamat is also very easy to apply, which is not something that should be ignored, although most of the sound deadening materials used these days have an adhesive backing which makes the installation a very simple and quick process.
The company sells a lot of different versions of the product which are designed for different uses, but the most effective one is the Dynamat Extreme which they claim is 4 times more effective than the original version of Dynamat.
If there is one thing me and many other people don’t like, it’s the price.
It is the most expensive one on this list, although it may be for good reason because it’s an excellent product, but luckily there are other much more affordable alternatives available which I’ll get to in a minute.
- Highly Effective at reducing noise, vibration and heat transmission.
- Easy to Apply
If you have the budget and want the best product on the market, definitely use Dynamat.
Dynapad and Dynaliner
Both of these are Dynamat products which serve two different purposes;
Dynapad is a very thick and waterproof material which doesn’t have an adhesive backing since it’s designed to be placed under the carpeting in your car.
Simply place it on the floor and put the carpet on top.
Dynapad is excellent at managing temperature insulation and at lowering road noise, especially when combined with Dynamat.
Dynaliner isn’t designed to be installed on the floor, even though it can be, in fact it should be installed in the doors and under the hood.
This is because it is a very heat-resistant material designed to reduce mostly heat transmission, but it will also help reduce the vibrations which cause rattling noise.
Again, since both of them are a Dynamat product, the price tag on both is going to be quite high, but you would be getting the top of the line products, which is something that many prefer.
HushMat, just like Dynamat, is a butyl material, which means that it will be excellent at reducing road noise as well as being an effective temperature insulator.
It comes with an installation kit where you get everything you need, no extra expenses there.
This is one great alternative to Dynamat simply because it will provide similar results at a reduced price.
Since HushMat is butyl-based, this means that you won’t need to worry about heat damaging it or from it generating any odors.
It can withstand temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, so no worries there, that’s why butyl based sound deadeners are better.
- Butyl product; great at reducing noise and temperature.
- Can withstand temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
HushMat is a fantastic alternative to Dynamat for anyone who is on a budget.
The first thing that jumps out when taking a look at this product is that it’s asphalt based, which isn’t ideal.
The issue with asphalt based deadening mats is that they aren’t great at withstanding heat, in fact they will melt and start to smell.
This is why I don’t recommend them for anyone living in a very hot climate.
If you live somewhere where you don’t get extremely hot temperatures during the summer, then absolutely, go for an asphalt based mat since they tend to be more affordable than butyl ones.
You can get different versions of FatMat, but I’d suggest you stick to the thickest one which is the 80mil version since it’s the best performing one.
An added perk is that you can purchase different surface coverages, from 25 square feet all the way up to 200.
It has an adhesive backing which makes the installation a breeze! No extra tools needed, just peel the adhesive backing off and install.
View the current price for FatMat on Amazon here.
- Asphalt Based
- Very easy to install
- You can purchase different surface coverages
FatMat Hood Liner
FatMat doesn’t just produce the sound deadening mats I previously described, they also produce a hood liner which is great at reducing engine noise and protecting the paint on top from peeling off if the hood tends to get too hot.
It would be serving the same purpose as Dynaliner, but at a lower price.
It is, essentially, a 0.75-inch thick foam with an adhesive side that you adhere to the inner side of the hood.
This is a great investment if your hood gets way too hot.
- Great for lowering hood temperature
- Great engine noise isolation
Noico 80 mil Sound deadening Mat
If you seriously want to save money and not sacrifice performance, then the Noico 80 mil Sound Deadening Mat should be your go-to choice.
I said I would be giving you a list of the most cost-effective materials at the end of the post, and the Noico Sound deadening mats are my number one choice for that list.
Why are they so good?
They are a butyl based sound dampener, just like Dynamat, giving you the same results at a fraction of the price, plus the Noico ones are thicker (80 mil), which means that they should actually perform even better.
The installation is very simple because it has an adhesive backing; no other tools needed.
You can get a pack that covers 18 square feet or another one that covers 36 square feet on Amazon.
Another bonus is that it comes in two colors; Silver and Black.
- Butyl based material with asphalt undercoating
- Thicker than its competition, Dynamat
- Adhesive backing
- Two different colors to choose from
If you asked me to choose just one deadening mat, it would be this one, for sure!
Noico Green Liner
The Noico Green Liner is Noico’s version of Dynamat’s Dynaliner, which are primarily used to lower engine noise and the transmission of heat to the car’s hood.
This is a 170 mil closed cell foam sound deadening material with excellent thermal insulation capabilities, handling up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Noico is clearly showing that they too can create excellent products, just like Dynamat, but at a much more affordable price.
Again, this would be my top recommendation if you need an effective and cost-efficient material to sound deaden the engine noise and protect the hood’s paint from peeling off due to the heat.
- Excellent heat and Sound Insulation
- Cheaper than the Competition
KilMat is again a Butyl based sound deadening mat which is excellent at reducing road noise, engine noise, outside noise, vibrations and rattling noise at a very affordable cost.
Just like the previously discussed Noico Mat, Kilmat is highly cost-effective and an excellent Dynamat alternative.
Thickness is very important when it comes to sound deadening materials; Kilmat sells this 80 mil foil and butyl mat which is the one I would recommend you purchase if you decide to go for Kilmat, since it’s the thickest one they sell.
The installation process is very simple since it also has an adhesive backing which you just need to peel off, but you will need to use the wooden roller to firmly adhere it.
- Easy to install
- 80 mil thickness
- Butyl and foil material
The Soundqubed Q-Mat is a bit thicker than the other ones on this list; Being a 86.6 mil butyl deadener one would assume that the extra thickness makes it better than the rest, but to be honest the noise reduction is very similar.
The interesting thing abound Soundqubed Q-Mat is the way it looks.
Most other brands are either black or silver, Q-Mat is black and also has its green logo stamped all over, which might be a pro or con depending on what you like.
Still, I think that this product is very effective at doing what it’s supposed to do, which is reducing vibrations and rattling noises, road noise and improving temperature insulation.
It is also a very affordable alternative to Dynamat, just like all the others I mentioned.
- A bit thicker than the rest
- Different color scheme
Thermo-Tec Acoustical and Heat Suppressor
The Thermo-Tec sound deadener has a polyethylene film and a foil surface which provides good sound and temperature insulation.
They claim that it can withstand up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit of direct heat, however I’ve read a couple reviews where they described that given such conditions the material would sometimes unglue.
Since the thickness is of 70 mils, the insulation is pretty damn good, especially considering the price since it’s very affordable.
It is especially designed to be installed in areas like firewalls, floorboards, or doors.
If you can get past the fact that it sometimes unglues under high heat, then the Thermo-Tec Suppressor is a great investment.
- Good for areas like firewalls, floorboards, or doors
- Glue not that great at handling heat
B-Quiet Sound Deadening Mat
This is a viscoelastic butyl based sound deadener which is flexible, versatile and also shares all the qualities of all the other butyl based products such as great heat and sound insulation capabilities as well as being completely odorless.
This material is 60 mil in thickness, which is not as thick as the 80 mil Noico Mat, and like I mentioned, thickness is very important, however, it’s a surprisingly effective vibration and noise reducer.
Since it’s so flexible, it’s very easy to work with and install.
This is a great all-rounder and works well at absorbing any kind of vibration and any other noise types.
The one issue I found is that it doesn’t come with any additional equipment to make the installation process easier, plus it’s a bit pricier than some of the other options.
- Very flexible and easy to work with
Uxcell Sound Deadener
The Uxcell Sound Deadener will keep the inside of your ride cool and quiet.
It’s easy to install and keeps out the heat and unwanted noise and can basically be installed anywhere you like; On the floors, roof, doors, etc.
It’s made of Aluminum Fiber and Muffler cotton and it can cover from 16-32 square feet depending if you buy the single one or the pack of two.
Note: It is a very thick material, 394 mils to be exact, which means that even though it might excel at reducing heat, sound and vibration transmission, it might be hard to fit in tight spaces, like the doors.
Just like many other materials on this list, The Uxcell sound deadener is also an effective temperature insulator and not just a great sound and vibration deadener.
The manufacturers assure you that this product will slow down the car paint aging as well as increase the life of pipelines and circuitry.
This is because the engine temperatures might be very high while driving while being extremely cold outside, which can damage the pant, circuitry, etc.
- Very Thick
- Scratch Resistant
- Great heat insulator
The thicker the product, the better, generally speaking.
And while it might be an excellent soundproofing material, while also being waterproof, its thickness might make the installation a bit more complicated.
This is why I wouldn’t recommend it for the doors, where you might want to use something like the SounSkins instead.
GTMat Onyx Sound Deadener
The quality of the GTMat Onyx Soundeadener is very good! It’s a butyl based material of 80 mil thickness which is water, oil, salt, rust and heat resistant.
Just like any of the other butyl based sound deadeners, GTMat is excellent at insulating noise, temperature and at reducing vibrations.
In the box you get the 5 sheets of 20” x 28.5” of GTMat plus a wooden roller, Degreaser, Instructions and two GTMat Decals.
The installation is very simple since it’s got an adhesive backing.
Note: Before installing it make sure to thoroughly clean the surfaces with the Degreaser and then apply hard pressure with the wooden roller.
The harder the pressure, the more it will stick.
- Butyl Based sound deadener
- Easy to install
- Includes all the installation materials
- A bit more expensive than some of the others
Vibro 6mm closed cell foam
Closed cell foam is typically installed on top of a butyl product like the Noico Dampening Mat since it will perform better this way, reducing sound and vibration insulation within the vehicle.
The Vibro 6mm foam is easy to cut and 100% waterproof.
In the box you get 9 sheets which are 19.5” x 23.5” in size and can cover about 29 square feet.
This product is very easy to install since it’s got an adhesive backing, meaning that in order to apply it you simply need to remove it and install it.
It’s a good idea to use this product on the roof of your car or van, after you’ve installed some butyl sound deadeners.
I personally think that there isn’t much reason to cover it up since it also looks quite nice.
- Easy to apply
- Self-adhesive backing
When it comes to 6mm closed cell foams, the Vibro 6mm foam would be my top recommendation.
Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass Loaded Vinyl is probably the most common soundproofing material in general since it can fit so many different applications.
It’s a fantastic material which will block sound exceptionally well and it can also be used in cars.
However, it wouldn’t be my top recommendation for the simple fact that you would need a Glue Spray to install it, which will end up being a bit more work.
It still is a very good sound blocking material which, when properly installed on the car’s floor, should reduce road noise by quite a lot.
- Excellent soundproofing material for any purpose
- Requires Glue to install
Soundskins are mainly designed for sound deadening your car’s doors and to reduce rattling noises caused by vibrations.
It comes in a single 79″ x 19″ sheet which covers 11 square feet and it’s waterproof.
While not being the cheapest product per square foot on this list, it’s certainly one of the best, which makes it a good investment for reducing door vibration.
Doors are one of the major culprits when it comes to rattling noises and since SoundSkins are specifically designed to deal with this issue, I can absolutely recommend them.
The material is easy to cut and to install thanks to its adhesive backing.
Note: The more surface you can cover, the better, but you can get great results by just covering about 25% of the door.
You just need to make sure to spread the pieces evenly.
- Great at reducing Vibration and Rattling
- Adhesive backing; easy to install
Second Skin Automotive Insulation
Second Skins are another excellent butyl based sound deadening material which is excellent at reducing both vibration and rattling noises, as well as road noises and it works great both for soundproofing the floor, roof, etc. as well as the doors.
It is also an excellent temperature insulator.
The 80 mil version of this product is a bit more expensive than most of the other ones on this list, but it is still an excellent choice if you can’t get your hands on the Noico or the Kilmat.
This one also comes with an adhesive backing which makes the installation quite simple.
The 13.5 square feet pack is enough to soundproof two car doors, if you want to soundproof the floors or the trunk, I’d recommend getting the 30 square feet box.
- Butyl Based Product
- Easy to Install
- A bit more expensive than some other products on this list
How cheap is too cheap?
Any of the sound deadening materials on this list will work perfectly fine, but if you go any cheaper, say 1.5 US$ per square foot and under, then you might be getting a product which might not hold up over time or might not be as efficient at insulating the car.
I’d recommend sticking to the ones mentioned in this guide, especially the ones I’ll list as the most cost-effective sound deadening materials in just a bit.
It’s better to cover less surface but to use good quality materials than the opposite, since bad quality sound deadeners will need to be replaced shortly which will end up costing more in the long run.
If you need to save money, then my recommendation would be to just cover about 25% of the surface you’re trying to soundproof.
This should give sufficiently good results at a very low cost.
Where to Apply the Sound Deadening Materials
This isn’t as simple as it may seem, since every car is different, plus it’s not the same to soundproof a regular car than it is to soundproof a van, or something bigger which has bigger walls.
If possible, you should install a sound deadening mat on the entirety of the floor, especially in the front of the car.
The more surface you can cover, the better.
If you have a car with a big trunk, then you should also install deadening mats all over the trunk’s floor as well as the wheel wells.
To soundproof the doors, you should install SoundSkins both on the outer and inner sheets of the door.
Soundproofing the walls and the roof is something that can also be done, but I don’t think that it’s as essential.
Here are some detailed guides on how to do it;
The Most Cost-Efficient Options
This is, to me at least, the most important section in this article.
Even though you could install Dynamat everywhere, this would end up being very expensive and the results wouldn’t be that much better, so getting the best cost-effective materials is essential.
The best five materials I recommend which are the most cost-efficient are;
- The Noico 80 mil Sound Deadening Mat (For general Insulation; Floors, doors, roof, walls)
- The KilMat 80 mil Sound Deadening Mat (For general Insulation; Floors, doors, roof, walls)
- Noico Green Liner (for hood and engine insulation)
- SoundSkins (For the Doors)
- Vibro 6mm closed cell foam (to cover up the mats you installed previously and to enhance the insulation)
With such a huge variety of sound deadening materials at your disposal, it’s no wonder that deciding on one is near impossible.
If you like Dynamat because it’s the most respected brand when it comes to car sound deadening mats, then absolutely go for them, just know that the Noico and Kilmat mats are of the same quality but sell for much less, which is why they are my top recommendation.
If you need some guidance on how to soundproof your vehicle, here are two in-depth guides;
If you know of any other good quality sound deadening materials for cars that I didn’t cover in this article, please let me know in the comment section below.
Have a wonderful day!