Good fences make good neighbors, but putting up a picket fence inside a small apartment to help keep the peace between two roommates just isn’t an option. As an alternative, Ikea, which has been all in on smart home devices lately, now sells sound-absorbing curtains, which might actually be its smartest home accessory yet.
Given the shape the world is in right now, there are plenty of reasons to shell out $189 for a side table air purifier to help reduce the amount of air pollution you’re breathing in, or to help deal with a roommate’s decision to cook fish last night. But what about noise pollution? No one wants to spend their life wearing a pair of noise-canceling headphones because a roommate doesn’t watch TV at a reasonable volume level while eating Doritos as loudly as a cow chewing its cud. A better solution is just a curtain rod away.
Ikea claims its new Gunnlaug curtains are made from chenille yarn with a special weave in the fabric that “has 50-100% greater absorption of medium and high sound frequencies than other fabrics with similar quality and weight.” The Swedish furniture maker even boasts that the Gunnlaug curtains are ISO 354-certified, which is an official standard used to measure and verify the sound absorption capabilities of “materials used as wall or ceiling treatments.”
For optimal sound dampening performance, Ikea recommends hanging the curtains with added folds somewhere between three and five inches from a wall. They won’t make a noisy roommate completely disappear, but Ikea promises they’ll help to reduce echos and reverberation in higher frequencies, like when a roommate is clanging dishes and cutlery in the kitchen at 3 a.m. The Gunnlaug curtains will cost you $50 for a 5-foot-wide section, so covering an entire apartment could get expensive, but it’s still cheaper than living on your own.