Sound can be a tricky thing to manage, especially in indoor spaces. One way to help control it is by using indoor plants. Yes, you read that right! Certain plants are known to absorb sound, helping create a quieter and more peaceful environment.
When we talk about the “Best Sound Absorbing Indoor Plants,” we’re considering all types of environments and needs. Whether you’re trying to focus on work, need some calm in a busy household, or want to make a space more comfortable for someone sensitive to noise, these plants could be a solution.
Let’s dive in and explore more about these amazing green sound absorbers.
Scientific Evidence Supporting the Idea That Plants Can Absorb Sound
Sound absorption by plants isn’t just a myth; it’s supported by science. Studies have shown that plants can indeed help to reduce noise levels, especially in indoor spaces.
The leaves, branches, and wood all absorb, deflect, and refract sound waves, which helps to lower the overall noise level.
Moreover, plants can reduce reverberation by absorbing sound echoes bouncing off hard surfaces like walls and floors.
How Do Plants Absorb Sound?
It’s all about how sound waves interact with the plants. When a sound wave hits a plant, it gets scattered in different directions.
This scattering effect, combined with the absorption properties of the plant materials, helps to reduce the overall noise level.
The more plant surface area it is for sound waves to interact with, the better the sound absorption effect.
So having a good number of these natural sound absorbers can really help in creating a more peaceful indoor environment.
Does the Size or Type of Plant Matter for Sound Absorption?
Absolutely! The size and type of plant can make a big difference in its sound absorption capabilities. Larger plants with more leaves and branches can absorb more sound due to their larger surface area.
Similarly, plants with thicker and denser foliage tend to be better at absorbing sound than those with thin, sparse leaves.
So when selecting the best sound-absorbing indoor plants for your specific needs, consider going for larger, denser types to maximize sound absorption.
Best Sound Absorbing Indoor Plants
Ferns are known to help reduce sound due to their large surface area. The wide, dense leaves spread out and cover a considerable amount of space, making them effective at absorbing noise. They work best when placed near corners where they can trap sound from various angles.
This dense plant, resembling moss, is a great sound reducer when elevated off the ground. The plant drapes itself over the pot, catching sounds that non-hanging plants might miss. They are most effective when hung higher off the ground.
The thick, broad leaves of the Peace Lily give it excellent noise-absorbing properties. They absorb and bounce sounds effectively. These plants are easy to maintain and don’t require much upkeep.
These tall plants can grow up to three feet and have broad, thick leaves that reduce noise. They cover a large surface area, enhancing their sound-absorbing properties, and their large size allows them to act as an acoustic wall.
The density of the Weeping Fig plant makes it an excellent noise blocker. The thick, arching branches and leaves are great at absorbing sound. Placing these plants in the middle area of your walls can help fill any sound gaps.
Norfolk Island Pine
The crisscross pattern of the pine needles helps trap the sound within the plant itself. Despite their small size, the needles cover a significant surface area, making them effective at blocking noise.
These plants have broad, thick leaves and can grow tall, making them effective sound absorbers. The cupped shape of the leaves also contributes to sound absorption. They work best when surrounded by other plants to fill in the bottom area where sound might pass through.
Known for their broad fronds, these plants are dense at the bottom, deflecting sound up into the fronds. They cover a large surface area and are good as standalone plants if you have limited space for multiple plants.
Janet Craig (Dracaena Janet Craig)
This plant is an excellent sound absorber as it is dense from top to bottom. The leaves spread out from the base to the top, providing substantial coverage for sound absorption.
Where Should These Plants Be Placed for Maximum Sound Absorption?
Plants are not just a visual delight; they can also help absorb sound and create a more peaceful indoor environment. But where should you place them for the best results?
The answer is pretty straightforward: put them where the sound is! Plants work best when placed near the source of the noise, like a busy hallway, next to speakers, or near windows facing a noisy street.
But don’t forget the corners! Sound tends to bounce off hard surfaces and can get trapped in corners, creating an echo. A plant in these spots can help dampen that effect.
How Many Plants Are Needed for Effective Sound Absorption?
The number of plants needed for effective sound absorption can vary. It largely depends on the size of your space and the amount of noise you’re dealing with.
As a general rule, the more plants, the better. But this doesn’t mean you need a jungle in your living room! Even a few well-placed plants can make a difference.
Start small, maybe with five to six plants, and then add more if you feel the need. Remember, it’s not just about sound absorption; it’s also about creating an indoor space that feels good to you.
Are There Other Factors to Consider, Like the Room’s Acoustics, Furniture Placement, etc.?
Absolutely! While plants can play a part in absorbing sound, they’re just one piece of the puzzle. Room acoustics, furniture placement, and even the materials used in your space can all impact how sound travels.
For instance, hard surfaces like tiles and wood can reflect sound, causing it to bounce around the room. Adding soft items, like rugs or upholstered furniture, can help absorb some of this noise.
Similarly, a room full of hard, flat surfaces is going to echo more than one with a variety of shapes and textures. So, when planning your space, think about mixing it up.
Add some plants, sure, but also consider other elements that can help create a quieter, more inclusive environment.
Remember, my advice is based on the information available up until September 2021. For the most recent research and information, you may want to do some additional digging.
Sound absorption is a complex field, and while plants can certainly play a role, they’re just one tool in your toolkit. Happy decorating!
Additional Benefits of Indoor Plants
Indoor plants are known for their aesthetic appeal and air-purifying qualities, but they offer a multitude of additional benefits that contribute to a more pleasant indoor environment.
They have been found to reduce stress levels, with an indoor gardening task showing a lower stress response in participants compared to a computer-based task.
Additionally, real plants may sharpen your attention, enhancing concentration and attentiveness, particularly in learning environments.
Working with plants can be therapeutic, providing a sense of well-being and serving as a tool in managing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.
Plants may even aid in recovery from illness faster by offering a calming and natural environment that stimulates healing.
In the workspace, plants may boost your productivity and improve your outlook on work, fostering greater job satisfaction and commitment to the organization.
plants may improve the quality of indoor air, contributing to a healthier living environment.
Case Studies and Examples
The use of indoor plants for sound absorption is gaining recognition in both residential and commercial settings. Studies have shown that plants and living green walls are effective in absorbing sound and noise pollution.
Not only do they offer sound-absorbing qualities, but they also contribute to workers’ overall well-being by improving productivity and reducing absenteeism.
In practical applications, full plants such as lady palms or Schefflera amate have been used in open office spaces to absorb sounds, creating a natural “wall” between spaces.
These plant arrangements are often recommended in changing office configurations to counteract unintended consequences of ambient noise from more open spaces.
Furthermore, placing select plants suspended in the periphery of movement corridors or along windows significantly lowers the reverberation of the windows, creating a calming environment.
A specific example includes the use of Cladonia stellaris partitions that can absorb a potential of -18Db in a workspace.
For effective sound absorption, it’s recommended to have groupings of different-sized plants, with large-leaved plants like Strelitzia nicolai (white bird of paradise) and Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig) being particularly effective sound absorbers.
Living green walls or preserved moss panels, especially preserved reindeer moss, have also demonstrated effectiveness in absorbing sound in the frequencies of the human voice range
Creating a beautiful, lush, green, and noise-reducing environment involves placing plants at the perimeter of your space.
Plant selection should include varieties with broad leaves such as fiddle leaf figs, split-leaf philodendrons, white bird of paradise, and larger variety of Aglaonemas.
These plant types are not just noise reducing, but modern, and sleek, and will make your space much more visually appealing
choosing the best sound-absorbing indoor plants can make your space more serene and tranquil. Remember, plants aren’t just beautiful; they also absorb sounds, reducing noise and enhancing your comfort.
While the effect might not be as strong as special soundproofing materials, every bit helps. Plus, plants bring other benefits like cleaning the air and boosting your mood. Do a bit of research to find the plants that fit your space and lifestyle best.
Your home or office can be a more peaceful, inviting place with the right plants. Don’t hesitate to bring a touch of nature indoors, and enjoy the calm it can bring.