According to a National Noise Report survey by Quiet Mark, over half (57%) of Brits would like their home to be quieter, with a further 62% noting that they are drawn towards quieter appliances – we talk to Poppy Szkiler, CEO and founder of Quiet Mark, to find out who is making advances in this area.
“Since the pandemic the work from home era has amplified further the importance of a quiet environment in our homes across the nation. We are seeing a greater appreciation of the importance of reducing noise to protect a sense of wellbeing”, says Poppy Szkiler CEO of Quiet Mark, the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society.
The survey, sampling 2,000 UK adults aged 18+ across all regions, also showed that almost four fifths (79%) of Brits say that it matters how loud an appliance is when purchasing one for their home, with 45% wishing their washing machine, and 43% wishing their vacuum cleaner, were quieter than their current ones.
“Optimising acoustic comfort within our homes requires a two-pronged approach”, explains Poppy. “It means choosing appliances that have low noise levels, proven to be the quietest of their category, such as kettles, fridge freezers, washing machines, while also introducing more sound-absorbing, acoustic-enhancing products and materials, if you have a lot of hard surfaces in your living spaces.”
Consequently Quiet Mark has also seen a rise in its assessment and third party certification of building products such as double or triple glazing, decorative wood acoustic wall panels, and acoustic lighting and furniture.
“Who has time to compare the sound quality of so many different appliances?” asks Poppy. “Quiet Mark has taken care of the complex technical sound measurements comparisons for people, making it easy to find the quietest, best sounding products on the market."
Since the start of the pandemic the number of Quiet Mark certified products has more than tripled from 350 to over 1,200 appliances and acoustic materials, rising from 60+ to 90+ global manufacturing brands, with their number of certified product categories increasing from 50+ to 70+, as manufactures seek to inform their customers that their products are among the quietest available.
“Visitors to our website can browse certified products by different room categories,” explains Poppy. "Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms are amongst our most sought-out categories. You’ll find a wide range of SDAs and MDAs, by an ever-growing list of leading brands who are focusing more than ever before on acoustic excellence including Bosch, Breville, Dualit, Miele, Magimix, Sage and decorative acoustic solutions like Silent Gliss curtain rails and motorised roller blinds, and heating products such as boilers and heat-pumps by Worcester Bosch, Vaillant, Samsung and many other household name manufacturers."
“In Bathrooms we have assessed and certified quiet toilet flushes by Grohe, showers by Triton and Mira, and water boost pumps by Salamander Pumps. And in the bedroom, in addition to glazing and flooring products, you can find hair dryers by Hot Tools and even alarm clocks, like the Lumie Bodyclock that mimics the light and colour of a real sunrise so when you open your eyes you feel properly awake and refreshed."
“The pandemic has also seen a significant rise in people’s desire for clean, purified air in their homes. We’ve been testing for certification large volumes of fans, air purifiers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, with certified brands including Meaco, Blueair and Duux, cooker hoods and extractor hobs for the kitchen by Novy and Belling, and extractor fans for the bathroom by S&P UK ventilation systems, Ventaxia and Xpelair”.
By highlighting the distinctive Quiet Mark ‘Q’ logo as a trusted symbol, Quiet Mark says its retail partners are enabling consumers to make a more informed choice about quieter high-performance products they will share their homes with. This is a powerful example of collective customer care to combat stress-related noise; an important health and environment issue.