Look for This Product Seal to Shop the Quietest Appliances (And Create a Calmer Home)
Quiet Mark is coming to the United States to make it easier for shoppers to find the quietest appliances and tools for the most zen home ever.
This may not come as a shock to you, but noise is not your friend. We’ve previously reported that the world’s background-noise levels are likely louder now than at any point in human history, causing damage to eardrums and sanities alike—possibly with negative repercussions for heart health and cognitive development, too.
Loud noises disrupt our concentration, break into our conversations, and disturb our sleep. They’re all around us, too, especially in our homes. Everything from your dishwasher to your hairdryer is harming your eardrums (and that’s likely the least of its effects). Groups such as the UK’s Noise Abatement Society, founded in 1959, have sought to bring quiet back into the world; today, Quiet Mark—led by the Noise Abatement Society founder’s granddaughter, Poppy Szkiler—is picking up the campaign.
“Often, it’s very difficult to know how noisy a home appliance or a piece of technology is until you get it home,” Szkiler says. “We started Quiet Mark back in 2012 to give consumers a very clear point of reference about what the quietest high-performance thing is.”
Quiet Mark has been working in the UK since, seeking to help consumers create quieter homes by spotlighting the quietest appliances, tools, and more currently on the market. The Quiet Mark award program puts products through an extensive series of tests that look at technical noise reduction solutions, decibel levels, and psychoacoustics (essentially, how different sounds’ characteristics provoke different auditory sensations, even if they have the same decibel level).
If an item is quiet enough to meet Quiet Mark’s consumer champion standards, it’s awarded the seal: an attractively simple, purple Q. Manufacturers can put the logo on their packaging so consumers know the items they’re purchasing won’t bring unnecessary noise into their homes, no mid–shopping-trip Googling necessary. (And Quiet Mark does not accept money for running its tests.) The family-owned organization has tested product launches in thirty to forty different categories, Szkiler says, and they’re adding more.
“If consumers are aware of how sound affects them, how it affects their hearts and their cortisol levels, everyone will be rethinking how they buy for their homes,” she says. “We try to take the very complex science [of acoustics] and bring that right to the shopping mall.”
To that end, Quiet Mark is currently making its North American debut and taking the fight against noise pollution stateside. It launched officially over the summer, with the first logo-awarded products hitting brick-and-mortar stores early next year.
Quiet Mark has already awarded several North American products—items such as room fans, hair dryers, space heaters, and more—with its award for excellence for acoustic design, and many of these items are available online. (See the full list on Quiet Mark’s website.) Quiet Mark–awarded items are the quietest on the market, without sacrificing performance; the Magimix 5200 XL food processor, for example, has a powerful, ultra-quiet commercial grade induction motor and is the only brand of food processors to be awarded by Quiet Mark.
Next time you’re looking to buy an appliance or tool known to be on the noisy side (or you’re wondering which noise-cancelling headphones really fulfill their promises), check for the Quiet Mark seal, or see if Quiet Mark has given the product an award. Picking awarded products mean you’re picking something that will introduce as little noise as possible in your home—a valuable thing, especially in our overloaded world.