13 Tips to Soundproof a Bedroom For A Noise-Free Sleep

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The comprehensive guide on all the steps you can take to soundproof your life.

Loud noises can be irritating throughout the daylight hours but particularly disturbing when we’re trying to sleep. So many people have to deal with noisy neighbours, common walls, or even street noise that can make its way into your room and disturb your sleep.

There’s no need to fret, though. Sound is an element that can be controlled and lessened by taking simple steps.

Tips to Soundproof Your Bedroom

First, what is soundproofing? 

Soundproofing is the process of taking action to reduce noise and the level of noise within a space. It works by making airtight seals to prevent noise from entering through doors, windows or walls. Preventing airflow from the source of noise means no sound. In addition to creating an airtight seal, sound can also be lessened by dampening it. This means adding more furniture into a room or utilising fluffy structures like foam.

The first step you want to take when first analysing a room for soundproofing is to note all gaps, cracks, and holes that may be letting in sound. These are most commonly found underneath and around the door, the edges of windows, vents, and all the corners. One of the effective ways can be to line the walls and windows with acoustic-grade quilt and foam, but that’s quite expensive. However, an average person may not need it.

Here are some cheaper and DIY-friendly options.

Simple & effective soundproofing ideas for bedroom

soundproofing ideas for bedroom

1) Line the door frame with a “door sock”, “draft stopper” or weather strips.

When soundproofing, the first place you would want to check is the door and the gaps between the frames. The bottom of the door is the biggest gap and this area can be filled with a door sock or draft stopper. A temporary fix would be stuffing a blanket or piece of fabric under the door to temporarily create a sound barrier. 

Installing the draft stopper would be a more permanent solution. Around the edges of your door you can use weatherstrips to create that tight seal that is needed for effective soundproofing. 

Alternatively, you can also simply hang jackets, clothes, or towels on the back of the door using hooks to increase noise absorption and blockage.

2) Use acoustic caulk to seal any gaps or cracks on the window or door frame.

Acoustic caulk is similar to regular caulk but it does a better job of blocking out sound. Acoustic caulk can be used to seal any gaps or cracks in the window or door frame. It could also be used to see other cracks around the room that you believe may be letting in sounds from outdoors.

It may be a good practice to also go over any existing caulking to ensure all possible cracks invisible to the naked eye are sealed.

3) Hang heavy blankets or a couple of towels on the door and walls.

Many musicians utilise heavy moving blankets to soundproof their studios. This method is also effective for bedrooms. This is because a room covered with these dense fabrics makes it much harder for sound to bounce off the walls, thus dampening it. You can hang blankets or towels over doors and windows or even on the wall itself to achieve this. You can nail or hang them using hooks or a curtain rod.

Alternatively, if you want to explore the DIY route, you can consider making your own acoustic panels from old towels to hang on the wall. Simply make a wooden frame and staple your front-facing towel of choice across the front and around all edges, stapling it at the back like canvas. Then, pack in a couple of layers of towels inside, stitching them together in the centre so that they do not sag. You can hang the finished frame-up, and it surprisingly looks better than acoustic foam at a fraction of the cost. 

There are even some noise-cancelling tests that demonstrate towels are even more effective compared to professional-grade acoustic foam.

4) Use a heavy curtain on the window.

Windows are often the main place where outside noise enters a room. Glass panels, improper installation, and old window frames can all lead to a lot of noise making its way into your room. The simplest solution is to invest in good quality, heavy curtains. This will work similarly to hanging a blanket and will help to dampen sound.

Curtains designed specifically for soundproofing are also available online. A noisy neighbour mowing the lawn too early on the weekend can now be silenced. While you’re sleeping, close the curtain to keep the sound out and open it to hear the bustling world while you’re awake.

5) Apply clear window insulation, safety sheets or glazing films on the window.

Any extra layer you can add to your window will be helpful for soundproofing. Since glass is a thin material, sound can get through it easily. Clear window insulation is commonly applied for insulation. These insulation films are primarily used for thermal insulation, however they’re also great for soundproofing for a little extra boost.

If you don’t want the look of the insulation film on your window all year round you can also go for glazed sheets or safety sheets that are traditionally used for making a window frosty. These are normally seen in a bathroom. They will add an extra layer to your window to make it more soundproof than just a pane of glass.

6) Put a heavy rug or carpet on the floor.

Hard flooring like hardwood floors or tiles can greatly increase the sound reverberation throughout a room. These floors make everything echo and sound just a bit louder. Whether it’s booming voices or loud footsteps, hard flooring is one of the first things you imagine when you think of an echoey space. So, cover them up with a fluffy, heavy rug that will greatly reduce echoes and help absorb noise. Plus, they’ll make your space cozier while still being easy to clean.

7) If your door is hollow, consider replacing it with a solid door.

Many people don’t even realize that their doors are hollow! These types of doors can let in a lot of sound from the outside. So, switch to a solid door that will block out much more noise. Give your door a good knock and listen for an echo. You’ll easily be able to tell if you have a hollow core door if it sounds light and airy inside.

If you do have a hollow door but do not wish to spend the cash to get a solid one, consider trying out a mixture of the other door tips we have listed. For example, installing weather stripping, a draft stopper, and also covering one side of the door with fabric or towels will help with noise cancellation on a budget.

8) Decorate the walls with canvas paintings, tapestries, and pictures

The power of hung items such as canvas paintings, tapestries or pictures for soundproofing are freshly overlooked. If your home is missing decor on the walls, it will be very echoey. So add some gorgeous decor that will also serve to soundproof and reduce the noise with him. A great idea for soundproofing decor is to hang a decorative carpet or carpets on the wall. You can even mix and match decorative smaller carpet samples for a boho, cozy look.

9) Add furniture into the room like a bookshelf or soft upholstery.

Sometimes, all soundproofing takes is a little bit of extra furniture to help absorb the noises. If you love books, a great structure for soundproofing is a bookshelf. Or, the shelf could even be a record shelf if you like music instead. The thickly packed paper will soundproof the entire wall you place it on while also absorbing noise within the room.

Another great sound-absorbing piece of furniture is the bed. An upholstered headboard and a fluffy comforter are great additions to a soundproofed bedroom.

10) Stick acoustic panels to the wall.

Acoustic panels are a very common and effective choice for soundproofing. However, they can be a bit pricey. If you want quality soundproofing these are a great investment. When choosing your acoustic panels look for at least 2-inch thick ones. If you want a cheaper alternative than actual acoustic panels, you can affix cork tiles to the walls for a similar effect. Cork tiles can also be used to easily hang decor.

11) Use a white noise machine or any air purifier.

If you’re not interested in adjusting the contents of your room or hanging items on the wall, a simple fix is a white noise machine. These are machines specifically designed to emit white noise that will cancel out other noises so that you can sleep soundly. 

We have a great white noise machine buyer’s guide for you to choose the right one for you. You could also buy an air purifier that serves the dual purpose of purifying your air while also admitting a white noise sound.

12) Consider soundproof wallpaper and soundproofing paint.

If you’re already looking to redo the paint or wallpaper in your room, why not make it soundproof? Look into soundproof wallpaper and soundproofing paint. These are denser than traditional wallpaper and paint and help to add just a little boost to the soundproofing of your room. They could also be textured which will additionally reduce noise.

13) If nothing else works for you, use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones

If nothing else works or you do not want to make any changes to your current house or room look into noise-canceling earplugs or headphones. Investing in a great pair provides an extremely high level of noise cancellation that would be almost impossible to achieve simply by soundproofing your room. Plus, you can even play white noise through the headphones if you choose. 

We have comprehensive guides to both the best earplugs for sleeping and the sleep headphones so that you can enjoy a noise-free sleep.

Closing thoughts

The tips listed above fit into a variety of budgets and levels of noise cancellation. Mix and match them until you find a combination that works for your needs. Creating a soundproof bedroom is a process that might take some trial and error.

Rest assured, once you figure out what works, you can say goodbye to outside noise and enjoy some well-deserved, quiet sleep!

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James Lee

James Lee

James is the content director at WhatASleep, a certified sleep science coach from Spencer Institute and our in-house sleep product expert. Over three years, he's personally tested hundreds of mattresses. He likes to keep his reviews simple, objective, and straightforward so that the readers don't have to go through decision fatigue which is often the case while shopping for sleep products.

He hails from Sydney and has a journalism degree from the University of Queensland and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

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