Don’t you wish your noisy neighbors would just KEEP QUIET?
We don’t know about you, but all that unwanted noise disturbs our peace! A great solution to block out road noise, and other noises, is to sound-proof your home.
But then…soundproofing RACKS UP QUITE THE COST. Lucky for you, this article lists the best cheap soundproofing materials.
Here, you will not only learn how soundproofing a room works, but also the CHEAPEST WAY you can do it using the best cheap soundproofing materials!
Cheap Soundproofing Materials
Let’s cut to the chase.
We know you came to this article to learn about which soundproofing material you can buy to get rid of unwanted noise.
So here’s a list of types of cheap soundproofing materials to fit your budget.
These products are not only cheap but EFFECTIVE. So the quality is not in question here.
#1 Green Glue
Green Glue Products make great soundproofing material. Green glue is usually applied BETWEEN DRYWALL to help absorb sounds.
These are meant for sound deadening, so blocking sound is not a problem with this product.
Green glue is eco-friendly and non-hazardous. Here’s a video of how it’s applied on surfaces:
You can use this noise-proofing compound alongside a green glue sealant.
You can use the sealant to seal gaps and cracks on soundproofing surfaces. You can also paint over it, making it practically invisible.
It only takes 2 DAYS to dry, and it doesn’t smell bad, which is great for us with sensitive noses.
#2 Acoustic Foam Panels
You know those square-like “things” you see on the wall of recording studios? Yes, that’s what this is.
These foam panels not only look professional, but they also have a purpose to absorb sounds. These acoustic soundproofing materials help with unwanted noise and echo reduction. Perfect for a recording studio!
This sound-absorbing material provides sound insulation and noise reduction.
Fiberglass foams are typically what is best at noise proofing, as they block out the sound better.
#3 Sound Deadening Paint
This soundproofing material is great for someone WHO WANTS inconspicuous soundproofing. It can also be used as an extra layer to help absorb sound waves better.
Sound deadening paint is made of sound-absorbing fillers and ceramic microspheres, making it THICKER than regular paint. This is great for soundproofing.
Soundproof paint helps diffuse the unwanted sound that passes through the wall. If you want to improve its soundproofing ability, you can add extra coats of paint (3 layers MAX).
#4 Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a product mostly used in soundproofing walls and ceilings. Mass-loaded vinyl sheets are made of dense soundproofing material, which makes it great for deflecting sound.
Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) usually has Barium Sulfate, as it’s non-toxic and has a high density.
It’s heavyweight, but despite this, it is easy to install. In fact, the heavier and denser it is, the better it is at soundproofing.
Anything with dense rubber material helps with deflecting sound waves. So if you can’t get hold of MLV, then look for dense rubber mats.
#5 Floor Underlayment
Products like these normally come in adhesives. They are used for floor soundproofing.
Think of it as a special soundproof carpet specially made to absorb sound waves. You can place these sound-dampening materials under tiles, or better yet, more carpet.
This can be useful if you live in an apartment and have noisy downstairs neighbors. It helps reduce noise that travels to your room from the floor below.
#6 Metal Resilient Channels
This is a great product if you’re willing to have construction done or you’re still doing construction.
It helps to thicken the drywall layer, helping to reduce noise that travels between surfaces.
While this material alone isn’t meant to absorb or deflect sound, it is definitely useful in creating soundproof drywall.
#7 Anti Vibration Pads
This product helps to absorb the sound from machines. Place it UNDER your home appliances, and it should absorb some of the buzzing or rumbling sounds being made.
This is typically made of rubber material, which makes it great at diffusing noises made by any machinery.
This works exceptionally well as a soundproof insulation material!
#8 Soundproof Door Sweep
A soundproof door sweep would be great to block sound from entering through the cracks of a door.
These are usually made of soundproofing materials like dense rubber.
This product comes in different styles and prices, but you can find ones that are relatively cheap.
The types of door sweep you should look at are the rubber ones. These are BETTER at soundproofing than the ones with bristles.
#9 Medium Density Fiberboard
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) is not soundproofing on its own but is used as a layer in soundproofing.
This is basically a piece of wood. It can be useful as a layer in soundproofing and can especially be useful in making window plugs.
People normally layer another soundproofing material on top of this to make something very soundproof.
Want a tip? Combine it with Green Glue!
#10 Soundproof Curtains
If you don’t want to get one of those window plugs, or if you want to add an extra layer of soundproof insulation, soundproof curtains are the way to go!
Soundproof curtains are great for absorbing sound. Just make sure you get blackout curtains that can cover the whole window area.
This is especially great if you don’t want to plug your window or prefer a more aesthetic, homey feel.
#11 Sound Clips
Sound clips, or sound isolation clips, are useful when building soundproof drywall. This is one great product that can be used inside drywall by the metal channels.
Sound isolation clips include soundproof materials such as rubber to help in absorbing sound waves.
This is a solution for reducing STRUCTURE-BORNE sound.
#12 Sound Deadening Spray
Sound deadening spray is excellent to use for CORNERS that you’re unable to reach with other affordable soundproofing materials.
This is a great COMBINATION to use with other materials. Out of all the products, these are the best for getting hard-to-reach spots.
Why You Should Soundproof
There are many reasons why you would want to soundproof your house. Here are some GREAT reasons to soundproof your area.
Maybe you don’t care about what your neighbors hear. But there are those of us who want our privacy.
With soundproofing, snooping neighbors wouldn’t be able to listen through the wall and gossip about what they hear.
We personally would not want an argument with our roommates getting out.
Health and Safety
Too much sound can be bad for your health.
Cardiovascular diseases have been seen to be linked to prolonged exposure to noise.
It’s also better for your mental health, as you will be able to work and rest in peace. It is also a great way to avoid getting hearing problems.
You can also get better sleep, which would ultimately make you healthier in the long run.
Enhance Quality of Life
Having better sleep is one reason for an improved quality of life. How can you have better sleep with a loud and annoying sound keeping you up?
A soundproof home can help you work and study more efficiently, leaving you more time to rest or spend with your family.
You would be more comfortable at home with silence. You can enjoy movies WITHOUT the sound of traffic outside.
Regulations and Policy
Many countries and states have regulations for the level of noise you can make. If you soundproof your house, you can safely play your loud music without breaking any laws.
Not to mention, the sound quality is going to be superb.
Being a Good Neighbor
Just like you don’t want to be disturbed by noisy neighbors, you don’t want to be a noisy neighbor either.
So soundproofing your house can definitely keep your neighbors happy.
The Cheapest Way to Soundproof
So you know all of the cheap types of soundproofing materials you can BUY. But what if there is no budget whatsoever?
Well, no worries! There are ways you can make your space a little quieter without spending.
You can do this using sound dampening material that you can find in your regular household items. The best part is that these things you can do actually work!
This solution is great for those who don’t need complete silence but just want some noise reduction to sleep.
Using Thick Curtains
Fabric is one of many soundproofing materials often used since it has good noise reduction qualities.
Thick drapery can help to absorb extra noise. If you don’t have thick curtains, you can layer curtains on top of each other.
This is a great alternative if you’re not willing to buy soundproof curtains. It even helps to absorb ambient noise coming from inside the room.
This is one method to block the noise from coming from your neighbors downstairs.
Just add thick rugs to dampen sound better. If you can, you can also add carpeting.
Place a Lot of Soft Furniture
Other than buying soundproof material, one thing you can do is to put pillows, beanbags, and other soft furniture in the area that you want to be quiet.
While these won’t soundproof on their own, they will definitely HELP with noise absorption.
Adding soft furniture can help in using up some of the sound energy.
You can use thick blankets for room soundproofing and quilts for sound dampening. You can use this as a solution to any ECHO happening inside your room.
You can gather the blankets you have at home and use them to cover spaces, like the one under your door and your window and walls. This would help to absorb some of the noise.
This may seem useless, but if you try it, you’ll find that it can work.
What makes this work best is using HIGHLY DENSE BLANKETS, rather than thinner and lighter ones.
Soundproof blankets are IDEAL, but using multiple layers of thinner, regular blankets should be fine too.
The Best Way to Soundproof a Room
While using sound-absorbing materials you already have around the house is great and all, it doesn’t completely block out the noise.
Using these tips, you can successfully quiet unwanted sounds entering your room.
These also make use of cheap soundproofing material. Though just take note that to implement everything, you will still need to set aside a significant budget.
Firstly, you will want to look at different areas of the room. There is the door, window, walls, ceiling, and floor. With all of these, there is an ideal method to soundproof them.
The walls in your room are probably the EASIEST and most intuitive place you can start. As these are the main source of sound echoes, it would be great to soundproof walls.
A good start to soundproof walls is to use drywall.
Next, you can layer on dense materials like MDF, MLV, and sound absorbing foam.
If you’re concerned about the aesthetic, you can use soundproof paint on your walls instead of layering on foam. Just note that it may not be as effective.
Unfortunately, doors are an easy way for noise to enter the room. The solution would be to soundproof it to stop those pesky noises from getting in.
To soundproof a door, GET a soundproofing door sweep. This will help to block noise from entering through the crack under the door.
You can also soundproof the door itself by adding Medium Density Fiberboard, Mass Loaded Vinyl, and acoustic foams.
Create a window plug. You can do this by layering on MDF, MLV, and sound isolation foams. These are all sound-absorbing materials.
This MUST fit nicely in your new soundproof windows with no gaps. You can fix this further by using green glue on your doors and windows.
The green glue soundproofing method is very effective, and if you can afford to close up your window frame, this would be a great way to do it.
Otherwise, you can use sound-absorbing curtains to block any sound coming from the outside.
If the source of the sound invading your space is from below, then it may be your noisy downstairs neighbors. To stop this noise, you can soundproof your floor.
But you should still be able to walk on your floor, so adding acoustic foams is out of the question.
To do this, you can use floor underlayment. You can even have carpet over it to help absorb the sound even more.
If you want to take this soundproof method a notch higher, you can include a layer of MDF and MLV.
Is the noise from your upstairs neighbors driving you insane? Then soundproofing your ceiling is the solution.
If your ceiling is made of drywall, that’s great! That’s step one done.
You can use ceiling joists to hold up drywall, which basically creates a floating ceiling.
If you have access to the floor above, you can add floor underlayment. You can put floor underlayment underneath the carpet to make it even MORE EFFECTIVE.
Otherwise, you can apply the same concept of sound absorption. Attaching MLV and adding dense sound-absorbing products to your ceiling will be the way to go.
How to Find Materials That Can Block Sound
There are many materials that are great at sound insulation. These are usually dense and soft materials, like thick rubber and foam. Pillows work as well.
That is the general rule to follow.
You can look for material online easily or even try hardware stores.
Usually, products will advertise being soundproof, such as Green Glue, acoustic foam, acoustic curtains, along with others. Look out for products like that.
Principles of Soundproofing Materials
To find the best soundproofing materials, it’s essential to understand the different reactions to sound waves.
This is achieved by adding density. Material like dense rubber or MLV and MDF are great for this.
This basically deflects sound, so it’s good for keeping sound out of your space.
Filling your space with an absorbent material will help with absorbing the sound waves.
Material like mineral wool, cotton, foam, and other soft material can help with this. Soundproof material such as these are relatively easy to find for cheap.
This is best done during the construction of a building as it helps to interrupt sound vibrations that can travel between structures.
A GREAT EXAMPLE of this is drywall with acoustic brackets, acoustic hangers, or resilient channels — this helps to decouple the drywall from the rest of the building’s structure.
We’re sure you’ve heard about egg cartons having soundproofing qualities to them. And why wouldn’t they? They have the same concept of a dry wall — lots of air pockets to dissolve sound.
Here’s the thing.
Because of their material, they don’t actually absorb noise. They just reduce any echo by dispersing sound. This means that when a sound wave hits the egg carton, it reflects in different directions. Which is great for acoustic insulation of a recording studio, but it is not a soundproofing solution.
However, acoustic foam panels basically do the same thing, with the added benefit of sound absorption.
Instead of saving your egg cartons for soundproofing, you should invest in other types of soundproofing material like foam panels.
Cheap Soundproofing Materials to Look For
This is a list of basic sound absorption materials that can help soundproof, so you can look out for them around your house. Finding a product made of these materials would greatly help with soundproofing.
Dense rubber, just like MLV, is great for deflecting sound.
Mineral Wool or Cotton
These are great for sound absorption. You can add pillows to a recording area to lessen any echo.
You can easily make a recording studio out of a walk-in closet. This is because fabric makes great sound absorbers.
Foam is an excellent sound insulator.
Acoustic foam is normally the top layer of soundproofing. This is why it’s so well known.
Alternatives to Soundproofing
If, for some reason, you can’t soundproof, then here are some alternatives you may want to consider.
These don’t work as ways to soundproof. They simply serve as something you can do without soundproofing.
If you want, you can combine these along with all the soundproofing techniques we’ve discussed, like adding soundproofing materials to your fixtures. These should all work great together.
White Noise/Noise-Canceling Headphones
If you don’t necessarily hate sounds, just the types of noises your neighbor makes, then you can just fill your space with music or white noise. This will help to distract you from your neighbors.
Music also has benefits and can also help some people work better by giving them some momentum. Personally, we always play music when working for this exact reason.
It helps us stay productive even when our neighbors are having a barbecue night. A good product for this would be a white noise machine. You can easily find this online.
If that doesn’t work for you, invest in noise-canceling headphones! Ever since we bought one, we’ve relied on these babies EVERY TIME it gets LOUD.
Record at Night
Instead of using soundproofing products, you can just wait until it’s late at night to do any recording that you need to do.
Personally, this is what we do. We record our singing while producing music, and this is something we have always had difficulty doing.
Recently, we realized that our neighbors are quiet late at night. So we decided to start our recording sessions at around 11 pm!
This helps to record with MINIMAL SOUNDS from outside without having to soundproof an entire room.
If you are a person who needs to record for any reason, podcasts, music, or anything at all, staying up late would significantly help.
Record in a Closet
Did you know that your clothes are sound dampening?
If you have a walk-in closet, then you can use this to your advantage. The sound-absorbing fabric should greatly help in lessening any white noise.
Recording in a closet can help reduce the amount of echo in the room, improving the recording quality.
Talk to Your Neighbor
If the soundproofing project noise that your neighbor makes is something that is out of the ordinary, maybe you could knock on their door and let them know they are disturbing you.
Of course, when doing this, try to be polite. If they refuse to quiet down, then you can contact authorities or go on to soundproof your house.
Final Thoughts on Cheap Soundproofing Materials
The cheapest way to soundproof is definitely by doing it yourself.
If DIY projects aren’t your thing, then you may want to consider hiring someone to do the soundproofing for you. Although, this would significantly increase the price.
For DIY projects to work, remember to install all of the materials properly.
The BEST METHOD is to incorporate/combine everything or several things in your soundproofing, so you can really make your space quiet.
This list of cheap soundproofing materials can definitely help you make a quieter space for any recording you have to do.
Hopefully, this article helped. Good luck with your soundproofing project!
June 14, 2021 – added changelog, fixed article format, updated internal linking, optimized content