Sometimes, we just need a sanctuary where all sounds shut out. That’s where learning how to soundproof a bedroom comes in handy.
If you want to learn how to soundproof a bedroom, whether it’s to keep noises out or have a peaceful slumber, this tutorial lists soundproofing solutions from free DIY tips to remodeling fixes you can use.
What Do I Need to Soundproof a Bedroom?
Soundproofing a room allows you to deflect, dampen, absorb, or diffuse sounds to effectively reduce both airborne noise (chatter, pets, radio, road sounds) and impact noise (doors slamming, footsteps).
Regardless of buying new material or improvising with what you have, the goal is simple.
All these materials are essentially used to seal air leaks and deaden sound vibrations. After all, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave through any type of transmission medium.
Here are some options of types of soundproofing materials you can install in your room:
- Weatherstripping seal tape
- Acoustical sealant
- Medium Density Fiber (MDF) board
- Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
- Ceiling clouds
- Acoustic foam paneling
But if you’re on a budget, or just looking for an emergency fix, the solution to how to soundproof a bedroom can be as simple as using:
- Many soft pillows
- A large carpet or a thick rug or mat
- Tapestries, quilts, or thick blankets
- Thick curtains or drapes
- More furniture (bookcases, dressers, couches)
- Wall fixings (panels, frames, bookshelves)
The more of any of these tools you use, the better the soundproofing effect you’ll get.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Soundproof Your Bedroom
For the best sound quality or noise level suppression, combining multiple or all of these methods is the best way to go about your mission of learning how to soundproof a bedroom or even your whole home.
1. Muffle Sounds by Rearranging Furniture or Décor
Starting with the easiest way, you can take control of the noise entering your room by blocking thin walls with furniture.
By strategically doing so, you add an extra layer for sound waves to pass through.
The denser the object is, the harder it is for sound waves to vibrate through them thereby reducing sound transmission. So block walls adjacent to other rooms with a sofa, bookcase, or heavy dresser.
NOTE: Yes, your bed is a large piece of furniture, but it’s also where you want to sleep soundly. You want this away from thin walls as much as possible.
Assuming your bedroom has furniture to rearrange, this is the first thing you can do to muffle the noise coming in or out of your room without buying anything at all.
If you don’t have that much floor furniture, consider adding wall-to-wall built-in bookshelves or even wall décor like paintings. These subtly add mass to the partition between your bedroom and outside it.
2. Using Soundproofing Curtains
Soundproof curtains, or blackout curtains, work remarkably well for softening sounds (not exactly blocking sounds entirely). This way, there is more density between the room and the window.
Yes, the more the better. The thicker the drapes, or the more you curtains use, the greater the sound-absorbing potential.
3. Install a Door Sweep and Weatherproof Your Door
Sound can easily travel through the gaps above, at the sides of, and below your bedroom door. In general, wherever air leaks, sound leaks too.
To know where air leaks through your doorway, stand in your room with the door closed and the lights off. The places to seal are where you see light shining through.
You can add rubber weather stripping to the perimeter of your door to seal the other minor cracks.
It’s is cheap, durable, easy to install, and customizable. Simply cut the rubber strip to the desired length and, voilà, your door is sealed!
Weatherproofing your door not only drowns out noise and eliminates vibration but also protects your home from outside elements. It’s a bonus that a door sweep can also act as an odor and draft stopper.
4. Seal Your Windows
If you have rubber weather stripping leftover from the door, use it on the windows as well. You can also use acoustical sealant – an adhesive for sealing perimeters where sound may both escape or enter.
Sealing any window gap becomes important if you get heavy draft coming in through your windows, or if your window frames rattle vibrations of noises around like passing vehicles or loud music.
Consider Upgrading to Acoustic Windows
Another factor to consider when it comes to your windows is the glass panes. If your windows are double or triple-pane thermal windows then they are already fairly soundproof.
But if you don’t have a thick window, and you have a bigger budget, acoustic windows are a good investment since these are specially constructed to impede noises that come from the outside world.
READ MORE: How to Soundproof Windows Cheaply
5. Equip Your Walls With Foam Acoustic Panels
Hard and bare walls can reflect and amplify a sound. Acoustic foam is effective for wall soundproofing by absorbing sound inside the room and reducing some sounds from entering.
Because soft surfaces can absorb sounds in a room, this can make your bedroom much quieter, or give you an added layer of privacy.
Acoustic soundproofing foam is less effective for keeping noises from coming in and is mainly used if you want to keep sounds contained in your room. This is great if you have a home theater or a music room.
This definitely has that recording studio aesthetic, but acoustic panels can also come in a variety of textures and colors, so they can blend in as décor if you want them to.
Alternative: Soundproof Wallpaper
It turns out there are actually home wallpapers that can help control noise. Soundproof wallpaper is composed of thick polyethylene foam that dampens vibrations and sounds.
READ MORE: Best Acoustic Soundproof Wallpapers
Hanging tapestries, wall hangings, quilts, or even thick blankets on your door and windows may help soundproof your bedroom for free.
It may not be the most effective means on its own to reduce sound but this is a free way to add sound insulation to the room.
6. Cover the Up and Under With Ceiling Clouds and Carpeting
For apartment dwellers, the clanking footsteps, vacuum cleaner, or loud music of an upstairs neighbor can be quite annoying. It’s best to soundproof your ceiling and floor as well if you live in an apartment.
Ceiling clouds are made of acoustical foam, and they’re hung from the ceiling of a room to catch sounds and eliminate echoes. These function well in lofted rooms with high ceilings.
As for the floor, the easiest way to mitigate impact noise is by placing a carpet with dense padding to cover your whole floor space.
Carpets not only work to silence footsteps but also to absorb airborne noise.
Carpeting can be expensive, so perhaps you can consider using large, thick rugs. This is also a good way to decorate your place (maybe to match your other soundproofing gear) and make it cozier!
To make a bigger difference, you can affix your rugs on top of a layer of soundproofing underlayment composed of mass loaded vinyl (MLV). Padding it like such improves the ability to dampen noise.
7. Consider Upgrading Your Bedroom Door
Again, doors are one of the major avenues for sound to be transmitted through rooms. If weatherproofing your doors don’t cut it, upgrading your door is definitely one of the key tips.
Most bedroom doors are hollow-core, meaning they are manufactured from relatively thin materials (such as thin wood, plastic, and cardboard) thereby having numerous air gaps.
If you have the money, replacing your lightweight wood door with one made of heavy-duty, thick, and solid wood can help block out unwanted noises.
Remember: Where there are air gaps, sound leaks. The denser the object, the harder it is for soundwaves to get through.
More options include installing drywall, or adding a fiberglass panel to reinforce your door panel.
One of the ways to seal the gap between your door and bedroom even more by placing some weighted curtains or in your doorway, or adding a soundproofing blanket or panel to your door.
8. Prevent Noise Coming From Inside The Walls of Your Home
Unsuspecting culprits that allow noise to pass through a wall, even if you have soundproofing foam panels installed, are 1) electrical outlets, 2) air vents, and 3) gaps behind the baseboards of your house.
First, electrical outlets can be sealed with an acoustic sealant or socket sealers and covered with soundproof switch covers.
Second, you can temporarily (as you don’t want to permanently) seal any air vents, to soundproof your bedroom even further, with MLV or even just a magnetic vent cover.
Third, in order to seal the baseboards in your house or apartment, the steps are:
- Remove the baseboard
- Apply some acoustic sealant between the drywall and the floor
- Re-install the baseboard
Lastly, installing a double layer of drywall or MLV soundproofing is one of the best ways to keep reverberating sounds through your walls at bay.
Try applying acoustic sealant in between sheets of drywall to help with the insulation of sound coming from your neighbors or outside your bedroom.
As we have learned through the steps above, no matter the budget, the tricks to mitigate sound from coming in or out of your house or bedroom are to increase sound-interfering objects and to use absorbent materials.
Let us know if this tutorial sounds great, and if it helped you achieve the level of soundproofing you desire, whether it’s to hear less of the noise of your neighbors or creating your own media room.
Leave a comment if you have any other secrets to rid your place of noise, and share this article with someone looking for some peace and quiet.