How to soundproof a room

Here we explain how to soundproof a room cheaply with simple measures that guarantee a quieter life.

Updated

a book, cosy slippers, and a blanket

Key Steps:

To soundproof a room, follow these key steps:

  1. Identify where the noise is coming from and focus your efforts on soundproofing this side of the room.
  2. Start with basic measures such as draft excluders and thicker curtains.
  3. If that doesn’t solve the problem, consider bolder measures such as double-glazing the windows.

Living on a busy street or next to noisy neighbours can make both sleeping and working from home difficult. Whether you’re a student in university halls or in a block of flats with people all around you, sometimes it’s hard to get a bit of peace and quiet. To help you insulate your living space from outside sound (it's one of our many tips to help save energy too!) we'll share ways to make your home quieter with advice on how to soundproof a room.

Don’t try to do any ambitious DIY on your own. If you need to add a soundproofing wall and haven’t done so before, get the help of someone who has.

How do you soundproof a room? Simple measures

If you’re wondering how to make a room soundproof, there are a few easy things to start with. These are great ideas particularly if you’re asking yourself how to soundproof a room cheaply.

  • Use a draft excluder or door sweep under the door.
  • Use thicker curtains – you can also get dedicated sound curtains that absorb sound from outside letting less filter into your room.
  • Place thick blankets on the floor to reduce sound coming from downstairs.
  • Consider placing a bookcase against the wall where the sound is coming from and filling it up with as many books as possible – these make great sound filters.
  • Check whether anything you have is unsecured. If you’re getting a buzzy or humming sound, it might be vibrations from something like traffic causing your stuff to move. Secure your furniture to avoid getting this noise.

How to soundproof your room: more advanced techniques

If you’re trying to work out how to soundproof a room in an apartment that you own, you have a bit more freedom with changes you can make that might have a big impact.

  • Get double-glazing. This is incredibly effective at preventing sound coming in from the outside and is especially good if the sound you’re struggling with is from road or traffic noise.
  • Cover the walls with noise-excluding materials. ‘Acoustic wedge panels’ are very effective and can be bought fairly easily. Remove everything from the room. Apply the panels across all the walls then re-fill the room. You should notice a significant difference.
  • Alternatively, consider creating your own drywall. This is an inner wall that sits next to the original room wall and will absorb sound. Use a wooden frame and fit soundproof material inside it, then cover with dry board and paint.

This new-found knowledge for how to soundproof a bedroom and how to soundproof a room from outside noise means you should no longer have to suffer from noisy neighbours or outside traffic. We’ve gone from the easiest to the more complicated methods to use and it makes sense to approach the problem in this order. Try small changes and work up to the bigger ones until you have success. Good luck!

Originally published