Noise. It’s everywhere.
No matter where you live, chances are you will be affected by sound. It could be that you live in a busy city or apartment block, or perhaps live in the countryside with noisy animals that are stopping you on getting the rest and relaxation you need.
Or perhaps it is you who is the noisy one, and you have a desire to soundproof your own home in order to stop annoying your neighbors, or family members.
Noise and sound can impact your life and those around you massively. Whether that’s ruining concentration levels, impacting on productivity, keeping your baby awake, upsetting neighbors, or leading to you never getting a good night’s sleep, it needs to be addressed.
One way in which you can take measures to combat noise coming into or out of your home is with soundproofing.
For the last few years I have embarked on multiple soundproofing projects in my own home, and you can read more about my story here. In this time, I have picked up plenty of skills along the way, which led me to develop the Soundproof Guides website.
The bedroom is always the first room in the house which I advise that soundproofing is applied to – as sleep is so important to one’s mental state as well as their health.
This article is an amalgamation of lots of my ideas all in one handy place and is designed to give you a great head-start on ideas you can use if you want to soundproof your bedroom cheaply.
Most of the tips in here are tasks that you can do yourself, with just a few cheap tools, some cheap materials, plus a little bit of patience and effort.
So, without further ado, here are my 12 tips on how you can cheaply soundproof your bedroom with your own DIY projects.
Tip 1: Fit Genuine Soundproofed Curtains
I am often asked whether soundproofed curtains really work, and my answer is always “yes… but it depends”.
If you buy quality items and fit them well, then they can not only absorb sound and reduce echo in the room, but will also prevent louder noises coming in to a certain degree.
The most important thing with soundproofed curtains in your bedroom is to make sure that they hang from the ceiling to floor, covering the entire window, and also extend over the wall by at least 6 inches.
I have a product that I love – they are the NiceTown soundproof curtains. You can see the latest prices on Amazon, and also read the reviews that people have left. These are my go-to brand when fitting curtains to help soundproof a bedroom.
Tip 2: Seal the Window Frame with Acoustical Caulk
You can significantly reduce traffic noise coming into your bedroom by using a cheap product called acoustical caulk.
This will let you seal any gaps, and offers a flexible sound deadening solution which can be fitted in minutes. All you need to do is buy an acoustical caulk product (find on Amazon), plus a decent caulking gun (view Amazon prices) and then seal any gaps.
If you are not confident in performing this task, then there are multiple videos on YouTube that will show you exactly how you can caulk the window in your bedroom. Below is one of my favorite how to videos which is a great explainer.
Tip 3: Soundproof the Bedroom Door by Stopping Gaps
Sound will find any gap in your bedroom and exploit it. Doors are you worst enemy in this regard, and you will need to plug any gaps and spaces around and underneath them.
Quick and cheap tips you can employ include using soundproof blankets (buy on Amazon) or matting, using adhesive weatherstripping inside of the door frame (buy on Amazon), and also fitting a draft guard at the bottom (buy on Amazon).
I have written extensively on ways in which you can soundproof doors in your home, so I would recommend reading these related guides below for more detail on how to do it, plus what products you will need to purchase cheaply.
- How to soundproof a toilet door (same in principal as a bedroom)
- How to soundproof a door with blankets
Now be aware, most bedroom doors in modern homes and apartments won’t be solid, and will be hollow. If they are hollow then you have further options including hanging soundproof blankets over them, or fixing soundproof matting to the internal side.
If that still doesn’t work then you might wish to consider the next tip…
Tip 4: Buy and Fit a Solid Core Door or Soundproofed Door
The thicker the door, the better it will be soundproofed (but you will still need to plug gaps as mentioned in the previous tip).
Most modern homes have bedroom doors that are completely hollow – gives yours a tap and will probably hear that it is very hollow which isn’t going to be great for sound coming in or out of your bedroom.
The most expensive solution to consider would be a specialist soundproofed door. The cost can be very prohibitive though.
Tip 5: Fit Carpet or Lay Down a Rug to Absorb Sound & Reduce Echo
The thing with bedroom noise is that it can often appear worse due to the acoustics in the room. If you have flat surfaces in the bedroom with no sound absorption qualities then noise will echo off the surface, appearing to much louder than it actually is.
You will find that simply having carpet in the room will make the bedroom to be better soundproofed. If carpet isn’t an option then think about getting large rugs and laying them down on the floor.
This is particularly relevant if you live in an apartment where you have noisy neighbours below you. Get thick carpet fitted, and you will get much less noise coming into your bedroom.
Tip 6: Use Soft and Plush Furnishing in the Room to Absorb Sound
On a similar tip, you should also look to install plush furnishings in the room to further absorb sound and reduce echo. Things of things like comfy chairs, cushions, or even wall hangings.
Look for places in your bedroom where it makes sense to swap hard furnishings for soft ones.
As an example, change that hard-wooden chair for an upholstered soft one – noise will reverberate and echo off hard surfaces, but will be reduced when bouncing off soft ones.
Tip 7: Hang Tapestries or Thick Blankets on the Wall
I appreciate this probably sounds terrible – I mean, who would hang blankets on their wall! But stay with me…
You can buy beautiful looking, and thick material tapestries designed to hang on walls. Not only do they look great, but they can also work from a soundproofing perspective due to their sound absorption qualities.
Here’s are some examples I found on Pinterest where people have done something similar to help them reduce the noise in their bedroom.
Most people tend to hang photos or paintings on the wall of their bedroom, but fabric wall hangings are very effective for the dampening of sound.
As you can see from the image above, plus hey can look fun and add a great dash of color and character to your bedroom – so definitely worth consideration.
Tip 8: Fit Cheap Soundproofing Panels to the Walls
You can further soundproof the walls in your bedroom by using soundproofing panels. They are relatively inexpensive, but can look a little ugly, so you will need to decide whether or not they are worth the investment.
They are quick and easy to install, and will improve sound insulation in your bedroom. I have used a particular product in the past which I would recommend which is this acoustic foam on Amazon.
Having fitted these panels myself in a room, I can assure you that they will only take an hour or so to do one wall, and are economical. If you don’t like the way in which they look then it would be a good idea to either place them behind bookcases, or hang wall tapestries over them to disguise them.
Tip 9: Soundproof or Block any Air Vents Where Sound Can Enter
One aspect to the bedroom often overlooked will be air vents. Now obviously these are essential in warmer months to ventilate the room, but many people are happy to do away with them all together, and soundproof them.
No matter how well you soundproof your bedroom, if you have an air vent then noise will come in and out at will. Noise is clever. It will find any gap and find a way in.
I have written extensively about how you can soundproof air vents in your home, which also includes some safety advice too should you have any concerns over doing this in your bedroom. You can see how I construct soundproofed air vents in the diagram below – if you don’t want to build this type of structure then you can still block up the vent with materials and foam instead.
Tip 10: Use Bookshelves to Absorb Outside Noise
If you have walls with no windows, then bookshelves or book cases can offer a great solution for absorbing noise. All of that thick paper, and the wood construction of the shelves will absorb vibrational noise.
As an added measure, you should also consider fitting foam rubber acoustic matting behind the bookshelves on the wall – this will absorb even more sound.
The acoustic mats that I recommend are the same ones that I spoke about in tip 8 which you can see here.
My family and I swear by our Marpac Dohm-DS as it helps us get much better sleep. Whilst this isn’t strictly a soundproofing product, what it does do is emit a whooshing wind noise (or natural white noise).
When we sleep we switch it on in our bedroom, and the sound will help to mask any background noise in the house and outside in the street. People with babies and young children love them, with amazing reviews on Amazon.
The product is the official sleep machine for the National Sleep Foundation so comes highly recommended. It’s cheap too, with the Marpac Dohm-DS available on Amazon, with price promotions very common. If you want to try one out it’s a no-brainer really at that cost.
I recently wrote a review of the Marpac Dohm-DS sound machine which you can read for more information which lists my pros and cons to using one – with the positives far out-weighing any negatives so go check it out.
Tip 12: Buy Noise Cancelling Headphones to Shut Out Sound
If you really do have big problems with sleeping due to external noise disturbance, and you want to try something that really is cheap when it comes to bedroom soundproofing then how about noise cancelling headphones?
I don’t mean the ones worn by Xbox gamers, but the type that motorcyclists wear underneath their helmets to protect their ears on long journeys.
The best ones I have found would be the Eargasm range. They are relatively cheap to buy, and as with my other recommendations for soundproofing a bedroom, you can check latest prices on Amazon.
Final Thoughts on Cheap Bedroom Soundproofing
It’s important to understand that even if you do use all of the tips laid out above, you probably won’t completely eliminate noise in your bedroom.
They only way in which you could do that would be to properly soundproof the walls, ceilings, and floors with expensive soundproofing solutions including panels, soundproofing foam, dry-walling, and filled cavities.
The best soundproofed bedroom would be a concreate block with no windows or doors – which is something that you are never going to achieve.
However, the tips above could be all that you need to do in order to get a better night’s sleep as it will let you significantly dampen the sounds that are bothering you!