Nothing annoys me more than trying to fall asleep and not being able to due to my noisy neighbors and the noises coming from the very busy street I live on.
If you relate to this, then this guide will help you a lot at deadening outside noises.
Soundproof the doors
One of the most effective ways to help insulate a room is by soundproofing the door.
If you live in an apartment and can hear the voices coming from the hallway, or if you live in a house and the noises of the cars passing by are just too loud, then soundproofing the door will help a lot.
You should focus on sealing all the gaps and cracks you can find between the door and the frame, but don’t forget about the gap between the door and the floor.
How do you seal the gaps?
The best and easiest way is to use weatherstripping tape since it’s easy to apply and very affordable, plus it’s the best method out of these three.
It should be adhered to the frame so that when you close the door it will come in contact with it, forming an air-tight seal.
Acoustic Caulk can be used as well, especially to seal off some little cracks and holes, like the ones on old door between the frames and the walls.
To apply it you will need to use a caulk gun.
To take care of the gap left between the floor and the door, consider investing in a door sweep.
Other ways of soundproofing a door is by covering it with a soundproofing blanket, or curtain. More on this later on.
I wrote an extensive article about how to properly soundproof a Door, you should definitely read it since it will provide you with better understanding on how to do it.
Soundproof the Windows
Just like soundproofing a door is essential to lower unwanted noises in your bedroom, so is soundproofing the windows.
Glass isn’t known for its insulation capabilities, so it’s no wonder that windows allow a lot of the sound to enter the room.
But this isn’t the only reason, windows aren’t always installed giving priority to insulation, which ends up leaving you with a window that has lots of gaps where noises can come in.
How to soundproof it?
You should apply the same weatherstrip that you used for the doors, on the frames.
If done properly, this should seal the windows a lot better.
Glazing Putty is applied to where the glass meets the frame, it helps with sound and temperature insulation.
If the window is old, then chances are that the glazing putty has started to break.
Replacing it is simple, fast and really cheap.
Replace the Glass
Another very effective, but expensive and time-consuming way, is to replace the glass for either double-pane or triple-pane glass.
You could also opt for one single-pane of laminated glass.
Laminated glass is better at reducing noise than tempered glass because it has an extra protective layer of plastic that provides an additional barrier, so keep that in mind when considering changing the glass.
Here’s an article about how to soundproof a window where I go into much more detail.
Soundproof Window Panels
These panels are usually made of vinyl and the way you attach them to the wall is by using Velcro, this will better help with forming a good seal around the window.
These soundproof panels are fantastic at keeping unwanted noises outside, but they also block the light from coming in, which is both good and bad depending on what you want.
I would recommend the ones by Trademark Soundproofing since they are excellent, however they are quite expensive.
If you want to make them yourself you could get some Mass Loaded Vinyl, which is most commonly used for soundproofing a car, but it can still be used in homes since it will block sound amazingly well.
The one issue is that it’s very heavy, so you shouldn’t use grommets to hang it from the window.
My solution is to get some Velcro and tape it around the entirety of the window and attach the vinyl that way.
Also, since it only comes in black, you could use some fabric to make it look the way you want it to.
Another way to make them is by using plexiglass instead of the mass loaded vinyl. This will also help a lot with reducing noise and the great thing is that it actually lets the sun shine through.
A soundproof window insert is simply a frame that is designed to be attached to the frame of your window in an air-tight manner.
The easiest way is to cut some acoustic foam to the exact shape of your window while making it just slightly bigger, this way you can push it into the frame and the pressure will hold it in place while creating a tight fit.
If you go for this method, then know that acoustic foam won’t let any light through.
You could also make them out of acrylic plexiglass instead.
They are harder to make and install than the ones made out of foam, but once you inserted them, there is no need for you to ever remove them since they let light through.
You will need to make wooden frames and attach the acrylic plexiglass to them, fill the edges of the window and the frame with glazing putty and then apply some weatherstrip on the side that’s going to be in contact with the frame of the house’s window.
Lastly you would need to screw the insert against the frame of the window.
Install soundproofing curtains
One of the easiest ways to lower outside noise is by installing soundproofing curtains.
However, they aren’t as effective as some other options on this list because they can’t form a good seal around the windows.
Having said that, they will still lower some of the outside noises, especially if you install two on the same window instead of one.
Soundproofing curtains not only work on windows, but you can also use them to cover up doors just to add that little extra sound absorption.
Note: Make sure to get curtains that are longer and also wider than the window/door you are going to cover up.
They should to go from ceiling to floor in order to absorb the highest amount of sound.
The curtains that I would recommend you get are the NICETOWN blackout soundproofing curtains. They are super affordable, easy to install and work quite well.
These are great because they have two layers, making them a bit better at keeping noises outside.
Soundproof the walls
While adding another layer of drywall may work to deaden outside noise, it’s a lot of work, just like installing mass loaded vinyl INSIDE the walls.
This would require you to hire a professional and it will cost a fortune.
Since you probably want to lower outside noise without compromising your rooms aesthetics, then you would have to find some soundproofing materials that look good while also providing sound absorption.
To help soundproof the walls you can install soundproofing panels, acoustic blankets or even hang rugs on the walls. Another way is to use soundproofing paint.
Some soundproof panels like these ones are very good at deadening the echo and reverb inside the bedroom while still looking like part of the décor.
You could even make them yourself for a 10th of the price by building a wooden frame and using towels for the insulation material.
The great thing about the DIY ones is that you can make then look however you want.
Here’s a video by DIY Perks on YouTube where he teaches you step-by-step how to make them.
Acoustic blankets are probably my favorite soundproofing item because of three reasons; They are cheap, they are effective, and they are very easy to install.
You can even get some good-looking ones as well, which means that you can hang them on your wall as part of the décor and no one will know that you put it there for sound deadening reasons.
The ones that I’d recommend the most are the Sure-Max Moving Blankets. You can get a pack of 8 or 12 blankets at a very affordable price.
Hang some Rugs
Any type of thick and dense rug will absorb quite a lot of sound, therefore, if you hang them on the wall you should be able to hear a reduction in noise and echo.
You could even hang them on the ceiling if you really want to go crazy with it.
Make sure that you safely and properly attach it to the wall/ceiling since thick rugs tend to be heavy.
Use Soundproofing Paint
This is a fairly simple one since it only requires for you to go to a local hardware store and purchase some paint.
Simply choose the one you like and apply it to the wall. Just in case make sure to read the instructions first.
This method, believe it or not, is very effective and it can reduce noise by up to 20%.
Recommendation: Apply several coats of paint.
Soundproof the Floor
The only simple way to do this, without removing the already existing floor and installing a floor underlayment, is by simply purchasing a thick rug that covers as much of the room’s surface as possible.
Like I just mentioned, thick rugs absorb a lot of sound, effectively making the room quieter.
Install a Rug Pad
If you already have a rug you like, but this rug is very thin and doesn’t help absorb any sound nor the footsteps, then getting a Rug Pad might be a great option.
You need to get one that’s the exact size of your rug, place it under the rug and that’s it, problem solved.
Extra layer of drywall
Even though this might be a lot of work and more expensive than the other steps in this guide, it really does work.
Vibrations generated by sound reverberate, which means that they will be able to travel through the walls unhindered.
Installing extra layers of drywall will help keep the noises at bay. Just make sure to use acoustic caulk between the drywall sheets in order to get a proper seal.
After this you can add a layer of soundproofing paint and you’re done.
Use a Bookcase
If you fill a bookcase with books and place it in a strategic location in your bedroom, it should add a little sound absorption.
While this may not be the most effective step of all the ones described in this guide, it may add that little extra that you need.
Lastly, you should consider using some sound deadening materials outside of the room, like in the hallway.
Placing a good rug in front of the door might dampen the sounds a bit before they can enter the room.
By far the most important places to soundproof are the doors and the windows, since this is where most of the sounds can find little holes and gaps to enter the bedroom.
If you follow most of these steps, then you should expect anywhere from a 20% to 70% improvement, which is a lot!