If you’re dealing with loud roommates or family members, or if the street outside of your bedroom tends to be busy and won’t let you sleep, then it might be time to consider applying a couple soundproofing techniques.
Most of what I will share in this article is very easy and affordable to do, and the results can be jaw-dropping if done correctly.
But first, here’s something you should know…
Difference between soundproofing and Acoustic treatment
Most people seem to think that these two concepts are interchangeable, but they definitely are not.
Soundproofing consists in using sound-blocking materials to keep the sound out of the room, so that it can’t get in.
Acoustic treatment on the other hand, requires sound-absorbent materials to be installed inside of the room to lower the echo, or reverb, but acoustic treatment is nowhere near as effective at keeping noises out of your bedroom.
Installing sound absorbing materials like acoustic panels, can help soundproof, but just slightly.
Now, let’s get to the important part!
How to soundproof a bedroom?
To soundproof a bedroom you need to start by weatherstripping the doors and windows and use acoustic caulk to seal off any cracks between the frames and the wall, since this is where most of the sound can come in.
Installing drywall on the walls and ceiling, while expensive, can provide an additional insulation layer to further reduce noise.
Like I just mentioned, doors and windows tend to be the most important step o all, not just because it’s where most of the sound tends to get in, but also because it’s quite affordable to do.
Let’s start with the doors:
Soundproof the doors
Soundproofing is all about sealing any gap where sound might be allowed to get in or out of the room, and doors tend to have a lot of spots that need to be addressed to create a tighter seal.
If a door is properly soundproofed, the difference will be very noticeable.
Steps to soundproofing a door;
- Weatherstrip the door: Weatherstripping tape is by far the best tool to create an air-right seal between the door and the frame.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: While not as important, acoustic caulk can help you seal off any gaps that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.
- Install a Door Sweep: A door sweep will cover up the gap left between the floor and the door.
I wrote an entire guide on how to soundproof a door that goes into much more detail and also covers additional ways you could soundproof it even further, as well as some tips on how to see if it’s been fully sealed or not, so check it out!
Soundproof the Windows
Glass isn’t particularly known for its insulation capabilities, which means that the windows are definitely a place that you will need to work on to soundproof the room.
The process of soundproofing the windows is almost identical to the one of the doors, but if you want a full guide on how to do it, here is my guide on how to soundproof windows.
Steps to Soundproofing a Window
- Use a Weatherstrip: Same concept applies here; attach the weatherstrip to the frame and this should create an air-tight seal when closing the window.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: If there’s a small gap between the frame and the wall, which tends to happen on older windows, use caulk to seal them.
- Install Acoustic Curtains: Hanging good-quality acoustic curtains will absorb some of the sound.
There is a lot more to it and if you really want to soundproof your windows properly then check out the post I linked earlier, but as long as you weatherstrip the windows and cover them up with a really thick material, you should be set.
Consider Installing 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 out, 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.
Note: MLV is very heavy and black, so you’ll need to wrap it in fabric to make it look nice and hang it with hooks, or any other way where it can’t fall to the ground.
Consider Installing Window Inserts
This is another very effective alternative, but with the advantage of letting light through the window, which is something that window panels, acoustic blankets, or even acoustic curtains don’t allow for.
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.
You could make them out of acrylic plexiglass, or get them made by someone.
Even though these require more work, they do offer great insulation, plus having the option to let light shine through is quite nice.
Get Acoustic Blankets
Acoustic blankets are thick, heavy, durable, and great at absorbing sound.
Sure, they won’t block 100% of it, but if you cover the door or windows of the rehearsal room with them, you should notice an improvement.
Additionally, you can fold them or adjust them to cover literally anything, no matter the shape, which means that you could hang them over the windows, on the doors, behind bookcases, you name it.
Basically, they are one of the most versatile soundproofing items out there.
The ones I’d recommend for this particular case are the Sure-Max Ultra thick Moving Blankets.
Acoustic Blankets DIY
I always try to find ways to save money, and making acoustic blankets instead of buying them will save you a couple bucks.
I wrote an article addressing if acoustic blankets really work, and I included a quick guide on how to make them yourself at the end.
So check it out!
Note: Acoustic curtains could also be used, but I think that in this particular case, acoustic blankets are simply better because of how little the cost.
Install soundproofing curtains
One of the easiest ways to lower outside noise is by installing soundproofing curtains (link to a post I wrote regarding these curtains).
However, they aren’t as effective as some other options on this list since they don’t properly seal off the window, plus they only absorb some of the sound.
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 since this will provide better insulation.
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.
Soundproof the walls using Drywall
Drywall is by far one of the most effective ways of adding insulation to a room. However, it’s a lot more expensive than any of the previous steps I mentioned.
My recommendation, if you decide to install drywall, would be to also apply this noiseproofing compound to the back of it, since you will get the best insulation possible this way.
Still, only going for the drywall will already yield great results.
Make sure to cover all the gaps between the pieces of drywall with acoustic caulk.
Note: You could hang acoustic blankets on the wall, but this is something that could be done in a rehearsal room since the aesthetics don’t matter that much, but in your personal room, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Soundproof the Floor
If you want to reduce the sound of footsteps inside of your own room, then there are a couple things you could do.
Note: Most of these steps will also help with absorbing any kind of sound generated inside the room.
Steps to soundproofing the Floor of a room:
- Install a Carpet: Having carpeting done to the entire room will lower the noise of anything that comes in contact with the floor.
- Get a big Rug: Rubs absorb sound, meaning that they will help with the acoustic treatment in your room quite a lot.
- Use a Rug Pad: Rug Pads go underneath the rug and help absorb the sound of footsteps, or any other sounds for that matter.
Bonus: Some people like the way rugs look when hung up on the walls, and since they are so thick and dense, they will definitely absorb a lot of sound and work in a similar way as an acoustic panel would.
Get Acoustic Panels
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; paint them and hang them on the walls as if they were regular paintings, etc.
Here’s a video by DIY Perks on YouTube where he teaches you step-by-step how to make them.
These panels work quite well, but if you want to create even better ones then I’d recommend looking into rockwool acoustic panels.
Here’s a guide that teaches you how to make them from scratch, how to properly hang them, etc.
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.
Note: Soundproofing paint is one of those things that they tell you works like magic, when in fact it only helps ever so slightly.
Simply choose the one you like and apply it to the wall. Just in case make sure to read the instructions first.
Recommendation: Apply several coats of paint if you want if to be effective.
Use the Furniture to your advantage
If you have a big bookcase, try positioning it strategically in the room so that it can block sound.
For example; Beside your bed, between you and one of the windows.
Of course, this depends on many factors, so get creative and see what you can do.
Most important Steps to follow
I would mostly recommend soundproofing the doors and windows, since this is where most of the sound will be able to get in; Install the weatherstripping tape and the floor sweep and check the results.
If there are any cracks between the frame and the wall, seal them with caulk.
If the putty on the window is old, make sure to replace that as well.
Installing acoustic curtains should be the next step, but if you apply the weatherstripping correctly, you should notice a dramatic difference.
Acoustic panels won’t help that much as far as soundproofing goes, but they will lower the echo in the room quite drastically, making it feel quieter.
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.
Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Facundo