How to Soundproof a Room: 7 Cheap and Effective Solutions

Soundproofing your room from outside noise is a good idea, especially if you live in a noisy neighborhood.

Since a room is smaller, it’s cheaper than soundproofing the whole apartment.

But would it be enough? Is it possible to soundproof your room? How does soundproofing work?

In this article, we’ll discuss how soundproofing works and whether apply it to your room is effective or not. Then, we’ll show you easy solutions that you can do yourself.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Let’s get started! 😃

What is soundproofing?

Soundproofing is often confused with noise canceling. In a sense, it’s almost impossible to block sound.

Sound travels in the form of sound waves through a medium. Commonly, they travel through the air but they can also travel through solid objects as in the case of impact sound.

Soundproofing is done by blocking off or trapping these sound waves to prevent the noise from coming inside.

Depending on the material, the sound waves are either absorbed or reflected back. The nature and thickness of the material used also dictates how effective it would be against the sound.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Is it possible to soundproof a room using easy solutions?

Can you soundproof a room using free or cheap materials?

Yes, you certainly can.

How effective would it be?

That depends on the noise you’re soundproofing against. With easy DIY soundproofing methods, you can certainly block off low-level sounds.

But against loud noises, you would need to invest more in soundproofing materials.

Still, it’s worth a try. And if it doesn’t work, you can always use white noise machines or wear soundproof earmuffs.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

How to soundproof a room with DIY solutions? 

Before we get started, let us warn you first about what to expect. Using cheap solutions wouldn’t give you as much soundproofing as professional and more costly solutions do. But they work well against softer noises like conversations and background music.

Here are simple and easy solutions you can do to soundproof a room:

1. Rearrange your furniture

If you have furniture in your room, you can use them to somewhat block the sound.

As previously mentioned, sound waves travel by air or through solid objects. Heavy and dense furniture can block the sound waves that pass through.

When this happens, the sound waves bounce back from the object and loses some of its power and energy along the way.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

This is a cost-free solution that would only require you to move a few furniture around. But manage your expectations as it may not be that effective as you imagine.

2. Cover your windows with thick curtains

By soundproofing your windows, you’re able to dampen 50% of the noise coming from the outside.

If you’ve got thick, blackout curtains, use them to cover the windows. If not, you can buy some cheap soundproof curtains like ECLIPSE, Best Home Fashion, and NICETOWN.

eclipse Bradley thermal insulation darkening curtains

Thick curtains are usually made with polyester, velvet, or satin. Their surface which is soft, porous, and fluffy, traps the sound waves and absorbs its energy.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Before you hang those curtains, check if your curtains rods can support them. Thick curtains would also need thicker rods.

3. Or you can use thick blankets too

Thick blankets also work too. Not just on the windows, but you can also use them to soundproof your doors or even the walls.

Even better if you have moving blankets. They’re normally thicker than your average blankets.

us cargo control quilted microfiber door cover

When companies knew about moving blankets being used as a soundproof material, they started designing ones meant for studio use. This is the start of the material known as soundproof blankets.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

If you’re interested in buying such blankets, they don’t cost that much and you can buy one like Audimute in less than a hundred dollars.

4. Find egg crates

Using egg crates as soundproofing isn’t new. In fact, you must’ve seen it already. Soundproofing using egg cartons is one of the considered “myths” in soundproofing.

Technically, these crates don’t really block sound from getting through. What they do is absorb it and reduce the echo. That’s why music studios have egg crates on their walls to improve acoustics and reduce the noise that goes out.

If you’ll be able to strategically place the egg crates on specific locations, you would be able to trap some of the noises and transform them into heat.

If you have no egg cartons in your house, you can buy some online. IZO All Supply has lots of painted egg crates.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

5. Place weatherstripping and sealants on holes

Examine your doors and windows. You will see holes and gaps where wind can pass through.

If the outside air can get through, so can sound as air is its common medium.

srhome self-adhesive-weatherstrip

Use weatherstripping tape to block the sound on the gaps of the doors and windows. Use a sealant to seal the cracks and holes in the walls as well as on the windows.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

If don’t have some in your house, you can buy one with a $5 to $10 budget. For weatherstripping, try the products from SRHOME, CloudBuyer, and G-S-I. For sealants, buy some from Gorilla or Loctite.

6. Lay down thick carpets or mats

If you’re in a multi-story building and there’s noise coming from below (or you would like to protect the floor below from noises in your room), laying down carpets or mats to soundproof the floor is a good idea.

safavieh hudson shag collection slate plush area rug

Thick carpets have good acoustic absorbent properties. That is, they dampen noise by trapping sound waves and convert their energy into heat.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

If you have kids, chances are you have puzzle mats lying around. This is the simplest mat you can use. You can also buy soundproof mats made with high-density rubber-like Ergocell or ProsourceFit that works well against noise and vibration.

7. Buy inexpensive acoustic panels

Acoustic foam panel is one of the most popular soundproofing solutions there is especially in soundproofing the walls.

luxhive soundproofing acoustic foam panels

Foam panels add mass and density which absorb more vibrations and dampen the noise. They’re good against low-level noises like conversations and background noises.

Fortunately, they don’t cost much, especially that you can buy one within 20 bucks. Try the products from Foamily and Mybecca and see how well they work in your apartment.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Are there other more costly and professional solutions?

We kept on telling you about how the more costly solutions might be better. It would seem unfair if we don’t mention a few of them to you.

You will be needing professionals to help you since you will have to open your walls and flooring.

The most effective soundproofing solutions is done by adding more density and mass into your walls, ceilings, and floors, to block and trap the soundwaves from entering.

The usual combination is soundproof insulation materials, acoustic sealants, and new drywall.

quietrock 545 drywall

There are different types of insulation materials but the best one you should use is batt insulation. These are rectangular panels or rolls made from fiberglass, cotton, or mineral wood.

About installing new soundproof drywall, this may cost you a bit much (we’re looking at more than a hundred bucks). Drywall from QuietRock and National Gypsum are specifically designed with sound insulation in mind.

Acoustic sealants like green glue would then seal the gaps that the drywall and batt insulation can’t cover.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Wrapping things up…

Soundproofing a room isn’t as hard as you think. There are affordable yet effective solutions that you can apply all by yourself. Of course, you still have to consider the level of noise. Depending on how loud they are, simple DIY solutions might not work that well.

But if you would like to invest in soundproofing, feel free to try the more costly and professional solutions. Whatever you choose, consider the space you’d like to soundproof, the noise level, and the budget you’re willing to spend.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com