Noise pollution is really super annoying but total sound insulation is super expensive. Rest is really important to me, especially in certain rooms of my house. And because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a big remodel, I decided to go the Do-It-Yourself way on how to make my bedroom soundproof.
In my bedroom I want to keep noise from outside to improve the sleep quality. I also want to make sure that private sounds are not easy to hear throughout the House.
My solution is not perfect, but I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars. These are the 7 steps I have done, which have resulted in a very solid soundproof room.
Apart from some of these steps, it doesn’t seem to make a big difference, but all in all, it works for me. My room isn’t 100% soundproofed, but it’s a lot quieter than it used to be.
The best thing was that this process was efficient and cost-effective.
1. Install a door sweeper and use draught strips
In this whole process of sound insulation, I discovered that the door of your bedroom is an important way to let sound come in and out. That’s why the door might be the most important step in making your bedroom soundproof.
A door has some cracks through which air (and therefore sound waves) can easily pass through.
The first thing I did was install a good door sweeper.
These are really cheap and they’re doing pretty good. It’s really easy to install and it seems super durable.
I also put a draught strip around the perimeter of the door to prevent noise coming through.
2. Add some mass to the door
I’m really focusing on the door right now because that was the biggest source of noise nuisance for me. If you’re more worried about noise from above, below or outside, this step isn’t that important.
But for many people, making the door soundproofed will make a big difference. For me, it is.
The best thing you can do is replace your door completely with a solid wooden door. Chances are your bedroom door isn’t solid and has a hollow core.
If you live in an older house and you already have a sturdy door, you’re in luck!
A solid wooden door costs at least € 200,-. I didn’t want to spend it because I wanted to do soundproofing in other places in the room.
If you don’t have a massive door or can’t pay, there are things you can do to add some mass to your door. It may not look nice, but you can make a drywall or MDF plate against the door.
This adds some weight and thickness and that can really help reduce noise leaks.
Another option is a glass fibre panel or a weighted blanket. But for me it was easier to put up a cheap and easy to install MDF record.
3. Close the windows
I still had some of the draft strips. the door, so I used these by the window.
Although there are no real slots that allow air to flow in from the outside, I wanted to take this extra step. Did this step really make a difference?
I’m not sure, but it made me feel like I was reaching something.
If you see some kind of trip coming in around your windows, this step will be super important.
If even a little bit of air comes in, there’s noise coming in. Draught strips will stop that sound and as a bonus it will make that tedious journey go away!
4. Invest in good curtains with sound insulation
I’ve never been so worried about what my bedroom looks like, so I’ve never had curtains, just simple shades. But the hanging of obscuring curtains that block both light and sound has really opened my eyes.
I guess I didn’t realize how much light affected my sleep. These curtains are great, not only for blocking light, they also offer pretty good sound insulation.
I used to wake up every morning when the birds started whistling, but now I sleep through it.
If you have a slightly larger budget, you can also take shutters.
5. Hang foam panels
Although the bedroom looked much better through the curtains, this step brings down the atmosphere in your bedroom. Hanging acoustic foam on the walls in my bedroom created more a recording studio than you might want.
That said, I know it’s possible to use acoustic foam in a more artistic way to really add some style, but I’m just not that talented. You can play with this material with colors, patterns and shapes.
I’m not that creative and I didn’t want to go to so much trouble, but I promise it can be done. You can see Pinterest for inspiration and layout / design ideas.
Acoustic foam does not work very well in blocking the entry of sound. Instead, this step is more about absorbing sound so it doesn’t go out.
This is great if you want to listen to music or watch tv with a healthy volume while others try to sleep in the House.
It’s also pretty good to keep certain private noises in the bedroom, if you know what I mean.
6. Hang up some art.
To improve the view of my acoustic foam panels, I have also invested in some beautiful but relatively works of art. I cut the foam panels to size in the hollow back of a canvas.
This helps to make your bedroom more soundproof and it is also very nice to look at.
7. Consider the ceiling or the floor (or both!)
We have now dealt with most of the problem areas, but what about the ceiling and the floor?
Depending on where you live, one of these or both can be an important source of noise nuisance. If you hear a lot of noise from above you, you want to do something with the ceiling.
You can add some acoustic foam plates that will probably help to some extent.
If you’re willing to make the investment, ceiling tiles are pretty effective. I think they look pretty cool, too.
When you know that the sound from your bedroom is easily leaking to the floor under you, you want to do something about the floor.
If you don’t have carpet, laying a large thick carpet is a good option.
This is also another way to add style and personality to your bedroom. By placing the carpet on a layer of vinyl with silencing, the sound is muffled even further.
Soundproofing bedroom conclusion
By following these 7 steps, I was able to change my bedroom from noisy room to an oasis of peace. Is it 100% soundproof? No, but the difference is enough for me.
Without going completely crazy or emptying my savings account, I was able to get this done in a weekend. Now it has become much easier to sleep, read, relax and do all the other things I like to do in my bedroom! I still hear things from outside my room, but it’s considerably less than it used to be, so it’s not nearly as disturbing.
Besides, you can hardly hear me from the rest of the house now.
What I learned most from this whole project was that I accidentally realized how much light pollution affected me. Investing in obscuring curtains was a huge difference for my health and happiness. I could also make my bedroom look a little more cozy, through the curtains and some strategically placed, but beautiful art.
My bonus step is this: you have to stop at some point. As soon as you start adding sound insulation elements, you start to get excited and want to continue working to improve steadily.
That’s great to some extent, but I think it’s easy to go a little crazy if you don’t end up stopping when it’s “good enough.” For some of you, I know this step will be the hardest.
Anyway, if you continue and have suggestions for me that are easy to implement and not scandalously expensive, I like to hear them! Please share what you’ve done and how well it works.
I would also like to see what creative tile patterns and designs of acoustic foam you come up with. In the meantime, I’m enjoying a nap in my dark and quiet bedroom. Good luck with your bedroom soundproofing.