Amore Couple in bed

Beyond Choosing the Right Bed

Soundproofing Solutions for a Fantastic Night’s Sleep

25% of the population experiences disturbed sleep due to environmental noise, according to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO). Getting enough sleep is imperative for a healthy body and mind, underlining the value in cultivating a space that is conducive to a good night’s rest. While choosing the right bed can make a major difference, factors such as noisy neighbors, roommates, or the hustle and bustle of the city outside require different approaches. From the importance in assessing your current sleeping environment to how you can address areas like the windows and floors, building the perfect space for a good night’s rest doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge.  

Assessing your current environment 

Before jumping into soundproofing your room, it’s imperative to first assess your current environment in order to identify where the biggest ‘problem areas’ are. For example, if you have noisy roommates, sound could be a problem due to a large space between the bedroom door and the floor, or due to thin walls. If you’re getting a lot of outdoor sound, your bedroom window may be the biggest culprit. Because the door and windows can be a common way that unwanted sound enters the bedroom, tackling them first is a great place to start.

When assessing sound coming from the door, there are a couple of noteworthy options that can help address the problem. Mason Wyatt, owner of New York’s City Soundproofing, notes: “One of the most frequent complaints we get is about noise coming from a hallway or through a door. Most of the noise coming through a doorway is from the perimeter and the duct, the space between the door and the jamb,” he said. Two options, according to Wyatt, include adding gaskets inside the door frame and seals along the bottom of the door and perimeter. When it comes to the windows, on the other hand, it’s imperative to assess whether there is any damage (which could be letting in sound unnecessarily). From there, soundproofing options range from using acoustic caulk to seal gaps and cracks, to implementing custom window inserts. Installing sound absorbing curtains is another worthy option, though it’s imperative to ensure that they’re heavy, thick, and cover the entire window. 

The addition of sound-dampening furniture

If your bedroom is a bit bare, adding sound-dampening furniture and soft additions can make a noticeable difference. This is largely because furniture, particularly natural materials, can help absorb sound. One Architectural Digest article points out that “researchers have found that natural materials, such as plant fibers or wool, can be used to construct sustainable sound absorbers that help prevent noise pollution,” according to the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England, Bristol in one European Commission report on green construction. Architectural Digest (AD) recommends adding throw pillows and natural fiber pillows to the bed. “They’ll look lovely during the day, and when you take them off to get into bed at night, you can place them near the windows or in front of your door, catching much of the sound that comes in.” 

AD further goes on to note that draping cotton or wool throw blankets across the back of a chair can serve as a further creative and smart design choice in absorbing sound. Adding a large rug, or even installing carpeting can make a difference when aiming to dampen noise, too. “Carpet retains heat, making it a cozy choice in cooler climates or for homes with drafty rooms,” says Kenny Kligner. “It can also act as an insulator, reducing energy bills during colder months.” Regarding sound, Kligner explained: “Carpet also absorbs sound better, muffling footsteps and creating a quieter, more serene environment.” 

Addressing the walls

When aiming to soundproof the walls of your bedroom for a better night’s sleep, there are several options worth considering. According to The Spruce, choices range from permanent or non-permanent additions — such as acoustic panels or foam. Acoustic panels, for example, are noted to be available as boards or fabrics, which are hung on walls to reduce sound. “There are two types: those that stop noise from bouncing off of hard surfaces internally and others that block noise from entering through a door or window.” Acoustic foam, on the other hand, is noted to absorb sound in a room by “limiting vibrations that cause sound.” These, according to The Spruce, are made from soft and porous open-cell polyurethane

Adding wood wall panels to your bedroom can also work to create a mood that is conducive to a relaxing night’s sleep, especially if you don’t have much of a need for acoustic soundproofing panels. Not only will wooden panels help dampen and absorb noise (albeit not to the extent of soundproofing foam panels), wooden panels can promote different moods depending on the kind you choose. For example, a rough textured wood finish will bring a rustic and cozy atmosphere to the space, while a lighter-finished wood will promote an airy and open feel (particularly for a more modern space). 

Getting a good night’s rest is imperative to everyone’s health. However, for many, noise can present a major challenge. By assessing your current sleeping environment and addressing areas such as the door, windows, and walls, you can successfully create the ideal sleeping environment.

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