How to Soundproof a Dorm Room (Easy and Inexpensive Ways)

If you’re a student who shares a dorm room, then you know that it can be difficult to get any real work done. Between noisy roommates, loud neighbors, and the general cacophony of life in college, it’s hard to find a quiet place where you can study or focus. So the last thing you can do is soundproof your dorm room.

How to Soundproof a Dorm Room? Hang thick or soundproof curtains on the windows to reduce noise coming in from outside. Use carpets or rugs if possible as they’ll soak up some of the noise from footsteps and other loud noises coming from inside or outside of your dorm room.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways you can soundproof your dorm room without spending too much money or taking too much time out of your busy schedule.

In this article, we’ll go over some tips for how to soundproof a dorm room so that studying happens without any interruptions from pesky roommates or other people who might want to use the space around you.

How to Soundproof a Dorm Room (6 Ways With Multiple Options)

To block out noise from the hallway, cover your windows with heavy curtains or shades. You can also use acoustic panels on the walls and carpet padding for the floor. Install a door sweep and weatherstripping on all exterior doors in your dorm room.

How to Soundproof a Dorm Room

Here are some of the most effective and easy methods for soundproofing your dorm room:

1. Soundproof Walls with Wall Decorations

One of the easiest ways to soundproof the walls of your dorm room is by hanging wall decorations on the walls. The more decorations you hang up, the better, it’s that simple.

These soft materials will absorb some of the sound waves that are bouncing around in your room, making it less likely that they’ll bounce back and forth between two surfaces, thus reducing the echo. The less echo there is, the quieter a room will be. 

Acoustic Wall Art

Acoustic Wall Art

Acoustic Wall Art is a line of decorative art pieces that can be used to soundproof your home. By hanging or placing these pieces on the walls, you will reduce noise from outside and inside your home.

Acoustic wall art is designed specifically to absorb sound rather than reflect it back into the room. The result is a quieter space that feels more serene and calming.

Soundproof Panel

Soundproof Panel

The soundproof panel is a material that is used to make a room or a building soundproof. The soundproof panel is made of a layer of sound absorbing material on the surface of the panel and a layer of insulation material on the back side.

The panels are easy to install and remove, and they come in a variety of colors and textures so that they’ll look great in your dorm room. They are also very affordable.

Drapes or Soundproof Curtains

Drapes or Soundproof Curtains

Soundproof curtains are made from materials that are designed to block out all types of sounds, including low-frequency sounds like bass or drum beats. If you’re looking for something more affordable, try hanging drapes instead. 

They’ll help keep the noise out of your room and make it easier for you to get work done. 

If you don’t have curtains, try taking a blanket or sheets and tying them together with a rope or string. 

2. Soundproof the Door

If you’re looking for ways to soundproof your dorm room, then you also need to pay special attention to the door. Doors are the main source of noise and can lead to a lot of unwanted distractions. 

If you notice that your roommate keeps slamming their door, or if people keep walking by your room and you can hear their footsteps, then it’s time to do something about it. Here are some common ways to soundproof your door.

Soundproofing Rubber

You can add soundproofing rubber around the door to help it block noise. This can be done by adding a strip of rubber along the bottom and top of the door, as well as on the sides. The amount of rubber used will depend on your door size. 

This will help keep all of the sound from entering or exiting your room.

Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping

Door weatherstripping is an easy fix that can make a huge difference in how much noise gets through your door. It’s also pretty cheap (you can get a roll of it for under $10), and it only takes about two minutes to install.

The first step is to remove the old weatherstripping from your door and then clean off any residue left behind. Use a razor blade or some sandpaper if needed. 

The second step is to cut the new weatherstripping into strips and press them onto the edge of your door, starting at the bottom and working your way up until you reach the top of the door frame.

Door Gasket

Door Gasket

A door gasket is a great way to add some soundproofing to a door in your dorm room. It’s a bit more expensive than weatherstripping, but the quality is much better, and it’s worth the extra cost.

It’s also much more effective than weatherstripping, which can be easily torn or damaged by repeated use. The gasket is made of rubber, and it fits over the bottom of your door to create a tight seal.

You can also use them on windows, but they are best suited for doors because they tend to be larger and heavier.

Door Sweep

Door Sweep

There is an enormous gap at the bottom of the doors. Even if you install door gaskets or weatherstripping, sound will still leak through.

One of the most common ways to cover the gap of the door is by installing a door sweep. The door sweep is an angled piece of rubber (or other materials) that fits into the gap between the bottom of your door and the floor. The idea is that it closes up this gap, which stops sound from traveling through it.

3. Soundproof your Windows

The windows are often the loudest part of a room. If they’re not insulated and well-sealed, they’ll let in noise from outside and amplify it inside. 

When sound waves hit a surface, they bounce off and travel in different directions. The effect is similar to how light reflects off of surfaces and can be seen from multiple angles. 

If you want to block out all noise from outside your window, it’s important to make sure that none of those reflected sounds can reach your ears.

Window Inserts

These are basically extra pieces of glass that fit into the space between your windows and the frame, creating an air gap between the two surfaces that helps muffle noise from outside.

These inserts will help keep sound from coming through the windows, which means that noise won’t be able to travel through them and disturb you or your roommates.

Seal Gaps

Seal Gaps

Sealing gaps along the windows with acoustic caulk is an easy way to soundproof the windows of a dorm room.

Acoustic caulk is made specifically for sealing up gaps in walls and windows. It’s really easy to apply: just run a bead along the seam, smooth it out, and you’re done.

Acoustic caulk is designed so that it expands as it dries, filling up all the spaces around it and creating a tight seal.

Sound-dampening curtains

Sound-dampening curtains

Sound-dampening curtains are designed to absorb sound waves, rather than reflect them back into the room like regular curtains do.

Sound-dampening curtains are made out of materials that are designed specifically to absorb sound waves rather than reflect them back into your home like regular curtains do. 

Double-cell shades

Double-cell shades

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to soundproof your windows, try installing double-cell shades. These window coverings are made with two layers of fabric, which means they’re thicker, heavier, and more effective at blocking out loud noises than regular single-layer window treatments.

To install these shades, first measure your window and cut the fabric to fit. Then, attach the fabric to the frame with Velcro strips or staples. You can use tape if you’re on a budget, but this will not provide as much soundproofing as Velcro or staples will.

4. Soundproof the Floor

Soundproofing a dorm room is essential if you want to be able to sleep or study in peace, but the floor is often overlooked when it comes to isolating sound.

This is because floors are the largest source of noise in a room and are hard to insulate. However, there are some easy ways to make your dorm floor more soundproof:

Carpet or Rugs

Carpet or Rugs

Carpet is probably the easiest way to go. It’s inexpensive, easy to put down, and can be found in a variety of colors that will match your decor. You can even find carpets with patterns on them if you want something more interesting than plain old carpeting.

Rugs are another option. They’re less expensive than carpets, but they tend to be less durable and don’t always cover as much area as carpets do. 

Interlocking Floor Mats

Interlocking Floor Mats

Interlocking floor mats can be a great way to soundproof a dorm room floor. They’re easy to install, you can move them around as needed, and they can help reduce the impact of loud sounds in your room.

It’s important to remember that these mats are designed for reducing the impact of loud sounds, not for preventing them altogether.

Use Carpet Padding

Use Carpet Padding

If you already have a carpet in your dorm room, then the best way to keep sound from traveling through it is by putting down carpet padding. The extra layer of padding will make it harder for sound waves to travel through the floor.

The thicker this layer is, the better it will be at absorbing sound waves. So think about how thick you want your carpet padding to be and what kind of surface it will be sitting on (the type of floor covering).

5. Change Furniture Placement

Change Furniture Placement

Changing the furniture in your room can make a huge difference in how soundproof it is. This is because many dorm rooms have thin walls that don’t do much to muffle sounds coming from inside the room. If you have a bed or sofa near a wall and your roommate has loud music playing in their room, you’re going to be able to hear that music.

To keep this from happening, try moving your bed away from the wall. You can also move your desk and dresser away from the wall so that they’re facing each other. This will help prevent sound from traveling through the wall between them and getting into your room.

If you have things like bookshelves or cabinets, try moving them closer together so that they’re touching each other and forming a barrier between you and outside noises. You can also place cushions on top of chairs or sofas to help absorb some noise.

6. Use Earplugs or White Noise Machine

Another way to get some quiet is by using earplugs or white noise machines. Earplugs will dampen the sounds coming from outside your room and give you a more peaceful sleep. White noise machines, on the other hand, will mask any noises coming from within your room or outside it by producing an even sound that masks all other noises.

Ear Plugs

Ear Plugs

Earplugs work by molding themselves to the shape of your ear canal, which allows them to block out sound. The earplugs are made up of a material that’s soft enough to conform to the shape of your ear canal but still firm enough to block out noise.

White Noise Machine

White Noise Machine

White noise machines are a common way of reducing the amount of background noise in a room. They work by producing an almost constant sound that is too low to hear, but still audible enough to mask other sounds. 

The noise produced by these machines is called “white noise” because it consists of all the different sounds that can be heard in nature.

STC Rating of Material for Soundproofing Dorm Room

Soundproofing requires selecting the right materials with adequate Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings. In this article, we will discuss the STC rating of materials for soundproofing a dorm room.

Understanding Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating

STC rating measures the amount of sound transmission that a material can block. The higher the STC rating, the better the material is at blocking sound. For instance, an STC rating of 40 indicates that the material can block up to 40 decibels of sound.

Choosing materials with high STC rating

There are several materials available that can help soundproof your dorm room. Here are some materials and their STC rating that you should consider:

  • Acoustic foam panels: Acoustic foam panels have an STC rating of 0-30, which means they can absorb sound and reduce echo, but they do not block sound transmission.
  • Mass loaded vinyl (MLV): MLV is a dense vinyl material that can block sound transmission. The STC rating of MLV is around 27-32, which means it can block most airborne sounds.
  • Fiberglass insulation: Fiberglass insulation can absorb sound and reduce echo, but it does not block sound transmission. The STC rating of fiberglass insulation is around 15-20.
  • Soundproof curtains: Soundproof curtains have an STC rating of around 20-30. They are made of dense materials that can block some sound transmission.
  • Acoustic ceiling tiles: Acoustic ceiling tiles have an STC rating of 30-50, which means they can block some sound transmission.
  • Double-glazed windows: Double-glazed windows have an STC rating of around 45-50, which means they can block most airborne sounds.

Conclusion

Curtains on the windows will block out noise from outside and inside your dorm room. Use heavy drapes or blankets over your walls. It will help to block out noise that might come from your neighbors’ rooms or from outside sources like traffic or other students walking around campus.

It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you live in a noisy dorm. If your roommate is playing music or watching TV late at night, it can be hard to find time to study or relax without waking up the whole floor.

Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to soundproof your dorm room and make it quieter. This guide provides you with all the information you need to soundproof your dorm room.

Frequently Asked Questions (How to Soundproof a Dorm Room)

How can I make my dorm room soundproof?

To make your dorm room soundproof, put a blanket or comforter on your wall. This will help reduce the amount of noise that travels through the wall. To help absorb some of the sound from outside your room, try putting a pillow between your door and its frame.

If you’re looking for something simple and cost-effective, get a white noise machine. They are available at most stores that sell electronics and can easily be plugged in next to your bed while you sleep. 

This will help drown out any noises coming from outside or other people in your dorm room building.

Can you hear through dorm walls?

Yes, you can hear through dorm walls. The reason for this is the thin materials used to build these walls, which have little to no soundproofing qualities. Those materials are not very good at absorbing sound waves, so it’s possible to hear what’s going on in other rooms.

How can I soundproof my room cheaply?

Place a thick carpet on the floor. The thicker, denser, and heavier your carpet is, the more effective it’ll be at reducing sound transmission through air movement. Remove objects from your walls that might reflect or amplify sounds and replace them with soundproof panels or acoustic wall art.

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Brendan Ratliff
Brendan Ratliff

As a soundproofing and acoustical professional, I have helped new homeowners, builders and remodelers with their projects. I also help contractors/designers learn how to properly install soundproofing in their clients homes.
I enjoy helping people understand the process of soundproofing and acoustical construction. SoundproofProfessional.com is a one-stop solution for all of your soundproofing related questions.