Student Life On A Budget: College Dorm Room Soundproofing Tricks and Tips

What dorm room could look like with curtains before soundproofing curtains are installed



Those of us who have experienced a college dorm room, understand truly how much actually takes place in such a confined living space. A dorm room or sometimes campus apartments will have one or two common areas– rooms —where you’re spending time with friends, eating or just hanging out which tends to be noisy. And (if you’re lucky) your own room – the space where you go to take a break and sleep that you want private and quiet. For college student’s life is about being on a budget, so how do you soundproof your dorm when you’re sharing walls on the cheap.

Cheap Ways to Soundproof a Room

Most of the dorm rooms on or off campus are small and minimally furnished with only a few essentials like bed and desk. This alone makes it easy for noise to reverberate off bare surfaces, such as hard floors and blank walls. Noise coming in from the outside or echoing within a small bare living space can cause a terrific annoyance. Here are some quick and easy tips to soundproof a room that fit everyone’s budget.

Tip 1: Get Rugs

A bare floor creates sound with the shuffling of feet and heels while also echoing and doing nothing to absorb sound waves within a dorm room. Cover the floor with a rug or a carpet (the thicker the better). Not only will it mitigate sounds in the shared rooms, it looks better and more comfortable when engaging in group activities (board games anyone?). This also works well in areas dedicated to personal space.

Tip 2: Decorate the Walls with Sound Absorption Materials

Covering the walls with tapestries or large framed images don’t just look good, they help absorb and reduce outside noises. They key is to ‘thicken’ the walls by hanging foam or fabric covered cork boards instead of posters or other items that have no sound absorption benefits.

Tip 3: Create a Barrier on Your Windows to Block Outside Sounds and Noises

Chances are there is noise also entering through the windows from the streets as well. That is why it is vital to think about covering your window and blocking those outside sounds and noises. Invest in soundproofing curtains , not only do they act as a sound barrier, but products like our AcoustiCurtain block up to 90% of noises and blackout 100% of light—the perfect combination for creating the optimal sleep sanctuary. Whether it’s for a late night, a mid-day nap or a weekend of studying, sound blocking curtains are easy to install and is a quick cost-effective solution to quieting any dorm or apartment room.

Tip 4: Create White Noise

The final step in creating a peaceful environment is to create your own white noise to distract you from other unpleasant and intrusive sounds. A good place to start looking is a local thrift store for a used fan or humidifier to provide static noise that will drown out external sound. You can play music softly in the background or consider purchasing a small sound masking machine to control what you hear.

Tip 5: Reduce Noises from Transmitting through your Room by Arranging Furniture.

One of the easiest ways to reduce noise within your dorm room or apartment is to arrange your furniture so that it blocks sound transmission. Move your furniture close to the walls. Ideally, you want your bed, dresser, desk etc. lined up against all your walls. Your dorm bed is especially thick and is great for absorbing vibrations. If possible be sure to fill empty spaces with functional furniture.
When it comes to creating a quieter room and space these soundproofing tips are a good investment to make because nothing should distract you from enjoying your college dorm experience – especially noise. Skyrocket your GPA, and #SleepWell!


We hope you find this information useful. Feel free to contact Residential Acoustics about soundproofing a room or dorm if you have any questions. Our team is always happy to help!

Note: This post was originally published in March 2016] by Anna Gulyaeve and has been updated by a Residential Acoustics team member for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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