Soundproofing a bedroom

No, not what you think. Mostly.

We’re moving into an apartment overlooking a street, and the street noise isn’t bad, but you can hear it. I don’t mind during the day, but I’d like the bedroom to be quiet at night.

The bedroom has one double window.

Is there a way to make the room more soundproof without spending a great deal of money? We are renting, so no double-hung windows or anything like that.

I wonder if that insulation where you put a certain kind of plastic on the window and use a hairdryer would help? Glass blocks? I’d like some light in, but it can be blurry.

Or are earplugs my only good option?

Put up drapes (the heavier the better), or miniblinds or something. Also, what kind of floors does it have? If it has hardwood get some throw rugs down. Other things like a heavy comforter, pictures on the wall will help to. You can only do so much to keep the sound out, but once it’s in you can try to keep it from bouncing around.

The winterizing of your window with an interior insulation kit may offer some help. However, the insulation kit is designed to reduce the free flow of temperature difference through a window and not sound. Don’t forget the noise transmitted through the walls, floor and ceiling also contributes to the problem.

Perhaps consider hanging stylish heavy curtains, or even blankets (tapestries) along the entire wall facing the street. The key is to use sound absorbing material and the thin plastic sheeting just won’t cut it.

Then again, if you haven’t signed the lease yet … hey, it was a thought.

Here’s a company that markets “acoustical drapes” for deadening sound at a window. ISTR that folks can hang these up, and then dress them up with a sheer, better-looking outer drape.

Can you live with a white noise generator? They help a bit to cover ambient noise.

Some of the info and links here and here may be of interest to you.

For three years I lived in an apartment that was close to a major intersection. I ran a fan in my bedroom every night of those three years. The steady white noise is something you can get used to and eventually not hear, and it covered the general din of the traffic–not sirens or traffic accidents, but just about everything else.

Thank you all very much!

It has blinds, and there are carpets, but no curtains. That sounds like a good route to go, thick ones with lots of coverage so it pleats up.

I didn’t mention that I’m moving from another apartment in the same complex where you hear the trains only too well, and people talking echoing through a courtyard. But this place is 3 blocks from work, so the commute is worth a lot more than putting up with traffic noise; and it’s very pleasant inside.

I’ve learned to sleep through the trains, so I’m not so worried about being woken up, but I’ve always had a lot of trouble falling asleep throughout my life, particularly if I wake up in the night, and that’s when noises distract me and pull me out of the sleep process. Once asleep, I do okay.

If the curtains don’t work, we’ll try the white noise approach of a fan in the room.

Sweet dreams are make of these…

A note on the window winterizing plastic kits. It is a taut surface when installed and would act as a speaker.

We live near a busy street, so we had double glass windows installed which block out 75% of noise from outside. Besides that, we have heavy draperies which add to the 75%. We sleep without noise. Problem is that it is not cheap. We own our apartment, so it was an investment for us. As a renter, I can see your problem with not wanting to spend a fortune on noise prevention.

one of the linked sites mentioned dead air as helping with noise, so I’m not sure the taunt platic would be very speaker-like. Then again…I’ll try curtains first.
robcaro, when you’re moving and want to rent, think of me. Although maybe I’ll be sleeping like a baby by then.