How To Reduce Noise In A Dorm Room

Beginner Info, Soundproofing

how to reduce noise in a dorm room
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In this post, I’ll walk you through step-by-step methods to block out noise in a dorm.

Even though you’re a newbie, you can soundproof your dorm room without any difficulty, if you’ll follow the steps that we’re gonna discuss in this post.

The good news is, that all the methods discussed are highly effective and budget-friendly.

Almost all the students in their lives have been proudly part of a dorm room.

If I had to walk you down memory lane, you would find that the moments that you spent in your dorm room are the ones that you’ll cherish all your life.

Correct me, if I’m wrong.

Some of the good things about the dorm are: that it is near your college as well as affordable.

Living in a dorm gives you privacy to some extent if NOT fully.

A dorm room is also a good place to make new friends.

Whenever I feel nostalgic I simply call my school and college friends.

Some of my close friends are the ones who used to live next door to my dorm.

I would often call my dorm room my second home.

At the same time, there are some drawbacks of living in a dorm room that are difficult to ignore.

Needless to say, a dorm room is quite different as compared to your living room when it comes to structure and space comparison.

Sometimes, you may feel as if walls are made of paper.

Trust me, my dorm room was very small and the walls were very thin.

There is a high probability that you may face problems in sleeping as well as studying in a dorm room.

If you’re able to hear your neighbors’ noise then most probably they would also hear your noise.

You might think that I’m over-exaggerating if you haven’t had a similar experience in the past.

Learning lessons from my dorm life played a crucial role in shaping my career.

I’ve decided to help you guys with the tips and tricks that you can implement in your life to achieve the epitome of silence.

Especially if you’re the one who has spent a good amount of his life on earplugs.

You might be going through the thought process that the steps that I’m gonna discuss might be costly.

But, let me tell you, nothing of that sort, I’m gonna discuss the methods that are cost-effective and that any student can apply in their life.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

How to Soundproof a Dorm Room Cheaply

Most of you’ll agree with me that the dorm rooms are quite small and there isn’t lots of space to play around with things.

Less space doesn’t mean fewer responsibilities rather it means much more than that.

Unlike bigger rooms, dorms’ can be easily soundproofed and of course with less pain and effort.

In fact, you don’t have to spend lots of money on the project.

Most of the dorm rooms are huge blocks of rooms, and the setup is in such a way that you’ve rooms to your left as well as right.

So, even before you start soundproofing your dorm room, you need to keep in mind that the crucial areas that need to be soundproofed are the walls and the floors.

Since the space that needs to be soundproofed is very small, you need not worry about the soundproofing materials and price as well.

Well, let’s begin our soundproofing journey from the floor, and let’s see where it goes.

Cover the Floor

I believe in the age-old adage, “As you’ll sow so will you reap”, and in accordance with that, I can say, that if you don’t want to hear annoying noise from the next door then you shouldn’t either produce one.

Try to be a good neighbor and in the context of that, I would suggest that you should cover the floor with thick carpets.

By doing so, you’ll be able to minimize the impact of noise, and someone staying in a dorm beneath yours will not get annoyed either.

One of the cheapest ways to soundproof your floor could be a nice cozy rug.

Rugs are great at enhancing the look and feel of the room but at the same time, you can’t put a question mark on its capability to soundproof your floor.

Definitely, it will eliminate the noise of the footsteps.

It goes without saying that the market is saturated with soundproofing as well as sound-absorbing products.

To make an informed buying decision, you need to be well aware of every aspect of the product.

In case, you’re looking for my recommendation, then I would request you to check these products.

They are definitely value-for-money offerings.

(Check the Current Price On Amazon by Clicking the Aforementioned Links)

Fill up Space

Before we dive deep into filling the space, let me tell you, that there are numerous ways to soundproof your dorm’s wall but the one that will not cost you a single penny is filling the space.

Even though the space in a dorm room is very small there is a high probability of echoes, reverbs, and vibrations.

I hope you’ll agree that the dorms are poorly equipped and they have naked walls as well.

Echo is the phenomenon of the sound waves bouncing back from the hard surface such as naked walls, again and again, leading to the resonating of the sound waves.

Though the intensity of echoes may not be as severe as it would be in a large hall still can’t negate the impact of the echoes.

To get rid of the unwanted echoes, you need to do two things on an urgent basis.

First and foremost, you need to cover the walls of your dorm room with paintings and canvases.

Even you can install rug and soundproof wallpapers on the wall.

Secondly, you need to fill the empty space of the dorm room with furniture and bookshelves.

Literally, it would be difficult for the sound waves to bounce back from the soft surfaces.

Canvas wall art will not only cover the surface of the wall but also, will add to the decor of your dorm room.

Adding a plant can be a good option because it will give a feel of the home rather than a dorm room.

Plan a Strategy for Placing the Furniture

There is a tangible difference between a newbie and a professional, and to a great extent, the difference is measured by the kind of strategy they use to dampen noise in a dorm room.

It goes without saying that the newbie will not be using the same strategy as the experienced person.

 The good news is that I’m gonna share with you the strategy that a soundproof consultant will ask you to follow for placing the furniture. 

Remember, the main motive to bring in the furniture is to dampen the unwanted noise, echoes, and reverbs.

So, in order to achieve that you’ll have to cover the walls that are more vulnerable to the noise.

Some additional wardrobes and bookshelves will do the trick for you.

However, leave a small gap between the walls and the furniture to avoid the generation of the impact noise.

Cover the Dorm Room Windows

The dorm room window can be easily covered by either soundproof curtains or moving blankets.

Nonetheless, I prefer a curtain over a blanket.

These noise-canceling curtains are quite effective in sound blocking as well as sound absorbing.

Pro Tip: The thicker the curtain the better it will perform against unwanted noise.

I would recommend you buy acoustic curtains that have grommets embedded.

Also, look for the curtains that are heavy, compact, and multi-layered.

The soundproof curtain comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

 The installation process is quite easy, and I would recommend you buy a curtain that is at least 10 inches longer than the window and almost twice as wide as the window. 

For the optimum result, install the curtain rod as close as possible to the ceiling.

Try Cork

Do you know that cork is a very good insulator?

If you’re wondering that by installing cork all your noise problems will be resolved then let me tell you, nothing sort of that will happen.

Nevertheless, it will block a significant amount of noise, if NOT all.

Moreover, it is a good thermal insulator as well.

It is quite possible that covering the entire floor with a cork may not be your choice.

Nonetheless, you can install a couple of them on the dorm room’s wall.

And, if you find the corks working for you, then you can think of installing a few more.

Does it make sense?

Replacing canvases with cork boards can be a good idea, isn’t it?

You can place some nice photos on them and at the same time, they will prevent you from unwanted noise.

Create Adequate Ambient

What I’m gonna talk about now is not directly related to soundproofing at all.

However, it will definitely act as a supporting catalyst.

Definitely, you can enhance the acoustics of your room by creating more noise but a pleasant one.

The pleasant noise will mask the unwanted noise and will add to the ambiance of the dorm room, of course in a positive way.

I prefer brown noise over others as it sounds a bit like a waterfall.

However, the most popular one is the white noise which sounds like the pour of rain.

Seeing the popularity of white noise, many companies have launched white noise machines that are capable of producing white noise.

White noise machines can help you to achieve better sleep as well as concentrate on your work.

White noise isn’t harmful at all and is quite affordable.

Well, you can even try a white noise fan, a substitute for a white noise machine, to get rid of the noise.

It goes without saying that noise-canceling headphones can be of great help as well.

Since the walls of the dorm room lack adequate thickness, you may be hearing noise non-stop,

Using an active noise-canceling headphone will do the trick for you.

Though you can’t consider it as a permanent solution still it will be of great help to you in terms of temporary relief.

Similarly, you can also try noise-canceling earplugs. 

My suggestion would be to go for a temporary solution in case, you’re not interested in a permanent one.

However, I would never suggest that you should be exposed to unwanted noise in your dorm room for a long time.

Needless to say, exposure to unwanted noise for a long time can take a toll on your mental as well as physical health.

The worst thing could be permanent hearing loss.

Soundproof Dorm Room Costing

Moving further, I’ll be walking you through the costs involved in the project. Well, I’ve included the cost of walls and floors only because these are the two most vulnerable areas.

Material for Soundproofing Wall  Price
Foam Panels $22 for a pack of 12
Fiberglass Panels $68 for a pack of 12
Soundproof Curtains $50
Material for Soundproofing Floor  Price
Carpet <$100
Soundproof Blanket $40 for 72" X 80"


Moving further, I’ll be taking a few frequently asked queries. These questions have been asked either by my clients or my readers.
In case, you’ve any questions and want us to answer, then mail us your question or ask in the comment section whichever works for you.

How can I make my dorm room better?

  • Try a comfy chair
  • If music interests you, then play some background music at low volume
  • Don’t forget to decorate your walls; use photos to remind you of home
  • Use a carpet or a blanket to warm up your room
  • Try light timer
  • Never ignore prioritizing your bed

How do you sleep in a noisy dorm room?

  • Try noise-canceling earplugs
  • Use a white noise machine
  • If possible, skip nap time to bed every same time
  • Install white noise fan
  • Maintain a sleep diary
  • Wear noise canceling headphone

Wrapping Up the Soundproof Dorm Room

  • After reading this post, I hope you’ll get a pleasant sleep in your dorm room.
  • I can assure you that implementing a couple of these methods will help you to get rid of the unwanted noise.
  • Since we’ve discussed both the permanent as well as temporary solutions, it will help you to make a final call on which one you wanna go for.
  • In short, using the aforementioned techniques will help you to minimize the gap between the dorm room and home. 
  • Well, you can consider it as a step forward to make the dorm room your home.
  • After all, you’ll not have to worry that someone is listening to your secrets and friends fight.
  • Finally, you’ll not be distracted by the next-door music and will concentrate on your exam to pass with good grades.
  • What are the methods that you’ve used for soundproofing your dorm room?
  • What is your budget for a soundproofing dorm room?
  • Which will you prefer: permanent or temporary soundproof solutions?
  • Let us know your view on the aforementioned questions in the comment section.
  • Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are in need.
  • After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?