soundproof a dorm room

Living in a college dorm can be an exciting experience as you can focus on your studies with your friends but some challenges come with it. One biggest challenges is the constant noise from roommates, neighbors, and the campus environment. 

Dorm rooms are a cheap and affordable solution near the college; the room will be your own until you live there.

According to Bewell, noise in dorm rooms will affect the sleep at night and difficulty in falling asleep and frequent awakening, leading to sleep deprivation.

The dorm rooms are very small with thin walls that look like paper and the noise transmission will be much. Some students like to use their dorms for partying and listening to their music.

You can hear the students, neighbors, and the campus environment noise while you are studying or sometimes the roommates will be listening to music and partying all the noise will distract you interrupting your sleep.

If you have experienced all this then you have come to the right place in this guide I will walk you through how to soundproof a dorm room with cheap and effective ways that will make your dorm quieter and peaceful.

Key Takeaways:

  • Add a thick rug to the floor to absorb sound and reduce noise transmission 
  • Cover the wall with heavy curtains to prevent vibrations and reverberations to absorb sound
  • Bring in some heavy furniture to minimize echo and create a barrier against noise
  • Install acoustic panels to soundproof a wall and enhance sound absorption
  • Seal the gaps and cracks in the walls that are transmitting the noise in the room

How To Soundproof Dorm Room 

What You’ll Be Needing:




Soundproof Floor Rug

To Soundproof Floor

Wall Poster Or Canvas

To block noise noise transmistting through walls

Soundproof Curtains For windows

To prevent noise coming from windows

Door Sweep

For filling the space on door

White Noise machine

To mask up the unwanted noise.

Dorms are small which means it doesn’t have enough space for maneuvering but small space is not a limitation it comes with the great advantage of not much effort required for soundproofing.

Since the dorms have neighbors to your left right, above, and underneath your room, this might not allow you to completely soundproof but it’s a great way to block noise outside of your dorm room.

It’s small and requires less effort and all the things you will need are available cheaply. 

1. Soundproof The Floor

The primary source of noise in a dorm room is the sound that comes up through and across the floor. Especially if there are rooms beneath you. To block the noise add a layer of rug on the fluffy floor that will absorb the noise.

Most of the time your neighbors will be uncomfortable with the impact of noise as you are not comfortable with the noise either. Be a good neighbor try to cover the floor with some fluffy carpet to reduce the impact of noise and someone who is placed underneath doesn’t hear the noise.

If you’re on the ground floor then you don’t need this step (but that will be luck if you got the ground floor dorm).

If you’re dealing with unwanted noise coming from below lay down some rugs on the floor this will reduce the impact noise. When it comes to soundproof floor rugs have always been a cheap and effective solution.

Rugs will not only make your room look good but also soundproof floor reducing the footsteps that someone below your room can hear.

As you know someone who is walking impacts the floor and if the girl walks in heels it will be much harsher and someone who is running will impact the floor producing noise.

Lay down some rugs on the floor this will provide density to the floor blocking the noise and the noise transmitting from the neighbors below. As well it will provide a great look to the floor.

If you have old rugs at home you can get them and place them on the floor but if you don’t have one. Here is a list of fluffy rugs that are selected for soundproof floors.

Junovo Ultra Soft Area Rug

Ophanie Machine Washable Rug: Affordable

Dwelke Extra large Fluffy Area Rug

2. Soundproof Walls

Now that you’re done with the floor let’s go to the walls!

Another major source of noise in a dorm room is the sound that can easily travel through walls from adjacent rooms. To eliminate this covering the wall with sound-absorbing material is recommended.

As dorm rooms are smaller with thin walls that will easily transmit noise. One of the best solutions is to fill up the space on the walls. Make it heavy for the sound to bounce off the walls.

As they are thin and are prone to noise transmission place bookshelves. The more furniture you have the less noise you will experience coming from outside.

As students don’t care about the walls of the dorm room placing some canvas or posters on the wall looks good as well it will work in soundproofing the wall of the dorm room.

Echo is the sound that hits the empty walls bouncing off again and again creating that unpleasant noise that you’re hearing several times. 

This will not be much in small dorm rooms but enough to distract you. To prevent this you can cover the walls with posters and canvas on the empty thin walls which are transmitting the noise.

This way it will be hard for the noise to transmit through the wall as a poster or canvas acts as a noise barrier. This DIY option can help absorb sound and prevent vibration from bouncing off the walls.

Here are some of the canvas wall art that you can choose for a soundproof dorm room.

3. Bring In Some Heavy Furniture

Soundproofing the walls is not enough to reduce the noise in a dorm you need to strategically place the furniture.

When you place keep in mind to get some heavy furniture in the room for effective noise blocking. Look for the vulnerable parts of the room that are leaking the sound and we all know most of the time it’s the walls.

Place furniture alongside the walls to add mass to the walls in this way the noise will be absorbed. Ensure to bring in some heavy furniture like long wall bookshelves and wardrobes.

As dorm rooms are small and bulkier furniture will block the space to address this issue you can identify furniture that is long but not too broad. 

One of the best examples is the bookshelf which is not too broad and long and can be heavy with books and placed against the wall. The books provide mass to the walls that will help block noise.

In this way, you can cover the walls against the sound that is coming from outside making a soundproof dorm room.

4. Install Door Sweep

When it comes to soundproofing a dorm room one of the overlooked areas is the door. Many dorm rooms are thin and hollow allowing sounds to easily enter the room and distract your peace.

To address this issue adding a door sweep can block out the noise and improve the sound quality in the room. A door sweep is a cheap yet effective soundproofing solution that helps in sealing off any gaps around the door. By preventing sound from seeping in or out through these gaps.

 Before installing a door sweep it is important to check if your dormitory allows hardware addition to the door. Once you have confirmed you can easily purchase the door sweep from a hardware store or online retailer. 

Installation is straightforward and can be done without professional assistance. It will effectively block out the noise that is passing through the door.

5. Hang Soundproof Curtains On Windows

No doubt soundproof curtains are one of the best solutions for different types of sound.

If you are facing an issue with the outside noise and facing difficulty with constant noise distraction soundproof curtains will absorb the noise entering the dorm.

Soundproof curtains have a layer of insulation that will protect them from harmful UV rays and direct sunlight it’s safe and does the job well in blocking out the noise.

Ensure to get a thicker layer of soundproof curtains the thicker the layer is the denser it will be in blocking out noise and providing blackout for uninterrupted sleep. Hang the soundproof curtains on doors and windows which will effectively block out external noise that is coming through windows.

I have a complete guide on the best soundproof curtains you can check out the guide.

Recommended are RYB soundproof curtains they are thermal insulated for noise blocking.

6. Use White Noise Machine 

Have you heard about the white noise machine the machine that creates white noise? It will make a pleasant noise that will mask the unpleasant noise making the dorm serene and quiet.

White noise will help eliminate the outside noise by playing pleasant noise yes it’s noise but a pleasant one. You can choose from various noises that aren’t bad noise which are soothing and make you productive eliminating the outside noise making a soundproof dorm room.

All you have to do is play the pleasant noise in your dorm and identify how it masks the external noise and diverts your brain from that loud noise to the pleasant one it produces.

White noise machines work on frequencies that we cannot hear but they help us ignore other sounds and provide relief by deceiving our ears.

Fortunately, there are a lot of affordable and simple models that can do the job for you. I have already searched for the best white noise machine so you don’t have to spend much time searching all day.

Benefits Of Soundproof Dorm Room

There are several benefits of soundproofing a dorm room, especially in an environment where noise levels can be high and distraction abundant. Here are some of the benefits of the soundproof dorm room.

Improved Concentration

Soundproofing helps minimize the outside noise such as neighbors, and street noise which will disturb students while studying or sleeping with a reduced distraction students can concentrate on their studies.

Better Sleep Quality 

The dormitory environment can be noisy, especially at night hours by soundproofing a dorm room students can sleep peacefully without distraction promoting better sleep quality.


Soundproofing can help maintain privacy within the dorm room by preventing sound from traveling in and out. This is particularly important for students who share living quarters with roommates or neighbors.

Improved Acoustics

In addition to blocking external noise soundproofing materials can improve the overall acoustics within the room. This is beneficial for students who enjoy listening to music or practical musical instruments or participating in video calls or virtual meetings without echoes.


A  quieter living environment will contribute to overall comfort and satisfaction which will boost their performance academically. Students will feel more at ease and relax in their soundproof dorm room which will positively impact their emotional and mental well-being.

Final Thoughts on Soundproof Dorm Room

Soundproofing a dorm room is simple yet effective you can do this with cheap soundproofing material which will not cost you much keeping in mind the budget of the student we have listed soundproof materials.

These techniques will make your small dorm look like a home block out the noise from the downstairs neighbors who are partying and help you get quality sleep.

You can study anytime you want without having to worry about the neighbors or listen to your favorite music in your soundproof dorm room. Your life will get much more pleasant and peaceful in the soundproof dorm room.

You have an interesting conversation without worry someone is listening. You can study in peace and rock those exams.

Now with that peaceful environment rock those exams and get that degree.

If you liked this don’t forget to share with friends and family.

Related Articles:

How To Soundproof A Room Cheaply

9 Effective Ways To Block Noise From Neighbors


How do you block noise in a dorm room?

Put some canvas or decoration on the walls this will help reduce the noise that is transmitted through the walls. You can use egg cartons, and backing newspapers these are inexpensive ways to soundproof a dorm room and block external noise.

How do I block noise 100%?

Wear earplugs
Use noise-canceling headphones
Install soundproof curtains
Install acoustic foam panels on walls
Install soundproof blanket on doors
Use weatherstripping on windows
Move-in heavy furniture
Install wall-length bookshelves
Seal gaps and cracks
Lay down some soundproof rugs

Can people hear through dorm walls?

Dorm walls are thin and hollow which will vibrate and transmit the noise through vibration. One thing you can do to address this is put some dense or fluffy/loose materials between you and the wall adjoining your neighbors.

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