How to soundproof a room – without spending a fortune

Learn how to soundproof a room cheaply – perfect for small houses, cinema rooms and blocking our noisy neighbours

how to soundproof a room: Ikea soundproofing
(Image credit: Ikea)

If you want to know how to soundproof a room without spending a fortune, you've come to the right place. Perfect for those who've long dreamt of a home cinema set-up – film buffs, serial box set bingers and gamers, we're looking at you – but can't justify spending (what could be) a small fortune on soundproofing, our top tips will help you achieve your desired outcomes on a small budget. Plus, there's plenty of advice available if you live in a small home with thin walls, or are tired of dealing with  noisy neighbours.

Keep scrolling to find out more. Then, read our complete guide to how to build a home cinema room. For the latest in smart home and jargon-free technology news, head over to The Hub.

How to soundproof a room

This guide is intended to show you how to soundproof a room without going to the trouble of having walls and floors lined. This quick fixes will make a difference but consult an expert if you want/need to go further.

1. Hang up curtains to increase soundproofing 

Hanging a thick pair of curtains around the perimeter of your room is an easy – and relatively affordable – way to start soundproofing it. And if you're designing a cinema room, it won't look too out of place.

Alternatively, if you're working with another room, replacing thin curtains for something slightly thicker should also help reduce sound pollution.

2. Pick up these mega soundproofing panels from Ikea

Ikea sound proofing panels

(Image credit: Ikea)

Designed to be hung anywhere and with the option to interconnect each panel as you wish, the Oddlaug Sound Absorbing Panels work to lower the sound level in a room by disrupting noise frequencies. This makes all the difference when designing a soundproofed space with the right acoustics for watching films, TV series and more in peace.

Retailing at just £25 for 15 panels in the UK, or $29.99 for 15 in the US, they're the most affordable option we've found for non-permanent soundproofing. And they're pretty stylish, too.

Aside from their potential to help build a home cinema on a budget, the Oddlaug Sound Absorbing Panels are also an option worth considering if your home could benefit from a little extra soundproofing. Urban livers, you'll likely relate. 

Hang them by your windows, attach them to a wall or use them as a room divider to instantly reduce the impact of chitter-chatter, the clattering of pots and pans or intrusive cars passing by your home.

3. Installing book shelves is another great option to increase sound proofing

Book storage in a hallway door

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Another easy option to increase the soundproofing of a room is by installing book shelves. Not only does doing so make your walls physically thicker – blocking out sound in the process – it also makes fir a pretty stylish storage solution in your space.

We love this awesome book door, which is a great idea if you're designing a secret cinema room. But a standard book case propped up against a wall would work just as well.

4. Fasten down items that tend to rattle

If a neighbour's blaring speaker is causing items to rattle around in your home – particularly electrical items which then have a tendency to buzz – we'd recommend ensuring they're fastened down correctly to minimise noise from your end.

This could include tightening loose wall fixtures or placing items on a foam mat to prevent them from shaking too much.

More home cinema essentials

Emily Shaw

Emily first (temporarily) joined the Real Homes team while interning on her summer break from university. After graduating, she worked on several publications before joining Real Homes as Staff Writer full time in mid-2018. She left the brand in 2020 to pursue another career, but still loves a second-hand bargain and sourcing unique finds to make her rented flat reflect her personality.