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How to soundproof windows so you can finally get a good night’s sleep

Noisy neighbors keeping you awake? Here's how to soundproof your windows

There’s a lot of racket out there in the world. You may hear the noisy street down below, your loud next-door neighbors, or even the sounds of a long-winded construction project nearby. Maybe there’s just a flock of geese living on your lawn that love to honk the day away. Whatever the source and level of noise you’re hearing, it can really disrupt your days, and especially your nights. We’ll help you navigate the world of DIY window soundproofing based on the level of noise you’re hearing and your budget. Here’s a guide for how to soundproof windows so you can live and sleep in lovely silence.

Three floor-to-ceiling windows with white trim.

DIY window soundproofing for minimal noise leakage

Even if the level of noise you’re hearing is minimal, it can still keep you tossing and turning at night, especially if you’re a light sleeper. There are some simple and inexpensive fixes for your windows that will drown out light noise.

Check for gaps in your window panes

Often, you hear noise leak through your windows because there are gaps between the window’s glass and the windowpane or even between the windowpane and the wall. Even if those gaps are barely visible, noise can get through at decibels that will disturb your sleep. If this is the case, you’ll probably feel a very slight bit of air coming through any spaces around your windows. If you suspect gaps are the culprit, you can line the window pane with foam inserts or re-caulk the area with acoustic caulk.

Use noise-canceling window treatments

The dream of any night-shift worker, blackout curtains do well at not only blocking out light but also dampening outside noise. These curtains are made from thick materials and often have a foam or vinyl backing, which goes a long way in blocking out light noise. Some shades and blinds also help to reduce noise, especially cellular shades. These window treatments are also referred to as honeycomb shades, and they insulate the window to block out noise.

Woman's hand closing standard white blinds
Dmitriy Kiryushchenkov

How to soundproof windows with heavy noise leakage

If you’re experiencing a lot of excess noise in your home that’s highly disturbing your day or night, you may want to look at some more extensive solutions to soundproofing your windows. While these solutions tend to cost more than our previously mentioned fixes, they’re far more successful at canceling noise that’s leaking through at higher decibels.

Install interior window inserts

Window inserts are typically custom-made to fit your window. They can be installed directly over your window on the inside and they sit a few inches away from your window’s glass. The space between the window and the insert does well at drowning the noise that comes through, and high-quality inserts are typically made from tempered glass, which has its own soundproofing qualities.

Upgrade to windows with double panes

If your existing windows are single-pane, this may be the reason you hear so much noise. One pane of glass does a poor job of keeping any noise out. Upgrading to double-pane windows will invoke the same philosophy as window inserts. Two panes of glass a few inches apart will drown out that unwanted noise.

Soundproof windows are an option

To truly block out all noise permanently, the most effective method is to pull out your old windows and replace them with soundproof windows. This type of window is designed to block noise, and most brands have the ability to eliminate up to 95 percent of outside noise. While this can be a pricey solution, it’s a permanent one that you’ll be able to benefit from for years to come.

Outward opening window with white trim on a teal wall

A note about your furniture and decor

If noise is leaking through your windows, the noise is magnified if it’s permitted to bounce around the room. Larger rooms with hardwood floors and minimal furnishings echo the noise further, so consider adding some more pieces of furniture and possibly throwing down carpet or a large area rug onto your wood floors.

It’s almost impossible to sleep while outside noise is pouring in through your windows. Noisy neighbors, busy streets, or even the perpetual chirping of those little birds outside your window can negatively impact your peaceful rest. Luckily, with the soundproofing solutions we’ve talked about, you can start to dampen out that unwanted noise. Whether your noise issue is one with high volume or just some light but annoying sounds, you can get some well-deserved sleep with a bit DIY window soundproofing.

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Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
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