17 Best SoundProofing Materials: Cheap, Effective & Proven
The sound quality in your home has a profound effect on your comfort and, ultimately, your happiness.
Noise can be distracting, aggravating and a nuisance all around in your day-to-day life, it can take a toll on your quality of life when you are exposed to it regularly, which is why it’s not wrong to say that noise is one of the most annoying parts of modern life.
And as you probably already know; To control these noises you will need to soundproof, and for soundproofing, you will need some materials called soundproofing materials.
So here I am going to tell you about 17 Best Soundproofing Materials, that are effective, proven and most importantly, some of these are also cheap!
So without further ado, let’s get started!
Basics of Soundproofing materials-
Before getting into the list of soundproofing materials, let’s cover some basics of it.
It is important to know these or else you will fail to choose the best material for soundproofing your space.
So let’s first start with: what is it?
What are Soundproofing Materials?
There are many different types of soundproofing material available on the market, ranging from inexpensive foam panels to expensive acoustical tiles.
All materials are designed for different places, some for walls, some for ceilings, and some for doors and windows. Each type of material works in a different way to block sound.
How Soundproofing Materials works?
Well to understand; how these materials work?
You first need to understand how sound works and what it is made of, so let’s understand it:
Sound is a type of energy that travels through the air, or any other medium, as a vibration of pressure waves.
In order for sound to exist, there must be a source that emits the sound waves, and there must be a medium (such as air) for the waves to travel through.
The source of the sound wave sets the wave in motion by vibrating its molecules. These vibrations cause compression and rarefaction of the particles in the medium (such as air), which create pressure waves.
These pressure waves eventually reach our ears, where they are converted into electrical signals that our brain interprets as sound.
So now, the way they work is by absorption and reduction, these are the two main principles that apply in soundproofing materials.
Absorption is the process by which sound waves are absorbed by a material. This is opposed to sound reflection, which is when sound waves bounce off of a surface. Sound absorption occurs when the sound waves hit a surface and are absorbed into the material.
Reduction is the measure of how much sound energy is absorbed by a material. The higher the number, the better the absorption. The more layers of material, the better the absorption.
Many soundproofing materials such as dense foam absorb sound as the sound travels directly into the soft surface and then the second principle is applied.
And that’s Reduction, most likely the vast majority of soundproofing materials are softer as a result the sound gets reduced.
In general, soundproofing materials work by absorbing sound waves or by blocking them from passing through.
17 Best Cheap Soundproofing Materials
Soundproofing materials vary in their effectiveness and cost. The type of material you choose will determine how effective your finished product will be at reducing outside noise and sound echoes inside your living space.
And this list will help you choose the best soundproofing materials and install construction so that your investment lasts as long as possible.
Well, here are that 17 Best and probably cheapest soundproofing materials.
Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam panels are at the top when it comes to the best soundproofing materials for recording studios.
It is one of the most popular soundproofing materials on the market, and for good reason: It is effective at absorbing noise and preventing sound from bouncing off walls, floors and ceilings.
It is great for absorbing high-frequency sounds, and is also known as sound deadening material. They are also quite inexpensive and super easy to install, all you have to do is cut the foam to the size you need and then use adhesive or nails to stick it to your walls or wherever you want.
A few foam panels will provide significant noise reduction in a room or an enclosed space.
And I let you know that they are also known as sound absorption panels, they can be found in most recording studios and even in homes and offices.
The most important thing to look for when choosing acoustic foam is the density. The denser the panel, the better it will be at absorbing sound, and another factor to consider is the thickness of the panel. Thicker panel will block more sound than a thinner panel.
Here I am linking top 3 best acoustic foam panels keeping in mind the important factors:
If you’re looking for a low-cost way to soundproof your home, egg cartons can be a good option. It is made of paper or foam and is designed to protect the eggs from breakage but it also helps with soundproofing a bit.
When used as soundproofing material, they can help absorb noise and reduce reverberation.
Egg cartons are not the most aesthetically pleasing option, but they are the cheapest option for soundproofing a room or space, but are less effective because they are not specifically designed to soundproof.
And I have personally tested it and in this way:
At first, I found a room with little or no furnishings and other stuff, but unfortunately I found my washroom.
Then I record an audio by placing acoustic foam panels around, after that I place egg cartons and do the same as before for just the purpose of testing its effectiveness.
Then we called our audio editor so that he could clarify the difference between these two audios and asked him to rate these audios from 10.
And he rates it 7 out of 10 for the effectiveness of acoustic panels, and 3 out of 10 for egg cartons.
Ultimately, if you have a low budget you can go with egg cartons to make your room less echoey and a bit quieter.
Here is the link to the egg carton that we used and you can buy it if you want to soundproof your room.
MT Products Blank Natural Pulp Egg Cartons Holds Up to Twelve Eggs
And I let you know that you have recently published a complete guide to soundproof a room using egg cartons, here is the link to that post: How to make a room soundproof using egg cartons?
Using soundproof curtains is one of the most effective ways to reduce noise in your home, especially in the bedroom. They are designed to block sound and prevent it from entering your living space.
Not only do they block out noise, but they also help protect your home from outside temperatures, which is a plus point for soundproof curtains.
I have used it in both my bedroom and my mother’s bedroom to prevent noise and excessive light from entering the room.
And I let you know that, soundproof curtains are one of the most used soundproof products for two reasons:
- First, it does not require any extra space for installation, you can install in place of regular curtains.
- Second, it is relatively cheap, no doubt because it costs only 40 to 60% more than normal curtains, but these numbers can go up and down as I have compared the price of some regular curtains versus soundproofing curtains.
Here are my three favorite soundproof curtains for every price range.
Green Glue Noise-Proofing Compound
I can’t believe I haven’t included Green Glue noiseproofing compound on this list yet, Green Glue noiseproofing compound is one of my favorite soundproofing materials.
One of the best things about this compound is how versatile it is, It can go where foam panels or other materials just can’t, and this is a huge plus point for this noise proofing compound. And most people use drywall sheets or two layers of plywood when soundproofing their walls or ceilings, and I think you do too.
Green Glue noiseproofing compound is a great option for making sure drywall sheets or plywood are properly glued and don’t let noise pass through. The reason I say it’s good at soundproofing is because it does its job excellently, and doesn’t cost a lot.
Plus, it’s fairly easy to apply: To apply, all you need to do is cut off the top seal and apply it to the back of the drywall, and then glue the drywall exactly where you want it, That’s it.
And a YouTuber named Matt Risinger asked Concept Electronics owner Bill Blaylock about green glue, and he said:
It offers the best value for money, if you set it up correctly, the result will be really great, we can get up to 58 dB of noise reduction between rooms.
Well it’s hard to believe, but I know green glue works great, and according to Buy-Insulation-Product-Store, the green glue between two sheets of drywall can eliminate up to 90 percent of noise. Nice!
One tube will cost around fifteen to twenty dollars and you’ll need two for each sheet of drywall, so it can be expensive if you have lots of walls or an entire home. If this is the case then I wouldn’t recommend using it.
Here is a link to the best Green Glue Noise-Proofing Compound.
Green Glue Noise-Proofing Sealant
Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant is a versatile soundproofing sealant that differs slightly from the compound but works very similarly.
You can call it the brother of Green Glue noise-proofing compound. It is used to seal gaps and cracks or to join two pieces of drywall or plywood, not to stick like compound.
It is also effective at absorbing noise, making it ideal for use in walls and ceilings. The sealant closes each gap as closely as possible, it also prevents air from passing through the gap.
To be honest, I’ve used drywall to seal gaps in every room in my house, and this one change has made my room’s soundproofing very effective. It can also be used as a great acoustic treatment for recording studios, theaters and other venues where sound quality matters.
Green Glue is easy to apply and dries clean, so it won’t affect the look of your home, and it costs much less than Green Glue NoiseProofing compound.
Because a six pack of green glue compound costs about $140, but the same pack of sealant only costs $95, much less than compound.
Plus you won’t have to spend two packs of sealant to seal one piece of drywall for your soundproofing project because one pack of sealant can seal a minimum of 6 pieces of drywall, so without a doubt, it’s cheap!
Here’s the Best Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant you can go for!
The soundproof blanket is one of the most commonly used soundproofing materials, typically used in studios where superior sound quality matters.
And my audio editor has been in many studios, and one day he told me that: Most of the studios I’ve visited are using soundproof blankets over their doors and windows.
Soundproof blankets are mostly used because you can use it easily wherever you want, I mean you don’t have to remove the screws like drywall and screw it again and it requires effort.
They have become thicker and more durable over the years due to online competition, which has brought down their prices, making it affordable for consumers like us.
And a YouTuber named Kenis Russell did a cool experiment with a Soundproof blanket, what did he do?
First, he measured the noise level by playing music in the room; it was 59.5 dB when the door was closed.
He then put a blanket over his door and measured the noise level again, it was 55.1dB while the same music was playing and the door was closed, which is considered good, but not enough.
Using soundproof blankets is a good option to make your room a little quiet, the downfall of these blankets compared to curtains is that they are not as easy to hang unless you buy blankets with grommets.
Here are the two best options to choose from-
Putty pad is a great material mostly used to cover electrical outlets and other essential areas.
The main use of putty pads is to prevent the possibility of a fire, it may come as a surprise that the extra mass helps with soundproofing as well, and it is true.
Because I’ve personally tested it, but I didn’t believe it when I first heard it, so to clear things up, I ordered 10 pads from Amazon for $75.
And I put a noise level tester to the power outlet and on the other hand I played music and checked the noise level.
After that I installed the putty pads and checked it again, and the result was surprising.
The putty pad works much better than I expected – at first the noise level was around 53dB (decibels), but after installing the putty pad it drops to 27 decibels, which is great!
Well, if you haven’t set it up properly, it might not make a huge difference to some people. But it is a proven soundproofing material which has been proven by many people and if you still have doubts about it then you can visit an online store and read its review.
And obviously putty pads are better for those that are in the construction phase where you can use those to cover the electrical outlet completely.
And of course it’s a little cheap because it does a good job of covering your electrical outlets as well as making your room a little quieter.
Here’s a recommended putty pad.
This list of the 17 best cheap soundproofing materials is incomplete without mentioning drywall.
Drywall has always ranked among the top when it comes to soundproofing materials, and whether you’re soundproofing your walls or ceilings, you’ll need drywall for effective noise reduction. It is the best soundproofing material for walls as well as ceilings.
Drywall is a panel board usually made of plywood and wood pulp, asbestos-cement board, and gypsum. Drywall helps reduce sound as well as provide fire resistance.
It mainly comes in four different sizes, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2 and 5/8 inches, and if you’re trying to soundproof a wall or ceiling, the type of drywall you should use is 5/8 inch drywall.
Typically in a house you will have half inch drywall, of course, this product is thinner and not as strong as 5/8 inch sheeting which will prevent sound from passing through better.
Thicker drywall has been proven to work better than thinner drywall, so you should consider using 5/8-inch drywall over others.
You can buy drywall from your nearby hardware store-
Acoustic Mineral-Wool Insulation
Whether you’re trying to soundproof a wall or a ceiling, you can’t have effective soundproofing without mineral wool insulation, and in my opinion, for any insulation and soundproofing project, acoustic mineral wool insulation is an excellent choice.
Its high density and mineral composition make it a good material to consider for soundproofing. It does an excellent job of deadening sound, it also has an open fiber matrix that absorbs sound waves.
And we’ve also tested its effectiveness and compared it to the most commonly used soundproofing material – Acoustic Foam Panels.
The mineral wool insulation reduced the noise level by 12.6dB, while the foam panels reduced only 4dB, this is not bad but not good either, but the main thing here is that the foam compared to the mineral wool insulation Panels is very cheap.
Now I’m pretty sure you’ve been impressed by its effectiveness and decided to use it for your soundproofing project, but keep in mind that insulation will respond differently in different homes, so try one set up before making a decision.
The mineral wool insulation that we recommend is:
Mass Loaded Vinyl
If you are new to the world of soundproofing then it will not take much time to reach for this soundproofing material called Mass Loaded Vinyl and MLV for short.
Mass loaded vinyl is a new product on the market that has been proven to be just as effective as mineral-wool insulation. This material is often sold in sheet form and can be used for all kinds of applications, such as walls, ceilings, floors or even cabinets.
It’s thin and flexible, and most importantly it looks professional, and there are plenty of other products that may have been usable but didn’t block sound well like this.
Mass loaded vinyl on the other hand works great for sound blocking, and why am I saying it does a good job at sound blocking?
As a Youtuber “James Yiacoustic Building Material” did a really great test with Mass Loaded Vinyl, what did he do?
He first outlined two small rectangular boxes with wood and covered one of those boxes with mass loaded vinyl but left one side out.
Then, he played music through a small Bluetooth speaker and placed it on a box that was not covered, at which time the noise level was 77 dB.
He then placed the speaker on another box that was covered with MLV but not on one side, and measured the noise level, it was around 74 and 75 dB.
But as soon as they cover the box completely, the noise level comes down significantly to 64dB which is quite impressive in my opinion.
By the way, this material is very expensive, so a big budget is needed to line the whole house with MLV.
For Mass Loaded Vinyl, here is a recommendation:
Noise Grabber Mass Loaded Vinyl 4’ x 25’ (100 SF) 1 LB MLV Soundproofing Barrier
Available in 8 differents options
Anti- Vibration Floor Mats
I’m sure you’ve thought about walls, ceilings, doors and windows, but have you ever thought about soundproofing your floors? Well, you have not, right?
In these times when machines are controlling every aspect of our lives, it is not possible that you do not have a washing machine or a dryer in your home and as you already know- these machines produces a lot of vibrations which disturbs us, so it is also important to deal with these vibrations.
While there are certain types of materials that can do this and are known as anti-vibration floor mats, it is one of the most popular and effective materials for soundproofing floors, you can use it to kill vibrations and make your room quieter.
Anti-vibration floor mats are specifically designed to be placed under appliances like washers and dryers, and these types of floor mats greatly reduce vibration and are very helpful for any type of noisy appliances.
I have been using anti-vibration floor mats since 2019 to eliminate vibration from my room and frankly, they also give a great look to the floor, and works well, we have checked it while writing this post and here is the result:
And then I drop a steel ball on the floor without any product and the noise level reaches 75dB, after that I lay the floor mat and I drop that steel ball again and the noise level comes in at 51.5dB, a difference of 23.5dB, great!
Also I tested it by laying down garden tiles and dropping the same steel ball but still the noise level tester shows 65dB, a difference of just 10dB, not very impressive!
Here are two anti-vibration pads you can choose from-
Are you on a tight budget? But still want to soundproof your place then undoubtedly wallpaper can be the best option that you should try.
Wallpaper is relatively inexpensive compared to other soundproofing products and can be applied to any wall in your home, whether the wall is painted or not.
But the question is, does it actually work?
Does soundproofing wallpaper really work?
Wallpapers are just as they sound they are made of paper and in my opinion they are not even effective as acoustic foam panels.
And to be honest I never used wallpaper for soundproofing but I have a friend named Peter who has used it, but he only found a difference of 6dB.
And when I asked him, how did you check, he replied:
First I play music on the phone and place it outside the house with a gap of 10 inches from the wall and then I hold another phone with the noise level test app running.
And then I go to my room where I have installed the wallpaper and play the same music and keep the phone at the same distance from the wall and I check the noise level.
So yes, wallpapers do work for soundproofing.
Now, you have to decide if it’s good or bad.
By the way, here are two recommended wallpapers to choose from-
There are numerous materials out there to soundproof your room, but some of them are costly while others are affordable, but there is a soundproofing material called soundproofing paint which sounds expensive but is not expensive if you understand it well.
However, it will not reduce sounds coming from your neighbor’s high-frequency loud music, dogs barking, and even outside traffic.
Using these paints is a great way to redecorate your home and soundproof your room at the same time, so what could be better, unfortunately, unlike other regular paints, soundproof paints do not come in a variety of colors, and you will have to settle for what is available.
Soundproof paints are composed of mostly water just like regular paint, but they also have latex in them which comes from tapping natural trees. This latex is considered environmentally friendly because it’s non-toxic and dries quickly.
Keep in mind, you will need to paint additional layers of soundproofing paint to make it as effective as you want it to be. You may only want one or two coats but if you are looking for maximum effectiveness I would recommend applying at least three coats.
These paint can be used on any surface in your home, just like regular paint, soundproof paints are made of thicker materials, and you can see varying temperatures, it will also prevent heat penetration during the summer and prevent the heat in your room during winter.
You can go for the paint below –
Acousti Coat – Sound Deadening Paint – 1 Gallon
Reduces heat intrusion into adjoining rooms.
It may be that you haven’t heard this many times, but weather-stripping is an excellent thing for soundproofing doors and even windows, although if you’re unfamiliar with weatherstrip then hear me out:
Weatherstrips are typically installed at the top and bottom of doors. They can also be installed on windows and other openings.
Weatherstrips work great at sealing gaps as well as soundproofing, but not all weatherstrips are created equal, some are regular and some are soundproof.
And I’m sure you open the doors or windows of your house many times like I do, and no doubt they make a little rattling sound when the door hits that rectangular outline.
You can go with hollow rubber weather-tape to eliminate that sound.
Not only will the seal prevent outside sun cold wind from coming in, but it also does an excellent job of handling any sound as well.
And I’ve been using it long before I delved into the world of soundproofing, but when I first applied it to my door I didn’t expect anything from it except to seal the gap around my door.
But after that I noticed three things about it, firstly, it is blocking the coming wind and secondly it is also blocking the noise which was coming from the neighbor’s house when their kids play, finally, it is blocking the noise that hits that rectangular outline on the door.
Now I’m pretty sure if your neighbor is like me you’re going to buy this, but be sure to clean the area around the door and window as much as possible before applying any weather stripping.
This will help the weatherstrip stick properly and will also slightly improve the effectiveness.
Here is our recommendation for Weatherstrip-
Furniture & Households Items
It may come as a surprise that even household items offer soundproofing benefits, but these items are not specifically counted as soundproofing materials.
But you need to do it strategically to reduce the sound effectively, and I am pretty sure there must be a question floating in your mind and that is- how do household items help in soundproofing?
So furniture like chairs, sofas and bookcases are mass rich (heavy) objects and we all know that mass is one of the primary factors on which soundproofing depends and for this reason they are good at absorption, it helps to absorb sound waves and helps block transmission around a space.
And that’s what I personally observed as when the construction of the house was completed and all the rooms as well as the ceiling were painted, I saw a lot of resonance.
But after we moved into a room when furniture and other items began to fill in, I found the room echoed less than before, and I am sure you must have had the same experience.
So it’s fitting that it works, and if your rooms are very empty and have a lot of flat surfaces that it’s easy to bounce sound off of, there’s no point in doing anything about it, killing the sound naturally. Using furniture and household items throughout the home to make a difference will make more of a difference than you might think.
But do you know, which furniture and household work great in soundproofing? Well not, Right? so here is a list of all these items:
- Cushions and Pillows
- Bookshelves, sofas and Dresser
- Carpets and Rugs
- Exercise Mats
- Cardboard Boxes
- Bean bags
Door sweep is a door seal that helps sweep out drafts, dust and other airborne particles. Door sweeps are usually made of weather-stripping or some other type of flexible material that can be glued or screwed to the bottom of the door.
Rubber door sweeps are the most reliable because the material is dense enough to block incoming noise.
And I am using Door Sweep to seal the bottom edge of my bedroom door as there is a half inch gap between the bottom edge of the door and the floor surface but I don’t notice any difference.
And to be honest, I have never tested it with a noise level tester, so when I was writing about this I thinked to do so.
So I bought two door sweeps of different price points with just the purpose of testing, one is of $7 and another is of $27, checked the noise level without installing any of them, it was about 66 dB.
Then I installed the costliest one of these two and checked the noise level; it was around 57dB with a difference of 9dB.
After that I checked the second door sweep and the result was quite different as before as the noise level was around 60 dB with a difference of only 6 dB so it lost by 3 dB.
And the conclusion of this investigation is that expensive is better than cheap, but doesn’t it always fit any product, even with door sweep.
Now you know which one is better but if you have to seal a lot of doors and your budget is low then I would recommend you to go for the lowest priced door sweep.
You can choose door sweep from these three:
As a Soundproof Addict, I am often looking for new and innovative ways to soundproof my home and studio.
And one day my friend asked me to make his basement a little more soundproof, and he also said, “I have a very small budget.”
So I started looking for anything in her basement that isn’t soundproof and luckily I found that:He has done mineral wool insulation of two layers but they are not fitting well.
I mean the corners of the mineral wool insulation were out of the joists so the subfloor was slightly visible and I think these mistakes are hurting its soundproof effectiveness so I decided to use a resilient channel to correct this issue.
So I fixed this problem by installing a resilient channel, and to be honest, it took me a very long time to install, but it was totally worth it, because after fixing the problem my friend finished his basement Found a little calmer than before.
Mineral wool insulation that has flexible channels provides the best possible isolation of your roof or wall from the internal structure of the building.
This is one of the effective ways to soundproof your ceiling or wall, it works great with drywall.
The channel is made of metal or plastic and is designed to decouple the drywall from the studs.
This helps to isolate the two surfaces and prevent vibrations from traveling between them.
It can end up causing a decent amount of money but it is not going to be easy for someone who is trying it for the first time, and if you are one of them.
You can then take help from watching videos on YouTube, although it just involves some basic measurements and lining things up properly.
A recommended resilient channel-
FAQ: Best Cheap Soundproofing Materials
There are many materials out there that you can use to soundproof your room or studios, but which is the best soundproofing material for you?
So help you find the best and affordable soundproofing material for you, and also I am going to answer some frequently asked question.
Q1. Which is the most effective soundproofing material?
Ans: Well, as a Soundproof Addict we’ve tested a lot of soundproofing materials, but soundproofing curtains, mass-loaded vinyl and acoustic mineral wool all worked well in our study and a great and effective soundproofing materials to consider.
Q2. Which is the cheapest soundproofing material?
Ans: According to our study, egg cartons are the cheapest soundproofing material, because they are easily available in most of the homes.
Q3. Which is the best soundproofing material for windows?
Ans: In my opinion, soundproof window curtains are the best option for soundproofing a window.
Q4. How do I measure the noise level in the room?
Ans: You can use a noise level tester to measure the noise level in the room to find out if your soundproofing is working.
Q5. How can I reduce unwanted sounds from outside my property?
Ans: If you’re looking to reduce unwanted sounds from outside your property, there are a few things you can do. First, try adding weatherstripping or sealant around doors and windows to help seal gaps.
You can also add thicker curtains or blinds to help muffle noise. For more serious sound issues, you may need to install special acoustic panels on your walls or ceiling.
My Final Thoughts on soundproofing materials
There are a variety of ways to soundproof your home, the best method depends on your budget and the level of noise you’re trying to block out.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, foam panels and egg cartons can be great options.
For a more permanent solution, you can install mass loaded vinyl or soundproof drywall.
If you’re dealing with particularly loud noise, you may need to combine multiple soundproofing methods to achieve the desired results.
Well that’s all, for this post, 17 Best Cheap Soundproofing Materials, we have put 100% effort and time to make this post as epic and actionable as possible for you, so that you can get the best and accurate information.
And all the soundproofing materials on this list are tested and proven, so it’s undoubtedly legendary, by the way I always try to include products that have been used by our team, my friends or anyone else I know.
Now it’s your turn!
Well now I want to hear from you..
Which one of these soundproofing materials do you like the most? And, Which one is the cheapest soundproofing material on this list?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Further if you are dealing with noisy neighbors upstairs you can read our post: How to Deal with Noisy Neighbors Upstairs.