Does Furniture Absorb Sound?

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If the noise levels in your home are too loud or you are experiencing slight echoes, you might be wondering how you can solve that problem. While carpets and rugs can help absorb sound, can furniture do the same? We’ve gone ahead and researched if and how furniture can reduce noise levels in your home. 

Furniture does absorb sound. When a sound is made, the vibrations pass through everything in a room. Some furniture, like upholstered and cushioned ones, absorb and disperse sound better. This is why a concrete garage creates echoes, but a library is so quiet. 

Now that we know furniture absorbs sound waves; there are probably still questions you may have. In the rest of this post, we will go over which types of furniture are better sound absorbers, what other options there are to help dampen sound and discuss why sound is dampened this way. We encourage you to continue reading for a full understanding of noise dampening in your home.

A luxurious and stylish living room with an abstract chandelier design, long black sofa, and a round ceramic table, Does Furniture Absorb Sound?

 

Best Sound Absorbing Types of Furniture

Adding furniture to a room at all will help reduce noise levels. While cramming more furniture into a room will help dampen sound, it isn’t the best aesthetic choice. The type of furniture you put in a room will significantly impact how well the furniture can absorb sound.

Wood furniture does not do well at sound absorption. Even softwoods are dense, with hard surfaces. This type of furniture will still absorb sound, but the effect is minimal. Sounds are not dispersed by wood furniture, whereas upholstered furniture will work much better. 

Upholstered furniture absorbs quite a lot of sound. Both the fabric of the upholstery and the stuffing create more surface area and objects that sound has to vibrate through. This will cause the sound to be dampened much more effectively than using wood furniture. 

If you’re trying to furnish a large room with high ceilings or dampen sound in a room in general, then upholstered furniture will do a better job than wood furniture. The best pieces to have in a room include beds, large couches, and fluffy chairs.

If you’re a person set on wood furniture, there are still options for you to dampen sound in a room. Include rugs and cushions to help soak up sound waves. Try to avoid putting uncovered wood furniture in a room without some other cushions and pillows to keep sound from echoing too much. 

What household items absorb sound?

A Bohemian themed living room with a gray sleeper sofa with throw pillows and wooden furnitures

Aside from furniture, there are plenty of waves to help absorb sound in rooms. Household items can help out if you make the right choices when furnishing rooms. Thankfully, many soundproofing options won’t break the bank and can be found at really affordable prices.

Curtains

One great option for soundproofing is to swap out your curtains. Both acoustic and soundproof curtains can be used instead of your current ones to absorb sound. The differences between the two are relatively minimal; both are nearly heavy curtains with high thread counts to increase absorption. They are especially good at removing echoes from the room, and you can find them to fit any style. For more information about how curtains absorb sound, check out our article Do Curtains Absorb Sound? Here’s What You Need To Know.

Beanbag Chair

One other fun thing that can dampen sound would be a beanbag or stuff like it. While a beanbag chair is a  piece of furniture, it’s worth mentioning here on, along with other stuffed items like stuffed animals. These are generally fibrous and stuffed with fluffy materials that absorb sound well. For collectors out there, stuffed animals in a room will help dampen sound.

Pillows, Cushions, or Throws

Pillows, cushions, and throws will help dampen sound in a room more. If you’ve already got upholstered furniture in a room and are still dealing with too much noise, try adding some pillows to your couch. Not only will it allow you to add more style, but the pillows will assist with sound dampening. 

Tapestries

Tapestries, just like rugs, help absorb sound. Since tapestries are essentially just rugs to hang on the wall, it’s no surprise they will function the same way. Both paintings and tapestries are an excellent way to showcase art and help soundproof a room.

Soundproofing Panels

Soundproofing panels can be installed in any room. They are usually made out of foam and painted in any color, even made to look like paintings if you like them that way. If you’ve got extra foam lying around, it can be converted into panels that can help with soundproofing.

Double Paned Windows/Acoustic Windo Film

There are some more expensive things you can do that will also help dampen sounds. Installing double-paned windows or applying an acoustic window film are options. The film is much cheaper to use than to replace your windows, and could be a better option to try first.

New Wall

While not cheap, installing a new wall will dampen sounds. Making a room smaller reduces the ability of a sound to echo, and an extra wall will also absorb that sound. Half walls between rooms are one solid option for a stylish wall construction idea.

Do rugs help absorb sound?

A woman holding a Merino wool

Rugs, just like carpet, are fantastic sound absorbers. The fibrous nature of carpets forces the sound to vibrate through more materials. The fluffier the carpet, the better as wool carpets work best for absorbing sound. 

If you don’t have carpeted floors to help with soundproofing, adding rugs is a much cheaper way to soundproof than to install carpet. Look for rugs with high thread counts and thick bases. Bases made out of foam will help soundproof even more. The thicker the rug, the better, as it will add material for the room’s sounds to have to vibrate through. 

For more information on how carpet absorbs sound, check out our article Does Carpet Absorb Sound? [Here’s By How Much].

How can I make my room more sound-absorbing?

There is a long list of things you can do to help make a room more sound-absorbing. Some options include:

  • Installing carpets.
  • Adding rugs, pillows, cushions, and throws to a room.
  • Replacing curtains with heavier options.
  • Placing upholstered and cushioned furniture in a room.
  • Putting up paintings, tapestries, banners, etc.
  • Adding weather stripping to doors.
  • Hang or place blankets around the room.
  • Use foam or sound panels.
  • Install extra walls.

There are many ways to help soundproof rooms, and quite a lot of them are relatively inexpensive. 

In Closing

One of the best ways to help reduce sound levels in a room is to choose the appropriate furniture. Upholstered furniture will work best, but if you’re set on having wood furniture in your room, then make sure you include plenty of cushions or use some of the other options we discussed to help reduce noise levels and avoid echoes. If soundproofing a bathroom is what you’re looking to do, check out this article: How To Soundproof A Bathroom [10 Steps].

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