Can A Bed Headboard Reduce Noise?

When you're stuck in a shared space with someone for a long time, especially when it's a small area, even little noises can become a problem. Of course, this is never as true as at bedtime. If one person is trying to sleep while the house's noise keeps them up, it can soon become the most aggravating time of day! For this reason, we've brought a bunch of great, noise-reducing ideas together in this article. After much research, we start by asking, can a headboard reduce noise?

Headboards can not be entirely soundproof. Soundproofing only occurs when all areas for air to travel (and as a result, sound waves) are obstructed, which can't be accomplished with just a headboard. However, there are lots of options for adding sound-absorbing materials to your headboard. Large headboards, specifically with lots of plush stuffing, foam, batting, or other fillers, and a plywood base, will absorb the most sound. 

Read on further for directions on how to build a sound-absorbing headboard. Next, find materials that you can use, how to sound-proof shared walls, other ways to minimize how far noise carries, and more! Learn the best options available to keep your noise print down and everyone else in the house happy.

kingsize double bed with large studded beige leather headboard, can a bed headboard reduce noise


Ways To Reduce Noise

These suggestions really involve sound absorption - the more items in the room that absorb sound, the fewer waves of sound are left to travel outside the room. It isn't specifically the same thing as true soundproofing. Soundproofing attempts to block all sound from traveling. Nonetheless, it's a start. If you're worried about making changes to the headboard because you aren't sure, take a minute to read this post first, "Should the Headboard Match the Bed?"

How To Make A Soundproof Headboard

First, let's clarify a few points about making a headboard, no matter what material you choose to use. You'll need to find some sort of sound-absorbing material (ideas are below). You'll need to attach it to a piece of plywood sized for the headboard's space. Last, you'll use French cleats such as these to hang the headboard.

Click here to see this French Cleat Hanger on Amazon.

Acoustic Panels

Install acoustic panels like these on the wall. You can even install them over your current headboard with glue or make a brand new headboard with them. Available in multiple colors.

Click here to see these acoustic panels on Amazon.

VANT Upholstered Wall Panels

This isn't really a DIY project, but you can buy these upholstered wall panels to use as a headboard. They come in packs of four, with flexible options so that you can design any size headboard you want.

Click here to see these wall panels on Amazon.

Plush, Stylish Materials

Another idea is to build a headboard out of plush material, which will help absorb some noise. This is the project for someone who doesn't want to sacrifice form for function. If you need an attractive headboard in your well-designed space that just happens to double as a sound absorber, a large plush headboard is it.

The possibilities for design and style really could be just about anything. Follow along with the video for her technique, then tweak to make it your own.

Other Sound Absorbing Ideas For the Bedroom

These projects don't focus on making the headboard sound absorbent, but they suggest some things you can do elsewhere in the bedroom to minimize noise.

Put down a heavy rug or carpet, particularly if the sound travels downward.

Replace the door. In a bedroom, the door is likely to be hollow. This does next to nothing at stopping sound waves. A solid core door would be an appropriate swap. If you can't change the door, try an acoustic door seal kit.

Click here to see this door kit on Amazon.

To finish sealing the door, add a soundproof door sweep like this:

Click here to see this door sweep on Amazon.

Another idea is to block a wall with something large and heavy - this works particularly well if the sound is coming from a specific room or area. For example, line the wall with a heavy bookshelf placed between your bed and the noise source.

Finally, thick curtains or drapes can always help with sound absorption. You can install them in front of the windows for both sound absorption and heat retention. (And while you're at it, seal the windows with a kit like the one below.)

Click here to see this soundproof weather stripping on Amazon.

You can also put heavy curtains around the bed, by hanging them from the ceiling. If done right, this can make a virtually soundproof cocoon. For more instructions see, "How to Hang Curtains from a Ceiling [5 Steps]."

How Do You Soundproof A Shared Wall?

In order to soundproof a shared wall, you'll only need a few items. First, this special green glue sealant

Click here to see Green Glue on Amazon.

A caulking gun like this one will be necessary for applying the sealant.

Click here to see this caulking gun on Amazon.

To soundproof the wall, you will apply Green Glue liberally to a piece of drywall. Then install over top of the existing drywall.

How Do You Fix A Noisy, Wobbly Headboard?

There are a few common reasons that a headboard might be too loud.

Headboard hitting the wall

If there's low trim on the wall at the bottom of the headboard, the headboard will be off-set from the wall. If you bang or push against the headboard, the top will still be able to flex and bump the wall.  Attach polyester padding or other batting to the back of the headboard with an adhesive spray.

Another idea is to buy foam pipe insulation such as this one:

Click here to see foam pipe insulation at Amazon.

Cut the pipe into several rings, or O-shapes. Glue them across the back of the headboard. This will provide some padding to deaden any noise when the headboard hits the wall. If you have the right cutting tool, you could also use a foam pool noodle for the same purpose.

The headboard is always shaky with movement

If your headboard always seems shaky, try using an anti-shake headboard tool. These attach to the headboard and the wall to make it more stable.

Click here to see this anti-shake headboard tool at Amazon.

A second solution might be to remove the headboard and install it against the wall with a french cleat. A link at the beginning of the article will take you to French cleats, and below is an installation example. Be sure you install the cleat on studs, though you may have to recenter the headboard to do so.

Weak or Loose Joints Are Squeaking

If the bed's noise is mostly squeaking, it's usually caused by loose joints and connectors. Go through with a screw, wrench, or whatever tool your frame uses. Tighten everything up. Try adding washers or sealing tape, which may make everything a little tighter.

Next, try lubricating them to see if that helps. Use WD-40 or cooking spray, but not if the bed is wood. (Oil on wood is absorbed and starts to smell). For a frame made of wood, use something like this to wax:

In Summary

Large headboards, with a wood base and lots of plush fillers, will absorb the most sound. Material such as batten, foam, or even acoustic panels can help reduce the transmission of soundwaves. Sound can also be reduced elsewhere with thicker doors, sealed windows and doors, and thick curtains.

For more advanced soundproofing, the installation of sheets of drywall and Green Glue can be effective. Green Glue is a special sealant that reduces soundwaves from traveling as far. When installed properly, this can be used to soundproof between walls. As you can see, there are lots of options for reducing the travel of noise - you won't have to install a "no-talking" policy just to keep everyone in the house well-rested and happy,


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