3 Sound Absorbing Hacks for a Good Night’s Sleep

Noisy housemate? Constant traffic outside your window? IKEA has a few solutions for you, including the all-new sound absorbing curtains.

#1 IKEA sound absorbing curtains

The new GUNNLAUG sound absorbing curtain sounds promising. It claims to have 50-100% greater absorption of medium and high sound frequencies compared to other fabrics with similar quality and weight.

Methink that means it reduces the sharpness of sound frequencies such as the annoying clattering of dishes (from your housemate preparing breakfast in the wee hours). It also muffles echos from the same housemate’s Netflix binge.

IKEA GUNNLAUG sound absorbing curtains made from chenille yarn in a special weave construction
Photo: IKEA.com
What kind of sorcery?

The magic lies in the fabric, which is 100% percent recycled chenille yarn in a special weave construction. Unlike conventional thick, heavy, sound absorbent fabric, the GUNNLAUG is lightweight, soft and drapes beautifully.

IKEA says the GUNNLAUG sound absorbing curtains work best when draped with folds rather than stretched out. Leave a gap of about 3½-5⅞” (9-15 cm) from the wall for optimal dampening effect.

Other than that, it works like a regular curtain — filtering light without totally blocking it. It can be shortened with the iron-on hemming strip, saving you the need to pull out the sewing machine.

IKEA GUNNLAUG sound absorbing curtains as a canopy and hung on rod
Photo: IKEA.com

Currently, the GUNNLAUG is available in white and grey, and in a single 98-inch (250cm) length. You can hang them up like any other IKEA curtain on a rod or a curtain track, or even as a canopy around your bed. To create pleats, IKEA recommends the RIKTIG curtain hooks.

If you combine the GUNNLAUG sound absorbing curtains with other soft materials like rugs, textiles, furniture, upholstered furniture, beds, and cushions, it will work even better at dampening noise.

#2 DIY sound absorbent curtains

Rather hack your own soundproof curtains? Believe it or not, IKEA has a tutorial for it.

DIY sound absorbing curtains using fabric and batting
Photo: IKEA.com

Get two pieces of fabric suitable for curtains, in a size that fits your windows. And a piece of wadding (aka batting) as large as the curtain size.

Essentially, you’ll be making a quilt of sorts, hung as curtains.

steps to make sound absorbing curtains using fabric and batting
Photo: IKEA.com

Place the batting in between the two pieces fabric with enough margin on all sides to fold the edges and create a hem. Sew the two pieces of fabric along the border, with the batting inside.

Then, run your machine across the width and length of the fabric to form a lattice. This keeps the batting in place.

Finally, put in a couple of eyelets for the rod to thread through.

If you have a lot of traffic noise outside your window, this may be a good addition to the GUNNLAUG curtains.

#3 Sound dampening wall panels

Acoustic wall panels are fantastic at further dampening noise and echo. Think inside of a recording studio — it’s always lined with absorbent material.

Here are the steps to make sound absorbing panels for the walls of your home office, music room or home cinema. It’s as easy as replacing the plastic screen or glass on a picture frame with a padded board.

DIY acoustic wall panels using IKEA RIBBA picture frame, in grey, beige and black
Photo: IKEA.com

Here’s how:

Get as many picture frames as you need for your wall. The RIBBA 16×20″ (40x50cm) is a good size for it. Other materials you’ll need are batting and tape.

First, cut the batting 3/4″ (2cm) shorter and narrower than the backer board of the picture frame.

steps to DIY acoustic wall panels
Photo: IKEA.com

Then, cut a piece of fabric large enough to wrap the batting around the backer board. Use tape to keep the fabric in place.

Next, remove the plastic sheet from the picture frame and replace with the padded fabric board. Secure in place with the clips. The last step is to hang all the wall panels up to create a wall of sound absorbing panels.

If this is too much work, IKEA offers the ODDLAUG sound absorbing panel.

Here’s to calmer days and quieter nights.