Do-it-yourself noise mitigation at home

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

I don’t generally mention commercial products in my blog posts, but I’m willing to make an exception for these sound absorbing panels from IKEA.

The article is from a UK magazine, so I don’t know if the panels are available in the U.S. yet, but it’s worth it to keep an eye out for them.  They can be hung in a room, or as a room divider, to absorb unwanted sound. And since the product if offered through IKEA, the cost shouldn’t be prohibitive.

Alternatively, heavy drapes might be a more aesthetically pleasing solution. And new urban construction often has–and should be required to have–double paned windows and sound absorbing material in the exterior walls.

So urban dwellers trying to get a good night’s sleep have noise mitigation options. But I can’t help but think about how much better our sleep could be if government actively enforced  noise regulations rather than leave the problem for each of us to deal with individually.

Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America. Dr Fink also is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council, and he served on the board of the American Tinnitus Association from 2015-2018.

Comment (1)

  1. Janine gliener

    This appears to be a huge “miss” on the parts of both IKEA and Silencity/The Quiet Coalition. Sound ABSORBING and sound BLOCKING (or sound proofing) are different issues with different solutions. Absorbing fabrics or heavy drapes will absorb sound if there is enough surface area AND thickness to offset the other qualities of the room – dimensions & other surface materials. They will NOT block sound from outside the room or the building.
    As an acoustics professional, I encounter this misconception regularly. It is extremely disheartening to see both IKEA and Silencity perpetuating the confusion.
    Will you address this?!?!


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