How to Soundproof a Noisy Short-Term Rental

You just moved across the country for a three-month work contract. Your clothes are neatly organized in your new closet, your comforter is on the bed, and your furnished apartment is perfect… almost. You have everything you need except peace and quiet, thanks to your noisy neighbors. Is there anything you can do that won’t damage the apartment but still help you get a quiet night’s sleep? Fortunately, yes! Whether you’re dealing with a bustling intersection outside your window or noisy upstairs neighbors, these no-fuss tricks will help you curb the noise in any short-term rental.

1. Determine where the sound is coming from & focus on that area.

If you’re losing sleep and going a little crazy over this neighborly noise, take a deep breath. It’s frustrating, but don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, walk around your apartment and pinpoint where the majority of the noise is coming from. Is your neighbor to the right making all the noise, or is it coming from the apartment above you? Is it loudest near your front door or the windows? Pinpoint the areas letting the most noise in, and go from there.

2. Embrace sound-absorbing wall décor.

Apartments often have thin walls, which results in hearing everything your next door neighbor does. If this is your biggest problem, some sound-absorbing wall décor can make a big difference. Hang up a big tapestry that will add some color and coziness to your space, while also absorbing some of those annoying noises. Take it a step further and cover the wall in soundproofing foam before hanging your tapestry!

3. Soundproof your windows with drapes.

Windows can let in a lot of noise. If you’re tired of being woken up by honks and sirens every night, invest in a pair of thick drapes. Hang these over your window, and it will muffle some of those ear-grating noises. You can find drapes that minimize noise AND block all sunlight – you’ll sleep like a baby with those!

4. Seal your door with soundproofing tape.

Sound often gets into your apartment through gaps in the door. Many acoustic door seal kits are expensive, and likely more than you’d want to spend on a short-term fix. Instead, grab some soundproofing tape online or at a home improvement store and use it to seal all of the edges of your door. This will seal any gaps between the door and doorframe, and reduce the noise coming in.

5. Ask your neighbor or landlord about adding a rug or carpeting.

If it sounds like your upstairs neighbor is tap dancing every night, you might want to go straight to the source. Ask them (kindly) if they would consider adding a rug to their space in order to soften the footsteps and muffle the sounds. You could also request that they remove their shoes and see if that helps! If your neighbor is unwilling (or if it doesn’t help the problem), ask your landlord about potentially adding carpet. It might be a long shot, but it never hurts to ask. Just make sure you’re asking politely!

6. Use a white noise machine or earplugs.

Sometimes short-term, affordable fixes simply aren’t enough to fix the problem. If you’re still dealing with noise, buy a pair of earplugs or download a white noise app on your smartphone. Use these tools to reduce the intrusive noise in your bedroom and sleep peacefully.

Dealing with noisy neighbors is a common problem among renters, but it’s not something that’s entirely out of your control. These handy (and simple) tips can make a big difference, so you can live and sleep in peace! When your contract is up – or you’re ready to move on to another adventure – use ApartmentSearch to find your next short-term rental.