NYC is noisy: These are the best items to help drown out the noise
Living in the city that never sleeps can be exciting, but sometimes, it can be a bit much. Every now and then, you might want a slower, quieter pace. From rowdy neighbors, crying babies, and loud TVs to car horns and alarms from the street below, your home may be louder than you’d prefer. And this makes it hard for you to relax and unwind, and even harder to concentrate and sleep. We’ve rounded up some ideas to help you soundproof your home (or at least soften the noise) and also relax despite those unwanted sounds.
All of these products have been hand-selected by Team 6sqft. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these affiliate links. All prices reflect those at the time of publishing.
Fabric furniture can help to dampen sounds, and the larger the item, the better. This swivel chair is deep, with a relaxed back and plush cushions – and it’s a great excuse to get a new piece of furniture as well! The chair’s upholstery is removable so you can toss it into the washing machine and dryer to clean. The upholstery is also available in dozens of colors, including off-white, sand, light gray, burnt orange, and heather smoke.
The Campo Swivel Chair, $749 at Levity
Another way to soundproof your apartment is to place a large bookcase on the wall adjacent to the source of the noise. And then, fill the bookcase with all of your books to create an almost floor-to-ceiling sound barrier. (If you don’t have a lot of books, you can get some really good titles from the Dollar Tree or the thrift store). The easy-to-assemble bookshelf has 6 tiers, and comes with 2 anti-toppling metal brackets.
IRONCK Bookcase and Bookshelves 6-Tier, $299/$269 at Amazon
A rug is one of the easiest ways to dampen the sound in your home. This beautiful rug is made of 100% wool, and has a 0.5” thickness, and carpet backing. The geometric pattern also adds texture and interest to any room. The rug only comes in one color (ivory) but it’s available in 5 different sizes.
Flint Wool Textured Rug, $149 at Quince
You’ve probably heard of blackout curtains – but these also have a sound barrier to absorb noise. The curtains are sold in a pack of two, and each panel includes a noise-absorbing felt liner, as well as a blackout layer for light and draft (and also a layer that filters dust and smoke). The curtains are available in various sizes and numerous colors, including dusty blue, Biscotti beige, burgundy, black, and mocha.
RYB HOME 4-in-1 Soundproof Blackout Curtains, $102/pair at Amazon
This tabletop water fountain can counter noise by producing soothing sounds. The 3-leaf tier design creates streams of water, on the natural river rocks. It also incorporates lighting to create a soft reflection on the water. The gentle cascading water uses soothing sounds to help you relax. The corded fountain has an on/off switch, and a submersible water pump for hands-free cleaning.
Tabletop Water Fountain, $34/Sale $27 at Amazon
Even your bedding can provide a buffer level from sound, and this ultra-weight comforter is plush but can keep you warm without being heavy. It uses intelligent insulation that allows air to circulate to keep you from overheating. The comforter is also made from hypoallergenic materials, machine washable, and has loops for use with duvet covers.
Bedgear Performance Comforter, Ultra Weight, $269 at Amazon
A door draft stopper can keep cool breezes from entering your home, but it can also block noise, light, dust, and pests. The adjustable draft and noise stopper easily slides underneath doors between 32 and 34 inches wide and 0 to 2 inches thick, and is machine washable. It comes in a 36-inch size as well.
Holikme Twin Door Draft Stopper/Noise Blocker, $18/Sale $14 at Amazon
Depending on which direction the noise is coming from, your bed frame can provide a buffer. The button-tufted headboard on this bedframe is certainly tall enough to block sounds. against sounds while you’re sleeping. Fabric choices include taupe vintage velvet, graphite vintage velvet, natural linen, and pewter linen. The matching fabric storage bench is plush enough to also provide a buffer.
Amalfi Bed Frame, $1,995 at Saatva
You can also cover your walls in beautiful artwork to diminish noise in your home – and canvas is particularly effective. This website sells a variety of artwork in canvas, or you can get prints and posters and then choose a picture frame. Categories range from nature, maps and cities, music, and sports to famous painters and iconic photos.
Pink Peonies No2 Canvas, $79 at Desenio
In the bathroom, fabrics like towels and shower curtains help soften noise as well. These super-plush towels are also soft and luxurious. Made of 100% Turkish cotton, the eco-friendly towels are durable and absorbent. Color choices are smoke gray, ocean, and white.
Brooklinen Super-Plush Towels, 2-Piece Set, $79 at Amazon
Also, pad the bathroom floor with a plush bathmat. This high pile bathmat is made of viscose from bamboo fabric, and designed to be absorbent while also soft to the touch. It’s available in small and large sizes and charcoal, light grey, and white.
Cozy Earth Bathmat, $60/Sale $48 at Amazon
A sound machine blocks outside noise by providing alternative sounds. This one produces six soothing sounds to help you relax and fall asleep: ocean, thunder, brook, rain, summer night, and white noise. The compact machine also has a volume control button and a timer.
Homedics SoundSpa Sound Machine, $23/Sale $21 at Amazon
Drown it out and relax
After implementing your chosen soundproofing efforts, focus on ways that you can relax and enjoy yourself, regardless of what your neighbors are doing.
You can wear these noise-canceling headphones for 45 hours before they need to be charged. The hybrid noise canceling design allows you to completely block out noise or use transparency mode when you need to hear such sounds as the phone ringing. The headphones use easy touch control and allow for hands-free calling. They’re comfortable even when worn for long periods as you’re listening to music or your favorite podcast.
Treblab Z7 Pro ANC Headphones, $179/Sale $159
If you have kids – assuming they’re not causing the noise – they need protection from unwanted sounds as well. These headphones are designed for kids to wear when listening to music, movies, TV shows, etc. It limits the volume in their ear to 85dB, which is the World Health Organization’s recommendation to prevent air damage. The headphones have a 20-hour battery life, and are available in several colors, including purple, pink, blue, green, and teal.
Puro Sound Labs Volume Limited Kids Headphones, $99 at Amazon
Playing music is yet another way to combat noise coming from other sources. To be clear, we’re not suggesting that you go head-to-head with neighbors in a contest. Since you’re a good neighbor, we’re confident that you will only play this portable speaker as loud as it needs to be. However, you will indeed enjoy the spatial audio that comes out both vertically and horizontally for an immersive experience that’ll make you forget all about distracting sounds. The waterproof speaker has a 12-hour playtime before it needs to be recharged.
Soundcore Motion X600 Portable Speaker, $199 at Amazon
When you’re anxious and restless as a result of the noise, this 15-pound chunky knit weighted blanket is designed to gently calm you and reduce anxiety. This helps you sleep faster and deeper. The weighted blanket is made of a soft polyester jersey with recycled polyester fill. Color choices include terracotta, natural, olive, charcoal, and light grey.
Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket, $149 at Quince
If you have a baby, the noise may be interrupting their ability to sleep as well as they should. However, this smart baby monitor (which includes an adjustable band that wraps around the baby’s calf) tracks their heart rate, skin temperature, and when they roll over and move. The kit includes a baby sensor, a base station, three bands in progressive sizes, a charging cable, and an adapter. The app can be downloaded for free.
Sleepsure Smart Baby Monitor, $249/Sale $199 at HALO
Sometimes, you need to be rocked like a baby, since rocking can soothe you and improve your sleep. And if your sleep has been interrupted by noise, you may be experiencing insomnia. This device can be placed behind your back and it provides a gentle rocking motion that’s soothing and can help improve your sleep quality. It can also take pressure off your back and joints while providing lumbar support.
Ready Rocker, $99 at Ready Rocker
Whether you participate in yoga or just workout at home to relieve noise-induced stress, this stretching mat makes it much more comfortable. The mat has a memory foam pillow that contours to the shape of your neck and spine. It also has six stretching programs: twist, flow, unwind, energize, stretch, and recover, along with three intensity levels, and a pause button. The mat also includes a programmable remote and a convenient carrying handle for easy transport.
HoMedics Body Flex Back Stretching Mat, $319/Sale $229 at Amazon
Continuous exposure to noise can interrupt your sleep, focus, and concentration. However, this electrolyte and mineral power, which only contains 1 gram of sugar and tastes like lemonade, can help you sleep deeper, increase focus and concentration, boost immunity, and help you perform better. It only contains six ingredients: organic lemon, organic coconut, organic stevia, Himalayan pink salt, magnesium sea minerals, and Vitamin C.
Hydrate + Collagen Bundle, $82 at Goodonya
The right bed pillow can also make all of the difference in getting a good night’s sleep when you’re struggling with noise. This medium-firm pillow, which is inspired by Star Wars, is filled with 100% polyester fiber and has a 100% cotton matelassé jacquard shell. The pillow, which has a moisture-wicking coating, comes in a cotton woven canvas bag and is available in standard, queen, and king sizes.
Star Wars Antithesis Medium-Firm Pillow, $139/$111 at Sobel Westex