Your home is your happy place — a private area where you can enjoy the company of loved ones and some much-deserved peace and quiet. Unfortunately, your home might not feel like the haven it’s meant to be if constant outside sounds are pouring in. Passing traffic, construction work, chirping birds, barking dogs, and noisy pedestrians or neighbors may have you plugging your ears during the workday or at night.

Windows can be a primary culprit for unwanted sounds entering your home. Luckily, you can take some simple steps to reduce the noise entering through them. This article covers six easy window soundproofing methods to improve your quality of life and enjoyment of your home.

The Best Ways To Soundproof Your Windows

Whether you work from home, have a sleeping baby, or simply need some peace, we’ve listed some reliable soundproofing methods to use in your home. The table below provides a high-level overview of each tool with potential costs and installation requirements to get you started.

Soundproofing MethodAverage Cost*Ease of Installation
Cellular Shades$85–$100Moderate
Window Inserts$25–$45 per square footModerate
Multi-pane Windows$1,200+Difficult
Acoustic Caulk$25Very Easy
Acoustic Foam Panels$25–$50Very Easy

*These costs are rough estimates of common window soundproofing tools. Use these figures as starting points for your budget; prices will vary significantly by brand and project scope.

#1: Sound-dampening Curtains

One popular method of soundproofing windows is covering them with curtains. Thin linen drapes won’t do much to stop sounds from echoing into your home, but heavier, tightly woven ones will. Soundproofing curtains, sometimes called blackout curtains, consist of thick polyester, suede, or velvet fabric that extends a few inches past all sides of the window.

While curtains certainly aren’t the most reliable way to soundproof windows, they’re a good place to start if you want to cancel out minor noises and reduce echoes. The cost is low, installation is easy, and these new window treatments can help spruce up a room.

Beige curtains hanging on a rod over a window

How Much Do Soundproofing Curtains Cost?

You’ll typically find sound-dampening curtains for $20–$60, depending on brand, material, and size. We suggest an option that fits your existing home decor for a stylish yet functional fix.

Can You Install Your Own Soundproof Curtains?

All you need for curtain installation is a drill, hardware, and basic handy skills, as installing soundproofing curtains is much less costly and involved than other methods. If you can operate a screwdriver or drill, you should be able to turn this into a DIY project.

#2: Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are a prime option for blocking noise while adding a functional window treatment to your home. These shades get their name from the honeycomb-shaped fabric cells that expand and contract as the shades open and close. Their special design makes these window treatments a solid barrier against outside noises and temperature fluctuations.

The main concern when using cell shades for soundproofing is that they’ll only work when extended over the windows. This means that you might have to choose between natural daytime lighting or blocking out unwanted noise.

Honeycomb cellular shades drawn up to let in natural light

How Much Do Cellular Shades Cost?

Cellular shades typically cost between $85–$100. If you buy shades from an independent retailer or home improvement store, you’ll likely get custom sizing to fit your windows. In these instances, depending on the size and customizations you need, you might pay more.

Can You Install Your Own Cell Shades?

You can buy and install your own cell shades to reduce the noise entering your windows. With DIY installation, just make sure to find the right shade size for your windows. Then, ensure you have the hardware and tools to securely position the window treatments for optimal noise reduction.

#3: Soundproofing Window Inserts

Window inserts are removable panels made of sturdy, sound-dampening acrylic. The material is clear (like glass) to provide the noise-canceling effect you need without blocking your view. Some window inserts act as fully functional second windows with operable sashes.

Other, more effective soundproofing inserts, interior storm windows, have solid acrylic panes. These styles feature thin frames and no grids for minimal interference with the look of your existing windows and lower potential for noise leakage.

According to Sun & Sound Windows, the main soundproofing effect of inserts comes from the space between the panes. A sufficient air gap of at least two inches between the insert and window will trap and buffer sound waves as they enter your home. 

Man puts window insert over an existing window

How Much Do Window Inserts Cost?

Window inserts typically cost between $25–$45 per square foot. Standard interior storm windows are on the lower end of the price range, while industrial strength options will be higher. Your price may also vary due to added features like insulative coatings and tinting.

Can You Install Your Own Window Inserts?

Window inserts are generally easy to install. Some models require minimal screwing of the insert into the existing window opening, while others are custom-sized to fit snugly into the opening with no drilling necessary. You can also select magnetic window inserts for an easy, drill-free installation. The inserts attach directly to existing metal window frames for minimal damage and easy removal.

#4: Multi-pane Windows

One of the more involved ways to soundproof your windows is to replace them with multi-pane models. These windows have two or three panes of glass to improve insulation and energy efficiency — and they do a solid job of reducing noise pollution.

Finding the right multi-pane windows might involve researching the Sound Transmission Class-rating of different products. Sound Transmission Class (STC) measures how much noise a surface reduces as sound waves travel through it. Single-pane windows have low STC ratings, meaning you can likely hear and understand someone speaking to you through the other side of the glass.

Double-pane and triple-pane windows with higher STC ratings have better noise-reducing abilities. This is because there are more layers of glass and air that sound must travel through before reaching inside your home.

Cross-section view of a triple-pane window

How Much Do Double-pane Windows Cost?

Standard double-pane windows cost around $1,200 per window for materials and installation. This price fluctuates depending on the window size and customizations you need. Triple-pane windows will cost more because they use more materials. You can expect to pay a higher amount per window for triple-pane replacements and installations.

Can You Install Your Own Double-pane Windows?

Although you can perform window replacements on your own, we suggest calling in a professional company for this type of job. Proper installation will go a long way toward improving the sound-reducing qualities of your new windows. Professional installers have the tools and expertise to ensure your multi-pane windows are placed and sealed properly for minimal noise pollution, drafts, and weather damage.

#5: Acoustic Caulk

If you think unwanted outside noises are entering your home through gaps in your window framing, a little caulk may be the solution. Acoustic caulk, or sound sealant, is a latex-based soundproofing material that stays flexible when dry, allowing it to mold into tight openings. It’s useful for creating a sound barrier along window framing while improving the overall STC of the openings.

Plus, caulking your windows is an excellent way to improve their energy efficiency. The sealant prevents outdoor air and moisture from seeping into your home and causing potential damage or higher power bills.

Man using a caulk gun to seal up window frame gaps

How Much Does Caulk Cost?

At $20–$25 per 29-ounce container, acoustic calk is one of the most cost-effective soundproofing tools for your windows. If you also need to buy a caulking gun, you’re looking at about $20–$30 more for the project.

Can You Apply Your Own Window Caulking?

Along with being an affordable soundproofing method, caulk is one of the easiest, most DIY-friendly methods of reducing your home’s noise level. All you need for this project is acoustic caulk, a caulk gun, and a little know-how. Here’s an easy-to-follow caulking tutorial from Green Glue:

#6: Acoustic Foam Panels

Acoustic foam is another simple solution for unwanted noise. It consists of open-cell polyurethane that absorbs sound waves and reduces echo. Though acoustic foam is primarily used as a soundproofing material in sound booths, it can be especially handy in residential settings.

Note that foam panels absorb sound instead of blocking it. This means the material won’t block out sounds completely but will soften them. Acoustic foam also isn’t the most attractive material, and you probably won’t want it lining your home’s windows for long. For this reason, we suggest acoustic foam as an initial soundproofing method to reduce short-term noise pollution like construction projects.

person peeling the adhesive back off an acoustic foam panel

How Much Does Acoustic Foam Cost?

Acoustic panels cost $25–$50, depending on how many you buy. Acoustic foam on Amazon typically comes in packs of six or more for easy bulk purchasing.

Can You Install Your Own Acoustic Foam?

Acoustic foam is an easy DIY soundproofing method to try on your windows. Buy foam panels with adhesive backs that will stick to your windows and any other surfaces that need soundproofing.

Which Soundproofing Method Is Best for Your Windows?

The best soundproofing method for your windows is the one that achieves the level of noise reduction you need. Minor noise problems might require a little caulk or temporary foam, while others call for commercial-grade window inserts.

One of the best ways to improve the noise-canceling qualities of your windows is to replace them with insulative glass. The easiest way to achieve this is by upgrading single-pane windows to dual-pane or triple-pane models, depending on the level of sound reduction you need.

We recommend Champion Windows and Renewal by Andersen for the best replacement windows. These companies offer full-service window replacements to carry you from design consultation to installation. With a window professional on your side, you’ll have quick access to the answers you need and custom designs that outfit your home for success.

To learn more about top window companies in your area, fill out the quick form below:

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FAQs: How to Soundproof Your Windows

Still unsure about soundproofing? We’ve listed some commonly asked questions and their answers below.

Do I Need To Soundproof My Windows?

You may need to soundproof your windows if you’re experiencing lots of unwanted noise inside your home. Sound reduction can significantly improve your comfort and enjoyment, especially if you spend lots of time at home.

Several soundproofing methods exist, many of which can be implemented as simple DIY solutions. We suggest trying a couple of soundproofing tools simultaneously to maximize the results. For example, you may install double-pane windows for additional sound barriers and apply acoustic caulk for improved frame insulation.

How Can I Soundproof Existing Windows?

If you aren’t ready to go down the window replacement route, you can still take a few steps to soundproof existing windows. Window inserts are the most effective way to reduce noise entering your home. Inserts pop into existing window openings and act as a second glass pane. Many window insert products are made from thick acrylic materials that can effectively block sound.

Other, simpler methods of window soundproofing include putting up sound-dampening window treatments or applying acoustic caulk to potential gaps. You can also put up acoustic foam — the stuff you see in recording booths — for a quick, effective solution.

What Type of Window Is Best for Noise Cancellation?

Double and triple-pane windows are superior for noise cancellation. These windows have multiple panes of glass separated by insulative argon gas. While multi-pane windows are primarily designed for improved energy efficiency and insulation, they can also reduce your home’s noise.

Some window companies like Pella sell specialty lines of soundproof windows. We suggest researching these products to determine if replacing your old windows with soundproof models is your best option.

Can I Soundproof Window Frames?

You can soundproof your window frames with acoustic caulk, insulation tape, or weatherstripping. These tools can reduce the noise entering through tiny cracks while improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Want to soundproof your entire window from pane to frame? Install blackout curtains to provide additional sound-dampening power (and style) to your interior spaces.

Editorial Contributors
Elisabeth Beauchamp

Elisabeth Beauchamp

Senior Staff Writer

Elisabeth Beauchamp is a content producer for Today’s Homeowner’s Lawn and Windows categories. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Journalism and Linguistics. When Elisabeth isn’t writing about flowers, foliage, and fertilizer, she’s researching landscaping trends and current events in the agricultural space. Elisabeth aims to educate and equip readers with the tools they need to create a home they love.

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