I'm sleeping next to a busy road with a lot of traffic noise (both low and high frequencies, although the low are the most annoying). The noise seems to be coming through the windows rather than the walls.

It's a rented apartment so I cannot make any major modifications like blocking off the window and it is also nice to be able to get the light in during the day. I've installed some somewhat heavy 6ft/2m high curtains that help a bit, but I'd like to do more.

The window consists of a 1/4" outer piece of glass, then 3" of air before another an inner 1/2" piece of glass. I'm thinking if it would help with the noise at night if I put between the glass pieces 3" of acoustic foam (e.g. this), where there's currently air?

As a side-question, would it help if the outer piece was replaced with a 1/2" thickness piece of glass?

  • you could test your idea by stuffing blankets into the space between the glass panes
    – jsotola
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 20:35
  • Good idea! And you think that would work almost as well?
    – pir
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 20:45
  • harder to slide in and out. ... no idea about performance
    – jsotola
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 23:52
  • Do you seriously have 1/4" and 1/2" thick glass in your windows? That is very unlikely, but if true it would change the nature of your problem, vs traditional windows, which are usually composed of 3/32" panes and rarely any pane thicker than 3/16".
    – feetwet
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 0:08
  • Let me try to describe it again using other words. I'm living in a rather old house and my room has a large wooden frame in the wall that's quite deep. In the part of the frame closest to the street there's a 1/4" piece of glass. This I know precisely. In the frame roughly 3" closer to the room, there's another section of glass that's has a depth of roughly 1/2". This part might actually consist of two thinner pieces of glass with a tiny bit of air in between - that's hard for me to see. Does this description make the situation clearer?
    – pir
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 0:26

1 Answer 1


"I'm sleeping next to a busy road with a lot of traffic noise"

You and me both. My situation/window is almost identical but I do not care about light because i live in Alaska and i want to block the light from coming in at 4:00 o'clock in the morning.

I did as you suggest, i put 2" open cell foam insulation ( white with silver foil on one side ) in between the inner and outer panes of glass. It does work for the higher frequencies but lower ones travel through walls ( solid objects ) more readily. I would like to replace it with closed cell foam to see if it is better with sound and light.

I used to sleep with a fan running for the white noise but now i use a sound generator app on my iPhone. It helps to mask the road noise.

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