I live in a studio appartment and there is a fridge in my room which makes sleeping difficult. Is there a way to reduce the noise it makes? Is it maybe possible to cover it with noise insulant without keeping the waste heat inside?


Thanks for your tips and hints. I just moved the refrigerator from the kitchen behind a little wall:

Floor plan with moved fridge

I’m wondering if I could cover this alcove with a heavy curtain (maybe using polyester fiber as HerrBag suggested). Do you think the air volume (~ 0.7 m x 1.7 m x 2.3 m) and the walls would suffice to absorb the heat (and noise) of the refrigerator?

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    If you're walling off the alcove, across the front of the fridge, "sealing it", then no.
    – HerrBag
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 19:09

7 Answers 7


Most refrigerator alcoves are mini reverberation chambers, having hard sides. You may be able to place acoustic foam behind the refrigerator to absorb the sounds.

If you're handy sewing, you could copy this design for a sound reduction blanket using polyester fiber fill used for coats. As a trial, just loop a couple of layers of the batting off a couple eye hooks and leave space for air circulation. You may have to use some twine to belt it down flat. If it works, enclose in a cotton sack stitched down like a quilt.

To be clear, I'm only suggesting a flat wall hanging, nothing to trap heat.

Acoustical Solutions AudioSeal

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    I just put acoustic foam on the back wall of the alcove and between the wall and the fridge on the side of the fridge the compressor is on and it eliminated the hum by about 95%. I got the idea from this web page. Thanks for posting !
    – user30427
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 2:26

Keeping the fridge full of stuff may stabilize the temperature and reduce the number of times the compressor turns on and off.

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    This is also handy for power outages as the increased thermal mass helps keep the temperature stable for longer.
    – Steven
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 14:16
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    I've been known to fill plastic takeout containers with water and leave them in the fridge and freezer to better stabilize the temperature. Opening a fridge full of air means it nearly instantly turns to room temp and needs to start the cooling cycle all over.
    – BMitch
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 14:52

I don't think anyone has mentioned that low frequency sounds are very efficiently transmitted (and even amplified) via floorboards. This is especially bad if you get resonance. This may seem crazy but mounting the fridge on wall brackets so it doesn't touch the floor can make a big difference. Of course all of this is dependent on what the floor is made of and what type of walls you have.


As you have deduced, the condenser coil needs to get rid of heat in order to work properly. If it cannot, the fridge will not work very well and it will eventually self destruct. So by providing a path to get rid of heat also will create a path to get rid of noise, so to speak. I suppose some elaborate baffled muffler system may attenuate the noise and still allow adequate ventilation, but such a device would take a lot of room and make the fridge inaccessible.

All you can really do is keep the coils clean so it works most efficiently. You might inspect the fan and compressor mountings, if they are perished, it would lead to excess noise. Other than that, all you can realistically do is buy a quieter fridge.


If you own the appliance or otherwise have the right to replace it, trade it for an updated appliance. There are many publications which evaluate refrigerator noise, a few of which are:


Just turn it off at night. Run extension cord over top of the fridge. The first thing you're going to do in the morning is go to the fridge, so you'll see it and remember to plug in.

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    Won't this result in the frozen food thawing out and refrigerated food spoiling?
    – BMitch
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 12:10

Better than turning it on and off, put the thing on a timer... off at 12am on at 7am.

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    Won't this result in frozen food thawing out and refrigerated food spoiling?
    – BMitch
    Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 13:11

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