Wherever air flows or light shows, noise will come through. Some of the biggest culprits are the spaces between the bottoms of doors and the floor below them. All the soundproofing of walls, ceilings, floors, and windows is great. But not dealing with the gap below the door (along with the door and frame) still allows noise into, or out of, the room.
In this article we will list some of the best soundproofing door sweeps, along with how they work, and where to use them.
Although the gap between the door slab and floor is usually the most obvious location of noise infiltration, the entire door system can be letting in sound. If you need, or want, more information about soundproofing the complete door slab and frame, please see our articles: How to Soundproof a Bathroom Door, How to Soundproof a Hollow Door, How to Soundproof a Door.
Soundproof Door Sweep Basics
Most interior doors are installed in such a way to leave a gap between the slab and sub-floor of 1/2″ – 1 1/2″. This is great for the installation of thick carpet and underlay or 3/4″ hardwood. Not so much for soundproofing–especially if the floor is finished with linoleum. The gap between the slab and floor also allows air to move freely throughout the house–even when doors are closed.
Installing a door sweep on, or under, the door will close the gap–keeping noise where you want it.
Note: Air movement is important for efficient operation of HVAC systems. Most houses do not have a cold air return in each room to remove cool air when it is being replaced with warm air. You can pump hot air into a room but if there is no place for the cool to go, you will not get the desired results. And the system is less effective. This problem is usually easily solved by leaving the door open most of the time; only closing it when you need quiet.
Door sweeps are made for both interior and exterior doors. Some can be used for both applications. Many are specific for door location. Most people pay way more attention to the sweeps on their exterior doors. Keeping out the cold, the insects, and small rodents usually gets higher priority than sound passing under interior doors.
I am going to concentrate on the interior doors because there are more of them in every house–quite often with many different requirements.
6 Soundproof Door Sweeps for Interior Doors
1) Holikme Twin Door Draft Stopper
The Holikme Twin Door Draft Stopper will decrease the amount of noise entering or leaving a room by up to 8 decibels. (Lowering noise levels by 3 decibels reduces sound by half. See Three Decibel Rule below.) This brings significant quiet to any room using the Holikme Draft Stopper. It also eliminates drafts and light.
This is a very simple concept that uses 2 fabric tunnels filled with 2″ foam to seal door bottoms. Manufactured 34″ long, it can be shortened to fit smaller door slabs. Cut foam to length, slide them into the pockets, close the end, and slide it under the door slab. The open end folds up and is sealed with a Velcro tab. The other end comes with a strip of tape that can be attached to the hinge side of the door slab–preventing the Draft Stopper from sliding. Click here for installation video.
Available in 8 colors, the fabric is machine washable and eco friendly. And can be re-used on other doors.
Note #1: Amazon states that it is usable for gaps 0″ – 1 1/2″. Zero will not work. You need at least 1/4″ to get the thing under the door.
Note #2: To ensure that this draft stopper slides smoothly on any surface, spray the complete bottom with dry silicone lubricant before installation, and after each washing. Let the accelerant evaporate before sliding it back in place.
- Up to 8 decibel noise reduction
- 34″ long. Can be made shorter
- Seals gaps up to 1.5″ high
- Easy to assemble and install
- Machine washable
- Available in 8 colors
The Not so Good
- 34″ maximum length will not fit wider doors
2) MAXTID Door Draft Sound Proof Silencer
The MAXTID Door Draft Sound Proof Silencer is another very simple door draft and soundproofing product. It is a foam filled non-fabric tube that comes 36″ long that can be cut down to fit smaller door slabs. The full length installation tab has self adhesive that glues to the door slab which the tube is attached to and held by Velcro. This allows removal and re-positioning if required. (Note: Once the glue strip is attached to the door using a hair dryer for good adhesion, it will not come off without taking paint with it.)
Available in black, brown, or grey, it is compatible with all types of floors–although I would still spray it with dry silicone spray for smoother operation. It will cover gaps up to 1.3″.
For extra soundproofing, draft stopping, and light seepage, you can add another one to the other side of the slab.
- Claim to be a soundproof product, which I believe
- Easy installation
- Simple to remove and reposition with Velcro attachment
- Seals gaps up to 1.3″ high
- Multiple colors
- Free lifetime user support
The Not so Good
- Do not provide decibel reduction amount
3) Suptikes Soundproof Door Draft Stopper
The Suptikes Soundproof Door Draft Stopper comes 2″ wide and 39″ long and will cover gaps up to 1″. Plenty long to fit most common residential doors and easy to trim to the correct length. This is a silicone sweep with multiple layers providing good soundproofing. Easy to install. Clean the door slab with 50/50 vinegar and water. Rinse and let dry. Remove the covering from the adhesive strip and apply.
This is an excellent product for tile, linoleum, hardwood, and laminate floors. Not quite as good on carpet or rug.
Installation Notes: Once this draft stopper is on the door, you have no chance to move it. To make certain it will open, close, and seal, apply 2″ of painters tape to the door where the draft stopper will be applied. Close the door and make a pencil mark on the tape where the draft stopper sits when the door is closed. Or tape it in place. Then open the door and see whether the stopper is pushed up by an uneven floor. If not, remove tape from the door and the back of the weather strip, and stick it to the door. If you floor is uneven, you may need to rethink your choice of door sweep.
- Very strong adhesive – will not come off
- Seals gaps up to 1″
- 39″ length fits most residential door slabs
- Available in 4 colors
- Silicone sweep
- Excellent on smooth floors
The Not so Good
- Very strong adhesive – cannot be repositioned
- May not work well on carpet
4) M-D Building Products 68247 1-1/4-Inch EPDM Door Sweep
The M-D Building Products 68247 1-1/4-Inch EPDM Door Sweep will seal a gap up to 3/4″ using EPDM rubber for a longer life. This is a rubber base clamped to an anodized aluminum bar. It comes 36″ wide and can be cut down to the length you require. Once cut, it is easy to install using the included screws and predrilled slotted holes.(Note: It is often best to cut both ends, leaving the factory holes untouched, than to cut one end off along with the slotted hole.) Hold the sweep in position and predrill the door slab through the center of the slotted holes. Attach the sweep to your door slab and adjust it to touch the floor–then tighten screws.
Heavy rubber compound makes a good sound attenuator. Along with eliminating drafts, odors, and the odd bug.
Note: For more information on Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) please see the article What is EPDM Rubber? Probably way more information than you want or need.
- Seals gaps up to 3/4″
- Attached with screws – can be repositioned and reused
- 36″ long – can be cut down as required
- Long lasting EPDM rubber compound
- Excellent on smooth floors
The Not so Good
- Does not work well on rug or carpet.
5) Uxcell Door Brush Bottom Sweep
The Uxcell Door Brush Bottom Sweep is not the best soundproofing item on this list. I included it because of its flexibility. The soft silicone brush is an excellent option for anyone with an uneven floor. Or a rough (like poorly finished concrete) floor. An uneven floor can rise 1/2″–maybe even more–in the radius of a door swing, making rubber or cloth-type sweeps almost impossible to use. This door sweep brush will bend as required by the floor when the door is opened, and spring back to cover the opening between the door slab and floor. It is also a very good choice if the floor under the door–or the door itself–is off level. This brush will cover up to 1 1/2″ gap.
Easy to install, it comes 39″ long and can be trimmed to fit smaller door slabs. (Note: Trim from both ends to retain predrilled mounting holes.) To install, close the door, hold the sweep in place, predrill slab in the center of the slotted mounting holes, and use the included screws to attach. I would put a little positive downward pressure on the sweep to ensure a tight fit. To keep the brush from sliding out of the u-shaped channel, either crimp each end after cutting or apply a spot of silicone caulking. Let the silicone completely dry before moving the door.
The thick brush will provide some soundproofing help, along with eliminating dust, light, smells, and bugs.
The Uxcell Sweep is available in sizes up to 4″ high which can be used for really big door gaps on yard gates.
- Covers 1 1/2″ gap
- 39″ long – easy to modify for shorter door slabs
- Easy to install
- Soft silicone brush will not scratch floors
- Made of aluminum alloy and soft silicone brush
- Easy to clean by sliding brush out of holder, cleaning, and reinstalling
The Not so Good
- Not as good at soundproofing as other items on this list
6) Decorealm 3.5 lb. Door Draft Blocker
The Decorealm 3.5 lb. Door Draft Blocker provides the most mass of any of product used for blocking sound passing under doors. More mass=less noise. Always. The exterior shell is made of upholstery grade quilted velvet, with a 100% cotton inner shell holding a combination of 30% cotton and 70% ceramic beads (to hold it in place). Available in 3 sizes (30″, 32″, 36 “) and multiple colors. Each draft blocker comes with a satin hanging cord at each end for easy storage. All combine to create a firm tight seal that stays in place at the bottom of any door.
No installation required. Just push it tight against the opening at the bottom of the door. And when it gets dirty take the cover off using the hidden zipper, machine wash and dry, and put it back together. It is 3 1/2″ in diameter and will realistically cover any gap up to 2” without leaking air, light, dust, smells, or noise.
Personal note: I have to admit that when I first saw this, I thought throwing an old towel down would accomplish the same thing. Not so.
- Heavy noise blocking draft stopper – 3.5 lbs.
- Covers gaps up to 2″
- Available in 3 sizes – 30″, 32″, 36″
- Available in multiple colors
- Zippered quilted velvet outer shell
- 100% cotton inner shell
The Not so Good
- Has to be repositioned each time the door opens
Soundproof Door Sweep for Exterior Doors
As mentioned, most people pay more attention to exterior door sweeps because of weather rather than soundproofing. Many of the listed interior door sweeps will also work well on an inswing exterior door–either as a stand-alone product, or in addition to one that is already there. They will work reasonable well for draft proofing and soundproofing. The KS Door Sweep listed below is made for exterior doors and does well for all of your needs.
1) KS Double Bubble Door Sweep
The KS Double Bubble Door Sweep not only keeps weather at bay, it also deters insects, and other annoying wild life. Not to mention making your door quieter. (Wind howling through the gap between door slab and threshold tends to be fairly high pitched.) The double bubble design ensures that there is more contact between sweep and sill than with ‘fin only’ sweeps making for a better seal. It is adjustable and will cover up to 7/8″ gap. Comes with installation screws and screw cover. The exterior drip cap and sealing fin should keep most of the water from getting under the sweep and weep holes inside the U-shaped cup will drain any moisture getting into it.
Installation is fairly simple. Remove the old sweep. Cut the new one to fit. (Sweep is available in 3 sizes–32″, 36″, 42″)Slide it on. Adjust it to sit properly on the sill. Screw it to the door slab and install screw cover. Simple. Here are a few tips to make for an easier and better installation.
- Acoustic caulking. After getting it properly fitted, check the gap between the bottom of the door slab and sill. Remove the sweep and run a double bead of acoustic caulking inside the sweep–full length. Do not seal the weep holes. (Acoustic caulking will never harden, allowing for adjustment and removal if necessary.)
- Adjustment. Before installing screws, open and close the door a couple of times and check that no light is showing.
- Screws. Predrill holes in door and install the screws that come with the sweep.
- Screw cover. These can be a little difficult to get on. It can be made easier if the cover (not the sweep) is warm. Use a hair dryer, or preferably, toss it into a tub of fairly warm water for 5 minutes. It should then be a simple to install using a rubber mallet–at most. You may be able to snap it on using only your hands.
- Standard sized 36″ long sweep – can be cut down for narrower slabs
- Also available in 32″ and 42″ lengths
- Provides positive seal
- Adjustable up to 7/8″ depth
- Easy installation without removing door slab
The Not so Good
- Quite a few comments about difficulty installing the screw cover (See above for cover installation suggestions.)
Note: I have used mohair pile door sweeps on exterior doors for years; instead of the all rubber fin type. I prefer them over virtually every other door shoe/sweep. But apparently they are a Canadian thing. Not sure why. Maybe because when it gets to 30 below zero and the rubber fins stiffen up, our doors can be a bear to open. If you are interested you can find them at allglassparts.com
How We Chose Soundproof Door Sweeps
We chose a variety of soundproof door sweeps trying to anticipate as many possible door/floor situations as possible. By providing multiple styles and options, we hope you will find one that will work for you.
Quiet Door Sweeps
All of these door sweeps will reduce noise to some extent, but the only one that listed the amount of decibel reduction is the Holikme Twin Door Draft Stopper at up to 8 decibels. This does not sound like much so I am including The following short bit on the 3 dB rule.
The 3 Decibel Rule
The 3 Decibel Rule states that for every decrease in noise by 3 decibels, the sound is cut in half. Meaning that if a door sweep lowers the decibel rating by 10 decibels the sound energy is decreased by a factor of 10. For the best explanation of The 3 Decibel Rule I have ever seen, please go to pulsarinstruments.com.
The following chart is also courtesy of Pulsar Instruments.
The basic rules for working with decibels
|Change in dB||Change in sound energy|
|3 dB increase||sound energy is doubled|
|3 dB decrease||sound energy is halved|
|10 dB increase||sound energy is increased by a factor of 10|
|10 dB decrease||sound energy is decreased by a factor of 10|
|20 dB increase||sound energy is increased by a factor of 100|
|20 dB decrease||sound energy is decreased by a factor of 100|
3dB rule and maximum exposure to noise
Because door sweep manufacturers are a little shy about stating decibel ratings, you may want to get an inexpensive decibel meter to measure the sound waves inside a room before, and after, installing a door sweep. Then use The 3 Decibel Rule to understand the amount of noise attenuation you have achieved.
Soundproof Door Sweep Considerations
Some of the other things we looked at when choosing our list of best soundproof door sweeps.
- Installation. How easy is it to install?
- Versatility. What type of floor surfaces with it work on?
- Maintenance. Is it easy to keep clean?
- Adjustments. Can it be removed and replaced? Is it easy to raise and lower if it wears down or the house shifts a little–opening up a gap?
- Cost. We stayed away from the really inexpensive sweeps because some of them are obviously cheap. And some of the more expensive ones–like mechanical sweeps–because they looked a little gimmicky. Or an almost identical product cost less. As we all know–You do not always get what you pay for.
FAQs About Soundproof Door Sweep
Here are answers to a few questions that usually come up when considering a soundproof door sweep.
Do I need a door sweep to soundproof my bedroom?
Yes. Even the smallest gaps around a door will let in noise. Bigger gap=more noise. Quite often the biggest gap in your bedroom is the space between the door slab and the floor. Probably bigger than all other gaps combined
Do I need a door sweep? Or can I use something else?
You can use a towel, rolled up mat, or train your dog to sleep in front of the door. But purpose-made door sweeps are almost always a better option. They are made to fit tight to the door slab, and can be adjusted to touch the floor sealing the complete gap. And most of them are attached to the door, meaning you do not need to re-adjust them every time you open the door. You cannot put a towel back in place when leave the room or house so if you are also using it as draft proofing, it is not doing the job.
Will interior door sweeps work on carpet?
Yes. Depending on material. Bristle sweeps should always work on carpet because they are very flexible. Cloth encased sweeps should also work because they fit looser and you can spray the bottom with dry silicone spray. Rubber based sweeps can be very difficult because they are usually more rigid and have very little surface area to lubricate with silicone.