Apartment living isn’t always easy, especially if you suddenly started spending more time indoors due to lockdowns. Home office and Zoom meetings are a great idea at first—until the stomping or loud music begins.
Maybe there’s a new tenant in the building, or perhaps working from home recently made you discover you’ve got a tap dancing teacher upstairs.
Either way, we collected some of the best tips to manage living with upstairs neighbors stomping and keep the peace.
These are the best ways to deal with upstairs neighbors stomping.
Whether you’re dealing with upstairs neighbors stomping during the day or in the middle of the night, these are the best ways to deal with it.
Some of these tips require a little bit of diplomacy and patience.
There are also some gadgets that can make a difference in your life if things get intolerable. You do need to be cautious with some of them and use your good judgment.
First, if you’ve got a neighbor who’s making a lot of noise, try talking to them and see if they’re willing to keep it down.
You might even be surprised to find out they have no idea they’re being so loud, and have no problem paying more attention in the future.
Maybe they simply need to switch from high heels to slippers and the issue is solved.
If they’re noisy late at night, you can give them some reasons why you need your sleep, such as work or school schedules.
Just remember that the most important thing is to keep the interactions calm and collected.
If you get them to understand your side of the problem, you’ll be much more likely to solve the issue.
When the stomping or noise involves their work, such as in the case of a musician or dancer, it’s especially important to find some common ground.
Explain that you need peace and quiet for your meetings or simply for concentration.
You can also ask for the schedules of their classes or practices, so you’re not surprised every time the stomping starts.
It’s always better when you can prepare beforehand, and this way you won’t plan any important work for those moments.
It’s also a good way to show your neighbor you’re willing to cooperate with them.
If your upstairs neighbor isn’t willing to meet you halfway, talk to other neighbors and see if they have complaints about noise. Ask them to talk to the noisy person, as well, to make them see they’re bothering more than just one person in the building.
When you’re dealing with upstairs neighbors stomping and being extremely loud, it can also be great to get some emotional support from others.
Sleeping poorly because of the noise can make you more stressed out, and knowing that others have your back can help.
Sometimes, you’ll need to involve the building management to get your message across to the neighbor. Be as specific as you can about the type of noise you’re dealing with, how often you’re hearing it, and at what time of day.
If your upstairs neighbor is a tenant, it’s more likely they’ll calm down after a warning. If they own the apartment it can be tougher to get them to stay quiet, but it can still serve as a wake-up call.
Ask other friendly neighbors to contact management as well. If there are more people contacting the building administration, your stomping upstairs neighbor is more likely to take the issue seriously.
Just remember that this strategy probably won’t make you popular with the person living upstairs, so it’s best not to go directly to speak to the management. They might even be noisier out of spite after your complaint. This is why we recommend exploring other possible ways of settling the issue before you try this out.
A good set of earplugs can help you get a good night’s sleep or maintain your focus during a workday, even with music or stomping upstairs. Foam earplugs are generally easy to find anywhere and block out noise effectively.
This model from Decibullz is moldable to your ears, so it gives you a perfect fit. For those who don’t like the feel of foam earplugs, this model from Wutan blocks noise effectively while keeping you comfortable.
Sleeping with earplugs isn’t necessarily safe, because you won’t hear a smoke or fire alarm go off, so only use them with caution. If you decide to sleep with earplugs, make sure there’s someone else to alert you of any dangerous situations.
A good pair of noise-canceling headphones can be the solution so you can keep working or watching TV while your upstairs neighbors are making noise.
The bad part of headphones is that they won’t be comfortable to wear when sleeping. If your problem is stomping or noises at night, we recommend a white noise machine or earplugs.
White noise machines are great for filtering out some of the noise around you, but they can also calm you down after a long, stressful day.
They won’t block out extremely loud noises, but instead, mask them to make it easier to focus or fall asleep. And they’re especially helpful in getting babies to fall asleep!
We recommend checking out this one from Magicteam. It has 20 different sounds and 32 sound levels to try, so it adapts well to different users and environments.
You can make your noisy neighbor have a little taste of what you’re living with. Here are some DIY tricks:
If you haven’t been successful at blocking the noise, there are some devices that can help send a clear message upstairs.
The bad part is, they’ll likely make the relationship with your neighbor worse.
Electromechanical vibrating plates are an update on the old “banging the ceiling with a broom”-technique. These machines consist of an extendable pole with a motor and some vibrating plates that make noise.
You can install them easily on your ceiling or walls. When your neighbors are making noise, just turn the machine on and it produces loud vibrations on the ceiling.
This sends the message that they need to keep quiet.
These kinds of devices can be hard to find, though, but a common multi-purpose vibration motor can do the trick. You can try setting up a vibration motor somewhere close to the ceiling and turning it on when there’s a lot of stomping.
If your neighbors aren’t paying attention to your requests to turn the music down, there are ways to interfere with the speakers. These kinds of devices, or jammers, will block the devices in their vicinity from working altogether.
First, an audio jammer will make their speaker stop playing.
A Bluetooth jammer will interfere with all devices relying on this technology in your vicinity, including your own.
Both of these types of jammers are tough to find, especially online.
Depending on where you live, audio jammers or any other interference-producing devices may even be illegal.
Remember that interfering with radio signals can prevent law enforcement communications, but it can also make it impossible for you or others to make emergency calls.
You should consider other possible alternatives before making this purchase.
Antennas that produce a loud, high-pitched sound are another possible solution if things with your loud neighbor get intolerable.
Ever heard the interference sound a cell phone placed next to a powerful speaker makes? That’s pretty much what you’ll get with a high-frequency antenna like this, and it’s guaranteed to bother your neighbors.
The downside with this strategy is that you’ll suffer from the intolerable sound yourself, and so will all the rest of your neighbors.
You might also turn into the noisy person in the building, and after that, it’ll be much harder to get other people’s support for your cause.
It’s also not guaranteed that this will make your neighbor lower the volume or stop stomping. You’ll only be adding to the noise, and they won’t necessarily understand you’re using this device to send them a message.
If your noise problem involves bothersome pets, there’s a gadget that can help keep them quiet. An ultrasonic signal machine generates sounds in several frequencies that are inaudible to humans that can help calm the animal down.
There are many types of ultrasonic sound generators. Some of these machines are specifically designed to work as dog bark deterrents, and they’re safe, portable, and easy to use.
Just make sure the model you pick has a long enough range to reach your neighbor’s apartment.
If you have a serious issue with your upstairs neighbors stomping and it doesn’t get better, you can do a couple of things to soundproof your home.
Sometimes it’s not your neighbor’s fault, but simply because of poor building quality.
You can ask your upstairs neighbor to use carpets to reduce the noise coming from stomping.
Another option is to build a suspended ceiling to add a couple of inches more of separation between you and them.
You can also use acoustic ceiling tiles to reduce vibrations.
If there’s a lot of space between the door and the floor, you’ll likely get some noises coming in from the hallway.
With windows, the more layers, the better they usually are at keeping out sound.
All of these options are quite pricey, especially if you’re renting. However, they will add to your well-being in the long term, so they can be worth the investment sometimes.
If you own the apartment, these strategies might give you more peace and quiet for many years.
When you’re dealing with a serious noise disturbance, sometimes you may have to call the police.
We recommend this as a last option when you’ve tried all other reasonable resources.
It’s best to limit your calls to the police to situations with intolerably loud noise or if you’re worried someone might be hurt. However, it’s not a great everyday solution for your upstairs neighbors stomping.
The result may be a warning from the police to your neighbor, but depending on the case they may also give them a fine. This means your relationship with your upstairs neighbor will definitely be ruined for the foreseeable future.
As always, we recommend staying calm when you’re making a noise complaint, and giving as much precise information as you can.
This will help you make the situation clear to the police and ensure that they take you seriously.
Living in an apartment will always mean you’ll hear some noise from your neighbors, but everybody has the right to live peacefully. If you have issues with your upstairs neighbors stomping, try our tips and gadgets.
And if things don’t work out, contact other neighbors and ask them to support your efforts, or even the building administrator or the landlord.
Remember that, even if your neighbor is the one being loud, it’s better to keep things friendly and polite. They’re more likely to keep it down if they like you, and you’ll get back to your quiet life soon.
Also, remember that the use of some of these gadgets should be a last resort.
You’ll run the chance of ruining your relationship with the noisy neighbor, as well as others in the building.
Some gadgets may also be illegal to use if they interfere with radio signals and other devices, so make sure you’re keeping everything legal.