YouTube channel DIY Perks tested several inexpensive materials to see which absorbed the most sound. While standard packaging foam and throw pillows had a measurable, but slight, effect, bath towels made a significant impact. The towels are also easily folded, providing multiple layers of sound deadening in less space than the equivalent foam. As good bath towels can actually be quite spendy, DIY Perks recommends sourcing them from a local thrift store.
Stretched and stapled to a basic wood frame, the towels form unobtrusive panels that can easily be hung on a wall. If you’re a fan of minimalist decor, there’s no harm in leaving the panels up all year round, and they’ll probably serve as great conversation starters when you have guests over. Of course, you could also simply replace them with actual wall art when they’re not needed.
For proof that the towels actually work, skip to the 6:10 mark in the video for a comparison recording with and without three panels hung on a wall. The effect is noticeable. If you like the idea but find basic woodwork, sewing, and stapling to be more work than you’re up for, you can tack a bunch of old towels and blankets to the walls and probably get a similar effect, albeit in a much less elegant way.