To date, I’ve published four lengthy posts about my desperate attempts to quiet the mysterious vibration that shakes me awake every morning. I lost count at twenty; the latest was making four 80+ pound concrete block legs to support the platform, which was a grid of wood on a frame of steel angle irons.

The real problem, I discovered, is ME. According to readings of the vibration taken by an acoustical engineer, I am 10 to 100 times more sensitive than “normal” folks. The vibrations exist, but at a level most people don’t feel. My sensitivity is most likely due to a medication I take (on top of my being a very sensitive person). That said, I still needed to find a way to sleep. So I continued on my iterative, trial-and-error  journey to create a bed, or a system, that would allow me to sleep. Here are some recent successes.

The concrete blocks weren’t a total loss: I pushed them on their wax paper sliders so they lined up along the wall at the head of the bed, with the idea that heavy weight (usually in the form of furniture —think big old armoires—) would literally weigh down the floor to prevent some vibration. Which they did. Since this placed the bed about a foot away from the wall, I used the bean bag pellets from an earlier failed fix and a swath of linen to sew up a bolster with my trusty new Janome Heavy Duty Sewing Machine .

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

The pellet-filled bolster basically extended the bed and keep the pillows from falling behind it.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

Next, I read up on the various resonances of metals and woods. Steel seriously conducts vibration. I took a couple of wrenches to the iron frame and dismantled it myself. I propped the wood frame on the plywood boxes Holton Rower had made for his failed bed shock-absorbers. The vibration that night was palpably softened.

A WOOD bed was what I needed, with enough support in the center to keep the side rails and center from resonating.

I ordered the inexpensive Nomad Hardwood Platform Bed Frame that looked like it was well supported with center rails. I put it together in less than an hour and was pleased at how well made it was. It even smelled woody in the best way possible.

Nomad Platform Bed


That night the vibration was muted even more.

I remembered Holton Rower telling me he had stopped a vibration by inserting hockey pucks between a restaurant fan and his apartment wall. I ordered a twelve-pack of black pucks and tried them inserting them under the bed legs, first one layer, then another and another, testing the vibration each time. Three pucks under each leg had the effect of damping the vibration more (but four curiously made it vibrate).

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

Another night, I found that the bed seemed to vibrate more along the long head-to-foot spans of the bed, something that a couple of engineers had remarked on. So I made makeshift wooden legs to support the spans midway, using materials I had on hand.

vibrating bed fix wood blocks

Fortunately, the king-size linen sheet I bought on sale proved the perfect bed skirt to hide my various homely rigs.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

I was pleased with the headway I made. The well-supported wood bed elevated on hockey pucks dampened the vibration considerably. But I still felt it.

Stay-tuned for two more fixes that came about via a random conversation with a thoughtful stranger.


If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

12 replies on “Vibrating Bed Fix Headway: A Wood Bed + Hockey Pucks

  1. I had two thoughts about your bed.

    I’m not sure if you found the source of the vibration or if it’s an element of city infrastructure that can’t be changed. I once had an office that vibrated terribly. It turned out that the air handling unit in the next room was not properly bolted to the floor and the vibration was traveling from the floor to the wall and then the floor in my office.

    The other thought — you may have already tried this– is to have the frequency of the vibration measured. my husband seems to think that you may be able to have a spring & rubber in shear tuned to address the vibration.

    Good luck. I know how crazy making these things can be.

  2. Sleepless Sally, what a serious predicament,
    I have designed a bed for many clients, one being Maria and Holton .Everyone tells me that it is very comfortable, and that they love sleeping on it. Maybe take a look at theirs.
    The sides of the bed are solid wood wrapped in a cotton or synthetic padding , covered with painters linen . That gives it a soft base as I don’t like to feel a hard surface getting in and out of bed. It softens the experience. The legs are simple discreet steel tube leg that I purchase. the base of the bed is slatted . If one wants a headboard , it is a piece of plywood with the same padding and cleated solidly to the wall, and is custom sized. I keep a thin profile to avoid a bulky oversized feeling headboard.
    Basically, i would think the padding makes for a comforting surround. not sure this it seems you may not have a solution . Did you have this issue in your last apartment.?It may be the building construction..It sounds like a bigger problem than the bed..but I hope you can find relief. With concern, love suzanne

  3. So glad you hear you are making progress!

  4. There are many possibilities for where the vibration is coming from, especially as I am on the top floor, and there are a lot of roof mechanicals. We DID measure the frequency, though I don’t really know how to interpret the info. What is certain is that it is at a way lower level than most people perceive. It seems that I have an acute sensitivity that may be due to medication. That being said, I really appreciate hearing your husband’s idea. I’m going to keep that in mind.

  5. Suzanne, I’ve seen your gorgeous bed and it sounds lovely, all that padding. I’m going to take a look again. Perhaps some of the ideas would help. Right now I have a bed that is better than before, but not at all the way I’d like it to look as it is HIGH and looks big in the room. But that’s it for now, until the next iterations. Thanks a million for your concern.

  6. Little…by….little. One step at a time.

  7. So…it looks like you are the proverbial “Princess and the Pea”, so to speak!
    So sorry to hear that this isn’t cmpletely resolved. So, glad that you are making progress, though. However, if you are caught wakened by the shaking in the middle of the night, perhaps thinking of (or watching) Carole Burnett’s very hilarious interpretation of the above fairy tale will at least bring a smile to your face, in a very annoying moment.
    In any case, wish you as many Sweet Dreams as possible given the circumstances.

  8. I have not been believed when I said that my bed was vibrating. All I got was unbelief. It is Not funny. This all seemed to begin as soon as the so-called Smart Meter was installed, without notice, I might add. This has been happening for the past almost two years.
    Do you think an All Wooden bed and a Mattress that does not have any Springs , nor any need of a Box spring would help ? Presently, I have a King size bed with a Box spring that must have a Thousand metal coils, Plus the Coils in the Innerspring mattress. It has a Metal Frame, also. I am thinking to get an all Wood Bed and No Metal in any part of it. Any suggestions ? I Need my sleep and this situation is driving me insane.
    I wonder if a Platform Bed would solve my problem. No Box Spring and an all foam Mattress.
    My thought is that it is the Metal that is attracting the EMR . All I do know is that it is making me sick. The ringing in my ears at times is terrible. My back hurts terribly . I am nauseous and Short Tempered. I have never been a complainer, but this is something that is not normal. I am Not on any medication, only One otc capsule to help me sleep some.
    My Computer is in my bedroom, also my Alert button, as well as my wired Phone and Television. I have lived in this house for almost 40 years. This is something that just started occurring in the past two or so years, just since the Smart Meter was installed.. I hasten to add that those things have been in my room all that time …and with no Problem at all.
    Please advise me.
    My email is: [email protected].

  9. I believe you, and am very sorry you are experience this.

    I recommend you trying to have the Smart Meter disabled for a few days to see if that makes a difference. For some people, these kinds of things affect their nervous system, making them hyper-sensitive. (If I accidentally sleep with a computer on, I won’t sleep,)

    I also recommend UNPLUGGING the television.

    In my experience, a metal bed frame DEFINITELY amplifies the vibration. I believe a spring mattress would do the same. I’ve found that a wooden frame helps hugely, preferable one that does not have slats under the mattress but a wooden surface. Elevating the legs on hockey pucks also helps. You can read more about it here.

    Best of luck in finding a solution.

  10. Well !… Sensitive to vibrations is all fine & dandy but.. gee whiz, I seem to think that I am targeted by some kind of electromagnetic device used by my neighbor. This mega vibration I feel started after an altercation with the people living on top of me. Never in my life have I had this experiment. (BTW) I am Canadian of french expression so, sorry for my spelling mistake. Finally, going out of my mind with the vibration, I moved across the street but still facing these neighbor. I had 4 days of so nice & quite ( NO VIBRATIONS ) what so ever. I believe that they ended up spotting my new apartment and BINGO! it all started again. My imagination ?? Think not. I even passed an MRI, had my thyroid checked and all is normal. One more test (hearing ) next month Fev..2018 then seeing an ORL should convince me that my intuition is right period. I did my homework and search all about targeting individual, & electronic harrassment (sp?). Shocking ? but true.. so sad ! Next step is getting a wood frame bed & foam mattress. No metal. Some suggestions on the site are a bit far fetch but I understand that people will go to any lenght to cease these vibrations and just live in serenity like I did no more than 6 months ago. I am strong spirited and will continue searching and doing everything to help myself. Thank you to all of you that shared and I will keep in touch.

  11. I can’t quite work out (because I’m so sleep deprived – nearly identical reason to you) which is your latest update – did you find a solution? Could you point me to it? I am also super sensitive and going crazy from vibrations from tenants downstairs who insist on letting their heater come on at night/any time the temperature goes down. Thanks!!!

  12. Hi, I’m so sorry. I thought I published the latest iteration for vibration dampening. A wooden bed with no metal parts is essential. I place the legs on a hockey puck topped with a Diversitech Anti-Vibration pad which are better than any I’ve tested. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *