A few years ago, I documented the many possible solutions I tried to quiet the mechanical vibration I felt coming through my floors, and which was disturbing my sleep. (You can read about them here.) It turns out, I was not alone in this plight. Hundreds of people from all over the country have written to share their story, desperate to find ways to quiet the vibrations that disturbs them.
Our ever-awake world is full of machinery creating disturbing vibrations that can travel surprisingly far, from construction sites to air conditioning condensers to ceiling fans.
After trying all sorts of ingenious fails — 80-pound handmade concrete blocks; springs; hockey pucks; space age rubber; bean bag pellets; yoga blocks; halved tennis balls; stacks of cork; custom-made shock absorbers — I finally found a simple, inexpensive way to significantly dampen the vibration: Diversitech Anti-Vibration Pads, made of a unique sandwich of composite foam and rubber. A set of four 4-inch square ones costs less than $12. (BE SURE the pads
you are buying are marked “Wagner” are model number:Diversitech MP4-E E.V.A. (We’ve heard the pads are no longer being marked Wagner and are researching ways to verify them.) I’ve found there are fakes which have no markings and smell foul. If you you receive pads aren’t this model or smell foul, return them to Amazon for a refund.
Placing the Diversitech pads under machinery like refrigerators and air conditioners will severely dampen their vibration. I put them under my bed legs to dampen the vibration traveling UP the leg through the floor and waking me every night.
Having tried various ways of using them, including stacked on hockey pucks, I found that simply placing one each on top of a small piece of wood, and then under each of the bed legs works best. (A reader wrote to say she found that placing them on TWO pieces of wood worked better for her.) Curiously, stacking the Diversitech pads seems to make vibrations worse.
NOTE: If you feel vibrations coming through the floor to your bed, it is essential that you get a wooden bed, which conducts vibrations far less than a metal one.
A quick solution is the inexpensive Nomad Hardwood Platform Bed Frame made out of poplar and available on Amazon. It can be assembled in less than an hour and is surprisingly well-made.
I made an easily adjustable bed skirt for mine to hide art materials I store under the bed as well as the vibration pad fix. Read about it here.
Editor’s Note: Sensitivity to vibration depends greatly on personal makeup and nervous system, as well as the degree of the vibration so we cannot claim this will work for everyone. But the pads are so inexpensive, we figure it’s worth a shot.