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Noisy Eating – The Most Annoying Noise

It’s not just you, it’s scientifically proven – noisy eaters really are the most irritating

There are tons of everyday noises that can get on our nerves. This year more than ever we’ve likely been spending more time at home, so that continual dog barking from your neighbor, or your significant other’s knuckle cracking habit is likely to be that little bit more irritating.

At Sound Proof Pros, our goal is to help you have a more peaceful life. We thought it would be interesting to run some research into the most annoying noises and include some tips on how to help, where we can. Unfortunately, we don’t have a way to soundproof a noisy eater or serial sniffer, but you could share this article with said person and hope they get the hint…

A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute and the ‘normal’ blood pressure reading is 120/80*. We know that people’s heart rate and blood pressure momentarily increase when angry or stressed**. Using this information we were able to test participants’ heart rate and blood pressure to see which noises caused the most increase on average, therefore able to conclude which are the most annoying everyday noises. 

The top three annoying noises were named as noisy eaters, cutlery scraping on plates and cracking knuckles. All three of these increase the heart rate on average by at least 50%, compared to the mid-range average resting heart rate. Blood pressure also increased to at least 130/88 when listening to these noises, which is considered to be within the high blood pressure category***.  

The top 10 annoying noises where people’s heart rate and blood pressure increased the most are:

  • Loud eating:135bpm & 136/94
  • Cutlery scraping on plates: 130 bpm & 130/88
  • Cracking your knuckles: 120 bpm & 132/89
  • Clearing the throat: 109 bpm & 129/84
  • Dogs barking: 102 bpm & 127/84
  • Nose blowing / sniffing – 101 bpm – 126 / 85
  • Blowing raspberries – 99 bpm – 125 / 83
  • People kissing – 98 bpm – 125 / 82
  • Burping – 95 bpm – 124 / 80
  • Babies crying – 94 bpm – 122 / 82


Cracking knuckles, clearing throats and dogs barking were all also within the top five. Dogs barking increased the participants heart rate by just under a third (28%), and increased blood pressure to 127/84. Whereas people cracking their knuckles increased peoples bpm to an average of 120, which is an increase of exactly half (50%). 

The least annoying noises, of the top 10, were babies crying, burping and people kissing. Babies crying increased the heart rate by the least with an increase to just 94 bpm and a heart rate increase of 122/82. 

We hope that you found these results as interesting as we did. We might have even solved a few household arguments along the way!