What Is a Ceiling Vibrator (Thumper) and How Do You Use It?

Living in an apartment under a bunch of barbarians can be equal parts frustrating and infuriating. It’s too bad we can’t return the ceiling-shaking attacks they uncaringly point at us! Could we ever make an impact on a surface that’s designed to be strong and sturdy? Well, if you want to give your noisy neighbors a piece of your mind, you could get a ceiling vibrator or thumper.

These devices are the perfect way to emphasize your anger. They’ll certainly shake the ground under your neighbors’ feet — and without making a huge mess.

How to use a ceiling thumper.

What Is a Ceiling Vibrator?

As you might imagine, a ceiling vibrator is a motorized device that should alert the people living above the user when they’re being particularly obnoxious. It really is that simple! It saves you from having to bang on the ceiling manually.

Apparently, the invention took off in 2017, when a Beijing resident identified only by his surname — Zhang — decided that he just couldn’t take the sounds of the noisy children living above him anymore. The noise wasn’t only driving him crazy — it was also preventing his parents from sleeping. With that in mind, the man decided to whip up a machine that has since found its way to apartments across China and beyond.

How Does It Work?

All things considered, ceiling thumpers are fairly simple machines. They have a long rod that extends between the floor and ceiling. You can even adjust its height by a few inches by unscrewing the foot at the bottom end. So it accounts for varying ceiling heights in different apartment buildings.

The top of the rod is connected to a square or cylinder-shaped device that is firmly pressed against the ceiling. The motor that vibrates the ceiling is inside that case. It’s powered by a long cord that hangs from the device, connecting it to the nearest outlet. Generally, these machines also come with wireless remote control devices that allow users to turn them on at the first sign of trouble.

At this point, there may even be different versions of this product on the market:

  • Beat thumpers, which rhythmically hit the surface of the ceiling
  • Shock vibrators, which send vibrations through, instead
  • Shock and beat machines, which are a combination of both

Most of them have different speed and vibration mode settings incorporated into the remote. So you might have to study the instructions before you can get to the fun part.

What Are the Effects of the Device?

So why is this device more effective than the various tools you’ve used to annoy your upstairs neighbors? Simply put, the amount of force you’re able to exert is nothing compared to the vibrations of a powerful motor.

Remember, the ceiling was designed to withstand any kind of movement on the floor above. But even though airborne noise may not make it through, you’ll probably still have problems with impact sounds like footsteps.

That’s the very vulnerability this machine exploits! The vibrations the motor sends into the ceiling joists transfer to the flooring above. If the floor isn’t unreasonably thick, the machine may even shake some of the neighbors’ things. But don’t worry — it’s not as strong as an earthquake might be.

At most, it may shake small, light objects loose from the furniture pieces closest to the source of vibrations. Other than that, the machine should be just strong enough to get your neighbors’ attention.

How to Set Up a Ceiling Vibrator or Thumper

If you decide to try out one of these devices, you’ll have to get it off Chinese retail sites or US-based distributors. When it ships to you, you’ll just have to put it all together before setting it up against your ceiling. While building shakers — or ceiling thumpers — come in all shapes and sizes, most of them will look approximately the same.

With that in mind, the first step to setting up your device will be connecting the separate pieces. As shown in the video, you’ll first want to connect the cord to the motor box and splice together the metal rod. After inserting one side of the rod into the slot on the motor box, screw in the foot that will go on your floor.

Put the motorized side up against the ceiling and adjust the bottom side of the rod, extending the foot at the bottom. Finally, plug in the machine and set up the remote.

Making a DIY Ceiling Stomper

If you prefer using the fruit of your labor to annoy your neighbors, you could make one of these devices. You’ll just need a motorized box that will transfer vibrations through the surface as well as a rod to support it against the ceiling. Alternatively, you could attach the device to the ceiling permanently by screwing it in at the sides.

Whatever you do, try not to replicate the following experiment. Ryan and David of the eponymous YouTube channel wanted to make a literal ceiling stomper with two rods connected to two boots. However, you’d need at least two people to operate such a device. I recommend taking the moving parts out of the equation if you’re not an experienced tinkerer.

Instead, you can just take a long rod or broomstick and pad one end to prevent it from cracking the ceiling. With that in mind, you can use anti-vibration pads, socks, and duct tape to secure everything. Then, whenever you want to discipline your loud neighbors, you can just manually slam the rod against it.

Other Ways to Annoy Noisy Neighbors

If you’re not enthused by this idea, there are other ways to annoy your upstairs neighbors. On the one hand, you can simply do your loudest chores or practice musical instruments when your neighbors are relaxing. That would be the passive-aggressive route.

Alternatively, you can take on a more active role by knocking on your neighbor’s door or playing doorbell ditch. Singing your neighbors up for random junk mail and spam calls can be another great way to annoy them.

But if you want to focus your efforts on the ceiling, you could:

  • Put speakers (and subwoofers) up against the ceiling and blast music through it
  • Tap on the radiator pipes that lead up into your upstairs neighbors’ apartment with a metal spoon (just keep in mind that your downstairs neighbors may hear the noise too)
  • Bounce a ball against the ceiling

Of course, these tricks would make it obvious that you’re behind your neighbors’ torment. They’d be able to tell that the sounds are coming from below. So you should make sure they can’t retaliate by making your life even more difficult.

Or You Can Just Tell Them to Be Quiet

If your neighbors are reasonable people, there’s no reason to engage in childish pranks right off the bat. Try discussing the matter like mature people before you order your ceiling thumper. And even if that fails, the law is likely on your side. Still, if your landlord doesn’t want to intervene, feel free to do your worst — your neighbors started it, anyway!

22 thoughts on “What Is a Ceiling Vibrator (Thumper) and How Do You Use It?”

  1. Neighbour from hell downstairs. Sad old wretch retired no friends turns on me Complained of her dirty secondhand smoke coming up in my flat. She never opens windows stinks my place out. Have Hyperosmia amongst other health issues. No friends she gets this device and something that shocks wherever I stand. Thumper vibrating whole flat day and night unless someone visits me it not shaking! My bed vibrates whole night even on my floor above. She sad no friends decides her life not going as planned taking it out on me. She does nothing but follow me around torturing me with this device/s and now sending shocks up my floor shocking me wherever I am. Total psychological abuse so far she in the clear. Karma will visit her at some point. These devices should not be legal as in the hands of seriously sick headed f@@#rs. It does not stop.

  2. I have a BULLY neighbor living next door to me and my bedroom & bathroom wall is on the other side of her living room & kitchen walls. I’ve lived here for 8 years and she for 3. From the day she moved in she started COVERT bullying tactics like banging on the walls of my bedroom at night and making weird noises when I go to the bathroom. As of a year ago she obtained some kind of device that caused my bed to vibrate from the time I go to bed and every hour until I’m forced to get up. My body trembles and shakes and I am unsteady when I stand because of constant vibrations. Management is NO HELP and I don’t know how to counter this HARASSMENT. I have gone online trying to find what machine she’s using with no help. Is it possible that the Ceiling Vibrator can be used on adjacent walls? Please HELP ME.

  3. I’ve had the same issue for 9 months now and the neighbors are deliberately being noisy despite conversations and calling the office. The next straw is calling the police and reporting for noise nuisance from neighbors. That oughta do the trick.

    1. I have the same problem. Single mom above me. I am sympathetic but she is using her condo to help friends. They shuffle at least 6 kids so they don’t get caught and have moved all the bunk beds into the master bedroom above my head. Told her I was going to report her so the extra kids are gone and she’s making sure to stomp around at 1am as she gets ready for work.

    2. I hate to tell you the police do nothing. What you can do is get proof. Measure the decibels & measure the vibration. That’s what I’m doing. They’re college students getting off on vibrating an old lady to death. Its true what someone wrote. It does disorientnuou. It causes severe nausea, I’ve had insane muscle spasms all over my body due to it. It is not legal to PHYSICALLY ASSAULT ANYONE!! THESE kids under me don’t know it yet….but they’re throwing away their future to harass me. It’s all been 100% UNPROVOKED!! They lie so much to the landlord & the police. I want to know why they are believed and I’m not! I have never dealt with this before. I don’t make things up to bother the police or landlord. Only a sick individual is capable of harming someone like this. It really enotiobaly upsets you. But remember they WANT TO PHYSICALLY HARM YOU!!!!! Go file charges for physical assault!!! Call a lawyer and sue them!! Write to your representatives and write to the government agency that approves the safety of products so they can BAN THESE EVIL DANGEROUS DEVICES!!!!!

  4. Just reading this site makes me feel so not alone. Seven years of sheer hell living under the inconsiderate assholes and their out-of-control ugly brats upstairs. If they could only see and hear themselves. They feel entitled. I own my condo and have no plans of moving. I couldn’t even keep a renter in here. In this last complaint the Condo Board just said call the county and get a decibel assessment. Like the County is going to come out here at night and measure my doors and windows rattling off their hinges. Or the percussive blows to my body. Scares the crap out me sometimes, when the kid starts jumping off the stairs or the furniture or screams like that you tube kid son the plane!…All of the recommendations’ for blocking them out have back fired (music white noise, etc.) on me and the Condo Board gives me the warnings when they complain. My health is literally shot. .Had to go to ER 2 days ago from stress. thought I was having a heart attack. So where is that ceiling vibrator!

  5. I am looking for proof as to if this works too! I want to make my crazy upstairs neighbor feel wrath like the monster does to me!

  6. Margaret I am going through the same thing with my mentally disturbed neighbor over me! It started 2 years ago with a little stomp here and there everytime I made a “normal living sound”. Such as washing dishes, flusing the toilet, watching t.v., talking on my phone, cooking etc. Then it would be around 2 a.m. like this crazy bitch would literally stomp right over me and wake me up out of my sleep. AND I NEVER DID NOTHING TO THIS CRAZY PSYCHO BITCH! SHE MOVED IN 2 MONTHS AFTER ME AND SHE THINKS I AM NOT GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE AND BE A CHURCH MOUSE FOR HER BECAUSE SHE IS INSANE!!! The lazy good for nothing landlord is a money hungry jackass and he does not handle the complaints. I need to know where I can get me a ceiling thumper quick fast and in a hurry!

      1. Hi, I’ve looked and cannot find. Would you mind sharing the exact product name? Writing this as I’m up from intentional stomping for the 4th time tonight.

  7. I only thing I did to have to suffer the upstairs ‘neighbours from hell’ was live in the downstairs flat. I have lived here for 22 years. They moved in a few years ago just the two of them. First thing they did was strip and sand every bit of wood in the entire flat. It was continual renovations for 3 years. Then they had the kids. Now they have 3 little monsters all under 4 that get up at 6am every day and run up and down over his stripped floorboards and across our ceilings. If I thought the ceiling vibrator would work I would buy it in an instant. I have been trying to move for at least 2 years before I go insane.

  8. Sonya, did you managed to find proof as I’m going through something similar and would be grateful if you could share your progress.

  9. The issue is the fact they are clueless in the first place. They think there walking normal. Normal to them is like to me as if they have a pet elephant up there. Little do they care, even though the nails are literally coming out from the ceiling and my dog jumps everytime they go the kitchen or living room from their bedroom or kitchen to bedroom and to the bathroom every 30 min.

  10. I’m NOT sure how old this forum or story is but in reality, it’s an ongoing every day problem world-wide. This is my second time experiencing this unbelievable, shocking, shaking, beating and vibrating, evil madness device. And anyone who decides to use it to so-called to get even with his neighbor, they are no different from the evil man in China who invented. If it has NOT already been done, God forbid, the day will come that is going to cause someone to get shot and killed because someone decided to retaliate and take matters in his own hand, using a ceiling thumper to repay evil for evil to his neighbor.
    Presently, I’m living in an old folks home, going through this evil madness with a man living under me, NOT because I’m noisy *because I’m NOT). But all because two months ago I reported his 11:45pm, loud, nightclub music to management. And he has been bold, relentless and cunning every since. When management questions him, he repeated lie and lies. I have stated to management, as long as you have “NO PROOF”, he will continue to TORMENT me, which he does non-stop, every single day. He tracks, monitors and knows every time I walk into the door of my apartment and every place I sat down. Then he turns on that evil device, ending shock waves, beatings, thumps, shaking and vibrations through out my entire apartment causing me NOT to even sat down in my own apartment and enjoy it. He attacks my bed with it, causing me NOT to be able to lie and sleep. So, I try sleeping on the couch, in the shower, on my bathroom floor and he attacks me even in those places. Unbelievable, he even attacks me while sitting on my bathroom toilet. I have no peace in my home until I come up with (proof). I’ve never dreamt of experiencing this again, and while living in an old folks home

  11. Interesting… I gotta say that comment makes me want one even more. This bloke upstairs feels the need to pump weights (that are obviously a little too heavy for him) and after each press or or curl he seemingly throwns down the weights or perhaps drops them on the ground from. Honestly can feel my entire unit vibrate…. To the first person to comment; I don’t want to play devil’s advocate here, but what were you doing to make the lady above you resort to this?

    1. You really don’t have to do anything to have crazy, insensitive, inconsiderate noisy neighbors. You could be quiet as a church mouse, never play loud music or TV and still end up with a neighbor from HELL.

  12. These devices should not be legal. my neighbour has used one,, puts it on all night. and my whole body is in agony Now in the process of getting proof that she has one,,,, proof for the council.

    1. I know this is an old post, but maybe it can help someone else.

      My question is:
      What did YOU do to deserve what your neighbor is doing to you?
      Sounds like you started the noise, and now can’t handle the retaliation.

      1. Sometimes you don’t have to do anything to “deserve” anything. People are inconsiderate. My neighbor allow their child to run after hours. I knocked on her dope and a man answered, I politely told him that I am their down stairs and I could hear his kids running. The next night, (mind you, they are quiet during the day) She proceed to allow her kids to run the next night. So not only is she’s inconsiderate but she is also disrespectful and she pretty much told me to go to hell when she continue to let her kids run as if I didn’t say anything. A person don’t have to do anything particular, and although I polite, she could’ve felt offended because I had the audacity knock on her (How dare you!) And she is pretty much telling me to kiss her a@@ when she continue to let her kids run so I will have no problem telling her to kiss mines when I purchase this device.

      2. Shes right. Sometimes nothing is done wrong. We walk quietly. Just me here. I hsve health issues. People brlow me let thete children yell, scream, jump, sent a spy drome on me the dsy before my mothers funeral. Then had the nerve to scoff at me. I adked therd asshole vidotor what yhe fk was he doing. I dont use my speakers but i am going to. Then buy floor thumper and renovate, loudly and rent to noisy family.

    2. Hi Sonya,
      Did you manage to get your issue resolved? I think the same thing is happening to me as unfortunately I suffer from sleep apnea and snore quite loudly!

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