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Last updated: August 19, 2021
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We can all benefit from a good night’s sleep, and countless scientific studies have shown how important sleep can be for our overall physical and mental well-being. Unfortunately, getting off to sleep isn’t always easy, and there are all kinds of factors that can interfere with your sleeping schedule. One of the worst issues that many people have to face is noise, and this is especially true for those living in cities or sharing a bed with a snoring partner. Fortunately, ear muffs can help.
We’ve searched far and wide to find the best ear muffs for sleeping you can buy right now. These products need to be comfortable and cozy to wear, while also effectively drowning out ambient noise from your surroundings, and we’ve taken a look at a lot of different factors in order to find the very best options available, like the Hibermate Sleep Mask with Ear Muffs. We considered the materials these ear muffs were made of, as well as their price, dimensions, and any additional features or relevant factors.
We also took a look at both user and critical reviews of these different noise cancelling ear muffs for sleeping, and below, you’ll find a simple comparison table with the best options we found, complete with our ratings and nominations to give you a brief indication of what each option has to offer. Further down the page, you’ll find in-depth reviews and analysis of each set of ear muffs, followed by a detailed buying guide and FAQ section.
First up, we have the Hibermate Sleep Mask with Ear Muffs, and the first thing to note about these ear muffs is that they come attached to a sleeping mask, which offers a nice benefit for those who enjoy wearing a mask to aid their sleep as well as a pair of noise cancelling ear muffs. These muffs are made out of medical-grade silicone, which is one of the most comfortable materials you can find for this kind of item, very gentle on the skin and shouldn’t cause any chafing or discomfort.
The Hibermate Sleep Mask with Ear Muffs is the highest priced item on our list, but its quality really shines through and helps to justify that price tag, especially when you look at the fact that these muffs are fully machine washable, very easy to clean, and even come with their own carry bag, making them a good option for trips away or those moments when you need to sleep on a train, plane, or elsewhere.
The NRR rating is a little low compared to some of the other models of ear muffs on our list, so you might struggle to get to sleep if you live in a very noisy area, but if you’re just looking for mild noise cancelling and a comfortable sleep, you’ll find a lot to love about these ear muffs. Their flat and snug design means they work well for back, side, front, and combo sleepers too.
Next up, we have the 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs. Compared to the Hibermate model listed above, these ear muffs don’t feature the sleep mask attachment, but they do have a stronger NRR rating of 27 decibels, meaning that they’ll cancel out moderate to high levels of noise exposure in your surroundings. So if you happen to sleep beside someone who snores a lot or live in a city with lots of street noise, you’ll find these ear muffs to be very useful.
The 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs are also perfect for travel and can effectively block out a lot of noise on train and plane journeys. They feature a smart design with a slim dual-headband to reduce head build-up and ensure you don’t get too hot or uncomfortable in the night, and the cups are quite slim and low profile too, allowing you to sleep in a variety of positions with relative ease. That said, side sleepers might still struggle with these ear muffs due to their firm plastic construction.
Fortunately, despite this one minor flaw, the 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs are mostly ideal. They feature a one size fits most design and are easy to adjust to suit your head and sleeping posture. They provide the strong noise reduction so many people need to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep, and the vast majority of users find them to be very comfortable and cozy around the ears as well.
Moving on, we have the Hibermate Headband with Sound-Reducing Ear Muffs. Again, we can see the innovative nature of the Hibermate designers in this set of ear muffs; when you buy this set, you’ll receive a headband and two pairs of interchangeable ear cushions. The design is very clever and user-friendly, with the muffs simply attaching to the band with ease and then being able to slide over the head for minimal interference and impact on your sleeping quality.
The Hibermate Headband with Sound-Reducing Ear Muffs offer one of the most low profile designs we’ve seen and definitely rank highly on any list of the best noise reducing ear muffs for sleeping. Unfortunately, the amount of noise reduction you get with these muffs is rather minimal compared to other models, so they can only be recommended to people who just need to cancel out some mild ambient noise. They also come at quite a high price, but are very durable and well-made, so do enough to justify the cost.
These flaws aside, the Hibermate Headband with Sound-Reducing Ear Muffs has nothing but plus points. It comes with two sets of cushions, offering great value for money in the long run, and the cushions themselves are very comfortable and cozy on the ears, being made of top quality silicone. These muffs work nicely for all sleeping styles and the design is very user friendly and minimalistic; in fact, it’s very easy to sleep these ear muffs on and forget that you’re even wearing them, unlike some other designs which can feel quite heavy and awkward.
Next up, we have the Snug Kids Earmuffs – but don’t let the name fool you. These sleeping ear muffs are definitely designed with little ones in mind, but they can work for adults as well. In general though, if you’re an adult looking for quality ear muffs for sleeping, you may want to consider the other models on our list. If you’re looking for some ear muffs for your children, however, be sure to keep reading.
Available at a very affordable price, the Snug Kids Earmuffs are available in a range of more than a dozen different color options, so kids can have a fun time picking out their favorite colors. They also come with a 5-year guarantee, so if you encounter any problems or accidents with these ear muffs, then you’ll be totally protected. They’re made from a mixture of plastic and PU foam, and the comfort level is a little lacking compared to some of the other materials used elsewhere on the list.
The design of these ear muffs also means that they can be a little tricky when sleeping in certain positions, but they offer a lot of value and some very strong plus points. Their NRR rating, for example, is very high at 25 dB. They’re some of the strongest ear muffs for sleeping on the market right now and can really block out a lot of ambient and loud noises.
Next up, we have the Wrap-a-Nap™ Travel Pillow, Sleep Mask & Ear Muff, which is definitely one of the most unique and interesting options you can choose when shopping for ear muffs for sleeping. As seen in the name of this product, the Wrap-a-Nap actually works as a travel pillow, a pair of ear muffs, and a sleep mask all-in-one and all at a very reasonable price. It’s essentially a coil of soft, fleece-covered material that wraps around the head.
A highly versatile product, the Wrap-a-Nap™ Travel Pillow, Sleep Mask & Ear Muff can be used in a variety of ways, even being placed around the neck as a cozy pillow while sitting and reading or taking a plane journey. It’s highly functional and perfect for people who love to wear eye masks when they sleep. The fleece-material on the exterior of this product can get a little hot on warm days, but it’s very soft and gentle on the skin too.
In terms of blocking out sound, the Wrap-a-Nap is a difficult product to evaluate. Some users manage to get it in just the right position to benefit from its strong NRR rating of 25-35 dB, but others struggle, due to their own head size and shape, to really get the best results out of this product. In short, it’s a subjective issue and your own impression may vary depending on how exactly you use the product. It’s made in the USA and is a great travel companion to have around, but if you want guaranteed noise reduction, you may need to invest in some ear plugs too.
Last but not least on our list of the best noise reducing ear muffs for sleeping, we have the VANDERFIELDS Ear Muffs Noise Cancelling. Immediately, when compared to the other items on our list, we can see that the design of these ear muffs isn’t the best-suited to sleeping. These muffs were actually designed with shooting and hunting in mind, able to block out very loud sounds with astonishing ease, but they can be a little tricky to wear in bed for side or front sleepers.
If you can get them to work for you while you sleep, however, they’ll offer some of the best performance of any set of ear muffs on the market. They have an NRR rating of 32 dB, which is among the highest on our list, so are very strong at blocking out all kinds of sounds from snoring partners to car alarms outside on the street. They’re available in a range of color options too and, as our Budget Pick, are highly affordable.
Overall, the design and construction of the VANDERFIELDS Ear Muffs Noise Cancelling means that they can be a little tricky to get used to at first. Their chunky design and thick headband may deter some users, but they can offer exceptional noise reduction, so if you really just want strong ear muffs for sleeping at a terrific price, this might be the perfect product for you.
What are its best features?
Excellent NRR rating
Several colors to choose from
What could be improved?
Difficult for side sleepers
Thick headband can get quite hot
Things to Consider
Now that we’ve seen some of the top options for sound cancelling ear muffs for sleeping, let’s take a look at some top tips and advice you need to know when shopping for your next set of ear muffs. There are lots of factors to think about, and this buying guide will tell you all you need to know about finding the perfect ear muffs for you.
Benefits of sleeping in ear muffs
There are many different benefits of sleeping in ear muffs:
Better Sleep Quality – Of course, the number one benefit of sleeping in ear muffs is that you’ll be able to get to sleep more easily, even if you live in a noisy area or share a bed with someone who snores. More peaceful sleep will result in better overall health and a lot of additional advantages each day.
Less Stress – Many people stress and worry about getting to sleep each night, but as soon as you wear a good quality pair of noise reducing ear muffs for sleeping, you’ll feel your stress melt away. Ear muffs can provide a lot of reassurance to sleepers, preventing you from being disturbed in the night.
Sleep Anywhere – Whether you’re on a train, a plane, a bus, or the backseat of a car, you can rely on your ear muffs to cancel out ambient noises and make it a lot easier to take little naps or fall asleep wherever you go.
Features to consider when choosing ear muffs for sleeping
Let’s take a look at some of the key features you need to think about and look out for when shopping for your next pair of ear muffs. Some of these features will be more important to you than others, but they’re all important factors to think about.
Noise reduction rating (NRR)
Definitely one of the most significant factors to consider is the NRR. If you’re shopping for sound cancelling ear muffs, it’s because you want to sleep more soundly and not have to worry about ambient noises when you sleep. This rating is measured in decibels (dB), and the higher the NRR, the better the noise reduction of your ear muffs will be. If you only need light level noise reduction, a lower NRR, as seen in the Hibermate Sleep Mask with Ear Muffs, will suffice. If you need stronger reduction, seek out ear muffs with a higher NRR like the 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs.
The position in which you sleep is another key factor. Trying to sleep on your side while wearing big, chunky ear muffs can be difficult, but if you choose a product like the Hibermate Headband with Sound-Reducing Ear Muffs, then you’ll find things a little easier.
It’s important to remember that not all ear muffs can work for all kinds of sleepers, and you need to choose a model that matches up with your sleeping style.
Style, size and fit
Ear muffs for sleeping come in the traditional ‘headset’ shape, but they can also come in other forms like the Wrap-a-Nap, which wraps fully around the head like a travel pillow, or the Hibermate Headband which works as a headband with attachable ear cushions. The size, fit and adjustability of the ear muffs are vital factors to think about, as you need to find a pair of muffs that fit snugly around your ears.
The materials that make up your ear muffs need to feel soft and comfortable on your ears and head. Silicone, as seen in the Hibermate Sleep Mask with Ear Muffs, is a great material as it’s highly breathable, easy to clean, and doesn’t generate much heat. Other materials might be cheaper and less comfortable.
The dimensions of the ear muffs you choose need to match up with the size of your head, and it’s important to remember that bigger and bulkier models will often be less comfortable and more awkward to try and sleep with, especially if you’re a side sleeper.
Ear muffs are available at a wide range of prices. The more expensive models are often more comfortable and effective, but you can still find high-performing ear muffs for low prices, with the VANDERFIELDS Ear Muffs Noise Cancelling being a fine example. Cheaper models do sometimes have flaws like less comfortable materials and lower durability, however, so price is a factor worth considering when searching for a truly top quality pair of ear muffs for sleeping.
Tips for sleeping in ear muffs
Here are our top tips for sleeping in ear muffs:
Try to sleep on your back in order to reduce the risk of the ear muffs getting knocked off or falling out of position.
Be patient and remember that it might take a few nights for you to really get used to wearing ear muffs while you sleep.
Adjust the ear muffs to find the right position that feels comfortable for you and provides high quality noise reduction.
Don’t adjust the ear muffs to be too tight, as this will only cause discomfort for you.
Ear muffs for sleeping aren’t completely sound proof, but they can be very strong. Ear muffs like the VANDERFIELDS Ear Muffs Noise Cancelling, for example, feature exceptionally high noise reduction capabilities and are actually designed for hunters to protect their ears from the sounds of gunfire. Ear muffs with higher NRR ratings are more effective at blocking out sound, and the best models will block out snoring, ambient sounds from the city environment, and noise of plane and train travel.
The key for side sleepers is that you don’t want big, chunky ear muffs with large profiles, as your sleeping position will cause the muffs to fold and push into your ear, causing a lot of discomfort and making it almost impossible to get to sleep. You need to focus on ear muffs that feature slim, low profile designs like the Wrap-a-Nap or the Hibermate Headband with Sound-Reducing Ear Muffs. You might also consider simply using ear plugs if you want to sleep on your side and not have to worry about noise, but the effectiveness of ear plugs can vary.
Definitely. The benefits of noise cancelling ear muffs aren’t just reserved for adults. Kids can enjoy these great products as well, but it’s vital to choose models that are made with smaller heads in mind. Many ear muffs available online will simply be too big and heavy for a child to wear comfortably, but pairs like the Snug Kids Earmuffs are actually designed specifically for children and can fit snugly over their ears to offer strong noise reduction and help them sleep more soundly.
Overall, the Hibermate Sleep Mask with Ear Muffs stood out from the crowd as our favorite set of sound cancelling ear muffs for sleeping. Made from top quality silicone with an ultra low-profile design, they work well for all kinds of sleepers and are highly versatile.
Next, the 3M Peltor X-Series Over-the-Head Earmuffs are also among the best ear muffs for sleeping you can buy right now. They feature exceptional noise reduction, perfect for noisy areas or sleeping while traveling, and they’re also great value and highly comfortable to wear.
Last but not least, the Hibermate Headband with Sound-Reducing Ear Muffs rounds out our list. This user-friendly headband with attachable ear muffs is one of the best designed products in the ear muff market right now, fitting snugly over the ears for maximum comfort and quality performance.