8 Best Earplugs for Sleeping: Block Out Background Noise and Sleep in Comfort!
Last updated: Apr 19, 2020
61Hours of Research
We all want to sleep peacefully each night, but there are also a lot of issues and factors that can prevent you from sleeping soundly. Noise is one of the worst. Whether it’s a sleeping partner by your side, noisy neighbors playing music late at night, city sounds outside your window, or something else entirely, noises make it hard to fall asleep and can wake you up too, and this is why so many people choose to sleep with earplugs.
The best earplugs for sleeping are able to block out noise, improve your sleep quality, and give you a happier and healthier life overall, and we found some of the best options to recommend in the list below. When making this list, we considered a lot of different factors like the materials used to make these earplugs, how effective they are at blocking out noise, how much they cost, and how comfortable they actually are to wear.
Top 8 Earplugs for Sleeping Review 2020
We took a close look at many user reviews and products to get a feel for the very best noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping, and you can find a comparison table below with the names and ratings of our favorite options. Further down the page, you’ll be able to read through in-depth reviews of each set of earplugs, followed by a detailed buying guide and FAQ section to cover any questions you might have about buying earplugs and choosing the right set of earplugs for you.
First up, we have the Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs. These earplugs are some of the most expensive on our list, but they’re also our best-rated option and do a lot of things right in order to justify their slightly elevated price tag. For the price you pay, you’ll get two pairs of earplugs in different sizes to suit all ears, plus a cool keychain case to keep the earplugs safe and carry them around.
Designed for use while sleeping and even in day-to-day life at concerts or events, the Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs are made from strong, durable silicone which is gentle to the ears, hypoallergenic, and comfortable too. The material of earplugs can really make a difference to the overall experience of wearing them, and these Eargasm earplugs fit snugly and cozily in the ear without being distracting or irritating.
With an NRR rating of 16 dB, these earplugs can block out mild ambient sounds like traffic outside your window if you live in an inner city location or perhaps the snoring of your partner, but they won’t be quite as effective at canceling out noise as some of the other options on our list. However, these are definitely some of the most comfortable and durable earplugs you can find.
Next up, we have the Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds, and it’s important to immediately note the difference in these sleepbuds when compared to classic earplugs. While earplugs simply slot into the ear canals and block out noise from the outside, these Bose sleepbuds instead work by masking noise, emitting their own soothing sounds to relax the wearer and help them drift off to sleep.
The Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds don’t have a measured NRR rating due to the way they work, but they are very effective at blocking out noise. They fit very snugly into the ear and hug the outside of the ear with their smart, contouring design as well. As one would expect from a trusted brand like Bose, these sleepbuds are exceptionally high quality and very durable.
On the downside, they do come with a steep price tag, so you’ll need to have a relatively big budget to afford these sleepbuds. With that said, they’re a great option as some of the best earplugs for sleeping on the side due to their smart design, and you don’t really have to worry about them falling off or out during the night, even if you roll around a lot.
If you’re looking for classic, traditional noise reduction earplugs for sleeping, the Honeywell Howard Leight might be just what you need. The first thing to point out about these earplugs is just how much value they have to offer. For a very affordable price, you can buy 200 pairs of these earplugs, all individual sealed and secured in their own packets.
Easily among the best foam earplugs for sleeping money can buy right now, these earplugs are formed in a contoured T-shape and are very easy to insert and remove from the ears. They’re highly malleable and flexible, letting the user squash and contort them into just the right shape for their ears, and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting them in and out once you’ve figured out the simple technique.
On the downside, these earplugs aren’t particularly durable and can get dirty quite easily, needing to be replaced over time, but with 200 pairs in the box, the lack of durability isn’t a major issue. Plus, these earplugs offer exceptional noise reduction, featuring an NRR rating of 32 dB and able to block out all kinds of sounds from snoring partners to noisy neighbors, with industrial grade quality and professional performance.
Many earplugs are made from foam or silicone, but if you’re looking for some of the best wax earplugs for sleeping, look no further than the Mighty Plugs. Living up to their name by providing super strong noise reduction, these earplugs are made from pure and natural beeswax of the highest quality, free from any of the toxins or chemicals that can be associated with synthetic materials.
Mighty Plugs are made in the USA, so that might be one big advantage worth considering if you prefer to buy your products from American manufacturers. They’re available at a good price and there are several different options to choose from when ordering, letting you decide exactly how many pairs you want to get and what kind of price you’d like to pay.
With an NRR of 34 dB, these Mighty Plugs can be highly effective. They’re some of the best earplugs for sleeping with a snorer and you can use them in other situations too like catching a flight. The only downsides we could find are that they’re a little sticky and difficult to clean after gathering dirt and grime, and due to their bright blue coloring, they can sometimes leave little blue marks on pillowcases.
Many earplugs are formed in a set shape, like silicone earplugs, or slightly malleable, like foam earplugs, but the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs are totally different. One of the very best options for those in search of truly custom molded earplugs, these plugs can actually be heated up and molded into a shape that suits your ears, getting just the right fit for you without any compromises.
The molding process involves heating up the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs in hot water and then molding them to fit your ear. It can be simple for some people, but other users have reported difficulty and needed to use mirrors or get friends to help them out in order to get the right fit. Fortunately, even if you don’t get it quite right the first time, the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs are remoldable.
These high quality thermoplastic and foam earplugs are made in the USA to a very high standard and are trusted by professionals in various industries that involve high levels of sound. With an NRR rating of 31 dB, they offer strong and satisfying performance, and they’re quite stylish too with their bold black and orange two-tone design.
Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective, and that’s exactly what we can see with these Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs. Minimalistic, bell-shaped, foam earplugs offering solid noise reduction and ease of use, these earplugs are available in bottles of 50 pairs for very affordable prices.
If you’re looking for the most comfortable and soft earplugs for sleeping, The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs are an excellent choice. These earplugs were most definitely made with comfort in mind. They’re very soft and squidgy, highly malleable to let you get them into just the right shape, staying in all through the night, even for side sleepers. They offer an NRR rating of 32 dB too, so can block out medium to loud noises with ease.
Unlike the Honeywell Howard Leight foam earplugs we saw earlier, these earplugs from The Ear Buddy don’t come in their own personal packets, but they can still be kept clean and fresh by leaving them in their original plastic container. You’ll need to swap in new pairs quite often, as they aren’t exceptionally durable, but they excel in terms of comfort and noise reduction, offering strong value overall.
While some of the earplugs on our list are made from foam and need to be replaced after several uses, the Softvox Small Ear Plugs for Sleeping are one of the best options to choose if you’re looking for reusable earplugs for sleeping. They’re made from a mixture of plastic and very easy to clean silicone and designed with noise reduction in mind, offering an impressive NRR rating of 31 dB.
If you like to travel a lot, you might choose these Softvox earplugs for sleeping on plane journeys or train rides. They’re quite stylish and small, designed for use in smaller ears and those who have narrower ear canals and featuring a smart design that makes them easy to slide in and pull out whenever you need.
The only downside we could find with these silicone earplugs for sleeping is that you only get one spare earplug included, so you’ll need to be extra careful to keep them clean and avoid losing them. Fortunately, the purchase of these Softbox earplugs also comes with a keychain case you can attach to your keys or bag, meaning you’ll never have to worry about losing them and can carry them around wherever you go.
Finally, our Budget Pick for this list is the Flents Quiet Please Ear Plugs. These are by far the cheapest and most affordable earplugs on our list. You can buy Flents Quiet Please Ear Plugs in large quantities for low prices, with bottles of 50 or 100 pairs of these earplugs able to last quite a long time.
Naturally, as these earplugs are quite cheap and simple, they’re not going to be as comfortable and snug as some of the other entrants on our list. They feature a very basic cylindrical design with a flat top and bottom, unlike the class bell or contoured shapes you might get with other models. The shape and form of these earplugs can make them slightly tricky to insert into the ears, especially if you have smaller ears.
When you do get them in, however, these earplugs are perfectly sufficient and satisfactory. They have an NRR rating of 29 dB, so they can’t exactly be classed as totally soundproof earplugs for sleeping, but they do still block out many medium to loud noises and sounds all around you. They’re made in the USA too from soft, flexible foam.
Decent noise reduction
Made in the USA
Many quantities available
Not the most comfortable
Can be difficult to insert
Now that we’ve seen some detailed reviews of our favorite earplugs for sleeping, let’s take a closer look at why you might want to invest in these kinds of earplugs and what sort of things you should look out for when shopping for them.
Benefits of sleeping with earplugs
There are quite a lot of benefits to consider from sleeping with earplugs:
Better Quality Sleep – Sleeping with earplugs can help you enjoy more peaceful and long-lasting sleep each night, not being disturbed by the sounds and noises of your partner, your neighbors, or other sources in your local area.
Reduced Stress – Having a good quality pair of sleeping earplugs can really help to lower your stress levels and make the entire process of going to bed and falling asleep a much calmer and more relaxing experience.
Travel and Other Uses – It’s important to note that these earplugs can be used for sleeping at home, but also on planes and trains too, making travel a lot more comfortable in many cases. You can even wear them to concerts or at work.
Features to consider when choosing earplugs for sleeping
There are several features to think about when buying quality earplugs for sleeping, including the NRR rating, the materials used, and the price. Read on to learn more about each of these factors.
Noise reduction rating (NRR)
Measured in decibels, the NRR effectively tells us what kind of noise a set of earplugs is able to block out. The higher the NRR, the better the noise reduction. The Mighty Plugs, for example, have an NRR rating of 34 dB and can block out quite loud sounds like a snoring partner or music from your neighbors’ homes. Others have lower NRR ratings but might still be sufficient for you, depend ing on your own situation. There are also special earplugs like the Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds which work by masking noise with other sounds, rather than just blocking it.
Your style of sleeping and most common sleeping position can affect the kinds of earplugs you use. Most earplugs are designed to work regardless of sleeping position, but some are more effective than others. If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll want plugs that are small and low-profile, able to stay in the ears no matter what, like The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs.
Shape, size and fit
Your ears are unique, with their own shape and size, so you need to find a set of earplugs that match. The Softvox Small Ear Plugs for Sleeping, for example, are made with smaller ears and narrower ear canals in mind, and foam earplugs are a good option as you can change their shape and size to suit your ears.
Earplugs are usually made from either foam, silicone, or wax. Everyone has their favorite materials. Foam plugs are usually cheaper and more malleable, but less durable, while silicone plugs are highly reusable. Wax earplugs are very flexible and you can even find unique materials like thermoplastic in the Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs.
If you’re investing in silicone earplugs like the Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs, you’ll usually only get a couple of pairs in each pack, but if you choose foam earplugs like the Honeywell Howard Leight earplugs, you can get up to 200 pairs in a single box for a very affordable price. Of course, higher quantities usually mean less durability, but some people might prefer to have lots of pairs and change regularly for hygiene purposes rather than just using one pair and having to clean them.
How to prolong the lifespan of your earplugs
Here are a few top tips to make your earplugs last longer:
Clean your ears on a daily basis, ideally in the evenings just before you actually insert the earplugs
If your earplugs are washable, be sure to clean them often
This all depends on the quality of the foam used and how you’re using them. In some cases, foam earplugs can get quite dirty and grimy after just a couples of uses and will need to be replaced very quickly, but some will last quite a big longer. In general, you’ll want to change them on a weekly basis for hygiene reasons. Fortunately, foam earplugs like the Honeywell Howard Leight earplugs usually come in large quantities.
Yes. Even earplugs with high NRR ratings, like Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs, don’t block out all sound. They’re not designed to be entirely soundproof, so as long as you set your alarm at a relatively high volume and leave it somewhere near your head when you sleep, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Yes, earplugs are perfectly safe to sleep in, but there are still some simple rules to follow like using a set of earplugs that are appropriate and fitting for the size of your ears, and be sure not to push them in too deep either as this can cause blockages.
Overall, the Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs came out on top as our Editor’s Choice for this list. Made with top quality silicone and fitting snugly in the ear, they offer some of the best value for money you can hope to find when buying earplugs for sleeping.
Next on our list of the best earplugs for sleeping was the Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds. These sleepbuds function a little differently to regular earbuds, emitting soothing and relaxing noises to mask the real-world sounds around you, making them a very innovative and technologically advanced option.
Finally, our third favorite set of earplugs was the Honeywell Howard Leight. For a small fee, you can get 200 pairs of these earplugs, which is more than enough to last for years and years. They offer super strong noise reduction, being trusted by professionals in many industries, and are very simple to use too.