A good night’s sleep is what keeps our sanity in check and our engines oiled so that we can make it through each day without collapsing from utter exhaustion. For some, however, peaceful nights don’t come as easily and rest is hard to attain. Whether it’s a snoring partner, a noisy neighbor or a dripping faucet that’s keeping you awake, an uninterrupted sleep does not have to remain a daydream. We recommend that you invest in a pair of the best earplugs for sleeping – and problem solved!
While you might be a bit skeptical as you find yourself leaning towards the notion that noise canceling earplugs for sleeping are not going to be the “be all and end all”, you’ll be quite surprised at how potently the right brand and type can work. To reassure you that these tiny bits and bobs can, in fact, live up to their reputation for keeping provoking sounds at bay, we have compiled a list of the most popular makes that are renowned for blocking out noises effectively and efficiently. Feel free to make your pick!
The Best Earplug For Sleeping
While we often save the best for last, this time around we would like our “best choice” to be listed as our first entry. Mack’s Ultra-Soft Foam Earplugs get our whole-hearted thumbs up for being affordable, superbly comfortable, and wonderfully convenient. While they stick to an old-school shape and structure, these foam plugs are perfect for those who do not want to spend money on fancy models but still need an effective means of blocking sound out.
Available in a large tub, quantity is Mack’s name of the game. If you are looking for a disposable solution where you can hand out earplugs to your guests or travel partners, then these versatile, noise canceling earplugs are an ideal fit for sleeping, studying, working, and you name it! With a Noise Reduction Rating of 32 decibels and a medically approved design that features low-pressure and slow release Cush Comfort Foam, these pieces sit in your ears with ease and, if inserted correctly, cause no irritation whatsoever. For a good nights sleep check out our guide to the best memory foam mattresses.
USA’s number one doctor recommended brand
High-performance hearing protection
Noise reduction rating (NRR) of 32 decibels
A disposable product
- Weight4 ounces
If you are looking to make your bustling world a little quieter without forgoing the comfort of natural sleep, then Flent’s 50-pair pack of soft disposable foam earplugs will do the trick. With a Noise Reduction Rating of 33 dB, these nifty plugs were not designed to completely block out all the noise you’ll be exposed to. Instead, it reduces sounds to levels that you will be more comfortable with.
Slightly higher in price than the similar plugs offered by Mack’s, this brand features a snugger fit and softer cushioning. With smooth-surfaced foam that’s delicate enough to not stress or irritate the ear, these ear protectors will allow you to sleep comfortably through the night with little to no disturbances. Perfectly suited for those who still like to be subtly aware of the noises around them, Flent’s Quiet Time Earplugs are also ideal for travelers, industrial workers, and even scholars who prefer to study in calmer atmospheres.
The convenient jar holds 50 pair
Tapered to improve the fit
Made without latex
33 decibel NRR rating
Easy to clean for multiple uses
- Weight3.2 ounces
This compact pack of 6 Silicone earplugs by Mack’s makes a great travel buddy. Small enough to fit in your hand luggage or even your pocket, these budget-friendly tiny devices have the power to reduce noise by 22 decibels. Molding to the unique contours of any ear-shape, the soft and versatile plugs provide a better fit and seal than many other custom-molded designs.
What really stood out to us with this make, is the model’s ability to block out water as well as sound, making them perfect for swimming, water sports or long showers. So, apart from getting a good night’s rest, you can also wear these ear protection plugs to help prevent ear infections that can arise when you spend a lot of time in the water. In fact, Mack’s Pillow-Soft Silicone Earplugs are the official earplugs of most professional USA swimming teams! Our handy guide to the best sleep trackers features more great products like this.
Silicone putty molds to the contours of ears
Reduces noise by 22 dB
Non-toxic and non-allergenic
Number one doctor-recommended brand
- Weight1.6 ounces
Moving on to disposable earplugs that boast more premium qualities than other counterparts, the non-abrasive, higher-grade polyurethane foam material of the plugs designed by Ear Buddy take noise reduction to the next level. Blocking out extremely loud noises to the likes of gun-shots, this 50-pair of soundproof earplugs flaunt a Noise Reduction Rate of 32 decibels.
With a slow rebound time and a snug fit, the Ear Buddies will sit firmly in place as you sleep or even make more abrupt movements as you partake in sports and other active activities. While hearing impairments caused by the use of earplugs is very slim, incorrect use or dirty plugs could lead to infection and the loss of hearing abilities. That is why this brand is appreciated for its quality of ear protection that takes its job seriously. For a premium quality product that gives incredible results, we have no gripes with their marketed price.
Gives protection from all sorts of loud activity
Extremely versatile and durable
Made from soft cushioned foam
Noise reduction rating of 32 dB
Great value for a premium product
- BrandThe Ear Buddy
- Weight3.2 ounces
Is the neighbor’s dog driving you mad? Perhaps it’s the slight ticking of the clock that has you going dilly? Well, we think that these red little critters by Howard Leight are just what you need to keep annoying sounds a simple earplug away! Bell-shaped for maximum in-ear comfort and contoured for ease of use, the design of the MAX-1 delivers a solid performance that you can depend upon.
Entering the market at an average of £3.5 per 20-piece pack, Howard Leight’s MAX-1 Foam Earplugs for sleeping are the perfect solution to your restless nights. Advertising itself as the world’s most popular polyurethane foam earplug, we have to agree that the Max-1s feature superior noise-blocking abilities despite the fact that they are single-use disposable plugs. And with a smooth and soil-resistant closed cell-foam skin that prevents dirt build-up, this product gets our nod of approval for making hygiene a top priority. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best mattress toppers.
Contoured design for easy application
Noise reduction rating 33 dB
Superior long-wearing comfort
One of the USA’s most popular brands
Soil-resistant closed cell-foam skin
- BrandHoward Leight
- Weight4 ounces
Things are about to get serious around here! An interesting take on the traditional earplug, the Bose Noise Masking sleep earphones block out surrounding sounds while lulling you to sleep with soft and soothing tunes. Designed to look and work like tiny headphones, the Sleepbuds play pre-loaded soothing music for both sleep and relaxation. These miniature devices go as far as allowing you to select your sound, control the volume, set an alarm, and you can even choose how long you want them to play for.
Of course, this advanced technology and comfortable fit do come at a premium price. Marketed at well over £150, the Bose Noise Masking earplugs are available in three eartip sizes (small, medium, and large) and also feature sound technology that reduces annoying dins while replacing them with more pleasant and therapeutic music. If drifting off into a blissful sleep sounds appealing to you, then these Sleepbuds are well worth their value for money.
Rechargeable battery provides up to 16 hours of use
Three sizes of StayHear+ Sleep tips
Noise canceling technology
Includes a Bose Sleep app
Includes a wake-up alarm
- Weight0.16 ounces
If your ears are sensitive to more than just sound, you might appreciate the hypo-allergenic materials and antimicrobial foam of the 1100 ear plugs by 3M. Featuring a traditional design, the pack of 200 day or night time plugs are fully disposable but (yes, there’s a “but”) with a noise reduction rating of only 29 dB, convenience precedes the performance. Unlike many other similar brands, however, the 3Ms are made from a stiffer foam – this makes them easier to insert and allows for a tighter and snug fit.
If you’re looking for a basic earplug that gets the job done without the fuss, then we can definitely recommend the 3M 1100s. They are easy on the pocket, comfortable to wear, and are efficient enough for an uninterrupted night’s sleep. Providing maximum comfort and low pressure inside the ear, these dirt-resistant molded ear plugs are both safe to use and keep ear infections at bay. You may also like to check our guide to t00he best travel pillows.
Easy to roll down for quick and instant fitting
Tapered design fits comfortably in ear canals
- Weight10.2 ounces
If green’s your color then the Pura-Fits might just appeal to your senses in both sight and sound. While the bright color of these plugs hint that they have been designed for construction workers and the likes, they’re still perfectly adequate for sleeping with too. Flaunting one of the higher noise reduction ratings, 33 dB to be exact, this model is highly regarded for its tapered shape that molds seamlessly to your ear.
Comfortable ear plugs can be hard to come by and are often judged by their marketed price, that is, the more expensive a product is, the higher you expect the quality to be. The Moldex Pura-Fits, however, provide reliable performance while keeping to an extremely competitive rate – they provide more than their money’s worth. These little critters also get our thumbs up for their non-irritating smooth surface and the biodegradable paper pouches that they come packaged in.
Made from soft, low-pressure foam
Seals the canals gently
Features a longer length for easy fit and removal
NRR is rated at 33 dB
The bright color meets compliance checks
- BrandMoldex-Metric Inc.
- Weight0.16 ounces
With a remarkably high noise reduction rating value of 34 decibels, the Mpow Foam Earplugs make the cut for being one of the most potent disposable noise masking plugs on our list. Superbly hygienic and perfectly portable, they are tender and gentle on ears, keeping comfort in mind as they reduce or completely block out harassing sounds and the hustle and bustle of life in general.
Made from a premium PU foam material, these nifty little plugs compress and expand easily so that they conform to the contours of your ears, increasing their potency and adding to their gentle touch. Both economical and versatile in nature, these noise reducing plugs can be used in numerous scenarios, including relaxation, concerts, studying, and even target-shooting.
Ultra-soft and low-pressure
60 pairs of earplugs per pack
Safe and hygienic
Packed in a clean aluminum casing
Noise reduction rating value of 34 dB
- Weight5.9 ounces
Earplugs For Sleeping Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Earplugs
When we list products that affect your health and well-being, then we take our selection process very seriously. In this case, we wanted to ensure that each pair of sleep plugs we chose ticked the boxes for being durable, affordable and most of all, reliable. We also took reviews, price, and quality into account – all for the following reasons:
Reviews–Reviews are our most valuable resource and the Gear Hungry team relies on the honest feedback of consumers when it comes to the items they have tried and tested. We then take this feedback, mix it with our own opinions, and then formulate an unbiased and accurate conclusion that you, the reader, can use as sound reasoning to base your decision on.
Price – While we would all like to opt for the premium products that come with “an arm and a leg” price tag, most of us have strict budgets to adhere to and we have to remain grounded with our decisions. This doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality, however. Our selection of the best earplugs fit a variety of budgets and even the most affordable pair boasts quality features - and a good night’s rest.
Quality – Quality often comes down to personal preference, although there are many key elements that most would expect a product to have. When considering which earplugs to acknowledge on our list, then durability, efficiency, and comfort were our deciding factors where quality was concerned.
Features To Look For In Sleeping Earplugs
Materials - Foam, Silicone, Wax - Earbuds for sleeping come in a variety of shapes and sizes - they are also made from different materials. Foam types can be compressed or rolled and inserted into the ear canal where they then expand again. Silicone makes are rolled into balls and then mold to the external area of the ear canal. Wax models can also be molded into place. Foam earplugs are far more common and more economical in price than wax and silicone options, although they are not as durable as the two aforementioned types.
Size – The size of an earplug depends greatly on the materials it has been made from. Foam plugs, for instance, are often larger but they can be molded to a smaller size before you insert them into your ear canal. They then expand again to completely cover your inner ear. The same goes for wax earplugs, although they do not take on their original shape but instead fit the contours of your inner ear. Silicone makes are generally smaller in size but mimic the shape of your inner ear canal to give a secure and comfortable fit.
Application–The thing with earplugs is that for a pair to work well, the pieces need to be inserted correctly. So, the easier they are to apply, the more likely they will adjust to your ear canals accurately. Some designs can be compressed at the point of application and then expand to fill your ear. Others require a more precise insertion to fit comfortably and reduce noise levels.
Multiple uses – Whether you require earplugs for snoring, a visit to a construction site, or a trip to the shooting-range, each model has different capabilities, safety features and, noise reduction rates. The more sound you would like to block out, the higher the NNR needs to be and if you intend on using the plugs for swimming, then a water-resistant brand is definitely a “must”.Many foam and silicone earplug models are reusable, although they are preferably designed for one-time use only.
Sound reduction – Earplugs for sleeping are not designed to completely block out sounds. Instead, they reduce the noise levels so that they are not as disturbing or annoying. Noise reduction ratings are measured in decibels and the higher the rating the more the sound the plugs will block out. To ensure that earplugs reduce sound efficiently, then it’s also important to remember that they need to be inserted and sized correctly for ultimate use.
Health Risks Of Using Sleeping Earplugs
Ear infections - Individuals who use earplugs regularly may become susceptible to ear infections if they do not clean their plugs correctly or often enough. Failure to keep the plugs in a hygienic state will give bacteria an opportunity to accumulate, infesting one’s ear as a result. Foam is particularly conducive to bacteria build-up. This is why most earplugs are designed for one-time use only.
To keep re-usable plugs clean, all you need to do is submerge them in warm water and wash the dirt and wax away. Place them on a towel and use them again once they have dried thoroughly.
Reduced hearing–Apart from effectively reducing annoying outside noises, earplugs can also pose a risk by preventing wearers from hearing certain sounds that they might want to hear, like an alarm, a family member calling for help, or a phone ringing with important news. Furthermore, if earplugs are not worn correctly or if they tend to give one ear infections, then there is always a slim chance that they could cause indefinite hearing impairments.
- Understanding NRR and Hearing Protection - Gempler’s