Best earplugs for sleeping: 11 soothing picks for dozing off
Block out whirring tech, noisy neighbours and your partner's choice of podcast, with a pair of sleeping earplugs.
Need help nodding off? Popping in a pair of sleeping earplugs can help block out the unwanted noise and frustrating distractions that keep you up. Thankfully there's a lot more than non-reusable foamy earplugs to consider, and you can opt for white noise gadgets, soft headbands and noise-cancelling earbuds. Many sleeping earplugs also function as ordinary earphones, so you can use them during the day too.
To help you create a dreamy setup, and enjoy a solid night's rest, we've rounded up 11 of the best earplugs for sleeping.
Seeing as we've all got our own idea of the perfect bedtime setup, with some of us demanding complete silence, whilst others may prefer the sound of a forest breeze, we've included a range of options for all kinds of sleepers. Whether you're a side sleeper, podcast enthusiast, snorer or meditation fan, we've got you covered.
Is it okay to wear earplugs every night?
Earplugs are generally safe to wear, but according to healthline, regular wear can result in a build-up of wax, which can lead to infection. To avoid this, keep your earplugs clean, and be careful not to push them too far into your ear.
For more tech to help you drift off, check out the best sleep gadgets for 2022.
Best sleeping earplugs for 2022
1MORE ComfoBuds Z
Fancy drifting off to the sound of a crackling bonfire? There are some pretty niche choices in the world of soothing sounds, and these earplugs let you choose from 30 different options including a stream in Spring and a waterfall. Just scroll through the options on the app and take your pick.
They also function as ordinary earbuds, so you can connect them to your phone through Bluetooth and listen to your favourite tunes or podcasts. There's no call option which is a nice touch, so your new natural surroundings won't be interrupted by a buzzing phone.
The neat buds have a flat body design to make them more comfortable for side sleepers, and they should sit firmly in your ears all night.
Another solid choice for side sleepers, this wireless headband has flat headphones nestled inside so it's a top choice for big night time movers. There's an app featuring stories and meditation tracks, and you can charge it through a USB cable. Two hours of charge should give you 10 hours of play, so it'll see you through the night.
They work as ordinary earphones so you could use them for watching films on flights and train travel too if you don't like the sensation of sleeping with plugs in your ear. It can connect to your phone, or tablet, so you can access all of your sleep apps.
Bose noise-masking sleepbuds II
These Bose earphones are strictly for sleeping. If you don't want to be tempted by podcasts and music, and want to stick to soothing sounds they're an ideal choice. They come with a charging case, so you can go cable free on a weekend away. There's an app which lets you choose sounds, volumes and track length.
A particularly appealing factor is the alarm setting. Finally you can set a personal alarm without waking the whole house up. Great news if you share a house with a shift worker.
These neat sleeping buds are pretty similar, and are designed to play soothing sounds to block out unwanted distractions. You can select sounds (forest birds, or frog calls anyone?) and timers on an app, and there's an alarm function with this pair too. There's even a sleep monitoring function so you can learn about your sleeping habits. They offer a pretty impressive battery life, and should last for 12 hours on a single charge.
- Buy now from Ebay (£141.85)
This unusual design wraps around your head, and tucks behind your hair. You have the option of listening to sleep music and meditation exercises provided by the Kokoon app, or you can listen to your own stuff if you prefer.
Our reviewer found them to be surprisingly light when testing, and enjoyed the fact the buds fade out the audio when you start to drift off. Pretty nifty.
Loop Quiet earplugs
There's no audio-playing option with these sleeping earplugs, instead they promise to reduce up to 27dB of noise. So they're one to consider if you live on a busy street, or sleep next to a snorer. These earplugs offer a unique and subtle design, and there are four different sizes so you should find a snug fit. Reusable and washable, they're made of flexible, extra-soft silicone. They could also come in handy when you're working from home and in need of some peace and quiet.
For more audio gear:
- The best noise-cancelling headphones: 8 stylish and silent picks
- Sony LinkBuds review: A truly unique headphone experience
- Apple AirPods 3rd Generation review: Do they deserve the hype?
Bollsen Life+ earplugs
Another silicone choice, these earplugs offer noise reduction of 24dB. Ideal for small and medium sized ears, they're a top choice for snorers. Because let's face it, even our own snoring can keep us up. There's a nifty case too, so these sleeping earplugs are a solid choice if you're looking for a relaxing train trip or flight.
QuietOn 3 noise cancelling earbuds
If you want to block out your surroundings, rather than mask them with additional relaxing sounds, you can go down the noise cancelling earplug route. The QuietOn 3 earbuds aim to reduce low frequency sounds, so they could work well for those living in urban areas. If you're not into birds chirping, or if the sound of a waterfall just makes you need the toilet, these could do the trick.
The active noise cancelling earphones have a 28 hour battery life, and there's a handy charging case for when you're on the road.
Bedphones Sleep Headphones
While these foam covered sleeping headphones look like something you'd find in a flight goody bag, they're much smaller than you'd expect. They're less than 6mm thick, so should work well for side sleepers.
The wireless headphones have a battery life of 13 hours, and you can answer calls and change playlists without picking up your phone. The adjustable memory wire ear hooks should make them suitable for different ear sizes.
Soundbloc sleeping ear plugs
If you're looking to upgrade your foam earplugs, but don't want to faff around with apps before bed, these silicone earbuds are a nice screen-free pick. We like the fact they're mouldable, so if you have an awkward ear shape and struggle to find a suitable fit, you could give these a try. They're washable, and reusable to an extent with a life of 60 days. This box should see you through the year.
Zngou sleeping ear plugs
The unique three-layer structure of these sleeping earplugs aims to block noise, whilst also providing a good fit for different ear sizes. Made of non-toxic silicone, expect a soft and malleable material. You could wear them swimming if you fancied, and they're also suitable for loud working environments.
Rachel Howatson is a digital writer who works across a range of Immediate’s special interest brands. Whatever your passion, whether it’s hillwalking, cooking, gardening, running, socialising or even sleeping, she'll likely have written about it.