Everyone needs a good night's sleep, but unfortunately we don't always get one as excessive or distractive noise can stop us from getting that sleep we so desperately need. That's why we've researched the best earplugs for sleeping to help reduce that unwanted noise.
We found that the best earplugs for sleeping are easy to fit, comfortable to wear, and fulfill the purpose of either noise reduction or noise cancelation. So whether you need earplugs on a daily basis or just periodically, are on a budget or have money to spend, we've handpicked the best and most effective earplugs for sleeping on the market.
We're stating the obvious here, but not all earplugs are made equal. Should you get wax? What about foam? And what is this "NRR" you speak of? We'll answer all of your questions and guide you towards your perfect pair of plugs for a great night's sleep.
There are two main types of earplugs: noise reducing and noise canceling (and no, we're not talking about headphones). Check out which ones are right for you based on your lifestyle and environment.
Noise reduction earplugs fit snugly in the ear canal, forming a seal to physically block sounds and reduce their volume. They block all types of sounds equally and don't differentiate between different types, so they'll block your partner's snoring, but will also block your morning alarm!
Noise reduction earplugs don't cancel sound completely, and some muffle the quality of the sound that can still be heard. If you find this distracting, then high fidelity earplugs are a good option as they reduce the volume of the sound without losing any quality.
These earplugs use electronic signals to effectively cancel sounds. Some noise-canceling earplugs also have noise reduction properties as they also sit in the ear canal and form a seal.
Due to the more advanced technology in these earplugs, they're more expensive than noise reduction earplugs. High-end models can also play ambient music or white noise to help you sleep.
Overall, noise-canceling earplugs are more effective at blocking all types of noise than noise reduction earplugs.
The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) measures the effectiveness of earplugs at blocking noise. The higher the rating, the more effective the earplug is.
Unless you're trying to sleep in an especially noisy place, there is no reason to need earplugs that have an NRR of 30db or above, as these are more commonly used for concerts or construction sites.
Earplugs come in a variety of materials and they all have their own pros and cons. Things to consider when you choose a type of earplug is price, longevity, comfort and effectiveness.
The soft material of foam earplugs can mould to the shape of your ear to reduce noise, although they do not cancel it. They are usually one size fits all and can be difficult to fit correctly when they are first used.
Foam earplugs can be cleaned and reused, but only for two to three uses at most. When a foam earplug no longer returns to its original shape, it should be discarded. Foam earplugs are the cheapest option, but some people report that they can irritate ears with regular use.
Wax earplugs often come wrapped in cotton wool, which needs to be removed before the earplugs can be used. Due to the natural properties of wax, they can be molded to fit your ear perfectly to the point of even being waterproof! This gives them excellent noise reduction properties, but they do not cancel noise.
It can take some practice to fit them correctly as they should not go inside the ear canal. When they are removed in the morning, there is usually a waxy residue left behind. Many wax earplugs are single-use, but others can be reused for a couple of nights.
Silicone earplugs come in many different varieties—from noise reduction to noise canceling. They have more longevity than other materials and can be washed and reused.
Earplugs made from hard silicone are especially long-lasting but can be uncomfortable for people who sleep on their side and are more prone to falling out of your ear.
Soft silicone earplugs behave similarly to wax earplugs as they can mold to your ear, however they aren't as effective at blocking sound. Some of the most expensive earplugs on the market are a mix of materials but will have silicone earbuds. These earbuds often come in different sizes and can be replaced if needed.
Here are the best earplugs we found on the market chosen for their NRR, material, and comfort.
World's Finest Mighty Plugs
Mack's Original Soft Foam Earplugs
Premium Silicone Earplugs
Snore Blocking Ear Plugs
Reusable Silicone Earplugs
PQ Pillow Earplugs
Pillow Soft Silicone Putty Earplugs
Quiet Please Foam Earplugs
Quiet Contour Earplugs
Ear Plugs Set
A Good Value, Foam Earplug That Can be Used Regularly
The Most Comfortable Earplugs for Side Sleepers
An All-Natural Earplug with the Highest NRR Rating
Long-Lasting, Washable Earplugs
Subtle and Comfortable Wax Earplugs
Soft, Comfortable, and Suitable for Extended Wear
Made from Soft Foam for Occasional Use
Contoured Foam Earplugs for an Easier Fit
Affordable Wax Earplugs in Hygienic Wrapping
High Fidelity Earplugs That Guarantee a Good Quality of Sound
Whether you're engaging in self-care, trying to wake up on time, or weren't able to get enough shut-eye, we've got what you need to make it through the day (or night)!
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