Best Earplugs For Sleeping

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Earplugs are important sleep accessories that often fly under the radar. They come in all shapes and sizes and block noise at different ranges. To some, they’re the only way to get a solid night’s sleep. For others, they’re handy to have around when the neighbors get noisy or on a red-eye flight.

No matter the reason, having the right pair of earplugs can make a huge difference in a person’s sleep quality.

With more than 10 years of earplug wearing under my belt (I can’t sleep without them), I put together a list of the best earplugs for sleeping. Check them out below and find the best pair for bed, tonight.

Oh, and don’t forget to scroll all the way down and check out our list of things to consider before purchasing a new pair of earplugs!

Multi-functional
Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds
Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds
Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

The Bose Noise-Masking sleepbuds™ act as noise blockers but can also wirelessly stream ambient noise via an app on a smart device. They're unnoticeable in the ear, and the user can seamlessly transition from different sleep positions.

Doesn't expire

Slim Fit
Mack's Slim Fit Foam Earplugs
Mack's Slim Fit Foam Earplugs
Mack's Slim Fit Foam Earplugs

Mack's Slim Fit foam earplugs are a wonderful value based on volume and price. The Slim-Fit style seamlessly works in most average- or petite-size ear canals, staying put and reducing disruptive noise.

Doesn't expire

Easily Customizable
Ohropax Wax Earplugs
Ohropax Wax Earplugs
Ohropax Wax Earplugs

German-made Ohropax wax earplugs are an effective tool that completely seals the ear and prohibits most noise. Simple to mold and re-shape when desired and budget-friendly to boot.

Reusable
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs

The PQ Sleep Reusable earplugs are made of silicone and tiered to help fit perfectly into anyone's ear. They're easy to clean and can be used as often as needed and the multi-pack comes with other options if customers want to try something else or share with friends.

Below is a description and list of the key features of each of the best earplugs for sleeping on our list. Our guide to all the things worth considering before buying the next pair of earplugs is here as well. Check it all out below!

Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

After struggling with battery issues, Boise has decided to discontinue the production of their Noise-Masking Sleepbuds. As such, they are no longer for sale and consumers are eligible for a refund through this site.

The Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds are a technologically advanced earplug dream. They’re basically an innovative hybrid between an earplug and a headphone, and while they don’t stream music or podcasts, they will wirelessly and seamlessly play ambient noise to mask everyday noises and reduce the number of sleep disruptions.

They come with three ear tips in varying sizes, one of which will surely match the user’s ear lobe, they’re virtually undetectable,  and they will not move overnight, even when sleeping on to the side.

Users can adjust the noise volume on the Sleepbuds using an app that syncs with a smartphone. There is also an alarm option in the Sleepbud, which wakes up just the user and leaves everyone else uninterrupted and blissfully asleep.  

When they’re fully charged, the battery can last up to 16 hours and they come with a modern-looking charging pod to place them in and keep them protected when they’re not in use.

To be sure, they’re an investment at $250. That said, I highly suggest looking at these high-quality earplugs if sleeping with a pair of earplugs or a white noise machine is a necessity every night.

Earplug Details:

  • Wireless, noise-masking earplugs with a sound-blocking design
  • The app library is preloaded with soothing, ambient sounds
  • Three ear tip size options (S, M, & L)
  • An alarm that only the user can hear
  • Rechargeable silver-zinc batteries; up to 16 hours per full charge
  • 30-day full refund
  • Care: Remove the tips from the Sleepbuds and wash them with a mild detergent and water
Multi-functional
Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds
Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds
Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

The Bose Noise-Masking sleepbuds™ act as noise blockers but can also wirelessly stream ambient noise via an app on a smart device. They're unnoticeable in the ear, and the user can seamlessly transition from different sleep positions.

Mack’s Slim Fit Foam Earplugs

Mack’s Slim Fit Foam Earplugs

Mack’s Slim Fit foam earplugs are similar to any traditional cone-shaped earplugs, but they’re made with a slightly smaller diameter so they fit well in petite or smaller ears. These prevent a person from struggling to stuff regular-size earplugs into their ears and feeling them wiggle and pop out while they sleep.

What’s even better is that I got a pack of 50 pairs for $10, they have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 29 decibels, and can seriously be purchased anywhere (Target, Walgreens, Amazon, etc.).

Plus, Mack’s has a ton of other options, including collections for sleeping, swimming, snoring and more. These particular slim-fit earplugs are my go-to to have around the house for guests or family who might require them.

Earplug Details:

  • Made with urethane foam
  • Can’t be cleaned and should be disposed of when they become soiled
  • A good option for small or sensitive ear canals
  • Directions:
    • With clean hands, roll plug into a tight, crease-free cylinder
    • With opposite hand, reach over head and pull up and back on outer ear to straighten the ear canal
    • Quickly insert earplug well into the ear canal and hold in until it expands for a comfortable, secure fit
Slim Fit
Mack's Slim Fit Foam Earplugs
Mack's Slim Fit Foam Earplugs
Mack's Slim Fit Foam Earplugs

Mack's Slim Fit foam earplugs are a wonderful value based on volume and price. The Slim-Fit style seamlessly works in most average- or petite-size ear canals, staying put and reducing disruptive noise.

Ohropax Classic Wax Earplugs

Ohropax Wax Earplugs

Ohropax Classic wax earplugs are a great customizable and non-foam earplug and one of my favorites that’s affordable – customers get 12 earplugs, or 6 pairs, for about $6.

These are made in Germany and are super popular; they’re available globally.

What I really like about this specific brand is that the earplugs come wrapped in cotton so they’re easy to separate. Pull off any unneeded extra wax and warm up the remaining wax in the hands or fingers. Then, it’s easy to mold them into the desired shape – I personally like to make them more of a cone shape and then create a little plug at the end so they’re easy to remove.

They do an excellent job of sealing the ears shut and becoming essentially undetectable, especially while sleeping; they have an NRR of 23 decibels.

Earplug Details:

  • A popular wax earplug option since 1907
  • The tight seal means protection against moisture and wind
  • Can still hear an alarm through the earplugs (in most cases)
  • The Classic earplugs are single-use earplugs, as the wax cannot be cleaned
  • Directions:
    • Before use, completely remove the cotton wool from the earplug using clean fingers. If necessary, tear off some pieces of wax to make the earplugs a little smaller. Do not reuse torn pieces
    • Squeeze the earplug softly, shape it into a sufficiently sized cohesive ball, and seal the auditory canal tightly using a little gentle pressure. Do not insert deeply
    • After using, make sure to use one or two fingers to remove the earplugs. Apply some light pressure on the outer ear from behind to loosen the earplugs. Do not use hard or sharp objects to remove the earplugs
Easily Customizable
Ohropax Wax Earplugs
Ohropax Wax Earplugs
Ohropax Wax Earplugs

German-made Ohropax wax earplugs are an effective tool that completely seals the ear and prohibits most noise. Simple to mold and re-shape when desired and budget-friendly to boot.

PQ Reusable Earplugs

PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs

Last but not least, I really like the PQ Sleep earplugs for sleeping and I’m especially a fan of the reusable, noise-canceling earplugs. These have little flanges that help them fit snugly into the ear canal without getting lost.

They also come with a nice case to put them in; these earplugs will cancel noise up to 35 decibels.

Customers can get a whole PQ earplug package for about $15 online, including the reusable set, as well as 35 pairs of foam earplugs, and a pair of wax earplugs.

What I like about this “starter kit” if I may call it that, is the buyer is ready for any situation where they’ll potentially need an earplug. If he or she decides one night that the reusable ones aren’t working for, the person has two additional options to choose from. Now the user has a reusable set available if he or she wants to go swimming and toss the plugs, after. This is a great introductory pack to earplugs for those just beginning.

Earplug Details:

  • Made with silicone for daily use
  • NRR rating of up to 35 decibels
  • The size will fit most ears (up to 95% of customers)
  • Come with a holding container for when the earplugs are not in use
  • Directions:
    • Hold the stem of the earplug firmly behind the largest flange
    • Reach over the head with the opposite hand and pull the top of the person’s ear to open the ear canal
    • Push the smallest flange of the plug into the ear canal, twisting the plug slightly while pushing
    • Put some liquid on the earplugs when placing them back into the ears. It helps them to seal and makes it easier to pull them out
  • Bonus earplugs
    • 35 pairs of foam earplugs
    • 1 pair of slim fit foam earplugs
    • 1 pair of wax earplugs and carrying container
Reusable
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs

The PQ Sleep Reusable earplugs are made of silicone and tiered to help fit perfectly into anyone's ear. They're easy to clean and can be used as often as needed and the multi-pack comes with other options if customers want to try something else or share with friends.

What To Consider Before Buying A New Pair Of Earplugs

Noise Reduction Rating

The NRR label stands for Noise Reduction Rating; it’s a unit of measurement used to determine the effectiveness of hearing protection devices. As a general guideline for a range of sound, an alarm clock is around 80 decibels (db) and a quiet room is around 40 db.

The earplugs in this list all block or mask some amount of noise, but won’t completely cancel out all noise. This way, people still have the ability to hear important or serious pieces of information — such as an alarm clock or a fire alarm — but still have typical sounds eliminated so individuals can sleep more peacefully.

Primary Use

Some people utilize earplugs only occasionally; maybe they’re staying in a new place with unpredictable sounds or their sleeping partner is suffering from a cold and is snoring for a few nights. Others need earplugs to sleep every single night and can’t go to sleep without utter silence.

My gentle advice for the occasional earplug user is to go with a more affordable and less durable option – something like foam or wax that only needs to be part of the picture every so often. This way no one is bankrupting themselves on a piece of technology that only gets used when the neighbors throw a party.

However, those like me who are highly dependent on earplugs to sleep every night, it’s worth finding a high-quality, reusable pair that masks disruptive noise, feel essentially invisible and can hang on the bedside for when it’s time for sleep.

Material

If it’s not crystal clear already (pun, intended), earplugs come in a plethora of materials; the most common ones are typically foam and wax as disposable options, and silicone or molded plastic as reusable and more eco-friendly options.

I highly recommend purchasing small packs of a few different varieties and deciding which fits best – both in terms of size and functionality. For some, the foam will do the trick, while others swear only by wax earplugs. Instead of discarding the undesired earplugs, keep them clean and ready for guests or share them with family and friends.

Price

Earplugs come in a surprisingly wide range of prices; that’s great news because it means there is a set of earplugs for everyone. While the more affordable earplugs are more likely to be disposable, they will often come in packs with many pairs, which shortens the number of shopping trips to replace them.

Reusable options or options with lots of customizable functions will be more expensive but tend to last longer. They also cut down on waste, which is a boon for the environment.

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Gravatar for Katie Golde

Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.