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 you’re on a red-eye flight.

No matter the reason, having the right pair of earplugs can make a huge difference in your 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 you.

Oh, and don’t forget to scroll all the way down and check out our list of things you should think about before purchasing your next pair of earplugs!

Multi-functional
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 your ear, and you 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 are a great affordable option. The slim fit will go easily into any average- or petite-size ear canal and stay put, reducing outside noise.

Doesn't expire

Easily Customizable
Ohropax Wax Earplugs
Ohropax Wax Earplugs

German-made Ohropax wax earplugs are an easy option that completely seals your ear and masks noise. Simply remove the cotton covering and warm the wax up in your hand. Then mold it to the perfect fit for your ear. They're budget-friendly, as well!

Reusable
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs
PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs

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

Here you’ll find a description and list of the key features of each of the best earplugs for sleeping on our list. You’ll also find our guide to all the things you should consider before buying your next earplugs. Check it all out below!

Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds

The Bose Noise-Masking sleepbuds are a high-tech earplug dream. They’re basically a cool hybrid between an earplug and a headphone. While they don’t stream music or podcasts, they will wirelessly play ambient noise to help block out everyday noises and keep you sleeping longer.

They come with three different sizes of ear tips so you can find the size that fits seamlessly into your ear. They will not move when you switch positions and you will not feel them, even when sleeping on your side.

You can adjust the noise volume on the sleepbuds using an app that syncs with them. There is also an alarm option so you can be woken up without waking up anyone else in your room.

When they’re fully charged, the battery can last up to 16 hours. 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, if you’re like me and you’re dependent on your earplugs for a good night’s sleep, I highly suggest looking at these high-quality earplugs.

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 you 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

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 your ear, and you 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 just like your traditional cone-shaped earplugs, but they’re made with a slightly smaller diameter so they fit well in ears that are more sensitive or smaller. These are great because you’re not stuffing giant earplugs into your ears and feeling them wiggle and pop out while you 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 truly be found anywhere (Target, Walgreens, Amazon, etc.).

Plus, Mack’s has a ton of other options. So if you want a foam earplug for a low cost but feel like you need a bigger size, no problem. These earplugs are my go-to to have around the house for guests or family who need 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 are a great affordable option. The slim fit will go easily into any average- or petite-size ear canal and stay put, reducing outside 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. You get 12 earplugs, or 6 pairs, for about $6.

These are made in Germany and are super popular. You can find them all over

What I really like about this specific brand is that the earplugs come wrapped in cotton so they’re easy to separate. You can pull off any extra wax you don’t want and warm up the remaining wax in your hands. After that, it’s easy to mold them as you like. 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 a great job of sealing the ears shut and becoming barely noticeable, 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 your 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

German-made Ohropax wax earplugs are an easy option that completely seals your ear and masks noise. Simply remove the cotton covering and warm the wax up in your hand. Then mold it to the perfect fit for your ear. They're budget-friendly, as well!

PQ Reusable Earplugs

PQ Sleep Reusable Earplugs

Last but not least, I really like the PQ Sleep earplugs for sleeping. I’m especially a fan of the reusable, noise-canceling earplugs. These have little flanges that help them fit snugly into your 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.

You can get a whole PQ earplug package for about $15 online. You not only get the reusable set, but you’ll also get 35 pairs of foam earplugs as well as a pair of wax earplugs.

What I like about this is that now you’re set for any situation where you’ll need an earplug. If you decide one night that the reusable ones aren’t working for you, you have three additional options to choose from. Or you have a disposable pair handy if you want to go swimming and toss the plugs after. This is a great introductory pack to earplugs if you’re just getting started!

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 your head with the opposite hand and pull the top of your ear to open the ear canal
    • Push the smallest flange of the plug into your ear canal, twisting the plug slightly as you push
    • Put some liquid on the earplugs when you put them in your 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

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

What To Consider Before Buying Your Next Set 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. To give you an idea of the range, an alarm clock is around 80 decibels (db) and a quiet room is around 40 db.

The earplugs in this list all block some amount of noise, but don’t cancel out all noise. This way, you’ll be able to hear important things — such as your alarm clock or a fire alarm — but will still have regular sounds blocked out so you can sleep more peacefully.

Primary Use

Some people need earplugs only on certain occasions. For example, maybe they’re staying in a new place with strange sounds or their sleeping partner has a cold and is snoring for a few nights. Others need earplugs to sleep every night and can’t go to sleep without silence.

If you’re an occasional earplug user, I recommend going with a more budget-friendly, disposable option (although you may prefer to go the reusable route if you’re concerned about your eco-footprint).

However, if you need earplugs to sleep every night, it’s worth finding a high-quality, reusable pair that you like and that you can store by your bedside for when it’s time for sleep.

Material

If it’s not already clear, earplugs come in several different types of materials. The most common ones that you’ll find in stores are foam and wax (for disposable options) and silicone (for a reusable option).

I highly recommend buying small packs of a few different kinds and deciding which is the best fit for you. For some, the foam will do the the trick, while others swear by wax earplugs. Instead of discarding the ones you decide aren’t right for you, keep them for guests or share them with family and friends.

Price

Earplugs come in a huge range of prices. That’s great news, because it means there is a set of earplugs for everyone.

The more affordable earplugs are more likely to be disposable, but will often come in packs with many pairs so you don’t need to go shopping that often.

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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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.
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