If you’re a light sleeper, getting a good night of rest is probably easier said than done. Even those who live out in the boondocks are going to have some noise to deal with once the sun goes down. From howling animals to the constant hum of traffic by your window, there are far too many distractions that can prevent you from drifting off to sleep peacefully.
A lack of sleep has a huge impact on your daily life. Several studies show that not getting seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep can severely affect your health. Plus, there’s the influence that sleep has on your mood and concentration.
If noise is keeping you awake at night, you might benefit from a good pair of earplugs. The best sleep ear plugs are capable of blocking out some of those jarring noises. While no earplug can provide complete soundproof isolation, most are designed to reduce significantly decibel levels.
You can finally doze off comfortably and wake up feeling rejuvenated and ready for the day!
How the Best Sleep Ear Plugs Can Help You
There are many instances in which having access to earplugs comes in handy. When you’re struggling to get some shut-eye, pay close attention to all of the noise your hear. You might be exposed to sounds that you never even realized were keeping you awake.
Maybe it’s honking horns from busy streets near your house. Maybe it’s the sound of neighbors chatting at all hours of the night in an apartment building. There could even be sounds in your own house that are stopping you from sleeping. For example, a snoring partner or the sudden humming of an air conditioner unit kicking on could be to blame.
Whatever the case may be, those sounds are going to impact your ability to sleep. In most cases, the noises that affect sleepers most are the ones that are unexpected and loud. General room noise usually isn’t a huge problem. Most of us can learn to tune those sounds out. But it’s the erratic noises you can’t control that are the problem.
The issue with those noises is that they cause restlessness. This could stop you from entering the first phase of your sleep cycle. Even if you’re lucky enough to get there, loud noises are notorious for stopping people from getting REM sleep. REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep, is the deepest sleep stage. It’s one of the most important stages, too. It contributes the most to making you feel rested.
Comfortable foam earplugs are perfect for helping you reach that all-important sleep stage. It reduces ambient noise, makes those sudden sounds less jarring, and helps you achieve the deep sleep you’re after.
Using Earplugs Safely
The best earplugs can make all the difference when getting a good night’s rest. But, you have to be careful about how you use them. Many experts agree that earplugs aren’t for everyday use. These tiny plugs are meant to help you get temporary comfort on those particularly restless nights. However, using them daily could have some ill-effects.
Think about it: using them every night means stuffing your ears about at third of your life! This can push ear wax back into the ear canal. Over time, this could lead to ear infections and eventual damage to the eardrum!
You can use earplugs to sleep on nights when noises are just too much to handle. They’re great for trying to sleep in new noisy environments, too. However, you should always attempt to address sound issues long-term. This means soundproofing the room, using a white noise machine, and more. In the meantime though, earplugs can help you get some much-needed sleep.
Finding the Right Sleep Earplugs
Take one look through Amazon and you’re going to find hundreds of earplugs to choose from. With so many options, it’s not easy to zero in on a good pair!
To find high-quality earplugs, you need to consider the following factors.
Noise Reduction Rating
The first thing you should consider is how effective the plugs are at blocking noise. Here is where things get tricky. When you’re struggling with restless nights, you’re going to want to grab the most isolating earplugs available, right? Well, doing so could be problematic.
You need to be able to hear some sounds. What if an emergency occurs in the middle of the night? With ultra-quiet earplugs, you could miss that phone call or sleep through a fire alarm! You can’t rely on your eyesight to catch signs of an emergency, so you need to have the ability to hear a little bit. Not only that, but ultra-effective earplugs could make your snooze through your alarm clock ringing!
When you’re shopping for the best sleep ear plugs, you’re going to see a noise reduction rating. It may be abbreviated as NRR for short. This specification represents the product’s ability to attenuate sound. You can find a wide range of NRR ratings. The higher the rating, the more decibels the plugs can block.
Even low ratings are quite effective at protecting your ears. Hearing loss can occur with long-term exposure to 85 decibels. Having earplugs with modest protection of 20 dB can make a big difference.
Generally, a lower NRR is best for sleeping. You don’t want to get the highest NRR available. Lower ratings will block a sufficient amount of noise while still letting you hear any emergencies or alarm clocks.
Material and Fit
You have a couple of options when it comes to material. The material you choose will reflect both the fit and the cost.
The most common material is foam. Soft foam earplugs are quite versatile. Most are made out of high-density polyurethane. Thus, they can adapt to anyone’s ear canal.
Everyone’s ear shape is different. Your right ear might even have a different shape to that of your left ear! With foam earplugs, you can get a tight seal and a snug fit every time. Just condense the earplugs with your fingers, pop them in, and let them expand. It’s easy, effective, and pretty comfortable.
The other option you’ll see is silicone. Silicone earplugs are usually a bit pricier. But, you can reuse them over and over again. They’re easy to clean and sanitize. Plus, they don’t have to go all the way into your ear canal to block noise. Silicone plugs cover the entrance, making them a bit easier to put in and remove.
There are some other materials used. You might see wax earplugs or even cotton plugs. However, foam and silicone are the best for sleeping.
For the most part, sleep earplugs are adaptable enough to fit into anyone’s ear canal without any issues. That said, you should also think about the overall size of the plugs and how that might affect your sleep. For example, you’re going to see plugs that are low-profile and unobtrusive. You might also come across larger products that cover more of your ear.
Earplugs should be discreet. To get the best sleep possible, it should feel like you’re not wearing anything at all! The earplugs you choose might feel comfortable when you’re sleeping on your back. But what if you’re a side sleeper? Is the size of the plug going to force it to stick out of your ear? These are things you’ll have to think about when choosing the right size.
Reusable vs Disposable
Finally, you’ll need to think about whether you want reusable or disposable earplugs. This factor isn’t going to affect the performance of the plugs. But, it will affect the cost. Reusable earplugs are more expensive. However, they also last a lot longer.
Most earplugs on the market these days are disposable. They are cost-effective and you don’t have to worry about sanitization efforts.
There’s no right or wrong choice here. Just choose an option based on your lifestyle and budget!
Best Sleep Earplugs Reviewed
Need help finding the perfect pair of sleep earplugs? We’re here to help. We’ve collected some of the best products on the market to help you make an investment that you won’t regret.
These earplugs from Flents are simple but effective. They’re made out of high-density foam, making them very soft and comfortable to wear throughout the night. The material also provides a universal fit. It doesn’t matter how big or small your ear canal is, you can easily get the right fit.
The plugs come in a set of 50 pairs. They’re packaged in a reusable jar for easy storage, too.
- Pack of 50 pairs
- NRR 33
- Latex-free foam
Next up, we have these green earplugs from Jourdak. Like the previous option, these plugs are made out of high-density foam. This is a non-toxic material that easily conforms to the shape of your ears. After squeezing the plugs, they will hold the shape long enough for you to insert. Then, it’ll slowly inflate with air to create a tight seal.
This product comes with a handy travel case. It’s a keychain case that you can use to bring a pair of plugs with you on the go.
- 36 decibels of attenuation
- Comes with 60 pairs
- Non-toxic polyurethane foam
- Includes small carrying case
If you want something that you can reuse, these ANBOW earplugs are a good option. Made from BPA-free silicone, you can wash and sanitize the plugs for reuse. The three-dome design lets you get a good fit without having to insert the plugs in too far.
The two plugs are held together with a safety cord. Drape the cord around your neck to ensure that the plugs don’t fall out while you sleep.
- 32 NNR
- Includes three pairs
- Made of BPA-free silicone
- Corded design
- Comes with plastic case
Here’s a pair of earplugs that you can use for much more than just sleeping. These are high-fidelity plugs that are built for loud environments. They’re a favorite among musicians because you can still hear great detail in nearby sounds despite the attenuation.
One thing we like about the earplugs is that they come with two shells. Whether you use the small shell or the large one, it’s the filter core that’s going to provide noise reduction. Just insert the core into the shell that works for you and pop them in your ears to get a good night of sleep.
- 21 decibels of attenuation
- Comes with two shell sizes
- Includes travel carrying case
- Made of hypoallergenic silicone
Bose is a brand that’s synonymous with sound isolation. The company is known for producing some of the best sound-canceling headphones on the market.
These sleeping earplugs aren’t just your standard sound blockers. Essentially, they’re earbuds. However, they connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to produce soothing white noise. The plugs come with three different-sized tips to help you get a comfortable fit. There are also ear wings to ensure that the plugs stay put as you snooze.
- Generates white noise
- Connects to smartphone
- Up to 16 hours of use on a single charge
- High-tech charging case
- Comes with three tips
Here’s another pair of high-fidelity plugs that you can use in any noisy environment. These have a couple of interesting features that can make them a more comfortable choice as you sleep.
First, they have replaceable silicone bulbs. Three sizes are included to help you get a good fit. Second, they have a plastic stem. The stem doesn’t poke out of the ear too much when inserted correctly. But, they do make removing the plugs a breeze!
- Reduces noise by about 22 decibels
- Made of hypoallergenic silicone
- Includes carrying case
- Comes with three tips
These earplugs from HearHeed are great for sleep, work, and play. Made of silicone, you can easily wash and reuse these earplugs. Thanks to the carrying case, you can also keep them on hand wherever you go.
The great thing about these plugs is that they still allow plenty of sounds to pass through. The unique filter attenuates sound without muffling it beyond recognition. Thus, you can hear things clearly while still being able to sleep peacefully.
- 28 decibels of attenuation
- Made of silicone
- Reusable earplugs with a travel case
- Optional neck cord included
If getting the right fit is a concern for you, consider the Mack’s Pillow Soft earplugs. These are similar to wax earplugs. But, they’re made out of safe silicone.
The plugs come in moldable balls. After working the material a bit, you can insert the plugs into your ear canal. It will automatically mold to the shape of your ear to create a complete seal. They’re completely waterproof. Not only that, but the custom fit ensures that the plugs stay in all night.
- Reduces noise by 22 decibels
- Made of non-toxic and hypoallergenic silicone
- Comes in a pack of 12
Check out these premium moldable earplugs. They, too, are made out of a silicone material that’s completely safe for you to use. The material is resilient, but it’s also soft enough to feel invisible.
These earplugs are reusable, which is a big benefit. Most moldable options must be tossed out after a single use. But, these earplugs hold their shape even after you take them out. With the included plastic case, you can store them safely for many nights of peaceful sleep.
- 32 NNR
- Made of BPA-free silicone
- Washable and reusable
- Comes with four pairs
Want a pair of earplugs that you can use again and again? The Decibullz earplugs may be the choice for you. This is an interesting product that you can easily customize for your needs.
While the canal tip is made out of standard silicone, the rest is made of thermoplastic. To mold it to your ear, just heat it up in warm water. The material becomes pliable. Once it cools, it hardens back up again! Connecting the exterior to the canal tip is a sound plug. You can remove the plug to control the attenuation, which is a nice touch.
- 31 NNR
- Moldable and reusable
- Made of thermoplastic and silicone
- Removable plug
- Available in several colors
Gone are the days of restless tossing and turning. Whether you’re having trouble sleeping because of loud neighbors or a snoring partner right next to you, a good set of earplugs is a must-have.
The best sleep ear plugs can reduce noise levels dramatically. Ultimately, they can improve sleep quality and help you snooze without interruption. Give one of these earplug products a shot. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day!