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Best Earplugs for Sleeping 2024: Top Noise Cancelling Earplugs

Securing a peaceful and uninterrupted night’s sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being, but it can be quite a hurdle to overcome when you are faced with disruptive noises in your environment.

This is where earplugs come into play, offering a potential solution. Whether it is the noise of traffic, a snoring partner, or other disruptions, the right set of earplugs can provide the peace and quiet you need to enjoy a deep rest and wake up feeling refreshed.

If you are struggling to get a good night's sleep, we have compiled a list of the best earplugs for sleeping, featuring a range of options to accommodate diverse preferences and keep unwanted noises at bay.

Best earplugs for sleeping: a shortlist

  1. Kokoon — best smart earplugs for sleeping
  2. Loop — budget-friendly earplugs for sleeping
  3. ZQuiet — best noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping
  4. EAROS — best reusable earplugs for sleeping
  5. QuietOn — best earplugs for side sleepers

Compiling our list of the best earplugs for sleeping in 2024

When in the market for the best earplugs for sleeping, it is imperative to consider several criteria to identify the best options and determine the most suitable choice for you. Below, take a look at the key factors we considered when compiling our list:

SizeLow-profile, minimalistic design
MaintenanceEasy to clean or replace
FeaturesSleep-tracking and active noise cancellation (ANC)
Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)Amount of decibel (dB) reduction
PriceRanging from $24.95 to $289.00
  • Size. We prioritized low-profile earplugs with a minimalistic design so they would fit comfortably inside your ear, without inducing uneasiness, even when sleeping on your side.
  • Maintenance. When searching for the best earplugs for sleeping, we specifically targeted those composed of durable materials, capable of withstanding wear and tear without any loss of quality.
  • Features. We looked for earplugs with additional functionalities or characteristics that may elevate the sleeping experience and improve sleep quality. These include sleep tracking, noise masking, ANC, and more.
  • NRR. Our list encompasses earplugs with NRR values ranging from 17 to 28 dB, reflecting their effectiveness in noise reduction as indicated by the NRR.
  • Price. Those best earplugs for sleeping featured in our list come at prices catering to diverse budgets — you will find options ranging from $24.95 to as much as $289.00.

Best earplugs for sleeping: an overview

As the earplug market continues to grow, fueled by the increasing popularity of smart earplugs with connectivity features, we have chosen the best noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping currently available.

1. Kokoon — best earplugs for sleeping with smart features

Kokoon Nightbuds Sleep Headphones

Marketed as a solution for those seeking better sleep through audio-based relaxation and noise masking, with an emphasis on comfort and connectivity, Kokoon Nightbuds emerge as an ideal option for those seeking undisturbed sleep.

Beyond your typical sleeping earplugs, the Kookoon Nightbuds have garnered attention for their smart features:

Sleep trackerIn-ear optical heart rate sensor monitors heart rate and its variability
Noise-maskingHelps to mask noisy environments or disturbances such as snoring and traffic
Adaptive audioAs you drift off to sleep, the audio gradually fades away, offering the option of soothing white noise
Kookon appProduces a daily summary of your sleep, including sleep efficiency, length, and quality

Celebrated for their comfortable in-ear design, Nightbuds measure a mere 5.4 mm in ear thickness. This slim profile enables a snug fit in the ear, rendering them particularly well-suited for sleeping on side.

For a limited time, you can grab a set of Kokoon earplugs at a 40% discount for just $174. Along with this purchase, you will receive free access to the Kokoon app.

2. Loop — best earplugs for sleeping with great value for money

Loop Quiet earplugs

The Quiet earplugs by Loop stand out as a budget-friendly choice, given their noise-reduction capabilities. Engineered for flexibility, these comfortable ear plugs incorporate soft silicone for day and night wear, effectively reducing noise levels by as much as 14 dB.

Loop Quiet earplugs are available in 6 different colors. If you want to add some style, you can choose from the solstice collection colorways for an additional price.

With the Loop earplugs, you will also get 4 sets of interchangeable silicone ear tips (in XS, S, M, and L sizes) and a white keychain carry case.

You can now purchase the Quiet earplugs for $24.95 through the provider's official website. Plus, they come with a 2-year warranty.

3. ZQuiet — best noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping

ZQuiet Flex-Fit Earplugs

Designed with your comfort in mind, ZQuiet Earplugs boast a pliable design that accommodates stomach, back, and side sleepers alike. By employing specialized noise filters, these earplugs claim to deliver passive noise reduction, reducing snoring and other environmental noises by up to 27 dB.

Yet ZQuiet earplugs are not limited to just sleep — their versatility extends to a variety of situations where noise reduction is essential, be it when you are traveling, attending a concert, or simply enjoying some quiet time.

These compact earplugs are made with hypoallergenic materials, have pull tabs for easy removal, and are reusable.

With your purchase of the ZQuiet earplugs, priced at $29.95, you will receive 2 sizes of soft hypoallergenic silicone eartips, 1 set of noise filters that can be swapped between tip sizes, a handy cleaning brush, and a protective storage case.

4. EAROS — best reusable earplugs for sleeping

EAROS ONE earbuds

Although EAROS ONE earplugs are designed to protect hearing while preserving sound quality, catering to those exposed to loud environments, these earplugs emerge as a great option for sleep as well, since they provide a 17 dB reduction in sound levels.

Crafted from soft medical-grade silicone, EAROS earplugs offer an ergonomic design that locks securely in your ear, making them the ideal choice for prolonged wear.

Not only is the sleek and discreet design of the earplugs visually appealing, but it is also washable and reusable, allowing for easy maintenance to help you keep them in excellent condition.

You can visit the official website of the brand to snag your pair of EAROS ONE earplugs, currently priced at $40. And for those looking for a deal, bundling your purchase will score you discounts.

5. QuietOn — best earplugs for side sleepers

The QuietOn Sleep Earbuds — branded as the world's smallest ANC earbuds according to their developers — are innovative earplugs designed to offer a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep experience, even for side sleepers.

They promise to effectively reduce noises that disturb your sleep, such as snoring or city noise, all while boasting a smart feature profile that includes active noise-canceling technology combined with passive noise reduction.

Despite the energy-draining smart feature profile, the earbuds offer a long-lasting battery life — 28 hours on a single charge — ensuring they can be used throughout the night.

QuietOn Sleep Earbuds, emerging as the top choice for side sleeper ear plugs, come with soft and comfortable foam eartips in different sizes (XS, S, M, L) and are currently available for $289.

Comparison of the best earplugs for sleeping

BrandPriceNRRSmart featuresMaterial
Kokoon$174.00Not indicatedSleep monitoring, adaptive audio, intelligent noise maskingExtra soft silicone
Loop$24.9514 dBNoneSoft-touch silicone
ZQuiet$29.9527 dBNoneSilicone
EAROS$40.0017 dBReductionFilterSoft-medical grade silicone
QuietOn$289.00Not indicatedActive noise cancelling Rubber and plastic with metal elements

Shopping for the best noise cancelling earplugs for sleeping — what to consider?

Shopping for the best earplugs for sleeping involves considering several factors to ensure you choose comfortable ear plugs that are effective and match your preferences. Here are the key factors to take into account:

  • Comfort. Earplugs should comfortably fit in your ear canal without causing pain or discomfort. Seek earplugs made from soft and pliable materials that can conform to the shape of your ear.
  • Material. Each material comes with its own set of characteristics, offering both pros and cons when it comes to comfort, effectiveness, and durability. To make the right choice, consider your preferences, and whether you prefer disposable or reusable options.
  • Durability and reusability. Again, it all comes down to your preferences. If you only need earplugs for short-term use, disposable ones may be a convenient choice. However, if you plan to use your earplugs regularly, investing in high-quality reusable earplugs can provide better long-term value.
  • NRR. The NRR indicates the maximum dB reduction the earplugs can provide, with higher NRR values offering better noise reduction. You should prioritize those earplugs with an appropriate NRR that matches the noise levels in your sleeping environment.
  • Value for money. While it is important to stick to your budget, a pricier investment in quality earplugs is more likely to provide the desired noise reduction and last longer, making them cost-effective in the long run.

What are earplugs for sleeping?

At their core, earplugs for sleeping are small, soft devices designed for insertion into the ear canal. Their primary purpose is to reduce or block out external noises, thereby improving sleep quality and creating a more conducive sleeping environment. These earplugs generally come in disposable or reusable formats, though if you opt for reusable earplugs, remember to clean them regularly to prevent the buildup of earwax and bacteria.

Many of the best earplugs for sleeping are labeled with an NRR rating, indicating their effectiveness at reducing noise. Typically composed of materials like foam, silicone, or wax, they are thoughtfully crafted for comfort during extended use while lying down.

How do earplugs for sleeping work?

The way earplugs for sleeping work is by forming a physical barrier that isolates your ears from the surrounding environment, effectively diminishing or even entirely blocking out unwanted noise. These earplugs are inserted into your ear canals, where they conform to the shape and size of your ears. Once in place, they create a seal within the ear canals, blocking external sounds.

In addition to that, earplugs can be tailored to address particular noise concerns, whether its snoring, traffic noise, or other disruptive sounds. Some are even customizable or adjustable to create a snugger fit for better noise isolation.

Going beyond this, advanced earplugs, known as noise-canceling earplugs, take noise reduction a step further. These earplugs incorporate advanced technology to actively counteract external sounds, providing an even more effective noise-canceling experience.

Types of earplugs for sleeping

If you find yourself in need of earplugs to improve your sleep quality, you will find a variety of options, each crafted to accommodate a range of preferences and noise-reduction requirements. Here, we will delve into several popular types of earplugs for sleeping and their characteristics.

  • Custom earplugs. Crafted from impressions of your ears, custom earplugs are tailored to your specific ear anatomy. This personalized fit creates a firm seal, enhancing their noise-blocking effectiveness. Additionally, because they create a tight seal, custom earplugs offer excellent noise reduction, often achieving a high NRR.
  • Foam earplugs. Foam earplugs, known for their softness, expandability, and disposability, easily adapt to the contours of your ear canal. This results in both comfort and fine noise reduction, making them a budget-friendly choice for enhancing your sleep environment.
  • Silicone earplugs. Among the earplug types mentioned, silicone earplugs stand out as a reusable option, providing an eco-friendly solution for noise reduction. Renowned for their durability and long-lasting performance, they have gained popularity among those seeking effective noise-reduction solutions.
  • Wax earplugs. Made using a mixture of wax and cotton, wax earplugs offer a tailored, snug fit. Their pliable and gentle nature allows them to conform harmoniously to the contours of your ear canal.

Is it safe to sleep with earplugs?

The practice of sleeping with earplugs is generally considered safe, provided they are used correctly and hand in hand with proper hygiene practices. A proper fit is crucial for the earplugs to safely and effectively protect hearing. Even if you wear earplugs throughout the night, there should be no pain or the need for forceful insertion. If you do experience any discomfort, it is advisable to promptly consider adjusting the size.

Besides, it is essential to implement necessary safety measures, which include regularly cleaning the earplugs, storing them in a separate container, and washing your hands before inserting them. Remember to always prioritize your ears’ health, cleanliness, and comfort when using earplugs to guarantee a quiet and safe night's sleep.

Why would you need earplugs for sleeping?

Dealing with sleep disturbances can pose some definite challenges, but the best earplugs for sleeping have the potential to create a peaceful sleeping environment. Whether you are dealing with a partner's snoring, enjoy frequent travel but dislike the buzz of it, prefer to sleep on your side but find it uncomfortable to use regular earplugs, or simply struggle with noise sensitivity, these compact earplugs can come to your sleep rescue.

For noise cancelling

Earplugs with noise-cancelling capabilities are a relatively recent innovation. They are designed to offer a more effective solution for blocking out unwanted noise while sleeping. These earplugs, equipped with active noise cancellation (ANC) technology, can effectively reduce noise, especially for low-frequency and continuous sounds such as snoring and that of traffic.

When sleeping with a snorer

Sleeping with a snorer, be it your partner or a roommate, can be challenging, as the noise from snoring can disrupt your sleep and even lead to sleep deprivation. The best earplugs to block out snoring, often featuring a high NRR, emerge as highly effective solutions in combating sleep disturbances while promoting a healthier sleep environment for both parties.

For side sleeping

If you prefer sleeping on your side, you are probably familiar with the challenges that can arise when using sleeping earplugs. The pressure from your pillow and the position of your head can potentially cause discomfort or dislodge the earplugs. To prevent this from happening, look for comfortable ear plugs with a low profile or a design that minimizes their protrusion from the ear, which can help reduce pressure points and discomfort when your head rests on a pillow.

When traveling on a plane

During air travel, earplugs for sleeping may enhance your flying experience by reducing cabin noise and potentially alleviating discomfort from air pressure changes. This, in turn, could promote relaxation and, in some cases, sleep quality. However, it is important to remain attentive, maintain situational awareness, and follow safety guidelines at all times.

Benefits of earplugs for sleeping

Recognizing that earplugs vary in type and functionality, the best earplugs for sleeping essentially provide a shield against disruptive noise. Their customizable and comfortable designs cater to individual preferences, making them a cost-effective and readily accessible solution for enhancing sleep quality. What is even more intriguing is that these benefits may extend beyond the bedroom into daily life.

  • Improving sleep quality. By eliminating external noise disturbances that might disrupt your sleep patterns, the best earplugs for sleeping can lead to fewer interruptions. This, in turn, can improve the quality of your sleep and ultimately contribute to your overall health.
  • Blocking out sounds. This comes as no surprise, as one of the primary benefits of using earplugs for sleeping is their ability to block or significantly reduce unwanted noise disturbances. This allows you to enjoy a more peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.
  • Reducing stress and anxiety. Whether you find constant exposure to outdoor noise overwhelming or cannot stand snoring, both of which might lead to increased stress and anxiety levels, earplugs can offer a sense of calm and create a quieter, more stress-free sleeping environment.
  • Increasing deep sleep and REM sleep. With the help of earplugs, your body is not constantly awakened or disturbed by noise. This may allow your body to progress through the essential sleep stages, including restorative deep sleep and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
  • Improving memory and concentration. Given that sleep quality is closely linked to daytime alertness and concentration, the best earplugs for sleeping might indirectly contribute to improved memory and concentration by promoting better sleep quality and reducing disruptions caused by noise.

Risks of sleeping with earplugs

Although there are many benefits to sleeping with earplugs, it is essential to remain mindful of potential risks and considerations. Below are some potential downsides to using earplugs for sleeping:

  • Ear infections. When earplugs are not properly cleaned, allowing dirt and bacteria to enter the ear canal, or when earwax builds up, it might increase the risk of ear infections.
  • Earwax buildup. Prolonged use of earplugs may gradually push earwax toward the ear canal, leading to potential discomfort and decreased hearing effectiveness.
  • Skin irritation. For those with allergies or skin sensitivities, some materials may lead to irritation. To prevent this, prioritize the use of the best earplugs for sleeping that are crafted from hypoallergenic, soft materials.

Who should not use earplugs for sleeping?

Even though earplugs show promise in improving sleep quality for many people, there are some who should exercise caution or avoid using them for sleeping altogether.

ChildrenEarwax buildup could pose a greater risk for children, who might also struggle with using earplugs correctly
People with ear infectionsIf dealing with ear infections, earplugs can worsen the symptoms
People with hearing problemsWhile there are no indications that it could be unsafe, wearing earplugs might pose a problem because they cannot be worn at the same time as hearing aids
People with earwax impactionEarplugs carry the potential to make matters worse by pushing earwax further down into the ear canal

Best earplugs for sleeping in 2024: conclusion

While the best earplugs for sleeping hold the promise of shielding you from disturbances that could disrupt your sleep, leading to more peaceful and restful nights, keep in mind that what works for one person might not be the ideal choice for another. The selection of the right earplugs depends not only on their characteristics and noise reduction ability but also on your comfort preferences and the level of environmental noise.

With a plethora of earplug types available, each designed to provide noise reduction in its unique manner, there are some options that stand out above all. Among the choices in our list, one set of earplugs towers above the rest — the Kokoon sleep headphones, with an integrated smart feature profile, emerge as a particularly appealing option to those who consistently deal with sleep disturbances.

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