If you have ever lived on a busy city street or owned a dog who likes to bark in the night, you know how much noise can affect a good night’s sleep. Many people turn to earplugs as the solution to avoid the fuss of waking up multiple times a night.
We have evaluated several products in search of the best earplugs for sleeping and found the Loop Quiet silicone earplugs to be our top pick.
Earplugs have a variety of uses, from protecting concertgoers from damaging their eardrums at a rock show to preventing swimmers from unwanted infections during their daily swim. For those who are light sleepers or are often trying to sleep in a noisy environment, earplugs can make a massive difference to the quality of rest that you can have.
Being well-rested is often a major contributing factor to other aspects of a person’s life. A lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, lack of focus, lowered immune system, and even weight gain. With all of this in mind, it almost seems essential to have a pair of earplugs on hand for those nights that you just cannot get to sleep.
Our top choice for best earplugs for sleeping, the Loop Quiet, was chosen based on several factors. For the average consumer, this no-frills option is both user-friendly and highly affordable. It is comfortable and reduces noise without blocking it out entirely, allowing you to remain aware of your surroundings.
If you are looking for something a little different, there are plenty of earplugs to go around. We have looked at the best earplugs for cost, comfort, and noise-canceling and rounded them up below.
Whatever your preference may be, read on to find the best earplugs for sleeping.
Best Earplugs for Sleeping Review
Loop Quiet – Best Overall
As mentioned before, the Loop Quiet is our top pick for best overall earplugs for sleeping. These earplugs are well balanced to incorporate sustainability, simplicity, and comfort all in one small package.
With a price point of $14.95, this model is an affordable solution to noise reduction. The package comes with four different silicone ear tips for a snug and comfortable fit. Loop Quiet is designed to sit inside the ear, with a small loop that you can use to remove the plugs with ease. They come in six different colors, are reusable, and can be washed.
These earplugs will block up to 27 decibels (dB), so if you are looking for an earplug that will lessen sound without entirely blocking it out, you may enjoy this product.
Howard Leight by Honeywell – Best on a Budget
Honeywell, a company known for having a hand in producing goods for many different industries, also has their own earplugs. The Howard Leight earplugs are a variation of the classic memory foam plugs that self-adjust to the inside of your ear.
You can get 25 single-use pairs for $8.25 (or 200 for $25.33) that can easily fit into a pocket or small bag for travel. The foam feature of these earplugs will mold to the form of most ears comfortably but will work best if worn for shorter periods.
This earplug works well for the occasional user or a traveler who intends to sleep on a flight or train. A unique feature of these earplugs is the color. The bright yellow and magenta color combination is meant to make those who are around you aware that you have earplugs inserted. For traveling sleepers who are often disrupted by their talking neighbor on the plane, these might be the option for you.
Becheln Silicone Earplugs – Best Comfort
The Becheln silicone earplugs utilize a unique combination of silicone and moldability to form perfectly to the ear. The pill-sized plugs can be shaped and resized into smaller pieces to fit a variety of sizes.
Unlike many earplug options, these are intended to cover the ear opening, not to be inserted into the canal. This factor, in addition to the base material, a soft silicon, makes this a very comfortable earplug to fall asleep with. They can cancel noise up to 22dB.
They are priced at $12.79 for a set of five that come in a clear carrying case for portability. Consider trying these out for sleepers who are uncomfortable fitting an earplug into the ear canal but are looking for something that sits comfortably and snug throughout the night.
Tozo NC9 Earbuds – Best Noise Cancelling
A more high-tech option is the Tozo NC9 earbuds. These are multipurpose earbuds that have active noise canceling capabilities. This means they can detect external sounds and counter them to neutralize the noise. This is a large benefit to anyone who is a light sleeper and can be disturbed by even the slightest of sounds.
Noise cancellation can be a huge selling point for these types of earplugs, but be aware that it comes with a price. The casing used to hold the tech is often hard plastic and does not fit as nicely in your ear as foam would.
Some noise-canceling earbuds have silicone or foam tips for a more comfortable fit, but comfort may still be compromised in this option.
For those that like a product that can do more than one thing, these buds have microphone and audio capabilities as well. They have over eight hours of use on a single charge with a charging case that carries an additional 24 hours.
For $59.98, this product provides a durable, multi-use noise-canceling option for sleepers. These will sit in the ear similarly to most standard earbuds, so the most comfortable wear would be for those who sleep on their back or stomach.
These high-tech earbuds could be a solution to poor sleep for you if you are a light sleeper or just love gadgets.
Buyer’s Guide to Best Earplugs for Sleeping
Even if the noise does not fully awaken you, you can be kept in a stage of light sleep. This can prevent you from entering your deep sleep stages. This can create the same effects as it would if you had been jostled awake.
Thus, the decision to buy earplugs for sleeping could be a meaningful choice for your health. Before then, you need to consider what your preferences are to find the best earplugs for sleeping for you.
The three most common materials used for earplugs are foam, silicone, and wax. Each of these materials has its pros and cons, but it all comes down to personal choice.
If you have ever used an earplug before, it is likely it was made of foam. The most notable characteristic of this type of material is its ability to squish down and regain its shape in a way that can fit most ear types.
Some people find these earplugs uncomfortable for long-term wear, but they are inexpensive and easy to dispose of, making them ideal for travel and single-use. Unlike the other two options, foam is also less susceptible to collecting dirt buildup and particles that may stick to the earplug.
Silicone is a more sustainable option because it is often reusable. This material is used to make varieties of earplugs that both sit in the ear and go into the ear canal. Silicone products have been made to be similar to foam earplugs as well as wax earplugs so it is essentially the happy middle between the two.
People tend to find silicone earplugs more comfortable for long-term use. Although they often do not mold to the ear itself, they can flex to fit snug in the ear just as easily. These work well for sleepers with long-term noise issues that are disturbing their sleep regularly.
Wax is a popular material for people who would prefer not to insert an earplug into their ear canal. Wax is moldable and can be used to seal the outer ear from sounds.
The fit and comfort level is similar to silicone, but a wax option will rarely be reusable more than a few times because of its difficulty to clean. Regardless, most wax earplugs will come with a carrying case that you should use to store all unused plugs to keep them safe from dust.
Be aware that constant use of earplugs poses a minor risk of earwax buildup with any of these materials. Buildup can lead to problems such as hearing loss and tinnitus if not treated properly.
When it comes to wearing earplugs, you should treat the process with care no matter what material you choose. Always remember to clean your earplugs or dispose of them if they are not meant for multiple uses.
The different material options allow you to get a near-custom fit based on your ear shape, but never try to force an earplug too deep.
If you have the time to do so, consider trying a version with each material to find what best suits your preferences.
Noise Limiting Vs. Noise Cancelling
A big question for many consumers looking to find the best earplugs for sleeping is whether or not to seek out noise limiting or noise-canceling options.
In a normal environment, the louder a noise, the more likely prolonged exposure will damage your hearing. That phenomenon is measured in decibels (dB), which is how many noise limiting earplugs quantify their sound reducing capabilities.
For reference, a whisper can come in at 30dB, while a regular conversation would hit at around 60dB. This changes further based on proximity to the sound.
For someone looking to reduce the sounds of their environment while they sleep, they might not need more than an earplug that reduces sound by about 20-25dB.
For light sleepers or travelers who will be a lot closer in proximity to the noises they are trying to block out, noise-canceling earplugs are probably the better solution.
Noise-canceling earplugs are usually sold in the form of earbuds or over-the-ear headphones that use noise-canceling technology to remove the sounds of the environment.
These are far more effective in eliminating sounds from your surroundings than a standard noise-limiting earplug may be, so it is best to consider where you will be using the earplugs before making a purchase decision.
For some, safety is a concern when it comes to eliminating all the sounds around them. Many people prefer to have a little sound come through so they can hear alarms or can still be awoken in case of an emergency.
This reason is what makes the noise-limiting earplugs the ideal option. If you have concerns about hearing certain parts of your environment during crucial moments, try out different earplug options to determine which gives you the best balance of sound blockage for your sleep.
Noise-canceling earplugs serve their purpose well enough that those sounds may not be heard while wearing them.
Best of the Best
All this considered, our top choice for the best earplugs for sleeping is the Loop Quiet earplugs. As far as functionality and simplicity go, these earplugs could effectively suit all types of situations.
This option is noise limiting and will therefore not give you a completely silent environment. However, whether you are looking to get a good night’s sleep in the comfort of your bed or are trying to get a little sleep on the train to the next town over, these should sufficiently block sound comfortably.
The silicone material makes it easy to clean and sturdy enough for long-term use. The pleasant color options add a unique feel that most conventional alternatives do not have. Overall, these are a well-balanced option and all around our choice for the best earplugs for sleeping.