The Best Headphones for Sleeping and Noise Cancelling

Are you seeking an all-natural sleep aid that can help you fall asleep quickly, stay asleep for longer and wake up feeling refreshed? Then why not try losing yourself in music? Listening to music in bed can help you to relax and unwind at the end of the hard day, helping you to get a better night’s sleep.

If your partner prefers complete silence at night, then it’s a good idea to invest in a quality pair of headphones. This will ensure that you’re able to enjoy your playlist as you drift off to sleep, but without disturbing your partner. Headphones are also an effective way to block out noise that may be keeping you awake at night, such as loud neighbours, outside traffic or a snoring partner.

Unfortunately, most headphones are not designed for use in bed. They tend to be very uncomfortable to wear, particularly if you’re a side sleeper. Additionally, there’s also the possibility of headphones breaking during the night. The good news is, there are headphones out there that are well suited to sleeping and noise cancelling, making them ideal to wear in bed as you’re drifting off to sleep.

Read on to find out which headphones are the best for sleeping and noise cancelling. Hopefully you’ll find a pair which meets your requirements, as well as your budget, and that helps you to sleep more soundly at night.

Fabric or noise cancelling headphones?

In a world where technology is continuously evolving, it’s no surprise that there’s such a wide range of styles and designs of headphones available on the market. Generally, there are two types that work best in bed. These are padded fabric headphones, which are designed specifically for sleeping, and noise cancelling headphones.

There are a few differences between these two types of headphones: their ability to block out external sound, sound quality and price. Fabric headphones aren’t great at blocking out loud sounds, such as snoring for example, but are comfortable to wear and are inexpensive too.

Noise cancelling headphones not only block out most unwanted external noise, but they also have a superior sound quality. However, the downside is that they are usually a lot more expensive.

AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic

AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic

The AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic have been cleverly designed with comfort and sound quality in mind, making them one of the best sleep headphones on the market. Traditionally, headphones for sleeping have been very dependent on head shape and size, and this can cause issues not just with comfort, but sound quality too. The SleepPhones have eliminated these problems thanks to their fabric headband, providing a great fit for all wearers.

These headphones use a standard 3.5mm audio jack, allowing you to connect to your chosen audio source, and don’t require any batteries. The wireless version of the SleepPhones requires a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. One downside to these headphones is that the cable tends to tangle during the night.

Overall, the AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic Sleep Headphones are one of the best sleeping aids out there. As well as being very comfortable and providing excellent sound quality, they’re also made using eco-friendly manufacturing and materials.

Bose Quiet Comfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Bose Quiet Comfort 20 headphones are ideal if you want to block out external noise, such as snoring, traffic or loud neighbours. Whatever sounds are keeping you awake at night, these headphones can be relied upon to block them.

The noise cancelling feature works in three different ways. Firstly, the earbud effectively seals your ear, physically blocking some amount of sound. Secondly, the active noise cancelling technology removes low frequency sound waves. Thirdly, when you play music, a complete barrier is made to block whatever noise was previously keeping you awake.

Bose Quiet Comfort 20 headphones come with a handy feature called ‘aware’, which allows you to still hear some amount of noise. This may be required if you need to be able to hear your children, or listen out for an alarm. If you don’t want to totally shut out the outside world, you’re likely to want to use this feature a lot.

The tips of these headphones are rubbery and soft, and once you insert them into your ears, you’ll barely feel them. Plus, because there are three sizes to choose from, it’s easy to find the right size tips for your ear canals.

The sound quality is excellent, but then you’d expect nothing less from Bose. This allows you to listen to the full range of sound, improving your listening experience as you drift off to sleep.

Unfortunately, these headphones are expensive, as tends to be the case with high-end noise cancelling headphones. There are lower cost alternatives on the market which are simpler in terms of design and function. If cost is an issue, you may want to consider these.

Overall, if you require superior noise cancelling headphones, these come highly recommended. They strike the perfect balance between blocking external sound, comfort and exceptional sound quality.

CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

The CozyPhones are an excellent choice if you’re looking to buy a pair of fabric headphones. There are two reasons that they stand out from their competitors. Firstly, the speakers are flat and thin, which means they don’t put too much pressure on your ears, even if you’re a side sleeper. Secondly, they’re made from lycra, which is cool on the skin, ensuring that overheating isn’t an issue.

These headphones offer good sound quality, which is somewhat surprising for the price. Sound is clear and crisp enough to enjoy listening to as you relax in bed. Whilst DJs and audiophiles will most likely look elsewhere, the sound produced is good enough for people who simply want to listen to music at low volume while trying to fall asleep. The sound isn’t amazing, but it’s definitely up to the task.

The CozyPhones are wired and fit any mobile phone or standard audio device. The wire 1.5m long wire is robust and has a tangle-free design, making these headphones ideal for nightly use. One negative point is that you need to adjust the positioning of the speakers within the material. However, this issue isn’t unique to this model, and it does mean that you can position them evenly for your head size.

Overall, the Cozyphones headphones are comfortable enough for sleeping, with excellent sound quality, and they’re constructed from a material which doesn’t overheat. If you want to try this style of headphones, these are one of the best on the market.

Tooks Sportec Band

Tooks SPORTEC BAND

The Tooks Sportek Band is designed with both sleep and sport in mind. It is available in either soft micro-fleece or a dryfit material, allowing you to choose the right fabric for you. Both materials feel comfortable on the skin, whether exercising or relaxing in bed. However, if your bedroom is hot at night, it’s a good idea to choose the dry fit material as overheating could be a problem.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the low price of these headphones equates to poor sound quality, but this isn’t the case. The sound produced by the Sportec band is pretty good, and they block out most noises well, particularly traffic and light snoring. Plus, if you’re listening to ambient music through these headphones, you can expect to hear the full spectrum of sounds on a track, enhancing your listening experience.


The wire features inline control, which allows you to change the volume in the night if required. It also lets you change tracks, and there’s a microphone which can be used for voice commands if it’s connected to your mobile phone.

The downside to the Tooks Sportec Band is the speakers. They’re positioned outside the headband, and this means that you need to insert them yourself to get them into the correct position. They’re also big, and so if they do shift out of position during the night, they can feel somewhat uncomfortable.

Overall, these headphones are comfortable enough for sleeping, and provide good sound quality, as well as a choice of fabrics to suit your needs. However, you do need to be prepared to adjust them to achieve the correct positioning of the speakers.

Hennison Wireless Bluetooth Velvet Eye Patch Headphones

HENNISON Bluetooth Wireless Velvet Eye Patch

The Hennison Wireless Bluetooth Velvet Eye Patch is the perfect sleep aid for travellers.

A high-tech sleep mask, it has built-in speakers and a microphone, allowing you to listen to music as well as answer phone calls without needing to take it off.

The mask is made from soft velvet material and the inside is fitted with memory foam, which conforms to the shape of your head. It does feel a bit bulky due to the amount of padding, however it is comfortable. It’s ideal for use on long flights as it covers the entire eye area whilst protecting you from annoying noises such as loud passengers and crying babies.

In terms of sound quality, the Hennison Wireless Bluetooth Velvet Eye Patch sounds pretty good. As you’d expect, it’s not akin to the sound quality produced by high-end headphones, but it does a good job, particularly when it comes to delivering onboard entertainment during travel.

Overall, this innovative sleep mask delivers sound quality similar to some better budget headphones that are currently available on the market.

FAQ ( Frequently Asked Question )

What type of headphones should I buy?

Some types are much more suitable for sleeping than others. For example, over-the-ear-headphones have earcups big enough to fit the whole ear, providing excellent sound quality, but they’re not comfortable to wear in bed.

On-ear headphones are slightly smaller and sit on the ears rather than on the head itself. However, they can still result in discomfort if worn in bed. In-ear headphones (earbuds) are a good choice for sleeping headphones as they’re small and lightweight. Bedphones – which are marketed as the thinnest headphones on earth - come highly recommended.

Special sleeping headphones which are designed especially for sleeping, including the popular SleepPhones, perform best. However, you should be prepared to pay more for these custom-designed solutions.

How much should I spend on headphones for sleeping?

If you’re buying headphones to help you fall asleep, it makes sense to buy the best pair you can afford. It’s essentially an investment into your health, and one that your body and mind will thank you for making. Low cost models will be more likely to break, sound bad and feel uncomfortable.

Should I choose wired or wireless headphones?

This is really a personal choice, but there are some considerations to make. If you hate cables, you may prefer to go wireless. However, with wireless headphones, battery life can be affected. Whilst modern Bluetooth devices are constantly improving, you may want to find out how many hours of playback a pair of headphones will give you in wireless mode. There are some safety risks to sleeping with a cable around your head, particularly if you’re a restless sleeper.

Conclusion

The world of sleeping and noise cancelling headphones can be confusing, especially with so many products to choose from. There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing headphones to wear in bed, including sound quality, comfort, battery life and noise cancellation, to name a few. Hopefully this article has given you some insight into the various options available to you and will help you to select the right headphones to meet your needs and budget. With the right sleep or noise cancelling headphones, you can block out those external noises that are keeping you awake or relax your mind by listening to your favourite music, an audiobook, gentle soundscapes as you drift off to sleep.