How to Choose Best Earplugs for Sleeping

Sleep earplugs

Are you getting the recommended eight hours sleep per night? If not, it could be time to take a closer look at your sleep habits. Many people don’t get enough sleep because they’re disrupted by exterior noises, such as outside traffic, loud neighbours or a snoring partner. Unfortunately, we humans haven’t yet developed the ability to turn off our ears, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to block the sounds that are stopping you from getting the sleep you need. Earplugs are one of the simplest and most effective solutions. They’re also very affordable, with prices starting at as little as a dollar.


Why use earplugs

Sleep is essential for your health and wellbeing, and so it’s vital that you do all you can to ensure that you get sufficient sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, you’re more likely to suffer from a range of serious health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. With so many sleep aids on the market, you might be wondering why you should use earplugs. Earplugs aren’t just cheap and readily available to buy quickly and easily online; they’re also very good at helping you fall asleep easily and stay asleep throughout the night, ensuring that you wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

What to look for when buying earplugs for sleeping

There’s a wide range of earplugs for sleeping on the market, and so knowing which to choose can be a very difficult task. Therefore, it’s important to consider your options carefully to ensure that you select the right pair for you.

Noise reduction rating

One factor that you’ll need to consider when buying earplugs is noise reduction rating. The highest rating available is 39, which means that any noises under 39 decibels will be blocked. For reference, a whisper is approximately 15 decibels, whilst a normal conversation is roughly 60. The further away you are from the noise, the lower it will sound. If it’s coming from a nearby room with the door shut, you may not hear it if you have earplugs in.

Level of comfort

It’s essential that earplugs are comfortable to wear, otherwise you won’t be able to sleep, which is why you bought them in the first place! A good way to find out which are the most comfortable is to try a few. Fortunately, most are inexpensive enough that you can test out a few so that you can find the ones that fit you best. If they don’t fit you well, they won’t just be uncomfortable to wear; they also won’t be very effective at blocking out noise.

Ease of use

If earplugs are difficult to insert and remove, they become a chore to use, which means they’ll probably be left sitting on your night stand gathering dust, rather than helping you achieve a restful night’s sleep. Earplugs should insert easily and effortlessly into your ears, and there should never be any pain or discomfort.

Durability

Durability should be considered when purchasing earplugs for sleeping. After all, you’ll be wearing them multiple times, and so they should be robust enough to withstand being re-molded to fit your ears, as well as frequent cleaning. If they can’t, it could be time to replace them.

​Best Earplug for Sleeping in 2019

1. Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Pair - 32dB Highest NRR, Comfortable Ear Plugs for Sleeping, Snoring, Work, Travel and Loud Events
Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Pair - 32dB Highest NRR, Comfortable Ear Plugs for Sleeping, Snoring, Work, Travel and Loud Events

According to our observation, there are a few things that make earplugs great - comfort, noise reduction and affordability. And Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs rank good on all these parameters. They are made with super comfortable foam which doesn’t put any pressure on or inside your ears and releases slowly. Having less pressure is a must when you use earplugs for a long time. The color is also easy on your eyes unlike other earplugs which are made with bright colors that look unappealing. These earplugs also won’t have you sweat in your ears, like other low quality earplugs do.

These noise reduction earplugs come with a Noise Reduction Rating of 32 decibels. In other words, you can use these earplugs in almost every high-noise situation to have a calm, private space. High noise is not just harmful, it can cause hearing loss in extreme situations. Industrial workers who work in high-noise environments should take special care of their ears with earplugs like Mack’s.

Mack’s earplugs are made with the right ergonomics to provide you optimum comfort while shielding your ears from external noise. Whether it is your noisy neighbor or the sound of train going by, these earplugs will give you the rest you need and allow you to enjoy proper sleep. In a super affordable price, Mack gives you 50 pairs of earplugs.

2. Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite Ear Plugs

Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite High Visibility Disposable Foam Earplugs, 200-Pairs (LL-1), Pink/Yellow - 3301105
Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite High Visibility Disposable Foam Earplugs, 200-Pairs (LL-1), Pink/Yellow - 3301105

Howard Leight earplugs come with high noise reduction levels and are originally marketed to consumers who work in industrial environment with high noise levels. But because of their high quality, they have received a lot of praise from the customers. They come with high visibility yellow and magenta color theme which may sound too strong to some, but makes sure that they aren’t easily lost. The self-adjusting foam fits all ear shapes and sizes. These earplugs have a noise reduction rating of 32 and they are excellent at noise reduction as they create a perfect seal in your ears with just the right amount of expansion after you insert them in your ears.

Howard Leight earplugs come as 200 pairs of disposable earplugs at a very affordable price. Customers report that they wear these earplugs for 3-4 nights per pair, which means they will last 600 nights or 1 year and 8 months. Customers report that Howard Leight has struck the perfect balance between comfort and noise reduction with these earplugs.

Insert these earplugs in your ears using the instructions and they won’t fall out of your ears like other earplugs often do. For design lovers, there is a small handle at the end of these earplugs which makes it easy to take them out. And when you’re wearing them, this handle acts as an additional seal.

3. Moldex Soft Foam Ear Plugs

Moldex Soft Foam Ear Plugs 20 Pairs Earplugs - 33dB Highest NRR MADE IN USA
Moldex Soft Foam Ear Plugs 20 Pairs Earplugs - 33dB Highest NRR MADE IN USA

Drift to Sleep’s Moldex ear plugs come as 20 pairs at a very effective price. They come with a carry case to ensure hygienic storage. They are designed meticulously in such a way that they can fit any ear size. The foam is soft and light to make you forget that you are even wearing them. They come in a tapered shape, so they can easily fit your ear canal, no matter the shape or size.

The outside surface of the ear plugs is smooth so you don’t feel any irritation on the ear canal. While most high-quality ear plugs claim a noise reduction rating of 32, the Moldex ear plugs have an astounding NRR rating of 33. At this NRR, you can easily block loud noises or your spouse’s snoring and have a restful sleep without any distractions.

Those who sleep on their side won’t feel uncomfortable as the length of these earp plugs is just right. You won’t have to worry about your ear canal hurting in the morning. When all other factors remain the same, if you decrease the length of the ear plugs, you have to make them more dense to maintain noise reduction, but high density means harshness and lack of comfort. Moldex ear plugs strike the perfect balance between length and density.

4. Inbound Vibes Sound Reducing Professional Ear Plugs

Sound Reducing Professional Ear Plugs - Most effective Noise Reduction Ear Plugs for Concerts, Work, Sleep and Motorcycle Ear Protection - Soft and Comfortable Reusable Ear Plugs - Earplugs Sleep
Sound Reducing Professional Ear Plugs - Most effective Noise Reduction Ear Plugs for Concerts, Work, Sleep and Motorcycle Ear Protection - Soft and Comfortable Reusable Ear Plugs - Earplugs Sleep

Inbound Vibes makes excellent ear plugs that are also reusable. They are designed such that they filter and reduce the noise by up to 27db. While single-use ear plugs are designed to cancel the outside noise but don’t reduce the sound quality. Inbound Vibes ear plugs, on the other hand, are designed to reduce the noise so that your hearing remains intact while you enjoy restful sleep. The design includes a triple layer structure to reduce the noise as much as possible.

The material used to make the ear plugs is hypoallergenic soft silicone. So these are the perfect ear plugs for people with allergies. Although the ear plugs are usable, the company does suggest that you wash them in soapy water after use and dry them with a clean towel. This means a bit of extra work which many people won’t like.

The company also makes sure that your purchase is risk-free. If you are not satisfied with the product or if there is something faulty, you can ask for a refund or replacement within six months of purchase.

5. Flents Quiet Please Ear Plugs

Flents Quiet Please Ear Plugs (50 Pair) NRR 29
Flents Quiet Please Ear Plugs (50 Pair) NRR 29

Flents Quiet Please Ear Plugs have gained positive feedback from customers due to their high quality noise reduction capability. If you are extra sensitive to the sounds around you, the noise of TV, computer’s fan, lights buzzing or perhaps your spouse snoring, the Flents Quiet Please earphones will be the best for you. The Flents ear plugs are super soft, squishy and easy to put in your ears because they are easily inflated. And after a long night’s sleep, you won’t feel any pain in your ears.

You don’t have to wear the Flents ear plugs a hundred times to get them in shape. All it takes to shape them perfectly is roll them between your fingers so the inner part is narrow and the flared outer part is folded outward. After this is done, you just need to put them inside the ear canal far enough to have the bulge inside and holding it while the bulge inflates. All this is done within a few seconds.

Customers say that they reuse the ear plugs a couple of times before throwing them away. Since these ear plugs come as a set of 50 pairs, you can be sure that they will last a couple months at least. The ear plugs come in three sizes/shapes - Quiet Please with a 29 NRR and barrel shape, Quiet Contour with 33 NRR and Bell Shape and Quiet Time with 33 NRR and Tapered Shape. The longer ones offer a high NRR, but it may be hard to fit them all the way into your ear.


Different types of earplugs

There are different types of earplugs to choose from, including wax earplugs, foam earplugs, silicone earplugs and premolded earplugs. Here’s a rundown to help you choose the best earplugs for you…

Wax earplugs

Wax earplugs have been used for hundreds of years to help people sleep. They consist of a mixture of paraffin and wax which is covered in cotton. Soft and gentle on the skin, they provide a snug and comfortable fit. One of the benefits of wax earplugs over foam earplugs is that they stay clean longer and are easy to clean. This means that they usually last a long time before needing to be thrown away and replaced. Ohropax Reusable Wax/cotton Ear Plugs are one of the bestselling wax earplugs. With an impressive noise reduction rating of 23 dB (NRR23), they provide an effective seal against noise, helping you to get the sleep that you need. These wax earplugs fit comfortably into the ear canal and are easy to insert and remove. They’re also reusable and come with a free clear carry case, making them ideal for use on the go.

Foam

There are various types of foam used in earplugs, but by far the most common is polyurethane. This is the same material that’s used in memory foam mattresses. As such, it has the same qualities as memory foam, bouncing back so that it makes a tight seal in the ear. This ensures that sound is blocked effectively, helping you to get to sleep quickly and remain asleep for longer. One disadvantage to foam earplugs is that they don’t last very long. The porosity of the material means that bacteria grows after a certain amount of time. Having said this, because foam earplugs are so affordable, it’s not too much of an expense to buy multiple pairs. The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs are a good buy. You get 50 pairs, and with a noise reduction rating of 32 decibels, they will do a great job of blocking out the noise that’s preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Made from high quality polyurethane foam, Ear Buddy foam earplugs are non-abrasive and comfortable to insert and remove. Mack's Ear Care Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs are another good choice. At under $9 for 50 pairs, they represent great value for money. They also have a noise reduction rating of 32 decibels, making them an effective noise blocker. These earplugs are made with very low pressure, slow release, Comfy Cush™ Comfort Foam.

Silicone

Silicone earplugs are similar to wax earplugs. They consist of small balls of supple material that must be softened in the hands. The earplugs can then be placed into the ear, making a tight seal so that sound can be blocked. What makes silicone earplugs slightly different to wax versions is that they bounce back somewhat, moulding to the inside of the ear more effectively. They can also be reused, and last a lot longer than wax earplugs. Some people say that silicone earplugs are sticky and that they get stuck in their hair, but not all have this property. Some are non-sticky, and these are the ones you should opt for. The PUAroom 27dB U Shape Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs have been professionally designed, with their unique U-shape allowing for easy insertion and removal. They contour to the shape of your ears, staying put for hours without pain or discomfort. Made from natural soft silicone material that is hypoallergenic and non-toxic, you won’t need to worry about experiencing itchiness or allergic reactions. QuietSound multiple-use earplugs are another popular option worth considering.

Premolded earplugs

Premolded earplugs are an option, however they come with some drawbacks. They tend to be dense and not very forgiving for shaping into the ear canal. This makes them difficult to wear, particularly for long periods. However, they do offer some of the highest quality noise reduction (they’re commonly worn by construction workers on building sites), and so sacrificing a snug fit might be worth it in some cases.

Do’s and don’ts of earplug use

Wearing earplugs can be a highly effective way of blocking out noise, allowing you to sleep more soundly. However, it’s important to use them correctly, or they may not do their job. What’s more, they could also cause injury if you don’t use them appropriately.

Do:


  • Remove them slowly. If earplugs fit snugly, a vacuum effect can occur, resulting in eardrum damage.
  • Make sure ears are dry before insertion. An ear infection could occur if water isn’t allowed to escape.

Don’t:

  • Push them too far into the ear canal. Only push them as far as is comfortable, else the eardrum could be ruptured.
  • Wear them every night. Only wear them when you really need to.
  • Forget to remove them. Always remember to take them out when you wake up.
  • Wear anyone else’s earplugs.

Earplug safety considerations

Ear infections

One of the most dangerous possible side effects of wearing ear plugs is infection. Although it isn’t common, it’s something that you need to consider, particularly if you’re planning on using ear plugs regularly. Earplugs can make a lovely home for bacteria if they’re not looked after properly. This is especially true for foam earplugs, as they’re porous in nature, which can make for a perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Putting earplugs which are infected with bacteria into your ears can lead to an ear infection, which as well as being painful, could cause lasting damage. Therefore, it’s important to clean your earplugs after every use, or alternatively choose single-use ear plugs. Earplugs should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and then fully dried before being inserted into your ears.

Compacted ear wax

Wearing earplugs on a regular basis can affect your ears’ ability to drain wax. This can lead to some potentially serious side effects. Compacted wax can result in you hearing ringing or fluttering sounds, and you may experience infection or hearing loss. As such, it makes sense to clean your ears more frequently than you usually would should you decide to wear earplugs regularly.

Blocking important sounds

Whilst it’s great to find a pair of earplugs that works so well that they block out the noises that are keeping you awake at night, sometimes they can work far too well. This means that you may not hear the sounds that you need to hear, such as a crying baby, or a smoke alarm. A smoke alarm is high pitched enough that it’s unlikely that you won’t hear it, however it is possible if you’re sleeping deeply and using good sound blocking earplugs. There is a possibility that you won’t wake up from the alarm. This is an important consideration to keep in mind when using ear plugs.

Conclusion

Earplugs are an inexpensive solution to a serious problem. They can block out disruptive noises effectively, helping you to get the sleep your need for your health and wellbeing. Whether it’s traffic, sirens, noisy neighbours or a snoring spouse that’s keep you awake, it’s worth seeing if earplugs can help you to get a restful night’s sleep. It’s possible that you won’t find the right earplugs for you the first time around, but because they’re so affordable, it really is worth testing a few different ones to see if there is one out there that suits your needs. Many people try the most expensive measures first in their attempts to get adequate sleep, but for many people, good quality earplugs are all that’s required.


​Updated on 15th March 2019