Best Earplugs for Sleeping: Our Verdict

If you found our website, chances are you are looking for best earplugs for sleeping – earplugs that are not only effective in reducing noise but even more importantly, quality earplugs that are comfortable to use and will not make your ear hurt when you wake up the next day.

Recognizing that many people research the internet trying to find out what are the best ear plugs for sleeping, Earplugs Guide team decided to thoroughly test many different products available on the market and come up with a short list of very best earplugs for sleeping. In addition, we wanted to provide readers with a comprehensive guide on the sleeping ear plugs, discuss the noise reduction ratings, and more.

But first, without any further ado, let’s introduce the winners of our little competition for the best sleep ear plugs.

Best Earplugs For Sleeping – Our Top Picks!

We spent long hours wearing different kind of earplugs to determine which are the best earplugs for sleeping and based on three main criterias we shortlisted the following products, which all are both comfortable to wear and effective in reducing noise. Here we go:

PictureModelMaterialNoise Reduction (NRR)Why to chooseOur RatingAmazon Link
.Moldex 6800 Pura-FitFoamExcellent (NRR 33)Very soft foam, longer lenght, great noise reduction, comfortable when sleeping5.0more details
.Liberty DuraplugFoamExcellent (NRR 32)Extremaly soft, made from slow-recovery foam, with tapered shape4.9more details
.Ohropax WaxWaxVery good (NRR 27)Extremaly comfortable, wax forms to ear's canal shape, great for side-sleepers with small ears4.9more details
.Hearos Xtreme ProtectionFoamExcellent (NRR 33)Very soft foam, quite large, comfortable for long-term use and extremaly effective4.8more details
.Flents Quiet PleaseFoamVery good (NRR 29)Superb value, shorter earplug design, soft memory foam4.5more details
.Hearos Ultimate Softness SeriesFoamExcellent (NRR 32)Extremaly comfy but a bit thiner and shorter than Xtreme Protection. Perfect for people with smaller ear canals.4.7more details

Now, once we announced our top picks, we would like you to know what – according to us – actually makes the best earplugs for sleep and what to pay attention to when chosing. Let’s take a look.


How to Choose The Right Sleeping Ear Plugs?

People buy earplugs for different purposes. Some buy it to sleep well, some others need earplugs when swimming or riding motorcycles and some others need earplugs every day at work to protect their hearing.

There are many differences between different types of earplugs but we will focus specifically on just three most important criterias you should consider when you attempt to buy best earplugs for sleeping:

  • Material

    Earplugs are generally made from foam, silicone, wax, polymer. What’s the best one for sleeping earplugs? We recommend that you consider buying either foam or wax earplugs. The former, as the name suggests, are made from a soft memory polyurethane foam that once applied properly, will expand in the ear canal to plug it completely. The latter are made from a soft wax compound which is typically covered with cotton.

    Ohropax Wax Earplugs for Sleeping

    If you’re looking for sleeping earplugs that are made from a soft wax, try Ohropax plugs.

    When inserted, wax will melt a little to create a airtight seal in your hear to prevent you from hearing all noise you don’t want to hear when you sleep.

    There are couple of quality wax earplugs available out there, like the well rated Flents Ear Stopples but the ones we absolutely love are these wax earplugs by Ohropax.

    Why are we so enthusiastic? We love how soft they are and how they form to the ear’s canal while not getting too much oily and warm like the other products we’ve tested. Plus, they do great job in reducing decibels to the point you will never need to worry about hearing your bulldog snoring again.

  • Comfort

    Best earplugs for sleeping have to to provide a maximum comfort for your ears, not matter when you sleep on a side or not. Only the comfortable earplugs that you forget you’re wearing will provide you with a quality sleep you need.

    Both foam and wax earplugs can be incredibly comfortable but not all products are made from a super soft material and only such guarantees proper comfort. Fortunately, we know what those products are so if you need a quick tip then we think that Ohropax Wax (wax) and Hearos Xtreme Protection are amongst the most comfortable ear plugs for sleeping you can get.

  • Size

    Moldex Earplugs for Sleeping

    We found Moldex Pura-Fit plugs slightly bigger than most others, but still comfy to use.

    Size matters when it comes to choosing the best sleeping ear plugs. Earplugs come in different sizes and it’s important to choose the right one. If your ears are small and you choose earplugs that are large, they may stick out and make sleeping on a side less comfortable. That’s not what you want. If you have larger eye canals, we recommend you to consider buying Hearos Xtreme Protection or Moldex 6800 Pura-Fit, both of which are excellent large earplugs.

    They are made from a super soft foam that expands nicely inside the ear but doesn’t develop too much pressure on the ear canal. Also, due to their longer lenght, they will be easy to take out when you wake up in the morning. Finally, both products have noise reduction rating level of 33 which is the highest hearing protection rating available for certified earplugs.

    Need smaller size earplugs? There are products which have been made specifically for people who have smaler size ear canals. One of such is Hearos Ultimate Softness which are slimmer and a bit shorter than other Hearos models.

    Alternatively you can also opt for Flents Quiet Please or use these marvelous wax earplugs. Because they’re made of wax, the mold to the ear and fit smaller eye canals perfectly (ideal for side-sleepers) but even then, you can always tear one earplug apart and make two smaller ones. Just a friendly tip.


Understanding the NRR and What It Means For Your Ears

NRR stands for the Noise Reduction Rating, and it is the measurement of effectiveness of hearing protection products. The rating comes from the device’s ability to decrease the decibel level (dB)—the measure of intensity of loudness of sound—from the surrounding environment.

Why should you care about the NRR?

Understanding NRRAny prolonged exposure over 80 dB or any exposure at all of 100 dB or more can cause permanent hearing loss. Thus, it is important to protect your ears—and to protect them correctly. If you are using any sort of ear protection product, you want to ensure that it is getting the job done. The NRR can help obtain a realistic estimate of how successful your device is at dimming exposure to outside noise.

How does the NRR change the level of exposure?

If you are exposed to 100 dB and you have earplugs with a 20 dB rating, that does not mean you are now exposed to 80 dB. Instead, you can typically divide the rating in half and then subtract from the external environment. Thus, the device would remove 10 dB worth of noise (20 dB NRR divided in half) and you would now be exposed to 90 dB.

This is not a completely accurate method, though, as the noise reduction is also dependent upon the type of ear protection. For example, earmuffs with a 20 NRR rating could reduce outside noise by 15 dB, while earplugs with the same rating might only diminish the environmental exposure by 10 dB.

What is the ideal level of NRR?

In general, there is no ideal level. It is not a standard but a measurement. The highest possible rating for earplugs is 33, and the highest for earmuffs is 31. Utilizing both earplugs and earmuffs, though, can offer a higher protection level, although wearing both for sleeping is likely be uncomfortable.

In case of sleeping earplugs, most people want to wear highest-NRR earplugs. This is the reason why in this article we decided to review those plugs, which are not only comfy to use for a longer period of time, but most importantly are very effective in reducing unwanted sounds.

However, you don’t necessarily always want the highest level of protection. You can utilize the noise reduction rating to fit your individual needs. If you want outside noise completely obliterated while sleeping, you would use an earplug with a higher NRR than if you wanted an earplug to wear while napping that lets you still hear the kids getting into trouble.

To sum up, you should determine what your protection needs are and find a product that fits in comfort, style, and Noise Reduction Rating. While the NRR does not rate the quality of products, it does determine the how a product will fit your exposure to the loud world around you.


Advantages And Disadvantages of Wearing Nighttime Earplugs

Women Sleeping With An EarplugThere is a lot of debate over whether nighttime earplug use is helpful or harmful. Below we will look at the advantages, the disadvantages, and solutions for sleeping with earplugs.

Key Advantage

The reason for wearing earplugs at night is simple and crucially important: it helps you sleep. Sleep is how your body resets itself, stays healthy, and keeps you going throughout the day. You do not have to be a light sleeper for noise to bother your sleep patterns—external noise can also upset your internal clock and your dream cycle. Thus, if you live in a loud area or with someone who snores, noise can drastically impact your quality of life and health. Therefore, the best and only true solution to this is to use earplugs for snoring.

Disadvantages

While wearing earplugs at night can increase overall health and wellbeing, there are some side effects that can come from incorrect usage. Nevertheless, there are easy solutions to ensure safe treatment of earplugs and get a good night’s rest.

  1. Ear Infections

    Earplugs introduce and trap bacteria from your hands and environment into the ear, which can cause infections.
    Solution: Wash your earplugs after each use, wash your hands before handling your earplugs, and try not to reuse disposable earplugs.

  2. Impacted Ear Wax

    The ear cleans itself out, especially at night. An earplug “plugs” up the wax, which can cause buildup, blockages, or impactions.
    Solution: Clean earwax out every week in a safe way using a water-hydrogen peroxide mixture or an over the counter ear cleaner. (Never use Q-tips or this will make any impactions worse.). Read this article for more details.

  3. Ear Damage

    If you sleep on your side, the earplug can go too deep into your ear canal and damage or rupture the eardrum.
    Solution: Buy large earplugs (like the aforementioned Moldex Pura-soft) to prevent movement of the earplug. In the long term, it may also be wise to invest into custom molded earplugs.

  4. Impaired Hearing:

    The job of earplugs at night is to reduce the noise around you—but sometimes you need to be able to hear. Earplugs could block out the sound of an alarm, a child calling, or someone breaking into your house.
    Solution: While this is a risk you take with wearing earplugs at night, if you live with another person, you can switch on and off who uses the earplugs so one person is always able to hear any emergencies. You can also find a product with a lower Noise Reduction Rating if you would like to block out only some of the outside noise.

Although there are four potential problems with wearing earplugs at night, the advantage of wearing them trumps them all: your body needs sleep. Simply choosing the right product for your needs and properly cleaning and handling products will help mitigate these potential concerns. If you take care of your ears and your rest, you’ll take care of your whole body.


Earplug To Sleep In – The Bottom Line

Nightime Ear PlugsSleeping – everybody does that.  Everyone of us will be sleeping roughly 24 years on average during our lifetime and it is without any doubt that those of us who sleep well and long enough enjoy better health, live happier lives and are more productive.

Sometimes though, it’s difficult to fall asleep and sleep like a rock through the night. Not because we don’t feel tired but because something, or someone keeps disturbing us.

Loud party in the apartment next to yours? TV playing in the other room? Noise coming from the street outside? Partner snoring like a banshee? We all experienced that many times. The solution is very simple: use a pair of  earplugs.

For best results, use earplugs together with sleep mask (see what’s the best sleep mask right here). You may also consider using a white noise machine while you sleep. Just a tip.

It’s amazing to see people forget that a pair of simple, comfortable earplugs can save their night and let them sleep like babies. We hope that after reading this article, you know a bit more on how to choose the best product and you will make a good purchase decision. Sleep well!

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