There are several factors a person might want to preserve a perfect—or at least relatively uninterrupted—night of sleep. Cooling sheets to keep the temperature snooze-optimal, a malleable pillow to prevent nighttime neck aches, and something to drown out the freight-train-level sound of your snoring S.O.…or any other sounds, for that matter. That's why knowing the best earplugs to sleep in can be a real game-changer, especially for those who are co-bedding.
Why? Well, remember that there are serious consequences that can come from not getting enough sleep. On a brain-health level, the fatigue can muddle your mood, lead your mental health to deteriorate, mess with your concentration, and compromise your cognition to make you extra-forgetful. When it comes to your physical health, lack of sleep can lead to high blood pressure and a weaker immune system. And considering that noises like snoring can disrupt circadian rhythms and lead to broken, low-quality rest (if any rest at all), an ambient-noise blocking solution might be just the ticket to safeguard you from those sleep-quality barriers.
So, you know where this is heading, right? Say it with me: earplugs. They're such a tiny lifestyle change that pose to solve a big, far-reaching problem. But with so many models available, which are worthy of you investing your time and money into? There are a few key markers to prioritize, including comfort, since feeling like you’re being poked all night (and not in a good way) is bound to keep you up, and ill-fitting earplugs might yield that effect. Making sure your plugs fit in your ear canal snugly is also important in order for them to function well as a sleep-promoting tool. Basically, you want them to both cover enough territory to block out audio pollution and also not fall out the middle of the night.
But perhaps the best marker of a sound barrier is its Noise Reduction Rating or NRR. NRR refers to how many decibel levels can be blocked, with the range for night-to-night earplugs usually falling between 15 and 33 decibels. If you’re dreaming of silent nights, you want to look for ear plugs that have a NRR on the higher end of the spectrum.
Or you could just keep reading for our selection of the best earplugs to sleep in, because—surprise!—we already did the legwork of research for you. Depending on your priorities and preferences, one of the below models is sure to fit your canal and improve your snooze time.
8 of the best earplugs to sleep in for silent nights
They may look soft and smushy—I mean, they factually are soft and smushy by nature of being wax-infused—but Ohropax earplugs are hard core for those looking to block out the noise around them. In fact, a colleague of mine once overheard a flight attendant admit that wax earplugs are her go-to for turbulent-heavy flights. If these little guys can be barriers against screaming babies and whirring propellers, they can no doubt block snoring in the bedroom. And if that isn't convincing enough evidence, consider that Ohropax is a legacy brand that's been around for over a hundred years...and still gets rave reviews online.
Shop Now: 2 Pack of Ohropax Reusable Wax/Cotton Ear Plugs, $12
These will help block your hearing, and promise to fit in tiny and larger ear canals alike. In addition to assisting your ears by muting noise you don't want to hear when you're trying to drift off, they also help you visually. The neon, tropical colors promote high visibility, meaning that if you need to grab these off your nightstand with the lights already out, you can still find them.
3. Happy Ears Discovery Pack, $30
Happy Ears is giving you a three-pronged deal with its product, allowing you to determine the best natural fit for your size. They advise sampling from large to small, which will help you identify the gold-slipper equivalent for your canal. Once you find your go-to fit, the plugs are primed to last several months at a time, according to users, making them more sustainable than daily-disposable options.
Shop Now: Happy Ears Discovery Pack, $30
Now, to be perfectly fair, these Holly Golightly-esque earplugs are less about function and more about fashion, with pretty pastels and tiny tassels. They are, however, grounded by a swimmer-grade base that should work well enough if your soundscape isn't too cacophonous. Try this for a new definition of beauty sleep.
Reusable and washable, these silicone ear plugs are (vaguely) eco-friendly compared to your garden variety multipack. They come in their own waterproof containers so you're less likely to lose them.
6. Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, $10
Mack's is a legacy brand that is, per the label, recommended by doctors. Their noise-reduction rating hits 33 dB, and for $10 for 50 pairs, you can't really go wrong. If price is an issue and hard plugs sound uncomfortable, Mack's is worth a whirl.
Shop Now: Mack's Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, $10
7. Bose Sleepbuds II, $250
If you're really serious about giving your sleeping experience an upgrade and are ready to invest, accordingly, this is the product for you. Bose's high-end, noise-canceling earbuds are even called Sleepbuds. The noise-cancelling buds can also double as ear plugs, and they sync up with the Bose app's soothing snooze sounds.
Shop Now: Bose Sleepbuds II, $250
Ooooh, hello there, gorgeous! These earplugs are made of high-quality moldable silicone, allowing you to push it into the crevices of your ear, Play-Doh-style. They're also excellent for side sleepers who might have issues with the foams poking and falling out in the middle of the night.
Shop Now: Noise Cancelling Sleeping Ear Plugs, $13
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