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Best Overall: PQ Earplugs at Amazon "The earplugs are designed to stay put – even if you sleep on your side, and are made of soft material that is comfortable to wear."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Ear Buddy at Amazon "Perfect for airplanes, noisy accommodations, traveling with a person who snores, or just day-to-day use."
Best Budget: Ear Joy Noise Canceling at Amazon "The set comes with three pairs of silicone earplugs for different needs."
Best Corded: Howard Leight at Amazon "One way to keep track of your earplugs is to get a pair with a cord attached, making it easy to find them when digging around in your bag."
Best Classic: 3M Classic in Pillow Pak at Amazon "The earplugs are designed to remain in the ears – no matter what sleeping position the person is in."
Best Noise-Reducing: SINEPHONIC Earplugs Kit at Amazon "Does not erase sound completely but instead includes earplugs for a variety of types of sound, so individuals can customize them."
Most Versatile: Ear Elf’s Noise Cancelling at Amazon "A reusable set that is ideal for festivals and concerts, traveling by motorcycle, or to help sleep on an airplane or noisy train."
Best for High-Decibel Noise: Amazker Soft Foam Ear Plugs at Amazon "The neon green plugs stand out from the crowd and can block noise from 35 decibels – higher than most earplugs."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: PQ Earplugs
Whether you have narrow ear canals or larger ears, the PQ Earplugs (short for peace and quiet) can help cancel out background noise to give you peaceful rest. Unlike some earplugs that reduce sounds, the PQ plugs completely block it out so you can rest easy when you arrive at a destination. The earplugs are designed to stay put – even if you sleep on your side, and are made of soft material that is comfortable to wear. Bright yellow in color, the product comes with 35 disposable ear plugs and one reusable set. Amazon buyers were surprised with how effective they were at such an affordable price.
Runner-Up, Best Overall Ear Buddy
For earplugs that have a comfortable fit and can block out up to 32 decibels of sound, the Ear Buddy options are a great choice. The container includes 50 soft pairs made from polyurethane foam that can be used a few times before discarding (just give them a good wipe down). Be sure to follow the instructions to properly install in the ears (aligning them in the ear canal), but when done correctly they don’t pinch or fall out. Perfect for airplanes, noisy accommodations, traveling with a person who snores, or just day-to-day use, the Ear Buddy plugs are reasonably priced and effective. Amazon buyers raved about the improvements in their sleep quality.
Best Budget: Ear Joy Noise Canceling Ear Plugs
For a great little budget set of earplugs, that’s perfect for your upcoming travel plans, the Noise Canceling Ear Plugs by EarJoy is a top choice. The set comes with three pairs of silicone earplugs for different needs: the orange “plunger like” earplugs can block out basic background noise on the plane, while the black earplugs are soft and ideal for a dreamy nights’ rest. Lastly, the white set is designed for the water – so if you are bound for a beach getaway they are a nice bonus. Plus, the set comes with a handy carrying keychain that can be attached to a purse, briefcase or backpack.
Best Corded: Howard Leight
One way to keep track of your earplugs is to get a pair with a cord attached, making it easy to find them when digging around in your carry-on bag. The neon and purple Howard Leight earplugs have a unique “T-shape” design that’s contoured to fit the ear, and the foam material is dirt resistant. The set comes with 100 pairs of earplugs with cords and can reduce noise up to 32 decibels. Although this item works great for average-sized ears, some Amazon buyers reported that they are not ideal for those with very small ears, and had difficulty getting them to stay in. They are also available in larger (and smaller) packs without the cords.
Best Classic: 3M Classic Earplugs in Pillow Pak
For a traditional, disposable styled earplug, the “3M Pillow Pak” has a classic cylinder design and sponge-like quality that fits snuggly into the ear. The package includes 200 yellow, universal-sized earplugs that are moisture-resistant, making them ideal for traveling in humid climates or getting some rest and relaxation in the beach recliner. The earplugs help to reduce noise up to 29 decibels and are made of slow recovery PVC foam for a minimal amount of pressure. Each pair of earplugs comes in an individually wrapped pillow pack – making them easy to travel with. The earplugs are designed to remain in the ears – no matter what sleeping position the person is in.
Best Noise-Reducing: SINEPHONIC Earplugs Kit
If you’re traveling on a train, bus, or even cruise ship and want to catch some shut-eye without completely blocking out important announcements, consider the Sinephonic earplugs. The set does not erase sound completely but instead includes earplugs for a variety of types of sound, so individuals can customize them to their needs. It comes with a pair of reusable foam earplugs for sleeping with a keychain metal tube to store them in, two pairs of red filters with a noise reduction ratio of 27 decibels (great if loud music is playing,) as well as a set of high-quality silicone earplugs (hypoallergenic) with a cord. They are particularly helpful if you’re staying in a hotel with a lot of street noise (or bars) nearby.
Most Versatile: Ear Elf’s Noise Cancelling
For a reusable set that is ideal for festivals and concerts, traveling by motorcycle, or to help sleep on an airplane or noisy train, the Ear Elf Earplugs are a handy item to have. They are also ideal for business travelers in coffee shops or other loud spaces. Available in two sizes (large and small), they are made from non-toxic, high-quality silicone that’s comfortable, easy to clean and effective. The Ear Elf earplugs can reduce noise up to 21 decibels, and the discreet clear design makes them great for wearing in public areas. The set comes in an attractive container (makes a great gift) that is easy to tote around. A portion of each sale goes towards artistic nonprofit organizations.
Best for High-Decibel Noise: Amazker Soft Foam Ear Plugs
If you are traveling to a major city with a lot of urban noise or other areas with a lot of distractions, the Amazker Soft Foam Ear Plugs will help you sleep soundly. The neon green plugs stand out from the crowd and can block noise from 35 decibels – higher than most earplugs. The unique design allows for a slow expansion until it fills the ear canal and is made from non-toxic foam. The jar comes with 50 ear plugs and a small, travel-sized canister made of aluminum. The plugs can block snoring, loud music, sirens and other sleep-interrupting noise, however, they may not fit all ear types.
What to Look for in Earplugs for Sleeping
Corded vs. non-corded Although quite a lot of earplugs come in small jars or tubs, allowing you to replace them as needed, it’s easy to lose track of individual earplugs from sleep to sleep. Corded ones feature a string that connects both plugs so you don’t lose them in your sleep.
Size Everyone has different sized ear canals, and what might fit your travel partner might not fit you. Some can fit a variety of ears—others, not so much. Take a look at what size earbuds you use to get an idea of the right size for your earplugs.
Versatility Not all earplugs are created equal. Some are better for blocking basic noise, others are softer for sleeping, and others are designed for water. Know the right purpose for your plugs—or grab a variety pack.