The 8 Best Earplugs for Sleeping of 2021

These are the top picks for every kind of scenario

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Bose Sleepbuds II at Amazon

"These are an investment, but the earbuds connect to the Bose Sleep app, which gives you access to 50 various sleep sounds."

Best for Smaller Ears: Hearprotek Women 2 Pairs Noise Cancelling Sleeping Ear Plugs at Amazon

"The Hearprotek earplugs come in two different sizes to accommodate those with smaller ear canals."

Best Reusable: Vibes High Fidelity Ear Plugs at Amazon

"The Vibes headphones are great for traveling, concerts, sleeping, or just tuning out from the world for a bit."

Best for Side Sleepers: ANBOW Silicone Earplugs Set at Amazon

"The soft design makes it easy to put pressure on the plug without it cutting into your ear."

Best Disposable: Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite at Amazon

"These foam earplugs are easy to spot in your bag, thanks to the yellow and pink colorway."

Best Value: Loop Experience at loopearplugs.com

"This affordable pick has a loop feature on the outer part of the earplug that acts as a grip for pulling them out of your ears."

Best for Travel: SoundOff Sleep V.3 Noise Masking Earbuds at soundoffsleep.com

"A single charge of these earplugs will last 16 hours, making it perfect for long flights."

Best for Noise Reduction: ZQuiet Earplugs at Amazon

"These earplugs reduce environmental noise that is distracting and overwhelming without taking away your full ability to hear."

There’s no getting around it: Sleeping on a plane (or train, or car) is… a challenge. Earplugs are the easiest way to block out noise, but with so many options out there it can be hard to find a pair that feels comfortable, blocks noise, and stays put. The biggest thing you’ll want to consider when looking for a comfortable pair of earplugs? Fit. “Ill-fitting earplugs can feel fine when they are initially inserted, but if they do not fit well, they can actually become quite uncomfortable/painful over time,” says Dr. W. Christopher Winter, President of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of “The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It.” The best thing to do is purchase a few pairs and give them a go before you travel. Spend the night sleeping with them in and take note of how your ears feel in the morning.

To help you narrow down your search, we pulled together some of the best earplug options out there, from a pair especially great for smaller ears to noise-canceling options.

Best Overall: Bose Sleepbuds II

What We Like
  • Scientifically proven to help promote sleep

  • Sleek design

  • Has an app with 50 sleep sounds

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Needs to be recharged

“I love the Bose II for electronic buds,” says Dr. Winter. Electronic earplugs allow you to play soft, soothing noise that not only blocks out environmental sounds but helps lull you to sleep. These are an investment, but the earbuds connect to the Bose Sleep app, which gives you access to 50 various sleep sounds. The battery holds a charge for up to 10 hours, which will get you through a full night of sleep. You can also set an alarm through the earbud app, meaning you won’t disturb anyone you share a bed with.

Material: Plastic, silicone | Weight: 0.08 ounces | Dimensions: 0.98 x 1.1 x 0.5 inches | Noise Reduction Rate: Not listed | Pieces: Bose Sleepbuds II, charging/storage case, three sizes of eartips, and USB cable

Best for Smaller Ears: Hearprotek Women 2 Pairs Noise Cancelling Sleeping Ear Plugs

What We Like
  • Multiple sizes in each pack

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Not actually noise-cancelling

Made of lightweight silicone, these earplugs come in a pack of two: One smaller pair for children and those with smaller ear canals, and a standard pair that fits most adult ears comfortably. The Hearprotek earplugs are soft and designed with no hard edges—this also makes them a great option for side sleepers.

Material: Silicone | Weight: 1.59 ounces | Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.3 x 1 inches | Noise Reduction Rate: 30db (smaller pair) and 32db (larger pair) | Pieces: Two sets of earplugs and a carrying case

Best Reusable: Vibes High Fidelity Ear Plugs

What We Like
  • “Invisible” design

  • Smart noise filter

What We Don't Like
  • Tougher to remove than other designs

The Vibes headphones are great for traveling, concerts, sleeping, or just tuning out from the world for a bit. Each pair comes with three different silicone tips: small, medium, and large. What’s special about these earplugs is that they do cancel noise, but they also filter specific noise frequencies, so you would still be able to hold a conversation without any issues. (Perfect for when you want to order a snack on your flight, but drown out the snorer in the seat behind you.)

Material: Silicone | Weight: 0.16 ounces | Dimensions: 0.87 x 0.47 x 0.47 inches | Noise Reduction Rate: 22db | Pieces: One pair of earplugs with three silicone tips and carrying case

Best for Side Sleepers: ANBOW Silicone Earplugs Set

What We Like
  • Connector cord

  • Soft design

  • Multiple sizes in each pack

What We Don't Like
  • Not fully noise-cancelling

Two things make these ANBOW earplugs a fantastic option for side-sleepers. First, the soft design makes it easy to put pressure on the plug without it cutting into your ear. Second, they come with a connection cord so you can wear them like a necklace. This makes them tougher to lose if they do happen to fall out mid-flight. The silicone is easy to clean, so you can count on these earplugs being a semi-permanent part of your travel bag.

Material: Silicone | Weight: 1.13 ounces | Dimensions: 5.12 x 3.35 x 0.73 inches | Noise Reduction Rate: 32db | Pieces: Three pairs of earplugs with a travel pouch and connector cord

Best Disposable: Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite

What We Like
  • Bright color makes them easy to spot

  • Corded option

  • Lightweight

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • Not sustainable

  • Less noise cancellation than other designs

If you’re constantly worried about losing small items, disposable earplugs may be the best option for you. Most disposable designs are made of foam, which forms to your ear canal and provides a good amount of noise cancellation. These earplugs from Honeywell are also easy to spot in your bag, thanks to the yellow and pink colorway. You can purchase these earplugs in groups of 50, and you even have the option to buy corded versions. The latter is great if you find your earplugs falling out regularly. As you sleep, the cord will catch them before they hit the floor.

Material: Foam | Weight: 0.056 ounces | Dimensions: ‎7.99 x 5 x 7.99 inches | Noise Reduction Rate: 32db | Pieces: Comes in groups of 50, corded or uncorded

Best Value: Loop Experience

Loop Experience Earplugs

Courtesy of Loop

What We Like
  • Great grip for removing earplugs

  • Eye-catching design

  • Multiple ear tips for best fit

What We Don't Like
  • Not great for side sleepers

Dr. Winter recommends these earplugs if you’re looking for some simple noise-cancellation. The Experience earplugs come in four colors—Midnight Black, Swinging Silver, Glorious Gold, and Rose Gold—and come with four ear tips to ensure there’s a good fit for your ear canal. The design is eye-catching and functional: The loop feature on the outer part of the earplug acts as a grip for pulling them out of your ears.

Material: Silicone | Weight: Not listed | Dimensions: Not listed | Noise Reduction Rate: 20db | Pieces: One pair of earplugs, four sets of silicone ear tips (XS, S, M, L), and a carrying case

Best for Travel: SoundOff Sleep V.3 Noise Masking Earbuds

SoundOffSleep Noise Masking Device

Courtesy of SoundOffSleep

What We Like
  • Stays charged for a long time

  • Noise-cancelling

What We Don't Like
  • Design is a bit clunky

If you’ve tried regular earplugs and they just don’t do it for you, consider a device that cancels your environmental sounds with some soothing noise. The SoundOffSleep Noise Masking Device is a bit bulkier (and not great for side sleepers) but uses something called pink noise, or sounds that are smoother in tone than white noise, to keep you asleep. A single charge will last 16 hours, which is longer than other pink noise devices on the market.

Material: Not listed | Weight: Not listed | Dimensions: Not listed | Noise Reduction Rate: Not listed | Pieces: Noise masking device, carrying case, charger

Best for Noise Reduction: ZQuiet Earplugs

What We Like
  • Noise-reducing

  • Low profile

  • Reusable

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Can be tough to remove

These noise-reducing earplugs from ZQuiet use high-fidelity noise reduction—that means they are designed to reduce environmental noise that is distracting and overwhelming without taking away your full ability to hear. This kit comes with a cleaning brush, which you don’t often see from competitors.

Material: Silicone | Weight: 3.21 ounces | Dimensions: 4 x 3.25 x 1.75 inches | Noise Reduction Rate: 27db | Pieces: One set of earplugs with two ear tip sizes, a set of interchangeable filters, a cleaning brush, and a carrying case

Final Verdict

If you are a constant wearer and are willing to invest in your earplugs, the Bose Sleepbuds II (view at Amazon) are the best way to go. Not only do they block noise, but they encourage better sleep with the sounds offered on the Bose Sleep app. If you’re looking to stick to a budget, opt for the ZQuiet Noise Reduction High-Fidelity Ear Plugs (view at Amazon). They’re simple, easy to clean, come with a great travel case, and each pack includes two ear tip sizes, so you’ll get your best fit.

What to Look for When Buying Earplugs for Sleeping

Price

Earplugs are relatively inexpensive, especially if you’re looking for disposable options. Keep in mind that reusable options are much more sustainable and often have design details that make them a bit more comfortable. Expect to pay a couple of dollars for a disposable pair, $10 to $20 for a set of reusable earplugs, and much more (think: $200+) for a pair that utilizes sound to help push you into sleep.

Durability

Many earplugs are made of soft silicone, which makes them easy to clean and very durable. Foam earplugs are often disposable and much more prone to tearing.

Style

There are all types of earplugs, from a soft foam that molds to your ear and plastic noise-canceling options to silicone designs and tougher plastic plugs. There are even some that are designed to be “invisible,” so the outer part of the earplug is virtually impossible to see by passersby.

FAQs

How do I find the right fit for me?

The best way to do this is by trying a bunch of different pairs. You can also ask your doctor for recommendations, given that they will be able to share a better picture of what your ear canal size may be. Make sure and keep your preferred sleeping style in mind—if you’re a side-sleeper, you’ll want a soft pair of earplugs so they don’t dig into your ears as you snooze.

How do I clean earplugs?

Most silicone earplugs can be cleaned with a damp rag and some dish soap. Make sure they are fully dry before you put them on again. Don’t attempt to clean foam earplugs with water, as they’ll be easier to tear when they’re wet. Best to buy a new pair when they become dirty.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

Erika Owen is a frequent traveler who swears by her earplugs to get some mid-flight shut-eye. She also suffers from hearing loss (too many concerts without earplugs!) and takes great measures to find the best hearing protection whenever possible. More than six hours of research went into this story, focused on the best options for encouraging healthy hearing.

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