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Best Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs for Sleeping

Updated on November 10, 2014

Choose great earplugs so you can sleep well!

If your spouse snores or you can't sleep because the city noise is too loud, buying the best noise cancelling ear plugs for sleeping is probably the best thing you can do.

If you can't get a good night's sleep because of the noise surrounding you (it really doesn't matter what is the source of the noise), you probably want to do something about it. Some people look for earmuffs, other choose earplugs or sleep with noise cancelling headphones, it all depends what's most comfortable for you. If you're a side sleeper, choosing ear plugs seems to be obvious - little plugs won't make you feel uncomfortable while lying on the side.

What makes certain ear plugs great?

The first thing is quite obvious - they need to fit well and make you feel comfortable. If you're not comfortable wearing them, there's only a small chance that you'll get a good night's sleep while wearing them. If they don't fit well, they won't do their job and the background noise will still be there, loud as usually. That's why foam ear plugs are very popular - they are both comfortable and fit to every kind of ear. To put them in you just need to roll the tips between your fingers and insert them into ears before they expand to normal size. The only disadvantage of foam ear plugs is that it might take a couple of nights to get used to them.

Ear plugs sold in the U.S. are required to have noise reduction rating (NRR), which is an estimate of noise reduction the hearing protectors (of course when worn properly). The bigger the NRR, the better the noise isolation.

Hearos Ultimate Softness
Hearos Ultimate Softness

Hearos Ultimate Softness, 20-Pair Foam (Pack of 2)

If you're looking for the most popular earplugs, Hearos Ultimate Softness are the ones you're looking for. One pack of those includes 20 pair of 32 noise reduction rating foam ear plugs. People love that they're both effective and comfortable, so you won't wake up with sore ear canals.

They don't stick out of the ear, so you can sleep on the side without any problems. There's probably one more thing you should know - they're that good in blocking sounds, that I recommend you should set up a REALLY loud alarm, so it'll surely wake you up.

Hearos Xtreme Protection
Hearos Xtreme Protection

Hearos Xtreme Protection, 14-Pair Foam (Pack of 3)

If you're looking for ear plugs that offer EXTREME noise isolation, Hearos Xtreme Protection earplugs are the way to go. Every pack has 14 pair of soft foam ear plugs and every one of them has noise reduction rating of 33 decibels.

They are soft, comfortable and deadly quiet. If you live in a very noisy place, or your spouse snores extremely loud (consider visiting a doctor with that), these ear buds are made for you! If the noise isolation is too good for you, choose Ultimate Softness ear plugs. If you'd like to check out what other people think about this ear plugs, read the review.

Apothecary Products Flents Quiet Please Foam Ear Plugs
Apothecary Products Flents Quiet Please Foam Ear Plugs

Apothecary Products Flents Quiet Please Foam Ear Plugs 50-Pair

If you're looking for inexpensive ear plugs that work very well, Quiet Please Foam Ear Plugs are one of the best possible choices for you! One pack of these gives you 50 pair of foam ear plugs that have a noise reduction rating of 29 decibels.

They aren't as good at isolating noise as the Hearos described above, but in many cases you don't really need that good noise isolation. Besides, with that price (mentioned below), 50 pairs of foam earplugs is a bargain!

Flents Quiet Please Foam Ear Plugs 25 Pair
Flents Quiet Please Foam Ear Plugs 25 Pair

Flents Quiet Please Foam Ear Plugs 25 Pair

If you wish, you can buy a 25-pair pack of Flents Quiet Please Foam instead of a 50-pair package described above.

Mack's Ear Care Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs
Mack's Ear Care Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

Mack's Ear Care Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, 50 Count

If you're looking for affordable foam earplugs, Mack's Ear Care Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs are a great choice as well. The noise reduction rating of these ear plugs is 32 dB and one pack contains 50 pair of them.

They block noise well and are very comfortable - if you're trying to get some sleep with someone is watching TV in the neighboring room, they'll do their job and you'll sleep well. If you'd like to read thoughts of other people about these ear plugs, read the reviews.

Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs
Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs Hearing Protection Earplugs

When it's a little too loud, use ear plugs with low noise reduction rate

Etymotic Research ER20 ETY-Plugs are a little different from other ear plugs described in this article - they have a noise reduction rate of 12 dB, while other have 29-34dB. They definitely won't help you a lot if you're sleeping with a loudly snoring spouse, but they're a great choice if would like to turn sounds of your surroundings lower.

They preserve sound quality and speech stays clear while wearing them. These earplugs don't work for sleeping, but you might find them useful at concerts, movies or everywhere else where's just a little too loud. One of the reviewers described how these ear plugs work: "it was just like turning the volume down on the stereo". If you need that kind of hearing protection, they're the ones you need.

Fitting Foam Earplugs - Video

Here's a video about fitting foam earplugs. If you're unsure how to do it, this video will help you.


Long-term use of ear plugs

Health risks

There are a few health risks related to prolonged use of ear plugs:

  • earwax build up that plugs the outer ear, which might cause hearing loss, infection or pain
  • irritation of the temporomandibular joint
  • ear inflammation

How to avoid those health risks

The health risks listed above might seem a little scary, but if you'll follow a few basic guidelines, chances of suffering from one of the health risks associated to long-term use of ear plugs are minimal (or almost non-existent). Those guidelines are:

  • don't wear ear plugs if you don't need them or if you need them every night, give your ears a break for a night or two every few weeks
  • fitt the ear plugs properly (use the guidelines from the video above); if they hurt, try using another brand
  • clean your ears and remove earwax on a regular basis
  • if you're using disposable ear plugs, clean them after every use and dispose when they'll start to lose their shape (won't fit well, will start to hurt, etc.)

What are the best noise cancelling ear plugs for sleeping?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I could totally use these!

    • Webrevolve LM profile image

      Webrevolve LM 

      6 years ago

      I've always used HEAROS. Cheap and really effective!


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