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Best Earplugs for Sleep: Creating a Restful Environment on a Budget

Updated January 9, 2021

The quality of sleep you receive each night is critical to your overall health. Not only can a night fraught with interruptions make you feel sluggish and unbalanced both mentally and physically, those hours lost will continue to add to your overall sleep debt. In time this can chip away at your memory, blood pressure, heart, sugar levels, metabolism, and interfere with energy levels.

Nighttime interruptions can be caused by many outside disruptions and influences, some of which you can control – but others, such as noise, may not be so easy to take control of. If you struggle with any of the following, you may want to consider using earplugs:

  • City traffic
  • Neighborhood noises
  • Barking dogs
  • Loud music
  • A snoring partner
  • Any other expected, or unexpected, nocturnal noises

Luckily earplugs are some of the simplest and also the most budget-friendly options. Some of the best earplugs to block out noise are reviewed below to provide you with effective choices.

Rank Product Highlights
#1

Thermofoam Earplugs for Sleeping

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  • Material: foam
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 36db
  • Reusable: up to 5 days
  • Carrying Case: yes
#2

Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs

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  • Material: silicon
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 22db
  • Reusable: up to 5 days
  • Carrying Case: no
#3

PQ Earplugs for Sleep

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  • Material: wax
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 32db
  • Reusable: yes, with care
  • Carrying Case: yes
#4

BRISON Noise Cancelling Earplugs for Sleeping

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  • Material: Silicon
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 20 – 25 db
  • Reusable: yes
  • Carrying Case: yes
#5

Eajo Noise Cancelling Earplugs

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  • Material: Silicone
  • Noise Reduction Rating: Up to 32db
  • Reusable: yes, moldable can be used up to 5 days
  • Carrying Case: yes

You might want to check: Know About Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs

How Earplugs Work

Earplugs, often made from foam, silicone, or wax base are designed to fit snugly into your ear canal to help block outside noise. They can be disposable for one-time use, or be designed for consistency night after night, either way, they provide a way for you to take control of your nocturnal interruptions.

Plug material is flexible and can easily compress to work with a wide variety of ear canal sizes and shapes. They are lightweight and are made for comfort so you can rest easy. They are used for much more than sleep and can work to block consistent, high decimal sounds, as well as disruptive nighttime noises such as traffic, barking dogs, or the snoring of a sleep partner.

Benefits of Using Earplugs for Sleep

Obviously, earplugs are designed to block noise. As mentioned, they are commonly used to block loud, damaging noises as well as those that are disruptive and create a lack of focus, or wake you from sleep. Getting enough sleep is important, with adults typically needing between 7 and 9 hours each night.

When you sleep you cycle regularly through various depths of stages to allow your body to heal and recover. This is both a mental and physical process and is crucial to your overall health. When you interrupt these stages your body has to continue through the cycles to return to the stage you were woken from. Using earplugs can help keep these interruptions from happening.

Side Effects

Earplugs are completely safe to use, but there are some side effects that can occur- although they are avoidable. If you use them regularly you may be pushing ear wax back into your ear canal which can cause a buildup. If not cleaned out this can cause infection since it holds bacteria.

You may find that you are sensitive to the material used. This could cause skin sensitivities or discomfort. Sometimes this is related to the size of the plug as well, so it makes take some time to find what works best for you.

Comfort Tips

If you are looking for earplugs to provide the best noise reduction possible, consider the following tips for fit and comfort.

  • Keep your ear canal clean
  • Clean your hands before handling earplugs
  • Roll earplugs (if foam or wax) to fit into the ear canal
  • Pull earlobe away from the head
  • Insert into the ear canal, but avoid pushing in too far to keep from putting pressure on the eardrum
  • If you are using foam, be sure to keep your hand over your ear until they expand
  • Disposable earplugs should be disposed of every few days, or washed thoroughly before being used again

Types of Earplugs For Sleep

The best earplugs for sleep may differ from person to person, so its best to understand what differences there are to pick the best for you. As mentioned earplugs are commonly wax, silicon, or foam and work to plug the ear canal to block unwanted sound.

Wax

Wax earplugs are easy to mold for a custom fit, are reusable, and also are waterproof. This makes them a good choice for swimming as well as sleeping, and are a popular choice for children since they are gentle and are fitted from the heat of your own body.

Silicon

Silicon, while soft, can more rigid than other choices and may not be comfortable for sleepers depending on their size and style. They are reusable and easy to clean, but may not be as effective as those materials that mold to your ear canal shape and size.

Moldable silicone does exist, however, and can be much more effective. Be sure to know which kind of silicone you are considering prior to purchase.

Foam

Foam is inexpensive, generally very comfortable, and effective in blocking sound, However, they are porous and can harbor bacteria. Be sure to replace them regularly.

Top 5 Earplugs for Sleeping Reviews

The following earplugs are some of the best-rated earplugs by consumers for their effectiveness and comfort. Although there are many others available, these provide you a highlight of the choices you have for a more restful night.

Thermofoam Earplugs for Sleeping

Specs:

  • Material: foam
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 36db
  • Reusable: up to 5 days
  • Carrying Case: yes

Label: Best Disposable Foam Earplugs

These Thermofoam earplugs are perfect for blocking out sound and conform perfectly to the size and shape of your ear canal for a perfect fit. The heat of your body keeps them supple, and they come in a moisture tight container with multiples pairs so you never run out. They also come with a handy carrying case so you can always have a pair with you.

Pros

  • Blocks sound effectively
  • Snug, comfortable fit
  • Can last up to a week

Cons

  • Can harbor bacteria
  • Is disposable and adds to waste

Who These are For:

If you want a well fitted, budget-friendly choice this is a great product to consider. These fit a wide variety of different sized ears and are easy to both place in your ear and remove.

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Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs

Specs:

  • Material: silicon
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 22db
  • Reusable: up to 5 days
  • Carrying Case: no

Label: Best Moldable Silicone Earplugs

Similar to wax, but longer-lasting, these moldable silicone earplugs provide a customizable fit for both noise reduction and water protection. With the ability to be used up to 5 times, they provide a simple, inexpensive option that you can mold again and again for the perfect fit.

Pros

  • Fully customizable
  • Waterproof for swimming as well as noise reduction
  • Stays in place while sleeping

Cons

  • Only lasts 5 days
  • Adds to waste

Who These are For:

If you like the idea of a wholly customizable earplug, silicone earplugs are an excellent option due to how easy they are to use. Their versatility also makes them a great choice for sleep, swimming, and hearing protection.

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PQ Earplugs for Sleep

Specs:

  • Material: wax
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 32db
  • Reusable: yes, with care
  • Carrying Case: yes

Label: Best Moldable Wax Earplugs

Moldable options are very popular since they fit such a wide variety of sizes. Wax plugs are easy to shape from the heat of your hand and are also very dependable. Because they customize to you they stay in place through the night without falling out. They are also waterproof, and although may not work well in very hot temperatures (due to their melting point) are perfect for waterproofing and soundproofing. These come in a reusable, rigid plastic case.

Pros

  • Easy to customize
  • Comfortable and waterproof as well
  • Great to block background noise

Cons

  • Too much heat can make them less effective
  • Care must be taken for cleanliness

Who These are For:

When you want a customizable fit for help block background noise,  wax earplugs are a good choice. They also can be reused if taken care of.

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BRISON Noise Cancelling Earplugs for Sleeping

Specs:

  • Material: Silicon
  • Noise Reduction Rating: 20 – 25 db
  • Reusable: yes
  • Carrying Case: yes

Label: Best Silicone and Noise Cancelling Technology Earplugs

These silicone earplug sets are designed specifically for versatile use and are both soft and conforming to your ear canal. One pair has an acoustic filtering technology and is perfect for when you partake in events that can be damaging to your eardrum but yet some hearing is required, such as concerts. The other pair blocks and muffles,  and is perfect for blocking background sounds and is ideal for sleeping. They are reusable, waterproof and easy to clean, and comes with a carrying case.

Pros

  • Two pairs for various uses
  • Great case for portability
  • Great quality

Cons

  • May not fit all ears well
  • May be difficult to remove for some people

Who These are For:

These are a great choice for when you want a reusable choice and need effective noise cancellation and reduction for a variety of uses.

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Eajo Noise Cancelling Earplugs

Specs:

  • Material: Silicone
  • Noise Reduction Rating: Up to 32db
  • Reusable: yes, moldable can be used up to 5 days
  • Carrying Case: yes

Label: Best Silicone Variety Selection

These noise-canceling earplugs come in 2 sets of 3 various plugs, plus moldable silicone to provide variety and size changes for multiple needs. These can be used for swimming, noise-canceling in loud environments, and sleep. Each come in their own plastic case for organization and easy convenience.

Pros

  • Great selection for various uses
  • Easy to find a choice that works for you
  • Cancels noise effectively

Cons

  • Reusable options may be too big for some people

Who These are For:

This is a great kit that provides a variety of silicone options for all your noise-blocking needs. If you are unsure of what kind to buy or would like a selection for various uses, this is for you.

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Related: All You Need to Know About Earplugs with Strings

Conclusion

If your sleep is regularly interrupted by background or unexpected noises, you may want to consider the use of earplugs. Not getting the sleep you deserve is detrimental to your health over time, and sound is definitely something you can control. Everything from wax to silicone, to foam plug choices, provides you the options you need to block sound effectively.

We’d love to hear what preferences work best for you and why you chose them below!