By now, you know getting a good night’s sleep is vital for your overall health, mental well-being, productivity and more. But getting a restful 8-hour sleep can be difficult. When you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, blocking out external noise can make a huge difference. If you’re a light sleeper and find you are often disturbed by sounds during the night, investing in the best earplugs for sleeping may help you drift off and feel better the following day.
While there are many options out there, the best sleep earplugs will fit snugly in your ear canals and help cut out ambient noise so you can fall asleep with more ease. There are basic foam earplug and models with different material, like silicone, that filter noise. Below, you’ll find our curated list of the best sleep earplugs.
Best sleep earplugs for 2023
How we chose the best sleep earplugs
When selecting the best earplugs for sleeping, we tested them the only way you can — by wearing them to bed. While testing, we noted the fit, comfort and quality of each selection for the best earplugs for sleeping. We also considered how many decibels the earplugs could reduce, or noise reduction ratings (NRR) when they were available. Official noise reduction ratings (NRRs) are usually slightly different (and lower) than the average decibel or sound reduction listed because it takes into account other factors, Vibes says on its website.
Because multiple people tested different products, we could not name a “best overall” earplug for sleeping. We will add to or update this list when possible.
Factors to consider when choosing earplugs for sleep
There’s a lot of variety in earplugs. What works for someone else might not be the best choice for you due to size, shape and material. Here are a few things to look out for.
- Safety: It’s important to know whether you’re a good candidate for sleeping in earplugs at all — people who have an ear infection, have a build-up of earwax or another concern over their ear should check with a doctor before wearing a pair of earplugs to sleep. To avoid an infection from wearing your earplugs, you should dispose of disposable earplugs as directed and follow the instructions for your reusable plugs on how to clean them.
- Material: This will determine the quality and comfort of the earplugs. Typical materials used are silicone, wax, foam and cotton. Foam is typically the most common earplug material because it’s the cheapest. Silicone on the other hand is what you’ll find most reusable options made out of. Wax earplugs give you the benefit of being able to mold them to the shape of your ear.
- Noise or sound reduction This is an important one. The noise reduction level tells you how many decibels the earplugs block. The rating ranges from 0 to 33 dB. So, earplugs with a higher NRR score block out the noise the best.
- Whether they’re reusable: Earplugs are available in either single-use or reusable options. There are benefits and drawbacks to each. Single-use earplugs are typically cheaper and suitable for occasional use. If you’re looking to use them regularly, it’s best to invest in reusable options — they’re better for the environment and way more durable.
- Price: We all know price is one of the most important parts of shopping for the best earplugs for sleep. A pack of disposable earplugs can seem like the obvious choice based on price — most packs average around $10. However, reusable earplugs may be better suited if you’re looking for a long-term option. They cost a bit more, but you only need to buy them once.
Best earplugs for sleeping FAQ
Other products for drowning out sound
Loud or abrupt sounds can be harmful to your sleep quality, but not everyone will benefit from earplugs. Besides sleep earplugs, here are other products you can use to help drown out unwanted or disruptive noise.