The 9 Best Earplugs for Sleeping for 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The ANBOW Reusable Earplugs are budget-friendly and great for side sleepers.

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The 9 Best Earplugs for Sleeping of 2022

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We all need quiet, quality sleep. But, unfortunately, there are few of us who get through life without experiencing disturbances during the night. A loud neighbor, wailing city sirens, or distant thumps from a nightclub that never closes can keep us up for hours. “Most people need between 7–9 hours of sleep, but some fall on the lower end, and others on the higher end,” says Shelby Harris, PsyD, Director of Sleep Health at Sleepopolis and licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in behavioral sleep medicine (BSM). One way to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep is to make sure your environment is quiet. “Sleep earplugs can be good for light sleepers or anyone who finds that their sleep is disrupted by noise, such as loud traffic or a partner snoring,” Dr. Harris explains.

Tested & Approved

The ANBOW Reusable Earplugs are soft and comfortable, fit all sizes of ear canals, and are gentle on both the planet and your wallet. Though they’re not reusable, Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs are great at blocking noise while being super affordable.

Earplugs may also be a great option for those who struggle with sleep disorders such as insomnia. “Any sleep disturbance is considered insomnia. Insomnia can be classified into transient (less than 1 month), short term (between 1–6 months) and chronic (over 6 months),” Maria Dolgovina, MD, Board-Certified Neurologist and Sleep Medicine specialist says. For those who struggle to stay asleep through the night, earplugs could minimize the number of times they’re woken up. “Earplugs can help improve the quality of your sleep and decrease the number of times you wake up throughout the night. They can also help you fall asleep faster by blocking out any outside noises, and help you to wake up feeling refreshed,” notes Dr. Harris. 

When looking for earplugs for sleep, it’s important to note the material they’re made of. While one material isn’t necessarily better than another, it’s important to know which one will be best for you. Sleeping earplugs usually come in silicone, foam, or wax. If you’re someone who suffers from allergies, you should avoid foam earplugs as they allow allergens like dust mite particles to leak in. However, if you have non-traditional-shaped ear canals, foam or wax may be your best bet as they can be molded into shapes that fit you perfectly. 

From silicone to wax, we’ve tested and reviewed the best sleeping earplugs to help you find the pair that helps you get the much-needed sleep you deserve. 

Here are the best earplugs for sleeping.

Our Recommendations

Best Overall: ANBOW Reusable Earplugs

ANBOW Reusable Earplugs

Amazon

Why We Like It: These earplugs are soft, easily mold to even the smallest ear canals, and are comfortable for side sleepers. 

It’s Worth Noting: These earplugs aren’t completely noise-canceling so you can still hear an alarm or a crying baby.

Our testers found that the ANBOW Reusable earplugs couldn’t be beat, which is why they easily landed our best overall pick. They particularly stood out to our testers because they’re soft, comfortable, environmentally friendly, and budget-friendly. These silicone earplugs also come in a bright blue color, so they’re easy to spot if you misplace them when waking up in the morning or toss and turn often, causing the plugs to fall out occasionally. 

ANBOW’s earplugs are specifically created to fit all ear canal sizes, with three different nodules gradually increasing in diameter. “I think I have pretty small ear canals—I always have to wear the smallest tips on earbuds, and these fit comfortably. They didn’t feel awkwardly big at all, which is usually my top concern,” our tester said. Our tester commented that she originally worried she wouldn’t like the nodule shape but ended up loving it because she didn’t have to worry about contorting it to fit her canals like she would with foam plugs. Also, while foam plugs need to be replaced often because bacteria can grow in them, these plugs are reusable silicone, which is not only good for hygiene, but it’s also great for your wallet and the environment. And even though they have a small piece that will stick out of your ear canal for easy removal, our tester said it didn’t bother her when she slept on her side. 

It’s worth noting that these earplugs purposefully don’t completely block out noise. Having a bit of audible sound is ideal for those who need to hear things like an alarm or a crying child in the middle of the night. But if you’re looking for complete noise-canceling plugs, you may do better with foam earplugs. 

Price at time of publication: $16

Product Details:

  • Material: Silicone 
  • Size: Small, medium, and large 
  • Amount per pack: 3 pairs

Best Budget: Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs 

Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

Amazon

Why We Like It: These earplugs have a low price point for a large quantity per order and are great at blocking noise while you sleep.

It’s Worth Noting: They’re on the larger side, so they may not be great for people with very small ear canals. 

Mack’s Ultra Soft earplugs are an awesome option for anyone looking to catch some zzzs without breaking the bank. Our tester said these foam earplugs gave her some much-needed peaceful sleep and that she didn’t wake up once from her partner’s snoring while she tested this pair for over a week. These Mack’s earplugs have a noise reduction rate (NRR) of 33 decibels, which is a solid level according to experts. “Noise reduction rate can change depending on which earplugs you choose, but try to look for earplugs that have an NRR of 25 or higher,” says Dr. Harris. 

It’s important to note that these earplugs are made of foam, not silicone or wax, like other options on our list. While foam can often lead to great noise reduction, it can let in bacteria and allergens like dust mite particles over time. For that reason, foam earplugs need to be thrown out and replaced often. Our tester also noted that these earplugs felt slightly larger in her small-sized canals. While they are moldable and can be squeezed into tiny ear canals, a smaller pair may suit you better if you have very small canals. 

Price at time of publication: $9 for a pack of 50

Product Details:

  • Material: Foam
  • Size: Average
  • Amount per pack: 50 pairs
  • Hypoallergenic: No

Best for Large Ear Canals: Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite

Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite

Amazon

Why We Like It: Our tester said that these earplugs are effective, comfortable, and brightly colored, making them easy to spot at night. 

It’s Worth Noting: These earplugs are foam, which may not be best for people with indoor allergies. 

Our tester called these earplugs “grade A” in terms of blocking out loud noises. And with a noise reduction rate (NRR) of 32, they’re expert-approved. These Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser earplugs are great for users with large ear canals as their foam material allows them to expand to fit even the largest canal openings. And while they’re tapered to fit smaller canals as well, our tester said she believed they’re large enough that they may bother someone with tiny ear canals. 

We also loved that they’re brightly colored in neon pink and yellow, so they’re easily spotted if you misplace them or if you’re traveling and need to be able to grab them when you’re on the go. 

However, while the foam makes them great for larger ear canals, it also makes them risky for anyone with indoor allergies as foam lets in material that can aggravate allergic symptoms like dust mite particles. If you suffer from severe indoor allergies, we recommend springing for a wax or silicone option on this list. 

Price at time of publication: $7

Product Details:

  • Material: Foam
  • Size: Average
  • Amount per pack: 25 pairs
  • Hypoallergenic: No

Best for Small Ear Canals: Hearprotek Sleeping Earplugs

Hearprotek Sleeping Earplugs

Amazon

Why We Like It: They come with two options in different shapes to fit even the smallest of ear canals. 

It’s Worth Noting: These plugs are noise-reducing but not noise-canceling, so you will still hear loud, muffled sounds like your alarm. 

Our tester said the Hearprotek earplugs are “the most comfortable and soft earplugs [she’s] ever tried.” “They gently contoured to my ear canals and didn’t irritate them after hours of wear,” she noted. 

They’re great for anyone with particularly tiny ear canals as they come in two different sizes, both of which come in a tiered nodule design. “The tiered design is easy to insert and comfortably molds to my ear canal,” our tester said. The two sizing options are also in two different shapes, so you’re more likely to find a comfortable fit. And because they’re made out of super-soft silicone, they’re great for sensitive ears and people who have severe allergies. However, our tester said they don’t completely cancel noise and instead just muffle sounds. That’s ideal for someone who needs to be able to hear things in the middle of the night (like a child who may need help), but if you're looking for serious noise cancelation, you may want to try another pair on this list. 

Price at time of publication: $15

Product Details:

  • Material: Silicone 
  • Size: Small and Standard
  • Amount per pack: 2 pairs
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes

Best for Anxiety: Bose Sleepbuds II

Bose Sleepbuds II

Amazon

Why We Like It: The Bose Sleepbuds II play curated sleep sounds to help take your mind off of tomorrow so you can fall asleep tonight. 

It’s Worth Noting: These earplugs are more expensive than other options because they feature Bluetooth connectivity, app control, and original content. 

The Bose Sleepbuds II is our top pick for anyone trying to mitigate anxiety at night because they feature relaxing sleep sounds to quiet your mind and help you drift off. Our tester, who suffers from insomnia and is always looking for ways to get a better night’s sleep, said the white noise feature on these earplugs muffled ambient sound in a way that normal earplugs couldn’t. “I think the white noise function could help someone block out anxious thoughts and get some rest,” she said. 

We also loved that the app lets you set the alarm to go off from your earplugs in the morning, so you won’t sleep through it no matter what. They’re also super comfortable and come in different sizes to fit all types of ear canals. Our tester was even between sizes and said the earplugs still stayed put. 

It’s worth noting that the extra features on these earplugs do come with a price—a pretty hefty one at that. However, we think it’s well worth it for consistent, relaxing sleep if standard earplugs aren’t enough for you. 

Price at time of publication: $249

Product Details:

  • Material: Silicone 
  • Size: Small, medium, and large
  • Amount per pack: 1 pair
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes

Best for Blocking Snoring: Amazfit Zenbuds 

Amazfit Zenbuds

Amazfit

Why We Like It: These comfortable, lightweight earplugs play sounds to drown out loud noises like snoring. 

It’s Worth Noting: The app may be tricky to navigate.

The Amazfit Zenbuds are another great option for anyone who likes background noise to help them drift off to sleep. These battery-powered earplugs are lightweight and comfortable. They feature high-tech capabilities like sleep monitoring and sleep quality analysis, as well as noise-playing features to drown out loud sounds like your partner’s snoring. 

Most earplugs are not only great for helping users drift off but also to slay asleep. “If the room is noisy, earplugs may improve falling and staying asleep,” Dr. Dolgovina says. This is something the Amazfit Zenbuds aim to ensure, as they detect that you’ve fallen back to sleep and will automatically stop playing noise, so you stay asleep. 

Our tester mentioned that it’s pretty hard to distinguish between the left and right buds, however, which may cause problems if you reach for them in the dark. Also, they require you to use a mobile app, which our tester said wasn’t the easiest to navigate. Opt for a standard pair on this list if you're not interested in earplugs requiring an app. 

Price at time of publication: $149

Product Details:

  • Material: Silicone 
  • Size: Small, medium, and large
  • Amount per pack: 1 pair
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes

Best for Allergies: PQ Wax Earplugs for Sleep

PQ Wax Earplugs for Sleep

Amazon

Why We Like It: These earplugs are made of wax, so they won’t take in allergens, and you can break them into the perfect size so they’ll fit any ear canal.

It’s Worth Noting: While reusable, they’re less long-lasting than silicone options. 

Our tester raved about these earplugs, saying that they muffle sound so well that she was able to sleep through the night, that they stay put, and that they’re “the most comfortable earplugs [she’s] ever used.” While the PQ Wax earplugs don’t fully cancel noise, they do an awesome job of muffling sound in a way that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep while still letting you hear your alarm in the morning. 

Unlike foam earplugs, wax won’t let allergens sink into the material, so they’re great for anyone with allergies. And they’re also ideal for any ear canal shape because you can break and reshape them to fit your exact size. After reshaping them, just push them into your ear and smooth the rest of the earplug so it spreads out. “This is how I achieved maximum noise reduction,” our tester said. 

It’s worth noting that each pair lasts up to 10 wears. So while they don’t last as long as silicone options, they still last longer than foam pairs. And our tester said she didn’t mind that they’re only temporarily reusable. “These are so worth the price, and I will be buying more once these run out,” she said. Also, because they’re wax, they may pick up an occasional hair or pillow lint. But you can clean them with soap and warm water. 

Price at time of publication: $17

Product Details:

  • Material: Wax
  • Size: Customizable
  • Amount per pack: 28 individual plugs
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes

Best for Restless Sleepers: Becheln Reusable Silicone Earplugs 

Becheln Reusable Silicone Earplugs

Amazon

Why We Like It: The customizable size on the Becheln earplugs creates a tight fit so they won’t fall out of even the most restless sleepers’ ears. 

It’s Worth Noting: These earplugs have an NRR of 22 decibels, which is a little lower than what our experts recommend. 

“The Bechein Silicone ear plus have saved my life!” our tester said. After testing these earplugs every night for an entire month while sleeping on her back and sides, our tester couldn’t recommend the Becheln earplugs enough. We recommend these earplugs for anyone who is a restless sleeper because they didn’t fall out of our tester’s ears once, and she admits she's incredibly restless at night. Because they’re made of soft silicone, they’re easily shaped and molded to any ear canal type, so they’ll fit snugly and won’t fall out as you sleep.

However, these earplugs ring in at an NRR of only 22 decibels, which is slightly lower than what our doctors recommend. “The most effective earplugs at blocking out sound are going to have a noise reduction rate of 25 or higher,” Dr. Harris explains. So if loud noises are keeping you up, you may do better with another pair on this list. 

Price at time of publication: $10

Product Details:

  • Material: Silicone
  • Size: Customizable
  • Amount per pack: 5 pairs
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes

Best for Travel: Matador Travel Earplugs Kit at Matador

Matador Travel Earplugs Kit

Matador

Why We Like It: These memory foam earplugs come with two silicone cases on key rings to make traveling with them a breeze.

It’s Worth Noting: They’re black, which may make them hard to find in the dark or if you misplace them. 

The Matador Travel Ear Plug Kit is perfect for anyone who wants to block out strange noises while sleeping in hotels, trains, or an Airbnb. They also come with two silicone cases on key rings, so you can attach them to your keychain if you’re prone to forgetting things. Our tester said these earplugs are super soft and squishy and fit her small ear canals easily. “I have really small ears and find many headphones too large to fit comfortably, but I had no problem with these. I didn’t notice I was wearing them at night,” she said. 

After testing every night for a week, our tester said the Matador earplugs fell out of her ears in the middle of the night once or twice—but she’s an incredibly restless sleeper. So if you don’t thrash around in bed, these will probably stay put. It’s also worth noting that these earplugs are black, so unlike some of the brightly colored options on this list, they may be hard to find if you misplace them. 

Price at time of publication: $10

Product Details:

  • Material: Foam
  • Size: One size fits all
  • Amount per pack: 3 pairs
  • Hypoallergenic: No

Our Testing Process

Before testing the best earplugs for sleep, our Health team spent two nights tracking their sleep patterns and the noise levels in their environments. They then tested the earplugs by sleeping with them every night for one week to adjust to the feeling. After the first two nights of sleeping with the earplugs, they noted the comfort level, how easy they were to care for or clean, how well the plugs eliminated noise, and if they felt refreshed in the morning. After testing was complete, we selected the earplugs that met the criteria the best.

What to Know About Earplugs for Sleeping

What Should You Look For When Shopping for Earplugs

Most sleeping earplugs come in silicone or foam and occasionally in wax. “Earplugs come in different sizes and materials so that you can pick the best fit for your ears and material preferences (silicone or foam),” Dr. Harris explains. While one type of material isn’t necessarily better, one may be best for you, depending on your needs and preferences. If you prefer reusable earplugs, make sure to opt for silicone. However, foam may be best for non-traditionally shaped or larger ear canals as they’re moldable and can expand to fit most ears. “… [It] might take a bit of trial and error to find the right shape and feel for you,” says Dr. Harris. 

What Should You Avoid When Looking for Earplugs

While foam can be ideal for those with larger ear canals, foam plugs should be avoided by those with severe indoor allergies as they can let allergens leak in. Foam is also not ideal for anyone who plans to use their earplugs nightly and for the long term, as they need to be thrown out and replaced often, which can become costly. Our experts also recommend avoiding earplugs with a noise reduction rate (NRR) of less than 22 decibels, as they won’t be as successful at blocking sound while you sleep. 

More Sleeping Earplugs to Consider

We tested more earplugs but ultimately decided to leave them off this list. While some had redeeming qualities, they fell short compared to what we recommend here. However, they may still be good options for you to consider. 

  • EarPlanes EP2: Our testers said these earplugs were super comfortable and easy to sleep on your side, but these plugs didn’t block out noise very well. They’re better for reducing pressure in your ears on a plane during takeoff and landing. 
  • SoundOff Noise Masking Earbuds: These earbuds are great at masking sound, but our tester said they were uncomfortable for side sleeping. Her ears were a little sore by the end of the week she tested them. 
  • Eargasm Squishies: Our tester said these earplugs were great for side-sleeping as they mold to your ear canal. She also said they did a decent job blocking sound, but not enough to drown out serious noise like a partner’s snoring. 
  • ZQuiet Earplug Discovery Kit: While our tester said the quality and fit of these earplugs were great, she couldn’t fall asleep with them in. “I could hear my heartbeat and swooshing sounds, which made it impossible to fall asleep,” she said.

Your Questions, Answered

What Are the Most Effective Earplugs for Sleeping?

The most effective earplugs for sleeping are going to be the ones that fit your ears the most securely and don’t leave gaps between the wall of your ear canal and the plug. Ear plugs with an NRR of over 25 decibels are recommended by experts as well. 

Is it OK to Sleep with Earplugs in? 

Our experts agree that sleeping with earplugs is safe. “Using earplugs routinely for better sleep is fine, but it may lead to earwax buildup, which can be uncomfortable and contribute to temporary hearing loss,” says Dr. Harris. If earwax buildup becomes a problem for you, visit your doctor to have them remove it. It’s also important to keep your earplugs clean. “Earplugs are generally safe for everyone to use; just make sure you are using them properly and cleaning them frequently,” Dr. Harris notes.

Who We Are

Loren Brutsch is an Associate Commerce Editor for Health and the Verywell brands, where she creates content that promotes wellness and healthy living. After years of struggling with insomnia, Loren Brutsch began using sleeping earplugs to help her fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. She still uses earplugs for better sleep every night and believes they’ve gone a long way in helping her get her sleep back on track.

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