Do you sleep with someone whose snoring sounds worse than an Airbus taking off? You’ll be glad to know that there is no need to kill them, if you get yourself the best earplugs for sleeping.
Earplugs are useful even for those who sleep alone. You’ll understand this if you live in an apartment block in the city center or share a home with people who watch television or play music late into the night.
However, knowing that you need earplugs and getting the right ones are two different things. We have taken some time to look through available products in the market and listed five, below, of the best we could find.
- Necasil Sleeping Earplugs
- Hearos Sleep Pretty in Pink Earplugs
- Roveline 2-Pairs High Fidelity Ear Plugs
- Apothecary Super Sleep Comfort Foam Ear Plugs
- Fluent Quiet Contour Ear Plugs
Before we go deeper into the products we feature in this article, let’s start by answering a few questions you may have, such as how you select one, why you need one, things to look for in different products, and the best way to use your sleeping earplugs.
Are Ear Plugs Really Useful for Sleeping?
The question regarding whether earplugs are useful for sleeping is usually accompanied by complaints that they fail to block out all the noise. The reality is that earplugs for sleeping are only designed to reduce the effect of sounds that could disturb your sleep such as a snoring partner or a neighbor who plays their music too loud. Hence, they can only block out up to about 39 decibels.
So if a human snore can be as loud as 90 decibels, does it mean that earplugs for sleeping would be ineffective in dealing with it? As I’ve already clarified that earplugs are not meant to eliminate all the noise, if they can bring the levels down to normal conversational levels, then they are effective.
In the above example an earplug with a rating of 39 decibels will reduce the snoring to around 51 decibels; the approximate level of normal human speech, which is not disturbing to someone trying to sleep.
If you make the decision to use earplugs when sleeping, you’ll need to know a few things about them such as the material from which they’re made and how to select the best one for your needs. This will ensure you make the best use of them.
Different Types of Earplugs
There are basically three popular types of earplugs you’ll get in the market. Each one of them has their own advantages and disadvantages.
Even though there are many forms of foam used when making earplugs, the most popular one is polyurethane. This is the same type of material you find on memory foam mattresses.
The main advantage of this type of material is that it is flexible. Hence, it can fit into the ear tightly without causing discomfort. The main weakness of earplugs made from this material is that they’re not designed to last very long. Most of them can only be used once. The material can also allow bacteria to grow inside its pores.
Wax has been used in making earplugs for over a century now. The main advantage of this type of earplug is that it’s soft and comfortable to the ear. They are made to be gentle on the skin. Wax is much easier to clean, making such earplugs stay longer before needing to be replaced.
Silicone earplugs are like the ones made from wax. The difference between the two is that silicone has the capacity to bounce back and form a tighter seal on the ear. They can also be used a number of times and generally last longer when compared to the other two.
One disadvantage of silicone earplugs is that they sometimes tend to be sticky and can allow hair to stick on them. However, if you take time to get a good pair, you may never have to worry about this.
Things you have to Pay Attention to When Using Earplugs
It doesn’t matter which type of earplugs you buy, to get the best from yours will require you to understand things you have to pay attention to while you are using them.
Clean and Discard as Instructed
As l have already indicated above, foam earplugs can allow bacteria to grow in their pores. This is the reason why you may need to discard such earplugs after using them, as directed.
Clean Ears Properly
Using earplugs can interfere with the natural process through which your ear gets rid of earwax. Hence, the need to ensure your ears are always free from wax. Also, dry your ears before inserting your earplugs.
It’s also important to ensure you see a hearing specialist at least once every year. However, if you happen to note any of the following signs when you start using your earplugs, it’s advisable to see a hearing specialist without delay:
- Continuous itching
- Pain in your ear
- Unpleasant smells
- Things start sounding different
- Difficulty hearing
- Discharge from the ear
- Ringing in the ears
Like every other instrument, if your earplugs are not properly inserted, they will not be very helpful.
Check out the YouTube video below on how to insert your wax earplugs properly.
Ensure you Use the Right Type
Since, in this article, we’re looking at earplugs for sleeping, you’ll need to ensure that the ones you have are made specifically for this purpose. Below are a few factors to consider when looking for earplugs for sleeping:
- Check the noise reduction rating of the earplugs; a high rating is around 39 decibels
- Ensure they are comfortable otherwise they disturb your sleep, try a few before selecting yours
- Check how easy they are to use because if they are difficult to use, you’ll be discouraged from using them
- Value for money looks at how durable they are and how often they need to be replaced
Don’t Ignore Discomfort
Some people will tell you to ignore any discomfort when you’re using earplugs because using them is meant to be uncomfortable anywhere. Well, this is simply not true. A stuffed up feeling in your ears means that something is not right.
Approach a health professional and have them look at your ears if you feel any of this stuffed up feeling.
You may want to consider using custom-made earplugs if using standard earplugs causes you discomfort. To get custom earplugs, you can approach an audiologist or hearing specialist.
Do earplugs Cause Pain?
Maybe you have heard a few people saying that earplugs cause pain. This statement, on its own, is simply not true. Just like everything else you use, if not used properly, you will most likely suffer pain.
Pain in your ear can be a result of infections and earwax. This can be mitigated through ensuring that you practice good ear hygiene. If you leave earwax to harden in your ears, you’ll have discomfort that could escalate into pain.
Earplugs also cause pain if you’re not using the right ones. Also, if your earplugs are too big, they may cause pain and discomfort when sleeping on a particular side.
Now that you have an idea of the important factors around using earplugs when sleeping, let’s look at some of the best we could find in the market.
Necasil Sleeping Earplugs
The Necasil Sleeping Earplugs are designed with the aim of ensuring that your sleep is as comfortable as possible with no pain. This comfort has been achieved through the use of cotton mold material that exerts as little pressure as possible on the ear.
These earplugs have a rating of 36 dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), which is suitable for ensuring that you can still hear your alarms while being protected from the noise you don’t want to hear.
The exterior of these earplugs is made in such a manner that they don’t stick, ensuring you can remove them easily. They came with a case which can easily be stored on your keychain.
- Reusable and easy to remove
- Easy to use and do not fall out while you are sleeping
- Dull the sound but still allow you to hear your phone and alarms
- Can be put on all night without any pain or discomfort
- Can be uncomfortable for first-time users
- Take long to dry after washing
Hearos Sleep Pretty in Pink Earplugs
The Hearos Sleep Pretty in Pink Earplugs are designed for smaller ear canals and hence would be more suitable for women. They are made from polyurethane in order to reduce noise, whether it’s coming from a snoring spouse or other loud environments such as a constantly humming freeway next to your home.
These earplugs have a noise rating of 32 NRR. Apart from being great for sleeping, they are also good for use when studying or traveling by air.
The earplugs are designed to be comfortable. This is achieved through the use of foam that expands slowly so that it takes the shape of your ear canal. They also have a silky smooth fit, thanks to the hypoallergenic, tapered formulation.
- Tight fitting and don’t fall out when sleeping on the side
- Soft and comfortable
- Made in the USA
- Come with a 30-day money-back warranty
- Designed for small ears
- Some loud noises can still be heard
Roveline 2-Pairs High Fidelity Ear Plugs
Looking at the Roveline 2-Pairs High Fidelity Ear Plugs shows that the manufacturer designed them with a few aims in mind: comfort, good fit, and ensuring that undesirable noises are blocked out. This is the reason why these earplugs are comfortable and ensure that the skin around the ear is neither irritated nor hurt.
These are good earplugs for someone looking for value for money because they are reusable. The fact that they are made from silicone makes them easier to clean.
Apart from being suitable for someone looking for a peaceful night, these earplugs would also be useful when flying or attending noisy events.
- Can be used in different environments other than sleeping
- Made from silicone and easy to clean
- Low noise reduction rating of between 19 dB and 24 dB
Apothecary Super Sleep Comfort Foam Ear Plugs
The designers of the Apothecary Super Sleep Comfort Foam Ear Plugs have solved a problem common with many sleeping earplugs: expanding too fast. These earplugs expand slowly enough that they comfortably take shape of your ear canal without leaving the ear with a feeling of being stuffed.
The 29 decibels rating, which these earplugs come with is enough to dull the noise while also ensuring that you can hear important signals like your alarms.
To ensure comfort, the earplugs are made with a special length for instances when you have to sleep on your side. They measure around three-quarters of an inch in length. The soft foam, from which they are made, ensures you sleep comfortably.
- Come with a carry case
- Slow expansion to fit comfortably
- Could be slightly uncomfortable in the beginning but this goes away with time
- The slow expansion can make them fall out if you fall asleep too early
Fluent Quiet Contour Ear Plugs
If you believe in the adage go big or go home, then the 50 pairs in the Fluent Quiet Contour Ear Plugs package is what you could be looking for. Apart from being suitable for someone looking for a great night sleep, they will also work for someone working in loud environments including construction and heavy tools. You can also use them in environments where you need to concentrate.
These earplugs are made from foam; the reason why they are comfortable and smooth. You can get them with a rating of either 29 or 33 decibels.
- The fact they are manufactured from foam makes them comfortable
- Come in a box with fifty pairs to last some time
- Each pair can only be used once
- Not very effective for noises that are too loud
It’s easy to find yourself in a difficult position when presented with the best products in a category as we have done above. However, I hope that from the list, you’ve been able to find one that’s best for your personal needs and circumstances. Personally, I’ll go with the Necasil Sleeping Earplugs.
The main reason why I would select this product is that it is reusable. This ensures that I can save some money as I don’t have to discard them after a single use. Even though they can take some time to dry after cleaning, they come in a case of five, so I can use other pairs while I wait for the others to dry.
As a light sleeper, I also like the fact that they have a rating of 36dB, which ensures that loud noises are blocked out but I’m still able to hear important sounds like my alarm in the morning. Added to this is the fact that they are easier to use, ensuring that putting on my earplugs doesn’t become a chore I dread.