Best Ear Plugs for Sleeping

Women inserting foam ear plugs into ears
Use Ear Plugs to Block Out Sounds to Help You Sleep Properly

Did you know bed partner disturbance is the UK’s second most common cause of disturbed sleep.

Thankfully, ear plugs can help reduce noise at night!

Our brains still register sounds even when we are sleeping. Especially in the lighter phase of sleep which is a good thing when you have a crying baby and need to wake up; not good though if you have a snoring husband or wife.

As we get older our reported sleep quality declines with only 21% of 45-54 year olds reporting they sleep very well. (ref)

The good news is there are various solutions & remedies to help improve how well we sleep at night.

A simple health improvement tip is to try using a pair of ear plugs during sleep.

I’m going to share with you three recommended ear plug brands, I came across, if you are in the market looking for a earplugs for sleeping.

Top Rated Ear Plugs for Sleep

BrandMade FromNoise Reduction RatingReusablePrice
Mack's Ultra EarplugsFoam32 dBYesClick Here
Hush Plugz Silicone EarplugsSiliconeNot ListedYesClick Here
Quies Boules Natural Wax EarplugsNatural Wax27 dBYesClick Here

1. Mack’s Ultra Earplugs – Good Foam Earplugs

The Mack’s Ultra Earplugs are a good choice to help you sleep in silence.

McKeon Products, the company that owns Mack’s Earplugs, is based in Michigan and has been around since 1962. In addition to many varieties of earplugs, they also carry other sleeping products, including masks, nasal dilators, and earmuffs. Mack’s is the official ear care provider for USA Swimming. The company has been I.S.O. certified since 1997. (ref)

These earplugs come in a variety of amounts to buy, are reusable, and not expensive so you definitely get a lot for your money.

Foam is easy to insert into your outer ear canal and expands to fill it in. These are what you expect a typical ear plug to be like and help in noise reduction.

If you are looking to block out sounds at night from a partner’s snoring or heavy breathing, passing cars, motorbikes or lorries then these are a good option to go with.

Based on reviews from others, these earplugs might fall out of the ear at night. I find foam can also become uncomfortable after wearing for long periods of time, especially if you normally suffer itchy ears. So they may not be the most suitable product for nighttime use for some people.

Specs
  • Molded with skinned and tapered foam
  • Has a noise reduction rate of 32 decibels
  • Recommended for sleep as well as protection from loud power tools, concerts, and motor sports
  • Can be purchased in a variety of amounts, from 3 pairs to 200 pairs

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Most efficient level of noise reduction out of all products reviewed
  • Suitable for a variety of situations
  • McKeon Products has a long history of manufacturing high quality earplugs
  • McKeon Products specializes in earplugs
  • Not specifically designed for sleep—they are designed for multiple uses
  • Foam may not be the most comfortable material
  • May need to be trimmed to fit ear
Where to Buy
The Mack’s Ultra Earplugs are available to buy on Amazon here .

2. Hush Plugz Silicone Earplugs – Good For Sensitive Skin Ears

The Hush Plugz Silicone Earplugs are a good alternative to using foam or cotton wool for muffling noises at night.

Hush Plugz were created by Robinson Healthcare, which has been producing medical products since 1839, when the Crimean War sparked a high demand for wound care. Robinson Healthcare does not specialize in earplugs, but manufactures a wide variety of medical supplies and instruments. They have six varieties of earplugs for a variety of uses. The company has been I.S.O. certified since 2003. (ref)

These earplugs may be particularly beneficial for people who are prone to ear infections, as they create a seal in the ear, preventing bacteria from entering. They also come with a pen that contains a unique active agent that is moulded into the pen, & is said to be able to kill 99.9% of all harmful bacteria & viruses.

Based on reviews from others, these earplugs may be too big for small ear sizes. Their slightly sticky material may also cause long hair for women to get stuck to them at night.

Specs
  • Made of silicone for maximum comfort and noise reduction
  • Does not list the noise reduction rate
  • Recommended primarily for swimming and other water sports, but can also be used for sleeping as well as protection from loud events
  • Can be purchased in pairs of 7

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Silicone material prioritizes comfort
  • Material molds to different ear shapes and sizes, creating a tight seal and reducing the risk of infection
  • The company has a long history of making high quality products
  • This line is designed primarily for swimming and other water sports
  • Noise reduction rate is unknown
  • The company does not specialize in earplugs, so there may be a quality gap
Where to Buy
The Hush Plugz Silicone Earplugs are available to buy on Amazon here .

3. Quies Boules Natural Wax Earplugs – Good Natural Earplugs

The Quies Boules Natural Wax Earplugs are recommended for people looking for a natural material option.

Quies (Latin for “quiet”) has been around for almost a century—since 1921. Up until the 1960s, Quies earplugs were made by hand. They offer a wide variety of earplugs for different purposes. Other sleeping products offered by Quies include eye masks, and anti-snoring spray, nasal strips, and lozenges. The company has been I.S.O. certified since 2011. (ref)

Due to their natural wax material, they are reported to be very comfortable for most shapes of ears. They warm upon contact with the skin and become moldable to the shape of your ear canal.

Based on reviews from others, these earplugs might not appear easy to put into your ears. Some have struggled understanding how to use the wax or hadn’t know to take off the cotton wool around them before inserting them.

Specs
  • Made from natural wax and hypoallergenic cotton
  • Has a noise reduction rate of 27 decibels
  • Recommended primarily for sleep, but can also be used for protection from loud concerts and heavy machinery
  • Can be purchased in pairs of 8

Lets compare some of the other features:

  • Safe for prolonged periods of use, such as during sleep
  • Natural wax material warms and conforms to your ear shape for better comfort
  • Designed primarily for sleep
  • Quies has a long history of making high quality earplugs
  • Quies specializes in earplugs
  • Noise reduction is not as efficient as other brands
  • Wax must be manually molded before inserting into ear
Where to Buy
The Uvex Skyper with SCT Orange lens tint glasses are available to buy on Amazon here .

Buyers Guide Information

I know you were looking for what are the best options, but here is some more detail as to why we need earplugs to help us sleep at night.

What are Earplugs and What Do They Do?

Earplugs are small inserts that seal the ear canal from excessive sounds. They are mainly designed to reduce noise perception to either minimize damage to the eardrum or improve concentration and relaxation.

They can also be used to prevent water from entering the ear canal, thereby reducing infection during swimming or other water-based activities.

Types of Earplugs Available

Different types of earplugs available to buy vary by noise reduction rating (NRR), performance, comfort, and durability.

  • Disposable
  • Reusable
  • Hard silicone
  • Soft silicone
  • Wax
  • Foam
  • Rubber
  • Pre-molded

Example Noises in Decibels

Here is a list of some common noises measured decibels (dB):

Excessive Noise Ratings in Decibels

Painful NoiseExtremely Loud NoiseVery Loud NoiseModerate NoiseFaint Noise
150 dB - Rock Concerts at Peak110 dB - Machinery, Model Airplanes80 dB - Alarm Clock, Busy Street50 dB - Moderate Rainfall30 dB - Whisper, Quiet Library
140 dB - Firearms, Air-Raid Siren, Jet Engine100 dB - Snowmobile, Chain saw, Pneumatic Drill70 dB - Vacuum Cleaner40 dB - Quiet room
130 dB - Jackhammer90 dB - Lawnmower, Shop Tools, Truck Traffic, Subway60 dB - Conversation, Dishwasher
120 dB - Jet Plane Take-off, Amplified Music at 4-6 ft., Car Stereo, Band Practice

(Source)

Here is a list of sounds levels in decibels that are known to affect sleep quality and health:

  • To avoid negative effects – 30 dB
  • Changes to sleep stages – 35 dB
  • Increase in heart rate – 40 dB
  • Subjective reports on sleep quality – 40 dB
  • Waking during the night – 60 dB
  • Change in mood next day – 60 dB
  • Hearing loss – 70 dB

(Source)

When to Use Ear Plugs to Help Improve Sleep?

Loud noises can interrupt sleep, and experiencing interrupted sleep on a regular or long-term basis can have detrimental consequences when it comes to your health. Among other things, sleep deprivation has been linked to cardiovascular disease. (ref)

Earplugs can be a helpful remedy for people in difficult sleeping situations, such as:

  • People who sleep next to partners who are heavy snorers
  • People who have to sleep in a noisy environment (i.e. traffic noise, noisy neighbors, college dorms, etc.)
  • People who are traveling and need to rest on a plane, train, or bus

Benefits of Blocking Out Noise When Sleeping

Noise during the night can have both positive and negative influences on sleep quality. Gentle, constant background noise, such as from gentle rain, can block out disruptive sounds such as traffic noise or loud neighbors. But intermittent, grating sounds, such as a thunderstorm or a partner snoring, can interrupt sleep and contribute to lower sleep quality.

Here are some benefits to blocking out noise while sleeping:

  • You will sleep more restfully, which results in higher alertness throughout the day
  • You may find that you need less sleep, because your sleep is not interrupted by loud noises
  • You will fall asleep faster

(Source)

Is It Safe to Wear Earplugs When Sleeping?

You may have some reservations about the side-effects of sleeping with earplugs. There are some small risks associated with wearing earplugs at night. These include ear infections, muffled hearing, and impacted ear wax. (ref)

However, there are ways to reduce these risks:

  • Regularly clean reusable earplugs
  • Don’t reuse disposable earplugs
  • Take a night off from wearing earplugs every now and then

How to Clean Earplugs

If you choose to use reusable ear plugs, it is important to keep them clean. Although you should not reuse disposable earplugs, if you do, these also need to be kept clean.

Follow these steps to keep your earplugs clean.

For a light wash or to remove earwax:

  1. Soak the ear plugs in hydrogen peroxide for a couple of minutes
  2. Rinse with cold water
  3. Dry between two clean towels
  4. Mold them gently back into shape as much as possible
  5. Let them dry completely before reusing

For a heavier wash or to remove dirt:

  1. Pour water into a small bowl & mix in dish detergent
  2. Soak the earplugs in the mixture, using your fingers to gently rub away dirt
  3. Rinse with cold water, making sure to remove all of the soap
  4. Dry between two clean towels
  5. Mold them gently back into shape as much as possible
  6. Let them dry completely before reusing

(Source)

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