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5 Best Alternatives to Earplugs for Sleeping 2024

Some people find that using earplugs helps them sleep soundly. They help you unwind and fall asleep by muting outside noises. However, they have drawbacks. Many people find it difficult to fall asleep when using earplugs because they may feel claustrophobic or their ears may suffer from the strain.

You will still feel earplugs inside your ears even after getting acclimated to them. Some won’t give a damn, but others would rather have their ears open and unobstructed. Is it possible to benefit from earplugs without really using them? What if you’re not seeking silence, though? What if you prefer something that will let all the noise in while still allowing you to go asleep, as opposed to something that will block out sound? If so, there are a few alternatives to earplugs that you can try instead.

Why do people sleep with earplugs?

A few factors may lead someone to use earplugs while sleeping. Noise cancellation is the most typical justification. If you reside in a city, it’s likely that you are accustomed to the noise of blaring horns and nighttime sirens. If you share a room with someone, you may also wish to block out snoring or other nighttime disturbances. Even if you’re trying to sleep during the day, earplugs can be beneficial (e.g., if you work nights).

To lessen stress and anxiety, many also utilize earplugs. Earplugs might provide you with some calm if your thoughts keeps racing and you have problems falling asleep. An excellent approach to wind down from the day is to listen to an audiobook as you go to sleep. Additionally, if you have tinnitus, earplugs can be beneficial (ringing in the ears). Earplugs can help you concentrate on sleeping by drowning out background noise. Recently, sleeping with AirPods has gained some popularity.

The use of earplugs has a few drawbacks as well. First of all, some people may find them uncomfortable to wear. As a result of the earplugs’ pressure, some people have trouble falling asleep. Additionally, wearing earplugs can interfere with your ability to detect nearby sounds like alarms or other crucial noises. If you need to be informed of something in the middle of the night, this could be an issue.

If you have sensitive skin, you might discover that wearing earplugs irritates or itches your skin. Additionally, earplugs might come loose at odd hours of the night, which can be bothersome and cause you to awaken. Finally, if you frequently wear earplugs, you can notice that your hearing gradually becomes less sensitive.

Alternatives to Earplugs for Sleeping

White noise machine

Unwanted noise can be muffled with the aid of a white noise machine. A sound that is evenly dispersed across all frequencies is called white noise. This hinders the brain’s ability to digest information and can help you concentrate while you sleep.

There are numerous varieties of white noise machines, ranging from straightforward fans to more complex machines that produce a variety of noises. Some individuals favor the sound of rain or the crashing of waves on the shore. Others discover that they enjoy the sound of a fan or an air conditioner that is buzzing. Utilizing a white noise machine has the benefit of blocking out undesirable noise effectively. Additionally, a lot of people find white noise to be calming and peaceful. You don’t need to put anything in your ears, and it may help you sleep better.

The coolest alternative to earplugs for sleeping on our list is a white noise maker. Go for it if you enjoy the sound of rain or waves while you’re sleeping. Depending on the type you choose, the cost of employing a white noise machine can be a drawback. Additionally, some people may find the device’s sound to be grating (keep in mind if you share your bedroom). The likelihood is that you won’t appreciate the sound of a white noise machine if you have difficulties falling asleep with a fan on.

Noise-canceling headphones

The purpose of noise-canceling headphones is to lessen ambient noise. Be careful not to mix up noise-cancelling and noise-isolating headphones. They function by generating an undesirable noise-cancelling sound wave. Noise-cancelling headphones are practical noise-blockers that are also cozy to wear.

The benefit of using noise-canceling headphones is that you can still hear sounds you want to hear, like alarms or your partner snoring, yet they are quite good at blocking out unwanted noise.

The drawback of utilizing noise-canceling headphones is their potential cost. Additionally, noise-canceling headphones are bulkier and more difficult to use while sleeping, which makes them uncomfortable. The likelihood is that noise-canceling headphones will be too large and heavy for you if using conventional headphones keeps you from falling asleep.

On the plus side, noise-canceling headphones have outstanding sound quality and can be used for other things besides listening to music as you work out or read at the library.

Headphone bands

The majority of people are unaware that there are specific headphones made for sleeping. These headphones, commonly referred to as “sleep bands,” are cozy to wear and won’t come unfastened at odd hours. The use of headphone bands has the benefit that they are quite cozy, reasonably priced, and simple to locate. The biggest benefit is that there is no risk of your headphones coming off and waking you up in the middle of the night.

The disadvantage of headphone bands is that they might not be as good at reducing noise as the other solutions on our list. Additionally, some individuals find it challenging to get acclimated to wearing them. If you don’t mind dozing off while wearing a beanie or headband, this choice might be suitable for you.

Ear muffs

A fantastic alternative to earplugs for sleeping is an ear muff. They are easy to wear and won’t come unfastened at night. A cheap and original way to improve your chances of sleeping well is to use earplugs. The biggest benefit is that you don’t need to worry about your earplugs being unclipped at night! The drawback of wearing ear muffs is that they can be uncomfortable to carry about all day. Additionally, ear muffs won’t allow you to duplicate the audio from your favorite music or movie.

The least expensive option on this list for earplugs for sleeping is likely ear muffs. The majority of us already own a pair. Ear muffs might also increase your perspiration production if you reside in a hot region. The ear muffs may also irritate some people’s skin or make them itchy.

10 Alternatives to Earplugs for Sleeping Pros Cons How to Choose

Sleeping can be a challenge if youre plagued by noise snoring partners honking cars or noisy neighbors Earplugs are a common solution but they come with potential drawbacks like earwax buildup or discomfort Luckily there are many alternatives to earplugs that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer

1 White Noise Machine

A white noise machine generates a continuous sound that blocks out unwanted noise from traffic to barking dogs Theyre available in different sounds like rain or ocean waves and can be soothing for many people Prices vary widely from 20 to 100 or more depending on the quality and features of the machine The advantage of a white noise machine is that its nonintrusive and can be shared with others in the same room or house The downside is that it may not work for all people or all types of noise

2 Moldable Wax or Silicone Putty Earplugs

Unlike regular foam earplugs wax or silicone putty earplugs can fit into your ear canal without causing discomfort or ear pain Theyre reusable and easy to find in drugstores or online The advantage of this type of earplug is that its inexpensive and doesnt require any electricity or special equipment The downside is that it can be messy to use and may fall out of your ear if not molded correctly

3 NoiseCanceling Headphones

Noisecanceling headphones create an opposite sound wave that cancels out outside noise Theyre expensive and bulky but if you can afford them they can be very effective The advantage of noisecanceling headphones is that they dont require you to insert anything into your ears and can be used for other activities like listening to music or watching movies The downside is that they can be uncomfortable to sleep in and may interfere with alarms or other important sounds

4 Sleep Headphones

Sleep headphones are designed to be worn while sleeping and are often made of soft stretchy fabric like headbands or beanies Theyre wired or wireless and most have builtin speakers that can play soothing sounds or music The advantage of sleep headphones is that theyre comfortable and wont fall out of your ears like regular headphones The downside is that they may not block all types of noise and can be expensive

5 Ear Muffs

Ear muffs are typically worn outdoor in cold weather but they can also block noise well Theyre affordable and dont require any electricity The advantage of ear muffs for sleeping is that theyre comfortable and not invasive like earplugs The downside is that they can be hot and bulky which may make sleeping uncomfortable

6 Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels are typically used in sound studios but can also be an effective solution for reducing noise in a bedroom Theyre installed on walls or ceilings and absorb sound waves The advantage of acoustic panels is that they can be customized to fit any room and can be very effective in reducing noise The downside is that they can be expensive and may require installation by a professional

7 Soundproof Curtains

Soundproof curtains are designed to reduce noise by absorbing sound waves Theyre affordable and can be hung on any window The advantage of soundproof curtains is that they are easy to install and can be used for other purposes like blocking out light The downside is that they may not be as effective as other solutions and may not fit all window sizes

8 Foam Inserts for Earmuffs

If you already have a pair of earmuffs foam inserts can be an affordable and effective solution Theyre designed to fit inside the ear cups of earmuffs and block noise The advantage of foam inserts for earmuffs is that they are affordable and can be used with earmuffs you already own The downside is that they may not fit all earmuffs and can be uncomfortable if not inserted properly

9 Custom Earplugs

If you have the budget and want a customized solution custom earplugs may be the way to go Theyre molded to your ear canal and can be very effective at blocking out noise The advantage of custom earplugs is that they are comfortable and fit perfectly so they wont fall out The downside is that theyre expensive and require a visit to an audiologist to get fitted

10 Natural Sleep Aids

Finally if you want a solution that doesnt involve any gadgets or equipment there are natural sleep aids that can promote a better sleep environment like lavender oil chamomile tea or a warm bath before bedtime The advantage of natural sleep aids is that theyre affordable and wont cause any discomfort The downside is that they may not be as effective as other solutions especially for significant noise disruptions

In conclusion there are many alternatives to earplugs for sleeping each with its own advantages and disadvantages Choosing the best solution for you will depend on your budget sleep preferences and type of noise disturbance With some experimentation you can find the perfect solution that will allow you to sleep soundly even amidst the noisiest of surroundings


1. What are some alternatives to earplugs for sleeping?

Some ear plugs alternative for sleeping include white noise machines, sleep headphones, earmuffs, acoustic panels, soundproof curtains, foam inserts for earmuffs, custom earplugs, and natural sleep aids such as lavender oil or chamomile tea.

2. Why do some people prefer alternatives to earplugs for sleeping?

Some people find earplugs uncomfortable or invasive, while others may find them ineffective in reducing noise. Others may have medical issues that prevent them from using earplugs.

3. Do alternatives to earplugs work as well as earplugs for sleeping?

It depends on the individual and the type of noise disturbance. Some alternatives may be more effective than others, but it may take some experimentation to find the best solution for you.

4. Are there any downsides to using alternatives to earplugs for sleeping?

Some alternatives may be more expensive than earplugs or may require professional installation. Others may not be as effective or may be uncomfortable to wear. Additionally, natural sleep aids may not be as effective for significant noise disruptions.

5. How can I choose the best alternative to earplugs for sleeping?

Choosing the best alternative will depend on your budget, sleep preferences, and type of noise disturbance. It may require some experimentation to find the perfect solution for you.