It’s hard to injure yourself seriously while sleeping with headphones, and it is generally perfectly safe to do so as long as you realize that there are some potential risks and do your best to mitigate them. Sleeping with noise-canceling earbuds comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages. It is important to know both the pros and cons and opt for headphones designed especially for sleeping.
Things To Consider Before Buying Noise Canceling Earbuds For Sleeping
In order to select the right kind of headphones – ones that will minimize the risk factors and maximize the benefits, it’s important to take some important factors into consideration.
What Type of Headphones Best For Sleeping
- Headphones: Headphones are pretty large and definitely bulkier than earbuds or a headband. They are designed to fit over your ears and completely cover them; they provide great sound quality and noise canceling. These headphones tend to give off lots of heat, and they are particularly uncomfortable for side sleepers. Back sleepers that never turn, on the other hand, may find them entirely comfortable. Still, if you decide to purchase noise-canceling headphones, make sure to buy those designed for sleeping, as they are thinner, softer, and more lightweight.
- Earbuds: Earbuds are definitely less bulky than headphones. However, many users, especially side sleepers, will notice that they tend to dig into their ears and cause discomfort or even pain. In addition, earbuds pose an increased risk of bacteria buildup if you wear them too often and for several hours at a time.
- Headband: In terms of comfort, headbands are the clear winner. They are soft, thin, and cozy and cause no strain whatsoever. However, as your goal is to cancel out surrounding noises, make sure to search for some headband headphones that provide good sound quality. Also, try to find a model made of a breathable material that won’t make you hot or cause your skin to break out.
- Passive: Passive noise canceling is the kind of noise-canceling that physically blocks the sound from entering your ears. Earplugs are a great example of passive noise canceling. The headphones that offer passive noise canceling are the ones that simply cover your ear canals and thus block a certain amount of soundwaves from entering; without providing any other more active noise canceling methods.
- Active: In addition to passive noise canceling that occurs naturally due to the physical blockage, active noise-canceling headphones use electronic signals to block the surrounding sounds. This is the most effective way to experience some peace and quiet.
Wired or Wireless?
The wires that connect your headphones to the device can often be problematic and even dangerous, as they can get tangled and wrapped around your throat. While it’s not likely that you will strangle yourself during sleep; it can cause discomfort, noise due to moving the device it’s connected to, and sleep disruption.
In terms of comfort and sleep quality, wireless headphones are the clear winner. However, you have to consider the battery life as each model only works for a limited number of hours before the battery dies.
How To Choose Noise Canceling Earbuds For Sleeping
In addition to these important considerations listed above, there are some other things you should check and review in order to choose the perfect set of headphones for sleeping that will best fit your needs.
- Style: A headphone’s style or shape is an important consideration and it depends mostly on the user’s preferences and sleeping position. Review the differences between over/on-ear headphones; in-ear headphones or earbuds, and headbands in the previous chapter, consider each type’s pros and cons and choose according to your needs.
- Pricing and Warranty: The prices of headphones, earbuds, and headbands vary dramatically. Some noise-canceling earbuds may cost less than $20, and others cost well over $200. The old ‘you get what you pay for’ saying may not apply, especially for sleeping headphones. As such, it’s best to read the reviews. A good warranty policy is also important as it offers a kind of protection in case of any issues. Most headphone warranties provide a one or two-year protection.
- Sound Quality: When it comes to sound, it’s important to consider two things – how clear the audio is and how well it blocks out the surrounding noises. We want our headphones to provide us with some quiet when we need it and to give us a crystal-clear, loud, and immersive listening experience without disrupting others in our external environment. While headphones may win in this department, they are not the most comfortable sleeping choice. On the other hand, Headbands are very comfortable, but the sound quality they offer isn’t the best.
- Connectivity: As we have determined before, in terms of sleeping, it’s better to opt for wireless headphones. In quality, they are competitive with wired headsets and you can’t get tangled up on any wires that may disrupt your sleep. However, wireless headphones have to be charged in order to work, they are only compatible with Bluetooth-enabled devices, and even though it is unlikely, they may suffer from interference.
- Cord length: If for some reason you prefer to buy a pair of wired headphones, make sure to consider the cord length. The models that come with longer cords will provide more space between the headphones and the device and thus give you more freedom. On the other hand, they also provide more length to get tangled up.
- Weight: In terms of sleeping, lightweight headphones are a better option, as heavier models tend to be bulkier and less comfortable, which may be a big issue, especially for side sleepers.
- Sizes: Some headphones come in one size, while other offer multiple sizing options to fit each user’s ears. To make sure the headphones (especially earbuds) are as comfortable as possible and that they stay put and provide the best sound and noise canceling, it’s important to find the right size.
10 Best Noise Canceling Earbuds For Sleeping
Not all headphones are suitable for sleeping. Some models are simply too bulky, large, heavy, and uncomfortable. Therefore it’s best to choose from a reliable list of the best noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping. In this chapter, you can see our top 10 picks and read more about why they are a good choice.
These earbuds are flat on the outside and extremely comfortable. Even though they are compact, they are soft and have a seamless design that will make you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. They are less than ¼ of an inch thick, lightweight, and have a soft foam with a secure fit. They sit gently on the outside of the ear and have a rubber-coated memory wire that can be placed to the front or back of your neck, depending on your preferences. These earbuds are suitable for all kinds of sleepers, even the ones that sleep on the side.
They provide great sound quality and feature a slider adjuster on the wire. As they have an in-built single-button remote and microphone, they enable you to control the audio and even to make calls. These headphones are compatible with all kinds of audio-playing devices, including phones, tablets, and MP3 players. They come in both wired and wireless versions and a pouch for carrying and replacement foam earpads.
- Reasons to buy : These are probably the most versatile headphones for sleeping. They are comfortable and feature an inline remote and microphone.
- Who would this be good for : These headphones are a great option for sleepers and anyone who needs a lightweight and compact set of earbuds. It may not be the best option for runners.
2. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Canceling Headphones
In addition to the noise-canceling in-ear design, these headphones also provide a balanced noise-blocking frequency response and sound. They have an in-built microphone and remote that allows you to control the audio. With the ‘Aware’ feature the headphones allow you to stay connected. With a simple push of a button, you will be able to hear all potential announcements and notifications, while still playing the music and blocking out surrounding noises. They offer an impressive sound and comfortable non-intrusive design. They have a wireless design with a rechargeable battery that will last up to 16 hours. Nonetheless, they are fairly expensive.
- Reasons to buy : These headphones are well built and reliable, made by a dependable company, known for producing high-quality audio devices.
- Who would this be good for : If you like the design, built-in facilities, and ‘Aware’ mode, this item may be the right one for you. However, it is quite expensive.
3. AcousticSheep SleepPhones
This headband with in-built earplugs was designed by a doctor to help patients with sleeping disorders. It is extremely light and comfortable. You wear it like a headband and place the speakers directly over your ears. The speakers are flat and adjustable and they aren’t the least bit uncomfortable. Furthermore, the speakers aren’t even visible, which makes them suitable for any occasion. The headband is made of fleece material with 95% of polyester and after you remove the speakers, it is washable. It comes with a 4-feed cable and a 13-hour battery life. The headband is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. The speakers are quite thin and don’t provide the most spectacular sound quality but it is decent enough. In addition, they don’t cancel out noises completely as they don’t completely cover your ears, nor do they fit inside them, but they block most of the external sounds.
- Reasons to buy : They are extremely comfortable and washable.
- Who would this be good for : This headband is the perfect solution for those who prioritize comfort. It is very versatile and thus suitable for countless different occasions.
4. Shure SE215-K-UNI Sound Isolating Earphones
These headphones are very popular, mostly due to the fact that they provide great sound quality while canceling out external noises. The sound is natural, clear, and easy to adjust. They come with a detachable cable and earpiece connectors with a full 360-degree rotation and a lock-snap mechanism. The 3.5mm gold plated connector is compatible with a large selection of audio-playing devices. The headphones are light, yet sturdy, and they offer ear tips of various sizes. Considering their quality and reliable manufacturers, they are surprisingly affordable.
- Reasons to buy: They provide a great clear sound with extended bass. They are of high quality and very adjustable, yet they are also very cost-effective.
- Who would this be good for : These headphones are a great option for those whose primary concern is a good and crystal-clear sound. But make sure to fit them into your ears right, otherwise, the sound may be distorted.
5. Sleepace Sleep Headphones
This comfortable pair of headphones is known for its innovative headband design that also features an eye mask. The headband is made of silk and lycra, which makes it light, breathable, and washable. The in-built speakers are extra slim. Therefore they don’t cause any discomfort. However, as they are not padded, they are not the best option for side sleepers, and the sound isn’t spectacular either. It comes with a four and a half feet long connecting cord and a 3.5mm plug connector.
One of the most impressive features of this product is the possibility to download the Sleepace app, which is designed to detect the stage of your sleep and automatically turn the device off. These headphones provide a gentle sound, and the volume is rather low; plus, instead of completely blocking out noise, they simply reduce it. On the flip side, this product has no volume control, which means it has to be done on the device.
- Reasons to buy: This product works as both a headband and an eye mask, it comes with the Sleepace app, which turns off the music after you fall asleep, and it has a competitive price.
- Who would this be good for : This may be the perfect solution for those who wish to use both comfortable sleeping headphones and an eye mask. As such, it is ideal for travelers.
6. CozyPhones Sleep Headphones
This is another headband with in-built speakers, perfect for those who tend to sleep on the side. The speakers are flat and padded, therefore they don’t cause the slightest discomfort. The headband is made of a cool mesh on the inside and fleece on the outside and it’s washable (just make sure to remove the speakers beforehand). The 3.5mm connector fits most electronic devices with a headphone socket. The connecting cable is durable and fifty-four inches long, which allows you more freedom of movement. Headbands with small in-built speakers rarely produce an amazing sound, however, the sound quality of this device is surprisingly good. However, instead of blocking the external noises completely, it will merely reduce them.
- Reasons to buy : This headband is very comfortable, well-made, and affordable.
- Who would this be good for : This comfortable headband is great for side sleepers. As they are not designed to fit very tightly, they are not the best option for sports.
7. AGPTEK Sleep Headphones
This is a comfortable headband with in-built speakers and an eye mask. It blocks two of your most significant senses, reduces incoming sensations, and thus provides total relaxation. These earbuds come with a five feet long durable connecting cable and a 3.5mm plug designed to fit most devices. It is light and comfortable and features a built-in volume adjustment. The sound it provides is decent but not very loud.
- Reasons to buy : In addition to serving as comfortable sleeping headphones, it also serves as an eye mask. It is very affordable.
- Who would this be good for : These sleep headphones also act as an eye mask, which makes them another good option for frequent travelers and those who are bothered by any light. As they block out most of the external world, they are great for meditation, yoga, and relaxation.
8. Final Audio Design High-Resolution Headphone
These headphones may not look like much, but they are very compact, light, fitting, comfortable, and of high quality. They come with a classy design and amazing audio quality, which is their biggest advantage. Even though they are comfortable, due to their bulky design and wires they may not be a good option for restless side sleepers.
- Reasons to buy: These earbuds are well made with good and sturdy materials. They provide stunning sound quality and they come at a good price.
- Who would this be good for : This product may be the perfect option for those who are seeking the best sound quality. However, it is not suitable for side sleepers and those who tend to toss and turn.
9. Panasonic- Rp-hs46e-k Slim Clip On Earphone
Panasonic is a very reliable and reputable electronics company and their latest earbuds definitely live up to the name. They have a compact build and provide a clear and powerful sound, but unfortunately, they don’t feature a volume control button. As they are not exactly quiet and due to their bulky design, they may not be ideal for sleep and relaxation. However, they are suitable for a wide selection of other activities.
- Reasons to buy: These headphones provide a powerful sound. The design is sturdy and durable and they are of high quality. The price is good as well.
- Who would this be good for : While they are a wonderful option for a variety of different activities, they may not be ideal for sleeping, especially not for side sleepers.
10. Tooks SPORTEC BAND
This headband is made of 100% microfleece. It is soft, comfortable, and washable. It has a wired and a wireless Bluetooth-enabled version. As the in-built speakers are not particularly slim, you may feel them if you try to sleep on your side. The sound is decent but the item has no volume adjustment. As it only comes in one size, which is smaller than average, it won’t fit those who have a larger head, because it may be too tight. While they may not cancel out noises completely, they do significantly reduce them.
- Reasons to buy : Tooks SPORTEC BAND is a decent product that comes with a low price tag.
- Who would this be good for : This product is a great option for those who are looking for a decent headband with in-built speakers that is good for both sleeping and sports and doesn’t cost too much.
What Do I Want The Best Noise-Canceling Earbuds For Sleeping?
You want the best headphones or earbuds for sleeping in order to improve your quality of sleep, cancel out any external noise, relax, fall asleep quicker, sleep sounder, improve your health, and much more. Check out the numerous benefits of wearing noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping above.
Risks Of Sleeping With Earbuds Or Headphones
In order to avoid potential risks and complications caused by sleeping with headphones, we must first know and understand them. The potential drawbacks of sleeping with earbuds or headphones include:
- Ear pressure: If you tend to sleep on the side, you may feel some physical pressure on your ears. While this pressure may not cause serious health concerns, it is highly uncomfortable to sleep under pressure and wake up in pain. Moreover, it can interfere with your sleep and thus lower your immune system. As such, make sure to pick some rather small and soft earbuds that fit your ears perfectly and don’t cause any pressure.
- Strangulation: Many headphones use wires to connect to a device. These wires are a potential hazard – they can wrap around your throat and block your airway. In addition, if you are a restless sleeper that tends to toss around a lot, you will probably pull the device to which the headphones are connected towards yourself and off a nightstand if that is where you usually keep the device. Therefore, it’s better to opt for wireless headphones.
- Hearing impairment: Loud sounds can have a negative effect on your hearing and listening to music at high volume can be very harmful. Generally, any long-term sound over 60 decibels is considered risky and potentially damaging. If you decide to sleep with your headphones on, make sure to turn the volume down.
- Distraction: Another issue that is caused by loud volume is a potential distraction. Of course, it is appreciated to block out street noise, a party next door, and the chatter of our loud roommates, however, if you block out the noises completely, you may miss the sound of an emergency.
- Otitis externa: Otitis externa or the ‘swimmer’s ear’ is the condition of an inflated external ear canal. It may be caused by loud music or earbuds protruding into the ear canal. To avoid this condition, make sure to turn down the volume and avoid ear pressure.
- Earwax and bacteria buildup: Earbuds that form a tight seal over your ear canal, may block the circulation that allows for earwax to dissolve. This may cause earwax buildup and if it collects around the eardrum, it can get uncomfortable and may even require medical attention and treatment. Bacteria buildup, on the other hand, may cause ear infections. Remember not to wear tight earbuds for longer periods of time and to clean them properly and regularly.
To avoid any of the risk factors listed above, make sure to opt for earbuds designed for sleeping and to remove them as soon as you notice any kind of discomfort.
See more : Is It Safe to Sleep With AirPods ?
Benefits Of Sleeping With Earbuds?
Sleeping with earbuds has some disadvantages, but it also clearly has some major benefits.
- Educational audios: Wearing headphones while sleeping allows you to listen to some personal growth audios that may rewire your subconscious mind. While sleeping, our brain produces theta and delta brain waves, which are associated with the subconscious mind. Numerous studies have shown that we can learn new things while we’re asleep and that listening to educational audio during sleep can rewire our minds, erase our limiting beliefs, install new ones, and thus enhance our well-being.
- Relaxing audios: In order to fall asleep quickly and to sleep as soundly as possible, we have to be relaxed. And what better way to relax your body and mind than to listen to white noise or calming music?
- Healing music: Listening to calming or classical music while sleeping has been shown to have numerous health benefits. It may reduce stress and anxiety, prevent depression, improve your mood, boost immunity and brain function, increase overall efficiency, and enhance sleep quality.
- Noise-canceling: Wearing headphones while sleeping can cancel out all the noises. Effective noise canceling is crucial in achieving a peaceful good night’s sleep. Some headphones offer passive and others active noise cancellation (read more in the next chapter). Whichever type of headphones you opt for, make sure they will give you the silence you need.
- Faster falling asleep: If you have trouble falling asleep, the right kind of music will definitely help. Sleeping with music can treat insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Moreover, you can download a meditation app and listen to some sleeping meditations before falling asleep.
- Sleep health: Bulky headphones may force you to sleep on your back. Forcefully changing your sleeping position may be difficult, especially if you really love sleeping on the side or on the belly, however, sleeping on the back is best for your overall health. It is the best position for your spine, it’s great for your neck and other organs, and it even helps fight aging, because squishing your face against the pillow every night makes your skin more wrinkly.
- Sleep quality: Wearing headphones while sleeping (and doing it properly without any discomfort) can significantly improve the quality of your sleep and help you wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Sleep quality is very important. It strengthens your immune system, improves your overall health, and even boosts your happiness levels. As such, this benefit probably outweighs a lot of potential risks.
Options For Reducing Night Time Noise
In addition to wearing noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping, there are some other options for reducing night-time noise, which you may find useful, especially if you live on a busy street, have a loud neighbor, or sleep with a partner who tends to snore a lot. Other noise-reducing options include:
- Earplugs: If your only goal is to cancel out external noises, simple earplugs may be the right option for you. Earplugs tend to be budget-friendly and some are designed especially for sleeping. Keep in mind, that most of the health issues associate with earbuds apply to earplugs as well.
- Sound apps: Nowadays, there are many sound apps that offer sleep sounds, meditations, songs, and stories, which may help you focus on more pleasant sounds instead of being distracted by harsh external noises. You can play them through speakers or headphones.
- White noise machines: White noise machines are designed to drown out ambient noise by producing a sound similar to radio or TV static. You can play the noise through speakers or headphones.
- Room modifications: If the disturbing noise is coming from outside of your bedroom, you may consider other non-tech solutions, such as adding carpets and curtains that can help muffle sounds.
FAQs – Frequently Ask Questions
Are noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping comfortably to wear all night long?
This depends on the model and its design. The bulker headphones and earbuds tend to be less comfortable and the light and soft headbands are usually very comfortable.
Are all wireless earbuds suitable for side sleeping?
Having no cables does make things easier for restless and side sleepers, however, you should also consider the design and opt for very flat and slim earbuds.
Where is the best place to buy noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping?
While there are lots of high-quality sleeping headphones to be found in stores, it’s best to buy them online. The selection is always wider online, the prices tend to be more competitive, and it’s important to read the reviews.
Do you think kids can use them at night?
If your kids are light sleepers and if they ever have to sleep in a noisy environment, wearing noise-canceling earbuds may be a lifesaver. If they need to relax and if they have trouble falling asleep, they may also benefit from some relaxing sounds, music, or stories.
Is it OK to wear my noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping every night?
Wearing earplugs every night may not be the best idea. It may cause earwax or bacteria buildup and lead to infections and other health issues. If you tend to use them often, make sure to clean them regularly and try to give your ears a break at least every now and then.
How can my wife and I listen to the same music in bed at the same time?
You can either use two sets of headphones and a splitter that you put into a single device and which is designed to split one socket into two sockets, or you can simply play the music through the speakers.
How can I stop noise while sleeping?
The best way to block out external noises and simultaneously listen to some pleasant sounds is to use headphones, earbuds, or a headband with in-built speakers. However, there are also some other options, such as wearing earplugs, using sound apps, opting for white noise machines, or sound-proofing your bedroom.