alternative to earplugs for sleeping

If you have trouble sleeping, you need a set of earplugs to block out noise. Since our ear canals are sometimes sensitive and especially prone to irritation during the night, our earplugs are crafted with the highest quality of medical grade silicone. These soft and comfortable plugs allow you to still hear ambient sounds yet reduce loud disturbances.

This product offers a simple way to improve your sleep. cause consistent, sound-blocking ear plugs. they keep out just enough ambient noise while still allowing you to hear people speaking, alarms and other important sounds.

List of the best alternative to earplugs for sleeping

The best earplugs for sleeping have to be comfortable, soft and effective to prevent the noise from disturbing your sleep. If you usually go to bed with a snoring partner or have trouble falling asleep in noisy environments, then these earplugs are perfect for you!

Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Putty Ear Plugs

Best for side sleepers

If you’re strictly a side sleeper, Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Putty Ear Plugs are your best bet. They’re made of soft, fully moldable silicone that shapes to your ear opening and forms an airtight seal that blocks out noise. Although these took a little getting used to — I’ve never tried silicone earplugs before — they quickly became one of my favorites.

Aside from the fact that I was able to shape them to fit my ears perfectly, they were soft and comfortable and stayed completely flat on my ear opening, so they didn’t hurt my ears at all. Most importantly, they did an excellent job at blocking out snoring and any other ambient noise (like three large cats play-fighting in the middle of the night). 

The airtight seal also kept them firmly in place, and they didn’t fall out even when I tossed and turned. Every time I wore these, I woke up with both still in my ears, a feat that many standard earplugs haven’t been able to accomplish. The six pairs also come neatly packaged in a plastic carrying case, to keep the silicone clean and free from debris in between uses — a small but appreciated touch.

$4 at Walmart

Eargasm Squishies

Also great for side sleepers

The Eargasm Squishies are another moldable silicone option that are similar to the Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Putty Ear Plugs. The biggest difference between the two, besides the color, is in the directions. Mack’s silicone earplugs must be used whole — you can’t break them or cut them apart. However, Eargasm says if the earplugs are too big, you can break off a piece to get that perfect fit. This is helpful if you have small ears, like me, and find that using the entire silicone earplug just feels too intrusive.

As far as noise reduction goes, the Eargasm Squishies were just as effective as Mack’s putty earplugs. The two have the same noise reduction rating — 22 dB — so I was expecting that the performance would be in line, and it was. The comfort level was also similar, although the Eargasm Squishies had the slight advantage since I could break off a piece and make them a little smaller. The Eargasm Squishies also come in a convenient carrying case with eight reusable pairs.

$13 at Amazon

Mack’s Slim Fit Foam Ear Plugs

Best for small ears

The Mack’s Slim Fit Foam Ear Plugs look like any regular old foam earplugs, but I could feel the difference in quality as soon as I put them in my ears. They quickly formed an airtight seal and muffled sound instantly. While I could still hear some noise (earplugs aren’t meant to completely eliminate noise, by the way), the loud snoring going on next to me went from a roaring thunderstorm to a minor distraction that was easy to tune out. These particular earplugs have a noise reduction rating of 29 dB. For reference, most earplugs on the market have a rating of 0 to 30 dB and the higher the number, the more effective they are. 

And they’re specifically made for small ear canals. I’ve used other foam earplugs in the past and always have issues with them falling out in the middle of the night. It wasn’t until I had a conversation with Pete Brenner, whose family started selling Mack’s earplugs in 1962, that I realized it’s because I wasn’t using the right size earplugs for me. It makes a huge difference in effectiveness, so keep that in mind. The foam is also soft and pliable, so it molded right to my ear canal for the perfect, comfortable fit.

If you don’t have small ears, you can still take advantage of Mack’s advanced snore-blocking technology with its Snore Blockers or Original Soft Foam Earplugs. If you go with any of these options, make sure you thoroughly read the directions before putting them in your ears. One of the most common reasons these types of earplugs get a bad review is because they’re not inserted properly.

$11 at Amazon


SoundOff Sleep Noise Masking Device

Most calming earplugs

The SoundOff Sleep Noise Masking Device is another option that’s similar to the Bose Sleepbuds II and the QuietOn Sleep Earbuds in function. Like the QuietOn Sleep Earbuds, they play one sound — a pink noise that has almost a wave-like vibe. 

Pink noise, which is similar to white noise, but with a smoother sound that hits the same notes as sounds you would find in nature (wind, rain or waves), is supposed to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly and, in my experience, it really worked. I find some white noise a little jarring or unnatural, like it’s there to cover something up, rather than soothe you. But the pink noise playing in the SoundOff device was soothing, calming and effective at blocking out snoring.

One thing I really liked about these earplugs is that the controls are right on the device itself. There’s a small button that you hold down to turn on the pink noise, then you can press it to toggle through five levels of volume. I kept it on the second or third volume settings for the most part, and I was able to get through two nights of sleep without needing a recharge.

As far as design goes, I didn’t have high hopes for comfort level when I first saw the SoundOff device. Rather than a slim earbud or squishy foam that you put in your ear, they’re shaped like a hearing device, with an earpiece that goes in your ear and a looped plastic piece that wraps around the outside of your ear and holds the earplugs in place. But they were surprisingly comfortable. The adjustable plastic is soft, and it bends and moves with you, so even when I was sleeping on my side, I could barely feel them.

$180 at SoundOff


Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs

Best for travel

The Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs are different from others on this list. They’re actually designed for live music festivals, so rather than blocking out noise, the intent is to lower the decibels of the sound around you to make the noise more manageable. This makes them the ideal choice for traveling, when the noise can get overwhelming but you don’t want to be completely checked out from the world as you take a quick snooze.

Unfortunately, because of current travel restrictions, I wasn’t able to test them during actual travel, but I did wear them in a coffee shop and while I was waiting in line to check out at a busy store, and they did an excellent job of blocking out voices, reducing pitches and dulling loud music.

You can use them for sleeping at home too, but only if you’re strictly a back sleeper. The earplugs have a stem that sticks out straight from your ear canal, so not only are they uncomfortable when you’re sleeping on your side, it’s possible that they would get pushed too far into your ear and cause problems.

The earplugs come with three different ear tip sizes so you can find the ideal fit for your ear canal and a small carrying case that makes them easier to travel with.

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