Best Earplugs for Sleeping UK
The truth is there are hundreds of earplugs that claim to have the right size, material and design for your ears. But which one is really perfect for your unique sleeping style or ear shape is not easy to tell. It’s a lot of trial and error to figure that out – costing you time and money. So we went through hundreds of different earplugs and carefully picked the best earplugs for sleeping in UK.
So, whether you’re looking a noise-cancelling earplug or an earplug to combat your partner’s loud snoring, we’ve you covered. Ready to counterattack your insomnia? Let’s get to it.
Why can you trust our selection?
We compare the products in our selection by several criteria that are essential for earplugs users, such as comfort, material or price. Then we label them so you can quickly find your way around them. But that’s not all. Everyone knows that the truth lies in the user reviews. Real people sharing their very own experience. So this is what we do. After taking things like price, material, size and other factors into consideration, we consult real British buyers to give you an honest, unbiased insight.
What to look for when buying earplugs for sleeping?
An earplug is still a foreign object inserted into your ear. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that it is comfortable enough to be worn all night long, lest it hurts you more than it helps. E. g. if you have small ears, do not pick large earplugs. Yes, they might block all the sounds in the world, but your ears will get sore in no time.
Also, make sure that you have chosen the right material and shape so that the plugs are not too hard for you and fit you well. Otherwise, they might hurt your ears so much that you won’t be able to wear them the next night or even for several nights in a row. What’s more, your ears might get so sore that even wearing a hat or earrings might get unpleasant. Don’t settle for anything less than perfect.
2) Material and durability
There are three main types of earplugs on the British market: foam, silicone, and wax.
Foam earplugs are the most common and usually cheapest of them all. They are easy to compress and expand inside your ear for a snug fit. You can use them up to 3 times before discarding them (otherwise they might become a breeding ground for bacteria of all sorts). Suitable for occasional use, like travelling or when your neighbours throw a party.
If you don’t fancy the idea of stacking piles of earplugs and throwing a pair of them out every other day, try silicone. Just wash it, and it’s good for another run. Save your bank account and the environment at the same time, right? The soft material allows you to mould it, ensuring a custom fit. It is also more gentle on the ear tissue. Some of the silicone earplugs are unsuitable for side-sleeping, but we’ve selected mostly the ones that are.
Wax earplugs are becoming less and less popular lately as their silicone counterparts are getting better. They share the mouldability but are less durable and more prone to get dirty.
3) Noise reduction rating
Earplugs come in a range of shapes, sizes and materials. However, they all have the same task: to reduce noise that’s preventing you from sleeping. A noise reduction rating (NRR) shows how much of that will be blocked. For example, a 30 NRR earplugs can reduce average snoring rumble to whisper-like tranquillity.
The best rating you can get is 33. But you don’t need to go all-in like that. If your problem is merely passing traffic outside your house or a snoring partner sleeping next to you, you will be just fine with a lower NRR. Sometimes it is even recommended to go for lower levels of NRR, like when you have small children in the house and need to hear them if they start crying.
You can calculate the dB reduction yourself. Take the NRR, subtract seven and then divide by two. A 25 NRR earplug equation would be (25-7)/2 = 9 dB reduction. That equals the difference between noisy rainfall and a quiet library, more or less.
But we know what you’ve been waiting for. So without further delays, here are our…
9 Best Earplugs for Sleeping in the UK that you can trust
1. Bose Sleepbuds II – Best Splurge (Ambient Music)
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We would like to start with something extraordinary.
There are not many earplugs that are clinically tested and proven to help people getting shut-eye faster. But Bose Sleepbuds II are one of them. It is a delightful hybrid of earphones and earplugs, blocking the noise and drowning it in soothing ambient or white noise tones to help you fall and stay asleep.
The sound library consists of 40 different tracks, and the streaming is wireless with no annoying cables. The pairing is done through the Bluetooth technology (compatible with iOS 11 or later and Android 6.0 or later)
Sleepbuds II are tiny, comfortable and battery-powered with the ability to stay active for 10 hours without charging. Unlike big bulky pillows or bulky headphones that interfere with your sleep, Sleepbuds let you enjoy the comfort of soft bedding. Plus, they come with three ear tips of different sizes to fit any ear canal.
There is no NRR indicator available since it is a noise masking rather than blocking system. Instead, you can control the level of masking yourself. Which may actually be a turn-off for some people because you can’t just plug your ears and expect total silence, but always listen to some kind of sound. In other words, it might take some time getting used to.
Bose has been in the business of making people relaxed at night for quite some time. Even their first Sleepbuds were a big hit, but the second generation is even more comfortable. Despite being silicone, the tips don’t stick out, so they are perfect for side sleepers.
The top review on British Amazon mentions this as well as the ability of Sleepbuds II to completely block traffic sounds:
“After a bit of tweaking, I landed on “warm white noise” played at about 50% volume – and man, does that work for me. Any immediately noticeable traffic noise is masked by it, and off I’ll go.” – Mihnea on Amazon.co.uk
Bose Sleepbuds II boasta a rating above 4/5 on most UK’s main e-commerce sites like Amazon, Argos, Boots or John Lewis. Curry’s customers gave it an average of 8,5/10 rating.
Final verdict: Yes, it costs a pretty penny (over two hundred pounds to be exact), but it is well worth the investment. The ambient sound-generating feature is quite unique and definitely will make your bedtime much better. Add to that their snug-fit design and pleasant material and you have a product that meets the highest demands for comfort and quality.
2. Ear Plugs for Sleeping by Soundbloc™ – Editor’s Pick
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Soundbloc has the advantage of being on the market for more than 10 years. That’s 10 years collecting feedback, making adjustments, learning from mistakes and crafting the best product for light sleepers in need of more slumber.
Buyers from the UK mention the earplug’s ability to block both traffic commotion and the rumble of a heavy snorer. Some even go as far as declaring that they did not hear their partner getting up from the bed, moving around the room or even talking to them. And if you live in the capital of Britain, they might be just what you’re looking for:
“I’m a light sleeper who lives in London so I use ear plugs a lot. Sirens, traffic noise, TV audio/din from neighbouring flats can all creep into my bedroom and stop me from drifting off to sleep. These earplugs are the perfect solution and I would highly recommend them.” – DKamazonian on Amazon.co.uk
The crucial thing is to warm them up before using so they can adequately adjust inside your ear. If you don’t do that, they might fall out or wake you up due to their shifting position inside your ear. What’s more, they might not block the sounds at all since they won’t form an airtight seal. If that’s not your cup of tea, you might go for foam earplugs instead which don’t require such care. However, if you mould it the right way, you can even sleep on the side with them without the pillow pressure which is not really common in this price range.
Final verdict: There is a good reason these plugs are our editor’s pick. The material is superb – a premium hypoallergenic and non-toxic silicone of the highest grade that is gentle to your ear tissue and doesn’t get uncomfortable even after prolonged use.
The durability is astonishing – these earplugs can last up to 2 months without any issue, some users even report 1 year. The NRR stands at 27, which is quite solid. Plus the colour. Midnight shades hide any nasty earwax bits and other dirt. With a price range of £14.99-19.96 what’s not to like?
3. Deep Sleeps Soft Silicone Ear Plugs – Best Budget
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Many earplug users consider their main problem the feeling of pressure inside their ear canal after inserting the earplug. Deep Sleeps take care of this by covering only the canal’s opening, creating an airtight seal without stuffing it. This also means they work flawlessly with any size of ear – if yours happens to be a bit smaller, just pinch a bit of the earplug off. If you’re seeking comfort, look no further.
The most helpful review on UK Amazon even states that they can block the clatter and rumbling of a drunk flatmate blundering about in the room. We believe it rarely gets louder than that so blocking anything less deafening should be a piece of cake. As the reviewer puts it:
“My Sleep (and Life) have witnessed a Tenfold Improvement after introducing these into my Life.” – Mohammed Tasib on Amazon.co.uk
The downside is similar to other mouldable earplugs covering the ear canal. You have to learn how to work with them properly, otherwise they won’t work for you. They might fall out if you toss and turn in bed all night so they may not be the ideal pick for restless sleepers.
Final Verdict: With NRR as same as the plugs from Soundbloc™ but 33 % cheaper, Deep Sleeps are the go-to for budget shoppers in the UK, therefore making it our Best Budget pick. Mouldable silicone allows them to fit in comfortably and they are easy to clean for maximum durability, meaning you won’t have to buy a new package every other week or try different sizes before finding the right one for you.
4. Macks Pillow Soft Moldable Silicone Putty Earplugs – Best for Snoring (Blocks maximum noise)
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If you happen to sleep next to a heavy snorer and prefer sleeping on the side, go for silicone Mack’s earplugs. Same as with Deep Sleeps, they can be moulded to seal your ear canal without putting any pressure on it. And their 22 NRR is just the perfect value for snoring noise reduction.
Some users report getting wet ears after a night of wearing these. Still, in our opinion, that is a small price to pay for getting uninterrupted eight-hour sleep. Also, as with any other mouldable earplugs, spend some time tweaking the shape until they fit just right and don’t fall out.
One British buyer stated that his wife (with the earplugs) couldn’t hear him snoring while people in the adjacent room could – and even complained about it.
“As far as how much noise they remove – it’s quite a lot. Obviously, it’s not completely silent, but the sounds that were keeping me up are basically all gone. If my partner talks to me when he’s right next to me in bed, I have to move my head right next to his mouth to hear his words.“- Penelope Minchin on Amazon.co.uk
One pair of Mack’s earplugs will last about a week and there are 18 pairs in the package so you will be good for several months. Apart from blocking sounds, they prevent water from entering your ear canals. Thanks to that, Mack’s are the official earplugs of USA swimming.
Final verdict: Taking into consideration the overwhelmingly positive user reviews regarding snoring, their durability and price, we can wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone sleeping next to a heavy snorer.
5. Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs – Best moldable earplugs for a custom fit
With NRR 31 these silicone earplugs are so good at cancelling noise they are actually used at shooting ranges. So, if your partner snoring is just a tiny bit quieter than a pump shotgun, you should be just fine with these. The same applies to loudspeakers at concerts or working with heavy machinery.
As for comfort, Decibullz earplugs are a heavyweight. And it’s all thanks to some creative engineering. You see, unlike other earplugs, you have to heat them in boiling water, let them cool for a bit and then insert them into your ear.
They will adapt to its shape and will fit it perfectly every time after that. Standard plugs can’t be remoulded this way, never achieving the level of adaptability as Decibullz. Even if you don’t manage to create the right shape the first time, they allow you to remould them again using the same method. And to accommodate your ear even more, they come with three sizes of tips for different sizes of ear canals.
This might take some time getting used to, but as the top review on Amazon.co.uk says, if you nail it, it works like magic:
“If done properly (and I don’t know how you can’t do it properly if you follow the instructions) then you find almost all noise is cut out and they fit comfortably and easier than any earplug ever has before! I would thoroughly recommend them (And recommend the reviewers who had difficulties, go back and make sure you are using the correct size tip and remould it again in boiling water for five minutes).” – DiscoveryJ on Amazon.co.uk
However, we came across one repeated objection. After the material cools down and gets hard, it might cause some mild irritation to people with sensitive ears. If your ears get sore easily, think twice about ordering these as they might actually make your nights worse. They come with a 30-day refund policy so if they don’t work for you, simply send them back and ask for a refund.
Final verdict: We have chosen these for our Best Custom Fit category for their unique moulding system ensuring the best fit you can achieve with any available earplugs. Right now we believe they are unmatched on the market in this regard and their price range of £20.66-29.99 doesn’t differ that much from standard earplugs. If you don’t suffer from extra sensitive ears, give them a try.
6. Sleeping Ear Plugs, Hearprotek – Best For Side Sleepers/Small Ear Canal
There is one common topic amongst UK’s buyers regarding Hearprotek silicone earplugs – its size. They come in two, actually, but the small one is apparently a bliss for those with tiny ear canals. Also due to the smaller footprint, these ear plugs are more than ideal for side sleepers.
But the comfort doesn’t end with size. Hearprotek has a distinct three-layered frame that seals the ear in a gentle, unobtrusive way while at the same time allowing you to sleep on your side.
The only exception being if you have sensitive ear canals. Some users reported irritation while sleeping on the side. If this happens to you, we recommend going for foam earplugs rather than silicone ones.
According to the producer, the smaller size has a NRR of 30, while the big one boasts 32. But for those who cannot squash any standard earplug inside their ear, it is always better to have a 30 NRR than 0 NRR, right?
As one review puts it: “They block out my husband’s snoring, so presumably they would be effective against a nuclear detonation!“ – Sheena Williams on Amazon.co.uk.
Final verdict: If inserting earplugs is like forcing a camel through the eye of a needle for you, try Hearprotek. The smaller variant offers above-standard noise-cancelling rate and will fit small ear canals just right. The price range of £14.99-18.44 is also quite a bargain. If you have a hard time coming across small enough earplugs, these might finally give you a break.
7. Becheln Reusable Silicone Ear Plug – Best reusable earplugs
Higher durability is excellent for saving money, time and nerves. Who wants to order a new package every week? So, why not pick the best reusable silicone earplugs on our list?
As one buyer stated:
“I bought them about a month ago, and I’m still on my first pair! Great value for money. “ – Cara on Amazon.co.uk
But it’s not just the reusability that makes Becheln earplugs worth your money. They have an incredibly high NRR of 32, blocking not only loud snores and traffic but also protecting you while working with heavy machinery. One highly rated review on the UK’s Amazon even says that they completely drowned noise from partying neighbours (in a thin-walled house). And the overall rating on the e-commerce site is 4,4 out of 5, which is quite rare!
Everyone’s ears are different. Therefore, the Becheln earplugs can be cut into multiple parts to fit everyone perfectly as opposed to one-size-fits-all earplugs. If your ear is too small, pinch away a bit. If it’s bigger, add some more silicone from other earplugs.
Becheln earplugs are easily mouldable for a comfy all night fit. Slip them inside your ear and wait for them to fill it out gently over a few seconds. After a while, you will forget about them completely – even when sleeping on the side.
The only thing to watch out for is that don’t get stuck inside your ear canal or in your hair. Their material tends to be a bit “gummy” so they might adhere to surfaces. They are also difficult to remove dust and dirt from, so don’t let them fall on the ground. Just keep them clean, and you can use them over and over again.
Final verdict: The price tag is quite reasonable for a product of this quality. All things considered, this would be our pick for best reusable earplugs.
8. Mack’s Ultra Ear Plugs 7 pairs with free travel case – Best travel-friendly
Not really your choice for everyday side-sleeping as they tend to stick out a bit, but Mack’s Ultra earplugs can be a lifesaver on travel. They are made of low-pressure foam so you won’t have to worry about moulding or heating them in your hand like the other ones on this list. Just squish them a bit, insert in your ear and wait for them to create an airtight seal. What’s more, the foam is fully skinned and tapered for unmatched comfort.
“I use these whenever I’m on the road or hiking trails at night when I need a good night’s sleep. I’ve used a variety of ear plugs from drugstores in the past and these are by far my favourites. I don’t really know why, but they seem to block out more noise than any other plug I’ve tried. Great little travel case too. Top notch, can’t go wrong with these.” – C-Love on Amazon.co.uk
Thanks to the fact that they expand inside your ear canal, the NRR goes all the way up to 32. It can’t get much better as far as noise cancellation is concerned. With an average rating of 4.2/5 on British Amazon and 4.8/5 on British eBay, you know you are buying quality and proven product.
The only issue with them is the universal size. They might not fit everyone’s ear canal so we recommend to test them first at home before you take them on a vacation. If they are too small for you, they won’t block the sounds as effectively. On the other hand, if they are too big, they might put pressure on your ear canal, making it impossible for you to get a shut-eye.
Final verdict: So why did we pick these as our best travel-friendly earplugs? The price, soft foam material and a practical travel case. The foam is comfy enough to accommodate you whether you plan to sleep in a hotel or under the stars and it weighs next to nothing, which is something every traveller will appreciate.
9. BioEars Soft Silicone Earplugs with ACTIValoe – Bargain Pick
Easily moldable and perfect for side-sleepers, BioEars silicone earplugs with 22 NRR are a real bargain. Not only are they reusable (just keep them away from dusty surfaces and you will be fine), but with the help of Antimicrobial AlphaSan® RC 2000 powder, they prevent the growth of bacteria and mould as well. Thus prolonging durability ( = saving you money) and protecting your ear.
The most upvoted review on Asda e-commerce store recommends them for people with extra small ear canals:
“I couldn’t live without these! I find other foam type’s uncomfortable, as I seem to have extra small ear canals, so as they expand the more uncomfortable they are. These silicone ones will suit ALL ear shapes and sizes and keep out the sound from noisy neighbours!!!” – Anonymous user on Asda.com
Several shoppers reported problems with the earplugs getting caught in their hair after getting sticky from moulding. If you have extra long hair, you might consider different earplugs, preferably made of non-sticky foam. But the issue is actually quite rare, and most users were more than satisfied with BioEars earplugs.
The current average rating is 5/5 on Tesco e-commerce site, 4/5 on Boots.com, 4.6 on British eBay and 4.3 on British Amazon.
Final verdict: For the price range of £5.50-8.99 it’s an absolute steal. Add to that the increased durability, and you get one hell of a Bargain Pick.
Noisy neighbours. People snoring. Lovers fighting. If your house or flat is anything like ours, it can feel like living in the middle of a drama movie set. And if you’ve been desperate for a solution, it might be time to get a pair of earplugs.
Now you know how to pick the right one. So order your deep sleep, better mood and improved health as soon as you can.