Ear plugs have a wide range of potential uses, from helping you sleep by blocking out the noise of snoring to protecting your hearing at concerts and music festivals.
There is a large choice of ear plugs available in the UK, all the way from cheap disposable one-size-fits-all ear plugs to expensive custom-moulded pairs. While custom-made ear plugs are useful for some people, the majority of people want something inexpensive, comfortable and with a good level of noise reduction. We’ve picked out 5 of the best ear plugs in the UK that combine these 3 factors.
1. 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs
3M are known for their high-quality hearing protection products, so you can rely on the 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs to offer a good level of protection for your ears.
These ear plugs are usually sold in packs of 20 or so, with each pair costing well under a pound, so they offer great value for money. They’re comfortable for sleeping in or wearing at work.
Like all ear plugs, they won’t completely block out sounds, but they do a very good job at muffling them. The 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs have an SNR of 28 dB which means they can reduce the volume of loud sounds by roughly 28 decibels.
2. Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs
Like the 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs reviewed above, these ear plugs from Howard Leight are very affordable. They’re normally sold in packs containing 10 or more pairs, and they work out cheaper if you buy them in bulk.
These ear plugs have a high-visibility design with bright magenta and yellow colours so they’re hard to lose and easy to see in low light. They also feature a soil-resistant cell-foam skin which helps prevent them from getting dirty.
The Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs have an SNR of 35 dB which puts them ahead of the 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs when it comes to noise reduction. They can reduce loud sounds by roughly 35 decibels, which makes a really big difference.
3. 3M 1100 Foam Ear Plugs
Another great pair of ear plugs from 3M, the 1100 Foam Ear Plugs are made from soft polyurethane foam allowing them to be inserted into your ears painlessly. The hypoallergenic foam expands to fit the shape of your ears without causing discomfort.
These ear plugs have an SNR of 37 dB so they can reduce the volume of loud noises by roughly 37 decibels, offering your ears a good level of protection. Like all 3M products, the 1100 Foam Ear Plugs are designed to offer an adequate level of protection for the workplace, and these ear plugs will meet UK personal protection equipment safety standards.
If you can keep these ear plugs clean you should be able to reuse them about 5 times, so they work out very cheap. They’re great at blocking out the sound of snoring, traffic and noisy neighbours.
4. Ohropax Earplugs Soft
These reusable ear plugs from Ohropax are designed to be used for all kinds of activities including sleeping, swimming and motorcycling. They come in a protective case which helps keep them safe and clean.
While these ear plugs are technically reusable, you probably won’t want to use them for more than about a week.
Everyone has different ears, but most people find the Ohropax Earplugs Soft to be comfortable enough to sleep in, and they offer a good level of noise reduction. They have an SNR of 32 dB so they can reduce the volume of loud noises by around 32 decibels.
5. Moldex Spark Plugs 7802
These cheap and cheerful ear plugs are made from soft polyurethane foam and have a fun, colourful design making them a good choice for kids. They have a tapered design offering a comfy fit for most people.
The Moldex Spark Plugs 7802 work well in lots of situations including flying, attending music festivals and sleeping. They have an SNR of 35 dB so they can reduce the volume of loud sounds hitting your eardrums by roughly 35 decibels. This means they offer a good level of protection even at loud gigs and other events.
These ear plugs aren’t exactly inconspicuous, and the bright colours might not appeal to everyone. If you want something a bit more fun than the more work-friendly ear plugs from brands such as 3M, these could be a good choice.
Ear plugs for particular purposes
If you’re looking for some ear plugs for a particular purpose, check out these articles: