The Single Number Rating or SNR measures how much noise reduction ear plugs offer in decibels. For example, an SNR of 25 means that the ear plugs reduce the volume of the sound you hear by roughly 25 decibels.
The highest SNR ratings available at the moment are in the high 30s. This article explains why it’s currently not possible to produce a pair of ear plugs with an SNR of 40 or above.
Here’s a list of some of the highest-SNR ear plugs currently available in the UK. They won’t completely block out all noise, but they will offer you the highest level of protection possible.
1. 3M EAR Soft FX
SNR: 39 dB
E.A.R Earsoft FX ear plugs have an SNR of 39, which is the highest SNR rating of any pair of ear plugs available in the UK at the time of writing. They are designed with a tapered end, which makes them comfier than many other ear plugs.
These ear plugs are made from a soft material which adapts to fit the shape of your ear canal. They’re popular with motorcyclists who use them to block out wind noise, but they’re also a good choice for sleeping in.
2. 3M E.A.R Push-Ins Reusable Corded Ear Plugs
SNR: 38 dB
3M E.A.R Push-Ins Reusable Corded Ear Plugs have an SNR of 38, so they offer almost as much protection as the Earsoft FX ear plugs mentioned above. These ear plugs start to feel uncomfortable after a few hours, so they’re not a great choice for sleeping in. However, they certainly block out a lot of noise.
These ear plugs can be washed and reused, though you should still replace them regularly. See them on Amazon here.
3. Silverline 282557
SNR: 37 dB
These Silverline ear plugs have an SNR rating of 37, meaning they offer slightly less ear protection than the other two pairs of ear plugs described above.
These ear plugs have a tapered end making them comfier in your ears, and are made from a soft material which will expand to fit your ears. They conform to UK health and safety regulations EN352-2. Each pair is individually wrapped. See them on Amazon here.
4. Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs
SNR: 35 dB
Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs are some of the most popular ear plugs in the UK due to the combination of comfort and hearing protection they offer. They have an SNR of 35 dB which isn’t quite as high as some of the other ear plugs in this roundup but is still very high.
These ear plugs are made from soft polyurethane foam which adapts to fit the shape of your ears. They’re a good choice for sleeping in since they’re so soft. They’re relatively small though, so they could be too small if you have large ears.
5. Moldex SparkPlugs
SNR: 35 dB
These colourful and fun-looking ear plugs offer a serious amount of noise attenuation (35 dB). Moldex SparPlugs are soft and comfortable, making them a good choice for sleeping. Lots of motorcyclists also use them for blocking out wind noise since they’re comfortable for wearing on long journeys.
One of the best things about these ear plugs is that they’re very economical, especially if you buy them in bulk.