Whether you’re protecting your ears on the job or just trying to get a good night’s rest, comfort is a major concern. You don’t want to be wearing ear plugs for hours every day if they’re rough or uncomfortable.
Everyone’s ears are different, so the best thing you can do is pick up a whole bunch of different ear plugs and experiment until you find one you like.
In this roundup, we’ll be gathering a few of the softer ear plugs available on the market to give you a good starting point.
EAR Soft FX
The E.A.R Soft FX by 3M are an impressive set of disposable ear plugs. They have one of the highest SNRs available. That level of protection makes them quite useful in the workplace, particularly where the noise level is high enough to pose a serious threat.
In addition to being protective, they’re quite comfortable. They use a tapered design that makes fitting extremely easy, helping to make sure that you or your employees get a good fit every time.
3M’s quality certainly shows in these ear plugs, offering the highest attenuation rating of all the ear plugs on this list. In fact, 3M claim that these ear plugs have the highest attenuation available on the market.
Mack’s Slim Fit Ear Plugs
If you’re one of the many people who find most ear plugs to be too big to be comfortable, these slim ear plugs by Mack’s offer solid protection in a smaller design. These slimmer ear plugs are great for sleeping as the thinner design is more comfortable, helping you to get better quality sleep.
Much like the EAR Soft FX plugs, these ear plugs use a tapered design for an easier and more comfortable fit. Whilst the NRR is a tad low for extreme noise environments, their comfort makes them ideal for attenuating ambient noise to help with concentration, for example when studying.
Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs
These soft foam ear plugs from Howard Leight are ideal for when you want cheap noise attenuation. The soft, low-pressure foam makes sure that they’re not uncomfortable to wear in the ear. However, this same low-pressure foam may be the cause of several user reports of them not staying in the ear.
Despite the relatively high SNR, most users use these ear plugs as sleep aids or study aids. If you suffer from noisy neighbours, the Howard Leight Laser Lite ear plugs are a very inexpensive solution. As with the other two ear plugs above, these ones also use a tapered design to help provide a snug fit.
Moldex 7800 Spark Plugs Earplugs
Much like the Howard Leight ear plugs above, these Moldex ear plugs deliver a comfortable fit with a reasonably high NRR. Many people use these ear plugs for sleeping, although they can be prone to falling out in the night if they don’t fit your ears well.
As we’ve said before, everyone has different ears, so these ear plugs might fit you perfectly, or they might not. Luckily, these ear plugs are quite inexpensive, so they’re worth trying out if you find other ear plugs to be too uncomfortable.
The high NRR and comfortable material makes them ideal for wearing over long periods, whether that’s at work or in bed.
Ohropax Earplugs Soft
These ear plugs from Ohropax are the first on the list to use a skin-coloured design, helping to make them a little more discreet. This makes them well-suited to use in public when you don’t want to have neon-coloured ears.
These ear plugs have the second-lowest attenuation rating on this list, but 30 dB of attenuation is still more than high enough to block out noisy neighbours or a snoring partner, if they fit your ears correctly.
The manufacturer recommends that they’re suited for sleeping, working, and relaxation. If they fit correctly, 30 dB of attenuation is enough to reduce most workplace noise to safe levels, and the comfortable low-pressure foam makes them ideal for a long workday.
All of the ear plugs on this list are of very good quality, all of them delivering solid noise attenuation as well as comfort. We recommend that you experiment with ear plugs until you find the ones that work best for you, as all ears are different.
However, we personally think that the best starting point is with the 3M EAR Soft FX as they’re inexpensive, deliver the best noise attenuation, and still offer a good level of comfort for all-day/all-night wearing. 3M are renowned for their quality hearing protection products, and we think that the EAR Soft FX are no exception.