While many people find sleeping in ear defenders uncomfortable, if you sleep on your back or in a chair you might find ear defenders comfortable enough to sleep in.
Lots of people find ear defenders help block out snoring and other noises that would otherwise keep them awake.
This article looks at some of the comfiest and most effective ear defenders for sleeping currently available in the UK.
We’ll review some of the top ear muffs for sleeping on the market, starting with what we consider to be the best choice.
We hope this article helps you get a good night’s sleep!
Best Ear Defenders for Sleeping (UK)
1. 3M Peltor Optime II Ear Muffs
Made by 3M, one of the leading names in hearing protection, the 3M Peltor Optime II Ear Muffs offer a great combination of affordability and durability.
Despite being designed primarily for wearing in the workplace, many people find these ear defenders to be a good choice for sleeping in.
Since they’re designed to be worn for long hours at work, the 3M Peltor Optime II Ear Muffs are quite comfortable and have a good amount of padding.
This makes them more comfortable for sleeping in than many other ear defenders.
These ear defenders have a Single Number Rating (SNR) of 31 dB, which means they can reduce very loud sounds by roughly 31 decibels.
They won’t fully block out snoring and other mid-volume sounds, but they do help dampen them considerably.
One good thing about this product is that you can buy replacements for the cushions and inserts online so unless the ear defenders break you can keep using them for years without them getting dirty.
2. Mpow 035 Ear Defenders
These inexpensive ear defenders from Mpow are one of the most popular hearing protection products on the market right now.
Despite being very affordable, these ear defenders are well made and should last you a long time. They’re a good choice for light sleepers as they offer a high level of noise reduction (34 dB).
These ear muffs are comfortable enough to sleep in for most people, and are a good choice if you’re trying to sleep in a noisy place.
The Mpow Ear Defenders have a smart black design, with a stripe running around each ear cup. You can buy them with a black stripe or a coloured stripe in yellow, blue, purple or red.
In addition to sleeping, you can use these ear defenders for all kinds of things including attending fireworks shows, studying or using loud machinery.
The ear cups can be folded up making them easy to carry around, and you even get a drawstring bag included to keep them in.
3. Vanderfields Ear Defenders
These affordable ear defenders from Vanderfields are fairly slimline, and lots of people find them comfy enough to sleep in.
They have an NRR of 26 dB and have two layers of noise-dampening foam, so they should do a good job at blocking out snoring.
You can combine them with ear plugs to maximise noise cancellation.
These ear defenders can feel quite tight, but you can adjust the headband to fit the size of your head.
4. Silverline 633816 Folding Ear Defenders
The Silverline 633816 Folding Ear Defenders have a thin headband which can be adjusted to fit the size of your head, making them relatively comfy for sleeping in.
If you sleep on your back they should be quite comfortable, but the design will prevent you from rolling over onto your side.
These ear defenders have an SNR of 30 dB, which means they’re reasonably effective at reducing the volume of loud noises.
They won’t block out snoring completely, but they should dull it to a more comfortable level.
Ear Defenders for Kids
It’s not just adults with snoring partners who need ear defenders. Children often benefit from them too, especially those with autism who have sensory processing difficulties.
Here are a couple of the best ear defenders for kids which can help them get a good night’s sleep.
Vanderfields Ear Defenders for Kids
These inexpensive ear defenders are some of the most popular kids’ ear defenders on the market right now.
They’re available in a large choice of colours, so there should be something your child will like.
They have an NRR noise attenuation rating of 26 dB, and have been tested and certified to both the American and European standards. This means that as well as blocking out noise while your child is trying to sleep, they’re also good for protecting the ears at noisy events such as fireworks displays.
They’re especially useful for helping your child get to sleep in the car, on the plane or in unfamiliar environments while on holiday.
These ear defenders are designed for kids aged 3 and up, so they’re not suitable for babies.
Edz Kidz Ear Defenders
Edz Kidz are some of the most popular and highly rated ear defenders for kids on the market.
They come in a huge choice of colours and designs, so even if your child is picky there should be a pair they will like.
These ear defenders have an SNR of 24 dB, so they offer a similar level of noise reduction to the Vanderfields ear defenders reviewed above.
Edz Kidz ear defenders have an adjustable padded headband and cushioned ear covers, so most kids find them quite comfy.
Alternatives to Ear Defenders
Here are some things that you could use instead of or in combination with ear defenders to get a good night’s sleep.
White noise machines
A white noise machine emits a sound that helps to drown out other noises. For example, you can buy white noise machines that produce the sounds of waterfalls or storms.
These noises are supposed to be calming and actually help you fall asleep.
So, much of what a white noise machine does is to help you calm down and get your brain ready for sleep.
White noise machines do not typically actually emit white noise. For some odd reason, white noise machines are given this name even though most of them emit something called pink noise.
White noise is a very harsh sound that many of us would struggle to sleep to. Pink noise is things like waterfalls, storms, bird noises, waves and campfires, for example.
There are some white noise machines that do actually emit white noise, but these can be quite a lot for some people to bare. We would recommend true white noise machines for anyone suffering from tinnitus.
These machines produce a noise that seems to be the perfect frequency to drown out tinnitus.
For anyone who just wants a good nights sleep and to drown out noisy neighbours, other white noise machines with different noise options are probably better for you.
Most white noise machines come with a timer setting too. This timer setting allows you to set the noise for 30, 60 or 90 minutes, for example. After this, the machine will turn off automatically.
Now, for some, this timer function may work great, if you just need a bit of calm noise as you drift off to sleep. However, for others, you may need to look for a white noise machine that can keep going all night.
There’s plenty of white noise machines out there that can go all night and provide you with a deep sleep.
An excellent use for white noise machines is in babies rooms. Babies are quite used to noise from being in the womb, but extremely loud noises can wake them up.
Of course, babies aren’t the happiest of sleepers anyway, so finding some sort of solution to your baby crying during the night may help you get a few hours extra in bed.
A white noise machine with calming noises playing as your baby sleeps can keep them in a deep sleep for hours! Give it a go, you might be surprised!
Young children can also benefit from white noise machines too. A white noise machine works particularly well for young kids during a storm or after a bad dream.
White noise machines work well with children for the same reason they work great on us, they provide a familiar, calming noise that drowns out the scary, uncomfortable noise.
Speaking of scary noises, they also work great for pets whenever there are fireworks or storms.
Every dog and cat has a place in the home that they feel safe when there is a storm or fireworks (my dog likes the bath in these cases) sticking a white noise machine in their safe place with them can help to drown out some of the noise.
Of course, our pets have far better hearing than us so a white noise machine may not drown all the noise from the storm or fireworks out, but it may produce enough to calm them down a little bit and help them sleep through the noise.
Ear plugs are most people’s preferred method of drowning out noise at night. However, many people find ear plugs uncomfortable and experience them falling out throughout the night.
Well, here’s a quick tip about ear plugs that may help you get a better nights sleep:
If you do like ear plugs and do not fancy trying ear muffs or white noise machines, try using silicon ear plugs rather than the foam ones.
Silicon moulds to the ear far better than foam, which means that the ear plugs should stay in throughout the night. Also, silicon blocks out more noise than foam ear plugs making them the perfect companion for anyone who sleeps next to a snorer.
If we had to recommend just one pair of ear defenders for sleeping, it would be the 3M Peltor Optime II Earmuffs as they do a great job at blocking out loud sounds (such as snoring), and are very well made so they should last for years.