If you have a snoring partner, noisy neighbours or live on a busy road, you probably find it hard to get a good night’s sleep.
Few things in life are more irritating than being kept awake when you’re trying to get a good night’s rest. Snoring is the most common reason why people use ear plugs for sleeping.
As well as causing sleepless nights, snoring can damage relationships and mean you have to sleep in another room of the house to your partner.
One solution is to buy some good ear plugs to block out snoring and other loud noises that keep you awake at night.
After researching the market, we’ve picked out 7 of the best ear plugs for sleeping and blocking out snoring available in the UK. We hope one of these products helps you get a better night’s sleep!
Since everyone is different, there’s no single ‘best’ pair of ear plugs for everyone; you might need to try a few different brands before you find a pair you like.
Best Ear Plugs for Sleeping (UK)
1. 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs
The E-A-R Classic Earplugs are made by 3M, which is one of the leading brands in the hearing protection industry.
Like the Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs reviewed below, they offer very good value for money and are ideal for sleeping.
Made from soft polymer foam, the 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs adapt to fit the size and shape of your ears, making them a comfy choice for wearing in bed. They’re comfortable to wear even if you sleep on your side.
The E-A-R Classic Earplugs are moisture-resistant and can be reused a few times, though they won’t work so well after a few uses.
These ear plugs won’t completely block out sounds, but they do a great job at minimising the volume of snoring, cars, dogs barking and other sounds that might keep you awake.
3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs offer good value for money. In addition to sleeping they can also be used for other activities where you want to block out loud sounds.
2. Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs
Like 3M, Howard Leight is another well respected brand in the hearing protection industry.
The Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs are made from self-adjusting polyurethane foam which is expands to fit your ears.
The Howard Leight Laser Lite Soft Foam Earplugs are relatively comfy to wear, which makes them a good choice for sleeping in.
They also stay in the ear well, without slipping out.
These ear plugs are disposable, but the foam skin has a soil-resistant design to prevent dirt from building up, so you should be able to use them a few times.
These ear plugs have an SNR of 35 dB, which means they can reduce the volume of loud noises by roughly 35 decibels.
This means they’re very effective at blocking out loud sounds and can also come in handy if you want to protect your hearing when doing DIY or other activities.
These ear plugs are quite small and might not fit as snugly as the 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs, especially if you have larger than average ears.
These disposable foam ear plugs from Howard Leight are some of the most popular ear plugs in the UK at the moment.
They’re cheap, especially if you buy them in bulk.
They’re good at reducing the noise of snoring and dulling other noises such as traffic, making them ideal for helping you get to sleep.
3. SleepDreamz Foam Ear Plugs for Sleeping
These ear plugs from SleepDreamz are specially designed for sleeping.
They are made using soft foam that expands to fit your ear canal. You need to mould them for about 30 seconds before fitting them into your ears.
Most people find them very comfy, though not everyone does.
They do a good job at muffling the sound of snoring without blocking everything out, so you’ll still be able to hear your alarm.
These ear plugs come in a cardboard box with a small plastic box big enough to carry one pair of ear plugs, which can be quite useful when you’re travelling.
4. Moldex Spark 7800 Ear Plugs
These interestingly designed ear plugs from Moldex have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 35 dB, which means they’re very effective at reducing the volume of loud noises.
They’re made from soft foam with a tapered design that makes them easy to insert into your ears.
The Spark 7800 Ear Plugs can be reused a few times, though they will lose their softness after a while.
They’re very cheap when bought in bulk, so you it won’t cost much to use a new pair after a few nights of use.
These ear plugs are soft and comfortable, so you should be able to sleep in them easily. Best of all, they’re very good at dampening the sound of snoring!
5. Ohropax Earplugs Soft
As the name suggests, Ohropax Earplugs Soft are made from a soft material that expands to fit your ears. They
These ear plugs are fairly comfortable to sleep in even if you sleep on your side. They are easy to insert and while they can feel a bit hard to begin with, they soften up once they warm up.
With an NRR of 30 dB, which means they can reduce sounds by around 30 decibels.
They don’t block out sound quite as effectively as the Howard Leight ear plugs reviewed above.
Nevertheless, they’re effective at blocking out the sound of snoring and traffic. You will still be able to hear some sounds such as your alarm clock, but sounds will be dampened considerably.
They are very effective at reducing snoring, and could be a relationship saver!
These ear plugs are washable and can be reused about 3 times before they start to lose their effect.
Like the other ear plugs reviewed here, they’re quite cheap when bought in bulk.
6. Quies Earplug Natural Wax
These silicone ear plugs are malleable and can be moulded to fit the shape of your ears.
They’re designed to protect the ears from water while swimming, but can also be used to block out the sound of snoring.
The Quies Natural Wax ear plugs work a bit differently to regular ear plugs. You roll them between your hands to soften them and then mould them like putty into an ear plug shape before gently putting them into your ears.
They’re made from cotton and natural wax (which won’t melt into your ears).
The soft design of these ear plugs makes them comfortable for sleeping in, and they do a great job at blocking out the sound of a snoring partner.
7. Earplugs for Sleeping by Deep Sleeps
These ear plugs from Deep Sleeps are specially designed for sleeping.
They’re made from mouldable silicone putty that is pliable and can be shaped to fit your ears. This is great if you’ve found one-size-fits-all ear plugs to be unsatisfactory.
One great thing about these ear plugs is that they’re washable so you can reuse them.
Of course you should replace them eventually, but provided you keep them clean you should be able to reuse them for a long time.
These ear plugs are very effective at reducing the sound of snoring.
They don’t fully block out noise so you’ll still be able to hear your alarm clock! They’re comfortable for sleeping, even if you’re sleeping on your side.
Ear Plugs for Snoring FAQs
Is it safe to sleep in ear plugs?
Whilst there are clear and major benefits to sleeping with ear plugs in, there are a number of risks that you should be aware of.
Over long periods of time, repeated ear plug use can cause issues. However, if you’re one of the many people that can’t sleep due to uncontrollable noise, proper maintenance and usage of your ear plugs should help to minimise noise and minimise risk.
As long as your ear plugs are inserted properly and fit comfortably, you’re unlikely to experience any issues.
If repeated use is a concern, purchase some external earmuffs, or speak to an audiologist about getting some custom-moulded ear plugs for sleeping. A good night’s sleep is worth the effort.
Here are some of the potential risks of sleeping with ear plugs in.
1. Earwax compaction
The wax in your ear helps to keep the ear canal clean of debris by collecting it and draining it out of the ear.
If ear plugs are not used properly, you may prevent earwax from draining, causing it to compact and harden.
In the case of severe build-ups, the hardened earwax can cause pain or even lead to infections.
To avoid this, you should make sure to follow proper ear plug insertion procedure.
Typically, this involves rolling the ear plug into a thin tube and allowing it to expand inside the ear.
You should also be careful to keep your ear plugs clean, as the accumulation of earwax, debris, and moisture can lead to infection.
2. Pressure and discomfort
If your ear plugs do not fit comfortably, they may exert excessive pressure on the inside of your ear canal.
This can be very uncomfortable, which may disrupt your sleep.
If you intend to sleep with ear plugs in, you should choose ear plugs that are comfortable even when you lay on your side.
This helps to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
To maximise comfort, you should also be careful to insert the ear plugs properly.
Ear plugs should be rolled into a thin tube before insertion. This allows the ear plug to expand inside your ear canal, maintaining proper pressure on the inside.
If inserted forcefully, you may apply undue pressure to the sensitive parts of your inner ear, potentially leading to damage.
3. Missing alarms
By design, ear plugs are very good at blocking out sound. In general, this is very useful. However, if that sound is your fire alarm, you need to be able to hear it.
Make sure you test your ear plugs to make sure that your fire alarm is very clearly audible with ear plugs in.
If you are unable to hear your smoke alarm with your ear plugs in, you should relocate it closer to your bed or choose less protective ear plugs.
How can you sleep safely with ear plugs in?
While it’s normally safe to use ear plugs while sleeping, there are certain steps to be taken while using them.
By following the tips given below, you can be assured that using ear plugs will not damage your ears.
1. Don’t remove your ear plugs too quickly
Ears are extremely sensitive organs and your inner ear is at risk of being damaged when you pull out your ear plugs too fast.
This is because ear plugs are meant to create suction upon insertion in order to block out all sound and prevent noise from penetrating.
If you pull out your ear plug too fast, it can create suction. If you use ear plugs while sleeping, make sure you pull them out carefully when you wake up.
2. Change your sleeping position often
It is not recommended to use ear plugs if you are a heavy sleeper or if you sleep on your side.
If you sleep on your side, there is a high chance that it is not safe to use ear plugs when you sleep because your head may press down on your ear plug, thereby permitting it to go too deep into your ear. This can cause pressure on your membrane and damage it.
If you are suffering from earache or can’t pull out your earphones without force, there is a high chance that your ear plugs have penetrated too deep into your ear.
3. Keep your ears clean
Many ear plugs are designed to be reused. However, if there is excessive wax present in your ear, it causes moisture that dampens your ear plugs.
Damp ears and excessive wax make it dangerous to use ear plugs since they ear plugs block moisture into the ear and this can cause severe, painful ear infections.
Hence, it is vital to keep your ears clean if you want to safely use ear plugs while you sleep.
4. Replace ear plugs regularly
The soft foam used in ear plugs can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to an ear infection.
This is why you should ideally use a new pair every night. Most ear plugs are disposable and are only designed to be worn once.
If you keep them clean it should be fine to reuse them a few times, but it’s more hygienic to replace your ear plugs frequently.
If you decide to reuse your ear plugs, clean them with soap and let them dry thoroughly between each use.
Can ear plugs completely block out snoring?
Ear plugs can only reduce the volume of sounds. Nobody has yet invented an ear plug that can completely block out all sounds, and this is probably impossible due to the way sound travels.
This means that ear plugs won’t completely block out the sound of snoring.
However, they can reduce the volume to a point where it won’t disturb you anymore. If the snoring is exceptionally loud you might find that ear plugs aren’t enough.
Do you need ear plugs specially designed for snoring?
There isn’t much you can do to change the design of an ear plug to make it better for reducing the sound of snoring.
Nevertheless, several companies sell ear plugs that appear to be specially designed for snoring. In general, these ear plugs don’t offer any real advantage over regular ear plugs.
White Noise Machines + Ear Plugs
White noise machines produce a sound that is essentially just random static that sounds almost like the wind or a waterfall.
Whilst it won’t eliminate annoying sounds, it will mask them and help you to sleep.
Combined with a pair of comfortable ear plugs, you may find that a white noise machine is the best way to block out the loud noises preventing you from getting proper sleep.
White noise machines and other sound-masking technologies are a highly effective way to deal with the kind of sudden noises that will wake you from your sleep.
Your brain should easily filter out the sound of white noise, meaning that the volume of the white noise won’t keep you awake.
But even though your brain might filter the white noise, it will still mask any sudden noises that might interrupt your sleep.
If we had to recommend just one pair of ear plugs for sleeping, it would be the 3M E-A-R Classic Earplugs since most people find them to be both comfortable for sleeping in and very effective at blocking out the noise of snoring. They also offer good value for money.