Swimming can cause a range of ear problems, the best known of which is otitis externa or swimmer’s ear, an infection caused by water getting inside the ear. Swimmer’s ear is common in children but can also affect adults.
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The best way to prevent swimmer’s ear and other swimming-related ear problems is by wearing a good pair of swimming ear plugs.
You can also wear these ear plugs in the shower if you don’t like getting water in your ears.
Ear plugs for swimming should seal the ear preventing any water from entering. They should fit tightly and stay in place while even when you’re swimming quickly.
There’s no single best pair of swimming ear plugs for everyone. You might need to experiment with a few different brands to find some that suit you. Nevertheless, you should start with a pair that other swimmers recommend.
In this roundup of the best swimming ear plugs available in the UK we’ve picked out the best rated and most highly praised ear plugs for swimmers on the market.
If you don’t have time to read the reviews we recommend the following:
- Hush Pugz Adult Swimming Ear Plugs – Best Swimming Ear Plugs for Adults
- Putty Buddies – Best Swimming Ear Plugs for Children
Best Swimming Ear Plugs UK Reviews
1. Putty Buddies
These children’s swimming ear plugs are made from soft silicone and come in a range of bright colours that children will love.
As the name suggests, they can be moulded like putty to fit your ears. While these ear plugs are designed for children they can also be used by adults.
Putty Buddies can be used without a headband; though wearing one might be a good idea as it will help keep them in place.
You can buy a headband that comes with these ear plugs included, the Ear Bandit Ultra swimmers headband.
These ear plugs are sold in packs with different coloured pairs. This is convenient if you have several kids as they can each have a pair of a different colour so they know which is theirs.
One nice thing about these ear plugs is that they float so if they come out of your ears you won’t lose them.
They can also be re-used several times provided you wash and dry them.
2. Hush Pugz Adult Swimming Ear Plugs
Hush Pugz Adult Swimming Ear Plugs are a popular choice among swimmers in the UK.
They have a quite a different design to the Putty Buddies reviewed above, featuring a cord connecting both ear plugs.
They’re made from silicone and offer a very good, watertight fit. They can be reused several times if you wash and dry them well.
They’re usually sold in packs with multiple pairs that offer great value for money.
One nice thing about these ear plugs is that they come with an anti-bacterial pen which you can use to clean them.
3. Zoggs Silicone Putty Ear Plugs
Like the Putty Buddies reviewed above, Zoggs Silicone Putty Ear Plugs are made from soft silicone which can be moulded to fit your ears.
These ear plugs can be worn by adults or children. They are quite large to start with, but you can trim a bit off to make them smaller and mould them to fit smaller ears.
Zoggs Silicone Putty Ear Plugs create a watertight seal to stop water getting into your ears.
You can use them without a swimming cap or ear band, but it might be a good idea to combine the two to help keep the ear plugs in place.
These ear plugs are sold with a handy carrying case which helps keep them safe and clean. The ear plugs can be reused provided you keep them clean.
Hearing protection products are very personal, so there’s a chance you won’t get on with Zoggs Silicone Putty Ear Plugs.
However, they are some of the most popular and highly rated swimming ear plugs on the market, so they’re definitely worth trying.
4. Zoggs Aqua Ear Plugs
These inexpensive swimmer’s ear plugs are ergonomically designed to fit the outer ear and provide a comfortable yet tight fit. They can be a bit fiddly to insert into your ears but once they’re in they’re very effective in stopping water entering your ears.
Zoggs Aqua Ear Plugs can be washed easily in warm water so you can reuse them several times. Make sure you let them dry before wearing them again.
Like the Hush Pugz Adult Swimming Ear Plugs reviewed above, these ear plugs come with a carrying case for keeping them safe and clean.
These ear plugs are also hypo-allergenic so they should be safe to wear if you have sensitive skin.
For the best possible fit you might want to consider getting some custom-made swimmer’s ear plugs. Here are a few companies that offer custom-made ear plugs for swimming in the UK:
About swimming ear plugs
Do professional swimmers use ear plugs?
Some competitive swimmers wear ear plugs. However, you might not want to wear ear plugs for racing as it might make it harder to hear race announcements.
Can I use normal ear plugs for swimming?
You can wear normal ear plugs for swimming but it’s a better idea to buy some specially designed for this purpose. Swimmer’s ear plugs are more likely to stay in your ear while you’re swimming and be watertight.
Do swim caps keep water out of ears?
No, swim caps don’t prevent water getting into your ears. You should wear ear plugs to seal your ears off and consider combining them with a swim cap or ear band.
Will I be able to hear with ear plugs in?
Swimming ear plugs do impair your hearing, but you will still be able to hear what’s going on around you. You should still be able to hear the voice of your swimming instructor or anyone else you are swimming with.