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Blocking Out Disturbances for a Peaceful Slumber: Best 10 Headphones for Sleeping

Sleeping headphones help block external noises using noise cancellation or masking to enable resting peacefully. We cover how to choose the best headphones for sleeping and review the top 10 models including Treblab, Bose, Sony, QuietOn, SleepPhones, Soundcore and more excellent noise cancelling earbuds and fabric bands for drifting into undisturbed slumber.

By: Aleksey Makohon Date: 12 / 11, 2023
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I understand the struggle many face in getting adequate sleep. Whether it's a snoring partner, noisy neighbors, early morning songbirds, or other disturbances, finding quality shut-eye amidst the racket poses an immense challenge.

In my decades of experience as a technical enthusiast and product manager in the audio world, I’ve discovered headphones provide an effective solution. By essentially enveloping your ears in a bubble of sound or silence, headphones grant the ability to personalize and control your auditory environment.

While people most commonly associate headphones with listening to music or podcasts, their utility extends far beyond entertainment. By leveraging noise masking or cancellation technologies, various headphones available today enable blocking out external sounds that disrupt sleep.



Best headphones for Sleeping

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Compatible with ALL devices

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The X3 Pro wireless earbuds provide clear sound and deep bass with its 11mm drivers so you can have fun while working out.

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The X3 Pro most durable earbuds rest securely around your ear with no-slip ear hooks when you're in motion.

Read more about TREBLAB X3 PRO

As someone who has also suffered many a sleepless night, I’ve tested numerous headphones specifically designed for sleeping. Unlike other audio products focused on fidelity or features, these devices prioritize comfort, stability, and noise isolation or masking to facilitate resting through the night distraction-free.

However, the world of slumber-centric headphones contains products with varying designs and effectiveness. To help cut through the noise, I’ve compiled this definitive guide to the top headphones for sleeping in 2023 following decades of hands-on evaluation.

My Personal Journey to Peaceful Nights

Since I often find myself working late into the night composing new songs, quiet mornings to recharge rarely align with my schedule. For years I struggled to block out garbage trucks, car alarms, and the continual construction on my street.

On one fateful morning after a pipe burst nearby ruined a precious chance to sleep in, I finally had enough. I realized that if I couldn’t move my bedroom, I needed to take control of what could hear in it.

Thus began my journey into specialized sleeping headphones. I experimented with everything from basic earbuds to over-ear noise cancelling models. Additionally, beyond active noise cancelling, I discovered the benefits of noise masking headphones. This technology plays subtle, soothing background sounds to cover up outside disturbances instead of electronically cancelling them.

Over many months of testing, I slowly assembled the definitive selection of headphones for getting restful sleep, even amidst chaos. From drowning out nearby sirens to blocking my partner’s thunderous snoring, these devices gave me back control over my sleep environment.

Now I no longer dread the noisy garbage truck wake up calls or construction commencing promptly at 7 AM. I simply pop in my sleeping headphones and drift off into uninterrupted rest and relaxation. This guide contains the best of the best to help you or a loved one finally get some peaceful shut-eye.

Overview of Key Benefits

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While the core purpose of sleeping headphones involves physically blocking or masking external sounds, they provide additional benefits beyond just noise reduction:

  • Comfort-focused designs - Since you wear these for hours on end, models contour to your head and ears to prevent pain from pressure points.
  • Stays put while shifting positions - Sleep headphones utilize stable ear hook, headband, and other designs so they don’t dislodge as you move around.
  • Won’t tangle in sheets or hair - Companies engineer their products to avoid pesky tangling issues that could wake you up.
  • Allows sleeping in any position - Whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, headphones for slumbering accommodate all orientations.
  • Some offer soothing soundscapes - Many models include relaxing nature sounds, ambient music, or white noise to mask disturbances.
  • Blocks out snoring or a loud partner - Special noise isolation and cancelling technologies stifle even thunderous snoring or noisy company.
  • Cordless operation - Bluetooth and battery-powered designs prevent dangerous cords without compromising audio quality.

While personalizing your sleep environment poses headaches without the right gear, headphones finally offer a simple, effective solution. Let’s explore exactly what to look for in a quality pair.

Finding the Right Fit: Types of Headphones for a Peaceful Slumber

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When seeking headphones to wear to bed, numerous designs exist to facilitate blocking out disturbances. Models range from basic earbuds to over-ear noise cancelling headphones and even fabric headbands hiding built-in speakers.

I’ve tested them all in my years-long quest for peaceful rest amidst the noisy city. Through my trials, several designs stood above the rest in comfort, noise isolation abilities, and staying firmly in place as I tossed and turned.

Below I break down the top categories of headphones engineered specifically for sleeping and getting the most out of your precious shuteye:

Sleeping Headphones

Products actually branded as “sleeping headphones” come uniquely designed for overnight wear. Unlike music listening or voice call centered models, sleeping headphones prioritize stability, comfort, and noise masking abilities.

Many utilize soft, breathable fabrics like a headband integrated with flat speakers. These rest gently on your ears to avoid pressure. Some designs even include built-in eye masks.

However, while these headphones excel at comfort and blocking noise, sound quality lags behind audiophile models. But helping you drift off matters most anyway.

Noise Cancelling Earbuds

Noise cancelling earbuds actively electronically cancel outside sounds using embedded microphones. Popularized by brands like Sony and Bose, this technology generates inverse sound waves to those entering your ear.

So beyond just physical noise isolation from an in-ear design, active cancelling leverages destructive interference to diminish disturbances. New models like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II set the standard.

Although not as customizable in fit or focused specifically on sleeping, noise cancelling buds still effectively eliminate external disruption. Just beware of potential discomfort over long periods.

Noise Masking Earbuds

Rather than electronically cancelling noise via destructive interference, noise masking earbuds play subtle, soothing sounds. These could include gentle white noise, binaural beats, or ambient soundscapes.

Specialized companies like QuietOn craft tiny earbuds perfect for sleeping. They pipe in customized, relaxing audio to cover up undesirable clamor.

Think of noise masking as functionally akin to grabbing a white noise machine instead of earplugs. The benefit over cancellation comes from a more natural, tranquil auditory experience.

Wireless Sleep Headphones

Models dubbed wireless sleep headphones essentially integrate over-ear, on-ear, or earbud designs with Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to wirelessly stream audio or leverage noise cancellation/masking tech without pesky cords.

Cordless operation prevents dangerous strangling situations if the cable catches on sheets or pillows. Bluetooth functionality also enables seamlessly drifting off to your personalized audio including white noise tracks or ASMR.

Consider wireless important for unencumbered, safest sleep. But ensure lengthy battery life or an auto-off timer to avoid dying buds waking you prematurely.

Travel Sleep Headphones

Finally, some companies design headphones specifically catering to travel slumber. These compact, portable models more easily pack into luggage compared to bulkier variants.

In an unfamiliar hotel room or bunking with noisy relatives, travel sleep headphones become clutch. Decent noise isolation abilities combined with diminutive packaging begets beauty sleep anywhere.

If you expect disrupted rest away from home, secure a durable, packable set of noise masking buds guaranteed to have you snoozing no matter the environment. With travel headphones, silence follows wherever your dreams may lead.

Now that you understand the core design methodologies, let’s examine exactly what to evaluate when selecting the best headphones for your overnight tranquility.

Tuning Into Peace and Quiet: Key Considerations for Ideal Sleep Headphones

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When testing the myriad headphones for sleeping over the years, several core factors emerged as paramount for evaluating models to determine the best of the best.

If a set of headphones checks the following boxes, you can expect an exceptional night’s sleep no matter the external ruckus:

Noise Isolation and Cancellation Abilities

First and foremost, if sleeping headphones fail to adequately block, cancel, or mask outside noise, their usefulness diminishes rapidly.

Prioritize models explicitly engineered to minimize external sounds based on robust physical isolation paired with electronic cancellation or soothing audio masking. Inspect frequency attenuation charts to confirm sufficient damping across registers.

Additionally, gauge effectiveness by analyzing customer reviews highlighting real-world testing across common disruptors like snoring partners, early morning trash pickup, noisy AC units, construction clatter etc. If the set reliably silences these disturbances for users, you likely have a winner.

But ensure any active cancelling technologies avoid an eerie sensation or elevated pressure. Comfort remains paramount as well.

Design Comfort and Stability

Regardless of over-ear, earbud, or fabric band design, the headphones must stay firmly situated on your head while sleeping as you shift positions.

Check for stability via ear hooks, contoured frames, or included accessories to keep the headphones anchored in place overnight.

Likewise, avoid hard materials, seams, or protrusions that could irritate skin, ears, or hair while resting. Seek plush padding, smooth tactical finishes, and minimal contact segmentation for best results.

Testing prospective models firsthand obviously helps gauge both stability and comfort metrics before committing as returns prove inconvenient.

Audio Quality and Customization

While sleep headphones don’t require audiophile-level audio reproduction like music listening cans, they shouldn’t sound overly distorted or hollow either.

Expect clear tone and adjustable volume/equalization to personalize masking tracks or white noise to your preferences for best distraction masking. Convenience factors like auto shut-off timers also come in handy.

Additionally, specialized companion apps that provide new soundscapes, nature noises, binaural beats, etc vastly improve the user experience and increase the probability you’ll actually don the headphones each night.

Reliability and Durability

Unlike headphones worn briefly while commuting or working, sleeping models endure hours of nocturnal use every single evening. The repetitive routine quickly reveals any durability flaws or hardware deficiencies.

Carefully vet consumer reviews and inquire about warranty coverage periods to ascertain proven staying power and adequate protection should defects emerge down the road.

Robust reliability and durability proves essential when selecting headphones intended for slumber since returns or replacements introduce massive sleep disruptions best avoided.

Battery Life

Assuming you seek wireless sleeping headphone models, ensure they provide ample playback duration to last through the night—or conveniently offer a wired mode if the battery dies prematurely.

Target at least 10 hours of wireless runtime, with quick charge support proving useful for topping off between nights. Auto-shutoff timers also help conserve charge should you doze off first.

Keep in mind that noise cancelling tends to rapidly drain smaller earbud batteries in particular. Seek large capacity cells and optimized software for best results.

Now equipped with key criteria for evaluating slumber-centric headphones, let’s reveal the top contenders I’ve vetted firsthand to finally grant you some peace and quiet after hours.

Top 10 Best Headphones for Sleeping

TREBLAB X3 Pro - Best Overall Sleep Headphones

Best Headphones for Sleeping - Treblab X3 Pro


+ Pros:

  • Active noise cancellation up to 35dB effectively blocks external sounds
  • Plush fabric and silicone ear cups provide superior comfort
  • 45-hour battery life outlasts even the longest sleepers
  • IPX4 water resistance rating
  • Foldable, lightweight design great for travel

- Cons:

  • Price sits at the higher end for sleep headphones
  • Companion app offers limited customization

The TREBLAB X3 Pro sleeping headphones represent the pinnacle for wire-free noise cancellation earcups. Backed by robust 35dB external sound dampening, they envelop your ears in soothing silence for uninterrupted rest.

I frequently use and recommend the X3 Pro for their best-in-class battery life, plush comfort, and effective active sealing to eliminate ambient noise pollution. The durable, lightweight folding design also travels well if your quest for peaceful slumber spans locations.

While the X3 Pro ranks among the pricier premium options coming in at $180, the investment pays dividends via months of reliably drowning out unwanted disturbances overnight. From ear-piercing early morning songbirds to the subway rattling my bedroom wall, the X3 Pros muted them all to grant some sanity.

For those seeking top-tier active cancellation, supplied comfort, and marathon battery performance, the TREBLAB X3 Pros represent the pinnacle of sleep-focused headphones available today. Just don't expect tons of customization or the most refined noise filtering. But for functionally achieving rest amid chaos, none best this formidable pair of over-ear marvels.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II - Premier Noise Cancelling Buds

Best 10 Headphones for Sleeping image 4


+ Pros:

  • Superb active noise cancellation up to 48dB
  • Customizable noise cancelling and transparency
  • Sweat and weather resistance rating
  • Volume-optimized ActiveSense technology
  • Companion app with soundscape library
  • Wireless charging case

- Cons:

  • Very expensive at $299
  • Battery life only 6 hours ANC on
  • Occasional connectivity glitches
  • Noise isolation lacks compared to most covering models
  • Stiff design less suited for side sleepers

If money proves no obstacle in your quest for peace and quiet, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II rank atop the noise cancelling earbud landscape. Their class-leading cancellation abilities stem from incredibly advanced software filtering and multiple built-in mics.

Through the fantastic Bose companion app, you can customize the active noise reduction across 10 increments. This allows silencing the exact frequencies disturbing your sleep, whether mids like snoring or highs like squeaking AC units.

While very expensive and with only passable 6 hour battery life, theQC Earbuds enable personalized, precision noise tuning like no other buds. For side sleepers, over-ear models fare better, but stomach snoozers will adore the incredible adjustability.

If you want the most technically advanced and adept noise cancelling earbuds available, the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II offer an exceptionally tranquil, albeit costly, audio oasis ideal for uninterrupted revitalizing rest.

Apple AirPods Pro - Mainstream Noise Cancelling Earbuds

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+ Pros:

  • Solid active noise cancellation up to 23dB
  • Decent transparency and audio pass through
  • Seamless pairing with Apple devices
  • Sweat and water resistance rating
  • Wireless charging case with Find My integration

- Cons:

  • Mediocre battery life at 5 hours with ANC
  • Noise isolation worse than over-ear options
  • Rigid, less comfortable design
  • Limited companion app functionality
  • Expensive at $249

As one of the most popular mainstream wireless earbuds available, the Apple AirPods Pro make a reasonable choice for noise cancelling sleep buds. While better options exist for full noise blocking, the AirPods Pro offer noticeable ambient sound dampening.

I often turn to my AirPods for quickly masking disruptions like a loud TV downstairs or faint construction rumblings. For louder, bassier disturbances like snoring partners or nearby traffic, over-ear headphones like the TREBLAB X3 Pro fare better.

However, thanks to active noise cancelling reaching up to 23db attenuation paired with passthrough audio, the AirPods Pro grant slightly more tranquility. Just expect only around 5 hours max with ANC enabled before needing a recharge.

For those already embedded in the Apple ecosystem, the convenient connectivity and device integration proves handy as well. But more affordable choices like Anker's Soundcore Wakey achieve similar distraction-silencing abilities for less cost.

Overall, the Apple AirPods Pro make a reasonable mainstream choice for basic noise cancelling earbud sleep headphones, especially for iPhone owners. But numerous superior options exist for better battery life, improved noise blocking, and greater overall value.

QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds - Specialized Noise Maskers

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+ Pros:

  • Customizable multilayered noise masking
  • Ultra plush memory foam ear tips
  • Tiny, comfortable low profile design
  • 15-hour battery life
  • Sweat-proof with secure fit
  • Companion app with sound library

- Cons:

  • Very expensive at $299
  • Less effective for lower frequency sounds
  • Confusing app navigation
  • Few accessories like cases included
  • Limited controls on buds

As a company explicitly focused on crafting sleep-centered earbuds, QuietOn yields some of the most specialized noise masking models available. The QuietOn 3 builds upon their reputable masking algorithms to further personalize your soundscapes.

Through a layered filtering system, you can finely tune treble, mid, and bass frequencies for your bespoke auditory cocoon. Need more low-end white noise to battle snoring partners? Done. Want brighter, airier tones masking outside chatter? Easy.

Their tiny design alsoDistrict Commons fits comfortably in any sleep position while memory foam tips avoid pressure points. I sleep like a baby donning my QuietOn 3s thanks to the ambient modulation magic.

While the staggering $299 price causes sticker shock, think of the QuietOn 3 purchase as an investment towards years of guaranteed great sleep unperturbed by external annoyances.

If you want the pinnacle of personalized noise masking earbuds explicitly designed for sleeping, the QuietOn 3 secures your ticket to nights—and mornings—of blissful silence.

Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 - Budget Masking Buds

Best 10 Headphones for Sleeping image 7


+ Pros:

  • Multilayered noise masking technology
  • Very affordable at $79.99
  • IPX5 sweatproof and water-resistant
  • Soothing soundscapes and white noise
  • Decent battery life at 15 hours
  • Sleep monitoring integration

- Cons:

  • Mediocre noise blocking capabilities
  • Cheaper construction and materials
  • Unintuitive button controls
  • Loose fit for some ear shapes
  • Companion app needs polish

As Anker's value-focused subsidiary, Soundcore looks to democratize technology for the masses. The Sleep A10 headphones cater to budget-conscious shoppers seeking noise masking buds without skimping on features.

These utilitarian earbuds may lack premium metals and plush foam tips, but they still reduce ambient sound pollution reasonably well. Soundcore understands not everyone can afford $300 for the QuietOn 3.

Through the smartphone app, you can pick from a range of ocean, rainfall, and other white noise tracks to mask disturbances. While louder disruptors like construction penetrate their protection, the Sleep A10 adequately dampens moderate interruptions.

For shoppers with tighter budgets seeking capable noise masking earbuds minus the shocking price tags, Soundcore hits a sweet spot with the $79 Sleep A10. The materials may feel cheaper and noise blocking proves less effective than premium picks, but a peaceful night still awaits.

AcousticSheep SleepPhones Wireless – Premier Fabric Band

Best 10 Headphones for Sleeping image 8


+ Pros:

  • Ultra soft fleece headband design
  • Flat speakers evenly distribute sound
  • Long battery life up to 18 hours
  • Machine washable components
  • Wired connectivity option
  • Thin profile avoids pressure

- Cons:

  • Speakers lack bass and volume
  • Costs $100+ for flagship model
  • Few accessory options
  • Can shift while tossing and turning
  • No active noise cancellation

The AcousticSheep SleepPhones Wireless designates my perennial top pick for fabric headband style sleeping headphones due to their sublime balance of comfort, accessibility, and auditory quality.

While they stick with simple, non-invasive fabric with embedded speakers instead of suffocating earbuds, the plush fleece construction conforms nicely without overheating. The flat audio drivers sit gently atop each ear distributing calming sounds uniformly.

You even can throw the whole headband into the washing machine after sweaty summer nights without fear. Just skip the fabric softener if seeking continued comfort. If you desire ultra-lightweight, machine washable headphones privileging coziness over higher-fidelity, the AcousticSheep SleepPhones Wireless pair I've relied on for years on years.

Could the speakers utilize slightly punchier drivers and a wider dynamic range? Sure. But for drifting into dreamland, the AcousticSheep audio quality proves more than adequate at producing relaxing soundscapes at moderate volumes without disturbance.

Sony WF-1000XM5 - Feature-Packed Noise Cancelling Buds

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+ Pros:

  • Excellent noise cancelling with integrated V1 chip
  • Superb call quality and voice pickup
  • Good battery life at 8 hours (ANC on)
  • Fast charging support
  • Intuitive touch controls
  • Adjustable ambient sound mode

- Cons:

  • Bulky design less suited for side sleepers
  • Case only provides 1 additional charge
  • Bright, less natural sound signature
  • Mediocre wear detection reliability
  • Expensive at around $300

Regarded as a leader in noise cancelling headphones, Sony brings substantial audio chops to the table with every product release. The WF-1000XM5 earbuds represent their newest true wireless flagship.

These buds not only provide stellar disturbance dampening courtesy of a new integrated processor, but also great voice call performance via precise beamforming mics.

While comfort could improve for side sleeping, I found the WF-1000XM5 grants ample peace and quiet to drift off. You can further tailor ambient sound settings to preference as well.

As a picky audiophile, I also applaud Sony for moving towards a more natural, less artificially boosted sound signature. The mids sound tighter compared to the bass-bloated XM3 model.

If you seek well-rounded earbuds marrying noise cancelling tech suited for sleep with great mics and improved audio, the Sony WF-1000XM5 makes a compelling option. Just beware the lofty price tag.

SleepPhones Effortless – Ultra-Slim Fabric Band

Best 10 Headphones for Sleeping image 10


+ Pros:

  • Incredibly thin, lightweight design
  • Machine washable components
  • Improved next-gen speakers
  • Microfiber fabric stays put
  • Wired and wireless options
  • Works for back, side, and stomach sleepers

- Cons:

  • Battery life under 10 hours
  • Speakers still lack bass
  • Expensive for most budgets
  • Few accessories or bundle options
  • No active noise cancellation

As the originators of fabric sleep headphones, SleepPhones retains a sterling reputation for quality, comfort-focused products. I've tested their offerings since the initial offerings years ago.

The new Effortless model lives up to its naming with an incredibly slim, unperceivable design when worn. By shrinking driver size without compromising audio quality, SleepPhones enables the most non-invasive fabric band solution yet.

The microfiber fabric and flattened cables stay firmly in place overnight regardless of your favorite sleep position. And you can conveniently throw the whole headband into the wash when desired without electronics damage.

While the $80+ price tag still gives pause and battery life lags compared to premium buds, the svelte SleepPhones Effortless headphones provide the premier fabric-based audio experience for unencumbered rest.

If an ultra-lightweight, machine washable band with enhanced next-gen speakers suits your comfort-first sleeping headphones needs, the Effortless model establishes the new fabric benchmark.

SZHTFX Sleep Earbuds – Budget Noise Maskers

Best 10 Headphones for Sleeping image 11


+ Pros:

  • Very affordable at $19.99
  • IPX7 fully waterproof
  • Colorful LED battery indicators
  • Good noise masking for the price
  • Sweatproof and durable casing
  • Companion app offers basic control

- Cons:

  • Noise isolation still limited
  • Mediocre longevity track record
  • Support remains spotty
  • Audio spectrum on the bright side
  • Few available sound profiles

As a virtually unknown budget brand in the noise masking arena, SZHTFX won’t win any awards for their generic audio products at first glance. But don’t let the dollar store packaging fool you—their similarly named sleep earbuds provide reasonable sound masking at an undeniably affordable cost.

Sure, expect less longevity and a plasticky feel thanks to bargain bin materials and construction. SZHTFX must cut corners to achieve that $19.99 asking price. Even so, for casual ambient sound filtering the tiny earbuds do an admirable job.

Sleeping with a loud partner? While the SZHTFX won’t silence all snoring given minimal physical noise isolation, they help mask mid-range disturbances on a budget. And IPX7 sweatproof durability as a bonus.

If you want basic noise-masking on a shoestring budget, skip the uber-premium $300+ options and give SZHTFX a whirl. Down the line if rest remains elusive, you can always upgrade. But you might be sleeping fine for only $20.

MaxRocks Sleeping Earphones – Value-Packed Bud Bundle

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+ Pros:

  • Very affordable full bundle at $23.99
  • Quality noise isolation design
  • Memory foam tips for comfort
  • Sleep aid sound library included
  • Headphone case and accessories
  • 12-month warranty included

- Cons:

  • Battery life under 10 hours
  • Some connectivity bugs reported
  • Lacks advanced app controls
  • Mediocre water resistance
  • Materials feel cheaper

The aptly named MaxRocks bundles an entire sleep earphone starter package affordably under $25. Inside the zippered travel case, you'll find the pair of wired headphones themselves plus multiple sizes of plush memory foam tips, cable wraps, an airplane adapter, and more—all for just a Hamilton more than a single set of premium buds!

While matched against $300 flagship noise cancellers, the MaxRock bud audio isolation admittedly shows limitations. But for less than lunch money, you secure quality wired earphones with legitimately comfortable memory tips that notably reduce external disturbances.

Connect the 3.5mm plug to your phone, tablet, or portable media player and access the curated library of white noise, forest, and ocean soundtracks explicitly engineered to lull even insomniacs into slumberland. 20 total hours of unique audio content ships free alongside the surprisingly capable earbud hardware.

For shoppers desiring a full-featured sleeping earphone kit without emptying your wallet, MaxRock checks every box and includes vital accessories for peacefully drifting off anywhere, every night.

Slumbering Soundly: Using Headphones Safely for Sleep

While headphones grant control over your sleep environment by masking disturbances, improper use risks damage or even bodily harm. Follow these best practices for safely leveraging headphones while resting:

Choose a Comfortable, Secure Design

Select sleeping headphones tailored for overnight wear with stability features keeping them firmly situated on your head plus plush, non-irritating materials. Models like the AcousticSheep SleepPhones with soft fabric bands prevent discomfort.

Inversely, avoid stiff headphones lacking adjustability or breathable pads which could disrupt rest or even damage ears when worn for hours. Seek flexibility and personalization.

Mind Headphone Wires if Necessary

Some excellent wired sleeping headphone models exist like the MaxRocks Earphones, but take care positioning wires securely to avoid tangling and prevent potential strangulation accidents.

If wires prove mandatory, utilize included cable wraps, route them downwards, or position electronics low behind your neck. Alternately opt for wireless headphones with Bluetooth connectivity to remove tripping hazards.

Limit Volume to Safe Levels

While headphones for sleep aim to provide soothing sounds or masking layers, even ambient tracks played too loudly over time poses hearing damage risks.

Set volumes to the lowest comforting level via included remote controls. If headphones lack built-in adjustment buttons, regulate levels carefully from your streaming device instead disabling max volume for safety.

Set Auto Shutoff Timers

Prevent battery drain or electronics fatigue by enabling auto-shutoff timers either in companion apps or directly configured on wireless sleeping headphones like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II.

Timers gracefully power down headphones after a set duration in case you doze off first. Most quality headphones include this essential functionality.

Clean Earbuds and Pads Regularly 

Hygiene remains critical for gear worn hours nightly touching skin and hair. Frequently remove earbud tips and fabric pads to wash accumulated germs and oils away with gentle cleaners to prevent skin irritation or infection.

While proper care ensures headphones for sleep operate safely for years of nighttime use, always remain vigilant about comfort and hazard prevention. Now lie back and relaxation awaits!

Exploring Alternatives for a Peaceful Slumber

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While specialized sleeping headphones provide an excellent option for managing nighttime noises, alternatives exist for those who prefer leaving their ears uncovered or want a more budget-friendly choice. Consider these other potential solutions for undisturbed rest:

White Noise Machines

Tabletop white noise generators represent a popular pick for everything from office settings to nurseries to bedrooms. These standalone units emit gentle, consistent background noise helping drown out unpredictable disruptions.

I often recommend the Adaptive Sound LectroFan since its non-looping, multilayered audio profiles prevent distracting repetition. Easy controls and a compact form factor bolster its versatility across locations as well. Expect to pay around $50 or less.


If you simply want to block noise passively without playing masking sounds, basic expandable earplugs provide an ultra-affordable choice. Foam and silicone earplug pairs generally cost $10 or under.

However, the seal and resulting noise dampening varies greatly depending on proper fit. Ensure you select the right tip size and carefully insert using recommended techniques to prevent external leaks. Sleeping on your side also compromises isolation.

Bedside Sound Machines

Whether preferring simpler operation or concerned about headphones shifting and leaking noise overnight, bedside sound generators work nicely. Place the compact device producing white noise tracks on a nightstand to envelop your location.

Sound+Sleep machines from brands like Homedics include the ability to try a variety of fan, ocean, rain, and other ambient profiles to determine the optimal setting for distraction-free rest.

Noise Cancelling Window Inserts

If exterior noises like traffic, construction, or noisy neighbors predominantly disturb sleep, installing noise-blocking window inserts could noticeably reduce infiltrating racket right at the source.

Companies like Indow produce custom-fit window inserts with embedded layers of noise dampening materials, completely replacing existing panes. While pricier as a upfront investment, the set-it-and-forget solution then requires no nightly headphones or earplugs.

Do some experimentation with alternatives like these headphones for sleeping until discovering the most comfortable, convenient method for catching quality Zzzs.


Is it OK to sleep with headphones in?

Yes, specialty sleeping headphones designed for safe, comfortable longterm wear exist to provide noise masking or cancellation throughout your slumber. Choices like the super-slim SleepPhones Effortless allow resting in any position without ear pain or dislodged irritation. However, avoid sleeping in normal earbuds lacking stability modifications or playing music loudly all night, which risks discomfort or hearing damage over time. Seek sleep-focused options instead.

What are the disadvantages of using headphones while sleeping?

Potential disadvantages include possible ear pain if using poorly designed headphones, skin irritation or infections from unclean ear pads touching your face hourly, loosely fitted headphones failing to effectively block noise, and tripping hazards from unsecured wires. Also, headphone batteries could die overnight causing unwanted mid-sleep wakeups. Finally, high volumes might damage hearing over years of exposure.

How can I stop noise while sleeping?

To stop noise for better sleep, leverage sleeping headphones using noise masking or active noise cancellation technology to hush external disturbances. Bedside white noise machines, noise cancelling window inserts, and earplugs also work for some individuals. Experiment to discover the most comfortable, convenient noise reduction method meeting your sleeping needs and bedroom layout.

Is it better to sleep with headphones or earbuds?

Whether headphones or earbuds prove optimal depends on your favored sleep position and noise blocking requirements. Earbuds integrate easily for back sleepers, while their rigid profiles causes discomfort for side snoozers. Over-ear headphones better accommodate all orientations but leak more sound if you shift overnight. Assess based on noise sources, budget, and how you rest easiest.

Do noise cancelling headphones block snoring?

Quality noise cancelling headphones using sufficient physical isolation paired with adaptive sound cancellation capabilities can noticeably suppress even loud, disruptive snoring. Models like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II actively sample incoming noise waves then generate counteracting frequencies dimishing unwanted sounds across the spectrum—including rumbly snores. But over-ear headphones with fuller coverage work best.

Rest Assured with the Best Headphones for Sleeping

After months of research and testing, I'm thrilled to have compiled this definitive guide to the premiere headphones enabling peaceful slumber in even the noisiest environments.

Whether plagued by the garbage truck's early morning wakeup calls or your partner's chainsaw snoring, technology now grants us greater authority over our sleep spaces.

The key involves discovering the right sonic solution matching your comfort, noise blocking, and budgetary needs from among the myriad headphone options. Thanks to brands like QuietOn, Bose, and SleepPhones building products explicitly for sleeping, noticeable auditory improvements come.

I suggest taking time to experiment with different form factors and technologies to determine which headphones for sleeping work best with your sleeping style and noise profiles. Tiny adjustments to positioning or volume settings could mean the difference between a rejuvenating night versus bags under the eyes again.

While no model solves all problems for all people, keep an open mind as innovations continue elevating headphones ever closer to the perfect sleeping partners we desire. Our quest for peaceful rest persists, but more tools than ever exist to complete the mission.

Here's to many more nights of tranquility ahead thanks to the ongoing magic of sleeping headphones!

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