Tips for Choosing Earplugs for Sleeping: Types, Materials, Sizes, and More

Getting a good night's sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health. However, many factors like noise, light, and discomfort can disrupt the quality of rest. Using earplugs is an affordable and straightforward way to block these sleep-inhibiting issues. Read on for tips on selecting the best earplugs for your needs.

Can You Sleep With Earplugs?

For most people, sleeping with earplugs is completely safe. They provide an easy way to reduce noise that can lead to sleep fragmentation or deprivation. By creating a quieter, darker sleep environment, earplugs allow the brain to relax fully for uninterrupted rest.

comfortable noise reduction earplugs for sleeping

Those with small ear canals should consult a doctor first, as ill-fitting plugs can cause discomfort or irritation. If you choose the right size and material, earplugs are unlikely to cause harm or skin reactions. Proper insertion techniques can avoid over-insertion. Overall, earplugs offer a simple, non-invasive sleep aid.

Are Foam Earplugs Good for Sleeping?

Foam is one of the most common materials for disposable earplugs. The compressible foam conforms to the unique shape of each ear canal. The custom-fit earplugs block noise effectively for most users. Foam earplugs are affordable, lightweight, and portable.

Look for foam earplugs with a high noise reduction rating (NRR) of at least 23 decibels. Roll and compress the foam before smoothly inserting it to allow expansion in the ear canal. Avoid over-insertion. Replace foam plugs regularly for cleanliness and performance. With proper use, foam earplugs are an excellent choice for sleeping.

foam earplugs for sleeping

Foam vs. Silicone Earplugs

Foam and silicone represent two of the most popular earplug materials, each with pros and cons:

  • Foam earplugs are highly compressible for a custom fit in any ear with light pressure. They effectively block ambient noise across a wide frequency range. However, foam can feel intrusive for some and requires replacement every few weeks.
  • Silicone earplugs provide a softer, more flexible feel that many find comfortable. They will bounce back to shape for repeated use. But silicone usually offers less noise reduction than foam and may loosen while sleeping.

Consider your budget, noise exposure levels, and comfort preferences when deciding between foam and silicone. Try both to determine which works best for your needs and your sleeping style. Those on a tight budget may prefer multi-use silicone, while side sleepers usually favor foam's moldability.

Can Earplugs Damage Your Ears?

When used properly, earplugs are unlikely to cause ear damage or infections. To minimize any risks:

  • Carefully insert plugs to avoid abrasions. Never forcefully jam them in.
  • Alternate ears nightly to prevent wax buildup.
  • Replace reusable plugs every 2-4 weeks for cleanliness.
  • Discontinue use if you experience prolonged pain or irritation.
  • See a doctor if discomfort persists beyond a few days.

Some people may experience temporary muffled hearing or a plugged sensation upon waking, which resolves after removing the earplugs. While annoying, this causes no permanent effects. Overall, earplugs provide a very safe way to get better rest.

How Long Can You Wear Earplugs?

Most people can comfortably sleep with earplugs in place for 6-8 hours safely. However, longer continuous wear during daytime hours is not recommended. Take short 15-30 minute breaks throughout the day to allow the ears to breathe and drainage to clear.

Listen to your body. Remove earplugs immediately if you feel noticeable discomfort, itching, or pain. For daytime noise reduction, limit continuous use to 1-2 hours at a time, with fresh earplugs for each session. For nighttime, aim to sleep through safely with earplugs in place.

What Earplugs Do Doctors Recommend?

best earplugs recommended by doctors

Doctors often recommend these options to patients struggling with sleep issues:

  • Disposable foam earplugs with NRR of at least 23 decibels. Higher ratings like 28-33 decibels provide even greater noise reduction.
  • Custom-fitted, molded earplugs for the most secure, personalized fit and blocking ambient sounds.
  • Earplugs designed for small ear canals if you experience discomfort with standard sizes.
  • Smooth, tapered, low-pressure earplugs if you have sensitive ear canals prone to abrasions.

Find your peace with Hearprotek earplugs. Our innovative noise-reducing earplugs allow you to relax, unwind, and get the deep, uninterrupted sleep you deserve. By significantly lowering outside noise, our earplugs create a tranquil environment so you can live your best life, undistracted and comfortable.


Choosing the right earplugs can mean the difference between restless, interrupted sleep and deeply restorative rest. Consider your budget, noise tolerance, comfort preferences, and sleeping positions to select the best match. Combine earplugs with overall sleep hygiene for optimal results. With some trial and error, you'll find an earplug solution that helps you finally achieve the peaceful slumber essential for well-being.

Read More


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published