Sleep is important. That much we know. According to the NHS, you should be kipping for between seven and eight hours every night to keep your immune system strong, your mood positive, your digestive system active and your libido high. Among many other things.
But for most, getting enough Zzz’s isn’t so easy. In fact, research released at the end of lockdown shows that one in four Brits developed insomnia over the course of the pandemic – and background noise is partly to blame.
Sure, there are many things that can stop us from sleeping, but the sound of birds chirping at 4am or your noisy neighbours having a party are bigger contributing factors than most. Enter: the best earplugs for sleeping. ‘Cos one of the best ways to guarantee you drop off just that little bit quicker is to drown out the noise of cars/snoring/your partner’s pesky ticking alarm clock.
Luckily, the best earplugs for sleeping are affordable – and for the most part, they work. Consider your sleep pattern drastically improved. Here’s everything you need to know.
What are the different types of earplugs?
There are three main types of earplugs for sleeping – which also work well for flying, swimming or drowning out noise in your office. They are:
- Foam Earplugs: These are the most affordable type of earplugs for sleeping, and since they’re soft, they remain comfortable all night. They’re also really effective at drowning out background noise, with some pairs – like these WowTeech foam earplugs drowning out noise up to 38 decibels. The main downside? Foam is very porous which makes it a breeding ground for bacteria – meaning you should replace them every night.
- Silicone Earplugs: Soft silicone earplugs plugs are reusable, which makes them more sustainable. You can wash them with soapy hot or cold water after every use to keep them clean. They’re also comfortable and lightweight – but they can be less effective at drowning out background noise than their foam counterparts.
- Wax Eaplugs: Wax earplugs arrive as a little wax cylinder which you warm up between your hands and mould into a cone shape to fit the shape of your own ear canal. They’re great for those with smaller or larger ears, and they’re waterproof, making them good for swimming.
Overall, our favourite earplug type was silicone – these Alpine SleepSoft earplugs, in particular. While foam did a good job at creating total silence, they often fell out during the night – and wax earplugs are a bit of a faff to mould when all you want to do is get some shut-eye.
Is it bad to wear earplugs to sleep?
No. It’s generally pretty safe to wear earplugs while sleeping, though there are a few potential side effects to be wary of. Regular use can lead to small ear wax build up, and if you don’t clean them, bacteria can build up and cause infection.
Is it OK to sleep with earplugs every night?
Generally speaking, yes – but to avoid pushing ear wax further down your ear canal (which can lead to complications such as hearing loss or tinnitus), we’d recommend only wearing them when you really need to.
After more sleep content? Let’s start with the basics: head this way for the best bed frames to transform your bedroom, and in this direction for the best mattresses for your best night’s kip yet. Next up: over here for mattress toppers, duvets, bed sheets, weighted blankets, mattress protectors and body pillows. Finish things off with the best duvet covers, blankets, linen bedding, silk bedding, pillow sprays, sleep masks, sleep books, cooling pillows and the best silk pillowcase. Phew.