We all have different bedtime habits that help us drift off to sleep. Some people prefer soothing their minds by listening to music, white noise, or the calming sounds of nature. Others live in an environment with disruptive noise — such as a barking dog, a noisy roommate, a snoring partner, or honking horns — and all they really want is some peace and quiet to be able to get quality z‘s. Normal headphones are great to use for these situations, but they aren’t comfortable enough to sleep with all night. Your best bet is to go for earbuds and headphones that are specially made for sleeping.
Before buying this sleeping aid, you must first decide if you want in-ear, over-the-ear, headband-style, or wireless headphones. Each type has its own benefits; you’ll just have to find one that matches your needs perfectly. We took a closer look at some of the best earbuds and headphones on the market to help you decide which option will provide the key to a great night’s sleep.
At a glance:
- Best multipurpose:
- Best traditional:
- Best wireless:
Best multipurpose: Bose QuietComfort 20
Bose’s QuietComfort 20 aren’t specifically designed to be sleep earbuds, but they’re so good at their job that they’re also one of the best choices when your head hits the pillow (you can also use them equally well at work or play, which is handy). The active noise cancellation will help get rid of annoying environmental noises so you can get to sleep more easily, while the “Aware” button allows you to tap back into surrounding noises in case someone is calling your name or you need to listen to announcements. The tips also do a great job of staying in your ears without being too obtrusive. If necessary you can also take calls on the earbuds, but make sure you pick the model that corresponds to your phone, iPhone or Android.
Best traditional: Maxrock Sleeping Earbuds
If you’re looking for a more traditional pair of earbuds but at a lower price, Maxrock made these earbuds specifically for those trying to get to sleep. They provide some passive noise cancellation with the well-made silicone inserts that leave very little protruding from your ear, making it easier to sleep on your side without feeling uncomfortable. The sound quality isn’t the best around, but the comfort level and affordability make these earbuds well worth it.
Best wireless: Samsung Galaxy Buds
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are great to use for sleeping for many reasons. For starters, the absence of wires eliminates the possibility of getting tangled up while you move around unconsciously. They also come in an in-ear design so no parts stick out of your ears or rest on your head, which may possibly get caught on pillows or blanket. Additionally, these earbuds boast an IPX2 rating so there’s no worry about damaging them if you sweat while wearing them. Audio quality is impressive, so you can really get into relaxing mode when you pop them on and listen to your favorite music or sound.
Best headband-style headphones
- Best budget:
- Best with sleep tracker:
- Best wireless:
- Best for slide sleepers:
Best budget: CozyPhones
If the QuietComfort 20 earbuds are out of your price range and you want something that’s a little more sleep-focused, the CozyPhones are an affordable option. It’s essentially a headband, but one with removable speakers that are only one-eighth of an inch thick, and a 52-inch cable you connect with your music device. The band provides a little bit of noise insulation, but the real draw here is the comfortable shape, useful for those who sleep on their sides as well as those who want to pull the band over their eyes to block out light. Plus, the price is low enough for everyone to give them a try.
Best with sleep tracker: Sleepace Sleep Headphones with Eye Mask
This eye mask is ideal for those who want both audio and light blocking to fall asleep. The Sleepace app is also surprisingly useful. It offers white noise and ASMR tracks to help you get to sleep, and lets you set alarms for wake-up audio. Sensors watch for signs that you’ve fallen asleep and stop the audio from playing, as well as tracking your sleep over time so you can see if anything is disturbing your cycle. It’s a lot of utility for an eye mask, and the price is very reasonable too.
Best wireless: AcousticSheep SleepPhones
The other headbands and sleep masks we’ve highlighted are excellent products, but they do require wires, which can be annoying when you are trying to sleep. If you really don’t like the idea of dealing with a cable, this headband is wireless, with a battery that lasts around 10 hours. You will still need to tuck the receiver under your pillow, but it’s a good option if you need to go wire-free, especially if you like to roll over a few times before falling asleep.
Best for side sleepers: Lightimetunnel Watotgafer Sleep Headphones
The Lightmetunnel Watotgafer is best for side sleepers. It features a breathable slow-rebound memory sponge coupled with smooth fabric, ensuring facial-stress release so you can get your z‘s quickly. It also boasts a 3D ergonomic technology to keep your eyes comfortable and to create a dark zone by blocking out light. The mask comes equipped with a high-quality speaker that guarantees a great stereo sound experience, complete with a microphone for clear, hands-free calls. The controls are situated conveniently on the middle of the mask so you can adjust settings easily no matter which side you sleep on.
Find more tips and recommendations by heading over to our Sleep hub.
- How to choose the right wireless headphones for you
- These are the best cheap baby monitor deals for December 2020
- 10 gifts fitness fanatics will love
- The 10 best sound machines to help you fall and stay asleep
- Tired all the time? How to tell if it’s holiday fatigue or sleep issues