The 5 Best Reusable Earplugs for Sleeping (Our Review 2019)
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Good sleep is essential for maintaining optimal health, focus, and productivity. However, a lot of people struggle to build a habit and get eight hours of continuous sleep every night. Barring medical conditions, stress and noise are the main enemies of good sleep.
Taking sleeping pills and melatonin supplements helps. But you don’t need to resort to medications just because you have noisy housemates or neighbors. Just grab a pair of reusable earplugs and temporarily escape from the rest of the world to get a good sleep.
But how do you choose one set of reusable earplugs over another? What are the features that make them good? These are just some of the questions answered in the following sections as you learn all about the best reusable earplugs for sleeping.
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Best Reusable Earplugs for Sleeping Reviews
Etymotic earplugs are among the most popular in their niche. And if you take a closer look at the design and build quality vis-à-vis the low price, it’s not hard to understand where the popularity comes from.
These earplugs have three structural components, the soft ear-tip, stem, and end cap. In addition, they utilize an acoustic resistor and a tuned resonator to mimic the ear canal’s natural response to sound. This design works with a specially designed Etymotic sound path to give you sound level reductions over the entire audible frequency range.
To put that numbers, you can expect up to 20dB of noise reduction, which is quite a bit better than disposable foam earplugs. These earplugs come in a standard size that fits most users, but there is a large model as well. Regardless of the size, some maintenance and user tips apply to these plugs.
When inserting the plugs, pull your ear upward and outward and gently push the plug in until the last flange creates a seal. To make things easier, you can also moisten the plugs a little. If you want to remove them, it’s important not to pull straight out. Apply a gentle twisting motion and slowly pull the plugs out while twisting.
As for maintenance, Etymotic earplugs shouldn’t be taken apart and it’s enough to clean them with just a damp cloth. Alcohol, chemicals, and immersion are not recommended to ensure the earplug’s structural integrity.
If you are in the market for premium reusable earplugs, you can’t go wrong with the SureFire EP4. These earplugs are versatile, comfortable, and ergonomic, so you’ll hardly feel them when you have them on in bed. As always, premium quality comes at a price, but it’s money well spent. Check out the features that make these plugs special.
Starting off with the material, these are made from a soft and durable medical-grade hypoallergenic polymer material. The soft tip has a dual function; it provides comfort and a tight seal inside your ear. The Sonic Defenders are equipped with removable filter caps. With the caps on, these reusable earplugs provide up to 24dB of noise reduction.
However, the true highlights are the stem and retention ring. The former comes with three adjustable flanges which are slightly angled for a better fit. The SureFire patented retention ring uses seven contact points on the outer ear to lock the plugs in place. With these, you don’t need to worry if you’ve properly positioned the plugs.
When it comes to utility, these earplugs are not limited to sleeping only. They work great in any noisy environment including shooting sports, construction sites, factories, music venues, etc. This is because the Sonic Defenders feature a filter that reduces harmful noise (85dB or more) down to a safe level.
There are also three color options (black, orange, and clear), plus these earplugs can work as earpieces with compatible radios.
Those looking for a set of small and effective reusable earplugs should check out the Inbound Vibes. The package includes 10 or 12 pairs of earplugs and a small carrying case for one pair that can be attached to your keychain.
They feature universal silicone ear tips which adjust to the ear canal for a secure seal. With the outer acoustic filters, these earplugs have a noise reduction rating of 29 decibels.
The ¾-inch earplug length makes them suitable even for side sleepers. The design of the back also doesn’t protrude outside the earlobe.
The Inbound Vibes reusable earplugs are also simple to clean. You can use mild soap and water but it’s important not to expose the acoustic filter to water or chemicals. That means you shouldn't remove the filter from the earplug prior to cleaning. After cleaning, wipe off any residual moisture and put the plugs away.
You should know that there is no twisting and turning with this model. Just slowly insert the plug into your ear until the bigger flange seals off the canal. To remove the plugs, pinch the pull tab and gently pull them out from your ear.
In the world of affordable reusable earplugs, Etymotic needs little introduction. With the ER20 plugs, you are getting premium construction and features at an affordable price.
Once inside your ear, the structural components imitate the ear canal sonic response to reduce outside noises without causing undue discomforted. The noise reduction rating of about 20dB might not be as much as with some other models, but that’s because these are also made with extreme comfort in mind. You’ll barely feel them in your ears even after wearing for a long time.
Etymotic designed these to evenly reduce sound across the audible spectrum. However, these reusable earplugs may require more attention than some other models.
You should gently pull your earlobe when inserting the plugs and a twisting motion is required when you pull them out. Although they can be taken apart, you wouldn’t want to do that for cleaning. Keep them together and use a moist cloth to wipe them clean.
Despite the lower noise reduction rating, these plugs are perfectly fine for use at concerts, motorsports events, and music studios. Plus, they come in two sizes, standard for most users and large for those with bigger ears.
The EarJoy earplugs offer a simple no-frills design at a price that fits any budget. To begin with, the package contains four sets of reusable plugs that are great for sleeping, the shooting range, swimming, motorsports, musicians, you name it. Given the lack of fancy noise reduction/cancelation technology, you might wonder where does this versatility come from.
The secret lies in the choice of materials and different types of earplugs. All the plugs in the set are made of soft adjustable silicone that contours to your ear canal. And you get two different types of earplugs. Two of the four sets feature a more traditional stub-like design and the others have three flanges.
There’s also some structural difference in the two flanged sets. One comes with fixed end caps and the other removable filter caps. In theory, they all serve different purposes. For example, you can use the stub-like sets for sleeping and the flanged ones when you find yourself in a noisy environment.
To top it all off, these earplugs are probably the easiest to clean. Just wipe them with a damp cloth after use or you can disassemble and wash the plugs when they get really dirty.
Getting a pair of quality reusable earplugs for sleeping may seem like a walk in the park, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Check out some of the features that can keep you at peace even if your partner saws logs like there’s no tomorrow.
The length of the earplugs is one of the most important features because you don’t want anything protruding from your ear while you sleep. The length is measured from the tip that goes inside the ear canal to the cap end on the other side. There isn’t a definitive optimal length. But about ¾” fits most users, even for side sleepers.
Materials and Comfort
The contact materials are either silicone or soft plastic. However, some materials may perform better than others. With this in mind, your ideal set needs to be soft enough to offer comfort, yet sturdy enough for a tight seal.
A quick way to judge the material is with a squeeze test. It should be easy to squeeze the earplug tip watch spring back into place when released. That said, the real challenge comes after eight hours of sleep.
If you feel any discomfort in the morning, its best to go for a different model to avoid ear irritation. For example, the SureFire EP4 features an ergonomic design and a retention ring designed for comfortable wearing over extended periods.
Types of Earplugs for Sleeping
Sleep earplugs can be reusable, disposable, moldable, or custom. The names explain their function and purpose but there are certain things you should know about. Here is a quick rundown.
They are made of soft foam, usually cannot be cleaned, and for use only once or twice.
These offer the best value for money as they can be cleaned and reused and offer higher noise reduction than the disposable type.
These are molded into a roll and provide a secure fit. Most models can be washed.
If you want the best sound attenuation, custom earplugs deliver. They are custom-made just for you based on a set of molds of your ears. To justify the cost, these are always reusable and can be cleaned.
To minimize risks, you need to get a set of reusable earplugs that fit like a glove without any discomfort. Even so, certain problems may still come up.
Prolonged earplug usage may obstruct natural cerumen (earwax) drainage. To prevent it, you need to clean the ear canals regularly. Regular cleaning or replacement of the plugs is also important because it minimizes the chances of ear infections.
Either way, if you experience hearing impairment or tinnitus (ringing of the ears), it’s time to stop using the plugs. And maybe call up your doctor.
When all is said and done, the SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders come out as the best reusable earplugs for sleeping. They offer premium build quality, excellent materials, and comfort. On top of that, these earplugs are designed to be worn for a long time, which could be the most important thing if you plan on going to sleep with them on.