If you sleep with a partner that snores, near a busy road or below neighbors that like to do all of their best stomping in the middle of the night, a pair of sleeping headphones may be just the solution you need to get a good night’s rest. Unlike ear plugs, which typically only block out noise, the best headphones for sleeping connect to your favorite devices — either via Bluetooth or a wire — and can play music, guided meditations, audiobooks and/or white noise. Some of them even have their own dedicated apps that have hundreds of hours of unique sounds that you can choose from.
Sure, any decent set of headphones can do all of the above, but it’s the design that really sets the picks on this list apart. While regular headphones can be bulky and uncomfortable to lie on, sleep headphones are made with a minimal, barely-there feel that lets you drift off to sleep while wearing them comfortably throughout the night. We will note that because the design is the star, the sound quality isn’t necessarily as good bulky headphones with noise cancellation and other expensive features. That said, a sleep headphone will definitely will drown out unwanted noise with soothing sound — kinda like a white noise machine that only you can hear.
If you need help getting the recommended eight hours of shut-eye each night, these are the best headphones for sleeping. We’ve included a few different types, from a few headband headphone options to Bluetooth headphones to earbuds that nestle into your ear canal to block out ambient noise. Keep reading for sounder sleep!
The Hoomband Headband earned the title of overall best headphones for sleeping because they’re not just headphones that you can sleep with — they’re headphones that were made for sleep. There are two ultrathin, flat speakers that are placed under foam, so you can hear them but can’t feel them. The headband itself is made from a 3D mesh that’s soft, thin and helps regulate temperature so you don’t get too hot while you sleep.
The setup comes with a free app that includes 100 hours of audio content — including ambient sounds, documentaries, white noise, guided meditations and more — but it also works like regular headphones that allow you to connect with your favorite apps, like YouTube, Spotify and Headspace via Bluetooth.
If you don’t like the idea of wearing a headband to bed, the Bedphones Sleep Headphones are another made-for-sleep option that comes sans fabric. It features two ultrathin headphone speakers connected by a rubber-coated memory wire that’s fully adjustable so you can find your perfect fit.
They come in two versions — wired and wireless — and each one comes equipped with an in-line microphone and three-button remote that allows you to answer phone calls or play, pause or skip whatever you’re listening to. And a single charge lasts an impressive 13 hours.
Most sleep headphones are designed for side sleeping, but the Fultext sleep headband integrates the earpieces into a soft fabric headband for extra comfort. The flat speakers are nestled into an extremely stretchy fabric and a breathable mesh lining, that’s not only soft, it’s hypoallergenic too. The speakers are ultrathin so you can’t feel them, even when your head is pressed into a pillow. The setup supports both wired and wireless playback and runs for 10 hours on a single charge.
And because the fabric is moisture-wicking and won’t slip, these sleep headphones can double up as workout headphones. You can use them on your run, wash the fabric, and then use them at bedtime.
Another headband option, these wireless sleep headphones by SleepPhones reduce ambient noise and block out your partner’s snoring without making you sacrifice comfort. They have flat headphones tucked into a fabric headband that wirelessly pair with any Bluetooth-enabled device that’s within 15 to 30 feet of where you’re sleeping. Designed by a family doctor, they also have ultralow power so you don’t have to worry about any radiofrequency emissions while you sleep — a potential concern that’s been raised by researchers.
There are also two fabric options — fleece and breeze — so you can take your pick depending on whether you’re a hot or cold sleeper. The fleece fabric is warm and cozy, while the breeze fabric is moisture-wicking and super-breathable.
If you really want to up your sleep quality, this sleep headphones slash sleep mask from Watotgafer is a double whammy. Equipped with flat headphones and an ergonomic eye design that doesn’t put too much pressure on your face, the setup effectively blocks out noise and light all at once. The flat headphones are tucked into a breathable, slow-rebound memory foam fabric that’s also designed to release tension and stress in your face so you can drift off to a more restful sleep.
The Bluetooth controls are also placed in the middle of the eye mask, so you can easily control your music or white noise app even when sleeping on your side. And since a single charge lasts at least eight hours, you can run them all night without interruption.
The Panasonic Slim Clip-on Earphones are a top-notch sleep solution with a price that won’t keep you up at night. They’re pretty basic wired headphones, but they have an ultracompact housing and a slim design that helps block out noise while ensuring that you’re comfortable as you sleep. The ergonomic ear hooks have a rubberized design that holds the headphones securely in place but doesn’t feel rough on your ears.
While there’s no fancy Bluetooth technology here, you can plug these headphones into any of your favorite devices (if you have Apple products, you’ll need an adapter) and play everything from music to audiobooks.
These noise-canceling earbuds by Bose aren’t technically designed for sleeping, but if you’re looking for more traditional headphones to sleep with, they’re another viable option. True to Bose’s high standards, they combine Active EQ and TriPort technology to give you a high-quality sound that you don’t normally get with earbuds. They block all out ambient noise, but you can quickly toggle between the noise-canceling function and the Aware mode. This allows you to hear what’s going on around you with a single touch of a button — a priceless feature that provides peace of mind for any bumps in the night.
The set also comes with three different ear tip sizes — small, medium and large — to ensure a snug fit so the earbuds don’t fall out of your ears as you sleep.
The ultralightweight design and squishy silicone eartips make these minimalistic earbuds an excellent option for travel. The eartips have an ergonomic double layer design that fits snugly in most ear canals to effectively drown out the noise around you, while the mini speaker in each earbud provides quality, balanced sound without too much bass.
Because they don’t have a flat design, they’re not ideal for side sleeping, but if you’re a back sleeper or you need something to drown out ambient noise on a plane or train, these headphones do the trick. And because you can snag a pair for less than $15, it won’t be a total disaster if they got lost somewhere along the way.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.