Headphones HowTo Reviews

Best Headphones for Sleeping

Best Headphones for Sleeping
Written by Izak Van Heerden
After many years of suffering I have come to a simple realization: I cannot fall asleep in total silence.


For me, a prolonged silence to try to fall asleep becomes oppressive. The rush of blood through my ears sounds like standing next to Niagara waterfalls.
Another consideration is the partner who snores. For some couples, falling asleep turns into a race, as the party losing will listen to their partner snoring happily away for the rest of the night.

What does the trick for me is some kind of audio input, consisting of either white noise, the drone of a voice reading an audiobook or music.

For delivery, a pair of active noise cancelling headphones would be a great idea, but rolling around in your sleep or even side-sleeping would be impossible with a set of full sized Bose cans. The answer therefore is to look at in-ears and special over-the-ears designed for sleeping.

Should You Sleep with In-Ears and Is All Night Long Music a Good Thing?

Some may wonder if sleeping with earplug type headphones is safe. As noted in the previous link, earwax can build up in your ear when you use earplugs every night. However, you can help prevent these problems by cleaning your ears on a regular basis.

Also, is it beneficial to listen to music all night long? The following article asserts that calm, relaxing music could be beneficial to getting a good night’s rest.

Wired In-Ear Headphones

Wired in-ears may seem strange at first, but wired headphones do offer some benefits. After all, they apply a direct connection to your device. This allows you to avoid any Bluetooth issues – no phone speaker kicking in once your bluetooth device’s batteries give out. Also, if either of the earbuds fall out during the night, you can easily find the other by following the wire. Plus you can usually get wired earbuds at a lower price than wireless ones.

Keep in mind that wired headphones do have some drawbacks. For example, they could pose a potential hazard during the night if you move around in your sleep. You also need to keep your device nearby so that the earbuds can plug into it. Despite this, the benefits do make it a good option for some people.


Recommended: MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs

In-Ear Bluetooth

In-ear Bluetooth earbuds can make things easier for people that don’t want to deal with wires. While they work like your standard earbuds, they also get rid of (most of) the wire so it doesn’t get in your way during the night. EEIEER Sleep Earbuds (see image below) comes recommended since they provide extra battery life and will last the entire night.

Wireless earbuds allow you to have your device far away while you sleep. You also don’t have to worry about long wires connected to a phone getting in the way or posing a danger. On top of this, you have batteries that will last you the entire evening. This means that they won’t turn off as you try to sleep.

It does have its own problems. For example, it could disconnect from your device in the middle of the night and you may have to get up to fix it. Also, if you forget to charge your earbuds, then they may run out as you’re listening. If you don’t mind these issues, then you may want wireless earbuds for their convenience.

The Nuclear Option

[Our Recommended Solution:] Over-Ear Bluetooth

Over-ear Bluetooth headphones take a different approach by using a headband that functions as headphones. You wrap it around your head and have it cover your ears and they can play music.

Bluetooth Sleep Headphones

These headphones are recommended for people who hate the idea of violating their in-ear canals with electronics. It’s all wireless which allows you to not have your device next to you. The biggest advantage is that you can use them as a mask to block out light while you sleep. Don’t like the mask effect? Wear it as a headband and still get the same sound.

It does have a few disadvantages though. Some people may find it uncomfortable to sleep with something wrapped around their head. Also, if it’s a warm evening, you could start sweating and the headphones will soak up your sweat. But if you’re used to eye masks and want some headphones, you should consider these ones.

Honorable Mentions

The BOSE Quiet Comfort 20 Noise Canceling headphones plugs in to your iPhone or Android, and comes with a little equalizer box that gives you noise cancellation processing and a button to instantly turn this off to go into “AWARE” mode. Many good reports of people using for a night’s sleep and even on flights.

People have reported sleeping quite comfortably with Samsung Galaxy Buds, getting a totally wireless, in-ear experience for the first 6 hours of their sleep, while the battery lasts.


I am an audiobook addict. At night I usually select a boring or well-read story, set my Audible to a sleep timeout of 1 hour and can now boast that I’m asleep in the first 10 minutes. This is the perfect answer to total silence (which I cannot bear) or the sound of a partner engaged in carpentry.

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Izak Van Heerden
Izak has witnessed a couple of decades worth of changing tech. He hopes to make it a couple more until his conscience can be copied to a cyborg body.

About the author

Izak Van Heerden

Izak has witnessed a couple of decades worth of changing tech. He hopes to make it a couple more until his conscience can be copied to a cyborg body.

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