Why wear headphones to sleep?
Welcome to my blog post “Best Headphones For Sleeping Explained” If you have been following my story, you will know that noise played some part of my Insomnia onslaught. When you wake in the early hours and can’t get back to sleep naturally, it’s important to block out the external noise of barking dogs, traffic, birds or a snoring partner, before using your sleep hypnosis CD’s or recordings. I always use either earplugs or headphones depending on whether I want noise control or listen to recordings or music.
However, I found it wasn’t that easy to find the perfect pair of headphones for sleeping. There were quite a few more considerations than I expected, such as-
- sound quality,
- noise cancellation,
- battery life
- Design quality
So I decided to review some of the best Headphones for sleeping so you won’t have to go through what I did. Some of these I have used myself and some are based on Amazon reviews, but as everyone is different I have tried to answer some questions that often pop up about Sleep Headphones also.
Do I need Headphones, headband or Earplugs?
Well, again, it’s all down to personal choice, but here’s some different types you might encounter. –
Over the ear headphones
As you will no doubt already know, traditional over the ear headphones usually provide the best sound quality, but I found wearing a pair in bed can be tricky. I’m a side sleeper so when I initially tried a pair of these, I was fine until I turned on my side to sleep. Then I found them rather uncomfortable, nearly impossible to sleep with them on. But on the odd occasion that I nap in a chair they are perfectly comfortable.
I know some people can’t bear the thought of placing earplugs in their ears, so if they are side sleepers they may have to consider a sleep headband instead of the other two maybe?
If you are ok sleeping on your back, there are a couple of over the ear headphones that I suggest you try later in the review.
These have a slightly different feel to them. I like them as sound quality isn’t a major issue for me as I merely use them for my sleep hypnosis downloads, although for music sometimes. They are an excellent choice for die-hard side sleepers and really are very comfortable. The one downside is the speakers sometimes shift position during the night. They are basically a fabric head wraparound with embedded speakers. The fabric can be fleece like material but these can make you sweat if you tend to like your bedroom warm. If that’s you, you might want to try the Lycra material option instead.
These are by far the most common type of headphones that you see around today. With the ownership of smart phones going through the roof and just about everyone owning one, most people will have used earplugs at some stage of their phone ownership. I found that some earplugs weren’t that comfortable once I was on my side, sort of digging into my ear canal, but once I found a pair that seemed to suit me I was fine with these. So you might need to try a few different types until you find the one that fits you.
The other consideration is hygiene. You need to always keep your earplugs clean with an anti bacterial cleaner or you could find yourself with increasing ear infections over a long period of wear!
Wireless or wired?
I must admit, I hate wires. I usually always go for wireless as I’m always moving about, and I just don’t like being wired to one particular area. It’s the same for me with Headphones. The problem with wireless as in many products, is the battery life. My own product battery lasts about 5 hours which is enough to get me to sleep, but when I wake, I have to recharge to continue listening. I have now found the solution to this wee problem, I bought 2 wireless ones!
Some people prefer wired headphones using the standard 3.5mm attached cable, but I just don’t like my neck getting caught up with cable after I’ve been tossing and turning during the night, so my suggestion is, if you can afford the extra for the wireless, go for it!
Noise cancelling sleep headphones
As we were saying earlier, if you have a lot of external noise such as traffic or barking dogs, or even internal noise, maybe snoring partner, you may want to consider a pair of Noise Cancelling Headphones
There are two types – passive & Active
Passive noise cancelling is a physical way of blocking out the noise, such as putting fingers in ears. But in modern headphones, passive noise cancellation is achieved by designing the headphone to form a perfect block between the noise and your ear canal.
Active Noise cancelling requires a bit more sophistication, through electronics and signal processing. This basically uses a microphone to monitor the sound in your bedroom, then feeds an audio signal into your headphones which cancels out the noise. It’s never 100% effective, particularly for close up noise like loud snoring, but with the music playing in the background, you will notice a huge difference. Active Noise Cancelling headphone are of course a bit dearer than the passive ones.
What are the Best Headphones for Sleeping?
Ok, that’s the basics done with, now here’s the review of the best headphones divided into categories for ease of use. I simply don’t see the point of me giving you 10 headphones to choose from without categorizing them at all?
Best for Comfort & Sound over the ears headphone
These are great for just about everything including Comfort & sound quality. You can use wired or wireless which is another bonus. I can vouch for these personally as they are the best pair of over the ears headphones I have ever bought. Others agree with me as there are over 500 reviews with average rating of 4/5 stars so you can’t get much better than that, particularly when you think how fickle some people can be when it comes to gadgets like headphones and the like. Here’s a typical reviewers comment-
“These headphones are about as good as it gets for the price. I am one of those people who feel like their head is being smashed by the pressure of on-ear headphones but,this set is not so bad. I am able to use them for several hours at a time without getting a headache.”
The comfort is great. Sometimes with over the ear headphones, you get that discomfort around the ear, but not with these. If you are a side sleeper, you may want to consider something additional to these for bed wear!
Sound isn’t a missive issue for me, but even I can appreciate the quality of sound through these. The Bluetooth technology allows you to sync and pair in seconds for great stereo music quality.
- Very Comfortable
- Great Sound
- 500 great customer reviews on Amazon
- Wired or wireless
- Excellent Bluetooth connection
- Great Value at under $40 ATOR (At time of review)
- 3.5 mm analogue cable
- Built in microphone for pc’s or cell phones
- Manual not that great but online support is
Best if you don’t mind “over the ears headphones”, but need Great Sound & Comfort
Check out the reviews & current Amazon price here
Best for value headband
Another one I can personally vouch for! As a side sleeper, the over the ears headphones aren’t ideal for me as they make sleeping virtually impossible. This Cozyphones Sleep Headband is the opposite when it comes to sleep. It plays music or hypnosis for me from my phone, allows me to toss & turn on my side, on my back wherever and also doubles up as a sleep mask!
Some people say that the cable hurts their face and the speakers move about too much, but although I agree it’s a bit of a pain, they are only $19 so what do you expect for that price! And you even get a 100% money back guarantee. So if you don’t like them, you can change them!
I have now personally moved onto a wireless product but I still rate this one if you are on a budget!
Lots of folk agree with me, most of the 910+ customer reviews on Amazon very positive 4 star rating.
- Can be used with all your favourite devices
- Cool mesh lining keeps you cool at night
- Flexible & durable 52 inch braid
- Can be used a s a sleep mask
- Removable speakers
- Over 910+ really quite good customer reviews on Amazon
- Great value at around $19
- 3.5 mm stereo plug
- Some reviewers say the speakers move around a lot- I haven’t found that too bad
- Some reviewers say cable hurt their face – Again, haven’t found that to be the case, although I now use wireless version
Best if Sound Quality isn’t a major issue for you
Check out the reviews & current Amazon price here
Best Wireless Headphone For Sleeping
Having started with the previous Cozyphones headband, I decided to move up a gear and try this wireless version by SleePhones. I wanted something that had no wires and this fitted the bill. It really is an excellent piece of kit. The ultra slim headphones are embedded inside the fabric so well, you can hardly feel them, it’s like music coming out of the fabric!
Easily syncs to all Bluetooth devices and can be used upto 30 feet away. Battery lasts about 12 hours.
Some reviewers say the battery & speakers move around a lot, but I don’t get much of that. I move around a lot and they seem fine to me. And others on Amazon, here’s what one reviewer says
“Excellent! I am not sure what these other negative reviews are about but these SleepPhones work great. They are very easy, like 20 seconds, to setup.”
- 3 Sizes, although Medium fits most
- Wireless range 15-30 feet
- Easily syncs to all Bluetooth devices
- Battery lasts about 12 hours
- USB charger included
- Removable speakers for ease of laundering
- Over 435+ customer reviews on Amazon mostly positive
- Again, some reviewers say the battery & speakers move around while asleep, but I guess it’s maybe difficult not to.
- Bit Pricey at around $99 but it IS wireless!
Best if you are uncomfortable with earbuds or over the ear phones
Check out the reviews & current Amazon price here
Best Headphones/Earbuds For Sleeping On Side
These Maxrock Sleeping Earbuds are great for side sleepers, who sometimes struggle to get comfortable with earplugs when lying on the side. They effectively noise block so you can sleep, study or work in comfort. Also, they are very flexible and fit snugly into the ear canal to avoid falling out. They are so soft you won’t even know they are in your ear. I have tried these before I moved onto wireless earplugs, but these are still great! Pay the extra few dollars and get the volume control and microphone built into the cord.
- Earplugs & earbuds 2 in 1 product
- Blocks out ambient noise like snoring
- Super light and snug, no falling out
- Standard 3.5 mm connector to most gadgets
- Soft music helps you sleep
- Over 100+ very good customer reviews on Amazon
- Great value at under $17 at time of review
- User friendly volume control & built-in microphone on the cord
- Great for noise cancellation
- Still got wires but you’ll hardly notice
Best if you are on a budget & need noise cancelling
Check out the reviews and Amazon price here
Best Bluetooth Sleep Headphones
These are an excellent choice for Best Wireless Earplugs. They are quite premium quality so cost a bit more, but if you like your Earplugs classy, then these will take your fancy. The sound is incredible mainly due to the superior Dual microphone technology in each earbud. They have true wireless stability which reduces call and music dropouts. Amazon customers love this product, with one of them stating
“Such an amazing product! I tried a couple other “big brand” products and they fell far short in quality compared to the Elite 65t”
There are so many great reviews amongst the 30+ reviews even though it’s a new product and most give it a very high rating indeed. The earbuds fit snugly into the ear canal so are fine for sleeping in, especially if you use a softer pillow.
- Amazing sound due to Dual microphone technology
- Effortless Bluetooth syncing
- Earbuds fit perfectly into ear canal
- Over 30+ amazing customer reviews on Amazon, even though new product
- Premium quality design
- Comes with charging case
- Up to 15 hours battery life
- 2 hours charge time
- Voice command for Alexa, Google etc
- Price quite high at around $170 at time of review but such premium quality
Best if you want seamless Bluetooth connection & Great Sound
Check out the review & current Amazon price here
Best Noise Cancelling Headphones For Sleeping
Not only are these Ivosy True Wireless Earbuds Wireless, but they are brilliant if you need to cancel out external noise. Oh, and they are also waterproof. I have added these as I know most folk use their earplugs for exercise and these are also sweatproof and don’t fall out while you are running etc.
- HD Stereo and Ultra bass
- Waterproof & sweatproof
- 3 hours music time
- 1 hour charge time
- Lightweight anti drop out
- 3 Different earbud sizes
- Wireless headset
- New product so only a few reviews but they are amazing 5 star ones
- Great value at under $50 at time of review
- Noise reduction & echo reduction technology
- The bass is very strong
Best if you have external noise when sleeping or studying
Check out the reviews & Amazon price here