Noise canceling earplugs may be just what you need if you are constantly tossing and turning at night. There is nothing worse than waking up multiple times because of noisy neighbors, traffic, a snoring partner, or a noisy pet. Broken sleep will make you feel like garbage, and you will likely be completely unproductive the following day. Noise canceling earplugs are great little things to have around to guard against this kind of noise pollution and more.

However, it is essential to recognize that not all noise canceling earplugs are the same. Before you buy a pair, it is important to know what you are looking for and why.

Benefits of Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs

Benefits of Noise Canceling Earplugs

For those who have difficulties sleeping, noise cancelling earplugs are a big help at blocking out many of the sounds that can keep you up. They also offer relief to those who are on the autism spectrum or have sleep disorders, and they can prevent ear damage when worn in loud environments such as concerts. They can even help you ignore people if you need to.

Great for Sleep

You should make sure you get a good night’s sleep because it is essential to your overall health. Not sleeping well can lead to weight gain and can hurt concentration, not to mention that poor sleepers have a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. Sometimes, however, it is just too noisy to fall asleep. Noise cancelling ear plugs can help correct many of these issues.

Earplugs are perfect for nighttime use. You can wear them externally or internally, based on personal preference and comfort levels. Earplugs help block out distractions and loud noises. They can mask snoring, the radio, TV, or other background noise that keeps you awake at night. With higher decibel (dB) protection ratings, earplugs can also block out external sounds beyond your control.

Relief for People with Autism and Sensory Disorders

Some people with autism and other sensory disorders have an extreme sensitivity to sounds. The sounds can become distorted and magnified. This can cause the individual to feel pain or become confused. Low conversations between people can easily be heard by someone with hypersensitivity to sound. Also, background noise that neurotypical people could ignore is incredibly distracting to someone with a sensory disorder.

Noise cancelling ear plugs can block out most of that noise and make life much more enjoyable.

Design of the Best Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs of 2018

Design of the Best Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs of 2018

The design of the best noise canceling earplugs of 2018 might slightly vary from one person to the next. Some are bell-shaped, some are over-the-ear, while some feature a pod-design fit. Ultimately, you want to choose a product which conforms to your ear canal, is comfortable, and blocks out noise efficiently.

Bell-Shaped Earplugs

The bell-shaped design is unique in that it doesn’t go as deep into the ear canal as a pod or straightened ear plug might. For some, this offers a more comfortable fit because it isn’t protruding deep into the ear. They are contoured, which makes them easy to keep in place, and prevents them from falling out of your ears at night. In comparison to other styles, it also makes them easier to remove and insert from the ear.

High efficiency-ratings make this earplugs perfect for blocking out environmental distractions and noise. A smooth finish prevents dirt from building up on the earplugs as well. The bell shape also offers greater security, as they aren’t as likely to slip out of the ear canal.

Flattened Cylinders

Flattened cylinders are another familiar style for noise canceling earplugs. These aren’t intended to be stuck inside the ear canal, but rather to block the ear entrance. Removing them is as easy as tilting the plug up off the ear as it is worn externally. These earplugs are comfortable, easy to put on and take off and provide full coverage. Typically made of a silicone material, they are durable and you can reuse them. For those who prefer something outside of the ear canal, these may be the best noise canceling earplugs of 2018.


Pods are another common option for noise canceling earplugs. A soft, flexible material makes them easy to insert into the ear canal without injuring it. The foam material can easily compress in the ear, allowing it to expand once placed in the ear canal. This will help block out greater volumes and environmental distractions wherever users are sleeping. Pods are a great option for those who want something hygienic because you don’t have to roll them between the fingers.

How to Choose the Best Noise Cancelling Ear Plugs

How to Choose the Best Noise Canceling Earplugs

Of course, like any product, noise-canceling earplugs come in a variety of styles, materials, and fitted options. In-ear design, over-the-ear buds, disposable, and reusable varieties are available. When purchasing earplugs, you should choose a pair that is comfortable, conforms into your ear canal, and stays in place at night. Some of the many features to look for include:

  • High levels of attenuation achieved by the earplugs
  • The ability to block out more noise and environmental distractions
  • Reduced pressure on the ear canal to ensure high levels of comfort when worn
  • High-density material that places low levels of pressure on the ear canals
  • Sweat and humidity resistant
  • Guaranteed to stay in place, regardless of your sleeping position

The following points are other factors to consider.

Pick Earplugs with a Good Rating

Consider the noise protection and reduction rating (NRR) when choosing noise canceling earplugs. NRR measures the plug’s ability to attenuate noise and block sounds. This rating indicates the level of sound that earplugs block-out when they aren’t used with simultaneous noise-blocking objects. This gives you a better indication of how much sound they’ll eliminate when worn at night.

Disposable or Reusable

Do you prefer disposable or reusable earplugs? This is another question you need to answer when choosing earplugs to sleep at night. For some, it is easier to wear them once and wear a new pair each night. Especially those who highly-value hygiene, disposable earplugs are a cleaner option. On the other hand, reusable earplugs are typically made with better materials. They may block out higher dB ratings and environmental noise. Ultimately, it is a matter of comfort, hygiene, fit, and your budget when choosing earplugs.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is another variable to consider. They should be simple to insert and remove. Foam plugs typically expand once placed in your ear, providing greater sound blockage. They are also a softer material so won’t damage or injure the ear canal. Choosing a product that is comfortable and easy to insert/remove, guarantees that when wearing the earplugs, you’ll barely feel them at night.

Price Range

Earplugs can vary in price based on different variables. The products on our list fall between $10 to $30.

Our Top Picks for Noise Canceling Earplugs

Finally, without further ado, here are our picks for the best noise canceling earplugs.


Ear Buddy Earplugs

The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs, Noise Cancelling Earplugs...
  • VERY IMPORTANT** For Optimum Results Ear Plugs Must Be Inserted EXACTLY As Directed; Follow The Simple Instructions As...

These Ear Buddy Earplugs are foam noise canceling earplugs. The foam material expands in your ear canal once inserted. They are made from an e-soft material that is highly flexible, isn’t too firm or soft, and will remain in place at night, allowing you to sleep comfortably. Additionally, these earplugs shield environmental noises and sound, like snoring, easily. They feature an NRR rating of 32, which is the highest possible, blocking out distractions when you lay down to sleep.

Unfortunately, these earplugs aren’t reusable, making high cost concern for some people. Some users complain of adjustment to fit, stating the earplugs don’t expand in the ear canal. Dislodging and discomfort were among the complaints of some owners of these earplugs. The earplugs have a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, however, so most people were happy with the product.

3M Classic Earplugs

3M Ear Plugs, 200 Pairs/Box, E-A-R Classic 310-1001, Uncorded,...
  • SECURE: Exposed cell surface texture resists movement and helps maintain an effective seal creating a comfortable, snug...
  • OUTSTANDING COMFORT: This unique slow recovery, low pressure foam and special cylindrical shape help enhance comfort...
  • SOFT SOUND ABSORBING FOAM: Proprietary foam is initially firm to make fitting the ear plug easier, then softens once...

Reputation and brand-name recognition make this one of the best noise canceling earplugs of 2018 available. These earplugs are small, compact, light, and easy to insert into the ear canal. They are highly dense, providing high levels of sound blockage at night. The low-pressure foam naturally conforms to the ear canal when inserted. A 29 dB NRR rating is also one of the highest available.

The fact that they are very short and hard to remove is one of the biggest complaints about this product. The foam isn’t as dense as other materials, which also minimizes their ability to block out the sound. Some consumers claim they are uncomfortable and move/rub against the ear when laying on your side. These earplugs have a 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Amazon.

Howard Leight Honeywell Earplugs

Howard Leight by Honeywell Laser Lite High Visibility Disposable Foam...
  • HI-VIS & CORDED: Vibrant yellow & magenta color is highly visible from a distance to help ensure employee compliance and...
  • EXCELLENT NOISE REDUCTION (NRR 32): Self-Adjusting foam earplugs expand in the ear upon insertion to create a secure...
  • IDEAL FOR SMALLER & LARGER EARS: Small size of earplug delivers optimal fit and ear protection for smaller ears, but low...

For those who want a corded version of the best noise canceling earplugs of 2018, the Howard Leight Honeywell Earplugs are a highly-rated variety. A highly dense foam material provides increased levels of security and comfort. The self-adjusting foam expands in the ear canal so they won’t fall out or dislodge while in use. A T-shape design (bell) makes them easy to insert and avoids injury to the ear canal when wearing the plugs.

Customer ratings complain of minimal noise cancellation capabilities with these earplugs. Users also complain they fall out of the ear and don’t conform into the ear canal to remain in place. Cheap foam material and poor design execution are also issues users complain of. Users rated the earplugs 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Ear Elfs

High Fidelity Green Ear Plugs W/Attenuation Filter for Hearing...
  • PROTECT YOUR EARS EFFECTIVELY! Discover the most practical way to reduce your surrounding noise up to 21 dB; it is...
  • YOU WILL FORGET YOU’RE WEARING THEM! Apart from adequately reducing the noises from your environment, we also made...
  • MODERN, DISCREET DESIGN WITH FUNKY COLOR! Our earplugs have a modern, stylish design and a trendy, green pastel color....

Featuring a built-in attenuation filter and a 21 dB protection rating, these Ear Elfs are great noise canceling earplugs. The ultra-comfortable design eliminates movement, irritation, and rubbing in the ear canal once inserted. They are available in large and small sizes, creating a ‘custom fit’ for any user. Quality silicone material is durable and won’t move when laying on your side.

Some people who bought the earplugs complained about ringing and dryness after removal. Another complaint stated they didn’t provide high levels of noise cancellation, only blocking out minimal background noises. Overall though, most customers were happy and rated the ear plugs 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.


For the budget-conscious shopper, EarJoy is one of the best noise canceling earplugs of 2018 available. They are intended to help with noise reduction and blocking out background distractions. A silicone base slides into the ear canal and conforms for a comfortable fit. They help with low to medium noise level blockage.

Poor quality design, wax material, and an uncomfortable fit are among the complaints of some users. Some owners complained they cause irritation and itchiness when worn for prolonged periods. Limited noise cancelling capabilities in louder environments also limits use. The budget-friendly ear plugs were rated 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Our Verdict

Our Verdict

A good night of sleep is imperative to your health, well-being, mental clarity, and ability to function during the day. If you aren’t sleeping well, a loud environment might be the reason why. Noise-canceling earplugs of 2018 might be just what will help you improve the quality of your sleep.

Each of these earplugs offers users different benefits. Our pick for the best ear plugs is the 3M Classic Ear Plugs. With a 29 dB rating, they will eliminate a majority of unwanted noise in your environment. They fit into the ear canal and expand after insertion to help better distort loud external noises. Although the foam isn’t as dense as other earplugs, this doesn’t deter from the fact that they’ll help reduce unwanted sounds in your environment. And, a trusted brand-name guarantees you’re receiving high-quality earplugs for the price.

Last update on 2022-12-03 at 02:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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