Buying Earplugs for Sleeping as You Travel

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As a traveler, you’ll often find yourself trying to sleep in less than ideal conditions (such as on a long bus ride, in a hostel dorm room or on a plane journey).

Using earplugs for sleeping is nothing new, but they are something that can help you block out the noise and get some much needed shut-eye.

In addition to helping you sleep, earplugs are useful at other times, too. For example, when you’re trying to concentrate (when working or reading a book) they can help block out unwanted background noise.

Since the 1990’s (or even before), earplugs have developed massively to the point where there’s all kinds of different types (made from many different materials – such as PVC or silicone).

Each set of earplugs is designed for a specific purpose, whether that’s for blocking out music (when you’re at band practice), deafening gunshots (when you’re hunting), quieting the sound of your motorbike’s loud engine or for blocking out noise as your get to sleep.

Given the abundance of different earplugs currently on the market, I’ve reviewed a couple of pairs of ear plugs below – each of which work well as earplugs for sleeping. In addition to this, I’ve provided a set of criteria that you should consider when buying earplugs for sleeping.

Judging Criteria

When looking at using earplugs for sleeping, there are a few things you need to consider. These are the effectiveness of the earplugs (i.e. how well they work), how comfortable and easy to use they are, how durable and long-lasting they are and how much they cost.

Most earplugs these days come with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) that indicates the amount of noise they can effectively muffle.

Although this should give you some indication of how well a pair of earplugs will work, it should be noted that many experts have made the point that NRR’s are based on experiments in a science lab, rather than actual human experiences.

Depending on the design and the materials used, some earplugs are better at blocking out high-pitched noises, whereas others are more adept at countering low bass frequencies.

When looking for the best earplugs for sleeping in, how comfortable they are is perhaps the most important aspect, as you’ll have a hard time getting to sleep if the earplugs you’re wearing are irritating you.

When sleeping with earplugs, they also need to be able to stay in your ears (and not fall out) as you toss and turn throughout the night.

Ideally you want them to fit in snuggly, but not feel like they’re pressing against the inside of your ear too much.

In this regard, the lighter the earplugs are, the better, as they’ll have less of a presence inside you ear.

If something spends 8 hours inside your ear, night after night it’s bound to get a bit grimy. A good pair of earplugs is one that can be easily cleaned (or is cheap enough to be thrown away and replaced).

Also related to durability is lifespan. How long will your earplugs last for? Will the best easily squashed and lose their sound-reducing powers?

Price is always something to consider when making a purchase, and the range of prices on earplugs varies more than most things. While some earplugs that cost than $1, others retail for over $100!

Earplug Reviews

Sleep-Eze Earplugs
Price: $187.99 per pair

Sleep-Eze earplugsSleep-Eze earplugs are extremely high-tech compared to most regular earplugs, as they work towards actively drowning out background noise by feeding white noise into your ear.

While these earplugs do a great job of blocking out noise, they’re not ideal to sleep with, as the hard plastic inside of them makes them uncomfortable to wear at times.

If you just want earplugs for sleeping, these Sleep-Eze plugs might seem a little extravagant at the price of almost $190 per pair.

Of course, no frugal traveler in their right mind is going to pay that much for a pair of earplugs, but I just wanted to give you a taste of what’s out there are the top end of the scale.

For more information about these ear plugs, click here.

Hearos Ultimate Softness Series Earplugs
Price: $1 per pair

Hearos extreme earplugsThe first thing I noticed upon placing these earplugs in my ears were how soft and comfortable they were. Instead of being ‘in’ my ears, they seemed to almost hover just outside of them, such was the feeling.

Like a lot of modern earplugs, these Hearos are made from polyurethane, making them easy to clean and highly flexible.

So what about the noise reduction? These earplugs are made to block out both loud, high pitched noises as well as deep background noises. They do both with ease.

One thing I will say is that if you’re a particularly heavy sleeper (i.e. someone that doesn’t wake up easily), you should be careful wearing these earplugs as you might have trouble hearing a noise that should normally wake you up (such as a fire alarm).

These were great a blocking out noise, were extremely comfortable to wear, and at the price of $1 they’re a godsend for any traveler wanting some peace and quiet.

For more information about these ear plugs, click here.

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