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10 Best Headphones for Sleeping in 2021

Last updated: 5 months ago
9 min read

The best headphones for a healthy night of sleep.

Rating Price Connection Battery life Washable Noise cancelling More info
Under $250
Bluetooth 5.0
10h + 30h in case
Under $20
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $20
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $150
Bluetooth 5.0
12h + 56h in case
Under $40
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $20
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $30
Bluetooth 5.0
Under $80
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $10
Wired – 3.5mm
Under $220

Different people have different needs. Some of you can fall asleep instantaneously, whereas the other group struggles to close their eyes. You can achieve that much easier if you’re sleeping in a quiet environment. However, sometimes you simply can’t escape the noise.

You’ve probably been in a situation when a person in the same room next snores. While many people do that quietly, some have a thunderous snore, which can keep you up throughout the whole night.

To break the endless cycle of unslept nights counting sheep, you can choose to get headphones for sleeping.

These sleep headphones primarily help block out noise that prevents you from clearing your thoughts and falling asleep.

They do that by either playing white noise (white noise machines exist), relaxing sounds of nature, or using active noise cancellation to eliminate the noise entirely.

They usually can’t play music, although that isn’t the rule, as you can see in our guide. People have different needs, and maybe you prefer to travel into a land of dreams by listening to music, a podcast, or a ASMR recording.

What Types of Headphones are The Best for Sleeping?

While most headphones have a bulky construction, some are small enough to fit comfortably even when you take them to bed. As long as they don’t hit the pillow or create pressure on your ear lobes, they’re perfectly fine to use during sleep.

However, it does depend on the design of which ones are more practical. The latter is more important to those who are side sleepers.

Over-ear headphones

As mentioned, full-sized headphones can be incredibly bulky. And despite their overall comfort, they can be a terrible pick to bring in bed. However, if you frequently sleep only on your back (you move very little during sleep), they might work.

As long as you find the right ones that don’t hit the pillow, it should be fine. With over-ears, you can achieve the best sound quality if you plan to listen to music and let that calmly drift you into slumber.

Also, bigger wireless headphones usually have the best noise cancellation. However, not many people go to sleep and wake up in the same position. Therefore, it’s very likely big headphones will come off your head during sleep and wake you up.

On-ear headphones

Like over-ears, these too bring a fuller sound and better isolation but can become uncomfortable if you move too much.

Some other types of on-ears come with ear hooks. That kind of ear hook design eliminates the headband frame’s pressure and makes the experience more comfortable, although still not great if you’re a side sleeper.

In-ear headphones

One of the better options you like to have some level of maneuverability. Of course, the best ones are wireless since you don’t have to worry about waking up with a tangled wire.

In-ear noise cancelling headphones are usually quite effective with eliminating low-frequency noise and should easily block partner snoring. You can also rely solely on passive isolation, which is above average on in-ears.

However, the main problem still stands. You probably have to buy earbuds specifically made for sleeping if you want the best comfort.

Many in-ears, especially wireless, tend to stick out a lot, which isn’t ideal for side sleeping.

Headband Headphones and Eye Masks

By far, the best sleep products for those seeking ultimate comfort during sleep. Many people prefer to sleep in complete darkness due to light pollution or because it bothers them.

It’s actually healthier for our body to sleep in a pitch-black room, so choosing a face mask has many advantages.

Manufacturers combined the face mask and tiny headphone speakers to make the perfect sleep headphones that doesn’t irritate when in bed. The same thing applies to the headband style, only that they don’t cover the eyes.

These sleep headphones are entirely washable since they’re made from fabric that can eventually get dirty. Of course, you need first to take out the speakers.

The biggest problem with that headband headphones is the overall audio quality, which is about on-par with the best cheap earbuds. It can also be challenging to wear them during the summer when you already feel too hot.

Table of Contents

    More similar guides:

    Best noise isolating headphones

    Best noise cancelling earbuds

    Best noise cancelling headphones

    10 Best Headphones for Sleeping

    1. Bose Sleepbuds II

    Bose Sleepbuds II sleeping headphones

    The latest sleeping true wireless earbuds from Bose with many positive customer reviews. They offer 40 different masking sounds to help you fall asleep.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Mic & Controls: No | Noise cancelling: No | Weight: 4.6g both buds (0.16 oz) | Battery life: 10h + 30h in case | Water-resistance: No | Features: Companion app, ear fins
    • Small and lightweight design
    • Companion app with 40 noise-masking sounds
    • Great stability during sleep with ear fins
    • No active noise cancellation
    • No option for music playback

    Proprietary StayHear silicone ear gels help them stay in their place, regardless of how often you change your sleeping position.

    Instead of implementing active noise cancellation, Bose decided to rather opt for noise-masking technology.

    Inside the companion app, you can toggle between 40 different sleep sounds of water, nature scenes, and other relaxing tunes.

    You can also set an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning calmly. Despite their size, Sleepbuds II can last up to 10 hours on a single charge.

    It’s worth mentioning that Bose Sleepbuds II don’t support music playback, despite supporting wireless Bluetooth technology.

    That means you can’t listen to music during the day and sleep with them during the night.

    2. MAXROCK EL-2737 Unique

    MaxRock Unique wired earbuds

    By far, the best-wired headphones for sleeping with excellent isolation and flush fit.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 5mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Mic & Controls: Yes | Noise cancelling: No | Weight: n/a | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Cable lenght: 1.2m | Features: Double-flanged ear tips
    • Good stability
    • Small, comfortable size
    • Wired headphones aren't practical for sleeping

    Small 5mm drivers can produce a reasonably balanced sound without exaggerating any frequency. They’re clean throughout the midrange and treble but lack a little bit of bass.

    You can still use them to commute or work out, although they don’t offer any liquid protection.

    Wired in-ear headphones from MAXROCK are quite durable and come with a carry case, despite their budget-friendly headphones price point.

    The housing is made from plastic and comes with double-flanged ear tips.

    The latter go deeper into the ear canal, ensuring above-average passive isolation, which is vital for blocking unwanted external noise.

    Unique earbuds come with a 3.5mm jack and an inline remote for skipping and pausing tracks, and answering phone calls.

    3. Panasonic RP-HS46E-K

    Panasonic RP-HS46E-K wired on-ear headphones

    If you don’t twist too much during sleep, these on-ear sleep headphones might be an excellent pick.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 30mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: On-ear | Mic & Controls: No | Noise cancelling: No | Weight: 16g (without cable) | Impedance: 32 Ohm | Features: Slim 9.9mm housing, ear hooks
    • Slim, lightweight, and ergonomic design
    • Ear hooks ensure stability
    • Cable noise

    Thanks to the 30mm drivers, the clarity is excellent and with a decent bass.

    The rest of the spectrum remains very clear, regardless of what you’re playing. Because they rest gently on your ears, the sound is also quite airy and spacious.

    These are unique looking headphones that come in different color options, and don’t have a headband to stick to your head.

    Instead, they come with ear hooks that only grab your ear lobes. Thankfully, that kind of approach is quite comfortable, with nicely padded earcups.

    These are considered one of the most comfortable headphones for sleeping with an on-ear design because of the slim form factor.

    Especially since the back of the earcup doesn’t hit the pillow when you lay down.

    4. Amazfit ZenBuds

    Amazfit ZenBuds

    ZenBuds are a more affordable alternative to Sleepbuds II sleep headphones, with a similar Bluetooth connection and features.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-8.000Hz
    Type: True wireless | Battery life: 12h + 56h in case | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: USB-C | Mic & Controls: No | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: n/a | Features: Ear fins, companion app, heart rate monitor, auto-pause
    • Excellent battery life
    • Great comfort and stability
    • Useful features (auto-pause, heart rate and sleep monitoring)
    • Don't support music playback

    While these sleep headphones play sound on demand, they only play pre-recorded tracks from a companion app.

    They consist of soothing sounds of nature engineered to help you relax and fall asleep easier.

    A special sleep detector automatically pauses the playback after traveling into the dreamland.

    Inside the app, you can create a personal alarm to only wake up you and not others around you.

    It can also alert you for notifications and track your sleeping pattern. They have a heart rate monitor, and can detect sleep position to show you your sleep quality.

    Earbuds with ear fins are so flush that you don’t feel them in your ears, even if you’re among side sleepers.

    5. AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic

    AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic sleeping headphones

    A headband design of sleep headphones that is comfortable to wear and can keep your ears warm.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type : Eye mask | Mic & Controls: No | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 122 cm (48 inch) | Features: Washable fabric, eco-friendly packaging
    • Comfortable, simple design
    • Washable fabric
    • Below-average sound and build quality
    • No controls

    Of course, you can’t expect impressive sound quality out of a headband headphone type. Its audio performance is decent for listening to audiobooks and relaxing music.

    The headband is made out of a breathable, hypoallergenic mesh lining that feels nicely soft and doesn’t get uncomfortable during sleep. There are fabric options in other colors, too.

    Speakers inside are well-padded, which is why it doesn’t irritate your ears, even if you’re side sleeping.

    For speakers to work, you need to plug them via a 3.5mm audio jack. You can wire the cable in whatever direction you want to prevent tangling.

    The cable is long enough to keep your phone away from you. The headband is machine washable to keep it fresh.

    6. CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

    CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

    Another excellent budget option for headband sleep headphones lovers who want to cover their ears but not their eyes.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Eye mask | Mic & Controls: No | Water-resistance: No | Features: Braided cable, ultra thin removable speakers
    • Durable braided cable
    • Washable fabric
    • Decent sound
    • … that doesn't get very loud

    You can’t expect sonic fidelity out of these sleep headphones, but they do a reasonable job of listening to things like audiobooks and podcasts.

    As the name suggests, CozyPhones are very comfortable sleeping headphones made of fleece, which feels gentle on your skin.

    Because the speakers inside are so small and thin, you can easily sleep on your sides without noticing any irritation.

    Speakers are connected via 3.5mm cable and are completely removable. That is useful since fabric headband can get smelly over time.

    Cord length is sufficient enough to keep your phone far away from you (sadly, headphone jacks are rather rare these days).

    The cable is braided and more durable than the competition, despite the headband’s low price. However, you can expect some memory wire.

    CozyPhones fleece fabric headphones are a great travel companion, for sleeping, meditation, and even battling insomnia.

    7. WATOTGAFER Music Sleep Mask

    WATOTGAFER Music Sleep Mask

    Specially designed sleep mask headphones with 3D padding to better fit on your face.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth 5.0
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Eye mask | Battery life: 10h | Wireless range: 33ft – 10m | Noise cancelling: No | Charging: 2h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: n/a | Water resistance: No | Features: 3D molded
    • Acceptable sound quality
    • Good battery life
    • For side sleepers, too
    • Comfort could be better

    These sleep masks aren’t going to impress anybody with their sound. If you only want to play some white noise, listen to audiobooks and similar audio content, these should be perfectly fine.

    This isn’t a typical sleeping mask that simply covers your eyes. WATOTGAFER designed it to perfectly contour a human’s face with small dips for the eyes and padding for your nose. They’re an essential piece in your travel bag.

    These sleep headphones can also connect wirelessly, with more than 10 hours of battery life. They connect via Bluetooth 5.0.

    Above your nose, you get an array of essential commands like volume controls and to skip and pause tracks. You can also answer phone calls with a built-in microphone.

    Control panel position on the center of the eye mask ensures side sleepers don’t accidentally press it.

    8. Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD

    Beyerdynamic Soul BYRD wired earbuds

    Not specifically designed to carry in bed, but an excellent option for those who seek good sound quality in bed.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-25.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: Yes | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 4 feet (1.2m) | Features: Anodised aluminum housing
    • Good sound and build quality
    • Non-protruding housing
    • Mediocre microphone quality

    They can offer a nicely balanced audio quality with great detail and clean rendition throughout the midrange. There is also a decent presence of bass but not to the point of pleasing bassheads.

    Soul BYRD are in-ear headphones that let you play whatever sleep sounds or music you want.

    They have a small, non-protruding housing, that doesn’t bother you during sleep. They’re so flush you can even wear them under a motorcycle helmet.

    By choosing between 5 different ear tips, you can achieve the most optimal fit and comfort.

    BYRD’s have a 3.5mm connector and inline remote with a built-in microphone for phone calls. Cables are also tangle-resistant, which is handy when you use them for sleeping.

    9. Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120

    Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120 with branded sides

    Best value silicone earbuds are one of the ultimate budget options.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: 9mm
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 10-24.000Hz
    Type: In-ear | Back design: Closed-back | Noise cancelling: No | Mic & Controls: No (mic optional) | Impedance: 16 Ohm | Weight: 12g | Cable length: 3.6 feet (1.1 m) | Water resistance: No
    • Enjoyable sound with slight bass emphasis
    • Very comfortable due to ergonomic design
    • Low price
    • Surprisingly durable
    • Cable noise

    The sound quality is very enjoyable, especially in their price range.

    The bass is slightly more present than the rest of the spectrum, but it’s not overpowering. The midrange and the highs remain nicely clean.

    The most important thing about these is their durability. Due to their ergonomic design, they’re also very comfortable, even if you are one of the side sleepers.

    Of course, the best thing about ErgoFit RP-HJE120 is their headphones price. They’re dirt-cheap and easily replaceable if something breaks.

    And since you will be using them in bed, the chance of that happening is much greater.

    In-ear headphone type ais usually pretty at noise blocking, and these Panasonic’s are no different. There’s some cable noise, though.

    10. ZQUIET QuietOn Sleep

    QuietOn Sleep true wireless earbuds

    These tiny sleep headphones for sleeping don’t require wireless Bluetooth to work, yet they still offer active noise cancellation.

    Connection icon Connection: n/a
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: True wireless | Battery life : 20h | Noise cancelling: Yes | Charging: 1h – Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Controls only | Bluetooth codecs: No | Water resistance: n/a | Features: Tiny housing, ANC only
    • Small, comfortable design
    • Active noise cancelling and Talk Mode
    • Excellent battery life
    • No music playback
    • Expensive

    Similarly to Bose Sleepbuds II, these also can’t play your favorite tunes while falling asleep.

    They also can’t play ambient sounds like running water or chirping birds. Instead, QuietOn Sleep sleep headphones purely focus on eliminating as much external noise as possible.

    And they do the latter impressively well. Earbuds primarily eliminate low-end frequencies associated with snoring. Of course, they could also help you make your office sound more bearable if it’s too crowded.

    With Talk mode, you can disable ANC‘s effect and talk to another person without taking earbuds out.

    The rechargeable battery is quite impressive, with up to 20 hours of continuous use. Comfort is also excellent, primarily if you use them with foam tips.

    How To Pick The Best Headphones For Sleeping?

    What Type Of Isolation Should You Pick?

    Passive Isolation

    It’s better than nothing and definitely the cheapest to get. Isolation differs between headphones and earbuds, so you might want to pick the ones with thick leather earpads or, in IEM case, deeper fit (something like double-flanged ear tips).

    It does only dampen the ambient noise to a certain extend. However, in most cases, that is all that you need. If the noise around you isn’t that loud, or a person next to you doesn’t snore that much, relying on passive isolation should be more than enough.

    Active noise cancelling

    A much more sophisticated way of blocking the outside rumble that is keeping you awake. Rather than just lowering the volume of the noise around you, ANC fully eliminates specific frequencies.

    Snoring partner, construction work, home appliances, all of these sounds are associated with lower frequency regions, which are quickly cancelled out by the noise-cancelling technology.

    However, you have to be careful not to buy the cheapest headphones or earbuds. Cheap ANC circuitry can produce a faint hum in the background, which can be similarly distracting as the ambient noise itself.

    Since you use sleep headphones in bed, and you’re a restless sleeper, it’s likely something might break eventually. Therefore, it’s recommendable to get a product with a good return policy.

    Also, it’s possible, make sure that the sleep headphones have a trial period with a money back guarantee. Why would keep them if you don’t like them.

    Risks Of Using Headphones For Sleeping

    While it doesn’t happen very often, wired headphones can tangle around your neck. However, that is very unlikely. You have to be very restless and frequently turning around to make a fatal loop.

    The second one is much more plausible. Using in-ears during sleep can create an earwax build-up. The warm environment inside your ears is an ideal place for bacteria to grow.

    If you don’t properly clean your earbud headphones and ears before going to bed, you might get some unpleasant infection. Earwax buildup can even cause “otitis externa”, which is the inflammation of the ear canal.

    Some more expensive sleep headphones can turn off the audio playback when you fall asleep. That’s great since you don’t want your headphones to play all night and potentially cause hearing impairment.

    In the end, some product research shows that the risk are very minimal. Therefore, it’s safe to use sleep headphones.

    Are Headphones for Sleeping Safe for Kids?

    Sure, if your kids have problems getting asleep due to excessive noise, sleeping headphones can benefit them. However, you have to limit the maximum volume somehow to protect them from hearing damage.

    You could also try simple earplugs to see if noise reduction is sufficient to improve their sleeping quality. Or pick up a white noise machine.