The Best Headphones for Sleeping 2021Updated on January 28, 2021 While all product recommendations are chosen independently, we may receive compensation for purchases made through our site. Learn more about our affiliate program here.
Some sleepers use headphones to drown out their partner’s snoring, rowdy neighbors, or other background noises, while others find that they fall asleep more easily when listening to music or other audio. The best headphones for sleeping are those that meet your needs in terms of comfort, sound, and control.
There are a variety of factors to consider when purchasing headphones for sleeping, such as the design and shape of the headphones, whether or not the headphones have Bluetooth capabilities, and how much noise the headphones cancel out, if any. Different sleepers have different preferences in all of these features, but everyone wants headphones that feel comfortable on, aren’t going to fall off, and have a nice sound.
This guide highlights five models of headphones that are some of the best headphones for sleeping. It will help you understand what headphone features are important to you, so you can make an educated choice while shopping.
Our Top Picks
|Best On-Ear Option||Wireless Sleep Headphones||Thin flat design, long-lasting battery, wireless, inline remote||See Best Price|
|Best Headband Headphones||Wireless||Unique headband design, wireless, built-in volume control, two fabric options||See Best Price|
|Best Earbud Option||SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones||Sound-isolating, over-the-ear design, inline remote, three color options||See Best Price|
|Best Value||Sleep Earplugs||Extremely low price, inline remote, built-in microphone, two color options||See Best Price|
|Best for Back Sleepers||QuietComfort 35||Noise-cancelling, built-in microphone, extremely long battery life||See Best Price|
DubsLabs Wireless Sleep Headphones – Best On-Ear Option
Why we like it:
- Sleek, thin design keeps headphones flat against ear
- Long-lasting battery works for up to 13 hours
- Wireless design allows for free movement while asleep
- Inline remote makes adjusting volume easy
DubsLabs’ wireless “bedphones” have received a lot of media attention because they are one of the few on-ear headphones designed for sleep. They are the smallest on-ear headphones in existence and with their flat design, bedphones are a good choice for people who want to sleep with headphones on but do not like in-ear headphones.
The bedphones are Bluetooth sleep headphones, which means they are wireless and less likely to fall off or become tangled as you move throughout the night. They do have a short wire connecting each headphone to the other, which is adjustable to prevent slipping. The wire features a remote, making it easy to adjust the volume, change music, or even talk into a microphone.
Bedphones have adjustable wires that allow them to fit on anyone’s ears. They’re also covered in soft padding for comfort.
DubsLab offers a 30-day return policy, one-year warranty, and free shipping.
SleepPhones Wireless – Best Headband Headphones
Why we like it:
- Unique headband design keeps headphones in place
- Wireless design allows for free movement while asleep
- Built-in volume and play/pause/skip controls provide convenience
- Headband can double as a sleep mask
SleepPhones made by AcousticSheep are wireless sleep headphones popular on Amazon. The headphones are embedded in a fabric headband and another good choice for people who prefer on-ear headphones. Buyers can choose between fleece and moisture-wicking fabric for the headband material, which is useful for those who tend to sleep especially hot or cold. They also come in three sizes and five color options.
Wireless SleepPhones connect to your device via Bluetooth, from up to 30 feet away. The battery lasts up to 10 hours per charge and the headphones have built-in volume and music play controls. The headphones are adjustable within the headband, to better fit all head shapes and sizes.
Acoustic Sheep offers a one-year warranty, and free shipping.
Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones – Best Earbud Option
Why we like it:
- Sound-isolating design blocks up to 37 dB of noise
- Over-the-ear design helps keep earphones in place
- Inline remote makes adjusting volume and music easy
- Available in three color options: black, blue, and white
The Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones act like earbuds and earplugs in one. They are ideal for people seeking noise-cancelling headphones for sleeping that allow you to listen to something while actively blocking outside noise. The SE215-K earphones are special edition and feature a frequency response designed for extended bass.
An over-the-ear design helps keep the SE215-K earbuds in place and the cord away from your face as you sleep. The earbuds come in black, blue, and white, and all options come with a zippered case.
The Shure SE215-K earphones come with a universal 3.5 mm plug cable. The cable is detachable, providing customers the option to upgrade to a lightning cable, USB-C cable, or Bluetooth-compatible cable (none of which are included). Shure offers free shipping and free returns.
MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs – Best Value
Why we like it:
- Extremely low price makes these affordable to most people
- Ergonomic design is comfortable to most ear sizes
- Inline remote and built-in microphone provide convenience
- Comes with carrying case
The MAXROCK Sleep Earplug Earbuds are a popular earplug and in-ear headphone combination sold on Amazon. They retail for under $20 and come with a three-month return and replace warranty, making them a good option for the budget-conscious shopper.
MAXROCK Sleep Earplug Earbuds are made of soft silicone intended to make sleeping comfortable. They’re available in two colors: black and blue. They feature noise cancellation, an inline remote, and a built-in microphone. They come with a cord that fits the universal 3.5 mm jack, which might limit movement for some sleepers. Overall, they are an excellent value for the low price.
Bose QuietComfort 35 – Best for Back Sleepers
Why we like it:
- Three levels of noise cancellation
- Built-in microphone with noise reduction
- Extremely long 20-hour battery life
- Compatible with Bose Augmented Reality and Alexa
The Bose QuietComfort 35 is a top-of-the-line set of Bluetooth over-ear headphones. They have been reviewed by over 3,000 Amazon buyers and have a high rating due to their superior sound quality, noise-cancelling properties, and other features. The 20-hour battery life of the QuietComfort 35 headphones is several hours longer than the battery life of most headphones.
The Bose QuietComfort 35 has a built-in microphone and noise reduction, so your voice will sound clear if you use them for communicating. They are also compatible with Alexa, so you can use your voice to control sound and music play.
These headphones are not designed to be small, so their bulkiness might bother some sleepers, especially those who sleep on their side or stomach. They will work best for people who tend to sleep on their backs and stay in one place.
Bose offers free shipping and a one-year warranty.
Headphones Buyer’s Guide
There are many headphone features customers consider when purchasing. Customers wanting to sleep with their headphones on often look for headphones that will feel comfortable and allow them to move freely without moving the headphones from their ears. They are also often interested in noise cancellation, long battery life, and remote control of sound and volume, all of which can help people enjoy what they’re listening to without interruption.
The best headphones for you will help you sleep rather than disrupt your sleep. This section describes types of headphones available and their features, so you can better understand which features are important to you and make buying decisions accordingly.
Types of Headphones
Many types of headphones exist because everyone has different preferences in terms of comfort and desired features. All good headphones for sleep should fit comfortably, provide good sound, and stay put while you’re falling asleep.
Headphones for sleep come in four construction types: in-ear, over-ear, on-ear, and headband (also called sleep mask). This section will help you understand the differences between these types of headphones and help you determine which style of headphones best fits your needs.
In-ear headphones, often called earbuds, are small and fit directly in the ear canal. They are good for people who want lightweight, easy-to-carry headphones. Their small size makes them less likely to interrupt your sleep, though some people dislike the sensation of having something in their ears.
On-ear headphones sit on the ear, but do not cover it completely. They often have better sound quality than earbuds but are bulkier, and therefore more likely to come off or get in the way while a person is sleeping.
Over-ear headphones cover the ear completely, forming a seal. They generally have the best sound quality and noise cancellation properties. They are also the bulkiest headphones and might be uncomfortable for people who move often or sleep on their side or stomach.
Headband headphones are a type of on-ear headphones covered in fabric. They might stay in place and block out noise better than other on-ear headphones. Some people find wearing a headband to be uncomfortable or too hot, however.
There are multiple other factors beyond headphone type to consider when shopping for headphones to sleep in. The importance of each factor varies from person-to-person depending on their preferences, sleeping habits, budget, and lifestyle.
This section explains the many factors you want to take into consideration when determining which headphones for sleeping are best for you. Keep reading to understand how effectiveness, comfort, sleep position, cord type, price, travel ability, and size figure into headphone shopping.
- Effectiveness: The effectiveness of headphones refers to how well they perform according to your needs. They should be loud and clear enough for you to enjoy what you want to listen to, as well as easy to control.
- Comfort: Comfort refers to how comfortable the headphones feel while you’re wearing them, and it is a largely subjective factor. Some people find in-ear headphones most comfortable, while others feel they can only wear over-ear headphones, for example.
- Sleep Position: Whether you sleep on your back, stomach, side, or a combination will affect what type of headphones you want, and whether or not you need them to be wireless.
- Cord or wireless: Headphones that are corded connect to your device using a cord, while wireless headphones connected via Bluetooth. Many people prefer wireless headphones for sleeping so they can roll over and move freely. Others who sleep in one place or use a long cord are fine with corded headphones.
- Price: Headphones come in prices ranging from just a few dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. What you can afford likely depends on your income. While price and quality are related, more expensive headphones won’t always be better if they don’t fit your needs.
- Travel-friendly: People who sleep on planes, trains, and automobiles often prefer travel-friendly headphones. Travel-friendly headphones are often those that come with cases and are easy to store and carry. Some people prefer smaller headphones they can fit in their pocket, while people who generally carry a bag might consider larger headphones travel-friendly.
- Size: Headphones differ in size, with earbuds generally being the smallest and over-ear headphones being the largest. On-ear headphones vary in size quite a bit, with some being nearly as small as earbuds and others being quite large. People who move a lot in their sleep generally prefer smaller headphones.
Benefits of Using Headphones While Sleeping
People choose to sleep with headphones on for many reasons, but the bottom line is generally improved sleep. Wearing headphones can improve your sleep by allowing you to listen to something that helps you wind down, reducing disruptions from outside noise, and providing audio that improves your sleep.
- Wind Down: Many people wear headphones to sleep because listening to something, such as guided meditations or soft music, helps them relax after a tense day. The more relaxed you are, the easier it will be for you to fall asleep.
- Block Noise: Headphones, whether they are noise-cancelling or not, help block out noise that might interfere with your sleep. Common noises are snoring spouses, loud neighbors, and TV-watching roommates.
- Improve Mood: Studies show that listening to music increases serotonin and improves mood. Putting headphones on before bed can help you switch gears and feel happier, which will also likely lead to improved sleep.
Drawbacks and Risks of Using Headphones While Sleeping
Wearing headphones while sleeping is generally considered safe, and the risks of wearing headphones to bed are pretty low. That said, there are some risks involved when you sleep with headphones on. Headphones can cause discomfort, keep you from waking up during an emergency, lead to hearing loss, or cause skin damage.
- Discomfort: Discomfort is likely the biggest risk of wearing headphones to sleep. If your headphones aren’t well-suited for you or you sleep on them the wrong way, you might wake up with discomfort or pain that will eventually subside.
- Emergency Situations: One risk of wearing headphones to sleep is that they will block noise too well and keep you from hearing something important, such as a fire alarm, emergency phone call, or important knock on the door.
- Hearing Loss: Research shows that headphones use, particular earbud use paired with high volume, can lead to significant hearing loss. Headphones with noise-cancelling properties might allow you to keep the volume lower, however, and protect your ears.
- Skin Damage: The risk of skin damage from headphones is small, but it exists. Earbuds that put pressure on your skin can cause dead tissue, while dirty headphones could increase your odds of infection. Ensure that the headphones you are considering do not contain any materials you may be allergic to.
Additional Products to Block Noise While Sleeping
Headphones are good at blocking noise while you sleep, but not everyone prefers them. If you’re looking to block noise but don’t want to wear headphones to bed, there are other options available to you.
The best ways to block noise while you sleep are by either blocking it directly to create silence or adding an additional sound that drowns out the noise you are trying to avoid.
- Apps: There are specific noise-blocking apps with sound options for helping you block out disruptive background noises. Also, a variety of sleep and meditation apps exist with audio created specifically to help people fall asleep. Many of these apps are free.
- Earplugs: Earplugs sit in the ear canal, blocking noise so you can fall asleep more easily. Most people prefer soft foam earplugs for sleep because they are the most comfortable for long periods of time and come in smaller sizes.
- White Noise Machines: A white noise machine operates similarly to noise-blocking apps, except the sound comes from a stand-alone machine rather than your smartphone. White noise machines often offer a variety of sounds.
- Traditional Speakers: Traditional speakers can be used to listen to whatever you would’ve listened to with headphones. The downside is the sound could irritate people who live with you or neighbors if they are able to hear it.
Additional Sleep Resources
|1||DubsLabs Wireless Sleep Headphones||Best On-Ear Option|
|2||Acoustic Sheep SleepPhones Wireless||Best Headband Headphones|
|3||Shure SE215-K Sound Isolating Earphones||Best Earbud Option|
|4||MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs||Best Value|
|5||Bose QuietComfort 35||Best for Back Sleepers|