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Noise can often be one of the main reasons why you may be losing sleep - whether you have to spend time in a noisy hospital[1], or are on a long journey, or even sleeping in your own bed, noisiness can be a real issue. One way of solving this issue, however, is by purchasing and using the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.

There are actually two big groups of products you’ll find in this category - the best headphones for sleeping, and the best earplugs. There’s a significant difference between the two - we’ll talk all about it in the article ahead. Furthermore, if you'd like to complement your new noise-canceling headphones with some proper sleep-oriented sounds, make sure to check out our sleep noise tool, too.

Our list is going to look something like this:

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Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sleeping: Are they Worth it?

Naturally, the very first question that should be answered before diving into the list of the noise-canceling headphones for sleeping is whether or not these headphones actually do work, and are they worth your attention and money?

Well, granted that this article exists, I’d say the answer is rather clear.

In all seriousness, though, sleeping headphones are actually a very popular product - that’s not without good reason, either. These products actually serve a double purpose - they can both cancel out a portion of outside-located noise, and also work as actual headphones that play sounds or music.

Admittedly, the majority of people who are looking to find noise-canceling headphones for sleeping are likely looking for products that would do exactly that - play music or different types of sleep quality-enhancing sounds. This is where sleeping headphones differ from earplugs - yet another very popular item for sleep improvement.

Noise-canceling headphones for sleeping: a man sleeping with headphones on.

In the same way how earplugs can be used both for sleeping and for other activities that involve a lot of noise (i.e. construction work), the best sleeping headphones are likely also going to be beneficial for a wide variety of situations, too. If you were to keep the usual design of these products in mind (them being slim and contouring), you can probably imagine the different areas in which they could be used.

Now, while noise-canceling headphones for sleeping are, indeed, a great product to invest in, so are earplugs, too. You might find yourself in a bit of a pickle - do I really need the “best sleeping headphones”? Should I perhaps just get a few earplugs and be done with it? Well, I’m here to help you answer that question.

Headphones VS Earplugs: Which are Better?

In order to decide whether you need the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping, or simply a few decent earplugs, you’re going to have to ask yourself a few questions. The answers to these questions should help you make up your mind rather easily.

Sound VS Silence

The absolute main reason why most people go for noise-canceling headphones for sleeping instead of simple earplugs is the fact that they want to listen to some music or other sounds that would help them fall asleep.

This is a feature that you won’t really be able to enjoy with earplugs. Well, at least most of them.

Noise-canceling headphones for sleeping: a woman sleeping with headphones on.

If you feel that noise cancelation simply isn’t enough, and you can’t really fall asleep without your favorite tunes or white noise playing silently in the background, then you should definitely consider purchasing noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.

That said, if such headphones were only a first spontaneous thought that popped into your head, and any type of noise is bound to keep you awake indefinitely, then simple foam- or wax-based earplugs should be the way to go.

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This is an interesting one.

The majority of earplugs are designed to fit comfortably inside your ear. The same is true with the best sleeping headphones - most of them are made in a way that ensures they aren’t going to fall off your head in the middle of the night, and are not going to feel intrusive, either.

That being said, you might be someone who absolutely hates to have something either in your ears or on top of them. While these things might not be too noticeable when you’re out and about, when you’re concentrated and focused on trying to fall asleep, even the tiniest of things might start to get on your nerves.


Lastly, you should really take the time to consider the fact that the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping are going to have a very different price tag attached to them than the top-tier earplugs would.

Now, this might seem like a no-brainer - and it kind of is. If, however, you’re struggling with sleep, in general, and are simply experimenting with different sleep-oriented products with hopes that one of them is going to solve all of your issues, investing a large sum of money in headphones might not be the best thing to do.

If, however, you’re certain that the best sleeping headphones are surely going to help you solve your sleep issues (perhaps you’ve used such headphones before?), you should definitely go for it. Worst case scenario, you’re going to end up with a pair of headphones that you can use in any type of daily activity!

Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let us move on and take a look at the list of the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping that are currently dominating the market.

Keith Poorbaugh

Physical Therapist, Owner of Northern Edge Physical Therapy

Why sleep is so important to our health?

Sleep is a vital aspect of your health and wellness. Recent evidence has identified impaired sleep as a contributing factor to serious illness and disease involving nearly every human system. The one system often ignored in these studies is the movement system. Our musculoskeletal system involves joint and muscle tissue, which is dependent upon sleep for tissue recovery and nutrition flow. Basically, you get out what you put back in. Restful sleep for 6-7hrs allows our movement system to function at optimal levels with less risk for injury and improved recovery.

1. Bose QuietComfort 35 II - Not Your Typical Headphones for Sleeping

Ranks #1 out of 5 Mattresses

At first glance, these noise-canceling headphones for sleeping might seem like a very unlikely contender to be on a list like this. That said, however, don’t let looks deceive you - Bose has truly outdone themselves with this product.

Let’s address the elephant in the room, first - yes, the QuietComfort 35 II headphones are far from being ideal for sleeping when it comes to their design and build. Chances are, you’re going to want to lie in a very specific position, and only keep these headphones on for as long as you’d actually need to - they aren’t designed to be worn for the entirety of the night.

With that being said, this product might truly be the best headphones for sleeping - and it all thanks to their ability to cancel out surrounding noise.

If you’re looking exclusively for a product that would do the best job at canceling out surrounding noise, Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II headphones are the way to go. Yes, they might prove to be a bit clunky at first, but if you just need the best audio quality combined with superb noise isolation, you should look no further.

Also, as far as these noise-canceling headphones for sleeping go, they are wireless and Bluetooth-based - you won’t have to worry about any cables dangling around the bed.

What is the Price of the Bose QuietComfort 35 II Headphones?

The thing that’s worth noting is that the topic of price is actually what scares most people away from making the final move and purchasing the product in question.

If you were to buy these Bose headphones from the brand’s official webpage, they would cost you anywhere from $279,95 up to $399,95 (the latter price tag is given without a discount, and if you were to choose your own, customer colors for the headphones).

Yup - those are some scary prices, indeed.

However, with all of that said, you should make up your mind on whether or not you actually need the BEST noise-canceling headphones for sleeping - if your answer is yes, then investing a bit more money into the product can actually do you a lot of good, in the long run.

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2. Shure SE215-K - Cable In-Ear Headphones

Ranks #2 out of 5 Mattresses

Let me just tell you this in advance - Shure is a brand that I’m personally a huge fan of. Don’t worry, I’m not biased - unless we were to talk about their SM58 microphone.

Today, however, we’re looking at the company’s noise-canceling headphones for sleeping. And the brand does offer a great alternative for such a product - their in-ear SE215-K wired headphones.

The thing that these headphones stand out for is quality of sound. You’ll find that the product is capable of creating a thorough and enjoyable listening experience, whether it be for music or some other sleep-enhancing sounds - that’s thanks to the advanced bass settings of the headphones.

While the cable might indeed, get in your way while you sleep, Shure makes it up with providing high-end comfort - even though the headphones are designed to be placed inside of your ear, they are going to be soft and non-intrusive, and thus shouldn’t hinder your quality of sleep.

What is the Price of the Shure SE215-K Headphones?

The actual price of the Shure SE215-K headphones is going to depend on where it is that you choose to purchase them from, but you should expect to see a price tag of around $99.

All things considered, that’s not a bad price indeed!

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3. Lavince Bluetooth Headphones - Very Comfortable

Ranks #3 out of 5 Mattresses

Lavince offers customers some of the most-comfortable noise-canceling headphones for sleeping on the market.

The headphones in question are built into a headband that you’d put on your head once you go to bed. The headband is breathable, so you shouldn’t encounter any issues with excessive sweat or heatwaves.

The speakers within the headband are very slim - this allows you to comfortably lie in your bed in any type of a position, without any feelings of discomfort accompanying your head region.

What is the Price of the Lavince Bluetooth Headphones?

As far as the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping go, Lavince actually does offer a very affordable product. Purchasing the headphones via Amazon, they are going to cost you around $19,99.

Now, while you shouldn’t expect high-end sound quality out of a price tag like that, the headband certainly does the job.

Visit Lavince

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4. AcousticeSheep SleepPhones - Good Price VS Quality Ratio

Ranks #4 out of 5 Mattresses

The SleepPhones offered by AcousticSheep are a great example of what the best headphones for sleeping should look like.

The product is a headband - this means that you’ll have no problem lying and turning around in bed at night. The built-in speakers are also wireless - you’ll be able to control everything via Bluetooth functionality. No cords to dangle around and frustrate you!

The thing that makes these SleepPhones some of the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping is the fact that, for their price range, they offer top-tier sound quality and decent noise isolation. A great “price VS quality” ratio!

What is the price of the AcousticSheep SleepPhones?

Purchasing the headphones from the company’s official webpage, the SleepPhones are going to cost you $99,95. You’ll be able to choose the color, size and even packaging of the headphones - that’s a lot of customization available!

Visit AcousticSheep

5. CozyPhones - Good Comfort

Ranks #5 out of 5 Mattresses

CozyPhones offers customers some comfortable, lightweight noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.

Same as some other products on this list, the CozyPhones are designed to be a headband that houses two speakers. The speakers are slim, and aren’t too prone to moving around (at least not to a significantly-noticeable extent).

While the headphones are only available in a single sizing option, they are made from an easily-stretchable material, so you shouldn’t face any issues with the actual sizing of the product.

What is the Price of the CozyPhones Headphones?

Purchasing the headphones from the brand’s official page, they are going to cost you $16,49.

The company does also offer customers free shipping within the US, and a 25% discount off of the entire order if you buy at least three headphone products. Not too bad!

Visit CozyPhones

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Lack of sleep can result in many different problems - long-term, it can even lead to increased risks of a stroke or hypertension[2]. That’s why you should do everything you can to improve the quality of your sleep - noise-canceling headphones for sleeping are one way to go about it.

If you’re serious about your sleep, though, check out some of the best mattresses that are out there, too - perhaps a new bed will help you deal with some of the more-prominent sleep issues that you might have? On that note, you may also find our sleep noise tool useful, and we have a dedicated tool to calculate your sleep schedule, as well!

That said, I thank you for reading, and wish you the best of luck!

Keith Poorbaugh

Physical Therapist, Owner of Northern Edge Physical Therapy

Contributed By Keith Poorbaugh, Physical Therapist, Owner of Northern Edge Physical Therapy

Keith Poorbaugh is a clinical expert, educator, and owner of the Northern Edge Physical Therapy in Wasilla,...

Read Full Bio...

Scientific References

Contributed by Keith Poorbaugh, Physical Therapist, Owner of Northern Edge Physical Therapy

1. Hilde M. Wesselius, MD, Eva S. van den Ende, MD, Jelmer Alsma, MD, et al.: 'Quality and Quantity of Sleep and Factors Associated With Sleep Disturbance in Hospitalized Patients'

2. Nicole G. Altman, BA, Elizabeth Schopfer, Nicholas Jackson, MPH, et al.: 'Sleep Duration versus Sleep Insufficiency as Predictors of Cardiometabolic Health Outcomes'

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Are noise-canceling headphones for sleeping better than earplugs?

It depends - if you're only searching for the best way to isolate sound, and are looking to save as much money as possible, then earplugs are the way to go. However, if you'd also like to listen to some tunes or sleep-enhancing sounds while you're trying to fall asleep, then headphones are the superior choice.

Which type of headphones is best for sleeping?

Generic design-based headphones (such as those offered by Bose) might not be too comfortable to sleep with. This is why headband headphones are usually considered superior - they tend to be more comfortable to lie down with.

How to choose the best mattress for me?

When choosing the best mattress for yourself, there are a few important factors that you should consider. First of all, what type of mattress do you need? The most traditional mattresses are memory foam, innerspring and latex, but there are other options, too. Secondly, think about how much you can spend on a mattress, but remember it doesn’t mean that the mattress is better if it’s more expensive. Furthermore, pick a size and firmness depending on your preferences. Finally, think about your sleeping position, it will also influence your decision.

How much does a good mattress cost?

Mattress price usually varies depending on a few factors, such as mattress type, size, height, quality of the material and durability. Today the price of a mattress can vary from $150 to $7000. However, you can find a good mattress for under $1000. The average pricing of a foam mattress is about $900 dollars, innerspring $950. These are the least expensive mattresses. However, if you can afford more expensive ones, you can consider a hybrid mattress for about $1,650, latex - about $2,000.

What size mattress should I get?

Most mattress providers offer 6 standard sizes, including Twin, Twin XL, Full/Double, Queen, King, and California King. A Twin mattress is great for children or young adults who live alone. A Twin XL mattress is great for children or single adults but not comfortable for couples. A Full/Double bed is excellent for children and couples, however, it won’t work if both people like to have more space. Queen mattresses work great for adults who like to sleep near each other. A King bed is amazing for couples who like to have some space or sleep with a pet. Finally, a California King mattress is amazing for tall people and couples who like to have space or sleep with their pets.

How long does a mattress last? When should you replace your mattress?

Mattress durability depends on the materials that were used to make it. The average lifespan of a mattress varies from 7 to 10 years. However, good quality mattresses can last even longer. It is recommended to replace your mattress every 8 years, but if it still feels great, there’s no need. If you want to buy a mattress that lasts longer than average, you should consider latex or memory foam mattresses. These can serve up to 10 or 15 years while Innerspring mattresses usually last about 7-8 years.