Best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.
Noise-canceling earbuds are especially useful for those of us whose minds go at 100 miles per hour just before bed and want to get rid of both unwanted noise and disruptive noises.
Disruptive noises can prevent you from getting your best sleep and cause disruptions in productivity the following day.
Compiling a list of the best headphones for sleeping is no easy feat. First of all most of these are wired headphones. This was not done deliberately, as I only sought to choose the best headphones for sleeping. If you would like to see a list of wireless earbuds or headphones then check out this post.
I have personally tried many techniques to fall asleep counting sheep and even taking medication.
Counting Sheep does not slow the thoughts down and medication can have adverse effects on your body.
I often hate the fact that many a time, I get into bed completely drained, and 30 minutes later my eyes are closed but my brain is still awake.
The problem that this has caused for me is that I often need a distraction in order to get away from my thoughts.
This prompts me to open my laptop and begin watching a movie or series until I eventually fall asleep.
So as a last-ditch attempt, I tried using sleep headphones for falling asleep, and the results were not only interesting but generally positive. This was truly the return of my best sleep days.
Regardless of what you are listening to, headphones (especially ones for sleeping should be comfortable).
Now I personally like listening to a variety of sounds to get myself some ZZZZZ. I quite enjoy experimenting with different sounds, including meditation sounds and ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response).
For those who do not know ASMR refers to that tingly sensation that one feels around the scalp and the back of your neck.
The feeling is meant to fill you with a sense of calm and is usually triggered by sounds such as whispers.
Other sounds I enjoy include hypnotic music and of course binaural beats.
I want to walk you through the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.
Noise-canceling technology lends itself a lot better to on/over-ear headphones.
Keep in mind that the nighttime is generally quieter than the day in most places so noise-canceling technology in the sleep headphones segment, will be designed to largely keep out ambient sounds/white noise such as the sound of a noisy fridge, or noisy neighbors if you live in an apartment complex.
So this is not the list to look at if you want to have a look at headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC headphones).
I know what you are thinking, “but what if you are a side sleeper or sleep on your stomach, won’t the earphones get damaged or make you uncomfortable?
Do not stress too much, we will get into exactly how this can be achieved and how headphone manufacturers have catered to this.
I should issue a word of warning to those who use sleep headphones (or are thinking about it).
This is not medical advice, so take it sparingly and do your own additional research.
Sleep headphones can cause harm and problems to your ear, medical, and others.
Prolonged use can cause problems and damage to your ear canals.
I would not advise prolonged consistent use without seeking medical advice for sleeping problems.
Me personally, I think you should use sleeping buds to help you calm down and fall asleep. As soon as you feel drowsy, try to remove them from your ear.
Fortunately, you do not have to break the bank to get a good night’s rest. I have also tried to include some quality budget options in the list below. You also do not need to “feel’ like there is something on your head hence we have included multiple sizes.
Without further ado here is the list of the 8 best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping, and quite frankly the best headphones for sleeping in general.
Top 6 Best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.
1.Bose QuietComfort 20
This is probably the highest quality and the most premium product in terms of noise cancelling headphones. Certainly the tight fit ear bud helps reduce external noise from your ear canal. This therefore provides passive noise cancellation or passive noise blocking.
For those of you who have perused this website in any sort of detail, you will know that I speak very highly of the Bose brand.
Specifically one of my best noise canceling headphones are the Bose QC35 II headphones.
Bose was the first headphone brand to popularize the noise cancellation features in their headphones, and they have not stopped this tradition with the release of the Bose Quiet comfort 20 (QC 20) acoustic noise canceling headphones.
I will be honest, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you only used these headphones for sleeping.
The technology and craftsmanship here is amazing.
These headphones can double as sleeping aids, and, in the event that you do not want anything touching the top of your head, they can be used as your main traditional headphones for the day.
They really are a quality set of earphones for the back sleeper. I would probably not recommend these headphones for side sleepers, so jus keep this in mind.
The Bose QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones are Bose’s first attempt at making their signature noise canceling features available on in ear headphones. The snug in ear fit makes these great as they do not cover and overwhelm the ears particularly at night.
Turning on the noise canceling feature allows you to minimize or even erase the worlds distractions so that you can immerse yourself in your own music. I really appreciate the ability of the Bose QC 20 headphones to block out background noise.
At this price point you would expect that the headphones come with different noise canceling modes.
That is exactly what the Bose has delivered. At maximum noise canceling capability, you get acoustic noise cancellation.
The headphones also include an aware mode that can be activated at the touch of a button.
The little earbuds that cover the microphone are a new proprietary technology that Bose calls StayHear(R)+tips.
The tips provide a soft and secure fit and provide you hours of listening time.
The headphones also include an inline microphone and remote, which allow you to interchange between controlling particular functionalities and making phone calls.
The Bose QC 20 buds come in 2 versions, one compatible with Apple devices and one compatible with Samsung and Android.
So do make sure that you choose the one that suits your device and operating system.
The active EQ and Triport technology are back, providing you with a deep clear and balanced sound.
Bose describe their sound as lifelike, and I could not be more in agreement.
You can really hear the faintest of sounds and all instruments in a track are clear and crisp.
I honestly cannot tell the difference between traditional headphones, such as other high quality over/on ear noise canceling headphones with all the bells and whistles and the Bose CQ20.
It does amaze me how they were able to put that much technology in such small circumference.
Bose have even gone so far as to say that these are the only headphones that you will ever need.
When you first insert the headphones in your ear they seem pretty standard.
But when you turn the music up, you are almost alarmed at not only how clear the sound is, but how rich the base is.
Listening to your own music on the move has never been quite as impressive.
Ironically I found myself listening to M&M’s Lose yourself in the music quite a lot with these headphones.
The combination of, the flexibility of in-ear headphones, and the digital sound quality that the Bose QC20 Acoustic headphones produce, will keep you upbeat and captivated throughout your listening experience.
I tried these headphones at work, at the train station and of course when going to bed.
At work, I put the noise cancellation on ambient mode so that I could hear my boss and my other co-workers when I needed to.
At the train station I put the headphones on ambient mode to ensure that I could hear incoming announcements.
In bed is where I would activate complete noise cancellation, and I would feel like I am on a one man island of silence.
Sometimes it was so silent, I would have to take the headphones off just to hear myself breathing.
Fortunately the comfortable ear tips ensured that my ears were never negatively affected.
At high volumes however the Bose QC20 can be a little too loud so I would make sure that I do not turn up the volume excessively, especially at night.
Remember that no matter how good these earphones are, you do not want to wear them all day long.
Give yourself a 20-minute break every 2 hours or so.
For night time use I think the Bose QC 20 are the creme deal creme.
Where you need to be aware of what’s happening around you, such as waiting for airline announcements at the airport or crossing the city streets than you need to activate aware mode.
There is no need to ever remove your earphones from your ear, you simply press a button and you can hear the world around you whilst you play music.
One thing I do like is how strong the wire connecting the two earphones is.
No longer will your wires tangle, nor will you find yourself fighting with your wires with the Bose QC 20 Acoustic headphones.
Given the design you need not force the ear tips into your ears.
The cone shape spreads contact evenly across the ear for ultimate comfort, and forms a gentle seal that contributes to the headphones’ full-spectrum noise reduction.
The QC 20 Acoustic headphones contain a 4 button remote which allows you to control volume and play music.
You also get access to voice assistants such as Siri and Google assistant. Aware mode and the answer /call button can be accessed with the inline microphone.
Noise cancellation on and off can be accessed using the slider on the control module.
The only other downside of the Bose QC 20 is the price.
This price range competes with the mid range of full sized noise canceling cans which tend to be a little more feature rich.
This does not at all mean that the quality is compromised, but purchasing the headphones is not a matter of sparing a few dollars, it is probably more of a luxury purchase.
But as far as headphones for sleeping are concerned there can be no contender to the Bose QC 20.
With just 2 hours of charging the iron lithium battery, you get up to 16 hours of battery life, which is pretty good.
Lastly the clothing clip is a nice little extra, which allows you to secure the headphones to your undergarments when you fall asleep.
Summary of reasons to buy
- Bose noise cancelling technology
- Tips provide a soft and secure.
- Acoustic noise cancellation
- Ambient aware mode to reduce instances of white noise.
- Active EQ and Triport technology provide a deep clear and balanced sound.
- Lifelike sound quality
- Good for day time, and nighttime use
- The cone shape spreads contact evenly across the ear for maximum comfort.
- 4 button remote allows you to control volume and music.
- 16 hour battery life on 2 hours of charging.
- Great for air travel as well.
2. Shure SE215
Shure has been a household name in electronics and audio for over 90 years.
The Shure SE215 come in a variety of colors, including blue, clear and black.
The technology that underpins the Shure SE215, is not only the offspring of personal monitor technology, but has been thoroughly tested and vetted by professional musicians.
The high quality crisp sound, which is accompanied by enhanced base, provides an amazing personal listening experience, and is excellent for professional monitoring.
Similar to the Maxrock sleep earplugs, the Shure SE 215 headphones are more noise isolating than noise canceling.
For a set of noise isolating headphones they sure do a great job of muffling out a good amount of outside noise so that you can have an undisturbed listening experience.
These headphones are highly effective at noise isolation that they can block up to 37db of ambient noise.
The Shure SE215 has also been designed with comfort in mind.
The headphones are lightweight and the comfort is enhanced by the low-profile shape with an optimized nozzle.
You can easily replace or customize the reinforced durable cable.
I was also glad to see that the headphones are designed with rigid formable wiring so that wires do not get in your way.
In Fact the over the ear wire configuration ensures a secure fit.
As a result of this, I never found myself having to make excessive adjustments to make sure the headphones fit perfectly in my ear.
The MMXC connector is gold-plated, and for added comfort has been fitted with a 360 degree rota table lock snap mechanism.
The fit kit comes with 3 sizes of the black foam sleeves and the Flex. Create the best fit for yourself, by playing around with different styles and sizes.
Owing to the quality of the seal the Shure 215 not only provides maximum comfort for long wearing sessions, but also optimizes sound isolation and bass.
The Shure SE 215 is the perfect travel companion, with a soft zip compact carrying case.
The carrying case is ideal as you can include it with pretty much any sized luggage and provides a convenient, tangle free solution to store and travel with your earphones.
So in summary, you probably will not get the noise cancellation experience of the Bose QC 20, but you will generally be able to keep out most ambient and white noise especially at bedtime.
Additionally, if you wish to use the Shure SE 215 headphones for daytime use, they do a pretty decent job of providing good quality sound at a pretty good price point. And you can hardly feel them given that they are super lightweight.
These are very comfortable headphones, cost effective and are the perfect sleeping companion.
Summary of reasons to buy:
- Personal monitor technology, but has been thoroughly tested and vetted by professional musicians.
- High quality crisp sound and enhanced base
- Excellent noise isolating ability
- Block up to 37db of ambient noise
- Lightweight and comfortable sleep headphones
3. AcousticSheep SleepPhones
Dubbed the world’s most friendly sleep headphones especially side sleepers.
The snug fit makes these a truly comfortable pair of headphones, which provide an incredibly safe and natural way to fall asleep.
No bulky earphones or earbuds needed. This is truly a quality set of Bluetooth headphones that you can wear all night long.
Although there is no active noise cancellation (ANC headphones), the products innovative design features ultra slim headphones embedded inside of the super soft machine washable headband. The extra padding is very useful in preventing noise from the outside world.
You can listen to soothing nature sounds, guided meditation, audio books or simply relaxing music.
My story with SleepSheep started when I was working as a paramedic.
This line of work used to really mess with my sleeping patterns and sleeping rhythm.
One week I would work the night shift and another week the day shift, and I found that my sleep was always negatively affected.
Designed by a family doctor, the objective of the design was to create a set of headphones that could not only relieve stress but additionally allow you to block out uncomfortable sounds.
For former insomniacs like myself, I know that to get a good night’s sleep is not just a function of good luck or osmosis.
I know from experience that a good night’s sleep requires trying different methods and techniques.
One of the things that assist in getting a good night’s rest is the ability to shut out ambient and white noise.
I know that it may seem insignificant but the noises emitted by fridges, traffic, snoring partners and busy cities can be a deterrent to getting good restful sleep.
One other benefit of the Acousticsheep is that it is wonderful to not have to use medication in order to get a good night’s rest.
The SleepPhones were made with the sleepers comfort in mind.
The headphones are cordless. Listening to your favorite song or your favorite audio book in bed has been made into a pleasurable experience.
SleepPhones are designed to help you avoid being disturbed by the person next to you and help you to avoid being disturbing the person next to you.
SleepPhones are perfect for jogging, sleep, travel and yoga.
The design is super comfortable.
With SleepPhones you can stream audio wirelessly via Bluetooth connectivity.
These Bluetooth headphones have a range is 5-10m for ease of connectivity.
When you buy your Sleepphones, you will find a USB charger.
The battery life of the headphones maxes out at 10 hours and takes approximately 3 hours to recharge.
This is perfect and covers a full night’s rest.
The SleepPhones come with built in volume and play/pause controls, and includes Ultra Low power and safe ER emissions.
Often refered to as headband style headphones, SleepPhones essentially double as a headband with headphones.
The headband is made from SleepSPhones proprietary SheepCloud Fabric.
The SheepCloud fabric comes in two options Fleece and Breeze.
The FLEECE material is incredibly soft, luxurious and warm.
The fleece material is ideal for sleeping, relaxing, meditating and general everyday use.
It is made of 95% polyester and 5%spandex.
There are 3 Fleece colors, namely midnight black, soft gray and quiet lavender.
The BREEZE material on the other hand is breathable and moisture wicking.
The BREEZE material is especially ideal for running and exercise.
It is especially preferable for hot sleepers and people who live in hot climates.
The BREEZE material comes in 5 colors, namely pitch black, royal blue, graphite gray and wild orchard.
The BREEZE material is also made of 95% polyester and 5% spandex.
Eco Packaging means that your SleepPhones are folded into a resealable plastic bag as a box-free, earth friendly option.
Retail packaging – means that the SleepPhones arrive in the traditional retail box.
Gift Packaging: means that your SleepPhones are placed in an attractive purple box secured with a stretchy gold, bow-topped cord.
The SleepPhones come in small, medium and large.
The speakers are hypoallergenic and are made of a machine washable fabric headband.
With the SleepPhones, you no longer have to be irritated by painful earbuds or awkward headphones.
The headphones come with superior sound quality with eco friendly lead-free electronics.
Free sleep sound online downloads and free iPhone app. The products have been included in CNN, the Washington Post, USA today.
The only negative against these headphones are that they do not come with active noise cancellation.
Summary of reasons to buy
- The headphones are cordless.
- Especially great for side sleepers.
- Stream audio wirelessly via Bluetooth
- 10 hours of battery life from 3 hours of recharge.
- Soft Fleece and Breeze fabric headband
- Perfect for sleeping and jogging.
- You could use them as regular headphones.
- Last all night on a full charge
4. Tooks SPORTEC BAND
Tooks is a company that designs headbands and beanies with headphones inside them.
The Tooks headband is multipurpose in that it can be used for Sleep, Gym and sport. This is another gem that can be used by the side sleeper.
This is probably the difference between the Tooks and the Acousticsheep. The Tooks come in one color unfortunately, Black.
The Tooks is a performance headband with headphones that are removable.
The Tooks are made from soft 100% micro fleece, and also has a flat stitch seams for added comfort.
The fit and feel has been optimized for maximum comfort.
Surprisingly, the sound quality was pretty good and I could enjoy all of my favorite tracks and entertainment.
The Tooks also includes a standard 3.5mm audio cable that fits most devices and cellphones.
These headphones can come as bluetooth headphones as well.
5. Cozy Phones
CozyPhones are another headband/headphone solution designed for the insomniac. The Cozy Phones are some of the most comfortable headphones in the market.
The stylish braided cable is not only durable, but does not kink or tangle.
The headphones are made from incredibly comfortable Lycra (think spandex), and include ultra thin speakers.
The headphones even include a travel bag.
The headband is featherweight, and is washable.
The headband is also super comfortable and lightweight.
With original patent pending technology, Cozy phones are the perfect sleeping aid and Insomnia combatant.
I even purchased a pair for family members and they really appreciate it.
The intelligence of the design is in the fact that you do not have any earbuds that you need to place in your ear.
The cozy phones include a speaker.
If you are in the mood for a quick little nap, simply pull down the headband and use it as a sleeping mask.
Use sensory phones to help with sensory issues and special needs.
For those of you with an active lifestyle, Cozy phones are absolutely perfect.
Use them for sports yoga and relaxation.
If you are off to college and want to be protected from noisy roommates in college dorms, or even shared apartments, cozy Phones provide the perfect relief.
The build is also superb as they are built with a 3.5 mm cord sturdy stereo plug that you can connect to your audio device.
The cozy phones work with pretty much any ios or apple device.
Unfortunately Cozy phones do not come with active noise cancellation.
6. MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs
I would describe the Maxrock ear plugs as noise isolating headphones as opposed to noise canceling headphones.
Quite simply put, noise isolation is not as effective as noise cancellation.
Noise isolation muffles out sounds whereas noise cancellation almost eliminates sound depending on the set of headphones of course.
If you are also interested in noise canceling headphones than click here.
The maxrock headphones come in a variety of colors, including black grey, green, pink violet white, coral pink and acid blue.
The headphones come in a neat little packaging box. Inside the box is a hard cover case, which is pretty small and you can take it anywhere.
When you first take the earphones outside of the packaging, they may look like ordinary earphones $3 earphones.
But I assure you the extra few dollars is well worth it.
These earphones are very soft and optimized for comfort.
The earphones are perfectly sized and extremely soft.
These ergo fit in-ear earbuds are perfect for running, traveling and sleeping.
The Maxrock earphones have also been designed to fit tightly, to decrease the chance of falling from your ears.
I would say these are awesome for when you are traveling short distances.
The Maxrock comes with a built in microphone which is suitable for I phone, Samsung and all other types of headphones.
The makers have updated the technology in the microphone to ensure that the maxrock deliver a quality sound experience.
I was actually very impressed with the sound quality given the price point of these headphones, as most headphones at this price point have deficient base and sometimes can sound pretty hollow
Maxrock is really the ultimate travel and sleep partner, with absolute soft silicon comfort to wear.
Maxrock provides the optimal in-ear noise isolating experience.
The earplugs protect you from harmful noise levels and are absolutely superb at nearly eliminating residual everyday sounds.
As great as the Maxrock is at isolating noise, they are also awesome for listening to your favorite jams.
How do they help you sleep.
Since this article is about how these earbuds will help you sleep, It is only appropriate for me to talk about this feature.
If you sleep on your back or your stomach, you will be fine with these on your ears throughout the night.
Side sleepers may probably feel irritation after a few months of prolonged use.
The Maxrock earbuds come with a cable that has a 3.5mm jack.
The jack is compatible with a range of smartphones and devices.
The makers state that the earbuds are compatible with amongst others the full range of Apple’s i phone, i pads, i pods,
Samsung Galaxy and the note series, video Game consoles MP3 and MP4 players, Nexus, laptops, tablets, HTC, PC’s and so much more.
The earbuds are even jam packed with all the non sleep compatible headphone features. Such features include the ability to play, pause, and even skip music tracks using the remote button.
Additionally, the headphones provide an incredibly convenient hands free calling capability and you also have the ability to answer and reject calls directly with the earphones.
I enjoy the fact that the Maxrock earbuds are featherweight, and I particularly admire the extra outside layer of fabric, which optimizes the fit.
Summary of reasons to buy:
- Excellent noise isolation at this price point
- Compact and comfortable design
- Soft and nice tight fit
- Multi use, running, travel and sleep.
- Quality sound experience.
- Compatible with full range of devices
- Nice small hard cover case for ease of travel
- Comfortable for sleep
- Variety of color options