Best Sleep Headphones
Getting to sleep at night with all kinds of noises and other distractions (snoring, anyone?) can prove to be a real nightmare.
While you can spend your time running around dealing with each individual sound, an easier solution could be found in the form of sleep headphones.
Sleep headphones can provide a comfortable way to block out distractions that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. They come in all shapes and sizes too, so don’t worry if you prefer to sleep on your stomach or your side, there’s still something for you.
Here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Sleep Headphones
- Best of the Best: AcousticSheep SleepPhones
- Best Bang for the Buck: Lavince Sleep Headphones
- Best Noise Cancelling: Bose QuietComfort 20
Best Headphones for Sleep Reviews
AcousticSheep SleepPhones (👑 Top Pick)
The AcousticSheep SleepPhones are the best sleep headphones in our view. A sleek headband available in an array of colours, you’d be proud to wear this device any time of day.
What makes this such a great pick for sleep headphones more than anything else is the comfortable design. This headband is made from what the company coins ‘SheepCloud fabric’ and is exceptionally soft. On top of that, they are available in a wide range of colours so you can choose the band which best suits you, just in case you plan to use it out and about. Due to how easy it is to take this band around with you, you can use it for everything from plane travel to the gym. They are also stretchy enough to fit any head size easily enough.
The technology behind this simple headband is almost as impressive as the comfortable design. WIth built-in flat speakers, you will be able to listen to your favourite audiobook or white noise for those moments you need to wind down. There is also the option to adjust the volume and the option to play, pause, and skip track so you can have the soothing audio experience you need.
This device can be paired to devices via Bluetooth up to 5-10 metres away, so you can easily control it from your mobile whether you’re mid flight or in bed getting ready to fall asleep. It features a rechargeable battery that can last you up to 10 hours of use, more than enough for a solid night of sleep.
Lastly, if you were concerned about comfort, these SleepPhones have various sizes to choose from. While the medium size they claim is suitable for most people, there are also small and large sizes in case you need a different fit. You can also choose between warm fleece fabric, and lightweight breeze fabric, so you can have the most comfortable experience no matter the temperature or season.
- Headband design
- Available in different colours
- Built-in volume and playback control
- Bluetooth connectivity
- SheepCloud fabric
- 2 types of fabric available
- 3 size options
- Up to 10 hours battery life
Lavince Sleep Headphones (💰 Best Bang for the Buck)
The best headphones to sleep in have to be the Lavince sleep headphones, which provide great comfort on a shoestring budget.
We believe the Lavince headphones provide the best bang for your buck since for the price of an average meal, you can reclaim your rest and sleep free from distractions. They work great not only for sleeping, but also for running, travelling, and anything else you can think of. Part of the reason they are so versatile is that they are easily paired up with Bluetooth, up to a range of 13 metres which should be plenty. The rechargeable battery will last between 10-12 hours, which is more than enough for a good night’s sleep or a long trip on a train or plane.
As for comfort, it doesn’t get much better than these headphones. Even if you’re a side sleeper and you struggle with the traditional kinds of headphones, this headband style should be a perfect fit for you. This is partially due to the ultra thin built-in speakers, but also due to the placement of the speakers which shouldn’t cause you any discomfort at night. You can also use buttons built into the headphones for playback and volume control. This is especially useful for those times when you’re extra snug in bed and you don’t want to brighten up the room with a digital phone display to adjust the sound settings of your headband.
- Headband design
- Built-in playback and volume control buttons
- Ultra thin flat speakers
- Absorbent, breathable fabric
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 8-10 hours battery life
Bose QuietComfort 20 (🎧 Best Noise Cancelling Sleep Headphones)
If noise cancelling is your priority, then it’s hard to recommend anything other than the Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones. What we love about these headphones is that they offer superb noise-cancelling, but without requiring large over-ear headphones.
While over-ear headphones can provide excellent active noise-cancelling, they can’t compare to in-ear headphones when it comes to comfort. All you’ll need to do with these is pop them in your ears just as you would a pair of ear plugs, and you’re set for a peaceful night of sleep.
Bose has an outstanding reputation for designing high-quality headphones, so you should have no reason to doubt that these ones are any different. The name of the model says all you need to know, these headphones will create a quiet environment for you to sleep in without sacrificing an ounce of comfort. Their noise cancelling technology works to minimise all ambient sounds, so however loud it is in your hotel room or bedroom you should be able to sleep distraction-free.
What makes these headphones go above and beyond similar in-ear models is the aware mode. If you are concerned that the noise cancelling technology will be so effective as to render you useless in the case of an emergency, then these are the headphones for you. The aware mode will let you know what’s happening around you in an instant, no need to unplug the headphones or switch off the music. This also makes the Quiet Comfort 20s a solid option for everyday use, since you can remain vigilant whether you’re about to cross the road, or just need to listen out for audio cues in your immediate surroundings.
The ear tips will fit into your ears snugly, and they’re designed to stay in for a long time. When they’re securely in place, to control the volume and playback settings, all you’ll need to do is use the convenient remote attached to the cable.
- In-ear design
- Bose noise cancelling technology
- Aware mode
- Active EQ and Triport technology
- StayHear+ fit
CozyPhones Sleep Headphones
The sleepy headphones from CozyPhones provide a great budget option for anyone struggling to sleep at night due to ambient noise.
What we like about this headband model is that it’s a rare wired option. While most headband style sleep headphones are wireless, this one lets you use a wire so you can avoid the problems associated with the former connection type. All you’ll need to do is connect the headband to a mobile device, on your bedside table for example, and you’re all set.
The cushioned speakers, and lightweight washable design of this model make it an attractive option. You won’t need to worry so much about sweating as a result of wearing this model at night, since the material is light enough not to be too warm. The fact that you can wash it makes it great for taking on the road for you whenever you need to get a good night’s sleep at a hotel or on a flight.
The wired design makes these headphones durable, and the cord stretches up to 52 inches, so you can distance yourself from your mobile device.
- Headband design
- Lightweight material
- 52 inch cord
What To Look For When Selecting Sleep Headphones
1. Preferred Style
The main factor to consider before you invest in sleep headphones is which style will best suit your needs.
There are several types to choose from, and your ultimate decision will largely depend on how you sleep and what you find to be most comfortable.
Whether you sleep in a certain position all night, or can’t get through the night without tossing and turning, there‘ll be a style for you.
You might think that over-ear headphones are an odd choice to sleep with, since they tend to be large and don’t allow much movement of the head.
However, if you tend to sleep on your back or front the whole night, then they can be one of the most effective noise-cancelling options to ensure a restful night of sleep.
The next type seems to make more sense for sleeping, since having in-ear headphones in is very similar to wearing ear plugs at night.
This type of headphone will fit snugly and should be suitably for just about anyone, since tossing and turning or position changing won’t cause you any great discomfort.
One thing to bear in mind with in-ear headphones though is that, just like ear plugs, if worn too deeply in the ear can cause irritation or wax build-up.
The last and most interesting type of sleep headphone is the headband.
This design is for anyone who prefers not to have anything in or on their ears. The headband will wrap comfortably around your ears, and help drown out ambient sound with the built-in speakers.
This is by far the best option for those who prefer to sleep on their side, but is also best for those who don’t want to mix up their nighttime routine too much.
A downside to this type is that the fabric can cause you to get hot and sweat, which could potentially wake you up in the middle of the night.
As you might imagine, aside from how well the sleep headphones do their job, the most important factor is how comfortable they are to wear all night.
Since you will be potentially using them for 6+ hours at a time, you’ll want to ensure that they aren’t uncomfortable.
You might like the sound of the headband for example, but if you get hot at night, then it isn’t the most practical choice since it will only make things worse in that regard.
Likewise, you might enjoy the idea of highly effective noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, yet if you move around in your sleep then they won’t be your most comfortable option.
To make sure you get the most comfortable option possible, first consider how you usually sleep. Then, think about how you feel wearing over-ear headphones versus in-ear headphones. Take all this information into account before you make an investment.
3. Wired or Wireless
Another important issue to address is whether you prefer wired or wireless headphones at night.
If you use wired headphones, then you need to make sure you can do so comfortably without getting caught up in the wire as you sleep. You also need some kind of night stand to keep your device on.
For wireless models you’ll need to take battery life into consideration, as well as what device you’ll use that can play sounds this way without sacrificing too much quality and noise-cancelling.
While the idea of blocking out all ambient noise might sound fantastic, if something happens in the middle of the night and you don’t hear it, that could be an issue.
If you sleep with a partner who is less of a deep sleeper and doesn’t use noise cancelling headphones then you’ll probably be fine drowning out all noise around you. However, if you sleep alone or with a deep sleeper, then it’s worth considering if you will inadvertently block out the sound of alarms or other emergency sounds.
Related: Best Sunrise Alarm Clock
Frequently Asked Questions About Headphones for Sleep
Is it safe to sleep with headphones in?
In general, yes, it’s safe to sleep with headphones in. Just as you might sleep with earplugs in a hotel room, sleeping with headphones in is not that different.
Of course, the difference is that with headphones you might be listening to music or sounds through the night. The main thing to be concerned with here is that you don’t have the sound high enough to cause damage to your ear drums.
Aside from noise-related issues, there is the possibility that wearing headphones deep in your ears can cause irritation and even promote the buildup of wax. To ensure this doesn’t happen, don’t push them in all of the way.
Of course, this only applies to in-ear headphones. If you are going to use over the ear headphones, the main issue will be staying in the same position so as not to press them against your ears in the middle of the night.
The other main type of sleep headphones, the bands, should be a much safer option. This band at worst will cause you to sweat a little during the night, but shouldn’t pose any real danger to your ears.
Do noise cancelling headphones help you sleep?
Yes, noise cancelling headphones can help you sleep. While there’s no guarantee that they’ll help you get a sound night of sleep, they can certainly help.
If you know that the main reason you struggle to get to sleep at night is due to ambient noise, then you could really benefit from noise cancelling headphones.
If you live in a busy city with sounds of traffic and footfall at night, or you’re even just disturbed by home appliance humming or weather sounds then it’s worth giving this type of headphones a go.
The difference between regular headphones and noise cancelling models is that the latter are specially designed to block out low-frequency sounds. As a result, you’d expect that they could help contribute to a great night’s sleep.
Do noise cancelling headphones block all sound?
Noise cancelling headphones can block out all sound, depending on their quality, especially the types of sounds that might distract you at nighttime.
To dive deeper, it’s important to acknowledge the two different types of noise cancelling headphones: active and passive.
Passive noise cancelling headphones can reduce background noise, but they do so mainly by drowning it out.
Active noise cancelling headphones on the other hand go a step beyond. These headphones will block out both high frequency and low frequency sound waves. They do by essentially matching the ambient sound causing destructive interference, and reducing your ability to hear this outside noise.
As a result, you’ll want to go for active noise cancelling headphones if you want to block out all sound that could prevent you from resting.
Related: Best Cooling Weighted Blanket
A Final Word on Sleep Headphones
Sleep headphones provide an excellent way to deal with distracting ambient noise when it’s time for sleep.
Once you’ve taken all relevant factors into account, you should be able to invest in some which will lead to far more restful nights.