Enjoy The Silence With These 7 Pairs Of Earplugs That Really Work

by Lisa Fogarty

From everyday lifestyle habits to certain types of jobs, there are a number of reasons why you might need a pair of the best earplugs on the market. And by investing in the proper pair, you might end up wondering how you've been living this whole time without them.

Maybe you live in a noisy apartment or a lively part of your city that doesn't shut down until after the sun sets. Perhaps you're an avid listener of loud music, a regular attendee of concerts, or you work in a noisy construction zone. Or, you may simply have sensitive ears that pick up on noises others don't seem to notice. Whatever the reason, owning a quality pair of earplugs that provide noise reduction and can protect your hearing and health will make your everyday activities and hobbies a lot more enjoyable.

When choosing the right pair of earplugs for you and your lifestyle, it's important to consider size — some plugs are designed for smaller ears, for example. You can choose between disposable foam earplugs that are meant to be thrown out after one wear and more expensive silicone or medical-grade polymer earplugs that can be cleaned and will last a long time. There are even corded earplugs and versions that come attached to a comfortable headband.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that, depending on how you plan to use your earplugs, paying attention to the noise reduction rating (NRR) is the key to investing in a type that will keep the appropriate amount of noise out. The NRR ranges from 22 to 33 — the higher the number, the more effective it is at protecting against loud noises.

Here are seven of the best earplugs to protect your hearing and make life (and sleep) a lot better.


Comfortable Silicone Earplugs That Are Great For Extended Wear

Eargasm Earplugs, $29, Amazon

If you plan on spending hours at a concert or loud event and need the most comfortable earplugs you can find, this pair pretty much guarantees they'll go the mile without irritating your ears. Designed from hypoallergenic soft silicone that won't make ears itch or cause pressure pain, these are ideal for prolonged wear. They fit average to large ear sizes (there's a Smaller Ears Earplug model if you need it) and can be removed with a gentle tug on the longer-than-average elongated pull tab. These plugs even come in their own ergonomic aluminum case for safe (and sanitary) storage.


Affordable Foam Earplugs For Daily Wear

Macks Ear Care Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, $9-23, Amazon

You'll get 50 pairs of disposable soft foam earplugs with this purchase — a sweet bargain — and these plugs, which boast more than 2,600 reviews, are perfect if you plan on using them each night for sleep or at work for a more quiet environment. Reviewers say they are "squishy" and soft enough to wear regularly and provide enough of a barrier to make it so you'll never hear your partner's snoring again.


Triple Flanged Reusable Earplugs That Are Adjustable And Can Be Worn All Day Long

SureFire EP4 Sonic Defenders Earplugs, $13-42, Amazon

Your sensitive ears may require more loud noise filtering than offered by most earplugs. These reusable earplugs are designed for everyday use and feature filter caps that can be inserted to hear safe sound levels. Their noise reduction rating is 24dB (for reference: the highest NRR rating you can get is 33, and levels between 28 and 31 are ideal for extra loud noises). It has a patented EarLock retention ring that makes it easy to adjust them to fit all ear sizes. They're made from medical-grade polymer and are so comfortable you might forget they're there.


Foam Earplugs Designed Especially For Small Ears

Howard Leight Earplugs, $4, Amazon

These small, bell-shaped earplugs were designed especially for smaller ears and protect against all noises, whether you need a barrier against a snoring partner or loud music at a concert. They're made from soft foam that adjusts to the ear canal and come with a handy carrying case. You'll get 14 pairs of earplugs for less than $5, but remember they're only made to be worn once and then discarded.


Multipurpose Corded Earplugs With The Highest Possible Noise Reduction Rating

3M Personal Protective Equipment Earplugs, $31, Amazon

With a Noise Reduction Rating of 33 — the highest possible — you can count on these corded earplugs to protect your ears against the loudest of noises. They're made from soft foam that conforms to the shape of your ear canal and are disposable — but you can purchase them in bags of 100 or 200, so they'll last a long time. Reviewers say they use them for everything from sleeping to shooting at a range — so you can expect them to be a solid, multipurpose pair for all of your needs.


Colorful, Lightweight Earplugs That Will Finally Let You Get Some Sleep

MOLDEX Sparkplugs Foam Earplugs, $15, Amazon

If you're here purely because your sleep is suffering from a noisy environment, look no further. These vivid, colorful foam earplugs are soft, lightweight, and will provide a noise reduction rating of 33 to block out all distractions so you can get some quality shut-eye. You'll get 50 earplugs in each pack and each one is designed to suit different ear shapes, including smaller ears. They also come with a convenient hypoallergenic storage case.


Budget-Friendly Earplugs Attached To A Headband

Howard Leight by Honeywell Quiet Band Shooting Earplugs, $7, Amazon

If you prefer earplugs that are attached to a headband that rests around your neck, these are highly-rated, affordable, and have excellent reviews. These have a noise reduction rating of 25, boast ergonomic foam pads that rest halfway in the ears, and are designed so that they can be effortlessly inserted and removed.

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