Real talk: There are times in life when having a good pair of earplugs is
essential. We've all been at loud concert or flown on a plane with a screaming baby, and when those noisy moments strike, earplugs are our best friends. And if you’re someone with petite ears, then you know that, sadly, the best earplugs for small ear canals are not created equal.
When you wear a pair that don't fit properly, they end up end up feeling uncomfortable and refusing to stay put. Finding the right ones, however, isn't always an easy endeavor. Do a quick search on Amazon, and you'll see right away that it requires some digging.
So, what should you look for exactly? First and foremost, you obviously want them to be comfortable. Good earplugs are made with soft, flexible material like silicone or closed-cell foam that adapts to the contours of your ear. You also want to check the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) to determine how much sound they'll actually block out. The lower the rating, the more sound they'll let seep through.
With this info in mind, shop a list of the
best small earplugs, below. Then, pick up a pair of the best earplugs for sleeping, too.
The Best All-Around Earplugs For Small Ear Canals
Designed specifically to fit slimmer ear canals,
these petite earplugs are bell-shaped to mimic the contours of your inner ear. They're constructed with soft, soil-resistant polyurethane closed-cell foam that won't let wax or dirt build up. And with a strong NRR of 30 decibels, they're sure to drown out loud noises around you. This particular multi-pack comes with 14 pairs and a handy carrying case. One Amazon reviewer raved, "I love these plugs. I don't have to trim them down to make them shorter ... I would recommend them to anyone who has small ears."
The Best Budget Earplugs For Small Ear Canals
Looking for the cheapest option that fits properly, provides some noise reduction,
and comes with a travel case? These affordable slim fit earplugs are a solid choice, as they're constructed to be 20 percent smaller than regular plugs with a tapered, slow-release foam design that adapts to the contours of your ears sans pain-inducing bulk. With an NRR of 29 decibels, they completely block out loud, high-pitched sounds and are a big hit with Amazon reviewers. One person exclaimed, "So small and comfortable that I've slept with ear plugs for the first time ever, and LOVED the silence!"
The Best Concert-Friendly Earplugs For Small Ear Canals
When you're at a loud concert, you want to be able to hear the music without sacrificing your precious eardrums. Unlike foam ear plugs which tend to muffle sound, these high-end,
small-sized earplugs are made with hypoallergenic silicone and feature patent-pending attenuation filters that reduce noise at an NRR of 15 decibels while still maintaining sound quality. Their low-profile design ensures it won't be super obvious that you're wearing them, and — as a bonus — they even come with a sturdy aluminum keychain case, guaranteeing they won't get lost.
The Best Sleeping Earplugs For Small Ear Canals
If you need silence when you sleep,
these nighttime earplugs will give you the level of rest you seek. Built to fit petite ear canals, the plugs — which are made from customizable slow-expanding foam — boast a sizable 32-decibel NRR capable of blocking all but the sound of your alarm in the morning. Best of all, they're hypoallergenic and feature a tapered design that won't cause any discomfort. An Amazon reviewer confirmed their comfortable fit, writing: "This smaller earplug has the same noise absorption rate as the larger ear plugs, but they don't hurt. And I can take them out easily. Ahhhh."
The Best Travel Earplugs For Small Ear Canals
pressure-regulating earplugs in your travel bag, you can skip chewing gum on an airplane altogether. Their innovative silicone design features a patented CeramX filter that alleviates pain from air pressure changes during takeoff and landing, simultaneously reducing noise with an NRR of 20 decibels. Just plug your nose, blow, and then insert them immediately before your flight goes wheels up and again an hour before reaching your destination. You might've noticed these are labeled "for kids," but don't let that deter you from trying them out — the company says they fit adults with "smaller ears," too.
The Best Swimming Earplugs For Small Ear Canals
Never let water inside your ears again with convenient
earplugs made for swimmers like these from JBL. Thanks to a dual baffle polymer design, they actually create a waterproof seal around your ear. The seal prevents bacteria growth in inner-ear water, which reduces your chance of infection and helps maintains your equilibrium. What's more, they have a Hocks Noise Braker that lets normal sound through but blocks pressure build up, so they're even great for scuba diving. Just make sure to select the smallest ones, as they come in multiple sizes! One Amazon customer highly recommended them in a review. They wrote, "These work. Every time. No adjusting, no discomfort. Tried 4 different configurations of ear plugs and always had leaks until I found the Hydro Seals." Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large
The Best Volume Control Earplugs For Small Ear Canals
If you want volume control with your earplugs, then you should opt for a unique pair like
this one from SleepRight with an NRR of 27 decibels. It features a knob that lets you manually adjust the amount of sound that can pass through. You can crank it up to fully block out noise or dial it down to hear a bit. Design-wise, this washable pair has a soft, waterproof GelFoam inner layer, a SoundX dampening core, and an internal pressure-regulating valve membrane, making it suitable for a variety of occasions including air travel and loud concerts. What sets it apart from the others, of course, is that you're in control of how much (or little, rather) you hear. Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.