10 Best Ear Plugs for 2020

best overall rating
  • Squashy foam
  • Large quantity
  • High NRR
premium choice rating
  • Hypoallergenic shell
  • Premium gift box
  • 2 different sizes
great value rating
  • Case included
  • Specialized, contour fit
  • Comfy foam

Earplugs are vastly neglected, underrated, and ignored, but everyone could get some use out of them, whether it’s for protecting your hearing or just enjoying some sleep. In fact, earplugs are one of the few products that are valuable to both those who love heavy metal and those who prefer a bit of peace and quiet in the evenings or while sleeping.

The benefits of ear protection seem fairly obvious to most, but a lot of people still don’t want to use them. If you’re someone who thinks they would be a good idea but doesn’t know where to buy them, or what to look for, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will run you through the best earplugs and how to look for them.

View the Best Ear Plugs, Below.

best overall rating

1. Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs

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The first earplugs to look at are these Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs from Mack. These are high-quality earplugs that will keep you comfortable for long periods of time while also protecting your hearing from the loud noises going on around you. This can be shown through the comforting foam design and the high Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 32dB. This means that they can reduce the loudness of the noise around you by this amount.

With a high NRR like this, you can tell that Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs are ideal for rock concerts, shooting, riding motorcycles, and other noisy events. This multi-purpose use puts them a step above many other brands, and the comfort they provide means you can last for a long time with these in your ears, without feeling the urge to remove them. This makes them ideal earplugs for sleeping if you need extra help to get a quiet sleep. They also come in a large tub of 50 pairs, so you can change the pair you sleep in as often as you like.

Why We Like It
  • Squashy foam
  • Large quantity
  • High NRR
  • Multi-purpose
  • Brand used by Doctors
Type
Disposable foam
Rating
32dB
Count
50 pairs
Our Verdict

In case the high NRR and comfy material don’t speak for themselves, Mack’s can also boast that these earplugs are actually used by doctors.

Editor Rating
premium choice rating

2. Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs

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Next up are these High Fidelity Earplugs from Eargasm. Unlike disposable earplugs for sleeping, these are high-quality silicone earplugs that are built to last. If you work in a noisy environment or attend a lot of shows and concerts, these will give you reliable noise reduction without limiting your hearing. That is to say, they will reduce noise to a safe level, but still let you hear all the parts to your favorite songs.

These come with a higher price tag than some earplugs for sleeping as they are not disposable, but Eargasm has done everything they can to ensure they will last. Primarily, they come in an ergonomic aluminum case. This is reliable enough to stop you from causing any damage if you carry them around in your pocket, but also small enough to keep on a key chain. It’s the perfect blend of safety and convenience.

Why We Like It
  • Hypoallergenic shell
  • Premium gift box
  • 2 different sizes
  • Ergonomic aluminum case
  • Range of colors
Type
Silicone
Rating
16dB
Count
1 pair
Our Verdict

These are high quality, silicone earplugs that are built to last if you want to make an investment in noise reduction, which will protect your hearing without limiting it.

Editor Rating
great value rating

3. Flents Quiet Contour Ear Plugs

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Another pair of earplugs for sleeping are these Quiet Contour Ear plugs from Flents. Flents have produced these products so that they will have a snug fit in your ear, thanks to their specialized contour shape. This means they slide into your inner ear and don’t feel unnatural, which is ideal for getting some sleep. It also means they do a better job at reducing noise, with a high Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 33 decibels, in case your partner snores when they sleep.

As well as being effective, they are also efficient. With your purchase, you receive 10 pairs of earplugs. However, there are options to purchase 50 or 55 pairs if you want to buy in bulk. They also come with a case included, so they should last longer without getting lost or dirty. If you’re worried about them fitting in smaller ear canals, the contour shape should let them slide in without any pain or irritation.

Why We Like It
  • Case included
  • Specialized, contour fit
  • Comfy foam
  • High NRR
  • Multiple bulk options
Type
Contour foam
Rating
33dB
Count
10 pairs
Our Verdict

These sleep earplugs have a contour shape to ensure the most comfortable experience as they are snug in your inner ear while reducing the volume of sounds greatly.

Editor Rating

4. Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs

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The main reasons people get earplugs are to get a relaxing night of sleep or to protect their hearing against the loud sounds and noise that comes with their work or social life. However, they are also swimmers. If you want to protect yourself from ear infections in the water, then a good, waterproof, non-allergenic earplug is the way to go. Mack's pillow-soft silicone earplugs are exactly that.

This is a moldable, pillow-soft silicone earplug that is designed to fit perfectly into your ear canal. They are non-toxic and non-allergenic, too, so you will stay hygienic while using them. On top of all this, they have a Noise Reduction Rating of 22 decibels. If you want a brand you can trust, Mack’s provide great disposable earplugs for all purposes.

Why We Like It
  • Best for swimmers
  • Moldable silicone
  • Non-toxic
  • Waterproof
  • Non-allergenic
Type
Silicone
Rating
22dB
Count
6 pairs
Our Verdict

These silicone earplugs from Mack’s are designed to mold to fit your ear perfectly, and they're waterproof too, which makes them ideal for swimmers.

Editor Rating

5. Decibullz – Custom Molded Earplugs

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If you want the perfect fit, look no further than these custom-molded earplugs from Decibullz. These earplugs are slightly pricier than most, but it is completely worth it due to the way they perfectly match the shape of any ear canal. Simply heat the silicone up and let them mold themselves into the shape of your ears.

As well as being customized for each user, these have a high Noise Reduction Rating of 31 decibels, making them some of the best on the market. They are multi-purpose, so you can use them whether you are traveling, dancing, or sleeping, and there's little chance you'll experience discomfort or hearing loss anywhere. From a good night's sleep to a good night out, the range of uses these earplugs have made them worth the extra cost.

Why We Like It
  • Moldable
  • Multi-purpose
  • High NRR
  • Range of colors
  • Easy shape system
Type
Thermoplastic mold
Rating
31dB
Count
1 pair
Our Verdict

Decibullz has produced some of the best moldable earplugs on the market, and it’s easy to make them fit just right.

Editor Rating

6. Mpow 055A Ear Plugs

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If you want a good night's sleep every night without spending too much money, look no further than the Mpow 055A Earplugs. These let you sleep in peace and quiet thanks to the high Noise Reduction Rating of 32 decibels, and the comfortable, material. They also come in huge bulk supply, with 60 pairs in the box to give great value for money. These earplugs for sleeping will never run out.

Those who need something to wear at a concert or while traveling will also appreciate the aluminum travel case. This means you can carry them around and use the earplugs when you need to, without having to dig into the big bulk box. They come in a range of colors too.

Why We Like It
  • Cushioned material
  • 60 pairs
  • Range of colors
  • High NRR
  • Aluminum case included
Type
Disposable foam
Rating
32dB
Count
60 pair
Our Verdict

If you need to buy in bulk, you can’t do much better than this pack of 60 disposable earplugs, and they’re comfortable for a night's sleep too.

Editor Rating

7. Etymotic ETY-Plugs High Fidelity Earplugs

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Etymotic have produced these high fidelity silicone earplugs with musicians in mind. These are designed to reduce the volume while maintaining the best natural sound quality that you would expect without them. Put simply, these will protect you from hearing loss without you having to miss out on the good stuff.

They don’t have the highest Noise Reduction Rating out there, but they should do the job nonetheless. They also aren’t recommended for impulse sounds, like shooting, as they work better with constant sound. However, they do come with a handy cord to tie around your neck and a carrying case for traveling.

Why We Like It
  • Clear voice sound
  • Reusable
  • Neck cord included
  • Carrying case included
  • Fits most ear canals
Type
Silicone
Rating
12dB
Count
1 pair
Our Verdict

These ETY-Plugs are ideal for musicians and those who regularly attend concerts, as they reduce the volume while still providing the best sound quality.

Editor Rating

8. Howard Leight High Visibility Disposable Earplugs

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The next earplugs to look at are these disposable pairs from Howard Leight . These are designed to be highly visible in their bright yellow and pink coloring. They are also designed to be incredibly comfortable and fit most ears. This is achieved through the impressive low-pressure design, meaning they can expand to fit a larger ear canal while being small enough for everybody else.

This earplug is designed with a contoured T shape too, which makes it more comfortable as it should easily slide into your ear canal. If you want a good night's sleep, this T shape will let you sleep comfortably without fear of irritation. However, the best factor is the quantity. These earplugs are available as a bulk purchase of 100 pairs. It’s quite possible that these could be the best value purchase available, and they won’t run out for a very long time.

Why We Like It
  • 200 pairs
  • High NRR
  • Contoured T shape
  • Low-pressure foam
  • High visibility
Type
Disposable foam
Rating
32dB
Count
200 pairs
Our Verdict

With a massive bulk purchase of 200 pairs, these are some of the best value disposable foam earplugs on the market.

Editor Rating

9. 3M 1100 Foam Ear Plugs

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Another bulk option for disposable earplugs is these from 3M. 3M make high-quality hearing protection in various forms, and this ear blocker is just as good as the rest. They come at a very affordable price, and in a massive supply of 200 pairs, although there is an option to buy 25 pairs if that suits you better.

These earplugs are hypoallergenic and dirt resistant, so they should look after your hygiene as well as your hearing. The gentle foam provides plenty of comfort and should fit most ear canals, so they help you to sleep in peace. Overall, this is a pretty basic product, but they offer a decent level of noise reduction in a low cost, bulk supply.

Why We Like It
  • Huge bulk options
  • Bright color
  • Dirt-resistant
  • Soft foam
  • Hypoallergenic
Type
Disposable foam
Rating
29dB
Count
200 pairs
Our Verdict

The bulk purchase makes this earplug best for those who might require them for work or who will use them on a regular basis.

Editor Rating

10. The Ear Buddy Premium Soft Foam Ear Plugs

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Finally, we have these Premium Foam Earplugs from The Ear Buddy. The Ear Buddy have your hearing’s best interests in mind when they offer you 50 pairs of earplugs at a low price. This is proven with the high Noise Reduction Rating of 32 decibels. This is impressive for affordable earplugs and should protect you in most situations. They boast great levels of comfort, and the earplug is designed not fall out of your ear canal like so many people complain about.

This is particularly handy if you like an earplug when you sleep. A good night's sleep is almost guaranteed with the squishy feel. These are multi-purpose too. As they are comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time, you could use them for hunting, sleeping, or construction work. However, if you are listening to music, they may not be the best for maintaining sound quality, and you should consider more expensive designs.

Why We Like It
  • High NRR
  • Multi-purpose
  • Comfortable foam
  • Affordable
  • 50 pairs
Type
Disposable foam
Rating
32dB
Count
50 pairs
Our Verdict

This is another affordable way to bulk buy disposable earplugs, and they come with a high Noise Reduction Rating to make them suitable for most purposes.

Editor Rating

Ear Plugs Buyer’s Guide

Now that we’ve seen some of the best options available, it’s a good idea to think about why you want the earplugs so that you know which features are important. Whether you are a professional musician who wants to protect their hearing, or you simply want to get a good rest without hearing your partner snore, there are different features that affect the comfort, the noise reduction level, and the fit.

Comfort

Firstly, when buying earplugs, it is important that they fit well and you have the highest level of comfort possible. A cheaper, disposable earplug might seem okay but will start to irritate you after a long period of time. This is okay if you don’t need to sleep with them, but it could be a problem otherwise.

One of the best things about foam plugs is that they squeeze and adapt to the shape of your ears pretty easily. Unless you have a particularly big or small ear canal, they should do the trick just fine. However, if you want to wear these frequently or for professional reasons, it might be worth investing in a higher quality product to get the best results.

Some high-end earplugs are even moldable. This means that, after heating them up, they can be molded to fit your ears perfectly. This is ideal if you are willing to spend some money on earplugs that you will wear every day, or for multiple different purposes, as they shouldn’t fall out of your ears.

Noise Reduction

Every pair of earplugs, like noise reduction headphones, will have a Noise Reduction Rating. The Noise Reduction Rating tells you how many decibels you can expect the background noise to be reduced by when you wear earplugs. Generally speaking, the best products have a higher Noise Reduction Rating, but this is not always the case because there are some instances where you might not want to reduce the noise too much.

If, for example, you work in construction, you probably want to eliminate the sound of machinery as much as possible. However, you won’t want to be oblivious to your colleagues talking or getting your attention. An even better example is musicians and those who attend concerts. Although you will want to reduce noise to a safe level, a high Noise Reduction Rating often lowers the quality of what you hear. For the best natural sound quality, it could be an idea to invest in a better earplug with a lower Noise Reduction Rating.

Another tip would be to take NRR with a pinch of salt. Although a brand says it is high, it might not be that effective in practice, as it will depend on the sound you hear. For example, impulse sounds like shooting won’t be reduced by simple foam earplugs.

Expert Tip

People have different sized ears, and it can be uncomfortable to try to fit the wrong size of earplug. Those with thermoplastic molding should give the best fit for your ear canal.

Did you Know?

As well as protecting your hearing, an earplug can also be used to maintain your hygiene and protect you from infections too.