Snoring is annoying. There — we said it.
Can you hear that raspy, deep inhale that sounds like a truck horn? Are you putting the pillow over your head and angrily turning to your side? We get it. Sleeping next to a snorer sucks.
Lack of sleep opens the door to a multitude of health problems including impaired mood, increased blood pressure, impaired control of blood glucose, and increased inflammation. It may even lead to more severe problems such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity if insufficient sleep continues. (Yikes!)
We already know the best headphones for sleep, but we’re taking this a step further to give you more options for optimal rest. The purpose of earplugs is to block the sound waves from hitting your eardrum, but they can never block 100% of the sound – sound waves can travel through bones. That said, some ear plugs will block more sound than others, so if you're seeking peace from a loud snorer, finding the best ear plugs will make all the difference.
Here are the best earplugs you can wear that will shut out that obnoxious snoring sound. Let's try not to get cranky at the snorer!
Earplugs for every type of ear
- Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds: Bose knows what’s up when it comes to sound, but it also engineered a sleepbud to help you fall asleep. When you put these earplugs in, they produce a soothing sound to mask unwanted noise (like your rumbling partner a few feet away). You can wear these without the soothing sounds as the fit will still muffle the sound.
- Moldex Earplugs: These soft foam earplugs fit snuggly into your ear and conform to your ear canals. They're meant to reduce the noise levels around you. Moldex earplugs are basic, yet comfortable and efficient in helping you get a good night’s sleep.
- Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs: Now, we’re getting a little technical on the brands, but Mack’s earplugs are top notch. The polyurethane foam expands gently in the ear canal, creating somewhat of a seal. This brand comes in different sizes. The slim fit earplugs (great for a small ear) are about 20% smaller than the standard size and made for high-performance hearing protection. Plus, this brand has a noise reduction rating of 29 decibels.
- Sound Soother Headband: Sticking things in your ear may feel weird for some people, so that’s where an overhead band comes in. The Sharper Image created a wireless sound soother headband with built-in sleep sounds (fancy!). Sound or no sound, this was designed for comfort and to help block out any raspy truck horn noises.
- Moldable Wax Earplugs: These wax earplugs take the shape of your ear to completely block sound around the ear canal. The brand also boasts that these babies won’t fall out. So you won’t have to worry about finding a loose earplug stuck to your butt when you wake up. They also come with a carrying case so you can travel easily with the clear, wax earplugs.
- Hearos Earplugs: These bad boys are soft to touch and very comfortable. They're sized a bit wider than other earplugs, so this is a good option for those with larger ears.
- Decibullz Custom Moulded Earplugs: These earplugs let you shape it to your own comfort to provide superior noise isolation. Custom moulded earplugs will fit into any ear canal and can reshape so you find your perfect comfort fit for sleeping. And, of course, they're ideal for blocking loud noises. Sounds like a win-win to us!
If you don't like to use earplugs or headbands, consider a white noise machine to place on your bedside table. This produces calming sounds, such as from a waterfall or the ocean, that's meant to drown out surrounding noise. Apps like Relax Melodies and Sleep Sounds offer free or low cost options straight from your phone.
Why do we snore in the first place?
Before we go and blame the snorer, we should take into consideration why they might be snoring in the first place.
Snoring occurs when the air you breathe causes the relaxed tissues in the soft palate and throat to vibrate. Yeah, the throat, tongue, and nose have formed a rock band that's playing its symphony all night long.
A range of factors influence snoring, including weight, nasal congestion, pregnancy, and underlying conditions like obstructive sleep apnoea. Another factor that we can't control is genetics — there are certain face, nose, and mouth shapes that predispose people to snore.
To help us better understand our snoring partner (without getting upset at them for keeping us awake), we should really pay attention to their snoring habits. That obnoxious sound could be a larger medical symptom of sleep apnoea, which requires treatment. If you listen carefully to your snorer and hear a long pause in the breath, this may be OSA. Speak with your doctor as this is easily treated with a CPAP mask.
Best sleep positions for snorers
You’ve probably kangaroo-kicked your snorer when they’ve kept you up with their droning sounds. But next time, try moving them to sleep on their side. Create a little side sleeping nest with the snorer's back propped against something so they don't roll back over. There's also the tennis ball trick or the inflatable pillow prop.
The Snore Lab says that when you sleep on your back, the jaw recedes and the tongue falls back, which compresses the upper airway. Sleeping your side is the most effective way to stop snoring. This position reduces the compression of the airways.
So while we searched far and wide to find the best noise cancelling earplugs, try a supportive pillow or different sleep positions. This might help you and your snorer get a good night's sleep.