Need sleepable earplug suggestions.
April 26, 2016 10:43 AM   Subscribe

After being awoken by my roommate and his SO last night at 2:30 AM, I'm looking for suggestions for earplugs that are comfortable to sleep in and effective at blocking out noise. Ask, what do you use to keep the sounds out at night?

Above the fold says it all. I'd slightly prefer reusable ones to disposable, but I'm not very picky on that aspect.
posted by isauteikisa to Grab Bag (31 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I have this problem and have found Mack's excellent; I wear each pair for six weeks or so, and I have a couple years' supply stored up. They are far superior to the CVS store brand!
posted by languagehat at 10:45 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

The first thing to try are the foam ones you can get at your local drugstore. Pretty effective, very cheap.
posted by SemiSalt at 10:46 AM on April 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

Another vote for Mack's, specifically the pillow-soft silicone ones. I find them to be both more comfortable than foam and much, much better for noise reduction.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:51 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

Although if you know you prefer foam and you're an experimenter by nature, you might want to give this assortment a try.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:54 AM on April 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Macks are super comfortable and successfully block out the handsome snorer who sleeps next to me at night.
posted by kimberussell at 10:55 AM on April 26, 2016

I use the cheap disposables from Walgreens when I wear earplugs at work. I don't like earplugs to sleep in, though, as I don't like the sweaty feeling and I'd like to hear the smoke detector go off, etc. I live with my mother, however, who loves to fall asleep with her tv on top volume. So I got a nice white noise machine and that seems to do the trick.
posted by clone boulevard at 10:57 AM on April 26, 2016

Seconding the foam plugs --- I don't use them to sleep, but sometimes it gets really loud at work, and I shove in a pair of Howard Leight LaserLites: those suckers make the world absolutely silent, and they're very comfortable. I'm sure other brands work well too; these are just the ones I have here on hand.
posted by easily confused at 11:01 AM on April 26, 2016 [3 favorites]

I live on a street with maddening traffic all night long, and I've tried many kinds of ear plugs, and these work best. Roll them around in your fingers to a tiny diameter, jam in ear, let expand, lie down.
posted by pipti at 11:03 AM on April 26, 2016

Nthing Mack's silicone plugs. Be sure to follow the instructions. You need to start with a wide flat disc or ball. DON'T form it into a point before inserting into the ear. (That is, they work differently from the foam plugs.)

Another good white noise machine is from Howmedics.
posted by JimN2TAW at 11:06 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love these. Soft, cheap, reusable, and bright orange so I don't lose them!
posted by thatone at 11:13 AM on April 26, 2016

N'thing Mack's silicone plugs. Foam earplugs irritate my ear canals and can cause breakouts after a couple nights, but my ears are fine with the Mack's for long term usage.
posted by TheAdamist at 11:17 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll third or fourth Mack's. Some delineation:

Mack's has a million options.

My favorite foam ones come in brown. This package of 50 will last you forever.

The silicone ones JimN2TAW and others mentioned are here.

You can find both kinds at Walgreens, Rite-Aid, any other big box store. Yes, pay attention to the instructions on the silicone plugs.

I find that the silicone plugs stop noise better than the foam when they have a good seal. If you have oily skin, be prepared for that seal not to work great past the first night of use. They fall off my ears, and that wakes me up. But they are a decent respite if the foam ones irritate your ears after many nights of use.
posted by mr_bovis at 11:21 AM on April 26, 2016

I also recommend Chroma Doze as my preferred Android white noise app. If all you need is the fuzzy sound, this works as good as any machine or other app with multiple choices between water dripping, rain, fan noise, etc.
posted by mr_bovis at 11:26 AM on April 26, 2016

I use the Howard Leight LaserLites mentioned above. I get a lot of use from a single pair and they are very effective. It took some practice to be able to get them inserted so they are comfortable and silent, but now I can do it without really waking up, if I have fallen asleep without them and something wakes me. Roll the ear plug to squish it; tug up and back on the helix of the top of your ear while you insert it and while you wait for it to expand, then let go and enjoy the silence. Definitely tug your earlobe and pull gently to remove them, otherwise it can hurt a little. I store them in a little plastic case on the bedside to keep them clean (also because cats love to chew them)

When they stop getting a good seal, or look ear-waxy, I throw them out and get a new pair from the box.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:40 AM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've tried many, but keep coming back to Laser Lite by Howard Leight. One pair lasts me a week in normal everynight use. For industrial strength noise, I replace after 2-4 nights.
posted by Homer42 at 12:32 PM on April 26, 2016

I sometimes cut earplugs in half to make them shorter and easier to sleep in. They then don't ram into my ear when I'm sleeping on my side and my ear is pressed against the pillow.
posted by zeek321 at 12:43 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another vote for the Laser Lites--great plugs. I wear them for hours and hours when I ride motorcycles. Super comfortable and really quiet. If you're in the SF bay area, I have a case of them--I'd be glad to give you a few pair to try out.
posted by mollymayhem at 12:52 PM on April 26, 2016

I am a very light sleeper. LaserLites save my sanity on a daily basis.
posted by freya_lamb at 12:58 PM on April 26, 2016

I don't have a preference on brand, but I have found silicone earplugs to be much, much more effective and comfortable than foam.
posted by breakin' the law at 1:13 PM on April 26, 2016

We use ear plugs a lot (motorcyclists and music enthusiasts) so we bought a wall dispenser of Moldex Pura-Fit plugs. Mr. Ant snores really loudly so I sleep in these every night. If you PM me your address, I'll send you a couple of pairs to try.
posted by workerant at 1:28 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would recommend trying out a few pairs first (I bought a 'selection pack' off ebay when I was trying to find ones that worked) because ears can vary so much; that said, I'm another Howard Laser-Lite user, and I have quite small ear canals - they were one of the few brands that weren't uncomfortable over long periods, e.g. overnight. I do still sometimes pull them out in the night, but find them pretty easy to put in, even when sleepy.

(I also once had this glorious dream about eating these amazing pasta tubes filled with cheese sauce once and woke up to find myself chewing on one but don't let that put you off).
posted by AFII at 2:02 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

Our ear canals are all special snowflakes, so what works great for one person might not work for you. I recently went on an earplug sampling bender after my favorite Hearos brand earplugs went through some manufacturing tweaks that basically ruined them for me. My new favorites are the beige Mack's that others have already mentioned, but sometimes they do make my ears hurt a bit. They're the best ones so far, though -- I can't hack silicone plugs and others either don't compress right for my too-small-for-normal, too-large-for-slim earplugs or have some other drawback.

That earplug sampler linked above is awesome and a good place to start! Or, if you're interested, I can send you my own custom sampler pack of Earplugs That Did Not Work For Me Personally But Might Work Great For You.
posted by phatkitten at 2:04 PM on April 26, 2016

I've been using the blue foam ones from Walgreens and therthey've been really good.
posted by rhizome at 2:14 PM on April 26, 2016

Comfort and efficacy are highly variable depending on ear canal. OSHA suggests subtracting seven and dividing by two to get the actual noise reduction rating. In any case, your best bet really is to try a sampler pack.

The most important thing really is correct use. The foam ones need to be all the way the fuck down your ear canal! It should be flush with the opening of your canal. Roll pull hold people.

All of that said, most disposable ear plugs are going to attenuate high frequencies much more effectively than low, so you'll still get some speech envelope stuff and your roomies may sound like the teacher from peanuts.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:24 PM on April 26, 2016

Thanks all for the responses! Looks like I'm ordering some Laser Lites and Mack's to test with, and tiding myself over with drugstore ones.
posted by isauteikisa at 2:40 PM on April 26, 2016

I'm really interested in trying the Hush earplugs, but they're pricey.
posted by southern_sky at 3:59 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I tried many different earplugs before I found Quies wax earplugs, made in France, from beeswax. They're the most comfortable ones I've ever used, and they do a good job at cutting noise. You do have to mold them with your fingers for a bit before using them, as they're relatively hard at room temperature, and they're not infinitely reusable, but you can wear one pair for a few weeks at least.
posted by Umami Dearest at 9:20 PM on April 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm a Mack's pillow soft silicone earplugs devotee. If you find the white ones uncomfortable, they may be too large for your ear. I use the bright orange kids' size. One pair can usually be reused for at least a week in my experience.
posted by purple_bird at 8:57 AM on April 27, 2016

Nthing the silicone ones — they don't go IN your ear canal, which means they don't upset my TMJ. And they work a billion times better than the foam ones, don't fall out, and don't get as grody.
posted by you're a kitty! at 11:19 AM on April 27, 2016

I have really sensitive ears and normal foam plugs make them ache. I adore these custom-moldable earplugs from Radians. I have been using the same pair for going on two years, and just got another for my travel bag.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 3:44 PM on April 27, 2016

Nthing crush-onastick regarding the installation of foam earplugs - roll those dudes between your thumb and forefinger AS HARD AS YOU CAN - think the thickness of a toothpick as a goal - it's the only way to get it deep enough into your ear canal to be as effective as possible.

I sleep next to a loud snorer - key word there is 'sleep'.
posted by DandyRandy at 11:32 AM on April 28, 2016

« Older Best practice for charging my cell phone to...   |   Reaching out to internet strangers about a fear of... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.