Best Earplugs/Earmuff for sleeping with a snorer?
June 2, 2008 9:38 PM   Subscribe

What's the best set of noise cancelling apparatus you can get and sleep in? Earplugs? Noise cancelling muffs?

I love my husband more than life itself, but I will smother him in his sleep if he wakes me up with his hear-it-in-the-basement loud snoring. He's been to a sleep apnea clinic, and he's waiting for his CPAP. Meanwhile, we're going on a 5 day roadtrip, with hotels, where I cannot set up an air mattress in the basement. I MUST SLEEP!

What gadgets can I get my hands on FAST that will help muffle the monster? I've ordered a passle of earplugs, but is there something better?
posted by beezy to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly, earplugs that are comfortable are the way to go in my experience. You may have to go through a couple of brands, but the soft foam kind that you roll between your fingers before inserting are the most comfortable in my experience.
posted by iamabot at 9:43 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Totally agree with iamabot.
When I go to the Coachella music festival every year, the only way I get any sleep is by wearing those orange ear-bud plugs. (Coachella provides on-site camping because it's a multi-day concert - and it can get pretty wild at night with all those concert-goers.)
posted by Detuned Radio at 9:49 PM on June 2, 2008

I have custom-molded earplugs that I got from an audiologist's office for sleeping. They took a mold of my ear and then made plugs to fit. My problem with the foam kind is that they deteriorate after one or two uses and they make my ears sore because they expand a little TOO far in my ear.

And honest, it's the dog who snores. She wakes herself up even. Honest.
posted by SpecialK at 9:55 PM on June 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

There was a post a while back in which earplugs were discussed. This seems like it might be a good first step.
posted by phunniemee at 10:13 PM on June 2, 2008

My mother always told me I would choke on the cord of my headphones if I slept while listening to music. So in lieu of my mom signing up for metafilter and finding this question, I'll just fourth the recommendation of ear plugs, which I use myself when I really need to get to sleep but the birds have already started chirping in the early morning.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:02 PM on June 2, 2008

The Bose Quiet Comfort 2 noise cancelling headphones, at least, has a cord with plugs on both ends so you can remove it from the headphones altogether -- they expect usage to include just noise-cancelling without noise reproduction.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:15 PM on June 2, 2008

These are the best -- Ohropax (the wax ones); most comfortable, German engineering. Foam earplugs tend to expand over time to their original unwieldy size, producing discomfort.
posted by rumbles at 11:35 PM on June 2, 2008

I have a snoring husband, and I like wax earplugs (basic ones from Boots here in the UK) - I find I get a few uses out of them and then have to throw them away. Trouble is, I now find I'm dependent on them and find it difficult to sleep anywhere, with husband or without, if I don't have earplugs.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:27 AM on June 3, 2008

I have slept with earbuds to my mp3 player in my ears (it was my brother's snoring that night, and he was in the next room!) and I did not choke to death. However, I too am going on a road trip (4 days) with my husband this weekend, and was worrying about the same thing - so thank you, I'll be trying out the moldable ear plugs too.
posted by b33j at 1:56 AM on June 3, 2008

n-thing foam earplugs. Apocalyptically loud snoring dog here, combined with strange work hours and up until recently living in the city. I find that if I shower before bed and my ears are still slightly damp, the plugs slide in more easily and achieve a really great fit, to the point where my wife can shout my name and I won't really register it.

I've also spent many hours sleeping with earbuds in. It's not always comfortable, but the music blocks outside noise and distracts you at the same time. I regularly crash out in loud crowded rooms while listening to music with no problems, and I'm something of an insomniac.
posted by nevercalm at 3:05 AM on June 3, 2008

In addition to the ear plugs, you might also look into white noisemakers- I seem to recall seeing some that you can place under your pilllow- if you and your husband both had them, perhaps it would help drown out some of the noise.

By the way, I have the same situation as you and we are in separate beds until he can get to a sleep clinic. If you find a good solution please post it or email me! Thanks....
posted by InstantSanitizer at 3:32 AM on June 3, 2008

n'thing the orange space-foam earplugs. They sell a container of 50-pair at Walgreens for $10, but you have to make sure that they are actually space-foam (the kind you can roll between your fingers), not the crappy couch-foam style that they sometimes substitute that don't stay compressed at all.

I also have a short ear canal, so I don't like to push them in all the way, and I also don't like to let them hang out too far so that they rub on the pillow or get caught on something and fall out.

Solution? I trim them to the right length. Works like a charm.
posted by Void_Ptr at 7:05 AM on June 3, 2008

I used to have a snoring BF and I found Flents Quiet Time Soft Comfort Ear Plugs extremely helpful. They had the best noise reduction rating of all the options at the drugstore. I thought they are 33dB, but the Walgreens website is showing 30... But it looks like the Hearos mentioned above have 33. Even a difference of +1 in the decibel rating can make a big difference in my experience. (more info on decibel scale:

As mentioned above, I find that they work best new; once I've used them a few times, their effectiveness noticeably decreases, so don't be afraid to switch to a new pair every couple of days. And like altolinguistic said, I have become dependent on them to sleep because I'm much more sensitive to sound now, since I've gotten used to sleeping in almost complete silence, so be aware of that likelihood. I'm trying to wean myself off them now.

I know how aggravating and straining this can be, so I hope one of these solutions works for you, and soon! Good luck.
posted by inatizzy at 7:07 AM on June 3, 2008

Can you get your husband to try the Breathe Right strips? My girlfriend has been a lot happier since I started using them...
posted by Arthur Dent at 8:59 AM on June 3, 2008

There is only one answer to this question and all other answers, above or beneath this one, are wrong. Howard Leight Max.

(I'm joking about being more right than the other posters of course. But only a bit. These are unlike any other earplugs I've used, and I've used many.)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:36 AM on June 3, 2008

I have used earplugs for so many years that I can't sleep without them now, even when it's quiet. I personally don't like wax ones, as I can never get a good enough fit and they make my ears kind of sore. I also don't really like the cylindrical-shaped ear plugs like these, as they seem to wear out more quickly and even will fall apart in your ear if you use them too many times (I've pulled an earplug out and had it come apart, leaving half in my ear). The best kind are the tapered kind like game warden to the events rhino linked to, or there are also these, which have the added bonuses of not only being the officially licensed earplugs of NASCAR, but green as well!
posted by triggerfinger at 10:54 AM on June 3, 2008

I second the white noise. Get one of those portable sleep sound/noise machines + earplugs- I have to have BOTH in/going in order not to hear someone snore.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:47 PM on June 4, 2008

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