If you’re like us, you love to fall asleep to music or the soothing sounds of nature. If you live in a noisy area, however, or if you have roommates, you may have to rely on headphones to block the outside world or serenade you to slumberland. Of course, most headphones aren’t comfortable enough and can be too cumbersome to sleep with all night without them falling off.
But as usual, technology provides. We took a closer look at some of the best headphones, earbuds, and other solutions on the market to help you decide which will provide the key to a great night’s sleep.
AcousticSheep SleepPhones (2020)
Best headband option
- Convenient head shape for sleeping
- Multiple sizes to choose from
- Bluetooth connectivity
- The sound simply isn't is good as the best earbud brands
Products like the SleepPhones tackle a very important problem: Normal earbuds and headphones don’t stay on well when you’re lying down, especially if you get a little restless before you fall asleep. So AcousticSheep designed a headband-like set of headphones that are sure to stay on and are easy to pack up when traveling.
The SleepPhones can connect to any Bluetooth device for music and even have subtle volume and play/pause controls built in. The battery life isn’t too bad at 12 hours, either. It also comes in three different sizes, so you can pick the best option for your head size without a problem.
Bose Sleepbuds II
Best curated sleep sounds
- Dedicated to sleep sounds
- Controlled via the useful Bose Sleep app
- Noise-masking technology
- Designed for sleep sounds, not music
For those who really need wireless earbuds for sleeping, Bose has an interesting solution that may be the perfect pick for more delicate sleepers. These earbuds are designed specifically for putting on when you’re laying down for a rest. Then they connect to the Bose Sleep app and provide noise-masking sounds (not to be confused with active noise cancellation). They can also play more than 50 curated sounds designed for peace, from tonal thrumming to nature sounds. The earbuds come with three sizes of silicone tips to experiment with and find which stay in the best.
Of course, the big downside here is that, while you can take important calls with these earbuds, they aren’t designed for traditional music playback. So if you really need your own tunes to fall asleep to, you may want to pick something more appropriate.
Soundcore Sleep A10
Best noise-masking earbuds
- Smart noise masking
- Twist-in design to help prevent losing a bud
- Can play a variety of content, including a personal alarm
- Battery life isn't great
These earbuds are made to pop in and wear all night in comfort as they help you get to sleep faster. They combine passive noise cancellation with noise masking, similar to how the Bose earbuds work. Soundcore claims their earbuds can block 15 decibels more than other sleep earbuds, thanks to smart technology that tracks external noise and adjusts the volume of the sleep sounds automatically.
With the connection to the Soundcore app, you can choose to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or the relaxation app of your choice, so there are plenty of options. You can even choose to set an alarm to help wake you up, but the battery life while playing music is around six hours, so that’s cutting it a bit close. However, we do like the “twist” design that’s made to lock comfortably into your ears so they aren’t as easily disturbed as some earbuds.
Flashmen Sleep Mask with Headphones
Best sleep mask option
- Full sleep mask
- Bluetooth connection
- Built-in white noise
- Speaker quality isn't the best
If you don’t care much about music or meditation apps but just want to block out the outside world, take a look at this sleep mask. It’s very affordable compared to the alternatives and comes with inner speakers, plus a design that’s easy to bundle in your luggage or a drawer in your office. While the speakers do have Bluetooth capabilities, they also come with pre-recorded audio of white noise and birdsong, etc., that you can play at any time, connection or not.
Sure, the onboard controls are a little awkward, but the cotton design with inner modal fiber for comfort gets the job done. You can remove the headphones and wash the sleep mask when it gets dirty, too.
Mifo S Wireless Earbuds
Best ANC option
- Slick design
- Super comfortable fit
- Good sound quality
- OK battery life
- Great for runs and workouts
- No app support at all
- No aptX support
- No voice assistant access
- No wireless charging
Mifo’s earbuds are traditional true wireless earbuds, but that comes with some advantages for sleeping, too. For one, they come with reasonably priced active noise cancellation (ANC), so when you’re listening to relaxing sounds of your choice, they’ll block out any external noises that may prevent you from drifting off. And you can easily use them for other purposes, too: The IP76 resistance level means you don’t have to worry about water or dust outside, and the touch controls allow you to quickly switch on ANC or the transparency mode as needed. Plus, the sound quality is notably better than other sleep-focused headphone options.
The design of these earbuds is also particularly slim, which makes it harder for them to fall out of your ears at night. However, if you toss and turn a lot, it may be easier to lose these buds than some of our other picks. Battery life is also a bit limited at six hours, so using them both during the day and when falling asleep may require frequent recharging.
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