best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music travel

Best travel hack: reusable earplugs for sleeping

This is a life saver: having a short nap or sleeping during a long haul flight, while using earplugs can make all the difference. Here, you’ll find the best reusable earplugs for sleeping. 

Most of the earplugs you find on the market are disposable, which, let’s face it, isn’t great for the environment. Throwing them away every time you use them doesn’t sound right. 

The reusable options are slightly more expensive on the purchase but cheaper on the long term. They are also more efficient for noise reduction and easier to use.

From all the  earplugs that ever existed, the best are still made of the original material: paraffin wax, created in 1907 by the founder of Ohropax, and our top pick. 

Nevertheless, we also considered the best of wax and silicone, which are nowadays the most common reusable earplug materials. In case you still prefer the foam models, we also give you the best options. 

Our Top Pick

Pros
- Soft super moldable plugs
- Great noise reduction

Cons
- Price
- Oily texture

best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music earplugs reusable silicone wax disposable noise reduction cancelling sleep

Ohropax Wax Earplugs


Made of wax, which may feel strange at first for its oily texture, this is the original technology but still very efficient nowadays.

Overall
4.5/5

Check out our review of travel eye masks to give you even more quality sleep.

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Noise canceling earplugs: what are your options

best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music earplugs reusable silicone wax disposable noise reduction cancelling sleep

Wax

It was in 1907 that the German company Ohropax created the first commercial earplugs made originally of beeswax. 

Nowadays, it is made of cotton wool soaked in a mixture of vaseline and various paraffin waxes and it is still considered the most efficient noise reduction earplug. 

They are normally difficult to find and have a higher price tag, but you get what you pay.  

Silicone

Just like the wax models, silicone earplugs are on-ear models meaning they are not inserted into your ear, but rather they cover its entrance.

This gives them the hability of being reusable and much easily removed, comparing with the most common and cheaper counterparts made of foam.

Foam

The most common and cheapest material normally sold in bulk quantities because of its disposable nature, which we really don’t like.

They are placed inside the ear canal, and then expand to block the sound, if they stay in place, which was never the case for me.

They are made of high-density polyurethane foam, and, in many cases, may cause some discomfort.

best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music earplugs reusable silicone wax disposable noise reduction cancelling sleep

Noise Perception Levels

Noise perception varies from person to person, as well as the sensibility to it. Some examples:

  •  Wristwatch (20 dB) can be annoying to many. 
  • Sounds between 40 to 65 dB are normal and pleasant. 
  • It becomes loud above 70 dB, according to scientists.
  • 70 db is the normal volume of a television set. 
  • Any sounds louder than 85 decibels have the potential for causing noise-induced hearing loss.
  • A truck (90 db) or a car horn (110 db) are the common traffic noises.
  • In construction, a jackhammer is the winner with 120 db. 
  • And the quick and aggressive sounds of jet fighters go up to 130 db. 
  • Exposure above 120dB can result in permanent hearing loss.
  • Road traffic is the largest source of noise, followed by aircraft noise and noise in the workplace. 

What health risks are associated with ear plugs

best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music earplugs reusable silicone wax disposable noise reduction cancelling sleep
Image credit: www.yourbestdigs.com

Not hearing at all

It may sound silly, but if you block all the sound, you may not hear something really important, like the sound of your alarm clock to go to your check-in gate. 

Jokes aside, safety is a main issue here so beware that if the earplugs are very efficient you may loose contact with sounds around you. 

Ear hygiene

Our ears produce earwax naturally  to protect from contaminants like bacteria and fungi.

Using earplugs can interfere with and block its natural production, creating a problematic build up.  

The best way to prevent this is by cleaning your hearing canal on a regular basis, more frequently that you normally do, if you use earplugs a lot.

Ear infections

When you use reusable earplugs, and I hope you use them instead of disposable ones, you need to be aware of the cleaning requirements.

If you don’t clean them, then bacteria accumulate, which can cause ear infections. That’s one of the reasons why foam is normally single use.

Cleaning is super easy, just place them in warm water and rub away the dirt accumulated. Rinse them well to remove all the soap, which is not great for the material, and dry.

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The 5 best reusable earplugs

We chose the best of each material so you can have it easier based on your personal preference.

Our Top Pick

Pros
- Soft super moldable plugs
- Great noise reduction

Cons
- Price
- Oily texture

best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music earplugs reusable silicone wax disposable noise reduction cancelling sleep

Ohropax Wax Earplugs


Made of wax, which may feel strange at first for its oily texture, this is the original technology but still very efficient nowadays.

Overall
4.5/5

#2 Silicon Earplugs

Pros
- Moldable round shape
- Great noise reduction

Cons
- Needs maintenance

Mack's snoozers


Probably the most common brand you will see in stores with foam earplugs. It also manufactures amazing silicon models.

Overall
4/5

#3 Custom mould

Pros
- Real-life mould to your ear
- Can use with other devices

Cons
- Longer effort to do the mould

Radians custom moulded


This is like playing with plasticine, you can literally do a real-life mould of your ear.

Overall
4/5

#4 Custom mould

Pros
- Real life mould of your ear
- Great noise reduction

Cons
- More intrusive
- Less comfortable

best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music earplugs reusable silicone wax disposable noise reduction cancelling sleep

Decibullz


Although marketed to the shooting sport market, it is also an efficient sleep aid.

Overall
4/5

#5 Foam earplug

Pros
- Price
- Medium density

Cons
- Disposable
- Lower performance

best ear plugs for travel noise reduction silence sleep music earplugs reusable silicone wax disposable noise reduction cancelling sleep

Moldex Pura Fit


There are thousands of foam models, this one has high reviews and is well-recommend by review sites.

Overall
3/5

Conclusion

It’s important to remember that there are sizes on some of these models because our ear canals vary a lot. 

Don’t underestimate the power of a noise canceling earplug on your sleep, get one, they are cheap and then comment bellow how great you’ve slept.

If you want to go deeper into the sleep quality spectrum, consider white noise machines

Happy sleep.

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