Whether you’ve experienced it firsthand, or know someone that has, it’s not entirely uncommon for Americans to have issues getting to sleep on a nightly basis. According to a study conducted by Consumer Reports, about 27% of all Americans have experienced some issue or another when it comes to sleeping. While certain strategies like limiting screen time or reading an old-fashioned book before bed can help, sometimes you might just need a bit of noise to help you fall asleep — and that’s where sleep headphones can come in handy.
There are so many top-rated wireless headphones for sale in 2021, but even the best options aren’t designed to be worn in bed. If you sleep on your side or toss and turn, these bulky headphones will disrupt your sleep. That’s why you might need an audio option designed specifically to help you get more sleep at night.
As evidenced by their namesake, sleep headphones are designed to be worn while you go to sleep. The majority of sleep headphones have unobtrusive speakers that line up right where your ears are to quietly and subtly provide noise (whether music or just ocean waves) to those who may need it. It’s a more comfortable solution than just sticking your traditional earbuds in and hoping you can sleep despite the discomfort. If you’re looking to test drive a pair for yourself or give a set to someone close to you, we’ve rounded up six of the best sleep headphones out on the market right now.
1. AcousticSheep Bluetooth Sleep Headphones
Boasting a 10-hour battery life (charged via an included USB cord) and Bluetooth connectivity, the AcousticSheep headphones come equipped with speakers that are nestled inside the headband itself. Designed and engineered for a comfortable fit, the speakers won’t be noticeable (i.e., they won’t press further into your ears should you sleep on your side) enough to disrupt your sleep. However, should the volume get too loud or you want to even change songs, there’s a side panel that gives you quick access to ensure you fall asleep to the music and volume you want.
2. BOSE Sleepbuds II
At $249.00, these headphones don’t come cheap, but they are one of the leading innovations in sleep headphones and contain an entire library of relaxation content. If you suffer from insomnia and the thought of slipping a headphone band over your head makes you shudder, invest in these wireless sleep buds, which are lighter than air and clinically proven to help users fall asleep faster. This tiny invention masks noises, rather than canceling them, which is more effective. They even stay in place as you toss and turn at night, which is a concern with many earbuds.
3. Lavince Sleep Headphones
These sleep headphones don’t just drown out snoring and other sounds – they double as a moisture-wicking sports headband that bumps your favorite workout tracks while you’re exercising. This multifunction alone makes Lavince a useful household purchase. These headphones have a 45 feet wireless range and a 2-hour charging time that keeps them alive for up to 10 hours. Cords and wires can be frustrating to some listeners, which is why we love the Bluetooth feature on this stretchy band. `
4. Envel Sleep Headphones
If you’re thinking that eye masks and headbands aren’t your preference, these wired sleep headphones from Envel will absolutely get the job done. Super low profile (they’re nearly flat on the sides) these headphones sit in-ear to help cut down on noise and won’t get in your way should you shift around throughout the course of the evening. With a long wire, you won’t need to worry about getting tangled up or making sure your device is charged.
5. CozyPhones Wired Sleep Headphones
Similar in style to that of the AcousticSheep, these wired sleep headphones from CozyPhones sit inside a low profile headband, projecting your audio into flat speakers right near your ears. What stands out here is the way that CozyPhones has constructed their wired audio jack: made from a durable braided cable, it ensures that you won’t get the wire twisted up while you’re sleeping. Much like other options, it is lightweight so you’ll barely notice it’s there while you sleep. With a variety of different colors, there’s an option that will definitely speak to your own individual and stylish sensibilities.
6. MUSICOZY Bluetooth Sleep Headphones
These sleep headphones are also an eye mask, blocking out light and keeping you get premium Zzz’s. They look way comfier than those cheap eye mask alternatives that can leave you feeling sweaty and suffocated. The silicone cover and ultra-thin headphones make it a must-buy for side sleepers who normally experience pain sleeping with headphones. Another user vouches that they fit comfortably over a CPAP machine, which is a big perk for anyone with a sleep disorder.
7. Ururtm Sleeping Headphones
These small in-ear buds feature a soft silicone design for comfortable support that stays still. They’re lightweight and can be used both overnight and as regular headphones. This pair provides gentle noise reduction, blocking out background sounds like snores and street noise. While you may need to push these low-profile earbuds in a couple of times through the night, it sure beats ear pain from pairs that push too deep or won’t mold properly.
8. KPP Bluetooth Sleep Headphones
Plush is the name of KPP’s name – we’d let this cozy velvet blindfold lull us into a full-on hibernation if we could. Like some of the other options on this list, KPP’s pair is Bluetooth, allowing you to move freely throughout the night without rolling onto any wires. Speakers are only .25 inches, but the sound is never sacrificed with True HD HiFI sound. the adjustable band allows you to customize fit, and the set-up is user-friendly.
9. Hoom Sleep Headband
This sleep headband features flat earphones and a ventilated elastic fabric that users can wash. It pairs with a matching app, which provides hypnotic stories, guided meditation, ASMR, and white noises, with regularly updated content. The fabric is made from a technical 3D mesh that was selected for its cooling comfort, soft texture and thinness. Earphones are also enclosed by a comfortable layer of foam. Testimonies speak for themselves, with users reporting that they got more sleep per night after dozing off with this headband on.
10. Dubslabs Bedphones Sleep Headphones
These revolutionary sleep headphones are the world’s smallest on-ear headphones, and have won Best Sleep Headphones categories from respected sleep professionals. Bedphones are under a 1/4” thick and lie completely flat. This allows you to feel like there’s absolutely nothing between your ears and your pillow, while sound quality comes in clear as a bell. If you’re trying to avoid blue light at night, this pair comes with a single-button remote and inline mic, allowing you to answer calls and pause or skip music without looking at your phone screen.
11. MOITA Sleep Headphones
We appreciate the streamlined appearance on MOITA’s sleep mask and headphones, whch feature unique sponge speakers. They can be connected via Bluetooth, but have also gained a cult following of sleep mask lovers all over. One reviewer writes that he loves how the mask provides complete darkness without pushing on his eyes. He further expands, “The cutouts on the inside completely surround my eyes so absolutely no light comes in. There’s even a cushioned area for my nose.”
12. Soundbot Bluetooth Speaker Hat
If you’re a cold sleeper and enjoy cuddling up with some layers, you’ll be obsessed with these sleep headphones, which are nestled in a stylish black beanie with a snug fit. You can wear this hat throughout the day and into the night, if you’d like – it looks no different from a regular had, but hides wireless smart headphones with Bluetooth connectivity. They can stream music or white noise for up to 5 hours, and keep your ears warm while doing so.
Also Consider: Flents Ear Plugs for Sleeping
Earplugs have been a foolproof noise-blocker for many years, especially for those who can’t stand white noise or the feeling of a band over their head. These plugs have a Noise Reductio nRate of 33 decibels, which is high enough to drown out loud environments like music, construction, and heavy machinery. The tapered silhouette allows for a snug, custom fit that has a better shape than non-tapered alternatives, which can cause discomfort or fall out at night.
Also Consider: Dream Egg White Noise Machine
When earplugs and sleep headphones aren’t cutting it, opt for this tried and true solution for light sleepers or cranky toddlers. Dream Egg offers one of the best white noise sound machines on the market and even includes an ambient nightlight. Choose between setting a timer or letting the sounds continuously lull you to sleep all night. It even has 4 rubber disks on the bottom, so the device never falls off your nightstand. One user says, “You can tell by the design of the speaker that thought went into the quality of sound.”