Adults who get less than 7 hours of sleep every night are at a higher risk for developing coronary heart disease, asthma, depression, and diabetes.
Getting that many hours of sleep can be complicated by distracting thoughts and noises that keep us awake longer than we’d like to be. But some studies suggest that listening to music while trying to fall asleep not only helps you fall asleep faster, but it can improve overall sleeping quality.
Regardless of whether you want to listen to music, podcasts, or Netflix, the best headphones for sleeping make the experience all the more immersive. But with on-ear, over-ear, ear buds, wired, and wireless options to choose from, narrowing down what works best for you is a big task.
We’ll walk you through all of the above. Let’s take a look at the different types of headphones and their features before we determine which are the best headphones for sleeping.
Headphones versus Earphones for Sleeping: Which is Best?
Although they’re often used interchangeably, headphones and earphones are two different things.
Headphones are those listening devices that have one separate speaker for each ear, and these speakers are connected by a bridge that sits on top or around the back of your head. There are 4 different sub-types of headphones. These are:
- Over-ear headphones with ear cups that cover/enclose your whole ear.
- On-ear headphones with ear pieces that sit on top of your ear.
- Closed-back headphones with hard, enclosed outer shells around the speaker.
- Open-back headphones that allow for more airflow and don’t constrict sound like a closed-back headphone.
Earphones are listening devices that are worn directly inside the ear. There are two main types of earphones:
- Ear buds which fit inside the ear but sit just outside the ear canal.
- In-ear monitors that are essentially elongated earbuds with a silicone tip that reaches deeper into the ear canal.
Choosing between headphones and earphones for sleeping ultimately comes down to personal comfort. We all sleep differently and have very different needs when it comes to falling and staying asleep.
If you sleep on your side, for example, over ear and on-ear headphones might be too bulky and difficult to sleep with. In that case, ear buds and in-ear monitors may provide more comfort.
Features to Look for in the Best Headphones and Earphones for Sleeping
What else should you consider when you’re trying to find the best headphones for sleeping? There are some features that matter more when it comes to helping you get a good night sleep.
While you probably don’t have to worry about having a built-in microphone, for example, a noise cancellation feature is fairly important. Other features you’ll want to think about are wired or wireless, cost, and profile.
Wired or Wireless
Headphones and earphones both come in wired and wireless options. Sleeping with a wired pair of headphones or earphones might not be the most comfortable, though.If you tend to move around, you might get caught up in the cord throughout the night or pull the earphones right from your ears.
Wireless headphones are headphones that connect to your phone, tablet, or other device via Bluetooth. Although you’ll have to make sure they’re charged every night before bed, in terms of comfort and safety while you’re sleeping, these are your best bet.
Make sure you don’t purchase a pair of wireless headphones or earphones with the controls built into the side of the ear piece. You could activate volume and power accidentally when you place your head on the pillow, waking you up and negating the purpose of the headphones altogether.
One of the primary reasons for investing in headphones for sleeping is to block out noise and distractions that prevent you from falling and staying asleep.Whether it’s noisy neighbors, a busy street outside of your window, or a partner who snores, a noise cancelling feature can help with that.
There are two types of noise cancellation. These are passive and active.
While most headphones come with passive noise cancellation, active noise cancellation blocks out far more ambient noise. However, there are some safety concerns around sleeping with noise cancelling headphones. For example, they prevent you from hearing important alarms or sirens.
The cost of headphones and earphones ranges. You can purchase some earbuds for less than $10 while top-of-the-line headphones can cost more than $400.
The materials, quality, and extra features of the headphones or earphones are the biggest contributing factors to price. Of course, features like active noise-cancelling run the price of the headphones higher.
Low profile is a design feature of some on-ear headphones. They’re specifically made to be comfortable if you want to sleep with them on.
Low profile on-ear headphones typically have soft silicone tips that sit along the back of the ear so that they don’t slip off. This makes them great for double-duty as running headphones. They also come in a variety of sizes to accommodate your ear and for maximum comfort.
Okay, this isn’t exactly a feature, but these are a type of headphone specifically made for sleeping that we think are worth mentioning. They look like sport headbands that wrap comfortably around the head and over the ears, but they’re actually headphones. Inside the headband are a pair of ultra-slim, padded speakers.
Some of these even come with EEG sleep tracking, which is sleep monitoring technology. While playing music or ambient noise for you to fall asleep to, the headband’s electrodes read your brain waves to get accurate readings of your sleep patterns.
Best Headphones for Sleeping
Esource Parts carries some of the best headphones for sleeping. Have a look at our top picks below.
Smart Sleep Mask Headband (Headphones)
These headphones are literally made for sleeping.They fit comfortably over your eyes like a traditional eye mask and, with the Bluetooth 5.0 connected to your favorite sleep scape, neither light nor sound will disturb your slumber. On a full charge, you get 9 hours playtime, and the velvet stretch cotton material is comfortable the entire time.
Mini Dual Wireless Bluetooth Headphone (Headphones)
If you’re looking for something low profile, these on-ear, open-backed headphones are the best option. The unique cord wraps around the lower back of the head to keep them securely in place while still maintaining maximum comfort.Along with easily accessible controls on the backside of the speaker, they also have voice command for a wireless and hands free experience.
Wireless Stereo Sport Waterproof Earphones (Earphones)
With intelligent noise reduction and HiFi sound quality, these earbuds are small, lightweight, and powerful. Ergonomically designed for comfort in most ears, you’ll barely notice they’re there, and with HD voice command, you won’t even have to look for the controls in the dark. These earbuds are suitable for use night and day, with about 4 hours charge time on a 1 or 2 hour charge.
Wireless Invisible Earbud with Mic (Earphones)
There isn’t anything more comfortable than an earbud that conforms to the shape of your ear – and that perfect fit also means great sound quality. The one-button control makes them easy to use and their lightweight design means you can conveniently carry them with you from the bedroom to the gym or just about anywhere else you require your tunes.
Instead of helping you sleep, this earpiece alerts you when you fall sleep. It’s intended for long-distance or night drivers, anybody who needs to stay awake on duty, such as security guards and night shift operators, as well as students who need to stay awake while studying. If your head tilts to a certain degree, a slight alarm will ring in your ear, waking you up from drowsing off.
More Headphones and Earphones from Esource Parts
What makes the best headphones for sleeping really depends on personal preferences. Consider how you sleep when making a choice between headphones and earphones, for example. After that, you’ll want to think about features like noise reduction and wireless versus wired sets.
And if you haven’t found exactly what you’re looking for in our list of recommendations, have a look at our entire stock of headphones and earphones for more options.