6 best headphones and earbuds for sleeping in 2021

Bose is discontinuing its Sleepbuds and offering owners a full refund.
Image: Bose

Getting a good night’s sleep can be a lot harder than it seems. Whether you have trouble getting your thoughts to stop racing, sleep next to a noisy partner, or live in an apartment close to the street, there are plenty of distractions that can keep you awake.

For many people, listening to something at night can make it much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Some people prefer soothing nature sounds, others like white noise, and some enjoy podcasts.

Of course, for the full effect, you should be listening through a pair of headphones. Doing so helps block out background noise and makes your content much more immersive.

Fortunately, there are several models on the market that are designed specifically for use at nighttime. These six headphone and earbud models are perfect for getting a better night’s sleep.

Bose Sleepbuds II

Bose is one of the biggest names in the audio world. That’s because the company consistently offers consumers high-quality devices that deliver exceptional performance. Its new Sleepbuds II are no different.

These tiny wireless earbuds are about the size of a dime and nestle perfectly into your ear at night. A soft silicone ear tip pads the bud while a wing-shaped extension keeps them securely in your ear—even if you toss and turn at night.

Some may remember the issues that arose with the original Sleepbuds model, which forced Bose to issue a recall. Those problems have been fixed in the newest version and the second-gen model is better than ever.

It’s worth noting that Bose’s Sleepbuds II aren’t meant for playing songs from your smartphone. Instead, they come with a specially designed library of sounds from Bose that are meant to help you sleep better. There are tracks for noise-canceling, relaxation, and deep sleep to choose from. The shape of the buds also contributes to their noise-canceling effect, giving you a peaceful night’s sleep no matter what your environment sounds like.

Finally, you can even use the Sleepbuds II to set an alarm in the morning. Although this won’t help you sleep better, it does make it possible to get up without disturbing your partner.

DubsLabs Bedphones Sleep Headphones

Those who don’t like the thought of wearing earbuds to bed may prefer the design of DubsLabs’ Bedphones Sleep Headphones. Like the Sleepbuds, these headphones are designed specifically for sleeping. They feature an ultra-thin form factor that lies flat against your ear. This makes the Bedphones perfect for back, stomach, and side sleepers alike. Each headphone is less than a quarter-inch thick, meaning you’ll hardly notice them.

Meanwhile, a rubber-coated memory wire wraps around the back of your ear to give the headphones a more secure fit. They won’t go anywhere during the night. The Bedphones come in both a wireless and wired model, with the latter being slightly cheaper.

Unlike the Sleepbuds, DubsLabs’ Bedphones connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and let you stream anything you want. Whether that’s a podcast from Spotify, sleep sounds from a third-party app, or white noise from YouTube, you can listen to anything with these headphones.

Both models feature an inline microphone for taking calls as well as controls for your media. You can play, pause, and skip tracks without needing to get your phone out.

AcousticSheep SleepPhones

When the first sleep headphones were released, they came in the form of a plush headband. The SleepPhones from AcousticSheep were the first model on the market. To this day, they are still one of the best (and most comfortable) sleep headphones available.

The patented headband design is lightweight, breathable, and hypoallergenic. It doesn’t get hot while you wear it and is so soft that it’s barely noticeable. Meanwhile, two ultra-thin removeable speakers let you listen to your favorite content while you sleep. You can then remove the headphones when you want to wash the headband portion.

For those that don’t mind spending a bit more, there is even a model of the SleepPhones that supports wireless charging.

QuietOn Sleep Earbuds

Although Bose’s Sleepbuds II are probably the most popular sleeping earbuds, they aren’t the only model available. For those that don’t want to listen to something and just want silence, the QuietOn earbuds are a fantastic choice.

They are tiny and gently rest in your ear with foam ear tips that mold to your unique anatomy. The buds feature active noise-cancelling technology to block out virtually all noise from your environment. It’s worth noting that this can be more effective than simply masking it with another sound. That’s especially true for those that prefer to sleep in total silence.

Since the QuietOn earbuds don’t stream music, they don’t rely on a smartphone connection. This means you can use them virtually anywhere without needing to worry about connectivity issues getting in the way. Better yet, the earbuds feature a 20-hour battery life, making them suitable for multiple nights of sleep in a row without recharging.

Joseche Bluetooth Eye Mask

For those that like to sleep with an eye mask, this Bluetooth model from Joseche is a perfect choice. It features a slim pair of speakers on either side of a plush, light-blocking eye mask.

A soft control panel on the front of the mask lets you pause and play tracks as well as adjust the volume. The mask pairs to your smartphone via Bluetooth, which means you can listen to any relaxing content you prefer.

As a bonus, the Joseche Bluetooth Eye mask is very affordable for those on a tight budget. It’s also great for travelers that need the benefits of an eye mask and sleep headphones all in one package.

Amazfit Zenbuds

Last year, a company called Amazfit launched a pair of smart wireless earbuds designed for sleep at CES. Dubbed the Zenbuds, Amazfit’s earbuds are a sleek choice and are perfect for wearing at night.

They feature a compact, ergonomic design that hugs your ear and blocks out noises from the environment. Like the Bose Sleepbuds II, the Zenbuds aren’t meant to play your music and instead offer a library of built-in sounds.

Another noteworthy feature of these buds is built-in sleep tracking. They monitor things like sleep position, sleep quality, and heartrate throughout the night to give you a better idea of how you slept. You can view the metrics through the companion app.


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