(Last Updated On: March 1, 2021)

Trouble sleeping? We round up the best sleep headphones and found out what makes them the perfect bedtime partners.

NameStyleSuitable Sleeping PositionConnectivityPrice
CozyPhones Sleep Headphones Best Over-allHeadbandBack, & SideWired BUY
MUSICOZY Sleep Headphones Best Sleep Mask HeadphonesEye MaskAnyWireless BUY
Kokoon Sleep Headphones Best Noise CancellationOver-earBackWireless BUY
MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs Best for Side SleepersIn-earBack & SideWired BUY
Fulext Sleep Headphones Best for People who Toss & TurnHeadbandAnyWireless BUY

How to Pick the Best Sleep Headphones

A good night’s sleep has been hard to come by these days. It’s raining stress and anxiety; thus, causing a lot of people to have a hard time sleeping. Everybody could use a good ally to help them sleep nowadays and that’s where sleep headphones enter the picture.

Sounds and sleep have a very unique relationship. High-pitched noise is known to cut people’s trip to dreamland short. But, on the other hand, several studies have proven the ability of music to help people sleep.

The good news is, you can get the sweet advantages of noise reduction and relaxing music in one device — sleep headphones.

Sleep headphones help you out by blocking potentially disturbing sounds while letting you listen to sleep-inducing music at the same time.

Preparing to sleep with headphones on (From: Pexels)
Preparing to sleep with headphones on (From: Pexels)
Research has shown that even if you don’t wake up to a loud sound, your body’s Circadian Rhythm can still be disturbed. This rhythm is often called the body clock and it is composed of different 90-minute sleep stages. A person who hears urban noise such as traffic sounds is more likely to stay on the first stage of sleep, which is also the shallowest stage among all.

Sleep headphones are great and all but buying one isn’t the easiest thing to do. Buying a regular pair of headphones and expecting them to work just as well while you’re sleeping can lead to huge disappointments. Not to mention, sleeping with headphones is unnatural so even wearing specifically designed headphones for sleep may need some getting used to.

There are several things to keep in mind before buying sleep headphones. The design, build quality, and features are just some of those.

Simply put, different people sleep differently so finding the best sleep headphones is a matter of finding the right one for you.

To help you with this decision, let’s go over the considerations one by one:

Function and style

Much like your regular headphones, there are different types of sleep headphones. Each type differs from another in many different aspects. As a result, each one offers a different set of advantages and disadvantages as well.

The function and style of the headphones will affect the overall comfort of the product. It will also limit or specify your sleeping positions. Finding the right function and style if extremely crucial so here are the different types you can choose from:

  • Over-ear: These large-sized headphones are often packed with advanced features since sound engineers have a lot of room to work with. These can also naturally isolate sound, which is good if you want to prevent hearing noise while sleeping. Ironically, its drawback is also its size. These headphones are the heaviest ones here so that may cause some issues for comfort, especially for side sleepers
  • In-ear: If you combine earplugs and earphones, you’ll basically get in-ear monitors. They naturally block external noise and users can change the tips for a better fit. However, among all the choices, these have higher risks of ear damage and infections. If you’re going with this, be sure not to exceed 60-85 decibels and clean the tips regularly.
  • Headband: The jack of all trades. These headphones prioritize comfort and versatility. Headband sleep headphones are made for these main functions: as a sleep mask, as a pair of headphones, and as headbands. Unfortunately, they probably won’t make the cut as your primary headphones. Compared to other types, expect a downgrade on sound quality since these use ultra-thin speakers to prioritize comfort above all else.
  • Sleep Mask: Now, this is what you would want to get if you really want to fall asleep. Sleep mask headphones have features like eye cavities and nose pads to prevent light from penetrating. Their light-blocking considerations are their biggest advantage. However, these headphones have a very specific use and they’re not exactly high quality.

Additionally, you may also choose between wired and wireless sleep headphones.

Wired ones have a better sound quality and cost significantly less than their wireless counterparts. However, the wires themselves can be a nuisance during sleep and are susceptible to wire damages.

Wireless headphones, on the other hand, excel in areas that their wired counterparts are lacking in. Wired headphones are portable and give you the freedom to move around. But, you will then be limited by the device’s battery power, plus they do not come at a cheap price.

Comfort and fit

These are two very important things to consider when buying sleep headphones. In fact, whatever sleep-related product you’re buying should have these two things checked.

Remember that the point of sleep headphones is to help you fall asleep so if it causes discomfort, chances are it would do more harm than good.

Furthermore, proper fit ensures that the headphones actually do what they’re supposed to do. If your headphones or sleep masks are too loose, then sound and light would easily penetrate.

The best and most effective way to judge the comfort and fit of a product is to try it out for yourself. Obviously, if you’re buying on Amazon or anywhere else online, you won’t be able to do this. Although you can refer to user reviews for their comments regarding these two factors, you can gauge the comfort and fit also by looking for the following:

Materials

For over-ear and in-ear sleep headphones, you would want to look for the cushioning and ear tip material respectively. Memory foam works well for both of these, but it would be an added bonus if they are lined with a hypoallergenic material such as silk.

On the other hand, for headband and sleep mask headphones, you need to consider the fabric. Cotton, silk, satin, and polyester are the most commonly used fabrics. Among all those, cotton is the best material overall because of its light-blocking and absorbent properties.

The eye area has the thinnest layer of skin in the body which is why it is prone to irritations. And the ear area is another thinly-lined area which is why ear eczema is common.

Adjustability

Adjustability is the key to the perfect fit. If a pair of sleep headphones can be adjusted to feel like it’s customized to the user’s dimensions, then you know it’s a good one. Different types of headphones have different types of adjustability.

If you have a pair of over-ear headphones, the adjustable part would be the headband part. This part should allow a push-up and pull down motion to adjust the overall height of the headphones. For sleep mask headphones, the back part should have, at least, an elastic band at the back that allows adjustability.

Size

The size of the headphones also contributes to the overall comfort and fit. Case in point, larger and heavier headphones will always feel a lot bulkier than small and lighter ones. One attribute that most sleep headphones have is slimness. This allows users to easily maneuver and move their heads around during sleep.

Noise Control

Relaxing with noise cancellation (From: Pexels)
Relaxing with noise cancellation (From: Pexels)

It is no secret that noise can distract us and prevent us from sleeping. From cries of babies to honks of cars, any form of noise can cost anybody their sleep.

To be more exact, noise is most disruptive during the light stages of sleep or basically the first 90 minutes. During these two stages, you are still prone to waking up easily which is why you can get easily disturbed by noise. Waking up during this period prevents you from reaching REM sleep or often called deep sleep.

The Sleep Cycle is a 90-minute period composed of 4 stages. The first three stages are called non-REM stages. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and this signifies the body’s brain activity pertaining to sleep.

To protect you from these potential interruptions, you should check out the noise control capabilities of your sleep headphones. When it comes to these, there are two terms you want to look for: noise isolation and cancellation.

Noise isolation pertains to the headphones’ ability to prevent noise from penetrating. This is also called passive noise cancellation because it simply uses physical barriers to stop sounds from getting in.

Noise cancellation or Active Noise Cancellation, on the other hand, uses more advanced technology. Instead of simply blocking noise, these headphones actually cancel them out by releasing an inverted sound wave to negate. If noise reduction is your priority, this is the one you should go for.

Your sleeping position

Side Sleeper weariing Fulext Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)
Side Sleeper weariing Fulext Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)

Your sleeping position is crucial to finding the right sleep headphones for you. Everybody sleeps differently so it’s impossible to have a one-size-fits-all approach here.

Simply put, what works for your roommate may not work for you.

For the sake of discussion, we’ve categorized the sleeping positions into three: soldier, side sleeper, and roller. Let’s get to them one by one.

  • Soldier: This can also be called the upright position which really encompasses what this position is all about. Soldiers or upright sleepers lay down with their back flat on the bed. With that said, both of their ears are free and the pressure is at the back of their heads.
  • Side Sleeper: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Side sleepers sleep with one ear flat on the bed while the other is on top and free. For sleepers who are like this, headband type headphones or those with slim speakers are recommended.
  • Roller: Rollers are the busiest ones during sleep. They move from one side to another and roll around the bed. There’s no guarantee which Rollers are the ones who would often wake up in different positions. These people tend to move around more in bed so they would need wireless options both for comfort and safety purposes.

Playtime

According to the National Sleep Foundation, healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. Getting a consistent amount of sleep is something that most busy adults simply dream of, and rightfully so. The list of health benefits caused by proper sleep goes on and on. It lowers the risk of heart diseases and diabetes, improves the immune system, and more!

To fully benefit from your sleep headphones, you have to make sure that they will last through the whole of your 7-9 hours sleep. This means that when looking for sleep headphones, a long and sufficient battery time is a need.

Additionally, you also need to ensure that the headphones do not have a form of alert when the battery is low already. In normal circumstances, this alert can be helpful but during sleep, it can be a nuisance by interrupting your sleep.

Build quality

This is all about durability, material quality, and the overall feel of the product.

Durability refers to the ability of the product to withstand pressure. Material quality refers to the overall feel of the materials used for products such as fabrics and plastics. Finally, the overall feel of the product pertains to how premium it feels.

In the case of sleep headphones, build quality is important since we could not control what happens when we’re asleep. Twists and turns during sleep can squeeze and fold your headphones and damage it if it has low build quality.

To save you some trouble, you should also check for a warranty. No matter how durable a product can be, accidents can happen but a warranty gives you insurance for it. The longer the warranty, the better, so watch out for lifetime warranties when buying. Plus, a longer warranty period signifies that the brand you’re using is confident that their product won’t break for a long time.

5 Best Sleep Headphones [2021]

CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

Best Over-all
Close look at CozyPhones Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at CozyPhones Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Ultra-thin ⅛” cushioned removable speakers with volume-limiting function for safe listening
  • Multi-function: Sleep mask and headband
  • Washable
  • Made out of super soft fleece material
  • Adjustable headphones with a 52-inch braided cord

Taking the top spot in this list is the CozyPhones Sleep Headphones. These are the best overall pick due to their wide and carefully-designed range of features. It is extremely comfortable across all its functions and is great for all types of sleeping positions.

CozyPhones separated themselves from the competition with some unique features. First up, these headband-type sleep headphones are made out of soft elastic fleece. Its texture is great and the comfort it brings is simply superb. Plus, it also comes with a kid’s variant making it perfect for the whole family.

It is a multi-function product that can be used as headphones, a sleep mask, and as a headband. Furthermore, it features a pair of ⅛” ultra-thin speakers that you can adjust to reach your ears better. They have a volume-limiting function to prevent users from reaching an unsafe level of listening. Users can also remove the speakers for easier washing.

Perhaps the only thing that stops this product from being totally perfect is its connectivity. Unlike the majority of the picks here today, this one is wired. Although the wire itself is a durable braided 52-inch cable, wires can still limit you and may even pose a safety threat during sleep.

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MUSICOZY Sleep Headphones

Best Sleep mask headphones
Close look at MUSICOZY Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at MUSICOZY Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Made with premium memory foam with ice silk lining for comfort
  • Wireless and runs with Bluetooth 5.0 technology
  • Fast charging capability with 10 hours of playing for 1-2 hours of charging time
  • Adjustable and suited for all sleeping positions
  • Washable

The MUSICOZY Sleep Headphones may not be the best overall sleep headphones in this list, but it definitely is the best sleep mask headphones out there. It has everything you can ask for from wireless connectivity to fast charging and premium build.

These headphones run in Bluetooth 5.0 which means that they can connect wireless to any compatible device within 33 feet. It features a pair of ultra-thin speakers that users can easily remove before washing the sleep mask. These two features alone have made the MUSICOZY sleep headphones a product for all sleeping positions, especially rollers.

These eye mask type headphones feature an eye cavity that enables users to freely open and close their eyes during bedtime. The same cavity prevents any fabric from touching the eyelids and possibly causing irritations. It is also lined with ice silk — a man-made version of silk that is more breathable and hypoallergenic.

Battery-wise, these headphones are also the best of their kind. It can run for a full 10 hours and can fully charge within 2 hours.

Other design considerations worth noting are the adjustable close-fitting nose pad and the elastic adjustable band. The former prevents light from penetrating from the nose area, while the latter allows a better fit.

It would have been great if they were waterproof but other than that these are nearly perfect. If you’re someone who is always on long travels or someone who moves a lot during sleep, MUSICOZY’s sleep headphones would be great.

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Kokoon Sleep Headphones

Best Noise-cancelling headphones for sleeping
Close look at Kokoon Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Kokoon Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Audio seal with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • Adaptive audio technology
  • Removable and washable flexmould comfort silicone ear cups
  • Package comes with a free sleep mask to facilitate relaxation better
  • Has a dedicated companion app

There aren’t a lot of over-ear headphones that were specifically built for sleep. For this particular reason, the Kokoon Sleep Headphones stands tall above its competition. Rightfully so, we’re naming these the best noise-cancelling headphones for sleeping.

Every little detail about these headphones point out to better sleep. For starters, it has Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and audio seal to seriously block out the noise for you. Not only that, it also has an adaptive audio feature that automatically fades your music and slowly introduces white noise as you sleep for better relaxation.

Build-wise, these headphones are extremely comfortable. It features a pair of detachable flexmould silicone ear cups. This material provides extra sealing without compromising comfort. The package also comes with a free sleep mask to complete the whole experience.

However, perhaps the greatest advantage of this over others is its companion app. The Kokoon Relaxation App contains several programs and sound techniques that will help you sleep and relax.

As great as these headphones are, they’re still not perfect. Since these are over-ear headphones, they cannot cater to side sleepers. Furthermore, the headphones were technically made to facilitate sleep. Kokoon recommends removing them before actually falling asleep.

Nonetheless, they are still a great pick and they really do well in inducing relaxation. If you’re someone who could use this, then grabbing it shouldn’t be a question anymore.

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MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs

Best for Side Sleepers
Close look at MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs (From: Amazon)
Close look at MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • Lightweight design with a double layer plug to ensure that it stays on
  • Passive Noise Cancellation provided by the ergonomic design
  • Silicone ear tips
  • In-line microphone and bonus zipper carry case makes these earphones great even for non-sleep situations

For side sleepers, who want a simple yet effective way to block and mask noise, the MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs is the way to go. Side sleepers vouch for these earphones due to their intelligent design.

First and foremost, they are very light. At 1.4g per earplug, you won’t even feel a thing when you’re wearing them. The double-layer or double flange design of the silicone ear tips were developed specifically to prevent the product from coming off. This ensures users that they’ll be able to utilize the product throughout their sleep.

Since they’re earplugs, it is only proper that they have passive noise isolation. These fit inside the ear canal. The snug fit physically prevents noise from leaking in the area. Not to mention, the double flange system that we mentioned earlier also adds another layer of sealing.

These also do not protrude much when worn inside the ears so you won’t feel any pressure (or pain) when sleeping on your side.

Outside of sleep, these earphones can still perform really well. It has an in-line microphone that can be used for calls. It has a 5mm speaker that has great treble and mids but leaves a lot to be desired in the bass department.

Because of the wire, we can only recommend them to upright and side sleepers who do not roll around in bed. For those who fit the description of who can use this, feel free to give this a go.

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Fulext Sleep Headphones

Best for People who Toss & Turn
Close look at Fulext Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)
Close look at Fulext Sleep Headphones (From: Amazon)

Key features:

  • 0.25-inch speakers with a built-in microphone
  • Multifunction: headband, sleep mask, and headphones
  • Can be used with or without a wire
  • 10 hours of playtime for 2 hours of charging when used wirelessly
  • Made out of highly elastic breathable mesh
  • Easy control panel

For the rollers out there, the Fulext Sleep Headphones can be your partner in sleep. With a combination of thin speakers, elastic material, and wireless capability, we are ranking this as the best for people who toss & turn.

The Fulext Sleep Headphones features a pair of 0.25-inch speakers. The same speakers have a built-in microphone and can be used with or without a wire. This dual connectivity capability is really big because it allows users to stay flexible no matter what sleeping position they have.

These are headband-type sleep headphones made out of breathable mesh. They fit snugly but comfortably, which makes them great for activities from workouts and, yes, tossing and turning during sleep.

The headphones can run for 10 hours on a 2-hour charge when it’s on wireless mode. You can also use the Easy Control Panel to control actions such as volume and playback.

The Fulext Sleep Headphones are only stretchable (not adjustable), though. It doesn’t have typical velcro or belts at the back so getting a good fit may be tough for people with smaller or larger heads than usual.

Nonetheless, if that’s not an issue, what makes it good is the fact that it allows rollers to be who they are in sleep. So if you’re looking for all-around sleep headphones that perform adequately, this is a good option.

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