💨 In a hurry? My top pick is QuietOn 3.1.
🛌 Best for side-sleepers
💥 Strongest noise cancelation
In a perfect world, we would all fall asleep listening to the gentle lapping of waves against the shore, a softly crackling open fire, or Tom Hanks singing us a lullaby.
But sadly, the world isn’t perfect and the reality is that at bedtime most of us have the dulcet tones of roommates clattering around, a snoring bedfellow, neighbors blaring their TVs — maybe dogs barking, traffic roaring, or curbside conversations keeping us up.
Even those who live in more rural areas can find themselves contending with tinnitus or a partner snoring in the night.
Sleep quality is fundamental to our wellbeing, and it’s not surprising that as hearable technology advances, many headphones and earbuds aiming to improve our sleep quality have flooded the market.
Today, we’re going to look at the best noise-canceling headphones, designed specifically to be worn in bed, on the sofa, while traveling, or even in the break room at work to help you get the revitalizing shut-eye you deserve.
Snoring, tinnitus, neighbor noise, and more.
If you’ve made it to this page, there’s a good chance your missing some precious hours of sleep and looking for some relief. There are lots of reasons that a pair of sleep headphones might be on your list. Some of the most common:
- Sleep headphones can play white or pink noise that provides tinnitus relief
- Sleep headphones and sleep earplugs can keep out your partner’s snore or your neighbors loud music
- Some headphones below can act as a private alarm clock that doesn’t wake the house
8 Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sleeping Through Anything
We reviewed dozens of noise-canceling sleep headphones for comfort, quality and features (hello fellow side-sleepers 👋). Our work is funded through reader support. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.
Qualities to look out for in a pair of sleep headphones
• Dual function — some noise-canceling earbuds double up as headphones you can use to listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. While this might mean you get more bang for your buck, think about whether the temptation to fall down a YouTube rabbit hole in bed until 3 am would be too great.
• Price — a lot of noise-canceling headphones are packed full of smart tech, meaning that they can be a fairly steep investment. While there are substantially cheaper options available, paying around the $250 mark is not abnormal. Have a think about what tech features are best for you, and what fits your budget.
• Style — side sleeper, back sleeper, writhing around like a starfish: whatever your sleep-style there’s a pair of headphones for you. The most common are wireless in-ear buds, but you’ll also find wired versions, on-the-ear tin-can style ones, and even sweatbands with built-in speakers. Remember to consider your comfort before you buy.
Let’s dig into the best options on the market.
1. QuietOn 3.1— Purchase for $289
(10% discount with code SleepSoundly)
Headquartered in Finland, QuietOn’s mission is to make “Nordic Quietude accessible to everyone at all times”. Company founders Janne and Matti are both ex-Nokia employees whose idea for an active noise canceling earbud was launched on Indiegogo in 2015. Since then, they have launched three versions of their award-winning earplugs and raised millions from crowdfunding.
TechRadar named them the best earplugs for sleeping in 2021, and as a consumer it’s easy to see why. QuietOn 3.1 comes with a 28 hour battery life, a 1 year warranty, and a 14 day money back guarantee. They are the smallest active noise canceling (ANC) device on the market, and boast an ergonomic shape designed not to get in the way of your comfort, even if you sleep on your side. I
t’s important to note however, that the QuietOn 3.1 does not have playback capabilities and unlike some of the entries on this list cannot double up as headphones during the day.
Compact, comfortable design
Impressive battery life
On the expensive side
Can’t be used as regular headphones
Purchase for $289 (10% discount with code SleepSoundly)
2. Kokoon Nightbuds — Purchase for $289.99
Known for their smart tech Relax Headphones — on ear headphones which offer active noise cancelation, white noise, and noise isolation to improve sleep — Kokoon is about to launch a sleeker version of their well-loved original. Kokoon Nightbuds are advertised as the world’s thinnest earbuds,
promising barely-there comfort while you sleep. While these earbuds swap the ANC technology of their larger, over-ear counterpart, Nightbuds use passive noise canceling technology along with “intelligent noise masking”, which Kokoon says outperforms even the best ANC headphones on the market.
Both the over-ear and in-ear versions have special sensors which monitor and analyze your heart rate and sleep activity, connecting to the MyKokoon app which offers useful feedback and tips for a better night’s sleep.
Both options allow you to play relaxing sounds from the app, and stream your own audio from Spotify, Audible, and more. The Nightbuds are the ultimate in versatility, however, with a 10 hour charge and in-built microphone for making and receiving calls.
Double as regular headphones
Specialized app for soundscapes and sleep tracking
Sleek, comfortable design
On the expensive side
Battery life is adequate but not extraordinary
3. Bose Sleepbuds II — Purchase for $249
When taking a chance on a new technology, it can be comforting to buy from a brand you know. Bose has a global reputation for producing quality, affordable audio tech. They are particularly known for their developments in noise-canceling technology, so you know you’re in good hands if you’re looking to block the world out and get some rest.
Like the QuietOn 3 Bose Sleepbuds don’t double up as headphones, but they do pair exclusively with the Bose Sleep App, which allows the user to browse a library of relaxing noise masking sounds, download their favorites, and design their own “sleepscapes”. They are slimline, comfortable, and combine the passive noise canceling technology of the silicone ear tips with noise masking tech, which they claim is more effective than ANC for getting good quality sleep.
Compact in-ear design for sleep comfort
Can play audio, but only from the paired app
4. Loop - Purchase for $20
Easy on the ears and on the wallet, Loop earbuds are a budget-friendly alternative to tech-heavy noise canceling headphones. A great beginner pair if you are on the fence about whether noise canceling headphones are for you, Loop offers a range of protection from Loop Quiet, which reduces noise by 25 - 27 decibels, and their Experience and Experience Pro, which offers background noise reduction while keeping speech and other sounds clear.
Their Quiet model is recommended for sleep, and all models can be washed and reused infinitely. Loop has a lifetime guarantee, and the company will replace any broken or worn-out parts free of charge.
Don’t need recharging
Simpler design with no active noise canceling technology
Can’t be used as headphones for music
5. SoundOff Sleep V3 — Purchase for $179.95
“Designed with side sleepers in mind”, the SoundOff Sleep V3 Noise Masking Earbuds are a lightweight, hearing aid style device which play a pink noise specially developed by the company.
A single charge gives up to 16 hours of playback time, and the 8 levels of volume control allow you to tailor the experience to suit your preferences. These earbuds also come with a charging case with a 7 day power reserve, making them ideal for travel or those on the go. They have plenty of rave reviews online, with lots of users noting their effectiveness at blocking out their partners’ snoring.
Long battery life
Only one option for audio playback
6. SleepPhones - Purchase wireless for $99.95
SleepPhones by AcousticSheep are a product designed specifically for comfortable audio playback during sleep. The unique sweatband style uses soft fabric (either fleecy or breathable, depending on whether you sleep hot or cold), and has two slimline speakers built in to fit snugly over your ears.
The speakers are removable, so you can easily take them out and wash the headband as often as needed. The materials and production processes are also eco-friendly and lead-free.
While they aren’t as expensive as most of the options listed here, their noise canceling abilities are limited. The headband simply sits over your ears, and doesn’t create a seal like in-ear headphones or over-the-ear style ones.
The main draw here is that they allow you to comfortably play music, meditation tracks or other audio of your choice to mask the sounds that bother you at night.
Soft, comfortable design for sleep
Good for those who dislike earbuds
Less expensive than most
You can use them as regular headphones
No ANC technology, only noise masking
Wired option is cheaper, but risks getting tangled while you sleep
Wireless $99.95 (use code SOUNDLY for 10% off orders over $99)
7. AirPods Pro Noise-Canceling Headphones
If you are an iPhone user, there’s a chance you already have a pair of AirPods Pro in your home (note that standard AirPods do not come with noise cancelation). Apple is largely responsible for kickstarting the true-wireless earbud movement with their original AirPods in 2016.
Today their product is fantastic for Apple users in just about every. The noise cancelation features in AirPods Pro are powerful, and while the form factor is larger (important for side sleepers) than QuietOn, AirPods are not a shabby option.
Excellent overall technology (day and night use)
Works seamlessly with most sleep apps and music apps
Offers ANC and masking options (if you use an app)
Larger than the smallest options like QuietOn
Does not work well for non-iPhone users
8. Off Brand Eye Mask + Sleep Headphones — Purchase for $22.59
This Amazon favorite combines a comfortable eye mask with Bluetooth-enabled speakers that can play directly from your phone. Don’t let the inexpensive price fool you, this product has been reviewed over 13,000 times on Amazon with over 80% 4 and 5-star reviews.
The eye mask and sleep headphones combo are perfect for travel or especially challenging environments where both light and sound might hold you back from your best sleep.
A budget friendly option
Eye mask to compliment sleep headphones
Comfortable for side sleepers
Overall sound quality matches the price (i.e. it’s nothing to write home about)