Many people find it difficult to sleep in noisy environments, but headphones as a sleep aid can help you relax and rein in your restless mind. Sleep headphones can make the difference between a restless night and a restful one, whether you have a snoring partner, toddlers, inconsiderate neighbors, or an overactive mind that disturbs you from time to time.

best sleep headphones
IMAGE: Oladimeji Ajegbile (Pexels)

Of course, if that pair costs a small fortune, you may want to think about saving up for something better instead. But since finding a pair of sleep-aid headphones can be a little challenging, here is our guide to buying the best sleeping headphones to get a good night’s sleep.

NameStyleSuitable Sleeping PositionPrice
Fulext Sleep HeadphonesHeadbandAnyBUY
Hoomband HeadbandHeadbandAnyBUY
Bose Sleepbuds IIIn-EarBack and SideBUY
Perytong Bluetooth Sports HeadbandHeadbandAnyBUY
Musicozy Sleepmask HeadphonesSleep MaskBack and SideBUY
Amazfit ZenBudsIn-EarBack and SideBUY

But before that, let’s understand the basics of sleep headphones – their purpose, why they exist, how they can help, the different types available, and how to choose one. If you want to jump in directly to our picks of best sleep headphones, click here.

Why Should You Use Sleep Headphones?

This is really a controversial topic for people. Should you use headphones to help you fall asleep? The short answer is yes! A good night’s rest can be greatly improved by using sound technology, and since it makes it easier to relax and sleep, sleep aid headphones are a great way to improve your sleep.

Here are some of the benefits of using sleeping headphones:

1. Music can enhance your sleep in both qualitative and quantitative ways

When you listen to music, your brain is more likely to relax and enter the state of consciousness necessary to fall asleep. Music allows you to relax and calm your mind, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. It is comparable to the effect lullabies have on babies, calming them down and helping them fall asleep.

2. Music can help you relax and focus on sleep

It is also known that music has a calming effect on the brain and helps reduce stress levels associated with sleep deprivation. Most of today’s relaxation music has 70 to 80 beats per minute, which is the body’s pulse rate. This helps the body to calm down and even leads to sleep.

3. Music catalyzes the release of magic chemicals

When you listen to music, certain chemicals are released into your brain and body, making you feel more relaxed. This is what is known as the Mozart effect. These substances include dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which help rid the brain of the serotonins that can keep us awake. Also, if you listen to the music you like, you are less likely to be interrupted by negative thoughts, which increases the effect.

4. ANC helps you block out all the sounds and helps you relax

Sleep headphones help you sleep better by blocking out noise. This is done with the help of ANC technology, which stands for active noise cancellation. When you use a pair of sleep headphones with this technology, it helps to reduce or completely block out sounds around you so that you can relax and fall asleep more easily.

What Should You Look For in Sleep Headphones?

Now that you know how music can help you relax and fall asleep let us talk about what to look for when buying headphones to help you fall asleep. Some of the most important considerations are the following:

1. Style and Functionality

Look for headphones that provide the most natural and comfortable feeling possible. There are several types of sleep headphones, such as over-ear headphones, in-ear headphones, headbands, and sleep masks. Each of these types of headphones has its own advantages and disadvantages.

I. Over-ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones are bulky and difficult to wear if you are a side sleeper. However, they are ideal for front or back sleepers. They are usually equipped with sophisticated features such as full noise cancelation, high-quality sound, and high fidelity. Are you looking for the best noise-canceling sleep headphones? These are your best bet, but they are not very comfortable.

II. In-ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are more comfortable to wear and have a smaller size. Since they are worn in the ear, they provide better noise isolation. On the other hand, in-ear headphones have a higher risk of ear damage and infection. To avoid ear infections and other complications, you must regularly clean them.

III. Headbands

Headbands are one of the most comfortable types of sleep headphones. They are more comfortable and flexible than earbuds while still allowing movement, making them especially suitable for people who side-sleep. Unfortunately, they do not necessarily have the best sound quality. Since they only consist of ultra-thin speakers, they also have the least noise isolation/noise cancelation of all types.

IV. Sleep Mask

A sleep mask is a sleep headset with eye sockets and nose pads. They are intended for use only during sleep. They block out light and limit the amount of light that enters the eyes so you can fall asleep faster. Sleep masks do not completely prevent the passage of sound but reduce it to the wearer’s taste.

V. Wired Headphones

Wired headphones are connected to the audio device with a cable. The advantage of wired headphones is that they usually provide better sound quality than wireless headphones. However, the cables can be annoying, making them difficult to sleep with.

VI. Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones use Bluetooth or other wireless technologies to connect to the audio device. The advantage of wireless headphones is that they are much easier to sleep with. However, the sound quality may not be as good as wired headphones. Also, they have limited battery life, so they may not last a whole night.

2. Comfort Level

Since you will be wearing your sleep headphones for several hours, it is important to choose a comfortable pair. If you are someone who tosses and often turns while sleeping, you may want to opt for headbands or sleep masks.

If you have sensitive skin, you should look for headphones made of soft and comfortable materials. You should also look for adjustable headphones to find the perfect fit for your head size.

3. Sound Quality

Choosing headphones with good sound quality is important so you can enjoy your music without interruptions. Look for headphones with high-quality drivers and wide frequency response.

Also, look for headphones with noise cancelation so that you can block out all outside noise and concentrate fully on your music.

4. Ease of Use

Choose headphones that are easy to use, so you can put them on and take them off easily. Look for headphones that come with a carrying case so you can keep them safe when you are not using them.

Also, look for headphones with long battery life, so you do not have to worry about them running out of power in the middle of the night.

5. Build Quality

It’s important to choose headphones that are well-built and durable, so they last a long time. Look for headphones that have a good warranty in case something goes wrong.

You should also look for sweat-resistant headphones with a comfortable fit so you can wear them for a long time without discomfort.

6. Price

Choose headphones that fit your budget and offer the features you are looking for. Do not spend more money than necessary on headphones you’ll only use for sleeping.

There is a wide selection of sleep headphones at different prices, so make sure you do your research before you buy.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing headphones for sleep support. Before buying a new pair of headphones, do your research and consider all the factors before making your final decision.

7. Other things to consider

There are other factors you should take into consideration as well. For example, the level of background noise and sharp treble spikes can be distracting and make it difficult to fall asleep. Sleep headphones are typically neutral and balanced, with low impedance so they don’t disturb your slumber.

They also need to be comfortable, durable, and have a long battery life–you don’t want them to run out of power in the middle of the night!

Finally, you want the headphones to remain on your head or in your ears throughout the entire night.

Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Sleep Headphones

1. Fulext Sleep Headphones: The Game Changer For Every Sleep

fulext sleep headphones

These are the best wireless sleep headphones with a headband you can buy. Great sound, excellent comfort, and a battery life of more than 10 hours with 2 hours of charging. A favorite among music lovers and sleep enthusiasts. Designed specifically for side sleepers, they provide a great fit and seal without having to lie down and keep you safe while you sleep.

The headband material is soft and comfortable, made of a breathable fabric that is very durable and also machine washable. With Bluetooth 5.2 and a built-in microphone, they are perfect for calls and streaming music.

Highlights:

  • Wireless Bluetooth headphones with built-in mic
  • Comfortable and durable headband material, breathable as well
  • 10+ hours of battery life on 2 hours charge
  • Easy to use control panel

Limitations:

  • USB-C is not included
  • Poor noise canceling

Price: $19.99

Buy Fulext Sleep Headphones | Buy on Amazon.in

2. Hoomband Headband: Combination of Music And Hypnosis

hhomband headband

Hoomband wireless headband is designed to help people sleep and relax. It offers a unique combination of music, targeted hypnosis, and subliminal affirmations that can be accessed through the Hoomband app. The Hoomband app has more than 100 hours of sleep hypnosis, meditation music, and stories curated by professional sleep experts.

The material of the headband is ultra-thin and is made of 3D material. It is soft and comfortable and includes an extra layer of foam padding on the speakers for added comfort.

Highlights:

  • Dedicated Hoomband app for music and hypnosis
  • Ultra-thin and breathable headband material
  • Highest noise reduction in a category
  • Great 10+ hours battery life
  • 3D foam padding adds more comfort

Limitations:

  • Costlier than other headphones

Price: $79.90

Buy Hoomband Wireless Sleeping Headphone

3. Bose Sleepbuds II: True Sleepbuds

bose sleepbuds ii

Unlike the headbands mentioned above, the Bose Sleepbuds II are designed as earbuds, so they sit in the ear. Their ergonomic design makes them comfortable for most people to wear. Bose’s noise-masking technology helps you fall asleep faster, and music can only be played through the Bose app. The special sound library contains various genres of sleep music and has been user-tested.

The Ni-Hydride batteries last up to 10 hours on a single charge. The soft silicone earbuds fit comfortably, and the bendable fins on the earbuds keep them in place. The Sleepbuds II is really one of the best Sleepbuds, but it is quite expensive.

Highlights:

  • Small, lightweight, and comfortable
  • Ergonomic design and noise-masking technology
  • Special Bose sleep music library
  • 10 hours battery life on a single charge
  • Music only from Bose app

Limitations:

  • Expensive and not suitable for everyone
  • Users may experience ear fatigue after prolonged use

Price: $249

Buy Bose Sleepbuds II

4. Perytong Bluetooth Sports Headband: Multipurpose Sleepheadphones

perytong bluetooth sleep band

Launched in 2019, the Perytong Sleep Headband remains the go-to choice for many, especially athletes, as it blocks outside noise and ensures you can focus on both training and sleep. The headband is on the Amazon best-seller list and has received thousands of positive reviews. It is designed to fit comfortably and keep you cool while working out and sleeping. It is lightweight and does not cause sweat or heat buildup.

The headband material is stretchy and feels soft to the touch. The battery life of 10 hours is enough for a restful sleep.

Highlights:

  • Breathable fabric to keep you cool and comfortable
  • Bluetooth 5.2, connectivity up to 33 yards
  • Ultra-thin speakers with optimum sound quality
  • 24 months warranty

Limitations:

  • A loud beep from the volume control
  • Fragile and may break

Price: $19.99

Buy Perytong Ultra Thin Sleep Headphones | Buy on Amazon.in

5. Musicozy Sleepmask Headphones: Unmatched comfort at the best price.

musicozy sleep headphones

Musicozy wireless sleep mask headphones are made of soft, cozy lycra material that feels incredibly comfortable and fits snugly enough to keep you comfortable all night long. The ergonomic design features eye cutouts that allow you to adjust the fit to your personal comfort, while the high-tech material is breathable and cool.

The headphones are Bluetooth-enabled and feature noise-canceling technology that suppresses unwanted noise so you can fall asleep faster. The eye pads block out light so you can fall asleep in peace.

Highlights:

  • 3D ergonomic design for maximum comfort
  • Stretchable and adjustable elastic band
  • Quality sound
  • Zero pressure to eyes

Limitations:

  • Lycra cloth is slippery

Price: $22.58

Buy MUSICOZY Headphones

Honorable Mention: Amazfit ZenBuds

The Amazfit ZenBuds are a great set of headphones for sleeping. They come with four different-sized silicone eartips, which is one more than the Bose Sleepbuds. Additionally, they use advanced features like sleep tracking – something we had to rely on our Apple Watch for in the past.

While they lack advanced features like a timer and sleep detection function, they offer better sound isolation than the Bose Sleepbuds. The Amazfit app also has an interesting sound library that you can explore. However, be aware that the app is not stable and often freezes.

The headphones will provide 12 hours of playback on a single charge and the charging case will give you another 56 hours of playback – perfect for when your charger is left behind.

As you can see, we don’t have a single Wired or over-the-ear sleep headphone on our list. That’s because we don’t think they are comfortable for most people. Of course, each person is different. And if you are someone who is sure about picking up one of these, we have a couple of options:

    • Wired Speed Headphones

MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs

    • Over-the-ear Sleep Headphones

Kokoon Sleep headphones

Price: $129.99

Buy Amazfit ZenBuds

FAQs on Best Headphones for Sleeping

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While sleep headphones are safe for most people, if you listen to music at a high volume or wear headphones that protrude into your ear canal, you could be at risk of developing a swimmer's ear. This condition is caused by bacteria entering the ear canal and can lead to permanent damage or loss of hearing if left untreated.

Most comfortable would obviously be using something like smart pillows but they aren't really effective. The next best option for most people are headband sleeping headphones considering they are fine to use even if you are a side sleeper.

It is a common belief that sleeping with headphones can cause headaches. This is because the headphones put pressure on the ears, which can lead to a compression headache. External compression headaches are often caused by wearing improper headgear while sleeping, so avoid using earbuds meant for sleep that fit snug in the ear with proper headgear to prevent this from happening.

Sleep Masks with Bluetooth headphones like Perytong that we have covered in this article are best suited for side sleepers. Users have the option to either place them on their foreheads or on their eyes. Considering they are lightweight, sleep mask headphones are most comfortable for side sleepers.

When it comes to headphones for sleeping, some people might think that sound is essential. However, that's not always the case. In fact, many people find that headphones without sound are better suited for getting a good night's sleep. This is because the last thing you want when trying to relax and drift off to dreamland is something jarring or annoying going on in your ears. Of course, this all depends on personal preference.

Here are some of the best sleep headphones alternatives:

1. Foam Earplugs - If you find that noise keeps you awake, earplugs can be a great way to block out sound. Look for plugs made of foam or silicone, which will form a snug seal in your ears and keep out noise.

2. Custom Molded Earplugs - These custom-molded earplugs fit your ears perfectly, and they're often more comfortable and effective than standard earplugs. But they will be pricier.

3. White noise generators - These devices emit a steady stream of white noise, which can help mask other sounds and promote relaxation. You can find white noise generators in many different sizes and styles, from small tabletop models to apps that run on your phone or tablet.

4. Bluetooth Smart Pillow speakers - It's a nice option if you are sleeping alone as they are better than the mono-directional bed-stand speaker.

Most sleep headphones have a battery life of 10-12 hours, which should be more than enough time for most people. Of course, it's always important to check the return and exchange policies just in case something happens that causes them to need to be replaced sooner. There are some models which last over 45 hours on a single charge!

Some people find noise-canceling headphones very comfortable in bed, while others find that they can be bulky and restrict their range of motion. If you like to move around a lot while you sleep, over-ear noise-canceling headphones might not be the best option for you.

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