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What features make the best headphones for sleeping? A good pair of sleep headphones starts with a comfortable fit that lets you enjoy soothing sounds, your favorite sleep playlist, or just reduced external noise to achieve better sleep quality. On-ear headphones and earbuds can work like portable white noise machines and help you sleep, but an ergonomic design is essential.
Unlike the top neckband headphones, the best pair of sleep headphones will let you rest more comfortably without getting in the way. For that reason, many prefer wireless headphones for sleeping. Next to comfort, sound quality is still very important, just as it would be when shopping for regular headphones. Audiophiles and musicians may especially appreciate a pair of comfortable sleep headphones that delivers great sound quality.
Finally, you may want to look for specific features to reduce ambient noise and promote deeper sleep. The top-rated sleep earbuds and wireless sleep headphones can usually connect to a smart alarm clock or your mobile phone via Bluetooth. Working with your favorite sleep app, they may be able to play frequencies that help sustain healthy sleep phase cycles. And since many find it difficult to sleep when it’s quieter than they’re used to, city-dwellers visiting the countryside may also consider sleeping headphones for white noise or a soothing playlist.
Keep reading to learn more about the best headphones for sleeping and how to choose the perfect wireless or wired headphones for your audio needs.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a stretchable, moisture-wicking nylon-spandex fabric, this headset fits most adults and children. It has a built-in microphone and controls for navigating through soundtracks and managing calls.
The Musicozy GH02 headphones have a groundbreaking headband style design that’s well-suited to exercise and sleep. This device uses Bluetooth 5.2 technology, offering dependable connectivity and low battery consumption. This device is available in a host of colors, including blue, black, pink, and green. It has a stretchable spandex-nylon fabric that fits smaller and larger heats. This fabric wicks away moisture, so it’s suitable for workouts, while 40mm composite sound drivers deliver outstanding audio. However, this unit has poor noise cancellation, which is why they’re not the greatest noise-canceling headphones for kids.
This headset is breathable, so it’s ideal for use in warm or cool weather. With a runtime of up to 10 hours, this device is convenient to use, and it charges fully in about 2 hours. A built-in microphone enables making calls. This device has an LED status light and it has controls for navigating through soundtracks as well as answering or terminating calls. This device has a one-button pairing mechanism that offers convenient installation.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: Advanced BLE 5.2 tech provides losslessly audio streaming and fast pairing. This device has a stretchable, breathable fabric that offers a universal fit. It has intuitive controls for simple operation.
Featuring a three-in-one design, these Perytong PTL01 headphones function as headphones, a sleep mask, and a sports headband. This device uses Bluetooth tech to connect seamlessly to a wide variety of inputs. It has ultra-thin construction that provides a pleasant fit. This headband headset boasts two thin speakers that deliver powerful sounds. On-the-head controls enable adjusting the volume and controlling the calls conveniently. However, this device’s control unit squeezes against the user’s forehead.
This headset runs on advanced Bluetooth 5.2 tech, providing blazing-speed pairing and lossless audio streaming. It has a breathable fabric that is stretchable to fit on heads small and big. This device has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that runs for up to 10 hours on a single charge and it charges fully in about 2.5 hours. Available in a selection of colors, this headset will appeal to most people.
Award: BEST CONTOURED SLEEP HEADPHONES
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a three-dimensional design that features a cutout for the nose area and a contoured eye area, this device offers comfort. It’s made of a soft, skin-friendly fabric and has an adjustable strap for comfort.
Thes LC-dolida LC002 headphones feature a sophisticated sunglasses-like design that makes a lasting impression. With an adjustable strap, users can customize the headphones for a perfect fit, and it is suitable for people with long hair and children. Using a Bluetooth 5.2 chip, this unit offers fast, lossless connectivity to devices ranging from phones to computers and gaming consoles. Made of high-quality memory foam, this device is lightweight and skin-friendly. However, it produces an annoying power-off audio alert that can interrupt sleep.
This headset has a battery life of about 10 hours and charges fully in just 2 hours. It has a cutout for the nose area for comfort, preventing light leakage for better sleep, and stretchy, breathable fabric provides a tight fit without being overbearing. A control panel enables controlling music and call volume as well as managing phone calls. This device has a 3D design with contours for the eye area, providing the ultimate comfort.
Award: BEST FOR WIRED CONNECTIVITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: A refreshing blue color scheme and brilliant forehead controls provide a sophisticated look. In addition to wireless pairing, this device comes with a 3.5mm cable for wired connectivity.
The Fulext FULH01 has a refreshing blue palette that offers a touch of refinement. It has an elastic fabric material, which is cozy and pleasant on the skin. This device comes with built-in speakers that deliver excellent music, and a microphone offers hands-free calls. The headset connects to a variety of devices via Bluetooth 5.2 tech, plugging into devices that are up to 33 feet away from the headset. However, this headset doesn’t get very loud.
An intuitive control panel enables controlling the volume and music playback, and the headset has controls for managing phone calls. This device comes with a built-in 240 mAh battery that provides up to 10 hours of music time, and the battery charges quickly in about 2 hours. This headband is removable and washable, so users can keep it in pristine condition. It has a moisture-wicking design that is ideal for sleep and exercise, and is also likely great headphones for a guitar amp.
Award: BEST IN-EAR SLEEPING HEADPHONES
WHY WE LIKE IT: With advanced noise-masking tech and access to dozens of curated tracks, this unit encourages the body to snooze. It has a remarkably lightweight design for comfort.
Designed for sleep, the Bose Sleepbuds II headphones are ideal for people with insomnia and other sleep issues. This headset lets users stream music or podcasts, reducing noise to facilitate sleep. They could be the top headphones for music. Bose’s proprietary noise-masking tech blocks out unwanted night-time disturbances to facilitate snoozing. With the Bose Sleep app, users can access a library of dozens of curated sounds to provide a fitting soundtrack to their sleep endeavors. However, the in-ear design may be uncomfortable for some people.
This Headset has soft silicone ear tips designed to optimize comfort all-night long. It comes with a rechargeable battery that runs for up to 10 hours before requiring recharging. An included storage case protects this device against impacts and scuffs and it doubles as a charging base, providing an additional 3 hours of music listening time. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tech, this device offers a reliable connection to both iOS and Android devices.
Award: BEST FOR EXERCISE
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a breathable, moisture-wicking band, this model is suitable not only for sleep but for jogs and games. It has an LED status light and intuitive controls for controlling calls and music playback.
These Lavince headphones feature a comfortable headband design that is ideal for women, men, and children. This device has a stretchy design that is suitable for various head shapes and hairstyles. Built-in Bluetooth 5.0 technology enables pairing with a wide variety of devices. This device is available in a wide variety of colors, including black, blue, and dark gray, and it charges fast in just 2 hours. However, this unit has mediocre noise cancellation.
It has a built-in rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that provides up to 10 hours of music streaming time and 12 hours of call time. Super-thin but powerful speakers deliver crisp sounds. This device has true HD Hi-Fi drivers that deliver excellent audio with accurate bass and treble. Made of a special fabric, this headset is quite breathable and has a moisture-wicking design, making it a good choice for exercise. It has many controls for managing music playback and audio calls.
Headphones for sleeping can be specialized models designed to help users get a good night’s sleep. Still, any sufficiently comfortable headphones or wireless earbuds with decent audio quality and some level of noise cancelation can work well for sleeping. The best pair of headphones to help you sleep better will depend on how much ambient noise there is, what sleep position you prefer, whether you use sleep masks, and whether you like built-in sounds or a playlist.
Compared to everyday headphones, models designed to help attain quality sleep have some distinguishing characteristics. Models with in-ear designs tend to fit in the ear more softly than traditional earbuds. On-ear sleep headphones tend to have a flexible, soft headband and use flat speakers.
Unlike traditional on-ear headphones, sleep-specific models rarely have earpieces with hard outer shells. These models have softer ear cups and padding to block excess noise at night but not interfere with eye masks.
Some headphones for sleeping have special features such as built-in options for sleep sounds, environmental noises, white noise, and a companion app that may work with your favorite sleep tracker or fitness tracker.
Sleep headphones more often use breathable fabric options to help maintain comfort during the hours of sleep. Wireless sleep headphones need sufficient power to last all night, or at least eight hours of battery life, which may not be required for other headphones and wireless earbuds.
Like other headsets, headphones, and earbuds, sleep models use a pair of speakers and connect to an audio device such as a phone, tablet, computer, smartwatch, or MP3 player. Like regular headphones, they often feature active noise cancellation to help mitigate external sounds.
Also, like regular earbuds and headphones, a sleep-focused pair of headphones can be wired or wireless. Wired models typically use a headphone jack 3.5mm connector, while the most common form of wireless connectivity for headphones today is probably Bluetooth 5.0 or later. Some models also use Wi-Fi.
Headphones for sleep work like a traditional headphone set, getting an audio signal via a wired or wireless connection and translating that signal into an electronic signal for the internal speaker components in each earpiece.
The top headphones for sleep quality often use flat speakers and softer speaker surrounds. Bulky headphones can get in the way depending on a user’s favorite sleeping position, so many headband-style sleep headphones have flexible, nearly flat built-in speakers and earcups with soft, breathable fabric that limit sound leakage while remaining wearable and providing all-night comfort.
Many of the top-rated sleep headphones come with features like a companion app. They can sometimes sync with sleep tracking, soothing sound apps, and fitness trackers. These functions can help automatically set white noise settings and volume levels and play for a set time to help you attain deep sleep. Some models have built-in headband-type sleep masks.
Many of the best wired and Bluetooth headphones have additional comfort features, such as hypoallergenic fabric headbands, pillow speakers, and a breathable mesh lining.
A new pair of headphones for sleeping can help achieve restful sleep in unfamiliar or difficult circumstances, such as traveling or visiting areas with very different levels of background environmental noises from what you’re used to. The right pair of headphones can also help improve sleep quality for chronically stressed people and insomniacs. Podcast headphones let you drift off to sleep while listening to your favorite sleep playlist, ASMR, or audiobook, although they aren’t very comfortable for side sleepers.
If you’ve moved or are visiting a location with extra traffic or other unwanted noises, a great set of noise-canceling headphones for sleeping may help bring restful sleep despite the circumstances. Sleep headphones can also be useful if you have a new pet or noisy neighbors.
Alternatively, a good set of headphones or headbands with speaker drivers might help improve your sleep quality if you’re staying somewhere very quiet and you’re used to having a little noise at night. City-dwellers often have trouble sleeping in the countryside, and a good set of earbuds or sleep headphones working with a sound app can help fill the void and make it easier to get to sleep. Headphones for teens who have trouble sleeping can also help reduce anxiety without disturbing others in the house.
Newer specialty sleep headphones offer advanced features and more up-to-date app compatibility than older models. Many of the latest models use ultra-thin speakers or pillow speakers for improved comfort. The audio quality of these units has also improved notably. Thanks to recent advances in flexible electronic components, headbands with speaker drivers and sleep masks can now output decent stereo sound and isolate the wearer from loud noises. Even affordable sleep headphones now offer noise cancellation and a wide range of comfort features.
Battery life has also improved dramatically, with the latest wireless flat headphones and earbuds offering up to a 13-hour battery life. New materials make modern headphones more breathable, and the latest electronic components allow for impressive audio quality from ultra-thin, nearly flat headphones.
Headphones and headsets generally last around five years. On-ear headphones generally last longer than earbuds. Wired headphones with a braided cable may be more durable than models that use a standard straight USB or 3.5mm aux cable.
Wireless sleep earbuds can be a great budget option for travel, but they typically don’t last as long as wired on-ear models or headband-style sleep headphones. The lifespan of wireless sleep headgear may be shorter due to the limitations of their small rechargeable batteries. These batteries generally last 500-1000 charge cycles.
Affordable sleep headphones have a shorter life expectancy when used primarily for travel. Headband-style sleep headphones kept and stored at home tend to last longer. Experts suggest keeping your headphones and other portable electronics in a cool, dry place when not in use.
Various factors can influence the choice of headphones for sleeping. Whether you’re looking for high-end sleeping headphones with a luxury sleep mask or budget sleep headphones for a quick trip, you’ll want to consider environmental noise and device compatibility. You’ll also want to factor in your favorite sleep position and what type of source device or music player you use.
Are You Traveling Often?
Suppose you’re primarily looking for sleeping headphones to help you get a good night’s sleep while traveling. In that case, you’ll likely want to consider portable, affordable sleep headphones or sleep mask headbands with speaker drivers. You might also want features like active noise cancelation for sleeping on planes and trains.
How Much Ambient Noise Do You Prefer?
The level of sound isolation can vary greatly between two pairs of headphones. So if you prefer extreme quiet, you might like over-ear models. If you need a little white noise or ambient sound while you sleep, you might choose active noise-canceling earbuds or headphones that work with white noise sound apps.
What Devices Do You Use?
If you use a mobile phone or smartwatch for cueing up a sleep playlist, you might prefer sleeping headphones with Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity. On the other hand, if you use a music player with a headphone jack and you don’t mind wires, a wired set of headphones can be a viable option.
What Sleep Positions Do You Find Comfortable?
Your favorite sleep headphones can also depend on your preferred sleep position. Side-sleepers often find bulky headphones and tight earbuds uncomfortable and might therefore prefer models with ultra-thin speakers.