10 best headphones for sleeping peacefully

Get some shut-eye by shutting out the noise with these headphones.

Woman sleeping wearing headphones

by Eleanor Weaver |

Sleep is precious and if you have a resident snorer, outside noise or other loud and irritating distractions taking place, it can be a nightmare to fall and stay asleep.

According to the Sleep Foundation, a good night's sleep is integral for your health with poor sleep impacting your mood, blood pressure and increasing your risk of diseases.

So to keep your beauty sleep in check, invest in some headphones for bedtime to block out the noise and help you feel refreshed come morning.

Read more: The 13 best sleep sprays and mists to help you drift off

Key features to look for in your headphones for sleeping

Comfort: To make sure you can sleep well, your headphones need to be comfortable enough to last the night. The comfort could also be dictated by your sleep position and the type of headphone you're used to wearing including earbuds (in-ear), headphones, and headbands.

Noise-cancelling or noise-reducing: If you have any hope of escaping the noise around you, your headphones need to able to cancel or, at the very least, reduce the noise to a comfortable level. Noise cancellation is best but this can vary depending on the product and the price you pay.

Wired or wireless: If you're an active sleeper, we'd recommend wireless headphones as a more practical option so you don't get caught up in any wires.

Woman sleeping with headphones
©Credit: Getty Images

Sound quality: If the sound is poor, or the music connectivity keeps going in and out, this is only going to distract you further from getting to sleep. Making sure your headphones have good sound quality means you'll be able to plug in and drop off.

Controls: While this might not seem important as you sleep, you have to make sure the placement of the control on your headphones won't interrupt your sleep. You don't want to be woken up by blasting music, all because you rolled onto your side and accidentally upped the volume!

Price: The price range can vary massively for headphones that are best for sleeping. There are some great affordable options but you can expect an increased range of function, quality, and durability with more expensive headphones.

We’ve picked the best 10 options available to buy today in different styles, but each keeping to our key specs to make sure you’re getting the best for your money.

10 best headphones for sleeping

These ultra-thin, adjustable headphones sit within a soft fleeced headband for optimal comfort when sleeping. Lightweight and cushioned, this newer contour version from CozyPhones has a cool mesh lining so you won’t get a hot ear or a hot head in the night. The durable, kink-free cable fits most phones with an earphone jack and will survive any tossing and turning in the night.

Battery life: N/A

Wireless: No – 132cm cable

Noise-cancelling: Noise-reducing

Sleep positions: Good for all sleep positions

Why we love: These headphones are washable so you don’t need to worry about the fabric getting dirty.

These headphones will act as a cosy bubble cupping your ears, helping to eliminate distractions and noise for the outside world. They’re designed to be comfortable and come with a free app on your phone that gives techniques, tracks, and concepts all developed with sleep professionals to optimise the chances of falling asleep. Many of these are based on CBT techniques, ideal for insomnia sufferers.

Battery life: 13+ hour battery life

Wireless: Yes – Bluetooth connectivity

Noise-cancelling: Active noise cancellation

Sleep positions: Good for winding down or back sleepers

Why we love: These headphones have adaptive audio that responds as you fall asleep – super smart!

The Damipow L29 Sleep Earbuds weigh only 2.7g on one side that adapts to your ears without exerting any pressure when you sleep on the side. In addition, the 3 pairs of different earplugs ensure the right fit. The unique earplugs make sure the wireless earbuds stay on your ears all night without falling. Ergonomically designed to insulate your ears from outside noises it will auto-stop sounds via Sleep Detection and even doubles as an in-ear alarm, great if you don’t want to disturb your partner as an early riser.

Battery life: Up to 12 hours, 3 hours with music playback and 8 hours continuous playback

Wireless: Yes – Bluetooth connectivity

Noise-cancelling: Noise-masking

Sleep positions: Good for all sleep positions

Why we love: These buds are all about improving your sleep quality and habits, and will monitor your heart rate during the night too.

This headband is great for bedtime story lovers as these headphones come with free access to over 20 hours' worth of hypnotic stories, created by sleep experts. Don’t worry, it’s compatible with other music and audiobook apps too, but we think this is a lovely extra! The elastic and breathable band is super comfortable with the adjustable headphones hidden beneath the thermoformed foam. It shouldn’t budge during the night and with the meditations, soundscapes, and more, you’re guaranteed a restful night’s sleep.

Battery life: Up to 10 hours with 2 hours charge

Wireless: Yes – Bluetooth connectivity

Noise-cancelling: Noise-reducing/isolating

Sleep positions: Ideal for side sleepers

Why we love: Not only do the free stories tick the boxes for us, they’re available offline too so you can truly disconnect even with your phone nearby.

Made from silicone, these headphones will block out snoring, background noise, and traffic to name a few and the soft gummy earplugs will sit comfortably in your ears. You can easily adjust the volume, skip, play or pause in bed using the controls on the cable without using your phone - no one likes seeing that glare in the middle of the night! You can even use it for hands-free calls, great for using on the go too, or for taking a call mid-power nap.

Battery life: 18 hour playtime and 2 hour quick charge

Wireless: Yes – Bluetooth connectivity

Noise-cancelling: Noise-isolating/reducing

Sleep positions: Good for all sleep positions

Why we love: The neckband means you won’t lose your earbuds in the bed!

Keep unwanted nighttime noise from interrupting your slumber with these sleepbuds that’ll create a calm and relaxing atmosphere for you to sleep in. They won’t play music or audiobook if that’s what you’re looking for. Instead, they deliver relaxing and noise-masking sounds that you can access via the simple Bose Sleep app. There are 40 specially curated sounds available and this tech has been clinically proven to help testers fall asleep faster.

Battery life: All night battery – up to 10 hours

Wireless: Yes – Bluetooth connectivity

Noise-cancelling: Innovative noise-masking technology

Sleep positions: Good for all sleep positions

Why we love: The storage case doubles as a charging port so you’ll never be short on battery life.

Designed to be durable and ergonomically fitted to your ear, they’ll seal out external sounds so you can enjoy your calming music, podcast, or audiobook in peace. While they’re designed mainly for side sleepers, reviewers have found them to be comfortable in all positions and reported that they stay in place, despite tossing and turning. They come with a sturdy zipper case for carrying on the go making them a great travel companion for helping to provide a quiet sleeping environment.

Battery life: All night battery – up to 10 hours

Wireless: No – 125cm wire

Noise-cancelling: Noise-isolating

Sleep positions: Designed for side sleepers, suitable for most

Why we love: These are great value – not only are they low in price, you get 2 so you have a back-up ready for taking out and about.

Available in a choice of colours including black, grey, blue, and pink, these headphones provide a double whammy with light and sound reduction. Worn as a sleep mask over the eyes, the mask is lightweight, breathable, and skin-friendly, with the thin speakers positioned softly over the ears. It’ll effectively block out light around the nose area with its ergonomic nose bridge design and the headphones can be removed for washing the mask, or letting it work as a sleep mask on its own.

Battery life: Up to 10 hours with 2 hour charge

Wireless: Yes – Bluetooth connectivity

Noise-cancelling: Noise-reducing/isolating

Sleep positions: Control module on front for versatile sleep positions

Why we love: As a sleep mask and headphones in one, you’re guaranteed a good night's sleep, especially in the summer when the morning light creeps through the blinds.

The QuietOn Sleep Earbuds were selected as the best sleep product at the Japan Sleep Expo 2019 and we can see why! With active noise cancellation, these nifty earbuds will target noise to reduce it, including different snoring frequencies. These earbuds are basically a huge level up from earplugs - they don’t play music or sound but will provide you with your very own portion of soothing Nordic Quietude. As a result, they are super easy to set up and have a prolonged battery life that beats the competition.

Battery life: Up to 20 hours

Wireless: Yes

Noise-cancelling: Active noise cancellation

Sleep positions: Good for all sleep positions

Why we love: These aren’t your traditional headphones but if you’re looking to cut out the noise, they'll do all the work to keep you in a tranquil state of peace and quiet.

Let your headphones compliment your favourite PJs with a choice of designs including black, grey, blue, wine, and even leopard print. This headband is designed similarly to the LC-Dolida Sleep Mask, but instead of a sleep mask, you have a super soft, breathable, and waterproof headband that fits comfortably around your forehead. Fast-drying, hypoallergenic, and moisture-wicking, it'll be a great option if you often suffer from night sweats and are worried about wearing something electrical as a result. To wash, simply take out the inside headset and clean with dish soap or detergent by hand.

Battery life: Up to 10 hours with 2 hour charge

Wireless: Yes – Bluetooth connectivity

Noise-cancelling: Noise-reducing/isolating

Sleep positions: Control module on front for versatile sleep positions

Why we love: These are not only a great choice for hot sleepers but for the heady height of summer too.

Things to listen to as you slumber

Audiobooks and podcasts

If you've always loved a bedtime story and need something to distract you from your surroundings or your own thoughts, an audiobook or podcast could be a great escape.

For podcasts, we're loving No Such Thing As A Fish for some amazing QI-style facts, we're hoping to absorb in our sleep!

For audiobooks, we'd recommend The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens for two really enjoyable and comforting books to listen to and free with an Audible membership trial.

Read more: The best eye masks for sleeping through the night

White noise

White noise is a mix of intense frequencies that work well to mask loud sounds that stimulate your brain. For this reason, it's often recommended to people with sleeping difficulties to help them switch off. Listen to the 10-hour video below as you sleep or listen to this white noise playlist on Spotify.

Meditations

To truly relax, try downloading a meditation app with great meditations geared towards sleep on your phone. Alternatively, look online for free meditations like this:

Nature sounds

The pitter-patter of rain, a rush of wind or the babbling of a brook - just some of the sounds of nature that could help calm you to fall asleep. Listen to this nature sounds playlist on Spotify or listen to this popular nature sounds video below with 34 million views:

ASMR

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a term for the sensation you can experience while listening to content aimed to soothe and send a tingle down from your scalp to the back of your neck and spine.

The ASMR response is generated through the sounds of whispers, tapping, crinkling and more, often using everyday items you wouldn't expect to send you to sleep!

This 'brain massage' can create a relaxing sensation, though it's a polarising sensation that not everyone enjoys.

Listen to the below with headphones to see if it's something that could help you sleep:

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