The Best Sleep Headphones

Learn how sleep headphones help you sleep and find the best ones for you.

By Ashley Little

Aug 26th, 2022

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[By clicking on the product links in this article, Mattress Advisor may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Read full disclosure statement.]

It’s safe to say that everyone has experienced a restless night before. Whether you’re traveling or sleeping in a new place, it’s hard to shut off the noise in our minds and achieve that beautiful, REM sleep phase. So, what do you do when you can’t fall asleep?

Listening to music, meditation guides, or podcasts has proven to be a great natural remedy that helps people relax and drift off to sleep. But sometimes, when sharing the bed with a partner or spending the night in a hotel, you can’t necessarily fill your bedroom with relaxing tunes, and regular earphones can cause discomfort, making it difficult to sleep.

Cue sleep headphones.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about sleep headphones and show you our favorite options. Can’t wait to see the best picks? Click below to jump down to see our favorite sleep headphones.

What Are Sleep Headphones?

Sleep headphones are specifically made for (you guessed it), sleep! Investing in headphones that are designed for the purpose of keeping you comfortable and restful all night long is the key to gaining a better night’s sleep naturally.

Using standard headphones can actually affect your ears in a negative way. Allowing the hard frame of standard headphones poke and prod your ears all night long can result to pain and potentially damaging/ rupturing your eardrum or ear canal.

Standard Headphones vs. Sleep Headphones

The difference between standard headphones and sleep headphones is based on their purpose. Standard headphones are designed to make music, for gaming, or for communicating with others. Sleep headphones are designed to cancel out noise and provide comfort during sleep. The appearance of sleep headphones is also different from what standard headphones look like.

Types of Sleep Headphones

There are two main types of sleep headphones: noise isolation and noise cancelling.

Noise-isolation sleep headphones

These headphones will not provide any noise at all. The purpose of these headphones is to manually isolate your ears from hearing anything internally or externally. They typically cover your ears entirely or sit snug inside each ear.

Noise-cancelling sleep headphones

These headphones are designed with the help of technology. Instead of isolating noise altogether, they use soothing sounds to cancel out the noise you don’t want to hear and replace it with noises that will relax you. The sounds provided typically range from nature-like to alpha waves to even sounds like a buzzing noise. There are also Bluetooth-enabled sleep headphones that allow you to listen to music, podcasts, or movies/TV shows.

Ultimately, it’s best to purchase something you know will work for you.

How Do Sleep Headphones Improve Sleep?

The number one reason reported for restlessness is external distractions. When we hear outside noises, we tend to prevent ourselves from achieving the ideal phase of sleep which is REM sleep.

REM sleep is known as rapid eye movement. When you reach this phase, studies show that this is the ideal phase in order to wake up feeling rejuvenated and energized. Sleep headphones help to cancel out those unwanted noises. They prevent you from tossing and turning or waking up in the midst of a good night’s rest.

Also, some of us just have trouble turning off our minds when we hit the bed. Listening to music or playing your favorite podcast will help limit your thoughts from wandering and the hope is that you’ll eventually fade into a deep sleep.

The Best Headphones For Sleeping

acousticsheep sleepphones


AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic Sleep Headphones

The AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic is designed as a headband, making it the most comfortable headband-style headphones. It’s very lightweight which prevents most from even noticing it’s there while asleep. These are also designed with hypoallergenic fabric, so they soothes even the most sensitive of skin types.

Within the headband are two thin speakers that can be removed. The speakers are so thin you can’t feel them when you lie on your side but we assure you that they carry a strong sound to cancel out all the noise. The headphones are compatible with smartphones, iPods, MP3 players, computers, tablets, radios, CD players and noise machines.

These headband headphones are ideal for side sleepers. The headband is soft and padded, while still remaining breathable. They deliver the perfect amount of comfort and compact, blocking out all the unwanted, external noise.

Another feature that makes these headphones the best bang for your buck is the capability to turn into an eye mask! Not only are they active noise cancelling, but they are double-wrapped with the intention to be used as a sleep mask if needed. This feature makes for great traveling!

dubslabs sleepphones


Dublabs Bedphones

These ear headphones are definitely a little pricey but they are said to be the thinnest on-ear headphones on the market! The Dublabs Bedphones are so thin and comfortable, you won’t even know they are there. They are designed with a soft, foam-covered material that is perfect for on-ear insertion.

Not only are they super thin, but they’re wireless and maintain a battery life of 13 hours so they’ll last you all night long and then some. Not to mention, they come with a travel pouch to carry, a free eye mask, a USB charger and an additional set of foam earphones to exchange if needed. The Dublabs Bedphones offer a one-year warranty as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you want to indulge yourself in the best sleep headphones experience, these are the ones to buy.

cozyphones sleepheadphones


CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

If you’re looking for something that has a great track record and remains affordable, the CozyPhones Sleep Headphones are a safe bet! These headphones are a great fit for families. Cozyphones offers a variety of colors and sizes, working well for small children!

CozyPhones has a very similar design to SleepPhones. They are designed with the same headband concept, as well as offering the small, thin speakers that are within the headband.

One thing that is super beneficial is the material that CozyPhones is made out of — it’s a fleece fabric, which is great for people who tend to get hot when they sleep. All in all, the price point is a huge factor that plays into these sleep headphones.

If you’re trying to discover new ways to sleep better throughout the night but you’re unsure of what will actually work, choosing an affordable option like CozyPhones is a good trial run to see if this could be the fix you’ve been looking for.

Noise cancellation is a proven remedy to gaining better sleep throughout the entire night, and it’s important to protect your ear canals from standard headphones when you’re trying to sleep.

These three types will offer you maximum comfort, carry a strong battery life, and are proven to help sleep soundly and strongly throughout the entire night!

Looking for more accessories to help you slumber comfortably? Check out our favorite pillows, pajamas, and more!