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Best Headphones for Sleep

Posted on February 21 2020

Headphones of all kinds have exploded in growth over the last few years; the entire market is expected to almost double by 2022.

But manufacturers have largely ignored an area that has huge potential: sleep.

Most headphones just aren’t designed for use while sleeping. They’ll make you feel uncomfortable, sometimes sweaty, and will probably not stand up to all the tossing and turning of your snooze time.

Do people actually want sleep headphones though? Yes. Absolutely yes. Kokoon raised $2,000,000 on Kickstarter for “EEG Sleep Headphones.” Similarly, Sleep Shepard raised $675,000 for a tracker that uses sound to help you sleep. And the heavyweight that is Bose raised $450,000 for sleep buds.

Even at Pzizz, we get asked all the time about what to pair with our sleep app for the best results.

Unfortunately no one has delivered on the promise of great sleep headphones. At least, not yet. That said, there are some good-enough options on the market today, and this is our always-up-to-date guide on what we’ve reviewed so far so you can find something that works for you.

The Contenders

Plugfones Executive

★☆☆☆☆ — Comfort
★★☆☆☆ — Build Quality
★☆☆☆☆ — Sound Quality
★★★★☆ — Noise Isolation

Price: ~$30 USD. Link to buy.

Comfortable for: back and face down sleepers

Bottom Line: Skip these. It seems like such a good idea to put sound in ear plugs! But the execution falls short. Because the way the cord is designed you can’t really fall asleep on your side. Also the build is shoddy, and the sound quality is terrible. On the plus side, the sound isolation is pretty good.

Cozyphones

★★★☆☆ — Comfort
★★★☆☆— Build Quality
★★☆☆☆ — Sound Quality
★☆☆☆☆ — Noise Isolation

Price: ~$20 USD. Link to buy.

Comfortable for: back, face down, and side sleepers

Bottom Line: Worth considering. If you don’t mind wearing a headband while you sleep this could be for you. It’s made out of a sports-meshy type material; heat trapped by the headband might be an issue in hotter places. If you prefer something more cotton-like try the Firik (see below).

Firik

★★★☆☆ — Comfort
★★★☆☆ — Build Quality
★★☆☆☆ — Sound Quality
★☆☆☆☆ — Noise Isolation

Price: ~$12 USD. Link to buy.

Comfortable for: back, face down, and side sleepers

Bottom Line: Worth considering.Very similar to the Cozyphones (above), but with a more breathable, cotton-ish material. The speaker-pads inside the headband can move around a bit, so they may need adjusting from time to time to properly rest on your ear. If you find the sound seems distant or weak, it’s probably because the speaker-pads need to be shifted.

XIKEZAN Bluetooth Eye Mask

★★☆☆☆ — Comfort
★★☆☆☆ — Build Quality
★☆☆☆☆ — Sound Quality
★☆☆☆☆ — Noise Isolation

Price: ~$30 USD. Link to buy.

Comfortable for: back, face down, and side sleepers

Bottom Line: Skip these.It’s an interesting idea to combine a mask with wireless bluetooth headphones, but like the plugfones, the execution falls short. The mask is thick and pretty hot. The speakers don’t actually rest on the ears and that could be a source of discomfort over longer periods of time. Also, if you have the music too loud, it may be slightly audible to nearby sleepers (e.g. a partner in bed).

Maxrock Sleep Earbuds

★★★★☆ — Comfort
★★★☆☆ — Build Quality
★★☆☆☆ — Sound Quality
★★★☆☆— Noise Isolation

Price: ~$12 USD. Link to buy.

Comfortable for: back, face down, and side sleepers

Bottom Line: Worth Considering.These earbuds are lightweight and sit really flush in the ear. They have a very low physical profile in terms of how obtrusive they are, which is a nice thing for sleep headphones. The fit is a little flimsy though so if you roll around they may easily pop out of the ears, especially for side sleepers. If you don’t mind in-ear earbuds, these are probably your best bet.

Apple Airpods

★★★★☆ — Comfort
★★★★★ — Build Quality
★★★☆☆ — Sound Quality
★★☆☆☆ — Noise Isolation

Price: ~$159 USD. Link to buy.

Comfortable for: back, face down, and side sleepers (depending on the pillow and your ear)

Bottom Line: Worth Considering.If normal apple earpods fit your ear well, then these could be great for you. While the sound quality and isolation is nothing to write home about, having a wireless experience with earbuds that sit pretty flush with the ear is a bit magical. No fumbling wires in bed. No giant gear around your head.

Side sleepers with firmer pillows might have some ear discomfort depending on how these fit in your ear, but this is something that comes down to personal preference that you’ll need to try out. Another consideration: the battery life on these is 5 hours max. So if you listen to sounds throughout the night these won’t cut it.

Queue to Review

There’s still a bunch of devices we’re either in the process of reviewing or waiting for them to be released; if you want us to take a look at something just mention it in the comments. Here’s our queue at the moment:

Summary

None of these options are perfect, or frankly, anywhere near perfect; but some of them can get the job done well enough to be passable for now. If you like in-ear earbuds, we’d recommend the Maxrock; if you prefer headbands try the Firik or Cozyphones. If you absolutely need wireless, try the Apple Airpods.

Ready to Improve Your Sleep?

Try Pzizz. We design soothing audio that’s clinically proven to help you get better rest. Available on iOS and Android.