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Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping 2024

We all crave more sleep.

And why not?!

Sleep gives us the verve to attack the day.

You know the feeling when you wake up well-rested and refreshed. Your body feels energized. And you move about performing your duties with grace.

These days, finding the right ambiance for sleep is becoming more and more difficult. Between finding the quietest slot in the night and battling with our ever-active mind, we never seem to get enough sleep.

Many people lose sleep because of their snoring partners or pets, busy streets, and other nighttime noise disturbances.

This is why many people are turning to noise-cancelling headphones. They remove noise and disturbance that may hinder your sleep. More than that, listening to calming ambient music, white noise, nature sounds or soundscapes has shown to be relaxing and enhances deep sleep.

This guide is going to help you choose the best noise-cancelling headphones. Here’s what we’ll discuss in this article;

  • The different types you will find.
  • The different benefits of using them.
  • The 5 best models as of today.
  • Our final pick.

But first, here’s what you have to know about headphones for sleeping.

Everything you need to know about noise-cancelling headphones for sleeping

Noise-cancelling headphones are typically designed for reducing noise coming in from the surrounding environment into your ears.

Although these devices were originally created for pilots to reduce distractions, they make a tremendous difference in improving the quality of our sleep.

Of course, they come in different shapes, sizes, and prices. Some are headphones, earphones, and other earbuds. There are in-ear and are on-ear, and others fit over your ear.

How to choose the best type of noise-cancelling headphones for sleeping

I generally don’t like headphones that go into my ear canal like the earbuds. I’m a side sleeper, so it’s uncomfortable. I tend to roll over to either my right or left once I fall asleep. And the earbuds either rolls out of my ears or becomes uncomfortable. For this reason, I prefer models that can accommodate my sleep posture.

While everyone has unique sleeping quirks, choosing the best type will mostly depend on these personal preferences. But making the best choice means knowing what options you have.

Here are the different types you may commonly find;

On-ear sleep headphones

These are ultra-thin headphones that stay on top of your ears. They usually have motion cables that help to adjust while you move.
They deliver high-quality sound when listening to music, podcast, or audiobooks. They have a great noise-cancelling feature as well.
If you’re like me and do not like fitting earphones down your ear canals, these type of headphones is great for you. They are easy to put on and are very comfortable for sleeping whether you are on your back or on your side.

Wireless sleep headphones

If wires and cables bother you, wireless sleep headphones are great options for you. They connect to audio devices via Bluetooth. They are comfortable, easy to wear, and provide great sound.
Although some brands produce devices with decent battery lives, the main cause for concern with this device will be getting out hours of playback enough to get deep sleep.

Earbuds for sleeping

Earbuds are popular types of headphones. Many people have a bunch of these in their homes. They are economical but aren’t the most efficient at blocking noise.
Even though some earbuds have great sound and noise cancellation features, there’s still the hassle of having to keep them in place when lying on your sides.
Nevertheless, they are great brands of earbuds that offer great noise cancellation before dozing off.

Headband phones

These are innovative headphones for blocking out noise. They are essential headbands with ultra-thin headphones that use active noise cancellation technology to block out unwanted noise.
They are lightweight, washable, and suitable for sleeping in any posture.

How noise-cancellation headphones work

In terms of how they function to block out noise, noise-cancelling headphones are generally of two types; Active and passive.

Active models use active noise-cancellation to block out noise. These are similar technology found in XLR cables for removing undesired signals from the audio.

Here’s how it works.

With active headphones, 2 differential signals – positive and negative signals carry the audio signal. At the output, the negative audio signal flips to joins the positive signal to give a crisp audio output. Any noise that may have been carried along both audio signals are completely canceled off. This is known as common-mode rejection.

This is what makes active models incredibly effective at blocking off the noise and giving you crisp sound to lull you to sleep.

Passive headphones are sound-absorbing materials that prevent outside noise from getting in. They aren’t quite as shiny but are effective as well. And have been shown to reduce noise by 20 decibels.

The benefits of noise-cancelling headphones?

The obvious benefit of using them is relaxing to get quality sleep every night. So when we are looking at the benefits of these products, we are talking about the benefits of getting a good night’s rest.

Here are a few benefits of getting quality sleep;

  • Better concentration
  • Increased performance
  • More physical energy
  • Improved mood
  • Increased willpower

Common questions about noise-cancelling headphones

It is safe to wear headphones for sleeping?

Sleeping with headphones is great for relaxing yourself to fall asleep. However, you are advised to be careful. As we discussed, it comes with side effects.

But if you are going to use headphones, you should decide which type is compatible with your sleeping posture. For example, if you are a side sleeper like me, you might want to go with the headbands and on-ear headphones. They permit free movement and don’t constantly fall off.

Can kids use noise-cancellation headphones?

Absolutely! Children who have a difficult time falling asleep or suffer from anxiety can use them.
However, you should consider the type of headphones. You should get comfortable models that do not disturb the child while asleep. Our recommendation would be headbands or wireless headphones.
Also, you should monitor the audio volume to protect your child’s eardrums.

Side effects of using these devices for sleeping

Like many things, there are benefits as well as risks associate with sleeping with headphones. And the risks involved differ from person to person. While some may complain about certain symptoms, others don’t experience it.
Here are some common side-effects reported by customers include:

  • Pressure on the eardrums
  • Eardrum pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Without further ado, here are the 5 best products you can buy.


Tozo NC9


  • Portable and comfortable to wear
  • Great sound quality
  • High battery life and easy charging


  • Average noise-cancelling feature

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TOZO NC9 is the perfect lightweight, waterproof headphones for sleeping. It is a hybrid ANC wireless earbud with an 8-hr music playback battery life.

The Tozo NC9 will give you a whole new bedtime listening experience. It has got an excellent noise-cancelling feature that keeps out external noise, such as your snoring partner, or noisy neighbors.

Although these are earbuds – and will have to fit into your ears, they come with silicon padding that allows the buds to sit comfortably without hurting your ears.

They also come with a transparent mode which lets you use your headphones outside your home. The transparent mode lets you interact with the world around – have conversations with friends, hear train sounds, or airline announcements.

Tozo NC9 earbuds live in a compact charging casing and can last for 8 hours on a single charge with an extra 24 hours in the charging case.

Overall, these earbuds offer great sound quality, are economical, and have enviable modern features. However, they are earbuds. But they fit surprisingly well in the ears and are comfortable.

QuietOn 3 Sleep

QuietOn 3 Sleep


  • Small and comfortable
  • Sleek and aesthetically pleasing
  • Awesome noise-cancelling technologies


  • Average sound quality

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QuietOn 3 Sleep are commonly referred to as the smallest noise-cancelling headphones for sleeping. And yes, they are quite tiny with a beautiful and ergonomic design.

Using the same technology as with a microphone to block out noise such as ANC, they are especially effective are removing low-frequency noises such as snoring and ambient noises.

Although they are small, they are still earbuds and you’ll need to plug them into your ear canal. But these come with soft paddings on the buds that help ease the headphones into your ears.

QuietOn has a mode button that lets you switch between silencing and hearing mode. You can switch on to communicate with people around you and you can switch on the go into a deep slumber.

While they do not offer much in terms of quality of sound, it can be forgiven because they are made especially for sleeping.

Overall, QuietOn 3 Sleep headphone is an excellent device that’s great for using in bed. It’s sleek, tiny, and blocks out noise extremely well.

TaoTronics TT-EP002 – Discontinued

TaoTronics TT-EP002


  • Economical and affordable
  • Offers great sound quality
  • Great noise-aware feature


  • Less comfortable than the other headphones on this list

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TaoTronics TT-EP002 are wired headphones that are durable and economic. Weighing 0.8 ounces, they are lightweight and suitable for sleeping.

They also come with a satisfactory noise-cancelling feature. An ANC that can reduce noise by 25 decibels.

These are not the most comfortable headphones of our reviews because it has wires and also they are earbuds that fit into your ears. If you don’t mind having to wrestle with wires in the middle of your sleep, then they are worth the money.

One of their greatest features is their excellent sound which gives you crisp clear audio when listening to music or making calls.

Generally, the TaoTronics are good headphones. Though they are probably better for use outside the bedroom because they aren’t as comfortable as other products on this list, they offer great sound quality.

Bose QuietComfort 20

Bose QuietComfort 20


  • Offer quality sound
  • Awesome noise-cancelling feature
  • Comfortable


  • They are pricey

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Bose are premier makers of quality audio devices. And Bose QuietComfort 20 is no exception.

These noise-cancelling headphones from Bose offer great sound, and even though these are earbuds, they are comfortable to wear.

They are seriously good. And command a hefty price too. If you are looking for something that can knock you out to sleep, you might consider shelling out the sum for these awesome headphones.

They use active noise-cancelling technology to block out noise and deliver pristine audio to your ears only.

Yeah, and the tiny issue. They have wires and are earbuds. Even so, they have a soft, sleek silicone padding with anchors that makes them fit perfectly to the ears.

Overall, they are expensive but offer a lot of quality and durability. They are great for other activities as well. But are even better for blocking out noise and getting a good night’s rest.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II

Bose QuietComfort 35 II


  • Great noise-cancelling feature
  • Quality sound
  • Comfortable and durable


  • They are expensive
  • Not great for side-sleepers

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The Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II gives you a different listening experience in terms of quality. These headphones are wireless.

The headphone tends to block the world out of your ears with its excellent ANC technology. Even when external noise is deafening, the active noise-cancelling with the quality sound immediately reduces noise and throws you into a deep trance.

The QuietComfort II also comes with Alexa voice control for easy access to change your music or request information.

They offer supreme comfort. They are wireless with Bluetooth charging that gives you up to 10 hrs battery life. It also has paddings that cushion your ears. They are comfortable to sleep with or to go for a run with.

The QuietComfort II are high-end headphones for blocking out noise. And the price reflects that. If you are looking for something more economical, you can try other products from this list.

The only downside is that they are quite bulky when compared to others on this list, they aren’t great for side-sleepers like me who might want to fall asleep listening to ambient sounds or meditation music.

Final verdict – the best noise-cancelling headphones

Overall, our recommendation is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. If you are dead-serious about improving your sleep and if your thing is comfort, quality audio, and little or no noise, the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II are awesome headphones you’ll love for years to come.

Matt Pulnett
Matt Pulnett is an experienced sleep expert and mattress enthusiast who has been writing about the importance of sleep and the best sleep products for over 10 years. He is a recognized sleep expert and has been featured on many of the top websites and magazines devoted to sleep and mattresses.
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