X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our advice is expert-vetted and based on independent research, analysis and hands-on testing from our team of Certified Sleep Coaches. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Best Sleep Headphones of 2024

Sleep headphones can be great for people who have trouble falling asleep. Here are the best ones we've tested.

ebe2e9b0-8d02-46b0-a8be-cf3bdd2e46a6
ebe2e9b0-8d02-46b0-a8be-cf3bdd2e46a6
McKenzie Dillon Writer
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest. Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
Expertise Certified Sleep Science Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Bachelor of English.
lindsay-boyers
lindsay-boyers
Lindsay Boyers CNET Contributor
Lindsay Boyers is a certified nutritionist and published book author who writes articles and product reviews for CNET's health and wellness section. Her work also appears on mindbodygreen, Healthline, Verywell Health and The Spruce. When she's not actively searching for the best products at the best prices, she's most likely creating new recipes, reading in her hammock or trying to force her cats to love her.
McKenzie Dillon
Lindsay Boyers
10 min read
$162 at Amazon
The Pixel Buds Pro are available in 4 colors
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Best wireless headphones for sleep
$130 at Best Buy
A10 sleep earbuds in charging case
Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 Earbuds
Best overall earbuds for sleeping
$89 at Dubs Labs
bedphones
Bedphones Sleep Headphones
A highly rated wired option
$289 at QuietOn
The QuietOn 3.1 noise cancelling earbuds
QuietOn 3.1
Best noise-canceling earbuds for sleep
$50 at Walmart
The Dormi headphones piled on top of an athletic shirt and headband
Dormi Headband Headphones
Best sleep headphones for side sleepers
$23 at Amazon
WATOGAFER Sleep Headphones
Lightimetunnel Sleep Headphones
Best sleep headphones that also block light
$160 at SoundOff
soundoff-wide.png
SoundOff Sleep Noise Masking Device
Best calming earplugs for sleeping
$12 at Amazon
Maxrock Sleep Earphones
Maxrock Sleep Earbuds
Best budget sleep headphones
$80 at Amazon
Hoomband Headband
Hoomband Headband
Best sleep headphones with an audio library

A pair of sleep headphones is a great investment for anyone looking to get some sort of tech help for falling asleep. Listening to relaxing sounds or soothing music may help you get deeper rest. According to Michael Breus, sleep medicine expert and the founder of The Sleep Doctor website, "relaxing music triggers changes to the body that in many ways mimic a sleep state." He added that a slower heart rate, slower breathing and lower blood pressure are all physiological changes that make possible the process of falling asleep and staying asleep. Having the best sleep headphones can help you with this.

To help you find the best headphones for sleeping, we've highlighted several different types, including a few headband headphone options, Bluetooth headphones, and earbuds that nestle into your ear canal to block out ambient noise. Keep reading for ways to get a deeper sleep.

What are the best headphones for sleeping?

Our top choice for sleep headphones are the Pixel Buds Pro, because of their versatility. They're great for day and night, block outside noises with active noise canceling and offer great value for the price.

Best headphones for sleeping for 2024

Like

  • * Work well for sleep and daytime use * Active noise cancellation and Silent Seal * Comfortable and secure * Long charge time

Don't like

  • * Pricey
Battery Life Rated up to 11 hoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint YesHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 -- splash-proof)

The Pixel Buds Pro wireless earbuds fit the bill for people who want a pair of quality headphones that are equally as functional during sleep as they are during the day. They have active noise cancellation that helps block distracting noises like snoring while you sleep. Paired with Google's Silent Seal technology, the Pixel Buds' ear tips work to enhance noise cancellation as they form a gentle seal that keeps quality sound in and environmental noises out. 

Sleeping with earbuds can be difficult if they fall out too often, but we found that the Pixel Buds Pro comfortably stayed put. Aside from noise canceling, the Pixel Buds Pro have Google Assistant enabled, so with just the click of a button (or voice activation) you can get help on anything from answering a text to directions. They boast up to 31 hours of listening time, crisp sound, wireless charging and more.

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: In-ear 
  • Connection type: Bluetooth
  • ANC, PNC or other: Active noise canceling
  • Price: $200

Read our Pixel Buds Pro review.

Like

  • * Lightweight and unobtrusive * Great quality for price * Some passive noise cancellation

Don't like

  • * Shorter battery life with music

The Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 earbuds are small and lightweight. Unlike other, bulkier options, they fit completely in your ear, so you don't have to worry about them shifting or falling out when you roll over at night. Fit is particularly important for side sleepers, who find that other earbuds for sleeping brush against their pillow and make a scratching noise. 

In our testing experience, these sleeping earbuds don't actively cancel noise. Instead, they passively block out ambient noise, and your selection of sound options does the rest. These sleeping earbuds have the expected wide range of sleep noises, from white or brown noise to familiar nature sounds like rain or waves crashing. With the Bluetooth connection, you can also play music (or whatever you want) from your phone while you sleep. Keep in mind that playing music does drain the battery quicker. You can get a full night of sleep with the preloaded sounds, but music gets you only a couple of hours. For only $130, these are some of the most feature-rich and best sleep earbuds you can get. 

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: In-ear 
  • Connection type: Bluetooth
  • ANC, PNC or other: Passive noise canceling
  • Price: $130

Like

  • * Wired and wireless options * Fully adjustable * Long battery life

Don't like

  • * Memory wire could get in the way

If you don't like the idea of wearing a headband to bed, the Bedphones Sleep Headphones are another made-for-sleep option that comes without fabric. This sleeping headphone option features two ultrathin headphone speakers connected by a rubber-coated memory wire that's fully adjustable so you can find your perfect earphone fit.

They come in two versions -- wired and wireless headphone options -- and each one comes equipped with an in-line microphone and three-button remote that allows you to answer phone calls or play, pause or skip whatever you're listening to. A single charge lasts 13 hours, enough for a full night of sleep and more. 

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: On-ear
  • Connection type: Bluetooth or wired
  • ANC, PNC or other: Noise masking
  • Price: $89

Like

  • * High-quality noise cancellation * Secure fit * Long battery life

Don't like

  • * Expensive * Can't play your own sounds

The QuietOn 3.1 earbuds use active noise cancellation and passive noise reduction to deliver some of the best noise-canceling performance we've tested. What looks like wireless headphones in a charging case are small earbuds specifically designed to block noise while you sleep. They don't play music or pair with Bluetooth; they function more like foam earplugs but are much more effective. 

The earbuds are smaller than any wireless headphones you own and fit snugly inside your ear. This prevents them from falling out during the night and makes them comfortable enough for side sleepers to wear to bed. It takes 20 seconds from the time you remove them from the case to activate the active noise canceling, but once it switches on, the difference in sound is significant. We ran an extra-loud snoring simulation during the night, and the only sound we could hear while wearing the QuietOn 3.1 buds was our own breathing. The key is to ensure the earbud is snug in your ear, and you may need to change the ear tip for a more sealed fit. The battery life also lasts up to 28 hours on a single charge. They're expensive, but if you're consistently losing sleep because of disruptive noises, these may very well be worth it. 

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: In-ear 
  • Connection type: None
  • ANC, PNC or other: Active noise canceling
  • Price: $289

Like

  • * Comfortable headband fit  * Machine washable

Don't like

  • * May be too warm for hot sleepers * Battery life could be longer

Most sleep headphones aren't designed for side sleeping, but the Dormi Wireless Sleep Headphones function as a moisture-wicking, lightweight headband side sleepers can wear to bed so they can rest comfortably without an earbud pressing into their head. There are two thin speakers within the headband that line up with your ears and deliver surprisingly clear sound quality. The headband pairs with any Bluetooth device, boasts a 10-hour battery life, and even has a built-in mic so you can talk on the phone. It's also machine washable; just make sure you take out all the electronics inside before you wash it.  

These headphones are available in two different sizes and multiple colorways. The only downside is for hot sleepers. The material feels like breathable athletic wear and should be fine for most people, but folks who are prone to sleeping warm might heat up wearing a band around their head all night. 

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: Over-ear
  • Connection type: Bluetooth
  • ANC, PNC or other: Noise masking
  • Price: $50

Like

  • * Blocks both noise and light * No pressure on the eyes * Easy Bluetooth controls

Don't like

  • * Battery life could be longer

If you really want to up your sleep quality, these sleep headphones combined with a sleep mask, from Lightimetunnel (formerly Watotgafer), are a double whammy. Equipped with flat headphones and an ergonomic eye design that doesn't put too much pressure on your face, the setup effectively blocks out noise and light all at once. The flat headphones are tucked into a breathable, slow-rebound memory foam fabric that's also designed to release tension and stress in your face so you can drift off to a more restful sleep. 

The Bluetooth controls are placed in the middle of the eye mask, so you can easily control your music or white noise app even when sleeping on your side. A single charge lasts at least eight hours, so you should be able to run them all night without interruption.

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: On-ear
  • Connection type: Bluetooth
  • ANC, PNC or other: Noise masking
  • Price: $20

Like

  • * Long battery life * Soothing pink noise instead of white noise * Comfortable

Don't like

  • * Pricey * Can't play own sounds

The SoundOff Sleep Noise Masking Device is another option that's similar to the QuietOn Sleep Earbuds in function. Like the QuietOn Sleep Earbuds, they play one sound: a pink noise that has an almost wavelike vibe. Pink noise is similar to white noise but with a smoother sound that hits the same notes as sounds you'd find in nature (wind, rain or waves). It's supposed to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly and, in our experience, it worked effectively. The pink noise playing in the SoundOff device was soothing, calming and effective at blocking out snoring. We were able to get through two nights of sleep without needing a recharge.

Rather than a slim earbud or squishy foam that you put in your ear, these earbuds are shaped like a hearing device, with an earpiece that goes in your ear and a looped plastic piece that wraps around the outside of your ear and holds the earplugs in place. They were surprisingly comfortable. The adjustable plastic is soft, and it bends and moves with you. (Note that we reviewed the earlier, now discontinued version of this product, and we're now linking to the current one.)

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: In-ear 
  • Connection type: None
  • ANC, PNC or other: Noise masking
  • Price: $180

Like

  • * Affordable * Lightweight

Don't like

  • * Not ideal for side sleeping

The ultra-lightweight design and squishy silicone ear tips make these minimalistic earbuds for sleeping an excellent option for travel. The ear tips have an ergonomic double layer design that fits snugly in most ear canals to effectively drown out the noise around you, while the mini speaker in each earbud provides quality, balanced sound without too much bass.

Because they don't have a flat design, they aren't ideal for side sleeping, but if you're a back sleeper or you need something to drown out ambient noise on a plane or train, these headphones do the trick. Because they're so cheap, it won't be a total disaster if they get lost somewhere along the way.

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: In-ear 
  • Connection type: Wired
  • ANC, PNC or other: Passive noise canceling
  • Price: $11

Like

  • * Free app with tons of content * Comfortable * Somewhat cooling

Don't like

  • * Battery life could be longer

The Hoomband Headband has two ultrathin, flat speakers that are placed under foam, so you can hear them but can't feel them. The headband itself is made from a 3D mesh that's soft, thin and helps regulate temperature so you don't get too hot while you sleep.

The Bluetooth headphone setup comes with a free app that includes 100 hours of audio content -- including ambient sound options, documentaries, white noise, guided meditations, soothing sounds and more -- but it also works like regular headphones that allow you to connect with your favorite apps, like YouTube, Spotify and Headspace via Bluetooth.

Additional details:

  • Headphone type: On-ear
  • Connection type: Bluetooth
  • ANC, PNC or other: Noise masking
  • Price: $80

How we test the best headphones for sleep

We looked at the following criteria when testing sleep headphones and earbuds for sleeping:

  1. Noise cancellation: A snoring simulation was played at high volume near our bedside to test the headphones' ability to block out environmental noises. 
  2. Comfort: Sleeping with too much pressure against the head can cause headaches. Headphones were tested in each sleeping position -- side, back and stomach -- to determine ear tip comfort, stableness of earbuds in the ear and how accommodating they felt from the perspective of different types of sleepers. 
  3. Sound quality: We tested headphones for clarity of sound. Crystal clear sound quality isn't required for sleep headphones, but it should be up to par in order to minimize sudden changes in sound that can cause sleep disruption.   
  4. Price: We included a variety of headphones and earbuds for sleep that fall in different price categories, from wallet-friendly to cream of the crop, so most sleepers can find a good pair regardless of their budget. 
  5. Special features: We considered added features or perks that made headphones even more functional, such as a free audio library, Google assistant and machine-washability. 

Factors to consider when choosing sleep headphones

Sure, any decent set of headphones can play music or meditations, but it's the design that sets sleep headphones apart. Regular headphones can be bulky and uncomfortable to lie on, but sleep headphones are made with a minimal, barely there feel that lets you drift off to sleep while wearing them comfortably throughout the night. For the best sleep headphones, keep an eye out for these features:

  • Noise cancellation.
  • A battery life of eight hours or longer.
  • Ergonomic, comfortable ear tips. 
  • Flat, thin designs such as headband headphones.

Read more: How We Test Products and Services

How sound affects sleep 

Sound has a significant influence on sleep quality, both negative and positive. "There's data that suggests soothing, relaxing music can bring about these effects on you physically," Breus said, going on to list:

  • Slower breathing.
  • A lower heart rate.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • A quieted nervous system.
  • Reduced muscle tension.
  • Lowered stress and anxiety.
  • The release of sleep-friendly hormones, including serotonin and oxytocin, and a reduction in hormones like cortisol.

Breus went on to explain that "just like soothing sounds can mimic a sleep state, certain sounds signal an alarm for your brain (sirens, loud neighbors, weather etc.) so when you hear them, it can cause some level of anxiety. Anxiety is really the opposite of sleep." 

As a result, sleep headphones act as a good solution for people to listen to relaxing sounds while drowning out the noisy, distracting sounds that evoke anxiety and disrupt sleep. 

Headphones for sleeping FAQ

Is it OK to wear headphones while sleeping?

Yes. There's no harm in wearing headphones while sleeping, as long as your earbuds are comfortable enough to keep from disrupting you during the night and your volume is not set to a harmful decible. Listening to music or a relaxing podcast before you go to bed can lower your heart rate and also keep your mind from thinking about your daily stressors. 

What type of headphones are most comfortable to sleep in?

Some of the best headphones for sleep include:

  • Pixel Buds Pro
  • Hoomband Headband
  • Bedphones Sleep Headphones

Can sleeping with headphones cause headaches?

If you're wearing improper headgear while you sleep, it's possible it could lead to an external compression headache. That's caused by having too much pressure around your head and can be avoided if you use earbuds meant for sleeping that fit snug in your ear. 

What are the best earbuds to drown out snoring?

The Quiet.On 3.1 sleep buds are pricey, but they do an impressively good job at blocking out sound, including loud snoring. They passed all our tests, including a snoring simulation and longevity test. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.