Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sleeping: Top 4 List

Whether it’s in a hotel room or their bed at home, sound pollution is keeping people up at night. From street noise to the hum of their partner’s snore, there’s no end to the many sounds stealing one’s slumber. The good news is, sleep-deprived individuals are now reclaiming their precious sleep with noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.

Runner Up

Kokoon Sleep Headphones

Kokoon Sleep Headphones

Winner

QuietOn Earbuds: Best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.

QuietOn Noise-Canceling Earbuds

Runner Up

Bose Quiet Comfort 20

Bose Quiet Comfort 20

If you’re in the market for noise-canceling sleep headphones, this is the right guide for you. We start off by detailing 4 really important things you need to know before making a purchase. Then we’ll compare the specs and features of each contender. Finally, we’ll REVIEW every unit and shortlist the best noise-canceling headphones for sleeping.

Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sleeping (Summary)

  1. Best Overall Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sleeping: QuietOn   »
  2. Most Comfortable Noise-Canceling Headphones: Kokoon Sleep Headphones   »
  3. Most Secure Fit: Bose Quiet Comfort 20   »
  4. Best Wireless Noise-Cancelling Earbuds For Sleeping: Sony WF-1000XM3   »
Carmen-O

Hi there! I’m Carmen, editor and researcher extraordinaire at Best For Sleeping. Our site is supported by readers like you. If you like my research and buy via a link on our site, we may earn affiliate fees, all thanks to you!

Choosing the Best Noise-Canceling Sleep Headphones

Before jumping into your first purchase, it’s worth noting there are many headphones made for sleeping out there. Most of them are passive noise-canceling (meaning they block or reduce sound). Noise-canceling headphones for sleeping are much rarer and more expensive. They’re totally worth the investment as they do a great job neutralizing ambient sound.

Also, some noise-canceling sleep headphones come with a tonne of added features. Since the aim today is to pick a pair that’ll help you sleep through the night, those bells and whistles are nice-to-haves.

  1. Active Noise-Canceling

    Blocks out background noise by neutralizing sound waves. This is a crucial feature in any noise-canceling headphones.

  2. Materials Used

    Materials used in the earbuds, cups, and headband should provide maximum comfort for the entire duration of your sleep.

  3. Sleep Position

    Your natural sleep position determines if an in-ear or over-the-ear, wired, or wireless headphones are more suited to you.

  4. Battery Life

    If noise cancellation is required throughout your sleep, a long-lasting battery is required to ensure continuous operation all night.

Top Noise-Canceling Sleep Headphones Compared

Now we have an idea of important features noise-canceling sleep headphones should have (if not, see above). Next, we’ll pit features and specs of each headphone side-by-side in the table below.

BrandNoise-Canceling TechEar Tip or Ear Cup MaterialHow Long Does It Stay Charged?Price
QuietOn Noise-Canceling Earbuds
QuietOn Noise-Canceling Earbuds
Active noise-cancelingHybrid memory foam silicone ear tips20-hour battery life
Kokoon Sleep Headphones
Kokoon Sleep Headphones
Active noise-cancelingFlexible silicone ear cups wrapped in breathable fabric13+ hours battery life
Bose Quiet Comfort 20
Bose Quiet Comfort 20
Acoustic noise-cancelingStayHear®+ silicone tips16-hour battery life
Sony WF-1000XM3
Sony WF-1000XM3
Active noise-cancelingTwo Types of Ear Tips:
Sony Triple-Comfort (foam-like silicone) earbuds & hybrid silicone rubber tips
6-hours battery life in a full charge

Noise-Canceling Headphones Reviews

1. Best Overall Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sleeping – QuietOn

QuietOn Noise-Canceling Earbuds

QuietOn

Get your hands on the best and most comfortable snore canceling earbuds on the market. QuietOn features a minimalistic design, amazing noise cancellation, simple set up, and excellent battery life. By getting the QuietOn, you’ll forget your partner ever snored.

Highlights:

  • Active Noise-Canceling (ANC)
  • Toggle between ‘Hearing’ and ‘Silencing’ mode
  • No Bluetooth connectivity or app required
  • 20 hours of battery life
  • Fuss-free base charging station

The ultimate headphones set that will save your relationship and your sanity. QuiteOn earbuds are the best at canceling low-frequency even 40db sounds. Developed by ex Nokia engineers, these snore canceling earbuds are comfortable, light, and require no setup. Get them out of the case, and they’re good to go. Their peanut shape and foam tip ideally fit the ear, making them comfortable even for side sleepers.

The QuietOn is the savior for light sleepers who have a snoring partner or a busy surrounding. They perform best as sleeping headphones or when you need a quiet work environment. With a battery life of 20 hours, you’ll have a couple of uses before recharging.

Pros and Cons of the QuietOn Headphones

Pros

  • QuietOn does ‘silencing’ very well without bolting on features that may not be necessary.
  • Small form factor. Very light.
  • Very comfortable, even for side sleeping.
  • Reasonably priced for noise-canceling sleep headphones.

Cons

  • If you’re looking for a pair of everyday headphones, this may not be the right pair for you.

Forget sleepless nights and morning fights with your snoring partner. The QuietOn headphones dominate the market as the best snore canceling earbuds, user friendly, and come at a great price.

2. Most Comfortable Noise-Canceling Headphones – Kokoon Sleep Headphones

Kokoon Sleep Headphones

Kokoon Sleep Headphones

Kokoon is a smart and well-designed pair of headphones for both sleep and relaxation. One of a kind, comfortable noise-canceling headphones with an excellent audio library and variety of features. The integrated EEG will ensure you smooth falling asleep.

Highlights:

  • Active Noise-Canceling (ANC)
  • EEG brain activity tracking and motion sensing
  • Comes with sleep training mobile app
  • 11 hours of battery life
  • Micro-USB charging cable

Get the best of both worlds with versatile headphones that are suitable for sleeping or daily use. Any Kokoon headphones review will tell you this Kickstarter project surpassed their expectations. The Kokoon are smart headphones with an app, three noise cancellation levels – one being the physical barrier and white noise option.

The ergonomic over the ear design makes their 350 g weight unnoticeable and prevents uncomfortable or sweaty ears. Kokoon suits back sleepers best; for side sleepers, they advise getting a special pillow. The battery lasts up to 11-hours, but you can use them even empty by wiring them to your phone.

Pros and Cons of the Kokoon Sleep Headphones

Pros

  • Tracks restfulness via smart features like EEG and motion sensing.
  • Kokoon app comes with sleep programs, soundscapes, and podcasts.
  • Can also be used as everyday headphones.
  • As comfortable as it can get for over-the-ear headphones.

Cons

  • Steep price tag but is perhaps justified given all the enhancements.
  • Some complaints about build quality.

At first sight, Kokoon might seem pricey, but their versatility covers you anytime you need a silent escape, day or night. Rely on intelligent technology to provide you with smooth and uninterrupted sleep.

3. Most Secure Fit – Bose Quiet Comfort 20

Bose Quiet Comfort 20

Bose Quiet Comfort 20

The Bose Quiet Comfort 20 headphones brace your ear and stay in position whatever you do—providing amazing noise cancellation with an “Aware” mode and excellent sound quality. These headphones are wired to a control pod with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 16-hours.

Highlights:

  • Acoustic Noise-Canceling
  • Cut in and out of noise-canceling and ‘Aware’ modes
  • Wired, in-ear, silicone Bose proprietary StayHear+ tips
  • 16 hours of battery life
  • USB charging cable

Never again bother about your headphones falling off. Bose Quiet Comfort 20 have silicone ear tips in several sizes to fit your ear canal. Choose if you want to cancel out the world and enjoy the soundscapes or let some sound in with the “Aware” mode. The microphones integrated into the cable makes them suitable as day headphones.

The battery pack is a little bulky, but battery life is exceptional and even exceeded the 16-hour mark implied by the brand. If you tend to switch positions during sleeping, this is not your best choice since these headphones are corded and can get tangled.

Pros and Cons of the Bose Quiet Comfort 20

Pros

  • StayHear+ silicone earbud tips fit the ear canal snugly and don’t jiggle around during sleep.
  • Durable. Bose headphones are known for their quality and long lifespan.
  • Can be used as an everyday headphone.

Cons

  • Not great for those who move around a lot during sleep.

Bose’s product longevity goes unbeaten with these headphones. The versatility of the Bose Quiet Comfort 20 covers all your needs, whether it’s sleeping, sports or travel.

4. Best Wireless Noise-Canceling Earbuds For Sleeping – Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF-1000XM3

Sony WF 1000XM3 are premium, totally wireless, and lightweight headphones with smart features like Wearing Detection and Quick Attention Mode. The ‘High Definition Noise-Canceling Processor’ ranks them among the best noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping.

Highlights:

  • Active Noise-Canceling (ANC)
  • 2 modes: noise-canceling and ambient noise 
  • Wireless, in-ear, silicone tips
  • Up to 24 hours
  • USB-C charging case

Sony WF 1000XM3 is a supremely comfortable set of earbuds with unbeaten sound quality. Switch between active noise canceling mode and ambient mode with just a double-tap on the left earbud. An integrated microphone and voice assistant provide efficient daily hands-free usage.

With noise-canceling on, the battery lasts almost 5 hours of non-stop playback, and with a quick 10 min case charge, you get additional 1.5 hours of use. Sony WF 1000XM3 comes with enough ear tips for you to find the best fit. Comfortable in any sleep position, with the minor inconvenience of accidentally activating the touch commands.

Pros and Cons of the Sony WF-1000XM3

Pros

  • Comes with 7 earbuds so you can meticulously pick the tips that seal your ear canal best.
  • Great noise cancellation and sound quality.
  • Low profile, sleek design.
  • Can be used as an everyday headphone.

Cons

  • Touch controls can be cumbersome if you accidentally bump them during sleep.

Always go premium when you can. The top-tier noise-canceling combined with 24-hour battery life and voice assistance will have you hooked on Sony WF 1000XM3 day and night.

Choosing the Best Noise-Canceling Headphones for Sleeping

Active Noise Canceling

Silent sleep is good but falling asleep to your favorite sounds is better. Active noise cancellation offers you the combination of canceling the surrounding world while simultaneously playing your personalized sounds. It can eliminate even low-frequency sounds like snoring and humming. Plain headphones can’t give you an uninterrupted night’s rest.

Don’t confuse the active noise-canceling with the centuries-old earplugs. Plugs can only block or dampen sound. Active noise-canceling headphones have microphones outside the ear that catch sounds and produce an opposite signal to erase them. All this while the inside microphone is playing your favorite sounds.

Materials Used

Design and material make or break the headphones’ comfort level. If you’re going to wear something all night, it has to be pleasant on the ear. Solving the problem with sound traffic shouldn’t bring you a painful ear.

Some brands have headphone designs covering the ear entirely with layers of high-density foam, but this can cause low comfort and hot ears. Look for headphones with an ergonomic design, made from breathable and cooling materials. They need to fit comfortably and not put any pressure on your ears. The best material should offer a firm grip that makes the headphones stay in place all night.

Sleep Position

You’re in the market for sleep headphones because you need to rest uninterrupted. Not picking the best headphones form for your sleeping position can interfere with your sleep. While every noise-canceling sleeping headphones will reduce distraction, not all designs will accommodate your ear.

Your sleep position determines which design suits you best. Back sleepers can benefit from every design, while side sleepers’ best choice is in-ear headphones. Beware that in-ear headphones can cause rubbing and pressurize the ear canals. Combination sleepers need Bluetooth headphones to avoid tangling in cables while switching and turning during the night.

Battery Life

How you plan to use your active noise-canceling headphones will decide the battery span you need. Shorter battery life will not affect you if you’ll be using your headphones to play a podcast for an hour each night to put you to sleep.

Longer battery life matters if you intend to carry your headphones around with you or want to leave them on all night during your sleep. Think of long-haul flights and lengthy commutes. Using the active noise-canceling feature during the night drains the battery faster, demanding headphones with extended battery life. If you’re looking into active noise-canceling headphones as a sleep aid long battery life is a priority.

FAQ

What Do Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones Mean?

Active Noise-Canceling headphones shuts off background sounds around you by neutralizing those sound waves before they reach your ears. Noise-cancelling headphones use Feed-Forward Active or Feedback Active technology. The newest models to reach the market combine the two techniques into a Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation.

Feed-Forward Active Noise Cancellation uses microphones outside the headphones to catch low-frequency sounds and produce mirroring sound to eliminate them. Feedback Active Noise Cancellation works similarly to Feed-Forward Active Noise Cancellation except that it uses an in-ear microphone. Because the microphone is located inside the headphone, it hears the noise at the same time your ear does. Both technologies work very well but have their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Is It Bad To Sleep With Noise-Canceling Headphones?

If you’re comfortable, it’s completely safe to sleep with headphones. Compared to earplugs, noise-canceling headphones have a more comfortable and sleek design with minimum chances of hurting your ear canal. They can even protect your hearing to some extent. For maximum comfort, look for headphones that don’t interfere with your natural sleep position. The only concern is ramping up the sound volume and damaging your eardrum.

How Do You Sleep With Headphones?

First, choose a model suitable for your sleeping position. Side sleepers have a limited choice since in-ear sleeping headphones suit them best. Try on different tips and nozzles to find out which ones feel most natural to your ear. Consider using a softer pillow and remove any earrings or ear cuffs. Some headphones have the option of playing ASMR and white noise to help you relax and fall asleep faster.