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Best Earplugs

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If you work or sleep in a noisy environment, earplugs are the ideal solution for sound modification. Earplugs have many useful applications, but most options safeguard your ears from noises for relaxation or protection. Certain styles even protect swimmers from the effects of water. Whether you need to study in silence or manage music volume, we’ve selected the best options.

Staff Pick

(Image credit: Mack's)

Mack's Ultra Soft Foam

The softest sound stoppers

Do you have sensitive ear canals? These ultra-soft earplugs are sure to give you relief from the sounds around you since they have a noise reduction rating of 32 dB. Plus, these are disposable, so you won't have to worry about cleaning them or losing them when you're traveling. 

New Shape

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Flents Quiet Contour

Disposable canal-contouring earplugs

The contoured shape of these earplugs means they help block more noise by fitting into the small angles of your ear canal. Plus, they're great for sleeping, since the contour will also help hold them in place better than cylindrical style earplugs. Since they're disposable, you won't need to clean them, and instead can just toss them out.

Easy to Find

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3M Corded Reusable

Everyday earplugs connected with a convenient cord

Are you tired of losing your earplugs? It might be time to buy a pair that has a cord connecting both of them. This makes them easier to find in your bag when traveling, and you can let them drape across your neck if you need to remove them for a moment. While they aren't ideal for sleeping (because of their cord), they still deliver a 25 dB noise reduction for all other noisy activities. 

Swimmer's Pick

(Image credit: Speedo)

Speedo Ergo

Confidently stroke and splash with these water-resistant plugs

Ready for a swim? Speedo earplugs are the standard when it comes to taking a plunge in the pool or at the beach. They will help prevent ear infections caused by trapped water, or swimmer's ear. Additionally, they're completely reusable, since you can wash them after every use before putting them back in their travel case. 

Less Pressure

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Mack's Slim Fit Soft Foam

Soft and slim earplugs for narrow canals

If you're someone who has trouble using earbuds because they feel too big in your ears, then these slim-fit earplugs are for you. The soft, slender foam feels comfortable in smaller ear canals. They also wear comfortably to bed and will block or dampen most noises with their 29 dB noise reduction rating. 

Best for Music

(Image credit: Hearprotek)

Hearprotek High Fidelity Concert

Noise-reducing plugs perfect for musicians and concert-goers

Unlike other earplugs that want you to hear as little as possible, these only reduce noise by 20 dB. They're ideal for performing musicians or concert-goers since they don't block the higher frequencies like foam or putty earplugs. This means you can have a conversation without screaming at your friends. Their convenient carrying case fits on your keychain, so they'll be available whenever you need them. 

Custom Fit

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Mack's Pillow Soft Silicone Putty

Soft putty plugs for personalized comfort

Putty material allows these earplugs to be custom fit to your ears. This means you'll be able to sleep with them comfortably, even if you're a side sleeper.  The soft material means you won't have that "full feeling" that happens with most earplugs. Since they won't expand to fill your ear canal, these earplugs can only block up to 22 dB. 

From the top

Be kind to your ears, shield them from excess noise in any situation (work or play) with earplugs. Earplugs modify noise to keep you focused, relaxed, and protected. Not all earplugs suit every situation because of their material or fit, but we found that the Mack's Ultra Soft Foam earplugs meet the needs of most people. Their incredibly soft foam will be comfortable in smaller ear canals, and their high 32 dB noise reduction rating means they will drown out almost any noise nuisance. Because of their material, they're comfortable to wear for long periods and even an excellent option for side sleepers. Plus, they're budget-friendly, which means you won't have to worry too much if you lose them while commuting or traveling.

If you're using earplugs for tackling tasks in your yard, or you're someone who loses them very often, then consider the 3M Corded Reusable earplugs. The string that connects both plugs makes them easy to keep track of, and prevents you from needing to put the plugs in your pocket if you need to take them out for a few minutes. And since you can wash them, this pair of earplugs will last you a long time, making them an economical choice.