People often listen to music, white noise, or meditation tracks to help them sleep. Each of these can block out noise that disturbs sleep, provide relaxation that encourages sleep, or put an end to racing thoughts that prevent sleep. However, playing audio in the middle of the night might not be pleasing to everyone in your household, so you need a way to listen privately. But if you’ve ever tried to sleep with regular earbuds, you know that they’re not very comfortable to lay on, and the cords can get in the way. This is why a specialized set of sleep earbuds could be your solution.
Comfort: As I’ve already mentioned, most people turn to sleep earbuds because regular sets are too uncomfortable to sleep with, especially when side sleeping. As a result, comfort makes up a large portion of the key criteria for a good pair of sleep earbuds.
Basically, you need to find a pair of sleep earbuds that you can comfortably wear for several hours without adjusting them. If you need to wake up to re-insert the earbuds throughout the night, they aren’t helping you. Plus, you want to find a pair that doesn’t dig into your ear when you are laying on your side because it’s painful and could cause damage to your ear.
Wired vs. Wireless: The benefits of a wireless set of sleep earbuds are pretty clear. First off, it can be dangerous to have a wire that close to your neck while you sleep because of the risk of strangulation. And if you are someone that often changes sleep position, the wire could become wrapped around other parts of your body causing discomfort, or the movement could tug on the wire, unplugging it from your device and interrupting your sleep. Some people have found that they can avoid some of these disadvantages by tucking the wires under a pillow.
Wireless Bluetooth earbuds are best for sleep because they are much safer and more comfortable, although they are usually more expensive than wired sets. Additionally, wireless earbuds can be inserted further into your ear, so they won’t get in the way when side sleeping. Be sure to find a pair that has a long battery life if you plan to wear them all night.
Noise Cancellation: Since one of the main reasons for using sleep earbuds is to block out environmental sounds, noise cancellation is an important feature to look for. There are two kinds of noise cancellation: passive and active. Passive noise cancellation refers to sound being physically blocked from entering your ear, similar to how an earplug works. Active noise cancellation works when the earbuds add sounds to your audio that specifically cancel out the unwanted sounds. The most effective noise cancellation is the combination of both passive and active methods. Earbuds that employ both types of noise cancellation will result in the quietest listening experience.
Sound Quality: Sound quality is not as important as the other features you will find in sleep earbuds because even poor sound quality will get the job done. But, for the purpose of sleep, you will want to find a sound quality that you find to be soothing, inoffensive, and balanced.
In general, sound quality refers to how crisp and clear the audio is, how well the sound blocks out environmental noise, and the amount of sound that comes out of the earbuds that can be heard by someone who isn’t wearing them. Headphones almost always have the best sound quality, but earbuds are a close second. Keep in mind, though, that sound quality can be a matter of opinion or personal preference.
Price: Sleep earbuds can be very expensive or very cheap, but the price doesn’t always indicate the quality. Some expensive earbuds are a letdown, while some cheap sets are excellent. Because of this, it is best to find a set that has the features you want at a price you can afford. For your reference, the recommended earbuds below range in price from $12 to $249, but you may find others outside of this range.
The ENACFIRE E18 Wireless Earbuds have high-quality HD stereo audio output and connect easily to your Bluetooth device. These earbuds are equipped with extra bass, and the Bluetooth connection is clear and strong up to 33 feet from your device. Each pair has a 3.5-hour battery life, but the compact charging case stores enough energy to charge the earbuds 4 to 5 times, resulting in 15 hours of total playtime.
These earbuds come with 3 different tip sizes, plus the built-in microphone allows you to take calls while using the earbuds, and a single button on the left bud allows you to pause and skip songs. ENACFIRE includes a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, as well as a 30-day no-questions-asked return policy, with the purchase of this product.
The Bose Wireless Noise-Masking Sleepbuds are specifically designed to help you sleep with no interruption from environmental noise. They come with 3 sizes of Stay Hear+ Sleep Tips, and they are controlled through the Bose Sleep app, which also has ten soothing sound tracks to choose from and an alarm clock feature. The storage case works as a charger, which will charge the buds fully one time before having to plug it in. Each set of earbuds has a 16-hour battery life, so the sound tracks will play all night.
Excellent noise cancellation
Fit well and stay in place
Cannot play your own audio—only the provided soothing sounds
The MAXROCK Sleep Earplugs are wired earbuds specifically designed for sleep. These earbuds are extremely lightweight and have soft silicon double-layer tips that can adapt to any ear. The specially designed tips provide a high degree of noise cancellation to block out environmental noise. Each pair is equipped with a microphone for receiving calls and on-wire button to control audio, plus they come with a zippered carrying case. MAXROCK offers a three-month, no-hassle return and replace policy with the purchase of these earbuds.
The ATECH Sleeping Earbuds are small and perfect for side sleeping. The entire earbud is constructed with flexible silicon for a snug, comfortable fit. These earbuds have an extra-long, thin, tough wire that won’t restrict your movement. The wire has a built-in microphone to answer and end calls and a button to control your audio. ATECH offers a 1-year warranty and a 30-day money-back policy with the purchase of this product.
Very comfortable to wear while sleeping
Impressive sound quality and noise cancellation
Not as durable/long-lasting as expected
MAXROCK Unique Total Soft Silicon Sleeping Earbuds
The MAXROCK Unique Total Soft Silicon Sleeping Earbuds are made completely of soft silicon, including the two-layer tip design that adapts to any size ear and cancels out extra noise. The built-in microphone allows you to answer and end calls, and the in-wire button allows you to control your audio playback. This set of lightweight earbuds is available in 5 different colors: black, green, pink, grey, and white.
Comfortable to wear all night with no pain
Excellent noise cancellation
Not as durable/long-lasting as expected
Earbuds for Sleeping— Final Thoughts
Listening to soothing audio is a great, medication-free way to beat insomnia, but there are a few other points to take in mind as you look to purchase, and use, earbuds for sleeping. Although using earbuds in bed can seem harmless, there are some disadvantages. For example, it is critical to keep your earbuds properly cleaned and sanitized because bacteria and earwax buildup can occur if you wear them for a significant amount of time, which can lead to irritation or infection in your ear canal. Plus, it’s always a good idea to be conscious of volume, as hearing loss can occur if you listen to loud sounds for several hours each night.
With all of this in mind, you should have a good idea of what to look for in a pair of earbuds for sleeping. In essence, it all comes down to finding a set that cancels out environmental noise and is comfortable and safe enough for you to wear for several hours in a lying down position.
Sleep Accessories / Marissa Gvozdenovich
Realistically, a fan is just plastic blades that move air around. But, this simple machine can help with relaxation and comfort, which, in turn, improves sleep.
Generally, people use fans while sleeping for two reasons: to cool them down and/or for the white noise that they provide. Both of these reasons are a matter of personal preference and your sleeping situation.
Fans for Sleeping —Key Considerations
Noise: Although it would seem that people sleep best in quiet environments, studies have shown that white, background noise can help people sleep because it allows our brain to turn off. White noise prevents us from overthinking and hearing every little noise that can interrupt sleep. Basically, the consistent background noise that fans provide can mask other sounds and thoughts, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.
However, not all fans sound the same. Oftentimes, you will find fans that are virtually noiseless, while others can make as much noise as all of your home’s appliances combined. Whether you prefer either of these or you are somewhere in the middle, there are fans available that have what you are looking for.
Temperature: A large part of being comfortable at night is temperature, and most people find it difficult to sleep comfortably if they are too warm. Sleep experts have determined that the optimal sleeping temperature is between 60- and 67-degrees Fahrenheit, which is significantly cooler than the average room temperature. Then, factor in sheets, blankets, PJs, and heat from other bodies, and it is no mystery why fans become necessary for comfortable sleeping.
Ironically, fans make air hotter due to the mechanisms and electricity needed to make the blades turn. Fans only work because our bodies start sweating when they are overheated, so the air hits our damp skin, giving the perception that the air feels cool. But, this doesn’t matter. If the fan is helping you, even just mentally, there is no reason not to use one for sleep.
So, although you probably won’t find a fan that can cool your bedroom from 74 degrees Fahrenheit to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it can provide the cool breeze that you need to feel comfortable. Keep in mind that your preferences may change with the seasons, so look for a fan with high, medium, and low settings to address this.
Fan Type: There are four main types of fans—tower, desk, pedestal, and box— and they are generally named for their shape. Tower fans are usually about 3 to 4 feet tall and have a narrow cylindrical shape; desk fans are circular and small with a stand meant to be placed on a surface that isn’t the floor; pedestal fans are shaped like a lollipop with a circular-shaped fan at the top of a stand that can be about 3 to 4 feet tall; box fans are square, have no stand, and can be placed on the floor or on a surface.
Recently, techy “bladeless” fans have been introduced to the market, but the traditional styles are still more popular and reliable. Additionally, there are between-the-sheets fans that vary in design, but each one is meant to be placed under sheets and blankets for a more direct cooling experience.
The biggest differences between the fan types are how much air they move and where they are meant to be used. Generally speaking, tower and box fans are more powerful and push more air than desk and pedestal fans, and each fan varies in their stand and size, which determines where they should be placed.
However, the type of sleep fan you need can also come down to the other features the fan has. Do you need a sleep fan that oscillates? Would it be helpful for the fan to have a remote or timer? Should your sleep fan be controlled by an app? Should it have multiple speeds? Each of these features should help contribute to the ultimate goal, which is restful, uninterrupted, comfortable sleep.
Fan Location: Where the fan will be positioned can help you decide on the right sleep fan for you. Fortunately, the different types of fans vary in their shapes and sizes, so they have almost all spaces covered, but there are a few more points to think about. Consider the space in your bedroom in terms of how close you want the fan to be to you, how big the fan is, if the fan needs space to oscillate, if anything will block the airflow, and if the fan will go on the floor or on a surface.
Some of these points are a matter of preference, while other are simply about working with the space you’ve got. For example, certain individuals want to fan to be blowing air directly on them while they sleep, while others are more concerned about the noise, so the location is less important. Plus, if you are working with limited space, there is always the option of hanging your fan from a wall or the ceiling or choosing a small fan that fits your needs. Once you have determined where the fan will go, it is easy to see which type of sleep fan will fit that location.
What Are the Top Five Fans for Sleeping?
Here is a summary of the top five fans for sleeping, each offering a unique combination of desirable features. All of these products are highly rated, and sleep tested.
The Lasko Wind Machine 3 is rugged and high-quality, and it can be described as a cross between a desk fan and a box fan. The circular-shaped fan measures 20 inches across and features a large, safe carrying handle.
This fan pivots on its stand, allowing for the perfect angle of air flow at all 3 of its speed settings.
The Wind Machine 3 is also equipped with The Blue Plug, which is a safety feature on all Lasko fans that cuts off the electric current to the fan if the fuse detects any kind of electric fault. The fan weighs just over 9 pounds and comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The Honeywell TurboForce Air Circulator is a personal desk fan that can be used on a surface or mounted to a wall. It is lightweight at just over 2.5 pounds, and it is available in 11 inch or 15-inch sizes.
This fan is energy efficient and features an aerodynamic design, which is how it can move lots of air in such a small frame.
When resting on its stand, the fan head pivots, allowing you to adjust the angle of the airflow.
It has 3 speed settings, which can move air up to 32 feet, plus it is quieter than previous models and has a removable grill for easy cleaning. Finally, Honeywell offers a one-year limited warranty with the purchase of this fan.
Great value for the price
Works as a window-mounted fan also
Powerful for its size
Subtle white noise
May not be best for white noise—fan is virtually silent
The Lasko Wind Curve is a tower-style fan that is 42.5 inches tall, has 3 speed settings, and optional oscillation. The stylish and sleek design makes it easy to fit into small spaces, plus it comes in 3 sophisticated designs that allow it to blend in with surrounding décor. It also controls the air quality in the room with its Fresh Air Ionizer feature, which reduces static electricity and traps pollutants in the air. This fan is convenient to use with its remote control, carrying handle, and 7.5 hour auto shut-off timer. Lasko also offers a one-year limited warranty with the purchase of this product.
The Holmes Blizzard Power Fan is a hybrid box/desk fan and has several special features, including a rotating grill that multiplies airflow. It also comes equipped with a remote control, 3 speed settings, hidden cord storage, an 8-hour timer, and 2 special sleep/breeze settings. This fan weights just over 5.5 pounds, has a 12-inch blade diameter, and an oversized carrying handle. Holmes offers a three-year limited warranty with the purchase of this fan.
Grill can be removed for cleaning
Powerful for its size
Customizable with all of its settings
Powerful air movement may be too loud
Small LED lights could be a nuisance in the dark
Lasko Adjustable Elegance and Performance Pedestal Fan
This powerful pedestal fan can cool large spaces with its 90-degree widespread oscillation option and tilting head.
The fan head measures 18 inches, and it sits on an adjustable stand that can be anywhere between 38 and 54.5 inches tall.
This energy efficient fan has 3 speeds, each producing a soft humming noise.
Like other Lasko fans, the Elegance and Performance Pedestal Fan has The Blue Plug safety feature, which cuts off electricity to the fan if it detects any kind of electrical shortage.
This fan is available in white or black, and you can choose the option of having a remote control. Lasko offers a one-year limited warranty with the purchase of this fan.
Easy to clean
Height of fan is appropriate for height of bed
Easy to assemble
Base/stand may not be stable
What Else Should You Consider When Using and Purchasing Fans for Sleeping?
As is the case when buying any product, there are a large variety of sleep fans on the market, and sometimes it can be difficult to weigh all of the different options and features.
The recommended sleep fans listed above represent a large range of options, but there are a few other ideas to consider, such as how easy the fan is to clean, how energy efficient it is, its durability, its price, its portability, and of course, any disadvantages to using a fan for sleeping.
Every home has dust, and depending on the other inhabitants of the home, it could also have hair and pet dander.
This is why being able to clean the fan thoroughly, inside and out, can make a big impact on the quality of the air your fan blows around your home.
A dirty fan is especially harmful to people who suffer from allergies or asthma because the flow of air can activate the allergens and irritants.
Similarly, fans can cause sinus irritation even for people who don’t suffer from allergies or asthma.
A fan blows dry air, which can irritate your airways creating mucus, blockage, and pressure, as if you caught a never-ending cold.
Luckily there are solutions to this: buying a fan that is easy to clean or using a humidifier with the fan.
Equally important is the fan’s energy efficiency. Since your sleep fan could be running for hours at a time every single day, it is a good idea to find a fan that won’t make your electric bill go up.
Many of the fans available are already built to be energy efficient, but you may want to consider running your fan on a lower setting to save even more energy.
As a side note—this also impacts your fan’s white noise; generally, a higher speed setting creates more noise, but that is a matter of your personal preference.
Lastly, think about how long you expect your fan to last. This will help you determine how much you want to spend, as well as what you can expect for the amount you pay.
Usually, the more you pay, the more durable your fan will be and the longer your fan should last.
But since sleep fans aren’t often moved from their spot in your bedroom (unless you’re also looking for a fan you can travel with), they should remain stable.
It is up to you to decide how much you are willing to invest in a fan, and what your expectations of it are.
Fans for Sleeping —Final Thoughts
Even though sleep fans are just simple machines, the impact they can have on your much-needed rest should not be understated because they address some basic prerequisites of the ideal sleep: comfort and temperature.
Although sleep fans may have a few disadvantages, most people agree that the perfect one can make all the difference.