Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


The best sleep headphones you can buy: Expert tested

Sleep headphones can block out noises that keep you up at night and send you into a slumber quicker. Here are our picks for the top sleep earbuds, headphones, and more.
Written by Nina Raemont, Associate Editor
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 Earbuds | Best sleep earbuds overall
sleep a10 buds on woven pillow
Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 Earbuds
Best sleep earbuds overall
View now View at Amazon
QuietOn 3.1 sleep earbuds | Best small earbuds with ANC
quieton 3.1 case and buds
QuietOn 3.1 sleep earbuds
Best small earbuds with ANC
View now View at Quieton
LC-Dolida Sleep Headphones and Mask | Best headphone and sleep mask duo
Sleep headphones against white backdrop
LC-Dolida Sleep Headphones and Mask
Best headphone and sleep mask duo
View now View at Amazon
Bedphones Wireless | Best headphones for sleeping
Bedphones wireless
Bedphones Wireless
Best headphones for sleeping
View now View at DubsLabs
Perytong Sleep Headphones | Best budget-friendly sleep headphones
Perytong sleep headphones
Perytong Sleep Headphones
Best budget-friendly sleep headphones
View now View at Amazon

When is the last time you experienced a silent night of sleep where you didn't wake up -- not even once? If your answer is "I don't remember," perhaps it's time you get yourself a pair of sleep headphones. Although sound machines can be an effective solution for blocking out noises while you sleep, sleep earbuds offer a more compact, subtle, and personal approach. 

ZDNET staffers conducted hands-on testing and extensive research to find sleep headphones equipped with flat speakers, active noise canceling (ANC) technology, and a long-lasting battery life that can be a game changer for a good night's rest, especially if noise is your number one nightmare. Some are earbuds that stick in your ear for the whole night, and others wrap around your head or eyes for a quicker and easier descent into slumber. These are our top picks.

Also: The best noise-canceling headphones

What are the best sleep headphones right now? 

Our pick for the best sleep headphones overall are the Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 earbuds, for their in-ear alarm features, sleep-tracking capabilities, and battery life. Find out how the sleep headphones we've tested stack up on this list -- and on your pillow. 

The best sleep headphones of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • In-ear alarm feature
  • Tracks your sleep when you wear them overnight
  • Choose from pre-set sleep sounds
  • Small size might get lost in bed when tossing and turning
  • Not the most comfortable for side sleepers
More Details

Not only are these earbuds from Anker some of the tiniest ZDNET's former associate editor Christina Darby had tried, but they also track your sleep while you wear them. The earbuds are comfortable and lightweight, Darby writes, and offer sleep tracking that is in line with the Apple Watch Series 8's suite of sleep tracking. You can find out whether you passed the night in a deep or light sleep as well as how long you spent awake each night for a greater grasp on your sleeping patterns.

Review: Do sleeping earbuds actually work? I tested the latest pair on the market

As far as sound goes, these headphones use noise masking, broadcasting a low-volume layer of audio to cover up ambient sounds. You can choose from 31 different pre-set sounds in the Soundcore app's Sleep Music Library, including audio that mimics your brain wave frequencies during periods of rest. Plus, the earbuds can wake you up in the morning with the in-ear alarm function. Darby called the earbuds a "refreshing addition to a rather scarce market."

Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 Earbuds tech specs: Form factor: In-ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery: Up to 10 hours | Fit: Earbuds

Pros & Cons
  • Lightweight
  • Great for side sleepers
  • ANC is fantastic
  • No music playback, just white noise
  • Pricey
More Details

Using ANC technology while still having a form factor designed for sleep, QuietOn 3.1 sleep earbuds are like an elevated pair of earbuds. Weighing just 1.8 grams, the lightweight feel is especially noticeable against a pillow -- even if you're a side sleeper. 

These earbuds are interesting because they actually don't play music, making them more like smart earplugs. That said, QuietOn uses advanced ANC technology that makes it easy to block out usual sleep distractions.

With no app, music, or Bluetooth connection, these are great if you simply want a silent night's sleep, which, according to her testing, Darby did comfortably.

"As a noise-sensitive sleeper myself, I've tried sleeping with my 2nd-gen AirPods Pros before but found them too bulky. Therefore, I was impressed to find QuietOn's ANC comparable to Apple's while feeling less irritating to wear during sleep," she wrote.  

The earbuds have a 28-hour battery life and a frictionless fit with foam ear tips, which is ideal if all you want is silence and are willing to justify the price tag. 

QuietOn 3.1 sleep earbuds tech specs: Form factor: Earbuds | Connectivity: NA | Battery: 28 hours | Fit: In-ear 

Pros & Cons
  • No light enters the sleep mask
  • Great for partial awareness
  • Nice battery life
  • Speakers could be louder
  • Charging cord is right next to your face as you sleep
More Details

My bedroom looks over a busy Brooklyn street, and I can often hear the honks and skirrrrts of passing cars and cyclists while I try to fall and stay asleep. The street outside my window is also well-lit, so I normally wear a face mask to bed. This is all to say that I am in dire need of a sleeping device that not only blocks out sound but also bright light. The LC-Dolida does both pretty well. 

The sleep mask comes with eye cups that truly block out any light in your field of vision, which I love. And the flat headphones hover over your ears. They aren't notably immersive, but they dampen most sounds if you raise the volume high enough. I like to listen to brown noise playlists with these on to fall asleep, and I can confidently say I'm out in minutes when I have these on. Plus, the battery life is substantial. I can wear these for two nights straight without them dying on me -- for around $20 (Amazon says it costs $40, but is normally around the $20 range with wavering discounts), that's not bad at all. 

I have a small head, move around in my sleep, and can rarely keep a mask on for the entirety of a night, so I wasn't surprised when I woke up with the headphones off a few times. "If you sleep with a partner who snores, live next to a busy street, or have loud roommates, you will surely benefit from this headphone sleep mask. It's everything I want out of a sleep device: it's got a decent battery life, it's comfortable, and it immerses you in noise that dulls -- but doesn't fully eliminate -- distracting sounds around you," I wrote in my spotlight of the sleep mask. 

More: Trouble sleeping? I used this $19 wearable to fall asleep near instantly 

LC-Dolida Sleep Headphones and Mask tech specs: Form factor: Over-ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 | Battery life: 8-10 hours | Fit: Adjustable velcro strap

Pros & Cons
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable for side sleepers
  • Cable slider and adjustable hooks ensure a secure fit all night
  • Expensive
More Details

If you want headphones made for sleeping, look no further than the Bedphones. These headphones were designed with side sleepers in mind, as the speakers are thin and covered in soft foam padding. They lay flat against your ears while you listen to soothing sounds.

The adjustable memory wire ear hooks allow these sleeping headphones to fit all ears. While wireless, a cable connects the two drivers, and you can wear the cable in front of or behind your neck and tighten the cable slider to ensure the headphones stay secure even on restless nights.

The 13-hour battery life and inline microphone with a single-button remote are also impressive features. 

Bedphones Wireless tech specs: Form factor: Over-ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery life: 13 hours | Fit: Adjustable ear hooks

Pros & Cons
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable to wear
  • No auto-off feature
  • Volume can be loud even on the lowest setting
More Details

This headband headphone design from Perytong is a more budget-friendly option for sleeping headphones. The headband is made of soft, machine-washable, breathable material and features detachable on-ear headphones that can comfortably fit back and side sleepers.

The headband holds a decent battery life that lasts 10 hours per full charge and comes in more than 15 color options. These sleeping headphones can also work well for listening to music while you run or for zoning out while you meditate. 

Perytong Sleep Headphones tech specs: Form factor: On-ear | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Battery life: 10 hours | Fit: Headband

What are the best headphones for sleeping?

The best sleep headphones are the Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10 headphones for their strong battery life, sleep-tracking capabilities, and pre-set sleep sounds you can use to easily fall asleep. 

Sleeping headphonesPriceBatteryForm factor
Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10$8810 hoursIn-ear
QuietOn 3.1 earbuds$28928 hoursIn-ear
LC-Dolida Sleep Mask and Headphones$208-10 hoursOver-ear
Bedphones wireless$14913 hoursOver-ear
Perytong Sleep Headphones$2010 hoursOver-ear

 *Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices may vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which sleeping headphones are right for you?

It depends on what you're looking for relative to the position(s) you sleep in, whether you want ANC, and what price point you're willing to spend. 

Choose these headphones for sleeping...If you want...
Soundcore by Anker Sleep A10The best sleep earbuds. Unobtrusive, these earbuds are no bigger than a nickel, have a 10-hour playback battery life, and track your sleep.
QuietOn 3.1 earbudsThe best sleep headphones for canceling out noise. QuietOn 3.1's earbuds are compact, comfortable, and cancel out sound without making any.
LC-Dolida Sleep Mask and HeadphonesThe best sleep mask and headphone combo. Cancel out noise and sound with these on.
Bedphones wirelessThe best sleep headphones. If you're a side sleeper, the flat and foam-padded design was made with you in mind. You'll also get 13 hours of battery life.
Perytong Sleep HeadphonesThe best budget-friendly sleep headphones. Only $20 on Amazon, this over-ear headband is price and comfort-conscious.

How did we choose these headphones for sleeping?

We selected these top sleeping headphones by doing extensive research into the product category, as well as performing some testing of our own while considering the following factors:

  • Flat speakers: There's no point in sleeping in headphones if they're not comfortable -- and nothing is more uncomfortable than something poking in your ears. We looked for headphones with speakers that sit comfortably in your ears and against your pillow. 
  • Active Noise Canceling capabilities: We looked for headphones that cancel or block out noise so that you can have undisturbed rest. 
  • Battery life: All of our picks have battery life that will last you through the night from six to 28 hours. 
  • Price: The sleeping headphones on this list range in price from $12 to $300. While you don't need to spend hundreds on a pair of good-quality sleep headphones, more features come with a higher price tag. 

Is it OK to sleep with headphones on?

Yes, it is medically safe to fall asleep while wearing headphones. It is recommended to keep the volume below 85 dB. Also, over-ear or on-ear headphones are preferred over earbuds when considering long-term use since wax buildup and ear canal damage can potentially happen over time with earbud use. So if you're concerned with that, consider a sleep headphone headband instead of one of the earbuds on the list. 

Are noise-canceling headphones good for sleeping?

Noise-canceling headphones are great for sleeping since they have built-in technology that virtually blocks out any noise in your bedroom, making it easier to fall asleep in silence.

However, noise-canceling headphones for sleeping are not the best option in the case of an emergency since you're essentially tuned out to the world -- especially if you already consider yourself a heavy sleeper. 

Why were Bose SleepBuds discontinued?

Bose discontinued its popular SleepBuds because, despite the earbuds' cult following, the earbuds didn't garner mainstream adoption, a Bose spokesperson told the Verge. But the good news is that Bose partnered with three former employees to revive the SleepBuds, and you can grab a pair through its Kickstarter

Are there alternative headphones for sleeping worth considering?

Of course, you could always fall asleep using the headphones you already have -- they just might not be as comfortable or made for sleep as much as our top picks. So here are some other options we recommend. 

View at AmazonView at Bonamour Sleep SystemView at Amazon

ZDNET writer Allison Murray contributed to this story.

Editorial standards