Looking for something to listen to your audiobooks in bed? When it comes to sleeping with headphones we all share the same problem: headphones are notoriously uncomfortable to wear when lying down.
They push into your ears, become overheated, fall out, or are simply too big. Luckily for us, a few companies have now begun to offer sleep specific headphones for those of us who like listening to music before falling asleep. In this article, we'll cover the best headphones for sleeping
I've always listened to music or audiobooks before going to bed. Ever since I bought my first Discman I've been battling with the headphone-in-bed issue. I've tried all types of headphones but have never been completely satisfied.
Earbuds always seem to push into my ears and over-ear headphones simply are too large to wear when lying on your side. For most of my life, I've made do with what I've had and suffered through it.
If this sounds familiar - say hello to sleeping specific headphones! Designed specifically to be worn in bed they address many of the issues we face. This post will cover some of the better options on the market so you can spend your hard earned money wisely.
We'll talk about a few interesting features and introduce the headphones along the way. Let's get started!
Headband Style Sleeping Headphones
These have recently become very popular. This solves the problem of the headphones falling out of your ears and can also double as a sleeping mask. It will also work great for those who find their heads get cold during the night (there has to be at least one of you out there). Basically, these headphones remove most of the headphone component by using ultra thin headphones. This allows you to lay comfortably on your side without having an earbud jammed into your ear.
The headphone component is wafer thin so you won't have to worry about feeling anything press against your head. This style of headphone is also a perfect solution for those looking for a running headphone (particularly during the fall and winter). I know if my headphones aren't fitted correctly, they will easily fall out during a run.
They will also double as a headband to keep your ears warm. Bonus!
There are plenty of options here so make sure you go with something that is credible. Look for something that uses a comfortable material (should be stretchable and machine washable). We've selected the most popular and best rated headphones using this style.
- Machine washable
- Stetchable material
- Wicking fabric
- Ensure you remove the headphone before you wash the headband! These headphones are NOT waterproof.
What About The Sound Quality?
Unfortunately, not the greatest. I would be doing everyone a disservice if I suggested these headphones put out good sound quality. You simply aren't able to get the same clarity as you will with earbuds or over-ear headphones. Most models will use a layer of fabric between the headphone and your ear - affecting the audio signal.
It's also difficult to reproduce the full audio spectrum accurately with such small components. The main benefit of these headphones is the primary reason why you won't get perfect sound quality. That being said, many of you won't really know the difference. If you aren't accustomed to professional level headphones you will have no issues with the sound quality.
In fact, Amazon is full of customer reviews praising the sound quality of this style of headphones.
Just be sure that the headphones are facing the correct direction and are located directly next to your ears. These headphones tend to move around when you take them off so you may have to spend a few seconds adjusting the position of the headband.
There are some headband style headphones that are designed specifically for sleeping and some that can be considered more of a hybrid style. Ultimately, you will know which headphone is right for you.
If you think that you will use the headphones for both exercising and sleeping, you will want to get a style that is a little more breathable with wicking fabric. If you need something only for sleeping, going with something like the SleepPhones above will be your best option. The fabric is much softer to the touch and will go a long way in comfort while sleeping.
You can also consider the width of the fabric if you plan on using it as a sleep mask in addition to headphones. The SleepPhones above then to be a bit narrow and aren't as well suited for a sleep mask as the CozyPhones above.
Need sound isolation?
Don't want to give up your earbuds? I don't blame you. They have been one of the best options available for headphones sleepers. I personally have been using earbuds for over 10 years. Good news is there are now earbuds that are designed to be used for sleeping. What makes them so special? The ear-tip material.
These headphones use a soft silicon tip that rests gently in your ears. They are the best option on the market for those who find earbuds too uncomfortable.
This is what you need if your partner snores loudly and you need to find some respite.
Go ahead and read the Amazon customer reviews to get a sense of how well these work. They are so gentle that you won't notice them. Perfect for those listening to audiobooks or podcasts.
- Soft silicon tip.
Need audiophile sound quality? You probably want to skip these. On that note - if you are looking for detailed sound quality AND a sleeping headphone you aren't going to find it. I've scoured the market for something that I could recommend for the audiophiles in the group but have come up short. If you know of one, please leave it in the comments below!
Nothing strike your fancy?
In my earlier days I've used foam covered headphones that rest gently on the outside of your ear. These won't shove anything uncomfortable down your ear canal and can be comfortable worn on your side.
They won't score any points for sound isolation or sound quality, but they actually work quite well for sleeping. Be aware: they leak sound like crazy. If you have a bed partner you will probably want to skip these. It takes a special person to put up with the latest Adele song looped for 2 hours while they are trying to catch some shut eye.
These would be great for the few stragglers who can't wear earbuds and don't want to have a headband wrapped around their heads while trying to sleep.
I'd recommend checking out the headband style headphones for the majority of people. If you need song isolation, try out the soft silicon tip earbuds. If you don't want earbuds or a headphone around your head when you are trying to sleep, try out the Panasonics (or the brand of your choice) shown above.
I hope this is helpful for some of you. Have a technical question? Other suggestions? Advice? Leave it in the comments below. Until next time!