Do you often have problems finding peace at night? When you go to sleep, do your thoughts circle and the recovery you hope for never really comes about? Then sleep headphones might be a possible solution to your problems. In this article we have put together a lot of information, background information and criteria for the perfect sleep headphones and their practical advantages.
We are pleased that you came across our great sleep headphones test 2021. We’ll give you all the information you need on the way so that you not only find out what makes good headphones for the night but also learn the advantages of listening to music while falling asleep.
the essentials in brief
- Sleep headphones are specially designed to be comfortable in bed, not to slip out and not to disturb you during the night’s sleep.
- Many studies suggest that music makes it easier to fall asleep and has a stress-reducing effect. Very little of this has been finally clarified, but trying it out can’t hurt.
- The two main types of sleep headphones are in-ear models and headband headphones. Both offer different advantages and disadvantages.
Sleep headphones test: favorites of the editor
The best in-ear sleep headphones
The in-ear headphones from AGPTEK are a prime example of the special design of in-ear headphones that are intended for sleeping. At 10.5 g they are feather-light and really extremely small, which makes them perfect for use in bed, especially as a side sleeper.
In addition, the headphones are equipped with a practical wire control with which you can adjust the volume or stop and start tracks without having to go to the cell phone. For around 10 € you can get great headphones that can make your night a lot more relaxed.
The best sleep headphones headband
If you prefer to use a headband variant, the Bluetooth model from Navly is just the thing. The shape of the cordless device makes it perfect for side sleepers, it is washable and has eight hours of battery life.
For around 20 € you can get headband headphones that have many functions and advantages. Due to the comparatively short charging time, it is very comfortable and also suitable for on the go, for example when jogging.
The best wireless sleep headphones
With the noise-isolating Bluetooth in-ear headphones from GOODODOQ, you have a very good model for finding complete peace at night. The very small and soft earphones are very suitable for side sleepers and offer optimal wearing comfort.
For around 25 € you can get headphones that are not only practical because you can do without an annoying cable, but can also shine in noisy environments thanks to their noise insulation.
Buying Guide: Questions to Consider Before Buying Sleep Headphones
Many people find falling asleep to music, audio books, white noise or other sounds pleasant and easier to find peace. If that applies to you too, then you should definitely consider buying sleep headphones. We explain what these are all about in the following paragraphs.
What defines sleep headphones and what are the differences to normal headphones?
Headphones intended for sleeping differ from normal headphones primarily in one property:
They are significantly flatter or optimized in some other way to sit comfortably in the ear in different lying positions. This prevents them from slipping out and you can hear anything you want while you doze off.
Where can I buy sleep headphones?
When it comes to sleep headphones, your first port of call should be the nearest electronics store. Whether Media Markt, Saturn or expert, all well-stocked shops that offer headphones should also have models specially made for bed.
Alternatively, the websites of the markets or Amazon are the best options.
What do sleep headphones cost?
The price of a pair of sleep headphones depends entirely on how much you value audio quality. Of course, you can always go for an absolute luxury product from a brand like Sennheiser, but why spend so much money when you spend a lot of the time with the headphones in your sleep anyway?
Of course, we don’t mean to say that audio quality doesn’t matter, but you need to know for yourself how much money you want to invest in passive relaxation.
In general, you can buy very good sleep headphones for around € 20, which offer a more than sufficient sound experience and are comfortable to wear. Also, consider what you want to listen to. The sound quality is completely negligible for natural sounds or white noise, but it may be worth spending a little more for classical music or other complex pieces.
When and for whom are sleep headphones useful?
First and foremost, sleep headphones are useful for you if you are someone who likes to listen to music or other noises when you fall asleep. Normal in-ear headphones are usually too uncomfortable when you fall asleep on them, headsets are pre-programmed that you roll over them painfully or otherwise destroy them, and boxes inevitably ensure that several people are allowed to participate in your nightly conversation.
The logical solution to this problem is headphones that are specially designed to be worn in bed. So if you have any of the above problems, it can be very worth buying to make your night’s sleep more comfortable. When you have found a good solution, nothing stands in the way of listening pleasure. And that has some effects on your sleep quality that should not be neglected.
Especially if you are sleep-deprived, it can be worthwhile to listen to music before or while you fall asleep. Studies already indicate possible successes of music therapy, even if this has not yet been definitively proven. But since it’s very easy to just listen to music before falling asleep, it’s definitely worth a try. ( 1 )
Just like in everyday life, it is important that you do not turn the volume up too high. Many tend to turn up their music very loudly to cut themselves off from the outside world, but this is very bad for the ears. In general, it is recommended that you turn the music up about enough that you can just hear it. ( 2 )
Did you know that music at a volume higher than 85 decibels can be harmful?
To see when you have reached this value, apps can help. On many devices, however, you now even receive a warning if you turn up the music too loud.
According to studies, listening to music before going to sleep not only has a positive effect on sleep quality ( 3 ) , but can even reduce stress so that even patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can benefit from the therapeutic effect of music. ( 4 , 5 )
However, if you don’t pay attention to how loud you turn up the music, in the long run it can even lead to complete hearing loss. So give your ears regular breaks so they can recover. In general, the consequences of long direct exposure to the ears are still too unexplored to expose oneself to unnecessary risk. ( 6 )
Always remember: if you can just barely hear the music, you have reached the optimum volume.
What alternatives are there to sleep headphones?
Normal in-ear headphones
There are few alternatives to sleep headphones that work in the same way, but some are quite effective. The most obvious alternative is of course normal headphones. If yours feel comfortable while sleeping, you have no real reason to switch, because then you’ve already found the perfect solution.
Another option would be a headphone pillow. In this case, the loudspeaker is built into the cushion. The big advantage is, of course, that there is no problem with the structure of your headphones in the first place. The disadvantage is that the sound easily penetrates the outside and can naturally disturb the partner again, for example.
Voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Home and others have the same disadvantage, which usually come with many apps as standard that are supposed to make it easier for you to fall asleep, but are loudspeakers. With these, too, the following applies: The partner should be very insensitive.
Decision: What types of sleep headphones are there and which one is right for you?
If you are toying with the idea of getting sleep headphones, the most important question is what type of headphones to use. As with normal headphones, you have different options when it comes to the design of the headphones.
Sleep in-ear headphones would be the classic and the next step compared to going to sleep with normal in-ears. The models specially optimized for sleep offer extremely small or flat ear pieces and are therefore much more comfortable than the standard versions. As a result, you can also find peace as a side sleeper without the foreign bodies in the ear disturbing.
The other important option is a sleep headphones headband. You just put it on like a normal headband before going to bed and completely bypass the problem of foreign bodies in the ear, because the headband is only on top. However, you have to cope with having light pressure on your head all night through the fabric. For many, this is unfamiliar or even more uncomfortable than putting headphones in your ear.
However, both types have the disadvantage that the air circulation in and around the clock is severely impaired. This promotes wax build-up and reduces blood flow. So always make sure to give your ears a break and clean them well ( 7 , 8 ) .
|In-ears||Very light, no pressure on the forehead||annoying cable, foreign body in the ear|
|Headband||no foreign body in the ear, ideal solution for side sleepers||always slight pressure on temples, unfamiliar headgear in bed|
Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and rate sleep headphones
In the following, we will show you which aspects play the most important role when choosing sleep headphones.
The criteria that you can use to compare sleep headphones include:
- Radio or cable
- Sound quality
In the next paragraph we will explain to you what is important for the individual criteria.
In-ears or headband? How big or small should the earplugs be? Pure rubber, plastic or metal elements? What material should the headband be made of? Are you allergic to some? These are all questions to ask yourself before getting sleep headphones. This criterion is very important, especially for higher-priced models that are supposed to accompany you for a while.
The wearing comfort is of course an incredibly subjective criterion, but at the same time it is also the most important thing. After all, everyone sleeps differently, turns around or stays quiet all night, some only sleep on their backs, others are side sleepers.
Did you know that people move between 30 and 80 times at night?
The body needs to stay active in order to be able to strengthen joints, muscles and bones. Therefore, your mattress should not be too soft either, otherwise you will sink in and movements will be more difficult.
Nothing is more counterproductive than having sleep headphones in your ear that will keep you up at night. The big problem, of course, is how difficult it is to know before you buy whether you can sleep well with the respective model in your ear.
However, you shouldn’t let that stop you, in such cases products can still be exchanged, especially buying from Amazon can be worthwhile in view of this.
However, you can check some details for yourself beforehand. If you want to buy in-ear models, you can just try to sleep with the corresponding normal headphone model. If you don’t get any rest at all, buying a sleep option is probably not worth it either, but headband sleep headphones can still be worthwhile.
Again, it’s easy to acclimate yourself, at least if you have a headband at home. Just pull it on and lie down with it when you can easily fall asleep, this is probably a better buy.
Radio or cable
Also essential is the question of whether you get wireless headphones or headphones with a cable. Again, you should be clear about how much you move around in your sleep. Cables can easily become a problem. Whether they wrap themselves around parts of the body, pinch them under the chest and cause pain there or, in the worst case, tear a cell phone off the bedside table, some problems can arise.
The solution for this can be wireless sleep headphones. These have the great advantage that you don’t have to worry too much about long cables. Instead, there is at most a short hanging around the neck and should be able to rest there for a night. The price point is a little higher, but a Bluetooth function doesn’t make as big a financial difference as it did a few years ago.
Last but not least, a word about sound quality. As already mentioned, you can spend a lot of money on this criterion, but keep in mind that you will probably only use your sleep headphones to fall asleep. The pure audio quality only plays a subordinate role. This is especially true if you’re not listening to music, but rather someone who listens to podcasts or nature sounds. For them, exceptionally good audio quality is even less important.
The trick is to find headphones that offer a good ratio of sound quality to price. Especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on sleep headphones, you should look at models in the price range of around € 20. These offer completely sufficient sound for the vast majority of users and are still absolutely affordable.
Trivia: Interesting facts and figures about sleep headphones
What music is best for falling asleep?
Research into the best genres for a healthy and good night’s sleep is still in its infancy, but the results so far are interesting. For most people, the sleep playlist is limited to comparatively calm, slow songs with a tempo of around 60-80 BPM.
With a majority of the people questioned in a study on this topic, however, playlists with theoretically relaxing but unknown songs did worse ( 9 ) .
Can you learn while you sleep?
Studies are still quite divided on this. Some researchers point out that you can reactivate memories at night if you listen to the same music that you heard while studying ( 10 ), but how effective such methods actually are is still largely unexplained ( 11 ). The amount of studies on this subject is still too low.